SF/F Genre Glossary

shoe bazaar photo
Photo by Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho  (CC)

I’ve been looking for a writer’s reference on clothing items, but haven’t had much success, so I’ve put together this list. It’s incomplete,  more modern than not, more western-centered than not, but it’s a start.

Without further ado:


Pants / Bottoms
slacks
trousers
breeches
britches
legging
shorts
dungarees
cullotes
jodhpurs
khakis
sirwal trousers
hakama

Skirts
kilt
sarong
wrap
pareo
malong

Dresses
ball gown
sheathe
dirndl
evening gown
frock
kimono
mumu
sari
shift
wrap
pouf
qi pao
shirtdress
halter
lehenga
hanbok

Tops
shirt
blouse
tunic
button down
caftan
cardiagan
cossak
dashiki
dinner acket
Blazer
shalwar kameez/ qamis
overshirt
pullover
sweater
woolens
smock
happi

Coats
anorak
blazer
housecoat
parka
overcoat
peacoat
poncho
raincoat
robe
waistcoat
duffle
trench
bolero
aba

Undergarments
nightgown
corset
lingere
long johns
long underwear
nightshirt
camisole
petticoat
shift
shamla
bloomers
knickers
bra / brassiere
bustier
panties

Footwear
boot
shoe
galoshes
sandals
slippers
moccasins
gaiter
zori
ghille
espadrille
wing tip
loafer
tabi

Head Gear
headscarf
helm
porkpie hat
sombrero
stetson
top hat
trilby

Accessories
apron
scarf
ascot tie
bandanna
cape
bonnet
bow tie
cravat
cuff links
gloves
handkerchief
mittens
pinafore
mantle
shrug
stockings
veil
stole
suspenders
turban
sash
earrings
ear cuff
earring
obi
belt
hood

Other
applique
epaulets
filigree
jouy print
knife pleat
lettuce hem
mandarin collar
ombre
paperbag waist
seersucker
houndstooth
yoke
welt pockets
A-line
empire waist
high waist
drop waist
blouson
tent
strapless
slit
flounce
godet
pleated
trumpet
paillettes
linen
cotton
wool
silk
satin
velvet
draping
embroidery
damask
paisley
brocade
shibori


Also! A link with images. This is more modern fashion/sewing terms: Enerie Fashion and Lifestyle.

Please help me add to this list 🙂

8 Comments

SF/F Genre Glossary

This is a continuation of the Speculative Fiction Genre Glossary Project posts. For the complete genre index click here.

The spiral staircase
The Spiral Staircase by Risachantag

What is Science Fantasy?

  1. Science fiction with supernatural or fantasy elements.
  2. Science fiction that is far enough removed from our current understanding of plausible reality, it reads like fantasy.

Neither definition provides an absolute classification. What qualifies as science fantasy is sometimes debatable. Some science fiction includes supernatural elements such as telepathy, and the latter definition depends on how science fiction and fantasy are defined.

Subgenres of science fantasy: planetary romance, dying earth, and sword and planet.

Further reading:

11 Comments

SF/F Genre Glossary

This is a continuation of the Speculative Fiction Genre Glossary Project posts. For the complete genre index click here.

Grey Render Fight
Grey Render Fight by nJoo

What is Sword and Planet?

A genre that is closely related to sword and sorcery, and planetary romance. However, unlike sword and sorcery, adventures take place on another planet, and unlike planetary romance, the alien world is primitive. An ailen society may posess some advanced technology, but its use is not central to the plot. Often the hero is the lone human survivor or castaway, and swords are preferred as means of warfare.

Literary Examples:

  • John Carter of Mars Series by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • Gor Series by John Norman
  • Callisto Series by Lin Carter

If anyone asked me what this genre was, I’d probably say: It’s sword and sorcery… in space! Most of these books were published pre 1980’s, but a John Carter movie is slated to come out in 2012. Hmm! I wonder if we’ll suddenly start seeing more books in this genre…

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