English Vocabulary: Skirt & Dress Styles

Skirts can vary according to cultural conceptions of modesty and aesthetics as well as the wearer's personal taste, fashion and social context ...


A skirt is the lower part of a dress or gown, covering the person from the waist downwards, or a separate outer garment serving this purpose.

A dress is a garment consisting of a skirt with an attached bodice. It consists of a top piece that covers the torso and hangs down over the legs. A dress can be any one-piece garment containing a skirt of any length. Dresses can be formal or informal. In many cultures, dresses are more often worn by women and girls.

Skirt Styles

1. accordion skirt - a form of tight pleating which allows the garment to expand its shape when moving

2. a-line skirt - a skirt with a slight flare, roughly in the shape of a capital letter A

3. bell-shaped - flared noticeably from the waist but then, unlike a church bell, cylindrical for much of its length

4. box pleated - knife pleats back-to-back, and have a tendency to spring out from the waistline.

5. circle - a skirt cut in sections to make one or more circles with a hole for the waist

6. culottes - a form of divided skirt, split skirt or pantskirt constructed like a pair of shorts, but hanging like a skirt

7. full skirt - a skirt with fullness gathered into the waistband

8. gored skirt - a skirt that fits through the waistline and flares at the hem

9. inverted pleated skirt - a skirt made by bringing two folds of fabric to a center line in front and/ or back

10. pleated skirt - a skirt with fullness reduced to fit the waist by means of regular pleats or folds, which can be stitched flat to hip-level or free-hanging

11. short skirt - a skirt with hemline above the knee

12. straight skirt/ pencil skirt - a tailored skirt hanging straight from the hips and fitted from the waist to the hips by means of darts or a yoke; may have a vent or kick-pleat set in the hem for ease of walking

13. underskirt - simple, basic skirt over which an overskirt, or drapery, hangs

14. wrap skirt - a skirt that wraps around the waist with an overlap of material


Dress Styles


1. shift - a garment that features straight lines and doesn't hug the body's curves or cinch the waist

2. tent - a dress that hangs loose from shoulder to below the hips, and does not have a waistline

3. empire line - fitted bodice ending just below the bust, giving a high-waisted appearance, and a gathered skirt which is long and loosely fitting but skims the body

4. charleston - straight and loose, leaving the arms bare with a waistline dropped to the hips.

5. sheath - a type of dress designed to fit close to the body, relatively unadorned

6. princesse - dress with "princess seams" that typically run from under the arm curving gently over the bust point and down to the lower hem

7. shirtwaist - a style of dress that borrows details from a man's shirt

8. skater - a modern version of A-line dresses

9. bodycon - a tight form-fitting dress, often made from stretchy material.

10. babydoll - a style of clothing that has gained and lost popularity throughout the years

11. cocktail dress - a woman's dress worn at cocktail parties and semi-formal or "black tie" occasions

12. strapless dress - a garment that stays put around the upper body without shoulder straps or other visible means of support

13. maxi - a floor or ankle length informal dress

14. jumper - a sleeveless, collarless dress intended to be worn over a blouse, shirt or sweater

15. shoulder strap - a strap over a shoulder

16. balloon - narrow at breast and waist with a wide skirt balloon shaped and hem that falls to the knee


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English Vocabulary: Skirt & Dress Styles

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