Essential Fashion Industry Terms

Are you thinking about embarking into the fashion world, but not really sure of the lingo being spoken. Don't worry I got your back and the terms to make you sound like a pro. Below are a few terms to have you sounding like a pro in no time. So you can feel confident in growing your clothing line. That way the next time someone asks you about your weave, you wont think they are talking about hair!

For the full list or terms click here to download our Ultimate Fashion Industry Terms



1. A decorative item that supplements one's outfit. 2. Articles such as jewelry, scarves, hats, handbags, and shoes to complete a look.

Active Wear

Refers to any type of clothing that is designed to be worn during an active sport.


A dress or skirt silhouette that is narrower at the top, flaring gently out to make an ‘A’ shape silhouette. Flattering on most figures but in particular pear shapes.


Is a garment in which one side is longer than the other. Asymmetric cuts are common in necklines, collars and hems.


A private workshop or studio where designers, seamstresses and assistants work to create garments and other fashion items.


Big four

The four fashion weeks – New York, London, Milan and Paris – are known as the big four. The big four are the most notable among fashion weeks to set major fashion trends, usually consist of the most number of fashion shows and some of the most popular fashion


A merchandising executive responsible for planning, buying, and selling merchandise.


Casual wear

A type of clothing or accessory that is worn during daytime or a casual occasion. Casual wear includes jeans, light-weight fabrics, tee-shirts, etc.

Color forecasting

The process of predicting what colors will be popular in fashion in the coming season(s) through thorough analysis of fashion weeks, historical data, industry trends, etc. is called color forecasting.


The French word for dressmaking. A collection of clothing that is completely hand-sewn and uses high-quality sewing techniques, exquisite fabrics and unique designs is called couture. Typically used by high fashion houses to describe their collections presented twice a year – Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter on the runway, consisting of formal, evening and wedding wear.


A group of garments designed for a specific season. (Fall/Winter, Spring/Summer, Resort, etc.)


A textile producer that buys greige goods from mills and dyes, prints, and finishes it before selling it to a manufacturer.


Means “sketch” in French. Croquis is a quick sketch of a fashion figure.


Apparel made to a customer's special order; cut and fitted to individual measurements; the opposite of ready-to-wear.


Design brief

Design brief is a document containing a set of requirements set by a buyer, consumer or company head for the fashion designers that help guide the designing process. Design brief may contain requirements for the budget, consumers, sizing, season, etc.


A person who creates ideas for garments or accessories in the fashion industry.


A method of making a pattern by draping fabric on a dress form.


A sewn in fold designed to give garments shape. In particular around the bust, waist and hip areas.


An area of fabric that has been artificially aged or worn. Commonly used on denim.


Ethical Clothing

Clothing that’s produced keeping in mind the welfare of animals and the workers is known as ethical clothing.


Method of decorating fabric with designs stitched in colored thread or yarn.



Any material made by weaving, knitting, crocheting, or bonding yarns or threads to form a textile.

Fashion Cycle

Fashion change; refers to the introduction, acceptance, and the decline of a fashion.

Fashion Forecast

A prediction of fashion trends.

Fashion House

A company or entity that designs and/or makes garments and/or accessories and sometimes also beauty products is called a fashion house.

Fashion Illustrations

Used often in fashion design portfolios, are fashion figure drawings.

First Pattern

The trial pattern made in the design department for the sample garment.