•  Notices and Definitions  •

CREDITING WORK AND ASKING FOR YOUR HELP IN INFORMATION QUALITY IMPROVEMENT - Images acquired after 29 September 2008 include source information. Reproductions of portraits list date, name of subject and descriptive information, artist, and location as known.

I often cannot list the date and/or artist and/or subject and/or location (e.g., which museum) because I don’t know it. Please advise me if you know of the date, artist, or subject for an image when I don’t list that information. I’ll add the information you provide and attribute the source of the information to you. 

If I’m violating your interests or copyright, please contact me with a message. I will either delete the image or, preferably, attribute it to you (and add a link to your site as well). I DELETE CONTESTED IMAGES PROMPTLY, but may follow up with an inquiry. If you run a Web site, I can post a thumbnail of your image next to a link to your site. I post what Wikipedia posts (if the image is already on Wikipedia or is the sort of image already posted on Wikipedia, I'll post it here too).

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Bertha:  A length of cloth draped from the neckline, usually, but not always, ruffled and made of lace.

Bodice:  The portion of a dress that covers the breasts and areas adjacent to the breasts. Bodices typically also cover the upper abdomen and most of the thorax. Types listed here include:

•  Basque:  See "Waistline - basque."

•  Criss-cross:  Formed by two pieces of diagonally draped from shoulder down toward the the opposite thigh, one over the other, such as this one.

•  Pleated:  The neckline is framed by a series of diagonally laid pieces of cloth beginning at both shoulders, typically about 1 cm wide, that meet in the middle just below the neckline, such as this.

•  Tabbed:  A bodice that ends in a series of adjacent square- or rectangular-pieces of cloth on the skirt as shown here.

Bodice ornament:  A decoration worn on the bodice. Types listed here include:

•  Floral:  The ornament is made of flowers or parts of plants.

•  Jeweled:  The ornament is made partly or wholly of jewels, including:

  -  Brooch:  A simple jeweled bodice ornament.

  -  Sévigné:  (after the Marquise de Sévigné) A jeweled bodice ornament with a central jeweled part and a jeweled part on the sides.

NOTE:  The term "bodice ornament” used alone means the type of ornament fits none of the categories or, usually, cannot be determined.

Bustle:  A frame extending rearward from over the buttocks over which the dress is draped, such as this one.

Coiffure:  A quick subjective estimate of the hair style, including:

•  Bouffant:  The hair is straight or set with large curls and expanded horizontally more than vertically. In the 1780s, it was in a pouffy mass, such as here. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, it was arranged in a round thick disk above the head, such as this.

•  Curly:  The hair is mainly arranged in curls of small or medium size, such as shown here.

•  Frizzy:  The hair is arranged in small curls, often with individual hairs protruding as shown here.

•  High:  The hair towers above the head; such as shown here.

•  Hurluberlu:  Hair disposed in masses of curls by the ears. These were in style in the 1600s, reaching their peak in the 1660s and 1670s when tendrils of hair fell from the truly massive sets of curls. They came back in the 1830s and 1840s and are called “hurluberlu” or  “neo-hurluberlu.”  Coiffures before the 1660s are called ”hurluberlu” or  “proto-hurluberlu” coiffures. All such coiffures were originally called “hurluberlu."

•  Long:  The hair drops below the neck.

•  Straight:  Most of the hair is in gently curved or waved forms; examples are here and here.

•  Wavy:  The hair is not curled but is not straight much like the ocean is usually not flat.

Crinoline:  Strictly speaking, a composite of horse hair and cotton or linen, but always used as a keyword to mean a skirt-supporting cage formed by steel hoops. These took various shapes, such as domeshalf-domes full in back but flattened in front, cones, and half-cones.

Cuffs:  Something used at the end of the sleeves away from the shoulder; types listed here include:

•  Back flared - the end of the cuff away from the sleeve opening points towards the wearer and usually has a wider circumference than the sleeves opening, such as these

•  Engageantes - Strictly speaking, cuffs attached to the sleeve that usually extend towards the hand with a wider circumference towards the hand then at the sleeve opening, such as these. Any expansive sleeve opening, including an extension of the sleeves of a chemise or undergarment, can also be keyworded as "engageantes."

Epaulettes:  Objects that cover the top of the shoulder of a garment, typically associated with military officer dress where they show rank. Epaulettes become important in eras with exaggerated shoulders such as around 1830 and the middle 1890s.

Hair jewelry:  Simple jewels, such as brooches or individual pearls, implanted in the hair, such as these.

Headdress:  A complex ornament implanted in or placed on the hair other than a hat, cap, crown, coronet, or tiara. Types listed here include:

•  Floral:  Flowers or parts of plants are worn in the hair.

•  Framing:  The headdress can be seen emerging from the hair at the sides and above the head when viewed the face, such as this.

•  Jeweled:  A composition of jewels is worn in the hair such as those worn by Brigida Spinola Doria.

•  Lace:  Lace worn in the hair.

  -  Fontanges (after the Duchesse de Fontanges) - a lace headdress worn flaring above the head, often with several tiers of goffered lace.

  -  Mantilla - the lace is worn over a tall framework, often ending in a veil.

Modesty piece:  A piece of cloth extending up from the neckline, theoretically to protect the wearer's modesty, often used to tastefully draw attention to the wearer's breasts.

Necklace - a band of connected jewels worn around the neck with a round or oval shape. Types listed here include:

•  Carcanet:  A substantial necklace worn close to the ruff, such as this.

•  Choker:  A necklace placed at about the narrowest part of the throat.

•  Draped:  A necklace caught in places and draped between those places, such as this.

•  Shallow:  A necklace that falls in a gentle arc between the shoulders, as seen in Renaissance dress.

Neckline:  This is actually hard to define because dresses like this one, this one, and this one have had more than one neckline. The neckline is where the upper limit of where the bodice ends. Also, modistes and designers aren't bound by categories. When is a neckline square? Or bateau? Or sweetheart? Necklines include:

Bateau - like a square neckline, but the sides are tapered in from the shoulders down to the a horizontal surface on or above the bust that looks like a boat (Fr. bateau).

Crescent - where the bottom surface of the square neckline is arced upwards, often used in Renaissance dress.

High - only a few cm of neck below the head are allowed to show.

High enclosing - the neck is completely concealed by material and sometimes a ruff.

Square - displays skin of the upper chest, or more, as well as the neck framed by the bodice using vertical and horizontal edges of the bodice.

Sweetheart - the bottom of the neck opening forms two curves, usually deepest in the center, highlighting to the curvature of the breasts.

Vee - there is no horizontal bottom edge; the sides taper from the top of the neck opening and join somewhere below to form a triangular opening resembling the letter V.

Trapezoidal - essentially a deep vee neckline when the sides merge so low that something else, such as a chemise, is used to conceal cleavage, creating a trapezoidal opening, such as that shown here. A deep bateau neckline.

U - there are side edges and often a bottom edge, but the transitions from the side edges to the bottom edge are rounded.

Panniers:  French for basket - a skirt-supporting cage formed by metal hoops. These took various shapes, such as domes or bells (panniers a cupole) cones , and very often flattened and squared off at the ends so I call them waffle panniers (panniers a gaufre).

Partlet:  Cloth extending from the neckline all the way to the neck opening, often embellished, sometimes made of net, and sometimes with openings, such as that worn by Elisabeth of Austria.

Ruff or fraise:  a pleated or folded piece of cloth, often all-lace or trimmed with lace, worn around or close to the neck.  Types listed here include:

•  Floating:  where the ruff appears to be attached to the neck rather than a partlet or neckline, such as this one.

•  Neck - a ruff extending from the neck like this one.

•  Neckline -  a ruff extending from the neckline like this.

•  Outer:  a piece of fabric worn further from the neck than a ruff, far enough away to allow a ruff to also be worn, usually with a veil and associated with Elizabethan dress.

Sleeve:  a portion of clothing that encloses all or part of an arm. 

Types listed here, by length, include:

•  Cap - a sleeve that covers only the uppermost part of the arm where it connects to the shoulder.

•  Quarter length - The end of the sleeve lands approximately between the shoulder and elbow.

•  Elbow length - The end of the sleeves lands at about the elbow.

•  Three quarter length - The end of the sleeves ends between the elbow and the wrist.

•  Full or long - The sleeve extends along the entire length of the arm.

Types of sleeves listed here by width, location, appearance, or combinations of these include:

•  Close - a sleeve with maybe one or two cm of space around the arm.

•  False -  a sleeve made of material different than the material of the bodice, such as this.

•  French:  A full sleeve that originates with a roll where it emerges from the bodice and rapidly narrows so it is somewhat swollen just below the roll and tapers to a narrow cuff at the hand opening or that becomes a narrow sleeve from just below the roll out to the cuff. A French sleeve could have a slashed roll or a plain roll. This is an example.

•  Gauzy - A sleeve made of sheer ("see-through") material. Another word with similar meaning is "diaphanous."

•  Hanging:  A sleeve placed just outside of the sleeve that actually encloses the arm and hangs behind the arm as seen here. Hanging sleeves are usually made of the same material as the bodice or a vest- or coat-like garment worn over the bodice. As a result, the sleeves that actually enclose the arm are made of a different material and are called false sleeves.

•  Puffed:  a sleeves with some part or all swollen away from the arm (while a close or tight sleeve more closely surrounds the arm).

    -  Accordion pleat:  See virago sleeve.

    -  Full puffed:  A sleeve swollen along all or most of the length, often associated with Elizabethan dress.

    -  High puffed:  A sleeve where the swelling is made on the upper portion of the sleeve. One variation is the leg o' mutton sleeve of the 1890s.

    -  Low puffed:  A sleeve where the swelling is made on the lower portion of the sleeve, often seen in mid 1500s English dress. This is a more pronounced puff than the slightly expanded lower part seen on a Bishop sleeve.

•  Rolled:  a sleeve that originates at the shoulder from a roll of cloth, slashed or plain, surrounding the arm hole, such as this. A History of Costume article about Spanish dress, where rolled and tabbed sleeves originated, had this, "Two sets of sleeves were joined to the armholes by ties. The ties were covered by either rolls of material or by rows of silk tabs called picadils, from the Spanish word picadilla, meaning spear head. Picadils could also edge the bottom of the bodice."

•  Slashed:  a sleeve pierced with thin slits that can be one or two cm long upto tens of cm long. The underlying fabric may be pulled through the slash or just be exposed by the slash. Examples are here and here.

•  Tabbed:  a sleeve that originates at the shoulder from a set of square or rectangular pieces of cloth surrounding the arm hole, similar to a rolled sleeve;  such as this example. See the definition of rolled sleeve for the origin of both rolled and tabbed sleeves.

•  Tapered - a sleeve that gets bigger as distance from the shoulder increases as shown here.

•  Tight - a sleeve that closely follows the arm leaving maybe one cm or less of space around the arm.

•  Virago (or “accordion”) sleeve:  A sleeve swollen along the entire length, but gathered at regular intervals so it looks like a series of balloons or the pleats of an accordion, such as those worn by young Elisabeth de France.

Waistline:  The narrowest part of a dress other than the neck opening, also the bottom of the bodice unless the dress has a belt or sash. This includes:

•  Basque:  The waistline begins at about hip height and descends to the height of the lower abdomen or lower forming a vee with a rounded bottom, such as this one. A basque bodice has a basque waistline that may flare well out beyond the hips and curve down towards the thighs, ending with a rounded bottom, such as this example.

•  Empire:  The waistline is just below the breasts, as well as:

  -  Low Empire:  The waistline is a few cm below the breasts.

•  Low:  The waistline is below the natural waistline.

•  Natural:  The waistline is where the waistline of the body is.

  -  High natural:  The waistline is a few cm above where the waistline of the body is.

•  Vee:  The waistline begins at about hip height and descends to the height of the lower abdomen forming a vee, such as this one.

  -  Deep vee:  The waistline begins at about hip height and descends to below the height of the lower abdomen forming a vee with steep sides, such as that worn by Bess Throckmorton. By their very design, wheel farthingales made deep vee waistlines necessary.

  -  Shallow vee:  The waistline begins at about hip height and descends to above the height of the lower abdomen forming a vee with shallow sides.

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