Glossary of Menswear Terms

Baffled by blazers? Perplexed by plackets? No fear! We have a glossary of key menswear terms we think are handy to know.

Argyle:

A multi-coloured diamond pattern, usually in wool. Usually found on socks and sweaters.

Bengal Stripe:

Alternating stripes of equal width, usually white and a colour. They were originally shipped to world markets from Bengal, India and are usually found on shirts.

Blazer:

A lightweight jacket, usually solid-coloured, often woven as part of a uniform by members of a club or sports team.

Brushed Cotton:

Traditionally used for casual shirts and many Tattersall check shirts. It has a slightly napped surface and is very soft to the touch.

Button-Down Collar:

A shirt where the collar ends are fastened to the shirt with buttons.

Chino:

A durable, cotton twill fabric.

Crew Neck:

A jumper with a round neck.

Dogtooth:

A small check pattern with notched corners, which looks like a tooth of a dog.

Donegal Tweed:

A hard-scoured, homespun Tweed originally hand woven in County Donegal, Ireland. It is a plain-weave cloth of differently-coloured warp and weft, with small pieces of yarn in various colours woven in at irregular intervals to produce a heathered effect.

Double-Breasted:

A double-chested jacket is cut to allow over-lapping at the front closing with 2 vertical rows of buttons and a single row of button-holes. It usually has a single button on the underside to secure the fabric on the other side.

End-on-End:

This is a type of closely woven, plain weave cloth created using one darker and one lighter (usually white) thread, resulting in a unique heathered appearance.

Fair Isle:

A colourful knitting pattern with cross bands of colour in a jigsaw type of configuration against a sandy background.

Flat Front:

Trousers without pleats. A sleek, clean look.

Full Grain Oiled Leather:

A type of leather that has not been buffed or sanded which means it displays the more natural characteristics of leather.

Gauge:

The thickness of a garment. The higher the number the finer the knit (thinner the jumper). e.g. 12 gauge is fine knit merino wool, 5 gauge is chunky lambswool.

Gingham:

A dyed-in-the-yarn fabric, an exact replica of the madras fabric. A checked design, usually white with another colour.

Harris Tweed:

The trademark of woollen material spun, dyed and woven by hand.

Herringbone:

Herringbone weaves are in fact a type of twill and take their name from their distinctive v-weaved weave pattern similar to the bones of a herring.

Jersey:

Jersey was first made off the English Coast and used for fishermen’s clothing. It is commonly found in t-shirts and is very resilient with fine draping qualities and crease resistance. Jersey wears and washes well.

Lapel:

The turned-back front section of a jacket or coat that connects to the collar and forms a ‘V’ where the jacket or coat closes.

Madras:

A bold plain-weave fabric. This lightweight fabric was originally hand woven in Madras, India from cotton yarns dyed with native vegetable colourings.

Melange:

This refers to two different coloured threads twisted together, creating a heather effect.

Moleskin:

A heavy cotton fabric, woven and then sheared to create a short soft pile on one side. Well-known for it’s almost suede like feel. It is long wearing and substantial.

Nubuck:

A type of buffed leather which allows the surface to have fibres stimulating the look and feel of suede.

Placket:

The term placket often refers to the double layers of fabric that hold the buttons and buttonholes in a shirt. Plackets can also be found at the neckline of a shirt, the cuff of a sleeve, or at the waist of a skirt or pair of trousers.

Poplin:

This is the quintessential shirt fabric and uses fine yarns with a simple under/over weave pattern that creates a variety of shirting fabrics, each with their own unique look and handle.

Pull-Up Leather:

A leather with a natural appearance which lightens in colour when stretched during wear to produce a unique worn in effect with time.

Twill:

This fabric has a weft thread that runs over and under multiple warp threads, creating a diagonal weave.

Warp:

This is the lengthwise yarn that is held in tension on a frame or loom to create cloth.

Weft:

This is the yarn which is drawn over and under the warp.

 

 

 

 

 

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