Vintage & Fashion Glossary

Vintage and Fashion Glossary, a quick and simple guide to the most common terms and definitions used here at Adored Vintage!

 What is vintage clothing? What is considered vintage?

A garment is considered vintage when it is at least 20 years old or older. We consider garments from the 1930s to the 1990s as vintage clothing.

What is considered an antique garment?

A garment is considered an antique when it is between 80 to 100 years old. We consider garments pre 1930s as antique clothing.

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a-line dress - a dress that flares from above the bust, also known as a tent dress

babydoll dress - usually a short dress or midi dress with an empire bodice and a-line skirt

chemise - straight cut and unbelted dress

jumper/pinafore - sleeveless dress worn layered over a top

sheath - a straight, fitted dress that has a waistline usually knee to midi length

shirt dress - a dress that features a shirt collar and buttons along the bodice

shirtwaist dress - similar to a shirt dress but with a defined waist, think 1940s-1950s house dress styles

slip dress - a sleeveless dress usually with thin straps that slips on overhead

sundress - a sleeveless dress usually with thin straps or a halter

wrap dress - a dress that wraps across the bodice/body usually with ties that go through the waist 

DRESS LENGTHS (these lengths are also used for skirts)

mini dress- a mini dress has a hemline that falls above the knee, usually mid thigh

midi dress - a midi dress has a hemline that falls just about mid calf or just below the calf

longer midi - a longer midi dress has a hemline that falls just above the ankle

maxi dress - a maxi dress has a hemline that is at the ankle or past (sometimes floor length)


babydoll -a top that features an empire bust and flares out

blouse - a loose fitting top with or without the presence of buttons

bodysuit - a close fitting one-piece garment usually knit (leotard)

camisole/cami/tank - a sleeveless top

crop/cropped - hem of top is cut just above the waist

peasant - a blouse that features puff sleeves, may be cut open at the waist or cinched in

peplum - a top that features added flounce at the waist

shirt - a blouse that features classic shirt collar and functional buttons down along the front

surplice - a surplice top features overlapping fabric across the bust and is set

tee - a casual top usually knit that features short sleeves

wrap - similar to a surplice top but a sash will pull through the waist or button fastens at the waist


a-line - a skirt that has a shape similar to the letter A, fitted at the waist and flares out

broom - usually a midi or maxi length skirt that is tiered and features crinkled material

flounce - a skirt usually midi or maxi that features a wide strip of fabric sewn to the hem to create a ruffle

pencil - a skirt that is fitted at the waist and through the hips and tapers towards the hem

prairie - usually a fuller a-line longer midi or maxi skirt that features at least one flounce

skort - a garment that appears to be a mini skirt all the way around (usually not longer than mid thigh) that has shorts attached

tiered - usually midi or maxi length skirt that features horizontal panels of fabric

wrap - a skirt that features a sash to cinch in the waist or button fasteners at the waist

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cardigan - a knit long sleeve garment with front opening, with or without buttons

coat - outerwear garment with sleeves that usually extends past the hips

duster - lightweight outerwear usually past the knees, most often knit

jacket - outerwear garment with sleeves with a hem at/around the waist

jumpsuit - a one piece garment that incorporates trousers and a top

overalls - a one piece garment meant to be worn with a top underneath

robe - loose outerwear garment with or without a sash

romper - a one piece garment that incorporates shorts and a top (sometimes called a playsuit)

sweater - a knit garment usually with 3/4 length or longer sleeves worn for cool/cold weather