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178 Ways to Describe Women’s Clothing

Fashion... or not

Fashion… or not

There are so many terms for women’s clothing, they boggle the mind–dolmen sleeves, pencil skirt, choker, colorblock. The best conjure up colorful images that share with a few words a glorious picture that sticks in your mind as the character walks through the scene.

Unfortunately, they don’t always come to mind as you’re writing. Not to worry. I collected them for myself and will share them with you. Please add any others you use in your writing. There’s no way my list can be exhaustive when we’re discussing women’s outfits.


  • Flared skirt
  • Floral print
  • A-line
  • Knee-length
  • Jeans skirt,
  • mini
  • pencil skirt
  • gored skirt
  • tulip skirt
  • wrap skirt


  • peasant blouse
  • baby doll
  • Maxi
  • Printed flounce Georgette
  • Tiered skirt
  • Crinkle skirt
  • pin tucked
  • fitted shirt
  • oxford shirt
  • camp shirt
  • split neck tunic
  • logo t
  • camisole
  • tank top
  • beaded tank
  • kimono
  • rib-knit turtleneck
  • halter top
  • bodysuit
  • flutter sleeve tunic
  • silk blouson top
  • ruffled silk blouse
  • oversized silk blouse
  • silk peasant top
  • off-the-shoulder top
  • tuxedo blouse
  • off-the-shoulder top
  • v-neck shell
  • safari vest
  • appliqué
  • dolmen sleeves
  • three-quarter sleeves
  • cap sleeve
  • Henley sleeves
  • double-breasted
  • balloon-sleeves
  • shell
  • pullover


  • Cocktail dress
  • Mini dress
  • Jacquard sheath
  • Sheath dress
  • Essential little black dress
  • Empire waist silk dress
  • Shirtdress
  • Sweater dress
  • Bias-cut dress
  • Sequined mini
  • Micro mini
  • Halter dress


  • Plaid
  • Tweed
  • Color block
  • Ponte knit
  • Box pleat
  • Chiffon
  • Jersey
  • Crepe
  • Linen
  • Silk
  • Tweed
  • Velour
  • leather
  • suede
  • Polka dot
  • Pintuck
  • embroidered
  • Floral


  • Wrap
  • empire waist
  • sharktail hem
  • fringed
  • french cuff
  • bib front
  • layered look
  • colorblock
  • beaded
  • drop waist
  • split neck
  • ribbed
  • Shirred
  • Shirred waist
  • button tab
  • chain trim
  • paisley
  • smocked
  • French-ribbed


  • Leggings
  • Skinny jeans
  • Tight-legged jeans
  • Wide-leg
  • Straight-leg
  • High-waisted pants
  • Color-washed jeans
  • Boot cut jeans
  • Leather pants
  • Cropped pants
  • Stretch pants
  • banded bottom
  • cuffed legs
  • Capris
  • Cuffed pants



Photo credit: Yuelcalnabi

  • Braided scoopneck
  • Ruched sleeve
  • flutter sleeve
  • cowlneck
  • v-neck
  • crew neck
  • Mock turtle neck
  • Wing collar
  • Shawl collar
  • Notch collar
  • ruffled
  • draped
  • t-back
  • smocked boatneck


  • Hoop earrings
  • Studs
  • Clip
  • Crop earrings
  • Diamond studs
  • Cameo necklace
  • Bangle
  • Pendant necklace
  • Choker
  • Pearl necklace
  • Tennis bracelet
  • charm bracelet
  • cuff bracelet
  • toggle bracelet
  • link bracelet


  • sling-back open toed shoes
  • pumps
  • flats
  • Uggs
  • Ballet flats
  • Thong sandals
  • Windslow sandals
  • Sequin pumps
  • Platforms sandals
  • Platform pumps
  • Ankle boots
  • Western boots
  • Peep-toe pumps
  • Wedge sandals
  • Mules
  • Clogs
  • Oxfords
  • Loafers
  • Skimmers
  • Jelly sandals
  • Mary Jane’s
  • Moccasins
  • Bow flats
  • Hepburn flats
  • Dressy sandals
  • Persia sandals
  • Evening sandals
  • t-strap sandals
  • Garbo sandals
  • slide sandals
  • Birkenstocks

Sweaters: 1411779_shopping_1

  • bell-sleeve jacket
  • open front cardigan
  • shaker sweater,
  • cable knit sweater
  • cardigan
  • light-weight cardigan
  • bolero cardigan


  • patchwork tote
  • patent bag
  • satchel bag
  • hobo bag
  • clutch

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Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing TeachersCisco guest blog,Technology in Education featured blogger, IMS tech expert, and a bi-weekly contributor to Today’s Author. In her free time, she is the editor of a K-8 technology curriculumK-8 keyboard curriculumK-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum, and creator of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. Currently, she’s editing a thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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12 thoughts on “178 Ways to Describe Women’s Clothing

  1. Pingback: 70 Collections to Infuse Your Writing | WordDreams...

  2. Pingback: How Characters Show Emotion Part III | WordDreams...

  3. If you’ve done office parties or corporate work, make
    sure to mention that as well. But you can’t just stand
    there grinning like an idiot until they finish laughing.
    Whether these are taken live – while you are doing a real gig – or whether you have them done on a false stage, will depend on you.


  4. Thanks for posting this. Can you recommend a website or two that shows photos of women’s fashion with descriptions? (I’m still searching, which is how I came across this column.) While your list is helpful to a degree, I need to see actual photos to know what some of the descriptions actually look like.


  5. We love you Jacqui for all these helpful ready-made aromatic meals that our readers would love too. Thank you. Have you ever thought all these ideas into a book format – all-in-one solution of our writing problems. Arun


  6. I remember trawling Marks and Spencer’s on-line catalogue for clothing details so that my characters (one male, one female) would have something to wear! It was an education to my (rather poor) ‘little boy lost’ mode of dress. 🙂
    I will bookmark your extremely helpful page for future fashion outings! 😀


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