Shopping for wedding attire can feel overwhelming, but understanding wedding fashion terminology makes the process a lot easier. Here is a non-exhaustive list of fashion terms to be aware of so that you can be empowered to know what to look for and advocate for yourself in the fitting room.


Alterations are the changes a tailor makes to ensure that a garment fits properly for each individual wearer. Shortening the sleeves, taking in the bust, letting out a seam and raising the hem are all examples. Alterations may take weeks or even months, so it is important to book your alterations early and be prepared for the possibility of multiple fittings to make sure your garments fit just right.

Bias cut

Bias cut is a technique used to cut fabric. Rather than cutting in a straight line, designers or tailors will cut at an angle to give the fabric more stretch, often resulting in a more comfortable and flattering fit.


A colorway is simply a range of color combinations (that is, multi-color designs rather than individual textile colors) in which a style is available.


Godets are triangle-shaped pieces of material that can be sewn into a skirt to add volume and texture.


Not to be confused with godets, gussets are triangular pieces of fabric added to a seam (often the underarm of a dress) to allow better movement.


The primary difference between a tuxedo and a suit is the inclusion of satin. Typically, tuxedos have satin facing on the lapels, buttons, pocket trim and trousers. Tuxes are associated with a more formal dress code, almost always paired with a bow tie. A suit can be worn with any style of tie, or no tie for a more laid-back look.

Find LGBTQ+ inclusive and affirming fashion vendors in our Equally Wed directory.