Sartorial Glossary

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sartorial GLOSSARY


BATISTE
A light plain weave crafted from fine and high-quality yarns, cotton batiste
is the softest of the lightweight opaque fabrics.

BESPOKE
A British term that derives from the verb to bespeak, bespoke tailoring refers to
suiting that is custom-made. Although the word ‘bespoke’ can now refer to anything
from modern technology to luxury cars, its heritage is within clothing.

BINDING
Binding refers to tape stitched around the inside of your trouser-ends to ensure they
don’t fray.  This prevents the constant movement of fabric on shoe leather,
whether or not you have turn-ups or hemmed trousers.

BUTTON HOLE
slit in a the cloth of a lapel through which a lapel pin or flower can be inserted.
Bespoke suits can have a little loop of thread sewn on to the reverse of the lapel
to accommodate, historically, a poppy on Remembrance Sunday.

CHECK
Traditionally associated with Scotland where woven dyed wool was once a principal
cloth, a check is a pattern of modified stripes consisting of
crossed vertical and horizontal lines forming squares.

COLUMBIA STITCH TRIM
Used to create detailing around the edge and a better finish, the Columbia
stitch trim can be found inside a suit jacket. A pick stitch is ideal
for formal looks, whereas a top stitch is the preferred choice for casual attire.

CREASES
Originally introduced to emphasise the line of the trouser, creases have remained
in fashion due to the fact they look smart. They also improve
the hang of the trouser and give a clean and crisp aesthetic.

CUFF
Used to protect the material from fraying, a cuff is
a fold used as trimming at the bottom of the sleeve.

CUFF BUTTONS
In Britain, a sleeve cuff traditionally has between one and four buttons
which can be fully or semi functional. Cuff buttons can also be ‘kissing’ (when touching)
or a ‘waterfall’ (when placed beneath one another).

CUTAWAY COLLAR
A style of shirt collar that is more spread apart towards the shoulder. Also referred
to as a Windsor collar, a cutaway collar has shallow points that fall away sharply from the neck.
This is a very British feature which looks great when worn with a jacket to cover the points.

DOUBLE-BREASTED
Double-breasted refers to a coat or jacket with wide, overlapping
front flaps and two parallel columns of buttons or snaps.

EVENINGWEAR
A term which traditionally denotes a dark black or navy tuxedo with a satin lapels.

FLECKED
Material that is speckled or spotted is referred to as flecked,
with specks of colour moving through the main colour.

FRENCH BEARER
Used to hold the front of a pair of trousers flat and keep them looking smart, the French bearer is a
special button found behind the fly. This also creates comfort, practicality and a cleaner look.

GAUNTLET
Located above the cuffs, the top and under-gauntlets produce openings at the sleeve ends for ease of wear.

GUSSET
Traditionally used to shape a garment to the body, a gusset is a triangular or rhomboid piece of fabric
inserted into a seam. It also adds breadth and reduces stress from tighter fitting clothes.

HERRINGBONE
Taking its name from the fact it resembles the skeleton of a herring fish, the herringbone
pattern is a distinctive V-shaped weaving pattern which is found in suiting and jacketing.

HOUNDSTOOTH
Also known as dogstooth, houndstooth is a duotone textile pattern identified by its broken checks or abstract
four-pointed shapes which are often in black and white. Puppytooth is a smaller scale version of houndstooth.

INTERLINING
The material positioned between lining and outer fabric to provide bulk or warmth.

JETTED POCKET
A style of pocket opening that consists of two small strips of fabric
which tape the top and bottom of a pocket’s slit together.

KICK TAPE
Designed to protect trouser hems from wear, kick tape is a woven tape with a narrow finished edge.

LOUNGE SUIT
A suit which is traditionally crafted from a dark-hued fabric and worn for formal events.

MADE-TO-MEASURE
A middle ground between ready-to-wear garments and bespoke tailoring, a made-to-measure
service allows the customer to choose a desired design from a selection of ready-to-wear styles and
have it customised to fit their shape. It also allows them to choose the fabrics they want to be used.

OUT BREAST POCKET
The pocket located on a suit jacket’s chestplate which allows the wearer to sport a pocket square.

PEAK LAPEL
The most formal of all the lapels, a peaked lapel features mostly on double-breasted jackets,
formal coatsand dinner jackets.The top line slants up from the horizontal, reaching a point
and leaving only a think space between the collar and lapel.

PIQUÉ
Often used for the fronts of dress shirts or waistcoats, piqué is
a cotton fabric featuring a ribbed or corded surface.

PLACKET
The double layer of fabric that holds the buttons and buttonholes in a shirt is known as the placket.
Althoughusually used for practical purposes, sometimes plackets are used as a design aesthetic.
They can be button-through, French front, concealed or fly.

PLEAT
Found on both shirting and trousers, a pleat is the excess of folded fabric
that is added to a garment for aesthetic and practical purposes.

POPLIN
Used to give the material of a garment its character, poplin is
a fabric crafted from a fine warp yarn and a thick filling.

READY-TO-WEAR
Clothes that are cut following an average figure instead of an individual’s measurements are known
as ready-to-wear. The speedof a ready-to-wear style is an advantage; however its
poor quality tailoring and ‘luck of the draw’ notion are disadvantages.

SHAWL LAPEL
With its origins in the Victorian smoking jacket, the shawl lapel has a continuously
curved design. It is now most commonly used on the tuxedo jacket.

SINGLE-BREASTED
A single breasted suit jacket has one column of buttons and a narrow overlap of fabric. This
design is often used for occasionwear, particularly on a smoking jacket or dinner suit.

SLANT POCKET
Slanting pockets on a jacket can help emphasis its silhouette.

SLUB
Ideal for creating ‘texture’ in fabric, a ‘slub’ or thick area in a yarn is produced
when wool has been slightly twisted in preparation for spinning.

TAB COLLAR
Tab collars are point collars with two strips of fabric extending from the middle of the collar and
joined behind the tie. These lift the tie, giving an arc effect similar to a pinned
collar. The tabs can be closed with a metal snap, button or stud.

TWEED
Woven from several different coloured woollen yarns, tweed if a woollen fabric from the British Isles.

TWILL
Often used in suiting due to its structure, twill is a type of fabric that is
woven so it has a ribbed surface of diagonal parallel ridges.

VENT
Originally a sporting option used to make riding easier, a vent is a slit to the
bottom rear of a jacket which is used to improve its hang.

WEAVE
The interlacing of yarns to produce a fabric is known as a weave.

WELT
Used to strengthen and shape a garment, a welt is a single strip of bordering to
an edge or pocket. It is often found on the outer breast of a suit jacket.

YOKE
A double layer used to strengthen the shoulder and the cross shoulders of a garment.

ZIP
The mechanism widely used to close the fly fastening.

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