Glossary

We regularly add new terms to our glossary, so check back periodically for updates. If you’d like to receive a Word of the Day from us, follow us on Twitter.

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A-Line Shape

A style having a close-fitting top and a flared bottom. Often found in Brooks’ skirts.

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Agate

Agate

A variety of Quartz.

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Ainsley Collar

Ainsley Collar

Contains a 45 to 60 degree angle at the tie space. Used mostly when wearing a necktie.

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ancient-madder

Ancient madder

Goods characterized by deep, muted tones and a suede-like hand.

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Aniline

An organic base used for many dyestuffs. First distilled from indigo in 1826 by Otto Unverdorben.

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Antique Brass

Brass that has been darkened by the use of chemicals. Vintage looking.

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Antique Wash

Process that gives the fabric a worn, slightly washed-out look.

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Attache

Attaché

A type of flap-front briefcase—flap closes halfway down the front and has an attached top handle.

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Badger Bristles

Short, stiff coarse hairs from the badger. Often used in making high-end shaving brushes.

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Band collar

A collar having just the neckband, but no collar attached to it.

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band-end-piece

Band end piece

The part of the watchband that connects to the lugs; the band-width is measured by the end piece.

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Bar Stripe

Bar stripe

A straight stripe or band that is much longer than it is wide.

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Baseball neckline

A collar similar to that of the uniform worn by a baseball player.

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Basketweave

Variation of a plain weave fabric in which 2 or more yarns are worked in the warp and weft. Used mostly in shirting.

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Batik Print

An Indonesian method of dyeing fabric in which waxed areas resist dye and unwaxed areas are penetrated by it.

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Beechwood

A fabric resembling the color of the beech tree (which has a smooth, gray bark).

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Belgium Linen

A broad classification for fabrics produced in Belgium. They are woven of fine-quality flax grown in Belgium.

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Bemberg Lining

Bemberg is a brand name of rayon fabric. Used for our suit and sportcoat linings. Softest, finest lining available.

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Besom Pocket

Besom Pockets

Pocket with a stitched fold on both the upper and lower sides.

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Birdseye

Birdseye

Fabric characterized by small indentations produced by the weave that suggest birds’ eyes.

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Blackwatch

Blackwatch

A plaid pattern in hunter/royal/black. One of the more popular tartans today.

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Blake Construction

Fancy name for the way upper leather is sewn to the sole of the shoe. Denotes a reinforced, well-constructed shoe.

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Blazer Stripe

Blazer Stripe

A fabric pattern with wide-spaced thin stripes.

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Bluchers

Bluchers

Shoes where the tongue and vamp are cut in one piece and quarters lap over the vamp and lace together.

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Bluff Edge

When the edges of a garment are not topstitched. Also called plain edge.

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Boarskin

Leather of boar (or male pig). Known for its superior quality.

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Boston Bag

A two-handled overnight bag.

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Boucle

Boucle

A fabric woven from curled or twisted yarn to produce a looped or knotted surface.

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Braces

Braces

Suspenders. But without the clips. Braces button. Suspenders clip.

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braided

Braided

Woven or knitted material used for trimming or binding.

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Brass

Brass

An alloy consisting of copper and zinc in variable proportions.

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Breton

A fine net used for lace ground. Uses: trimming lingerie, dress accessories & fancy linens.

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Bridle Leather

Bridle Leather

Type of leather that is used in traditional Saddlery. made from high-quality, native steer hides.

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Broadcloth

Broadcloth

Plain, closely woven fabric, lighter than poplin, finely textured. Uses: women’s dresses, suits, coats and PJs.

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Brooksease

Brooksease

Our high-performance, natural, double-stretch wool. Exceptional comfort, ease of movement, and wrinkle resistant.

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BrooksFlannel

BrooksFlannel

A Brooks trademark—born from a combination of 80% cotton and 20% wool. Remarkably soft hand.

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BrookStorm

BrooksStorm

Specialty-treated, natural fibers. Windproof, water-resistant, lightweight & comfortable.

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Brushed Brass

Type of textured brass having a matte finish produced by running a wire brush across the surface.

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Buffalo Check

Buffalo Check

Design of big squares or blocks, in fairly heavy fabrics. Uses: shirts, outerwear and bags.

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Burnished

To polish metal with a coarse or smooth cloth.

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Butterfly Bowtie

Butterfly Bowtie

Bowtie with flared ends, designed for a small knot.

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button-down-collar

Button-Down Collar

A collar held down at the points by buttons. Introduced to America by Brooks Brothers.

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Cable

Cable

A knitted stitch that resembles a twisted cable. Gives the garment a textured appearance. Used in sweaters.

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Calfskin

Calfskin

Leather from a young calf. Smooth-surfaced, fine-grained and durable. Does not scuff easily and cleans well.

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Camel Hair

Camel hair

Soft, silky fabric containing camel hair or a similar fiber (Like fine wool). Highest quality—light tan color.

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Candy Stripe

Candy Stripe

Equal-width stripes—usually of white and another color. Seen on fabrics used for shirts and sportswear.

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Cap Toe

Cap Toe

A separate piece of material covering the toe section of a shoe; used on oxford-style shoes.

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Cashmere

Cashmere

Wool from the undercoat of the long-haired Kasmir goat. Fine, close weave.

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Cedar

Cedar

The wood of a tree from the pine family. Noted for its fragrance and durability.

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Center Vent

Center Vent

A split in the center lower part of a garment (jacket or skirt).

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Chambray

Chambray

Woven cotton, polyester, or rayon fabric with a colored warp and white filling; used for shirts and other apparel.

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Chesterfield

Plain-back, slightly shaped overcoat, in either a single-breasted fly-front or a double-breasted style. Named for the 6th Earl of Chesterfield. Considered by many to be the most formal town coat a gentleman can wear.

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Chronograph

Chronograph

A timepiece with both timekeeping and stopwatch functions.

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Chukka Boot

Chukka Boot

Boot that extends above the ankle and fastens with a lace through two eyelets. Rubber or leather sole.

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Clifford Collar

Clifford Collar

A shorter button-down with a button on the back of the collar.

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Collar Stays

Collar Stays

Thin brass or plastic strips that run down the inside of the collar to the points to give it a flat appearance.

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Combed Cotton

Combing is a process that removes all the short fibers, making a material stronger and finer.

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Coolmax

Coolmax®

A fiber that wicks moisture away from the skin & dries quickly. Lightweight & very breathable.

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Cord Stitching

Cord Stitching

Refers to the leather lace overcast stitching on the upper part of a man’s moccasin.

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Corduroy

Corduroy

A durable cotton pile fabric with vertical ribs or wales—the less ribs per inch, the wider the wale.

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Cravat

A type of necktie worn by men. Often tied so the long ends overlap vertically in the front.

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Dobby

Fabric with small figures woven in, such as dots or geometric designs. Found often in tie fabrics.

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ELS

Extra-Long Staple cotton. Originated in the Southwest US. Known for its luster and silkiness.

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English Collar

Contains a wide spread and accommodates a fuller knot. Classic English dressing.

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Fine Wale

In a woven fabric, this refers to a rib or raised cord, as in corduroy.

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Fit-and-Flare

A silhouette that is close-fitting at the top, and spreads outward, or flares, at the bottom.

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Grommets

A small ring used to reinforce a hole through which a fastener is passed. Used in everything from sneakers to pullovers.

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Guard Stripe

A diagonal fabric pattern of even-width stripes.

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Gussets

A pocket with a piece of material inserted at the side seam to allow extra fullness.

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Half-Canvas

Extends from the top of the shoulder to the top of the pocket & through the lapel, providing shape, structure & resiliency.

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Half-Canvas Hand-Linked

A method of finishing seams that gives garments a smooth, flat appearance.

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Herringbone

A broken-twill weave pattern. Creates a zigzag effect.

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Kiltie Loafers

A loafer containing a tongue of fringed leather draped over the instep.

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Lawyer's Bag

briefcase with a flap closure, top handle, and inside gusseted pockets.

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Linen

Fabric made of fibers removed from the stem of the flax plant; probably the first textile fabric to be used.

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Londoner Collar

The most corporate of our collars—boasting the widest collar point spread of our range.

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Loro Piana

A fine Italian clothing company specializing in high-end, luxury cashmere and wool products.

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Malacca Wood

Stem of the rattan palm tree, used for making canes and umbrella handles.

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Melange

Different colors of yarn knit together. Often creates a heathered effect.

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Nickel

A silver-white hard metal capable of a high polish and resistant to corrosion.

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Norfolk Back

A sport jacket with 1 or 2 box pleats down the back and a self belt that laces under or over the pleats at the waistline.

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Notch Lapel

Type of lapel on which the top line slants down in line with the collar seam.

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Nubuck

Cattleskin that has been given a suede finish to look like buckskin.

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Nylon Taffeta

Plain weave fabric that is finished smooth on both sides and has a sheen.

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Off-Seam Pockets

Pocket in which the opening does not lie along the seam.

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Oil Cloth

A cloth that has been treated with oil or a synthetic resin to make it waterproof.

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Oil-Tanned

A preserving process for leather in which oil is rubbed into the skin. This process is known as tanning.

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Open Sleeve

A short-sleeved shirt without a rib trim at the end of the sleeve.

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Peak Lapel

Top line of the lapel slants up from the horizontal line, leaving only a narrow space between the collar and lapel.

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Polo Shirt

A close-fitting pullover with a button placket and a knit collar.

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Porcelain

A hard, fine-grained, translucent white ceramic ware that is fired at high temperatures.

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Portfolio

A hinged cover or flexible case for carrying loose papers, pictures, or pamphlets.

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Quarter Top Pocket

Also known as slash pockets, the opening edge forms a diagonal from the waistband to the side seam.

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Quartz Movement

The mechanics of a watch which ensure accurate timekeeping and eliminate the need for mechanical winding.

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Raglan Sleeve

A sleeve with a seam extending at an angle from the armhole to the collar.

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Regent Fit

A modern take on the classic BB suit with slimmer lines, a narrower lapel and trimmer trousers.

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Ripstop

Fabric made by weaving nylon threads throughout a base material in an interlocking pattern. Rip and water resistant.

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Rugby Stripe

Alternating stripes of 2 or more colors, wide but of equal width.

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Saddle Bag

A business case with a full flap front that contains a buckle (resembling a horse saddle).

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Saddle Shoulders

A knitted garment in which the sleeves are attached with seams extending from the armholes to the collar.

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Sandwashed

A process using sand to wash either a fabric or finished garment. Creates a slightly worn or faded appearance.

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Sateen

A smooth, durable lustrous fabric, usually made of cotton in a satin weave.

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Sea Island Cotton

Grown in the West Indies; one of the longest cotton fibers in the world.

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Shirring

A gathering of fabric made by drawing up the material along 2 or more parallel lines of stitching.

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Single Breasted

A suit jacket that has one row of buttons and a closing with a narrow overlap.

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Straight Point Collars

Go with almost any blazer or suit jacket; work well with smaller knots.

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Tab Collar

Refined style that pulls the collar flat around the neck for a more pronounced tie knot.

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Tartan

A plaid design of Scottish origin. Contains patterns of varying widths and colors meant to distinguish between clans.

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Tennis Collar

Slightly larger and dressier version of Brooks’ classic forward point collar.

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Tennis Skirt

An elastic-waist, short, slightly flared skirt; very comfortable for easy movement.

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Terry Cloth

A fabric having uncut loops on both sides. Can be solid or patterned.

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Ticket Pocket

A small pocket on the right-hand side of a jacket or coat—above the regular pocket. A place to put tickets & coins.

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Toggle

A crosspiece attached to a rope, cord, or chain—designed to be inserted in the loop of a cord as a closure on a garment.

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Valet Key Fob

A 2-ring key holder. Used when you don't want to give all your keys to the parking attendant.

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Venetian Nubuck

Similar to a penny loafer—without a stay across the top. Brushed leather. Suede-like nap.