Glossary of Dress Terms


Have you come across a dress related word or phrase that you don't entirely understand? Our extensive glossary is here to help you translate the jargon into plain English.

Simply find the word or term you're unsure about in the list below. We'll provide you with a simple explaination here, or, alternatively, click on the word or phrase in question for a more in depth explaination.

A-Line

A silhouette which is fitter on the top, and flares gradually from the waist, creating an “A” shape.

Asymmetric Length

A skirt whose hemline is shorter in some places, and longer in others.

Asymmetrical Neckline

See One Shoulder Neckline.

Ball Gown

A silhouette with a tight fitting top, and a full skirt flaring out from the waist.

Bateau Neckline

A wide neckline, which sits high-up on the chest, and follows the natural curve of the collarbone.

Black (Non-wedding Dresses)

A classic, elegant color, suitable for all formal occasions.

Black (Wedding Dresses)

A non-traditional color, perfect for gothic themed weddings, and brides who want something a bit different.

Blue

A calming and tranquil color, which is available in numerous shades and tones.

Boat Neckline

See Bateau Neckline.

Bright Colors (Wedding Dresses)

Eye-catching, non-traditional shades; perfect for the bride who wants to be different.

Brush Train

See Sweeping (Sweep) Train.

Cathedral Train

A train which falls from the waist, and extends between 6.5ft and 7.5ft behind the dress.

Champagne (Wedding Dresses)

An increasingly popular choice amongst brides, this color is a shade darker than Ivory.

Chapel Train

A train which falls from the waist, and extends between 3.5ft and 4.5ft behind the dress.

Column

See Sheath.

Court Train

A train which falls from the waist, and extends approximately 3ft behind the dress.

Cowl Neckline

Folds of excess fabric are draped around or below the neckline, mimicking the appearance of a scarf or shawl.

Crew Neckline

See High-Neck Neckline.

Duster Train

See Sweeping (Sweep) Train.

Empire

A high fitting waistline, which sits just under the bust.

Fish-tail

See Mermaid.

Floor Length

A dress whose hemline either reaches, or stops just above the floor.

Gold

A glistening, metallic color, best suited to ladies with warmer skin tones.

Grand Cathedral Train

See Royal Train.

Green

A color that symbolizes safety and harmony, and is available in several shades and tones.

Halter Neckline

Two straps of material extend from the bodice and either tie, or are attached, behind the neck.

High-Low

See Asymmetric Length.

High-Neck Neckline

A neckline which sits high on the chest, and follows the natural curve of the neck. It is often highly decorated.

Horseshoe Neckline

See Scoop Neckline.

Ivory (Wedding Dresses)

A popular wedding dress color, ideal for brides with fairer skin tones.

Jewel Neckline

See High-Neck Neckline.

Knee Length

See Short Length.

Light Pink (Wedding Dresses)

A feminine, girly shade, which is becoming increasingly popular amongst brides.

Mermaid

A figure-hugging silhouette, which gradually flares outwards from the knees, creating a shape which resembles a mermaid’s tail.

Mini Length

See Short Length.

Monarch Train

See Royal Train.

Off the Shoulder Neckline

Straps or sleeves that sit just below the shoulder, usually draped across the upper arm.

One Shoulder Neckline

A neckline that has just one strap or sleeve, rather than two.

Orange

A bright, eye-catching color, best suited to ladies with warmer skin tones.

Pastel Shades (Wedding Dresses)

Light, subtle hues which offer an alternative to the traditional whites and ivories.

Pink (Non-wedding Dresses)

A feminine color, which is available in many shades, and symbolizes hope and romance.

Pink (Wedding Dresses)

See Light Pink (Wedding Dresses).

Portrait Neckline

See Off the Shoulder Neckline.

Purple

A sophisticated yet feminine color, symbolizing mystery and wisdom.

Queen Anne Neckline

A neckline which sits high across the back of the neck, and exposes a diamondesque shape across the chest.

Red (Non-wedding Dresses)

An eye-catching, sexy color, which symbolizes romance and good luck.

Red (Wedding Dresses)

A traditional color for many Asian brides, which symbolizes luck and auspiciousness.

Royal Cathedral Train

See Royal Train.

Royal Train

A train which falls from the waist, and generally extends between 9ft and 12ft behind the dress, although it can be longer.

Sabrina Neckline

See Bateau Neckline.

Scoop Neckline

A “U” shape, this neckline starts at one shoulder, sweeps down across the chest, and continues back up to the other shoulder.

Semi Cathedral Train

A train which falls from the waist, and extends between 5ft and 6ft behind the dress.

Sheath

A straight, figure-hugging silhouette, which emphases the natural shape of your body.

Short Length

A less formal length, where the hemline falls mid-calf, above the knee, or anywhere in-between.

Silver

A shimmering, metallic color, best suited to ladies with cooler skin tones.

Spaghetti-Straps

A neckline which features two thin straps, which look a bit like spaghetti.

Square Neckline

A neckline which has two thick straps, and forms the shape of a square across the chest.

Strapless Neckline

A neckline with no straps, which is usually cut in a straight line across the chest.

Sweeping (Sweep) Train

The shortest train, it gently “sweeps” or “brushes” against the floor.

Sweetheart Neckline

A feminine neckline, whose shape closely resembles the top of a heart.

Tea Length

See Short Length.

Trumpet

See Mermaid.

U-Neck Neckline

See Scoop Neckline.

V-Neck Neckline

A neckline which usually has straps or sleeves, and creates a “V” shape across the chest.

Watteau Train

A train which falls from the shoulders or upper-back, often extending beyond the length of the dress.

White (Non-wedding Dresses)

A timeless color, symbolizing innocence and purity.

White (Wedding Dresses)

The most commonly chosen wedding dress color, made popular by Queen Victoria.

Yellow

A bright, happy color, which is best suited to ladies with warmer skin tones.
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