| Victoria Zurakowski

The Complete Guide To Summer Fashion Terms, Swimsuit Types & Styles of Summer Dresses


Up-To-Date Summer Fashion Dictionary For You To Stay In The Know


Is there a difference between a jumpsuit, playsuit, and romper? Do you know about the upside bikini trend doing the rounds on Instagram? What's a rashie? When it comes to terminology in the world of fashion, it can be quite perplexing, and this is why we've developed the most comprehensive list of summer fashion terms to help you keep in the know when you're trying to decide between buying a thong or a pair of Brazilians.

Pro Tip: Use the ‘find’ feature in your browser to navigate this extensive glossary more easily.

Aftersun Lotion

A cooling lotion applied to the skin after sun exposure to avoid peeling.

There’s nothing worse than burnt peeling skin - minimize the damage and apply aftersun lotion immediately after extreme sun exposure. Aftersun lotions with aloe vera are always a good call.

A-Line

Used to describe a skirt or the bottom of a dress that is fitted at the hips and gradually becomes wider towards the hem, giving the illusion of the letter A.

A fashion term coined by Christian Dior, a-line skirts and dresses are hardwearing and timeless and perfect for weekday summer dressing.

what is an a line dress?  style of dresses

Animal Print

Animal print is a printed pattern, especially on fabric that represents an animal’s skin or fur.

Animal print is a bold, timeless print that screams sexy and is often emblazoned on swimwear. What will it be? Snake or cheetah?

Anti-ballooning Technology

A clever solution to the billowing of swim trunks that would occur when a man would enter a pool.

Two small eyelets are placed at the yoke of the garment, allowing trapped air to escape discreetly without the wearer looking like they’re smuggling an innertube in their shorts.

Anti-ballooning Technology

Art Silk

Artificial Silk.

See Rayon. Fake it until you make it - just like pure silk, art silk garments are breezy, super light and extremely comfortable, making it a more affordable option for fabric in the summer months if you covet the luxe look.

Asymmetrical

When each side of a piece of clothing has a different structure than the other. We see it most often in Summer Fashion with one sleeve one piece swimsuits or high low dresses.

From collars to necklines to hemlines, asymmetrical clothes create curious vertical lines that elongate and slim the body.

what is asymmetric swimwear?  swimwear types

Babydoll Dress

A short, loose-fitting, sleeveless dress.

One of our favourite styles of dresses - the babydoll dress has a long history. Originally designed as a short nightgown in the 40s due to fabric shortage, this cute voluminous summer dress is one of our favourite fashion terms. Play up its sweetness with delicate jewellery.

what is a babydoll dress? names of dress types

Backless

Reference to a garment cut very low at the back.

Backless dresses are huge and have gone viral, making this one of the most searched for summer fashion terms online.

Balconette

A bra or bikini top style with low-cut cups and straps that are spaced apart.

Designed to give you a good uplift and create more cleavage, push-ups are now a thing of the past.

Balloon Sleeve

A long, puffed sleeve that gathers at the shoulder and puffs out and gathers at the wrist.

These larger-than-life sleeves are a favourite of Misa and are typically made from breezy fabrics to ensure summer comfort and style.

what is a balloon sleeve? summer fashion terms

Bandeau

The word bandeau is a diminutive of the French word bande, which translates as "strip".

Ooh la la - one of the most popular summer fashion terms you'll see year in year out - the bandeau comes in many forms - swimsuits, bikinis, tops, and dresses. It looks amazing paired with open, layered shirts for that French chic look.

Bandeau Bikini

A bandeau bikini is a bikini top in the form of a strip of cloth.

A classic silhouette, bandeau bikini tops should be part of every woman's summer wardrobe. Often coming with removable straps, which let you stay in charge of your poolside look, bandeau bikinis look great with high-waisted bikini briefs.

Bandeau Swimsuit

A strapless one-piece swimsuit in one straight line.

Often boasting signature aesthetic details like ruching and removable straps, the classic bandeau is the epitome of sophistication and pairs beautifully with wide-brimmed hats for a bit of poolside glam.

What Is A Bandeau Swimsuit? swimsuit types

Banded Bikini Bottoms

Bikini bottoms with a wide waistband that helps flatten lumps and bumps in the tummy area.

Flattering and ageless, banded bikini bottoms are timelessly stunning and endlessly versatile. Forget the tummy tuck and let these bikini briefs work their magic.

Banded Collar

A band-like collar that encircles the neck of a man’s shirt without fully turning down.

Variations of the banded collar include the Mandarin collar, cadet collar, and clerical collar.

Banded Halter Top

A piece of clothing, typically a bikini top that has a wider than normal elastic band under the bust area.

A favourite bikini-style top among bikini models, this is one of the most popular swimwear types for women looking for lift and support.

Bandini

A two-piece swimsuit style that consists of a strapless bandeau top and a pair of bikini bottoms.

Is it a top? Is it a bikini? Is it a bandeau? No, it's a bandini! Best suited for boyish frames and smaller busts, this is one of the summer fashion terms that will be around for a while.

Bardot

A variation of off-the-shoulder dress named after French Model Brigitte Bardot in which arms are placed through narrow strips of fabric, or sleeves, separated from the bodice.

Beach Bag

A large handbag typically made from canvas that is used to carry items to and from the beach.

Oversized waterproof totes, stylish straw satchels, and designer beach bags - they come in all shapes and sizes. When it comes to beach bags, size does matter and the straps are also important, which makes Moroccan Star a firm favourite when it comes to beach bag brands.

Beachwear

Any kind of clothing considered suitable and appropriate for wearing on the beach (not necessarily for swimming purposes only).

More casual than resort wear, there's still loads of room for imagination. Create a beachside persona and choose a theme to complement it. What will it be? Old Hollywood glamour? Or will you be inspired by sea life and go for the nautical look?

Beach Coverup

An item of clothing worn over a swimsuit or bikini for modesty purposes, sun protection, or fashion.

One of the more ambiguous summer fashion terms, the beach coverup is far-reaching - but where would we be without them? Kimonos, kaftans, beach dresses, and tunics all fall under the beach coverup umbrella. Pitusa is a fan favourite in this area with their signature Abayas blending old world silhouettes with modern colours and fabrics.

what is a beach coverup? summer fashion terms

Bell Sleeve

A short or long sleeve that flares towards the bottom, typically seen on tunic tops and dresses.

Drawing inspiration from Japanese kimono fashion, bell sleeves are flirty and add a sense of innocence to your look. The billowing bell sleeves are loose-fitting for maximum comfort and airiness. Wear them on dresses, kimonos, or tops. Check out Scarlett Poppies for some real bell sleeve inspiration.

what are bell sleeves? summer fashion vocabulary

Bikini

A two-piece swimsuit consisting of a bikini top and bottoms. The version we know today was created by Louis Réard in 1946 and is named after Bikini Atol.

A summer staple, bikinis have been popular swimwear types throughout the decades. There's a plethora of styles, cuts, colours, and detail to choose from, which separates one bikini from another.

Bikini Bottoms

Part of a bikini worn over the groin area.

Do you fancy going Brazilian or cheeky for the day? There's a range of swimwear types when it comes to bikini bottoms, so you can live the ultimate bikini kind of life.

Bikini Briefs

See Bikini Bottoms.

Bikini Top

Part of a bikini worn over the bust.

There are lots of different possibilities with bikini tops from halternecks for extra support in the surf to flirtatious string bikini tops - what does your bikini top style reveal about you?

Blouse Jacket

Half jacket half blouse in which the jacket is pulled tightly at the waist, resulting in an overhanging blouse.

Blouson

Similar to the Blouse Jacket, the Blouson is one of our favourite cuts for hiding trouble spots whilst looking chic. The cut is known for a loose drape over the torso but defined at the waist. Ideal with an oversized belt. Juliet Dunn does Boho Blousons better than anyone in the business.

Board Shorts

Quick-drying, loose-fitting swim shorts made from either polyester or nylon, usually with reinforced stitching and active stretch fabric.

Not just for the boys. Designed to improve surfing performance, board shorts also offer more coverage.

what are board shorts? summer fashion dictionary

Bodycon Dress

Short for Body Contouring, a dress that is typically made from stretchy material that hugs the body.

Highlight your curves and draw attention to your silhouette with a dress that nips you in in all the right places. For flattering designer-inspired dresses that will let your body do the talking, check out Seven Wonders. 

Bodycon Dress

Body Confidence

The feeling you have about the way you physically look.

Remember you're more than the size on your clothing tag. Buying beach and resort wear that works best for your body is one thing, but also look for items that make you feel confident.

Bodysuit

A short or long-sleeved one-piece for women that fastens by buttons.

Hello to a trend that’s not going anywhere. The bodysuit, now a staple, is worn all-year-round and is more versatile than you think with its many variations. Short-sleeves, long-sleeves, turtlenecks, sheer bodysuits...the list goes on.

Bohemian

Bohemian style is strongly related to hippie fashion. Common features include natural fabrics, earth tones, retro patterns, and layers.

For the gypsy wanderers, musicians, artists, and the free-spirited, bohemian style staples include anything maxi-related, chunky jewelry and wedges. No one does Bohemian Summer Fashion better than Miss June

what is a bohemian style? summer fashion terms

Boho

While traditionally known as just a short hand of Bohemian. The styles have diverged a bit in modern day. Bohemian is more synonymous with exaggerated colours and motifs, while Boho is a bit more contemporary in it’s cuts and a bit more subtle in its use of pattern.

what is boho fashion?

Boho Chic

Borrowing influences from bohemian style, boho-chic is a curated boho look.

Summer fashion vocabulary is synonymous with boho chic. Think fitted boho pieces and more neutral colours that are still self-expressive keeping in line with the original idea of "boho". White & Lace are quintessential Boho chic in today’s Summer Fashion. If you’re looking for the latest in Boho Chic Summer Wear look no further than Love Shack Fancy

Boning

Boning is wire or bone support in clothing that maintains the item's shape and helps clothes stay wrinkle-free.

Boned swimsuits date back to the 50s. Creating a glamorous look, boning creates more structure to show off your womanly curves.

Boyshorts

Bikini bottoms that offer full coverage and have a lower leg cut.  

Often coming as part of a tankini set, boyshorts help you avoid any embarrassing mishaps while being active on the beach.

what are boy shorts? swimwear types

Bows

Accents in the shape of a bow attached to clothing.

While bows are often used purely for aesthetic purposes - there's nothing quite like strategically placed bows on the sides of swimwear to help create more balance.

Brazilian Bikini Bottoms

Bikini bottoms with high cutouts that show off the bum.

One of the sexiest swimwear types, go Brazilian if you've been rocking the squats

what is a brazilian bikini cut? bikini types

Bralette Bikini Top

A lighter support bikini top in the form of a bra without wiring.

With a minimal design that offers less coverage, bralette bikini tops lend themselves beautifully to both sporty and feminine styles.

Bralette Bikini Top? summer fashion vocabulary

Breathable

Referring to clothes or fabrics that circulate air to your skin.

One of the most important summer fashion terms - natural fibre may be wonderfully breathable when wearing linen day outfits, but when it comes to breathable swimsuit types, synthetics rule.

Brocade

Decorative shuffle-woven fabric typically made of silk with metallic threads.

Get the Bridgerton fashion look and update your summer wardrobe with a more ornate look instead of your LBD.

Broderie Anglaise

Open embroidery, often in floral patterns, on lightweight cotton or linen.

Fashion trends will always come and go, but Broderie Anglaise continues to be a summer favourite. The lightweight and intricate nature of the fabric and embroidery make Broderie Anglaise dresses perfect for boho chic babes looking to get married.

What Is A Broderie Anglaise? summer fashion terms

Bronzing Oil

An oil applied to the body to enhance tanning.

As well as accelerating your tan, a good bronzing oil will naturally hydrate your skin and help you get your glow game on - but don’t forget your SPF!

Bikini Briefs

Most often referring to a full coverage, high waisted bikini bottom.

Bucket Bag

A tall bag with a circular cross section typically closed by a drawstring.

The bucket bag has evolved over the years while still keeping its iconic shape. While practical, it doesn’t compromise in style.

Burkini

A swimsuit for women that covers all of the body, leaving only the face, hands, and feet exposed.

Modest swimwear, burkinis also offer great sun protection.

what is a Burkini?

Bustier

A swimming top that pushes up the bust area and shapes the waist.

While you may be mistaken that you're wearing underwear, this sexy shaping bikini top certainly deserves its place in the summer fashion dictionary.

Cabana Shirt

A loose, straight-cut, short-sleeved button front shirt.

Evolving from the idea of Hawaiian shirts, the cabana shirt is the perfect resort shirt if you don’t want to go too formal.

Caftan

Lesser used spelling variant of Kaftan. A loose, typically long dress from thin material worn over all swimwear types.

A beach basic, caftans are great coverups and perfect for drinking cocktails in the shade.

what is a kaftan? summer fashion dictionary

Cami

An informal word for camisole. A sleeveless top with thin straps typically made of silk, satin, nylon, or cotton.

Adding camis to your summer wardrobe is a staple for everyday style. Choose from strappy camis, fitted camis, laidback camis, and wear them with whatever you want.

Camp Collar

See Cabana shirt.

Cheeky Bikini Bottoms

Cheeky bikini bottoms have a V-shape cut, which offers a little less coverage compared to other bikini bottom types.

A flattering cut that accentuates curves - perfect for sunbathing and minimal tan lines.

what is a cheeky bikini bottom?

Chevron

Upside down V-shaped pattern.

Chevron patterns are like magic and have an amazing slimming effect, especially around the tummy areas.

Chicken Fillets

Gel-filled pads are inserted under tops and bikinis to enhance and enlarge a woman's bust.

Known as the party bra - nip slips and flat chests will be a thing of the past with a pair of chicken fillets.

Chiffon

A lightweight, semi-transparent fabric made from either silk or nylon.

A summer fashion glossary wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the most lightweight fabrics. From floaty summer styles of dresses to flattering evening resort wear, the power of chiffon is far-reaching and will continue to remain a classic in the realm of summer fabrics.

Chlorine Resistant

Chlorine-resistant fabric is less prone to damage from chlorine.

Most swimwear types are made from chlorine-resistant fabric, allowing the swimsuit or bikini to last up to 10 times longer.

Cinched

A cinched waist on a piece of clothing tapers narrowly at your mid-section.

Shapewear, swimwear, and dresses can all be cinched at the waist - the answer to the girdle that pulls you in and accentuates your curves.

Cold Shoulder

A cut or style of tops and dresses where arms are partially covered but with shoulders exposed.

Strapless bras are most commonly worn under a cold shoulder top, but to sex it up and add more shape to your silhouette, bustiers and corsets are a dream.

What Is A Cold Shoulder Dress? Summer Fashion Terms

Collection

A selection of individual garments and outfits that designers curate every season to predict upcoming trends.

Without a doubt, lightweight and flowing clothes will always feature in summer collections.

Colour Block

Used to describe contrasting blocks or panels of typically bright colours on an item of clothing.

Colour blocking is a hot trend, which has been rendered one of the easiest summer fashion terms to pull off. As well as being bang on trend, careful colour blocking can enhance your figure - to elongate your legs, opt for darker, richer colours on the bottom.

Colourfast

The ability for fabrics not to fade after washing, sweating, and sun exposure.

Among other features, look for colourfast on the label when choosing your new swimsuit or bikini to maintain its look for longer.

Cookie Pads

See Chicken Fillets.

Co Ords

Abbreviated form of Coordinates. Two or more items of clothing that match in colour or/and style and are worn together. Typically sold as a set, and may also be referred to as such.

Co ords are fashion's latest muse. Take a page out of granny's book and rock a matching skirt and blouse. For flirty and fun co ords this summer, shop Love Shack Fancy's feminine range.

what are coords? what are sets?

Contemporary (fashion)

The ability to be modern and of the moment.

The opposite of retro, contemporary is also one of the summer fashion terms that relate to brands that want to be more accessible.

Cover-Up

See Beach Coverup

what is a beach cover up? summer fashion terms

Crochet

Fabric made from yarn or thread, which has been produced by pulling loops through other loops.

Sexy and tres chic - this modern hippie look is a favourite in the Balearic islands - Ibiza anyone?

Crochet Bottom

Crop Top

A casual sleeveless or short-sleeved top cut short to reveal the stomach.

There’s no age limit when it comes to wearing crop tops as long as you’re confident. Crop tops are chic whether it’s a spaghetti-strapped bralette or a soft tee, cropped clothing elevates summer fashion.

Cross Back

A piece of clothing with criss-cross back straps.

Sexy and functional, what more could you want? Typically seen in tops and swimsuits, cross-back pieces cinch in the waist beautifully.

criss-cross back straps

Culottes

Knee-length pants for women, cut to resemble a skirt.

Not always women’s clothes, culottes were first worn by men. Also known as gaucho pants, there are culottes for all personalities. Love to dabble in a bit of beach ball and exercise? There are plenty of more casual culottes to choose from. Want something more polished? Opt for culottes with a pleated cinched waist.

Cutout One Piece

A one-piece swimsuit that has cut-out open sides.

For a retro-inspired swimwear look, cutout one-piece swimsuits are the way forward. It's the perfect way to show some skin without having to worry about donning a teeny tiny piece of fabric instead.

Damask

Reversible fabric of wool, silk, linen, or synthetic fibres, which has patterns created by weaving one warp yarn and one weft yarn.

Summer fashion vocabulary and fashion terms in general are often confused, which is why you might be forgiven if you think damask is an elaborate pattern of scrolled motifs. While these patterns are common, damask refers to the fabric type.

Deep V

A neckline cut in the shape of a deep V.

Elegant and sexy at the same time, a deep V is often seen in many styles of dresses and swimsuit types, with the latest trend being a back-baring V instead of a front one.

Ditsy Print

A very small scale pattern that covers the entire garment randomly instead of a linear or geometric way.

Often depicted with flowers, but it’s not the rule. Be inspired by Fillyboo’s tiny ditsy print blooms, which will certainly help lift the mood.

what is a ditsy print? ditsy floral print

Drop Shoulder Dress

Style of dress where the shoulder is cut so it sits on the upper arm as opposed to shoulder.

Dare to bare your shoulders with this style of dress from the off-the-shoulder family. Petite frames suit a more streamlined look whereas curvier sisters suit drop shoulder dresses that have an overlay of fabric gently falling at the waist to give the illusion of shape.

Drop Waist

A dress waistline cut where the seam sits on the hips instead of the waist.

Drop it like it's hot! Synonymous with tunics, flapper dresses, and boho chic, drop waist dresses are dressy enough to wear to the office and casual enough for an impromptu pool party.

What Is A Drop Waist Dress?  names of dress types

Eco-Friendly (fashion)

Clothing that is produced in a way that is not harmful to the environment. E.g. Using no pesticides or recycling materials. If you want to help foster change and show more ecological and social integrity, research where your clothes come from, starting with the fabric. We feel particularly great about what The Rock Push is doing to clean up our environment.

Econyl

Regenerated nylon made from plastic waste, specifically fishing nets.

A good way of supporting the environment, look for sustainable swimwear brands that use recycled materials such as Hunza G, which has won a large fan base around the world.

Edit

A range of clothes chosen for a specific purpose, or to be worn at a specific time.

From the seasonal staples to what’s hot, we’ll help you keep your beach and resort wear wardrobe current with our regular blog edits.

Embellished

To be decorated with different accents, such as beads and embroidery.

From buckles to bows, embellished swimwear will earn you some style points at the resort, and if chosen correctly, can help add definition to your figure.

what are embellishments? summer fashion

Embroidery

The technique of decorating a piece of clothing or accessory by hand using stitches, which are often complemented by beads, sequins, pearls, and feathers.

Whether you're going for a bold, eye-catching look or just want something with some subtle touches, embroidery embellished clothes are super summery and feminine and can be dressed up or down - check out Juliet Dunn's collection for inspiration.

Embellished

Empire Line

A fitted bodice on a dress that ends just below the bust.

If you’re obsessed with all things Bridgerton (we talking fashion here - wink) - you’ll most likely love the empire line look, which women once made part of their every day.

Empire Waist

See Empire line.

Espadrilles

A lightweight canvas summer shoe with a braided fiber sole.

Not all summer fashion vocabulary is English. A Spanish term, Espadrilles can be whatever you want them to be depending on the style you want to go for - boho, cool, ladylike...the choice is yours.

Ethical Swimwear

Swimwear that has been produced following eco-friendly processes.

Stay wild, look hot, and do your part for the environment. Check out Seafolly's range of flattering swimwear that uses up to 68% recycled nylon.

Fauxkini

A swimsuit for women that appears to be a two-piece, but is a one-piece bathing suit.

Is it a one-piece? Is it a bikini? Is it a tankini? Keep them guessing with your fauxkini.

Fedora Hat

A hat style that has a soft brim and an indented crown.

Made popular during the roaring twenties, the Fedora hat is now unisex and worn throughout the seasons. Summer Fedoras, typically made out of straw, are functional summer hats and look best when paired with a simple outfit - minimalism is key!

Flared

Referring to sleeves, pant legs, and the bottoms of skirts that expand or open outwards.

Humid summers call for light and breathable clothing - if you’re looking for some 70s vintage appeal, flared pants are the perfect.

Flip Flops

Footwear consisting of flat soles with a Y-shaped strap (toe thong) that goes between the big toe and second toe.

A resurfaced fashion trend, which conjures up images of BBQs and beaches, flip flops can be dressed up or down depending on the outfit. Havaianas continue to be a firm favourite.

Floppy Hat

A type of sunhat that is floppy and hangs down.

Fill your Instagram feed with one of the most popular summer fashion terms when it comes to summer accessories - #wish_you_were_here.

Floral Print

A printed floral design on garments.

Dreamy florals continue to be a go-to summer print as seen in Agua Bendita’s collection of swimwear and clothing.

Floral Print Swimwear

Flounce

A decorative strip of fabric attached to one edge of your swimsuit (similar to a frill).

Cute and flirty, flounce embellishments are often strategically used to help enhance a smaller bust.

Fold Over Bikini Bottoms

Full-coverage bikini bottoms with a fold-over band of fabric.

Feeling the bloat? This is one of the swimsuit types that give you the option of hiding your tummy with a strategically placed fold-over waistband that offers firm control.

Fold Over Bikini Bottoms

French Bra

A bikini top with gathered cups that increases cleavage and lift with the help of underwires and removable chicken fillets.

Channel your inner Parisian and feminine side with an alluring bra/bikini fit that easily adjusts for the perfect fit thanks to the ties behind the neck.

French Cut

A high leg cut on bikini bottoms or briefs.

Well bonjour there...everything sounds better in French. French cut bottoms have a serious defining factor when it comes to creating the illusion of longer, leaner legs. Anything French cut is next-level sexy!

Frill

A strip of pleated fabric used as a trim embellishment.

#girly - frills are romantic, feminine and ethereal, which is why they’ve long been a summer boho favourite.

Frill Shorts

Fringe

An ornamental fabric string trim applied to the edge of a fashion item.

With fringe detail, especially on various swimwear types, vest tops, and bags, you'll add a touch of boho to your look.

Fringe

Frong

A frontal thong or a swimsuit or bikini bottoms with a seriously high front cut.

A new entrant to our summer fashion vocabulary, the frong is not for the fainthearted. Accentuate your legs with this throwback style reminiscent of the 80s and 90s.

Full Bottom

Bikini bottoms with extra coverage on the lower hip area.

For ultimate coverage, these bikini bottoms are the best. Empowering swimwear that helps add definition to the body, team your bottoms with the right bikini top that brings balance to your shape.

Full Coverage Bikini Bottoms

Bikini bottoms are designed to conceal as much as possible, especially around the tummy and bottom, without interfering with activities or performance.

Perfect for shaping a fuller figure and creating more definition, full coverage bikinis were made with active days at the beach in mind.

Full Piece Bathing Suit

A one-piece swimsuit.

These swimsuit types are having their moment - they express an effortless expression of chicness and sophistication. Remain on trend and opt for art-inspired prints from sketches to watercolour paintings to abstract forms. Check out Adriana Degreas for some arty one-piece swimsuits that will turn heads.

Full Piece Bathing Suit

Gauchos

See Culottes.

Geometric Print

A fabric print of geometric shapes and patterns.

Eye-catching geometric shapes and bright clashing colours are a match made in heaven in summer as they’re bold and easy to wear.

Gingham

Cotton fabric made with woven coloured yarn to make a plain weave that creates a distinct checked pattern.

Gingham is a must-have print for summer wardrobes. Dresses, crop tops, swimsuits...even shoes...you can liven up your summer look easily. As well as its artistic swimwear prints, Seafolly has a range of gingham clothes.

Gingham Print Dress

Gusset

A rhomboidal or triangular piece of material inserted into a seam to add width to reduce tightness.

One of the more unfamiliar summer fashion terms, the inclusion of gussets in the crotch area is a sign of quality.

Gypsy Chic

Similar to boho style fashion, but with the addition of ethnic touches, such as shawls.

Gypsy chic isn't just a style - it's a way of thinking and living. To pull together a look that emulates gypsy chic, think boho, hippie, vintage, Indian, Moroccan, and beatnik in one outfit. You can't go wrong with tribal patterned billowing maxis.

what is a gypsy chic? summer fashion terms

Halterneck Bikini

A bikini top with two fixed triangles on either side that connect and tie together around the neck.

From strappy to high neck styles, the halter is a timeless swimwear design that offers unrivaled support and style to women gifted with fuller busts.

High-Leg Cut

A bikini or one-piece leg cut that shows off more leg with a high V-shape. Otherwise known as high-rise cut.

Showing off ample leg with an 80's classic, high-leg cut swimsuits and bikinis elongate the legs, giving the illusion of enviable slimmer and longer legs.

High-Leg Cut

High-Waist Bikini Bottoms

Bikini bottoms that sit just above the hips or below the naval area often feature a lower-cut leg for more coverage.

Without compromising on style, high-waist bottoms create a fashionable pool-side look while offering more coverage. Regularly featuring strategically placed ruching, high-waist bikini bottoms pack a punch when it comes to some of the most flattering bikini brief types.

High-Waist Bikini Bottoms

Hipster Bikini Bottoms

Bikini bottoms that sit lower and hug the hips, typically with a thicker waistband.

A comfortable middle ground between bikinis and boy shorts, hipster bikinis often incorporate different design elements to flatter every woman, making the selection process more personal.

Hipster Bikini Bottoms

Hobo Chic

Another one of the new summer fashion terms - hobo chic describes a curated homeless-like appearance.

With no particular rules, throw together an eclectic mix of oversized, layered clothes in the style of the Olsen twins.

Hot Pants

See Boyshorts.

Hot Shorts

See Boyshorts.

High Low

Refers to a hemline that is shorter at the front and longer at the back.

Often described as the mullet of fashion - it’s a party at the front and elegant at the back! This style of dress is perfect for petite women who don’t want their frames being overpowered by tons of fabric.

Ikat

A fabric that is made using a decorative Indonesian technique, in which the warp or weft are tie-dyed prior to weaving.

Meaning “to tie” in English, Ikat’s name derives from the intricate hands-on process of making the pattern. From apparels to bedding to fashion accessories, Ikat is everywhere!

Indie

A style of clothing inspired by vintage, retro, and hipster trends.

Inspired by Indie music, Indie summer style of dresses include vintage embroidery midi and maxi dresses and tunics.

Jacquard

A style of figured weaving done on Jacquard loom used to create intricate patterns and elaborate designs with details.

Silk jacquard is perfect for spring and summer special events as they are elegant and understated at the same time, not to mention very lightweight.

Jumpsuit

A one-piece item of clothing that has either a shirt or blouse attached to either a pair of trousers or shorts.

Having both personality and comfort, lightweight cotton jumpsuits are ideal for summer. For a breezy feel, go with wide legs and short sleeves.

Jungle Print

See Animal Print.

Kaftan

See Caftan.

Kaftan

Keyhole

A neckline style with a central cutaway just below the collarbone.

A member of the cut-out family, keyhole dresses, tops, and blouses allow you to flash the flesh without being OTT.

Keyhole Neckline

Kimono

A loose-fitting robe with wide sleeves that is tied with a broad sash.

What do you get when you cross a scarf and a cape? A silk cardigan, AKA the kimono. Used as a cover-up, popular in resorts - give yourself a superhero look this summer with the help of brands like Eres.

Kimono

Lace-Up

To fasten or tighten clothes with laces in a criss-cross form.

They say our beach looks should be memorable, so make an unforgettable swimsuit statement with a lace-up one-piece or bikini - we love Caha Capo's range.

Lace-Up Bikini

Light Fastness  

The ability of how much a piece of fabric can hold its original colour after prolonged sunlight exposure.

Want to preserve the original colour of your swimsuit for longer? There's nothing worse than a faded swimsuit. Look for fabric with UV protection (yes, it ain't just for the skin).

Line

Refers to all the clothes a designer produces for a category for their brand.

One of the summer fashion terms commonly confused for “fashion collection” - the key difference is that a “fashion line” refers to the clothes designed for a category and a collection refers to the seasonal production of a variety of styles in a line all for the same brand.

Linen  

A strong, absorbent, and fast-drying textile made from flax plant fibres.

Linen is the perfect addition to your summer wardrobe - it's easy and oh-so breezy. Make the most of the fabric's cooling effects in the heat thanks to its moisture-wicking properties.

Lining

An inner layer of fabric to create a polished look, insulation, protection, and/or shape.

You can tell quality swimsuit types by their lining (or lack of). When included in swimwear, it helps protect from UV rays and skin irritations.

Loincloth Bikini

Very high-cut bikini bottoms that feature ruched material in the form of traditional loincloths worn by different ethnic tribes and wrestlers.

Think Tarzan and Jane with this new daring swimsuit trend that leaves little to the imagination.

Loose Fit

A fit that is slightly baggy and gives sufficient room.

Loose fitting clothing is breezy and perfect for the summer months. Pants with a loose fit are perfect for brunch with the girls when paired with a slim fit top.

Lounge Shirt

See Cabana Shirt.

Low Back

Referring to a garment with a low cut back.

When your standard one-piece swimsuit doesn’t feel like it shows enough skin, but a bikini feels too revealing, a low back swimsuit like this one from Camilla is subtly sexy.

Low Back Swimsuit

Low Rise

Pants or shorts that are low cut to sit on the hips instead of the waist.

This summer fashion vocabulary is synonymous with low cut, hipsters, and hip-huggers...

Lycra

A trademarked elastic polyurethane fabric used for close-fitting swimwear types and sports clothing. Highly regarded for its body contouring and slimming effects.

Look for Lycra blend swimsuits to ensure good quality stretch and moisture-wicking properties. No one does Lycra swimwear like Hunza G.

Lyocell

A synthetic fabric made of wood pulp.

We love summer fashion terms that promote anything eco-friendly. Did you know that, compared to cotton, lyocell uses less than half the amount of water in production?

Madras

A lightweight cotton typically with a tartan design.

Not to be mistaken for one of the best Indian curries ever, Madras fabric also hails from the same place, hence the name. Typically used to make summer clothing thanks to its natural and lightweight properties, Madras is often used for shorts, pants, dresses, and jackets.

Maillot

One of the many summer fashion terms in French, meaning a simple one-piece swimsuit.

Pronounced My-OH, the Maillot is perfect when you want to achieve a retro look that you can wear over and over again.

Mastectomy Swimwear

Swimsuit types specially designed for women that have undergone breast surgery where the breast form is built into the swimsuit to mimic the original breast.

Created to flatter and help regain confidence - mastectomy swimwear allows every woman a chance to enjoy the sun without feeling self-conscious.

Maxi Dress

A full-length dress.

One of the most popular styles of dresses, maxi dresses flatter all personalities and can be dressed up and down for any occasion. To add those summery boho vibes, why not wear them with a pair of espadrilles?

Maxi Skirt

A full-length skirt.

Make your legs look longer with a flattering maxi skirt that looks amazing on anyone. Whether you clash patterns, colour block, or go for the co ord-look this summer, you'll still be rocking a seasonal favourite.

Microkini

An extremely minimalist bikini with just enough material to cover the breasts and genital areas.

Sexy, this next-to-nothing bikini style is perfect for sunbathing and lounging around the pool while you sip on your Long Island Iced Tea.

Midi Dress/ Skirt

Refers to the length of a dress or skirt that falls just below the knee and rests at mid-calf.

There are many names of dress types, but this is one of our favourites thanks to its versatility. From ditsy to wild animal prints and from bodycon styles to wrap dresses - there’s a midi for everyone. For some serious wardrobe inspiration, Poupette St Barth’s midi collection is dreamy.

Mini Dress/ Skirt

A very short dress or skirt above the knees.

Dating back to the 60s, the mini skirt has been taken up a notch with matching co-ords; these have become a summer fashion resort staple as seen in Seven Wonders’ collections.

Minimal Coverage

Referring to bikini bottoms with little coverage.

Never tried it? Give yourself license to be creative and take chances - all you need for a body baring minimal coverage bikini is the confidence to boot.

Miraclesuit  

A well-structured swimsuit that has tummy control capabilities for plus-size ladies.

Everyone deserves beach time, and the miracle suit allows just that. Create the illusion of a slimmer, more slender silhouette and wear your bathing suit with pride. For more coverage and glamour, a kaftan does the trick.

Mitred Seam

Describes swimwear made from material that features either diagonal lines or stripes that have a centre seam down the middle.

Just as with another one of our summer fashion terms, 'Chevron', a mitered seam is flattering - look for this on the cups of triangle bikini tops to give the impression of a fuller chest area.

Modal

A semi-synthetic fibre that is breathable and absorbent.

A popular cotton alternative, modal is often used in activewear, underwear, pyjamas, and even bed sheets thanks to its airy properties.

Moderate Bottom

Bikini bottoms that cover a moderate area of the backside.

Moderate bikini bottoms will allow you to cover all the bases (no pun intended). Swim, play beach volleyball, sunbathe...you name it and you can do it without worrying about your briefs riding.

Monokini

See Cutout One Piece.

Monochrome

Black and white.

Monochrome swimwear is the epitome of chic. Polka dots, stripes, diagonal lines, and animal print are all favourite summer patterns that work with a monochrome colour scheme.

Monochrome Swimsuit

Moulded Cup

Permanent foam cups that have been moulded into their shape.

Want eye-catching cleavage that will turn heads? Moulded cups fitted into swimwear and tops will give you that much-needed push-up.

Mules

A style of summer shoe with no back around the heel.

Dating back to the 17th century, mules used to represent wealth, with Marie Antoinette being a key advocate. Coming in a variety of materials and colours, mules look amazing with any outfit. Handcrafted Italian Mules by Helleborum are effortlessly chic.

Mules Footwear

Muumuu

A bright coloured dress with a loose fit, traditionally worn by Hawaiian women.

During the 60s and 70s, the Muumuu was one of the most glamorous things you could wear and thanks to cyclical fashion, they’re back. This is an uber chic and oh-so-comfortable dress alternative solution for the hot sweltering months.

Neckline

The edge of a piece of clothing at or below the neck that refers to the garment's shape or height.

There's a different neckline for different purposes. Want more support and cover? Go for a high neck style. What about a truly sexy appeal? Then try a push-up bandeau neckline. Or perhaps you see yourself as a Grecian goddess? Then a halter neck is a must...the list of summer fashion terms for necklines is endless.

Netting

A mesh lining in men’s swim shorts.

Not all swim shorts are created equal - some are better than others. A mesh lining serves various purposes, with the main reason being to prevent chafing.

Nylon

A strong fibre that is durable and often used in a blend for making swimwear.

The world of female swimwear is a minefield, but a nylon blend is popular for not only its durability but because it also hugs you in all the right places.

Off The Shoulder

A dress or top not covering the shoulders. Typically secured by elastic hems above the bust but can also be worn with straps for additional support.

Off-the-shoulder and hobo chic are a match made in heaven, so if you want to show off your shoulders and achieve that curated messy look, add layers, random accessories, and a belt to pull it all together.

Off The Shoulder

Ombre

When different variations of colour blend into one another creating a gradient colour effect.

This fun rainbow effect embodies everything that is summertime fashion. But the fun doesn't stop here - ombre pieces are transitional and look amazing layered.

Ombre

One Piece

See Full Piece Bathing Suit.

One Shoulder Swimwear

A one-piece swimsuit or bikini top with one shoulder strap instead of two.

Half practical, half sass - sleek one-shoulder swimsuits and bikinis are perfect for your next vacay, and if you're worried about your lower half of the body, a one-shoulder piece will work a treat as it draws the eyes upwards.

One Shoulder Swimwear

Open Back

See Backless.

Padded Swimwear

See Moulded Cup.

Paisley

An ornate fabric pattern that uses a teardrop-shaped motif with a curved end.

Inspired by an Indian pine cone shape - there’s always room for a dash of this 70s power print whether it’s on a maxi skirt, scarf or kaftan.

Panama Hat

A wide-brimmed hat made from toquilla leaves native to Ecuador.

This is a trend that will never die - from classic colours to ones that pop - choose an Authentic Panama hat from Ecua-Andino that will allow you to easily adapt to the trends each year.

Pareo

A sarong-like garment worn as a cover-up originating from Polynesia.

Varying in detail and embellishments, pareos often feature embroidery and hand-beading.

what is a pareo? summer fashion vocabulary

Party Dress

A dress considered too elegant or revealing to be worn during the day.

While winter party dresses are all about the sequins and sparkles, summer party dresses are about bold colours and less restriction, because there ain’t anything chic about sweating in your party frock.

Patterned

Decorated with a repetitive design or having patterns.

If you want to go a little hippie and a little hood, stock up on patterned maxis that will continue to be your summer go-to outfit.

Peek A Boo

Referring to outfits that have cut-out areas that reveal some skin.

Don't go for any old peek-a-boo dress this summer; look for a garment that has strategically placed windows to reveal your best assets (it would be rude not to).

Peplum (overskirt)

A peplum is an elongated hem that resembles a shorter skirt and is worn to lay over another piece of clothing.

A throwback trend in our summer fashion dictionary, a peplum is often pleated or ruffled and worn over dresses, skirts, and pants. Looking for a Peplum swimsuit? Look no further than Tacoola

what is a peplum swimsuit? swimwear types

Playsuit

An all-in-one suit, similar to a jumpsuit, but with short sleeves and shorts instead of trousers.

Got curves? You were born to wear a playsuit! Playsuits accentuate hourglass figures and help add more definition.

what is a playsuit? summer fashion terms

Plunge Neck

Also known as a plunging v neck. A v neck cut that extends below the breasts.

Simple gold or silver layered necklaces add allure and draw the eye from the neckline to the waist.

What is a plunge neck dress? summer fashion terms

Polyester

A synthetic resin used to make synthetic textiles.

A favourite among competitive swimmers - when blended with Lycra, polyester has the right amount of stretch, is durable, and is colour and chlorine resistant.

Pom Pom

Decorative balls or tufts used on clothing as embellishments.

A cutesy trend favoured by top designers from Marc Jacobs to Gucci, pom poms are inherently fun as seen in Pitusa’s pom pom back embellished designs.

Poncho

A loose type of cover-up that pulls over the head and covers the body.

Half-towel, half-poncho, Sun of a Beach has some fun and sophisticated beach cover-ups made from Egyptian cotton - perfect for worldly jet setters.

Princess Dress

A style of fitted dress that has been cut in long panels/strips without separation at the waist. The dress features several darts and seams that create the iconic shape.

Not so much your “Once upon a time” fairytale, the princess dress was first designed for Princess Alexandra of Denmark in the 1870s. Elegant and flattering on all body types - if it’s fit for a princess, it’s fit for you!

Princess Line

See Princess Dress.

Puff Sleeve

See Balloon Sleeve.

Push-Up

Swimwear types with inserted cups designed to push up the bust to create more cleavage and make breasts look perkier.

Often combined with padding or chicken fillets to create even more lift and an enviable bust.

Quatrefoil

A decorative motif consisting of symmetrical shapes that are made up of four partially overlapping circles.

Ooh la la - the quatrefoil print adds a minimalist sophisticated graphic appeal to your look. Fashion and practical, quatrefoil on cotton is ideal for summer cocktails by the pool.

¾ Quarter Sleeve

A sleeve that covers the area of the arm from the shoulder to approximately the elbow.

Perfect for all occasions, ¾ quarter sleeve dresses and tops are the epitome of elegance, which we know never goes out of style.

Racerback

A piece of clothing like a swimsuit that has straps that connect between the shoulder blades.

A big hit in competitive sport, racerback swimsuit types have long been synonymous with athleisure wear but the rise of minimalist fashion has made this one of the common summer fashion terms and is now a wardrobe basic that's often paired with wide-leg pants, midi skirts, and jeans.

what is a racerback swimsuit? summer fashion dictionary

Raffia

Fibre extracted from the raffia tree’s leaves used for making baskets, bags, and hats.

Raffia bags are seen in spring/summer runway collections year in year out, so to call it a ‘trend’ would be a disservice. From covetable raffia-clad shoes to raffia bucket bags, this material is ubiquitous for good reason.

Rashguard

A slim-fitting long or short-sleeved shirt worn in the water to prevent rashes. Also used as a form of sun protection.

Once just popular among surfers, the resurgence of the need to protect the skin has made rashguards a popular summer fashion item.

what is a rashguard? summer fashion terms

Rashie

See Rashguard.

Rash Vest

A sleeveless rash guard that covers the torso.

Rayon

A type of fibre that is made from regenerated cellulose. Drawing the designation of being both natural and synthetic, otherwise known as semi-synthetic.

Breathable and light - a rayon blend helps prevent your summer dresses from sticking to your body in hot weather.

Relaxed Fit

Fitting looser than normal, but not baggy.

In the hotter months, relaxed fit clothing is cooling, especially if you go for natural fabrics like silk, cotton, and linen.

Removable Cups

Removable cups inserted into swimwear to enhance the bust.

Avoid half pads as they don't cover the entire breast. Instead, if you want that va-va-voom look with the added lift and extra cleavage, go for full-size, push-up inserts.

Resort Casual Attire

Clothes that provide a look that is smart and more relaxed.

A degree of formality is still required, so avoid cut-offs and tank tops, and don your sundresses and skirts instead. Devotion is always a good shout with its dazzling array of colourful beach cover-ups and sundresses.

Resort Elegant Attire

A dress code that does not allow swimsuits, shorts, tank tops, flip flops.

Typically reserved for evening wear, resort elegant attire takes you from the day into the night. Popular resort elegant attire includes maxi skirts, maxi dresses, jumpsuits, wedges, and low heels. Whatever you'd wear on an evening cruise will suffice as resort elegant attire. Melissa Odabash is a perennial leader in Women’s Resort Wear

Resort Wear

Also known as luxury beachwear. These clothes are appropriate for wearing at resorts and upmarket holiday destinations like Marbella, Seychelles, and Ibiza.


Resort wear - it's all about that casual elegance. From maxi dresses to floral sarongs - curate your mini resort wear wardrobe ensuring you have a mixture of resort casual and resort elegant attire. Camilla is what comes to mind when we think of Showstopping Resort Wear.

Retro  

Clothing reminiscent of more than a decade ago but still has a modern feel.

From 60s pinup style swimsuits to high-waisted bikini bottoms, there are many retro beach and resort wear styles to choose from. Adding a few vintage touches like sunglasses will also get the retro vibe going.

Reversible

Something that can also be worn inside out.

Reversible swimsuits and dresses rock - it's like getting two items for the price of one! Aqua Bendita has a stunning array of reversible swimwear.

Reversible Swimsuit

Ribbed

Fabric that has a pattern of raised bands.

If you’re a jersey fabric queen, it’s time to update your look because ribbed basics are ubiquitous for extra pleasure.

Robe Dress

A long flowing gown in the style of a robe.

Dubbed the new type of pyjama dressing, robe dresses are very laissez-faire, but at the same time also super chic and make for an elegant resort dress in the summer months.

what is a robe dress

Romper

See Playsuit.

Ruching

The technique of gathering fabric to create a puckered effect, typically on the sides of a piece of clothing or stomach area.

Want to hide your tummy? Ruching creates illusions of curves and hides the stomach - a popular feature on high-waist bikini bottoms and tummy control swimwear.

what is a ruching? summer fashion dictionary

Ruffle

A technique that gathers fabric to create a ruffled effect.

Bring more of a classic look to your swimwear and resort wear with ruffles. Ruffles flatter smaller chested women and look out of this world with a plunging neckline.

what is a ruffle dress? summer fashion vocabulary

Sag

The unflattering hanging of swimwear due to poor quality, poor fabric, and aged swimsuits and bikinis.

No one likes a saggy butt, especially when you're young. The right swimsuit is pertinent and size matters - when choosing bikini bottoms ensure there's a snug fit from the beginning (i.e. don't size up for more room).  

Sari

A rectangular piece of silk or cotton which is draped around the body typically by South Asian women.

Summer saris are typically made of natural fabrics for comfort.

Sarong

What’s the difference between a Sarong and a Pareo? About 12,000 km! Sarong originates from Malaysia, and Pareo from Tahiti. Both refer to a lightweight piece of fabric designed to act as a beach coverup that is wrapped around the waist and knotted at the hip.

Easy to pack and oh-so-versatile, a sarong is a perfect addition to your capsule vacay wardrobe, which is why it's one of our number one summer fashion terms. It's all in the execution. You'll not only feel sophisticated, but you can also transform it into a makeshift dress, top, skirt, and even a towel.

what is a sarong? summer fashion terms

Scalloped Edge

Waved designs that are placed on the edge of clothing or a dome-shaped stitch finish.

Women's swimwear brand Sunseeker is renowned for its decorative scalloped edging.

what is a scalloped edge dress | summer fashion terms

Scoop Back

A scoop back refers to a low-cut back in a U-shape.

A common feature in Camilla swimsuits, scoop back swimsuits are sexy and show the right amount of skin without giving the game away.

Scoop back swimsuit | swimwear types

Scoop Bottom

A bikini bottom with a scooped waistline and a slightly higher leg cut.

When life gives you curves, flaunt them - and a scoop bottom will help you do just this by accentuating your womanly features while offering moderate coverage.

Scoop Neck

A wide deeply curved neckline.

Let your neckline drop below normal limits to reveal a safe amount of skin that will leave them wondering.

Scrunching

See Ruching.

Separates

A bikini that is sold separately, allowing you to mix and match.

Style your swimwear to suit you and your lifestyle and personality. Want to dabble in the one-shoulder trend but fancy scoop bottoms? This is your chance to let your creativity shine through and get more out of your summer purchases.

Shaping Pads

Rounded foam cups that can be either slid into your swimwear's lining pockets or sewn into the lining for shaping.

For shaping purposes only - shaping cups don't add fullness.

Sharkskin

Describes woven or warp-knitted fabrics that are meant to imitate the skin of a shark.

Are you a pro swimmer? Do you take your laps seriously? Sharkskin swim has several aerodynamic properties to improve performance.

Sheath Dress

A style of dress that is fitted and has a straight cut, often cinched at the waist with no waist seam.

A Victoria Beckham fav - the sheath dress is often mistaken for a shift dress, but there are noticeable differences - the sheath is fitted to show off your body whereas the shift conceals it.

what is a sheath dress | style of dresses

Shift Dress

A dress that falls straight from the shoulders and usually features darts around the bust.

Often featuring high scoop necks or boat necks, shift dresses are elegant. To create the perfect summer look, accessorize with sandals and wooden bangles.

Shirring

Two or more rows of elasticated gathers used for decorative purposes or extra stretch.

One style that has been circling for years and has endless appeal when it comes to styles of dresses is the shirred dress. Often a feature in maxi dresses, the shirred yoke or waistline gives a comfy bodycon fit while the rest of the dress flows easily, creating a beautiful silhouette.

what is shirring

Shirt Dress

A dress in the style of a shirt with a collar and buttons.

Shirt dresses are the perfect smart-casual attire if you’re not quite sure.

what is a shirt dress

Skater Dress

A short dress that has a nipped in fitted waist with a flared A-line shaped skirt attached.

The beauty of the skater dress is its versatility - it can easily be dressed up or down and is bound to wow no matter the occasion. Check out Indikah’s range to find your perfect summer companion.

what is a skater dress

Skirted Bottom

Bikini bottoms with a skirt attached. Sometimes confused with a Peplum

A new retro look, who needs a cover-up when you've got skirted bikini bottoms? With distinct 50s vibes, built-in skirts are not only cute, but they're also seriously practical.

Skirtini

See Skirted Bottom.

Slip Dress

A woman’s style of dress, which resembles a long petticoat.

Typifying sartorial minimalism, slip dresses first came on to the scene during the end of the 20th century when the underwear as outerwear trend prevailed. Look for simple slip dresses that you’ll be able to layer come autumn and winter.

what is a slip dress

Smocking

A decorative feature on clothing created by taking and gathering part of the material into tight, thin pleats and holding them together with parallel stitches, often forming an ornamental pattern.

Dating back centuries ago to create elasticized fabric, with the right colour and pattern, a smocked top flatters a bigger bust.

What is smocking

Spaghetti Straps

Very thin straps.

Reminiscent of the 90s, this look is incredibly feminine and commonly seen on dresses and cami tops.

Spandex

See Lycra.

Split Leg

​​A narrow break in a seam to reveal more skin.

Split leg pants, split leg skirts, split leg dresses...by revealing just the right amount of skin and still leaving something to the imagination, you can create an elegant resort look that will take you from sundowners right through the night.

Square Back

Referring to a garment’s back cut in a square shape.

It’s cool to be square this summer thanks to the rise of the square back, which reveals just enough skin to remain uber chic.

Square Neck

A neckline that is in the shape of a square and frames around the collarbone.

The square neck bears a clavicle, but is still elegant and modest. Dating back to the 1800s, these are often seen on a variety of garments, including dresses, tank tops, and bathing suits, like Hunza G’s collection of square neck one-pieces.

Square Neck One-Piece

Strapless Swimwear

An umbrella term for swimwear without straps.

Whether it's a bandeau-style top half or a sweetheart neckline with boning, strapless swimwear is perfect for lounging around the pool with a cocktail in hand. No strap marks here!

Street Style

Fashion style that evolved from the streets, not runways.

Tees and denim with distressed accents and rips are common features of summer streetwear.

String Bikini

A revealing bikini that is made up of a triangle bikini top connected by string ties and high-cut bikini bottoms that tie with side strings.

For fewer unsightly tan lines, go back to basics with one of the most well-known summer fashion terms - the string bikini, because life is meant to be lived in one.

Stringkini

See String Bikini.

Sundress

A light, usually loose-fitting sleeveless dress worn in warmer climates and summer months.

You can never go wrong with a good collection of sundresses. Must-have sundress types to include in your summer arsenal of clothes include prairie-style dresses, maxis, babydoll dresses, and midis. For some serious sundress inspiration, Heidi Klein's bespoke collection oozes luxury and style.

what is a sundress

Sungas

Men’s swim shorts that are slightly loose fitting through the seat of the trunks.

Unique to Brazil, Frescobol Carioca has an impressive collection of sungas that embody the spirit of Rio.

Sungas

Sunblock

A lotion that blocks out the sun’s UV rays and protects the skin from burning and sun damage.

Got extra sensitive skin? Sunblock trumps sunscreen when it comes to skin protection. For sensitive skin, look for sunblocks with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

Sun Lotion

A lotion that absorbs UV rays and is applied to the skin to protect from the sun.

Keep your skin looking fresh and youthful and apply sunscreen every day regardless of the weather.

Sunscreen

See Sun Lotion.

Sustainable Swimwear

See Eco-Friendly.

Sweetheart Neckline

A neckline that looks like the top of a heart.

Seductive in their own right, sweetheart necklines draw the eyes to the chest and downwards. Make them stare for all the right reasons!

Sweetheart Top

A top or swimsuit style with a sweetheart neckline.

Get your retro game on in a sexy and sweet way with a structured sweetheart bikini top and a pair of boy shorts.

Swim Briefs

See Bikini Briefs.

Swim Dress

A one-piece swimsuit with an attached skirt.

Perfect for frolicking in the waves and engaging in water-based activities, this swimwear style is flirty and cute and checks all the boxes when trying to achieve the 60s pin-up look.

Swim Shorts

Most common summer fashion term to describe male swimwear. Swim shorts can come in above the knee or below the knee lengths, with ties or straps, and a variety of cool styles to reflect your personality.

Swim Skirts

See Skirted Bottoms.

Swimsuit

See One Piece.

Swim Trunks

See Swim Shorts

Swimwear

Items of clothing made for swimming.

Swimwear shopping can be daunting, so approach it as early as possible and look for one that works for more than one occasion.

Tanga

A small pair of bikini bottoms made of small panels connected by side strings at either side.

Part of the g-string family, but ever so slightly more modest, the tanga is the perfect answer if you’re looking to show skin, but not too much - it’s all about moderation after all.

what is a tanga

Tankini

See Fauxkini

Tanning Oil

See Bronzing Oil.

Tartan

Referring to a criss-cross pattern on cloth made up of vertical and horizontal bands in various colours.

Once described as “Britain’s new tweed”, tartan was originally reserved for woven woolen fabrics - today it’s a different story. A surefire way of making your tartan scream summer is to pair it with light, breezy fabrics. By layering sheer fabrics over a tartan or plaid base, you’ll create a unique whimsical and ethereal look.

Tassel

Additional dangling embellishments or accents of threads or cords, often used for fastening.

Commonly seen on boho chic-inspired pieces, such as the range of stunning dresses from Ibiza Sunset.

Tattersall

A checked woolen fabric, similar to a tartan.

Quintessentially a menswear classic, with both long-sleeve and short-sleeve options, tattersall shirts can be worn all year round.

T-Back

A back style on a bikini top, bra, or tank top in which the shoulder straps connect before meeting the horizontal strap just below the shoulder blades to form the shape of the letter T.

A play on the string bikini, but with more support, the T-back bikini top creates a sensual yet sporty look.

Tea Dress

A mid-length dress with short or capped sleeves and a full skirt.

Characterized by unstructured lines, the ever-pretty tea dress was once exactly what it's called - it was a dress for drinking tea! Often floral, often ditsy, often with puffed sleeves, tea dresses are the epitome of romance and are perfect for the summer months thanks to their lightweight, breathable fabrics.

Tencel

A cellulosic fibre extracted from wood pulp.

Tencel is both cooling and hypoallergenic, making it the perfect fabric to look for in clothing if you easily break out in a sweat.

Tent Dress

A full and loose-fitting dress that has no waistline and a wide hem.

Worn without belts, the tent dress is a fashion hero in the summer months thanks to its lightweight fabrics and billowy shape, making it a breeze to put on just like Tarifa Soul’s range.

what is a tent dress

Terry Toweling

A woven fabric with numerous protruding loops of thread that has been designed to absorb water.

Once only reserved for towels and dressing gowns, Terry toweling is now a common fabric used in beachwear. Araminta James anyone?

Thobe

An ankle-length, loose-fitting robe with long sleeves.

Also known as thawb, the Islamic-style thobe is often printed with colourful modern designs and is an easy summer alternative for the entire family.

Thong

A narrow strip of cloth attached to a bikini bottom waistband that covers only the genital area.

Favored by some of Instagram's elite influencers, thongs are certainly cheeky. If you're a thong-wearing novice, try a high-waisted thong as an introduction.

Tiered

Characterized by an item of clothing, such as a dress, having a series of overlapping layers.

Dating back to the Victoria era, the tiered dress was often seen as a sign of wealth - today, it's part and parcel of the summer boho and gypsy chic look as seen with Fetiche Suances' collection.

what is a tiered dress

Tie-Side Bikini Bottoms

Bikini bottoms with strings or wider strips of material at the sides that tie together.

Tie-side bikini bottoms are wonderful for several reasons, but the number one reason would have to be the ability to adjust the size and coverage depending on your needs. Ate an entire pizza for lunch? Who cares - just loosen the sides for more comfort.

Tote  

A large, often unfastened bag with handles that appear from the pouch's sides.

The tote bag is not an unknown in summer fashion vocabulary as it allows you to carry all your summer essentials in style like Artesano's collection that uses natural materials.

Tummy Control Swimwear  

A swimsuit or bikini bottoms with a control panel of material to slim or flatten the stomach area.

Slimming, flattering, and fashionable, tummy control swimwear will hide your problem areas and shape your curves.

Triangle Bikini

A bikini top that consists of two triangles to cover your breasts.

To maximize your triangle bikini and create a whole new look, why not follow in the footsteps of Kendal Jenner and wear it upside down to highlight even more cleavage?

Tribal Print

A fabric print inspired by different tribal patterns from around the world.

Show your wanderlust and add some zest to your outfit with a print that encompasses cultural influences. Share your love for travel and the exotic through culturally influenced outfits.

what is tribal print

Tricot

A common fine-knit fabric used in making swimwear that has stretch properties.

Regularly used to create swimwear lining, tricot is typically blended with spandex.

Tropical Print

Any print influenced by tropical environments.

Come summer at the beach, Hawaiian touches can be felt everywhere thanks to the revival of the tropical print from top designers like Versace.

what is a tropical print dress

Tube Top

A strapless, slim-fitting top made from stretch material.

This style top gives us serious nostalgic feels. Wear it on a hot summer’s day or if you want to go fancy for a night out, pair with some stylish jeans and heels - whatever you choose, a tube top will always be a go-to.

Tunic

A staple in bohemian fashion and all its derivatives. A loose-fitting piece of clothing that is usually longer than a shirt or blouse and shorter than a dress.

Often embellished with embroidered details, the breezy tunic dress makes for a great cover-up alternative if you're looking for something quick and easy to throw on in between swims and sunbathing. Tunics from Ibiza Sunset also make for cute poolside lunch outfits.

what is a womens tunic

Tunic Dress

A loose knee-length dress with a slight flare, often embellished with embroidery, tassels, and pom poms.

Sometimes, when it’s so hot, the only thing you want to wear is something loose and lightweight. Enter the tunic dress - it’s more than just a fashion trend - it’s part of a much bigger culture and movement - la vie boheme!

Tunic Shirt

A long-sleeved, loose fitting shirt, often with embroidered detail.

Hippie, boho, gypsy...however you want to label your personal style is up to you, but one thing’s for sure - the tunic shirt oozes sensual femininity and mysticism and falls into all three categories.

Underwire Swimwear

A thin, durable, and curved wire that is hidden within the seam of a garment under the bust area to give extra support and shape.

If you're looking for even more definition, frills and ruffles create a fuller look in addition to the underwiring.

Upside Down Bikini

A triangle bikini worn upside down.

Make even more of a statement with this latest Insta trend by flipping your bikini top upside down and tying the original bottom string around your neck and the top part around your back.

UV Protection Swimwear

Swimwear designed for sun protection made from from a fabric.

Typically used to create your mini-me's swimwear, look for specific brands that have a UV rating on the label.

Viscose

A type of Rayon

V-Neck

A neckline with a V-shape.

V-neck swimsuits are often combined with a halterneck to draw the eye to the cleavage area.

V-kini

Bikini bottoms with an extreme scoop.

Be like A-listers Kendal Jenner and Rita Ora and get instant curves with this butt-boosting swimwear.

Wide Brimmed Hat

A hat with a wide brim.

Often floppy and relaxed, wide-brimmed hats are perfect for the sunniest of days while offering that necessary protection from the sun.

Windowpane

Used to describe a pattern on clothing representing rectangular window panes.

With its clear tartan influences, the windowpane print is modern and perfect for a contemporary office look in summer whether it’s in the style of lightweight peg-leg pants or a white and black pencil skirt.

Wrap Dress

A dress that closes by wrapping one side of the dress across the other and tying it at the side, back or front.

Wrap dresses are known for their breeziness, and the good news is they're not just for the summer months - by layering your dress in the cooler months, you'll be able to easily transition your summer wardrobe into a winter one just like the ones from VIX.

What is a wrap dress

Zip Front Swimsuit

A swimsuit with a zip front opening.

Creating a sporty appeal, zip-front swimsuits are huge in the athleisure swimwear trend.

Whether you want to know about the new style of dresses in fashion or you're going on a shopping trip for your upcoming beach getaway, you want to be in the know when it comes to the latest summer fashion terms being thrown about in the industry and online.

A big part of keeping up with evolving and thriving industries like fashion is knowing the summer fashion terms, which means being able to talk about and understand the plethora of (and sometimes confusing) references used in the fashion world. So if you love fashion and vacations, we hope this summer fashion dictionary has been of use. Please bear in mind that fashion is ever-evolving, and for this reason, so is our list of summer fashion terms.

Do you have a word or term to add to our growing list of summer fashion terms? Drop us a line and let us know!

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Beach Notes

Follow Lucy Gibson on the Sand Dollar Blog to find out about her lifestyle, this seasons latest trends and all things beach related. A hub for people who love to chase the sun, sea and sand way of life, whilst looking and feeling their best. We have all the tips to feel just that!