THE TAILORING GLOSSARY

From Alfred Brown to zip flies, The Tailoring Glossary contains everything you need to know about the world of Reiss tailoring

The Tailoring Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

ALFRED BROWN

Alfred Brown is the name of a British mill which we often source our tailoring fabrics from

b

BATISTE

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

BESPOKE

Bespoke is 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.

C

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 and other).

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.

D

DOUBLE-BREASTED

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

E

 

EVENINGWEAR

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

F

 

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.

g

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.

H

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.

I

 

INTERLINING

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

J

 

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.

k

 

KICK TAPE

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

L

 

LOUNGE SUIT

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

M

 

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.

MELTON

Used to give shape and structure to an overcoat or jacket, as well as making a collar stand nicely against the neckline; Melton is a heavy woollen cloth with a close-cut nap.

MOHAIR

Taken from the Angora goat, Mohair is a soft, fine hair used to make extremely light woven fabrics with sheen across the surface. Mohair is great for travelling due to its bounciness and the fact it doesn’t crease.

N

 

NOTCH LAPEL

The standard feature of single-breasted suits and used on nearly all suit jackets, a notched lapel is sewn to the collar at an angle, creating a ‘step’ effect. The ‘notch’ effect is created by the squared off design to the top collar.

O

 

OUT BREAST POCKET

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

P

 

PEAK LAPEL

The most formal of all the lapels, a peaked lapel features mostly on double-breasted jackets, formal coats and 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. Although usually 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.

Q

 

QUALITY

The hallmark of tailoring excellence, and something which we pride ourselves on at Reiss.

R

 

READY-TO-WEAR

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

S

 

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.

T

 

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.

V

 

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.

w

 

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.

Y

 

YOKE

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

Z

 

ZIP

The mechanism widely used to close the fly fastening.