Glossary of Terms Used in Tirocchi Databases
- something, such as a belt, scarf, handbag, etc., that
complements an article of clothing.
- alteration (transaction)
- modifying a garment to make it shorter or
longer, tighter or looser.
- afternoon dress, afternoon gown
- a dress worn for daytime social
functions; dressier than street dress.
- a fabric ornament made from pieces of material
stitched in overlapping patterns.
- in body measurements, the bicep is the circumference of the upper arm. The biceps is the large muscle of the upper arm.
- bill for (transaction)
- the record of an invoice sent
to a client; often a summary of several accumulated charges.
- blocking (transaction)
- light steaming and reshaping a knitted or
felt garment or hat.
- a soft, fluffy neckpiece made of feathers or tulle.
- a blouse or the part of a dress that covers the upper body.
- a short open-front jacket, imitating the style worn by Spanish
- a sleeveless outer garment that hangs from the shoulders.
- coat dress
- a dress made of heavier fabric, with the cut and
tailoring of a coat.
- cocktail dress
- a dress worn for late afternoon and evening social
functions; dressier than afternoon dress, but not as formal as a
full-length evening gown.
- the part of a garment that encircles the neck. The collar
may be separate from or attached to the garment.
- coming-out dress
- a dress worn by a debutante at a party celebrating
her formal entrance into adult society. The coming-out (or debutante)
dress was a formal evening gown in a youthful style, often in white or
- costume suit
- matching dress and jacket or dress and coat.
- a designer or maker of fashionable
- the part of a garment that encircles the wrist, the finish at
the end of a sleeve or the opening of a glove. Shirt or dress cuffs may be
separate from or attached to the garment.
- dance dress, dancing dress
- an evening dress in a youthful, not too
- day dress
- street dress; simple dress suitable for town wear.
- a young woman (usually between 16 and 18 years old) who
is beginning to attend social events as an adult.
- having a low neckline.
- dinner dress, dinner gown
- a more formal style of dress than afternoon
wear, but less elaborate than formal evening wear. A dinner dress is
usually full length with covered shoulders and arms.
- dinner suit
- a dinner dress with a sleeved jacket.
- a one-piece garment that covers the torso and legs; the terms
dress, frock, and gown were used for a variety of
lengths and styles.
- dressing gown
- a robe worn for lounging or before dressing.
- dyeing (transaction)
- changing the color of a garment. Garments
were re-dyed to change or refresh the color, hide stains, or to provide
mourning clothes on short notice.
- a complete outfit, such as coat & dress, dress & jacket,
or suit & blouse. An ensemble may also include matching accessories, such
as hat, gloves, handbag, etc.
- evening dress
- a very formal style of dress. An evening dress is
full length, sleeveless, and usually décolleté.
- fancy dress
- an outfit worn to a costume or masquerade party, often
representing a character from history or literature.
- fixing over (transaction)
- modifying a garment to change the style.
This might involve taking the garment completely apart and re-using the pieces.
- a dress.
- furnishing (transaction)
- supplying a ready-made item of apparel or
non-custom-made article, such as jewelry or an accessory, to a client.
- going-away (or go-away) dress or suit
- a dressy day dress or suit for
travel, especially for a wedding trip or honeymoon.
- a dress.
- a blouse that is worn under a jumper.
- house dress
- a simple dress worn at home for doing household tasks,
usually made of washable cotton.
- a ruffled shirt front.
- a loose sleeveless dress worn over a blouse or sweater.
- women's underwear and nightwear.
- lingerie gown
- a dress made of light, soft, lingerie-style fabrics
- cloth cut and sewn to form the inside finish of a garment;
also a fitted undergarment upon which outer fabric is placed.
- making; making up (transaction)
- custom-making a garment from fabric
or a 'robe.'
- making over (transaction)
- modifying a garment to change the style.
- a garment purchased from a couturier for resale or to be copied
and modified for clients.
- morning dress
- a house dress.
- morning gown
- a dressing gown.
- an outerwear accessory for keeping the hands warm. A muff
is a cylinder of fur or wool into which both hands can be inserted.
- in body measurements, the muscle is the circumference of the upper arm (also called 'bicep').
- a soft, flowing dressing gown or robe for at-home wear.
- items, such as thread, needles, buttons, zippers, that are
useful or necessary in sewing.
- a belt buckle, dress clasp, or decorative beads, feathers,
or other material used to embellish a garment.
- clothing, such as a coat or jacket, that is worn over other
clothing for protection against the weather.
- a decorative umbrella that serves as a sun-shade, rather
than as protection against rain.
- an underskirt reaching from the waist to just above the
hem of the outer garment.
- ready-made (transaction)
- a garment that is sold ready-to-wear
(rather than custom-made), with only minor alterations to adjust the fit.
- refreshing (transaction)
- cleaning, steaming, pressing, or applying
a new finish to a garment to make it appear like new.
- repairing (transaction)
- fixing or mending tears, holes, rips, etc.
- a length of fabric pre-embroidered or beaded with the pattern
shapes of the finished garment. The robe would be cut and sewn by the
dressmaker to fit the client. Robes were used in the 1920s as a transition
between custom dressmaking and ready-to-wear.
- robe de style
- a dress with fitted bodice and full skirt, made
famous in the early twentieth century by the couturière Jeanne Lanvin.
- ruffled or pleated fabric used for trimming the neckline or sleeves of a garment.
- a wide band of fabric worn around the waist or across the
chest from shoulder to waist.
- clothing, such as skirts or blouses, that may be worn in
combination with other garments.
- see waist.
- an undergarment worn with unlined dresses or suits.
- sport coat
- a simple tailored coat.
- sport suit
- a tailored suit, suitable for attending (rather than
participating in) a sports activity.
- clothing suitable for participation in a sports activity
(active sportswear), or clothing suitable for watching an activity
- street dress
- see day dress.
- Sunday night dress
- a sleeved dress, often in bright colors, more
formal than afternoon dress but less formal than dinner dress.
- sweater suit
- a knitted or crocheted skirt with matching sweater or
jacket, usually sport or semi-sport wear.
- tea dance dress, tea (or thé) dansant gown
- a semiformal late
worn at tea dances.
- tea gown
- a long, loose-fitting, elaborate gown worn at home for
afternoon tea. In the 1920s and 1930s, the name was also used for a
semiformal frilly dress worn to a garden party or afternoon tea.
- an extension of a gown that trails behind the wearer. The
train may be separate from the dress or attached to it.
- fabric, such as ribbon, lace, or braid, that is used as a
finish or decorative edging.
- an upper-body garment or overblouse reaching below hip level.
- vanity case
- a small handbag or case in which a woman carries
cosmetics or toiletries; also, a woman's compact containing pressed face
- a piece of lace or net used to cover the head or conceal the face.
- a short, decorative vest.
- in body measurements, the waist is the circumference around
the middle of the torso. As an item of clothing, a waist (or
shirtwaist) is a blouse or shirt.
- wash dress
- a washable dress; a dress that can be washed without
damaging the fit, color, or finish.