A Luxury Fashion Dictionary With All the Answers

| By: Alex Camille Admin

A Luxury Fashion Dictionary With All the Answers
We've all been baffled by a fashion term at some point, right? Our fashion dictionary has the hard-to-find definitions that you've been searching for.      

Accessory pocket

Inside handbags, an accessory pocket has an open top. Extra fabric at the sides gives it more depth than a flat pocket.


On dresses or skirts, an a-line silhouette slopes outward like a triangle or capital A shape.

Automatic movement

On watches, automatic movement means that it winds from the wearer's body motion, as opposed to a battery (see: quartz movement).


At the top of a pendant, a bale is the loop through which the necklace chain passes.
pendant bale


On handbags (especially Louis Vuitton), a bandouliere is a strap that allows the bag to be worn on the shoulder or as a crossbody (see: crossbody).
speedy bandouliere


On jewelry and watches, a bezel is the setting that surrounds the focal point gemstone or watch face.


On clothing (especially Chanel), boucle is a nubby tweed-like fabric typically made from varied colored and textured yarns (see: tweed).


A bowler handbag silhouette has a domed top, flat bottom, and two handles.
bowler bag

Box chain

On jewelry, a box chain is constructed of rectangular-shaped links.
box chain


Brocade fabrics have designs and motifs embroidered or debossed into their surfaces, and are not reversible due to the loose threads on the rear side (see: jacquard).

Bucket bag

A bucket handbag has a cylindrical shape and a flat bottom. It can have handles, a shoulder strap, or both.
bucket bag

Camera bag

A camera handbag is rectangular-shaped with a flat front. Its silhouette is inspired by vintage camera bags.
camera bag


On watches, a case houses the face, dials, and inner-workings of the timepiece (see:chronograph).

Caviar leather

On Chanel handbags and accessories, Caviar leather is one of the brand's signature materials, and is distinguished by its evenly pebbled surface texture.
caviar leather

CC turn-lock

On Chanel bags (especially on Classic Flap styles), a CC turn-lock features interlocking CCs with a center twist-lock closure (see: Mademoiselle lock).
cc turn lock


As a surface pattern, a chevron embellished piece features a series of repeating V or zig-zag shapes.


On watches, a chronograph feature means that the timepiece has a stopwatch feature that is controlled by a button on the side of the case (see: case).


On handbags, a clochette is a bell-shaped leather key cover that's attached to a fob. Fobs with clochettes are often included on bags with locks (see:fob).




A clutch handbag is hand-held, without a strap.

Coated canvas

On handbags and accessories, coated canvas is a water resistant material known for its durability. It features thick canvas covered by layers of a pliable resin-like material.

Continental wallet

A continental wallet is oblong and designed to store paper currency flat, unlike the smaller French wallet (see: French wallet).
continental wallet


On handbags, a convertible piece can be worn or carried multiple ways. An example is a shoulder bag with a removable strap that can also be carried as a clutch or wristlet.


On handbags, a crossbody bag has a strap that's at least 21 inches long, allowing it to be worn diagonally across the shoulder (see: bandouliere).


On watches, a crystal is the glass portion that sits on the front and covers the face.

Crystal canvas

On Gucci handbags, Crystal canvas is coated with a glossy high-shine top layer.


On surface designs, debossed motifs are indented into the surface of the object (see: embossed).
debossed leather


On shoes, a d'Orsay style features a closed toe and heel and open side vamp so that the wearer's foot arch is revealed.


On handbags, an east-west bag is horizontally shaped. The term is often used when there are similar bags in the same collection, but the east-west bag is more oblong than the other styles (see: north-south).
east west bag


On surface designs, embossed motifs are raised from the surface of the object (see: debossed).
embossed leather


On shoes, an espadrille style features braided jute on the sides of the sole.


On a watch, a face is where the number markers and hands of the timepiece are affixed.


A strap that tethers a smaller object to a larger one, a fob is often seen on pocket watches and handbags (see: clochette).

French wallet

Also called a compact wallet, a French wallet folds paper currency in the middle when closed, as opposed to the oblong continental wallet (see: continental wallet).
French wallet


On leather, grained surface texture is natural to the skin, as opposed to man-made.



On costume jewelry (especially Chanel), gripoix is a glass bead or cabochon known for its smooth surface. Gabrielle Chanel began using gripoix beads in her jewelry in the early 20th century.


On handbags and wallets, gussets are pleated panels that allow open compartments to expand at the sides.


A hobo handbag silhouette is crescent-shaped, with a short strap length that causes the bag to rest just under the shoulder.


On natural stones, a honed finish is smooth and even with a matte or somewhat matte appearance.


An ikat surface design features yarns that are dyed prior to weaving to create a surface pattern.


Interlocking pieces are joined by overlapping portions. For example, a chain links are interlocking.


Jacquard fabrics have designs and motifs woven into their surfaces, and are reversible (see: brocade).


On handbags and small accessories, a kiss-lock clasp features two overlapping pieces that click together to stay closed.
kiss lock closure


A French word that translates to line or collection, ligne is often used by Chanel to denote a group of similar bag styles.


A loafer shoe is a unisex style that features a flat sole and vamp that is top-stitched to the toe cap.

Lobster claw clasp

As a jewelry or bag closure, a lobster claw has a curved top and a small lever that moves back to open the clasp.
lobster claw clasp


A hard poured plastic-like material that comes in a variety of colors, and can be used on anything from bags to shoe soles.

Mademoiselle lock

On Chanel bags (especially on Reissue styles), a Mademoiselle lock features a rectangular logo-inscribed plate with a center twist lock closure (see: CC turn-lock).
mademoiselle lock


A Mary Jane shoe features a strap that crosses over the top of the foot and buckles or buttons on the outside of the vamp.

Mineral crystal

On watches, a mineral crystal is a piece of glass that covers the face. Due to its fabrication, it scratches more easily than a sapphire crystal (see: sapphire crystal).

Mixed media

A mixed media piece is made from a variety of materials. For example, a mixed media handbag can be made from python, ostrich, leather, and coated canvas.


Shoes which allow the wearer to slip his or her feet inside without a heel or foot strap (see: slides).
mule shoes


On handbags, a north-south bag is taller than it is wide. The term is often used when there are similar bags in the same collection, when the north-south bag is the taller one of the group (see: east-west).
north south bag


Deerskin leather used for shoes, handbags, and other small accessories. Nubuck is susceptible to water spots and cannot be exposed to moisture.

nubuck leather



A gradient color effect in which a fully saturated color gradually fades.


A monochrome low-heeled loafer shoe with a lace-up closure (see:spectator)
Oxford shoes

Patch pocket

A flat square or rectangular pocket that is topstitched along its outer edges, so that it's entire silhouette is visible (see: slip pocket).
patch pocket

Patent leather

Genuine leather with a glossy high-shine top coat.


On untreated leather (especially Louis Vuitton Vachetta), patina is the darkened hue that results from exposure to skin oils, air, and other elemental factors. Vuitton's Monogram canvas pieces are typically trimmed with Vachetta leather that achieves a honey-colored patina over time (see: Vachetta leather).


A hole-punch effect that can be uniformly applied, and is used to render surface patterns.
perforated leather


Small balls comprised of loose fibers, result from repeated surface abrasion on a material.

PM, MM, and GM

On handbags (especially Louis Vuitton), PM MM and GM denote sizes, with PM being the smallest, MM being medium, and GM being the largest.


On handbags (especially Louis Vuitton), a pochette bag is a petite carry-all suitable for day or evening use. It often has a detachable strap that allows the bag to be converted into a clutch or wristlet.


On handbags (especially Louis Vuitton), a push-lock is opened by pressing a small button to open the latch. Some push-locks have built-in locks (see: S-lock)
push lock

Quartz movement

On watches, quartz movement is battery powered, as opposed to winding from the wearer's body motion (see: automatic movement).


On handbags and accessories (especially Chanel), quilted lines are stitched into a padded surface to create raised designs.


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