Want to know the difference between a raglan sleeve and a dolman sleeve? Between a balaclava, a balmacaan, and a balmoral? Here's the scoop on fashion A to Z:
You Look Fab has a brief, selective glossary of terms used in womenswear, including whiskers ("creases of fabric at the hip and upper thigh"; I'd add that in jeans, those creases are usually a lighter color than the rest of the fabric) and stance ("where the highest button on a jacket hits the chest").
Corporate Logo, "the independent voice of the promotional products world," offers an outerwear glossary that defines terms such as action back, storm flap, and warp.
Double-Tongued Dictionary's short 'n' snarky list of apparel and fashion terms includes 1661 ("a woman who is said to look 16 years old from the back but 61 years old from the front"), chicken cutlet ("a silicone breast enhancer for insertion under clothing"), and freeball ("to not wear underpants").
Search Phrontistery's list of fabric and cloth names for definitions of arrasene ("embroidery fabric of wool and silk"), charmeuse ("soft and satiny silk fabric"), and madapollam ("fine cotton cloth"), as well as more-common terms such as madras, melton, and piqué.
The fashion dictionary at WWD.com (Women's Wear Daily) is long on business terms such as just-in-time manufacturing and open-to-buy and surprisingly short on actual clothing lingo, although this is certainly the place to learn all about the Watteau back (whose name "derives from Jean Antoine Watteau, a French artist of the 18th century, in whose paintings women wore dresses with this design feature") and to discover the difference between current and historical uses of the technique known as ruching.
Apparel Search's fashion dictionary is user generated, which means caveat lector. Still, it's quite comprehensive and includes many historical and regional terms such as casque (a piece of armor for the head) and wyliecoat (chiefly Scottish: a warm undergarment).
And for specialists, this dictionary of clothing terms used in Quattrocentro Florence looks good enough to eat: boccaccino ("a modest cotton or linen cloth used for sleeves"), cioppa ("a type of overgown"), dossi ("skins of fur from the back of an animal").
Guide to the title of this post:
Colorway: The color scheme in which a pattern or style is available. A shirt manufactured in Fuchsia Floral, Fuchsia Stripe, and Fuchsia Plaid is said to be available in three colorways. (Yes, it's spelled fuchsia. The reddish-purple color is named after the flower, which in term was named for the German botanist Leonhart Fuchs. We should be pronouncing it fyook-see-a, but instead we pronounce it fyoosh-a, which is why we get into spelling trouble. As if we needed a reason.)
Finestrella: In Renaissance Italy, the opening at the front of the elbow of a sleeve. Literally, "little window."
Short markup: A markup is the difference between the cost to make a garment and the amount for which it will be sold. If the sales price is less than twice the manufacturing cost, the markup is said to be "short."