BOLF Fashion Glossary
Fashion keeps a lot of secrets, but for us, there is no black magic. We shall reveal the secrets of good style for you. On our website you will find the answers that you are looking for – definitions, fashion and lifestyle terms, as well as blogosphere fashion.
What is a pocket square? Where has the husky jacket come from? Where does the phenomenon of the trendy chinos lie? You only have to open our Bolf.co.uk fashion glossary, which is regularly updated, to find out what trends will be on top in the next season and what „must have” should get way into your wardrobe, just to look inspiring, stylish and original. Under each letter, there are terms and names which will take you on backstage of casual, street, elegant and sport&active fashions. Thanks to it, you will be able to make conscious choices in creating your individual taste.
Let yourself be inspired and have a look at our glossary once in a while, because it is regularly updated.
Comfortable boots reaching over the ankle and having a small heel. A classic model does not have any decorations, zippers or straps, therefore putting them on is allowed thanks to elastic stretches on both sides. Ankle boots were designed for horse-riding lovers, but quickly became a position in the group of casual footwear thanks to their comfort and attractiveness. Ankle boots are very practical during the turn of seasons – in autumn and spring. They present themselves well with casual clothes, however, in the '60s The Beatles proved that they can be worn with a suit. Nowadays, ankle boots are worn by men, women, trendsetters and fans of simplicity and classic fashion.
Jeans with very characteristic look with lowered crotch. This type of trousers is basically associated with rappers and hip-hop environment. It has become popular on the turn of '80s and '90s of the previous century. At that time MC Hammer started to promote them and introduced rapper's lifestyle. First baggy trousers were very loose and its crotch was significantly lowered. The name – baggy – comes from the word ' bag' and it represents its cut. Baggy trousers, in their simpliest meaning, are very loose fit. Modern baggy trousers have a modified cut. Their legs are significantly narrower than they used to be, the crotch is a bit higher, and often, there are welts at the ankle height, which look best with high top shoes. Today, baggy trousers are an inseparable element of cool street style. They go best with tank tops, fashionable printed shirts and street accessories.
Biker boots are inspired by motorcycle gangs and they are characterised by a rapacious style. They have a robust outsole, a higher upper - reaching over the ankle with lace or zip fastening. Their regular ornamentation consists of straps and hobnails. Despite what the name suggests, biker boots do not have to be worn only while riding a motorbike, but can be a part of an impressive urban style outfits. This type of boots are favoured by men and women who like to show their nonconformity.
It is the best alternative for moccasins and an indispensable element of casual and smart-casual style. As the name suggests, boat shoes first appeared on ships, but shortly after, they conquered all of the continents. The characteristic features of boat shoes are: durable and anti-slip outsole, low upper, laces or leather straps around the upper. This type of footwear is very comfortable and proves itself fantastically in spring and summer. Boat shoes match best with chinos and linen trousers. Despite being still favoured by gentlemen, this cut is getting more and more positive reviews from ladies.
Bomber jacket is a popular, short collared leather jacket with two big pockets and welts. It was created in the early '30s of the previous century and was especially designed for American fighter pilots. The A2 model is still an inspiration for many fashion designers. In the first place, bomber jackets were manufactured from sealskin or horsehide and later on cowhide and sheepskin were used. It had a simple cut, covered zipper and epaulettes. Through the years, this classic model has been modified several times. The next model of it is the well-known G1 jacket with the characteristic leather collar, which became even more popular thanks to Tom Cruise. He wore that kind of jacket in the blockbuster movie 'Top Gun'. The standard version of a bomber jacket is in brown colour, but you can find many variations – in different colours, with a stand-up collar and with more or less subtle details.
It is a small pocket located on the breast of men's jacket. It is used to hold a pocket square in it – a small decorative handkerchief which can be folded in different ways. It is common to mistake a breast pocket with a buttonhole.
This type is similar to a wing collar used in tailcoat shirts. The points are winged and rounded.
In men's suit jackets you can find different kinds of fastenings: one, two or three buttons. The most elegant jackets are those fastened with one button. If you are in a stand-up position and wearing a two or three-buttoned jacket, it is the best to fasten the middle one or the top and middle ones. You can find also suits fastened with two-and-a-half button. It means that the top one is located just behind the lapel and it is not pinned. This type is commonly found in Italian suit jackets.
Button down shirts are characterized by a special soft type of collar pinned with buttons. It was popularised by an Amercian company – Brooke Brothers. One of its owners, while watching an English polo game, was inspired by unusual collars attached to the players' shirts. Button down shirts belong to the canon of men's fashion all over the world. It is a perfect match-up with casual and semi-formal styles.
This type of collar, also referred as hidden-button, has points fastened with hidden buttons, the loops are located at the indoor points side. Button-under collar nicely highlights the tie knot.
A small opening (marked or cut) in the lapel of a men's suit jacket designed to hold a small flower (usually carnation) or a miniature of a badge. A buttonhole is commonly mistaken with a breast pocket which is located on the jacket.
The popular baseball cap may seem inconspicuous, but made its way into the world of fashion without any problem. Its beginnings, in the 19th century, were rather modest what can be proved by the peak made of cardboard. First baseball caps were supposed yo provide players with sun, wind and rain protection. Later on thanks to New Yorkers they've got a completely new appearance. Designers started to put inscriptions, colours and pictures associated with baseball teams on them. Mass production of baseball caps has started in the middle of the 20th century. Their appearance has changed very little through decades. The new things that appeared were a functional fastening with width adjustment and new fabrics which provide perfect air circulation, even during extremely hot weather. Baseball caps have not been associated only with the pitch for a very long time now. Almost everybody wears them: kids, teenagers, men, women, rappers, musicians and celebrities. It is an interesting and expressive element of summer casual or streetwear outfit.
Characteristic men's trousers with military origin. Their impressive cut has been appreciated thanks to their functionality. Cargo trousers have wide trouser legs, which are narrowing down, and spacious side pockets fastened with press studs or buttons. The loose cut was supposed to protect from cold and provide leeway, wheras the narrower bottom made it easier to put the trouser legs into the boots. What is useful in the barracks and on the field, does not have to be necessarily used in everyday fashion. The original cut of cargo trousers is appreciated mostly for their neat look. Metalheads, rebels and streetwear fans – all love trousers with side pockets. They are eager to play with fashion and value comfort, simplicity as well. Cargo trousers are usually manufactured from strong, durable and airy fabrics, they are available in colours from khaki to pink and can have a long or short trouser leg.
These trousers are a very interesting alternative for jeans and an indispensable element of smart-casual and casual style. They perfectly combine functionality, comfort of wearing and elegance. They are favoured by Americans, popular in Europe, and more and more often worn in Poland. The appearance of chinos is quite characteristic – four pockets (two straight back ones and two diagonal front ones) and a straight trouser leg with or without an ironed crease. Let's not forget about the fabric. Chinos are made usually from soft but durable cotton, however, we can often find corduroy, or even linen chinos. American soldiers were the first who started wearing them. Loose, lightweight and comfortable – they were brought from the Philippines and quickly became popular at universities and among the regular people. The name suggests that this type of trousers may have something in common with China, and it is true – first pairs were manufactured in China. Casual elegance fans, as well as leading fashion brands contributed to the popularisation of this exceptional model. The Brooks Brothers in the '40s or Ralph Lauren now – such brands made chinos popular. This type of trousers is available in all colours and is the leader among men's trousers fashion.
Classic, simple and the most popular type of collars. Its lapels can be of different lenght and are not widely spread. In the standard versions the edges of the collars are located between the first and the second button of the shirt, however, recently another form has been introduced with significantly smaller lapels. A classic collar is perfect for gentlemen who have a round face. It matches with ties, casual, business and evening styles.
This is the most popular collar chosen by Italian and English businessmen. It has got typical rounded points which softens face features. A club collar looks nice with a tie, under a jacket and works well in business style. A white collar combined with a blue shirt is called 'Peter Pan collar'.
They were typical footwear for cowboys in the 19th and 20th century – practical and comfortable during everyday duties. Cowboy boots made horse-riding easier, they were durable and created an interesting look with checked shirts and jeans. Nowadays, you will no longer find models with spurs, but the classic „cowboy” syle stays the same. The characteristic features of cowboy boots are: pointed toe, heel and long upper. They are often used in streetwear and casual style. They make the outfit look more aggressive, unique and expressive. Just like biker boots, they are favoured both by men and women.
It is also called 'Italian', in German – shark collar, and in Italian – French collar... Its typical feature is that the points are short and widely spread. It is commonly used in business shirts and works the best with a large tie under a suit jacket – fits to the men with an elongated face.
It is a long jacket made of thick wool. Typical features of a duffle coat are: a stand-up collar, a large hood, two pockets and characteristic wooden toggle fastening. Duffle coats originate from military fashion – they were worn by British soldiers serving on ships in the far North during the Great War. The said toggles were supposed to make fastening easier, even wearing thick gloves. Nowadays, they rather have a decorative function. A duffle coat and a pea coat are ones of the most fashionable pieces of men's clothing for autumn and winter.
It is a decorative stitch on the edges of flaps and lapels.
It is a phenomenon among shoes. Flat, loose and comfortable, with a characteristic wicker outsole are the perfect and stylish option for hot days. You can create a fantastic casual and smart-casual outfit based on espadrilles, as well as match them with chinos, linen trousers or shorts. This holiday type of footwear was promoted by Yves Saint Laurent years back. In the '80s it was Don Johnson who put espadrilles and light trousers together with a T-shirt, jacket and created a Miami police officer outfit which was copied by men all over the world.
It is a very popular cut of a casual jacket. It consists of a stand-up collar and four large front pockets. Its hood can be folded and put into a collar pocket. This practical and well-liked model has a military origin. The first field jacket was designed for American soldiers in 1965. M-65 is the most famous one – it is comfortable, practical and nicely fits to the silhouette. This jacket type had become so well-accepted that it made its way from the training fields to the cinemas and was worn by the greatest tough guys in the history of cinema. A field jacket is a reliable proposition for colder days, available in a variety of colours and models – it will complete your everyday style.
Informal, loose, warm shirt – perfect for every day. A checked flannel shirt is certainly a permanent element of casual style. It has amazing potential and is available in different colours. It looks great under a loose jacket made from seasonal fabrics. Matching it with a T-shirt and a pair of jeans makes a brilliant composition. Woody Allen wears casual checked flannel shirts with pleasure. This original model was favoured especially by Kurt Cobain – the legendary leader of Nirvana, who gave it a dash and created impressive grunge style.
It has a decorative function - covers the pocket, but protects from a displeasing spreading of the pocket.
A place where the jacket lapels joins with its collar. It can have different shapes and different angles. It is suggested to keep a right angle between the lapel and the collar in open jackets. Currently, high gorges, parallel to the shoulders are the most popular – the lapel in these jackets are prolonged and visually broaden the chest.
Copyrighted name - exclusive tailoring for the elites. Characteristic for fashion houses like Dior or Givenchy. Haute Couture concerns luxurious dressmaking for personalized customers who want to buy sophisticated and custom-made clothes. Single pieces of clothing can be manufactured for months and are all about the quality of the fabrics and details. There are no limits binding the imagination of the designer or costs.
High Wing Collar
It is used in elegant, white tailcoat shirts, it is a stiff stand-up collar with winged points.
It is a classic proposition in sports fashion. It originates from... frozen food factories. Warm and hooded sweatshirts were used to protect from cold and were very comfortable. They spread out instantly. Modern hoodies have a variety of forms. They can be put on over the head or fastened with a zipper, with or without welts, usually with practical pockets. You can wear a hoodie in town, on vacation, at the gym, and of course, while relaxing at home. A hooded sweatshirt has a great styling potential – you can match it with jeans, chinos, shorts, sweatpants, a T-shirt or a tank top. The only mistake that you can make is to wear it with an elegant suit. However, if you happened to match it with a casual corduroy jacket, it would make an extraordinary outfit.
Hook end eye
It is a tailoring accessory. This type of fastening consists of a hook and loop and is used in clothing.
It is a type of collar used in suit shirts, it is a compromise between a turndown collar and a stand-up one. HRH means 'His Royal Highness' – the name comes from prince Edward VII and this type of collar was specially designed for him.
Quilted Husky jacket is an indispensable element of the modern urban style. Warm, lightweight and functional – it combines the advantages of a coat and a jacket fitting perfectly during the turn of the seasons. It is a classic and universal jacket with a characteristic diagonal Chevron stitch and its lining is made of reinforced and compressed polyester. These features make it great for travels because you can fold it into a square and unfold without the necessity of ironing.
The famous Husky jacket was invented in 1965 by Sir Stephen Guylas – a retired American Air Force colonel, who was responsible for clothes production for the Air Force. When he and his wife settled down in Tostock – an English village in Suffolk county – he realized that he could use a jacket which would provide him with good protection against cold and wind, and would be practical while fishing and hunting. He designed a comfortable garment for himself, which he named after the breed of his favourite polar dog.
Quilted husky type jackets quickly became a phenomenon among British monarchs favouring characteristic sports like horse-riding or hunting, as for today, this type of jackets is commonly associated with English style.
Thanks to simplicity, comfort and elegance, husky jackets made their way into the everyday fashion and became an important position for casual style fans. It can be worn even with less formal suits.
A type of collar used in tailcoat shirts. It is very tall, stiff and stand-up.
Men's flat shoes which can be worn for casual and formal events. The name? It obviously comes from the first users. These shoes were designed for jazz dancers, but they were so comfortable and shapely made that they became very desirable by people who were not jazz sympathizers. Typical features of jazz shoes are: flat heel, lacing and extremely soft outsole. Jazz shoes are available in basic colours. The most popular models are white, black, beige and grey made of suede, patent, matte or glossy leather.
The most popular and the most democratic trousers in the world. Loved by women, worn by men, favoured by people in different age, regardless of gender, race, nationality and the thickness of the wallet. The name 'jeans' comes from the French words 'Blue de Gênes' used for describing the colour – Geneva blue. Another name for jeans is 'denim' which also has a French origin and comes from the city Nîmes, where the denim fabric was mass-produced. They acquired the biggest popularity accross the Atlantic Ocean thanks to gold diggers. They needed solid trousers, comfortable and resistant to damages. These features were provided by jeans. The mass-production was launched in 1853 by Levi Strauss. The most famous product in his offer was blue trousers fastened with buttons, having five pockets, with characteristic stitching and rivets enhancing the model. Those durable and comfortable trousers became popular among sailors, workers, and even in the criminal underworld. Jeans have been changing through years. One time, the designers narrowed the trouser leg just to widen it later or another time the height of the midsection was lowered and raised. The choice of available colours has also developed. Nowadays, jeans is a 'must have' in every single wardrobe and a trusted element of casual style.
The most popular type of pocket in men's suit jackets. Jetted pockets exist with a flap (in sports and casual jackets) and without a flap (formal jackets). They are usually situated on the height of the jacket's bottom button.
Comfortable, practical and very impressive trousers at the same time. Despite the fact that the name is associated with working out and running, joggers have become one of the most popular cuts in streetwear and casual styles. Their characteristic features are welts at the trouser legs' endings and comfortable drawstring adjustment instead of traditional fastening. Joggers are manufactured usually from denim and cotton, they are available in a variety of colours, with decorative pockets, stitchings, prints and details. This cut is appreciated both by women and men who look for a compromise between comfort and good look in fashion.
Lords can be easily descibed as a crossover of slip-ons and flats. It is an attractive and comfortable mix – very fashionable in the last seasons. This type of footwear can be also called loafers or slip-ons and it is an interesting alternative for moccasins and sailor shoes. Depending on a model, lords can have a thick or thin rubber outsole. The upper is usually made of soft and airy textile fabrics which are very practical in summer. A bit casual and sporty, lords can be worn with chinos, shorts or jeans. They look best if put on a bare foot and with rolled up trouser legs.
Comfortable, soft, airy and very stylish flat men's shoes. Perfect casual footwear which can be also worn on more formal occasions. The first moccasins were used by autochthonic people of South America. This type of footwear, made from one piece of leather, became popular among white boomers whom later spread this fashion around the world. Through the years moccasins have been equipped with more robust leather or rubber outsoles, but have not lost their charm. You can make an impressive composition with chinos or slim trousers with rolled up trouser leg. They still do not match with socks, therefore you have to wear them on bare feet.
The most popular type lapels in men's jackets – perfect in casual style.
Flat, men's lace-ups with a short upper. It is a universal model which you can match almost with everything. They look well casually, at work, everywhere where there is a dress code and even on a wedding. These shoes were designed on the turn of the 18th and 19th century for the professors of the prestigious Oxford university. They gained popularity very quickly and became a classic. Despite a long history, oxfords have not changed at all. The most famous model is the one without decorations, but designers tend to introduce new propositions with openwork ornaments in different colours and made of different kinds of leather.
One of the most popular winter jackets and again another model which was designed for the American army. Classic parkas are made of solid cotton material and have a wollen lining providing warmth. A standard model is buttocks-long, has a round fury hood and additionally a drawstring. This model occured to be so practical that civilians started wearing parkas. This jacket has had a lot of modifications and is available in different colours.
Most often it comes with informal and sporty jackets and is made of seasonal fabrics. The version with a flap is rare. You can make fantastic casual compositions from jackets in a loose cut.
Pea coat (double-breasted jackets)
It is a popular double-breasted jacket and, as many other elements of a man's wardrobe, it originates from military fashion – the navy. The characteristic features of a pea coat are: fastening consisting of two rows of buttons, two front pockets, large lapels and a high collar. This classic pea coat is in navy blue colour and is a perfect alternative for colder days. Comfortable and very stylish double-breasted jacket is a great casual or smart-casual proposition.
In other words, it is a V-close lapel. It looks more formally than a notched one because it is larger. They work fantastically in tweed jackets, a little less formal, but also no less impressively with checked jackets.
Peter Pan collar
It is a variant of a classic collar with round points. It is a popular choice - works well in casual style and softens face features.
It is a type of a pinned collar. It is very elegant, the peak of its popularity was the '20s of the last century. Recently, it has been brought back by Leonardo Di Caprio in the 'Great Gatsby' movie. The piccadilly collar has a pin or a bar which elevates the tie knot very neatly and joins the collar leafs. The pin endings are twisted off on both sides of the collar. This model looks best with made of delicate fabrics slim ties.
It is a small handkerchief kept in a breast pocket of a men's suit jacket. It is believed that it was designed in ancient times, but gained popularity in the '60s of the 20th century. It made its way to the fashion canon not so long ago – thanks to the American TV show 'Mad Men'. A pocket square is a beautiful accessory of a formal or casual suit, adding elegance, giving great impression and extravagance.
This highly popular type of shirt originates from sports fashion and was designed to provide comfort. In the late 19th century tennis players used to be dressed up in classic shirts and had to roll their sleeves up all the time. The breakthrough came in the '20s of the 20th century. In 1926, during the prestigious US Open, Rene Lacoste – famous world tennis player – presented a new shirt which he designed himself. The short-sleeve cotton shirt with a soft buttoned collar shocked at first, but quickly became desirable. Lacoste started to run a clothing company and in the late '30s he was selling 300 thousand polo shirts a year. In the '50s, those elegant and comfortable shirts became an important preppy style element and were worn by young and stylish people from wealthy families.
Polo shirts are still very popular and its classic model have not changed, despite that you can find different colours and versions. It is still a simple short-sleeve shirt with a soft collar and 2-3 neck buttons.
'Ready for wearing'. It is opposite to haute couture. A fashion manufactured for everybody. The collections of clothes have standard sizes and thanks to mass-production they are available in stores.
It is placed diagonally. It was primarily used in horse-riding jackets and its position made it easier to reach into the pocket while riding. Jackets with scoop pockets are regarded as less formal.
A type of loose, wide and airy summer trousers. Comfortable, made of a lightweight fabric, which does not limit your moves, were inspired by clothes from oriental countries.
A shawl collar is typical for tuxedos. It is usually made of satin and nicely contrasts with other suit jacket elements.
Sport shoes without a typical streetwear outfit is hard to imagine. It is an original alternative for classic plimsolls and trainers – with a thicker or thinner outsole, in a variety of colours, patterned, low or ankle-high. Sneakers are usually laced, but you can find more and more versions with Velcro straps. They are produced in all most popular colours and look best with sporty, streetwear or slim-fit trousers. They are especially favoured by teenagers, but gentlemens, who want to look trendy also like to wear them.
It is a type of collar. Similarly to the cutaway collar, the flaps are widely spread, but a bit longer. The spread collar looks best together with a tie, it is recommended for gentlemen with a slim face.
A type of collar for courageous and confident gentlemen. It has no lapels, it is very fashionable in casual and informal compositions. Stand-up collars may have different height – the short ones have about 2 cm, wheras the tall ones even 4 cm. It suits men having a proportional neck.
T-shirt is probably the most popular position in both men's and women's wardrobes. The name comes from its shape. It is a simple cotton short-sleeve shirt which resembles the letter 'T' if laid down. T-shirt has come a long way before it reached the top. Similarly to many practical clothes it originates from military fashion. In the beginning, T-shirt was an element of military underwear used on the battlefields of WWI. It became very popular among civilians afterwards. Firstly, T-shirt reached sportsmen, then students and finally became a symbol of streetwear. The true T-shirt boom was in the '50s and '60s though. The idols of teenagers – James Dean and Marlon Brando showed that T-shirts can be worn casually, with a jacket, jeans and plimsolls. At that time, plastisol was invented – a modern ink used in creating durable and colourful prints on shirts. Since then, there have been placed various things on T-shirts, like pictures and inscriptions promoting politicians, companies, slogans or values. T-shirt also became a symbol of rebellion, youth and ease of manner. In the '70s, T-shirts were standard clothes of the hippie generation. Simple, cotton shirts have been on top ever since and have been worn with pleasure by everybody – women, men, teenagers and kids.
Tab collar is favoured, most of all, by fashion connoisseurs and was extremely popular before WWII, later it was worn by aristocrats and politicians. In 2012, shortly after the premiere of 'Skyfall' the tab collar was brought back by Daniel Craig – playing the role of James Bond. It resembles a classic collar, but thanks to the lapels over the top button make the leafs neatly attached to the tie. Tab collar nicely highlights and elevates the tie. It works perfectly with business, casual and evening clothes.
A simple and airy sleeveless cotton shirt. A tank top is a universal element of clothing. Typical features of this shirt are: lower neckline than in classic shirts, narrow shoulder straps, carefully cut armpits and a loosely fitted style. Tank top is very practical in summer, during a work-out and in streetwear clothes. It looks dashy under a jacket, airy-fastened casual shirt, and most of all only with trousers. Tank tops can be printed or plain, in contrasting or subtle colours and they emphasize the shoulders and the silhouette.
A small pocket located at the right hip. As the name suggests it was used to keep train tickets.
It has been the most famous coat among women's clothes for a few years now. It was designed for British soldiers and its lightweight was supposed to replace thick and heavy obsolete coats. This model of coat was made of waterproof gabardine which has the quality of being breathable. The word 'trench' means military field shelter and is directly associated with the coat's destination. Other typical features of this model are double-breasted 5-pair button fastening, a massive collar, epaulettes, a lapel on the right side and straps – on the belt and above the cuffs. The cult trench coat was designed by Thomas Burberry, but it became so popular that after WWII it got a huge success among civilians. The ambassadors of this exceptional coat were people like Humprey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn – style icons. The most classic trench coat is in beige colour, but designers tend to introduce new versions. Trench coats are universal – they can be fitted in casual, sports and formal style.
It is a vertical slit on the back of a men's jacket. It was primarily used in English horse-riding jackets. Currently, suit jackets can have one or two vents. This type of slits are found even in tuxedos, making them more comfortable.
It is the most classic checked shirt. Straight lines crossing vertically and horizontally at right angle contribute to the impressive, dynamic, yet harmonic pattern. The name Vichy comes from the French city famous from home textiles and white and blue checked tableware. Sometimes it is called Gingham. This is the same pattern which relates to the Malaysian textile centre. The Vichy checked shirt is an amazing and universal proposition, perfectly fitting the casual style. It works best with chinos, sporty jackets, as well as with jeans and pants with short trouser legs. Thanks to it you can obtain a fresh look and a bit of positive nonchalance. Even though the check itself does not change, designers tend to set it with different colours – navy blue, red, pink or green. Feel free to wear a Vichy shirt during warm days.
The Winchester collar is white and you can find it in colourful shirts with white cuffs – it is an element of business style.
The Winchester shirt is the Wall Street brokers' favourite. White cuffs, a classic collar and a contrasting rest are the typical features of this shirt. The most famous blue Winchester shirt has been promoted by Michael Douglas. This model, in a more subtle softer version, can work even on more formal occasions. It goes the best with a tie.
It can be found in tuxedo and tailcoat shirts. You have to wear it together with a bow tie, never with a tie. This type of collar is very high and the stand consists of two wings. It is used only in white shirts.