Fashion A-Z

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


Gaiter, similar to a spat, is a protective covering of cloth or leather that sits over a shoe. Both cover the ankles and sometimes even the lower leg. But while a gaiter is is an overshoe, a spat can be incorporated into the shoe itself, covering the instep and ankle. Imagine ‘Spats’ Columbo, the gangster in Prohibition America in Billy Wilder’s 1959 film ‘Some Like it Hot’.


Gathering is a sewing technique that reduces the length of piece of fabric, so a longer piece can match and be attached to a shorter one. It is used to manage, as much as disguise, a source of fullness — such as on a cuff or sleeve — and can also pinch a skirt into a waistband or bodice.