Fashion A-Z

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


Hems lie at the end of a piece of cloth, where the fabric has been folded and sewn into place to prevent the material from fraying or loosing its shape. The process of hemming uses small, nearly invisible stitches to catch the fabric and hold it securely in place. A hem’s length also often defines the silhouette of the entire outfit, from mini to maxi.


Herringbone is the name of a very distinct twill fabric, woven in a chevron pattern. Herringbone is a zigzag that reverses every few rows to produce a pattern like a herringbone’s skeleton — hence the name. It is a popular pattern in suits and high fashion, as well as sportswear. Think the Duke of Windsor meets Christian Dior.