Fashion A-Z

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


Pattern can be one of two things. It is eitherthe decorative design that repeats over and over a fabric, or it is a flat template, made of paper or card, that is used as the key instruction guide for cutting the separate pieces of a garment. Pattern pieces are traced to allow for size, seam allowance and fit. They can help the dressmaker calculate the correct amount of fabric and its fit, before the trace and cut the template on the final fabric.


Peignoir is the name for the long, sheer or chiffon outer-garment, worn over by ladies over their negligee. To say it is only a light dressing gown diminishes the frivolous beauty of this translucent garment, worn by women in the privacy of their boudoir. They take their name from the French word peigner, meaning to comb the hair — a reference to the ladies who used to sit at their dressing tables in their chiffons and silks while they brushed their hair.