Men's Clothing Key Terms

Accessorize your vocabulary with these men's clothing terms

There are some very important clothing terms that every entrepreneur should know for a business in men’s retail clothing. Knowing the proper jargon for cut and style lets customers and employees know that you are dedicated to, and educated in, the world of men’s retail. These terms are useful when working with men’s clothing manufacturers and ordering shirts, suits, ties and other articles of clothing.

Big and tall

Big and tall clothing refers to a men's selection of clothing that is either bigger in girth or longer in size for jackets and trousers than the standard measurements.


Weight is a word often used when describing the fabric of a suit or jacket. Weight is measured in ounces per fabric yard. The higher the ounce weight of the suit, the thicker the fabric from which it was created. Lighter-weight fabrics are often considered for summer and spring wear, while heavier weights are more commonly worn in the fall and winter.

Button-down collar

The phrase button-down collar is used when discussing men's dress shirts. One small button is used on each side of the collar to hold the collar in place. These are seen on both short- and long-sleeve shirts. Button-down collars originated in England during sporting events so the collar did not flap about during games.

Italian suit, English suit, American suit

In the world of men's clothing, a suit is a set of garments that is made from the same fabric, usually consisting of a jacket and trousers, and sometimes including a vest. The English suit contains two side vents on the jacket, the Italian contains none, and the American contains a back vent.

Saddle shoe

A saddle shoe is a type of shoe worn by men. The shoe laces up and has a leather overlay. The overlay looks like a saddle that covers the top of the arch of the foot.

French cuff

French cuff refers to a type of shirt worn by men, usually with more expensive suits or tuxedos. French cuffs lap over onto themselves and are fastened together with cuff links.

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