Tailor Talk: Tailoring Terms You Should Know

Home Fashion Tips Tailor Talk: Tailoring Terms You Should Know

In tailoring, like with most industries, if you’re not familiar with the terminology used, it can get pretty overwhelming for the clients. Plus, at times, it can be difficult for a tailor to communicate with a client regarding their garments.


This is a term you all are probably familiar with, alterations refer to the last adjustments in the final stages of creating the garment.

Bias Cut

A bias cut is when a fabric is cut diagonally across the grain (ie. at a 45° angle). At this angle, the ‘warp’ and ‘weft’ threads give the fabric more of an elastic ‘stretch.’ Fabric on a bias cut makes it more fluid and helps is accentuate body curves.


This is basically tacking garments with long stitches. It’s a method used for temporarily holding fabric together, often used for a ¾ fitting of a garment or on hard to work with (slippery) fabrics.


This is our forte, and it means that everything is made specifically for the individual. The garments are handcrafted from scratch and made to fit the client’s body and specifications. From the fabric to the style details, everything is customized so that the client may get the suit that is imagined by him/her.


The act of stitching tape around the bottoms of trousers to combat fraying is known as binding. This prevents the constant friction between the fabric and the material of the shoe, thus increasing the durability of the garment.


Darts enable flat fabric to provide shape to a garment. These are folds that are sewn into the fabric of the garment to allow the fabric to be more shapely.

Double breasted

This kind of coat jacket features one side overlapping over the front and has two coloumns of buttons – a look we love.

French bearer

The purpose of this is to keep your trousers looking neat and to create comfort for the wearer. This little button is placed behind the fly and is used to keep the front part of the trousers in place.


The hem is a neat tuck which is sewn into place to prevent your garment from coming apart. A hem is important for all your garments, and you can decide how you like it if you opt for bespoke.


The important distance between your inner crotch and the inner ankle is known as the inseam. It contributes to the fit and feel of your pants.


The interfacing (not to be confused with interlining), is fabric used to create stiffness and add more body to certain areas of the the garment. The interfacing is used on the ‘wrong’ side of the fabric and is typically used in collars, cuffs, pocket flaps, and other locations that require extra support.


The interlining is the material positioned between lining and outer fabric to provide bulk or warmth to a garment such as a winter jacket.


The part on each side of jacket or coat which is a continuation of the collar which is folded back onto the chest on either side of the front opening. The most popular lapel styles are peak, notch and shawl.


Also known as marcella, is a style of weaving, typically with cotton yarn that creates raised parallel cords or fine ribbing. You’ll find this commonly used on the bib-front of a tuxedo shirt. Textures and patterns vary across piqué shirting too. Some will have a cord structure, others with waffle or honeymoon structures, and even some with birds eye piqué.


A trick to improve the aesthetics of shirts or trousers, pleats are folds of excess fabric that are added to the garment as a style detail or for comfort. Pleats provide extra comfort by offering a little more room and freedom of movement.


A shirt placket refers to the double layers of fabric that hold the buttons and button holes. A shirt can be made with or without a placket. Another popular option, often used in tuxedo shirts is a ‘fly front’ placket which is essentially a placket with the buttons concealed under it.


The selvedge is the edge on woven fabric that prevents it from fraying or unravelling. In our bespoke suits you’ll find a strip of the selvedge sewn into the back of the pant opening which enables you to refer to the fabric used on your suits (as well as to prevent your pant from wearing quickly as it rubs on the back of your shoes).

Surgeon’s Cuffs

Surgeon’s cuffs refers to functioning buttonholes on the sleeve of a jacket. They were aptly named because military surgeons had to unbutton and roll up their sleeves as to treat wounds out on the battlefield. Although suits sleeves aren’t commonly rolled up these days, the functional buttons are an indication of quality. Many mass-produced, off-the-rack suits will have the buttons sewn directly onto the sleeves.


Tapering is the act of narrowing and in clothing, it refers to ‘taking it in’. A tapered fit is much like a ‘skinny fit’. It gives a contemporary look but isn’t for everyone.


The classic slit at the back of your jacket is referred to as the vent. It allows for ease of movement and gives your jacket (or skirt) aesthetic and symmetric appeal. On jackets, you can opt for a single vent, double vent or even no vent at all, it really comes down to personal preference.


The yoke is a shaped patterned piece which forms part of a garment. Mostly commonly found on shirts, it serves the purpose of creating a stronger bond between the two shoulders of a garment, acting like a hanger.

It is useful to know some of these terms when getting clothes tailored, but don’t stress yourself. A good tailor will talk you through the details and do all the work for you.

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