Fashion A-Z

From applique to zippers, a comprehensive dictionary with definitions and
meanings of key fashion vocabulary, written by Camilla Morton.


Braiding — the dressmaking version — is not too dissimilar to hair plait it shares a name with. It is a trim, binding or embroidery that can be applied to embellish or pattern a garment, from the hem to a free-style design.


Bustle is the ‘pouf’ or padding that is worn at the back of a skirt, either underneath or folded in to the fabric. It can be a drape or twist of fabric, or use a framework of layers and it is meant to exaggerate the feminine charm of behind. Popular particularly the Victorian era, when women were still corseted, and crinolines were in fashion, the bustle adds fullness below a slim waist. It can be set off with bows and ribbons, although its original purpose was more practical — to pull the skirt back and keep the hem from dragging in the mud.