What are the different parts of a dress called?

What is a dress?

Formal or informal, most dresses usually follow the same pattern, that is, a single piece made out of a skirt and a bodice to cover the top of your body and legs. Those are the main elements, however, a dress can actually be quite complex and have many different elements, on top of the bodice and the skirt, you can also find the sleeves, the hem, the neckline, the train and the straps. 

Different parts of a dress:


The bodice usually refers to the upper part of the dress, the one above the waistline. Some have sleeves, others expose your shoulders, creativity has no limits.


The skirt refers to the bottom part of a dress. It covers the body from the waist down and can vary in sizes and styles, some are very short, others are very long and styles are usually made to match certain occasions or moods. 


As the name implies, a sleeve covers the arm. Not all dresses have them, but there is quite a large variety in those that do, we can usually classify them into two categories:

  • Set-in sleeves: They are attached to the bodice through the underarm.
  • Non-set-in sleeves: They are an integral part or the bodice.


Train dresses are pretty rare nowadays, it refers to the extra piece of fabric that trails behind as you walk on wedding and formal dresses.


Straps have a very simple function, to support the weight of the dress and are usually made from the same fabric as the rest of the dress.


The waistline is essentially the junction between the skirt and the bodice, it is an important part that defines the shape of the dress.


The neckline is the top of a dress that surrounds the neck. There is a lot of variety in this area and can be paired with jewelry.


The hemline refers to the very bottom of the dress. Most pieces of clothes have hems at the end of each extremity. It is essentially a folded edge.