Fashion A-Z

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


Epaulet, sometimes spelt Epaulettes, were originally ornamental shoulder decorations that showed military rank. They have since been adopted as a fashion statement. From the shoulder pteruges of Ancient Rome, to ribbons worn on military coats, the epaulet (taken from the French ‘little shoulder’) was a mark of valour. They can be cut from metal or cloth, but are often gold trimmed with bullion fringing.


Eyelets are a small hole or perforation that is used as a fastening, with a cord or hook. Usually the eyelet is set with a metal, cord or fabric ring. The ‘little eye’ ring reinforces the hole and prevents it from stretching, while the small eye is for threading lace, string or rope through. Eylets can be either functional or purely for decorative purposes.