Laloom Fashion Glossary

December 20, 2014

The holiday season is here and that means gift shopping.  All ladies today love the gift of fashion but when looking out for that perfect gift you might come across some terms you haven’t heard of before.  Put yourself in this example, you’re looking for a pretty blouse for your sister, but when you read the description, it’s a viscose top with a tight bodice.  What are they talking about?  The fashion industry is full of terms that can get rather confusing.  In this week’s Laloom blog, we want help you connect with your inner fashionista and become a fashion savvy shopper with a glossary of some common terms we encounter.

Bias Cut:
Cut diagonally across the grain of a fabric.

The part of a woman’s dress (excluding sleeves) that is above the waist.

A woman’s loose dress, shirt or top.

A full length garment with mid-shoulder, elbow-length or long sleeves.  Kaftan dresses are usually brightly coloured and resemble a waist-length or ankle-length tunic.

So versatile that you can wear them for a day at the beach, or an evening party when dressed up with a gold belt and pair of heels.

In this photo: Liberty Long Kaftan

A unit of weight by which the fineness of silk, rayon, or nylon yarn is measured

A devoted follow of fashion; a trendsetter; someone with a passion for fashion


In this photo: Ankush Short Kaftan

Maxi Dress:
A type of dress that is long, usually floor-length, and made with soft, free-flowing fabric.  These dresses come in a wide variety of designs, from prints to solid colours.

Re-assess your dressstyle, read our past blog all about dresses.

Inca Maxi Dress Front

In this photo: Inca Maxi Dress

Shorter than Cocktail length, it falls mid-thigh or above.

A neckline in which the straps or cut of fabric lays outside of the shoulders; emphasises the shoulders and collarbone; also known as wide round neckline.

Short kaftan with tribal tsonga print in chiffon fabric

 In this photo: Tsonga Kaftan with wide round neck

A fabric colour style, either printed or dyed, with a gradual progression from light to dark or from one colour to another

Silk Dress - Sunset Front

In this photo: Sunset Silk Chiffon Caren Dress

Polyester Habotai:
Habutai or Habotai means “downy and soft” in Japanese. It is one of the most basic plain weaves of mixed silk & polyester fabric.

In this photo: Awa Mini Kaftan

Polyester Satin:
A fabric that is formed with a satin weave using filament fibres such as silk, nylon, or polyester.

The line where two pieces of fabric are sewn together in a garment

Colourful silk chiffon kaftan for summer with tie neck

In this photo: Kandy Silk Kaftan with Inner Side Seam

Silk Care:
You can pack your silk garments as you would any other clothing.  Simply hand the garment after unpacking.  Minor wrinkles will disappear overnight (or even better, if you hang your silk kaftan in the bathroom while having a shower, the humidity will remove the wrinkles for you).

Handwash with mild detergent or shampoo, hang to dry and then ready to throw on.

Read on for more travel tips 

Silk Chiffon:
Chiffon means “rag” in French.  This elegant, sheer fabric is quite limp with a beautiful draft.  It has a soft, supple, crepe and silk-like texture.

A woman’s undergarment worn beneath a dress or skirt to help it hang smoothly, cover underneath when the fabric is sheer and to prevent chafing of the skin.  Slips are also worn for warmth, and to protect fine fabrics from perspiration.

What’s underneath your kaftan?

In this photo: Flamingo Long Kaftan

Tie-cinched waist:
The waist is pulled tight around the body with a tie or belt to accentuate your curves.

Great to style your outfit, see: kaftan stylin’ 

An opening at the neck coming to a “V” shape midway into the bodice.  This narrow broad shoulders and minimises a large bust.

full length silk chiffon kaftan in pink gemetric print

In this photo: Kas Long Kaftan V-Neck

A semi-synthetic fabric formerly called viscose rayon or rayon; it is soft and has a silk-like feel.

Can you think of any other terms you see often but aren’t sure the meaning of? Share with us and let’s explore the fashionista culture together. Visit our Facebook page and Pinterest boards.