Navigating the lingo on any garment can be confusing, but that is especially true for the parts and pieces of a jacket. Read on to learn learn what each part of a jacket is called so you can talk the talk when needed.
Note that there is no one style of jacket and there is a lot of variation from style to style. Your jacket might not have all of these bits and bobs, and there might be elements of flair that your jacket has that the diagrams are missing, but all the key elements (and a wee bit of flair) are included.
The front of the jacket
1. Sleeve vent and buttons
Most jackets have a mini vent in the sleeve seam at the hem. This is just like a vent on the back of a jacket, where one side of the sleeve overlaps the other, creating a small opening. It’s often decorated with anywhere from one to four decorative buttons.
2. Sleeve seam
This is the seam along the back of the sleeve where the upper sleeve and the under sleeve are joined.
3. Sleeve head (or cap)
The point of the sleeve just to the other side of the shoulder seam is the head or the cap. This is one of the key fitting points on any jacket. If you’re working with a tailor, you’ll probably discuss the sleeve head or cap at great length to ensure correct fit.
4. Collar notch
The corner on the lower portion of the collar (the lapel) is the notch, and this style of collar is referred to as a “notched collar.”
5. Front upper collar
All collars have a front and a back, as well as an upper and an under. This part of the collar is on the top of the jacket. On top of the collar is the front upper collar.
The under collar is the part of the collar that is unseen when worn; it’s under the upper collar. Often the under collar is cut slightly smaller than the upper collar, so the seam on the collar rolls to the underside and is less visible.
7. Back facing
The bit of fabric between the lining and the under collar is the back facing. It attaches to the front facing to finish the opening of the jacket.
8. Collar roll
The point where the collar rolls from the upper to the under side is called the collar roll.
9. Back lining pleat
The back of the lining has a pleat to allow your body to move inside the jacket without tearing the lining. The pleat is located at the top of the lining where it joins the back facing.
10. Collar gorge
The seam where the lapel and the upper collar join, at the notch, is called the gorge.
11. Back lining
The back portion of the lining is seen inside the jacket from the front. This is attached to the remaining pieces of the lining inside the jacket.
12. Collar lapel
The lower portion of the collar is called the lapel. This part of the jacket varies in width based on style and trends.
13. Break line
The coat is buttoned in the front and “breaks” at that point, allowing the collar to roll open.
14. Jacket front
The portion of the front from the shoulder or yoke to the hem, closest to the collar and front opening, is the jacket front. Sometimes there is a dart in this piece for shaping.
15. Jacket side front
The section between the jacket front and the side seam is the jacket side front.
16. Pocket flap
Most jackets have a pocket of some sort around this point of the body, and many have a flap on the pocket, either on top of the pocket that is hiding underneath, or just under a pocket opening.
17. Front buttons
To close up the jacket, buttons are at the center front. Jackets like this typically have one to four buttons, depending on the styling. Double-breasted jackets have twice as many for the overlap.
18. Jacket center front
The center line of the jacket, down the front of the garment, is the jacket center front.
19. Side seam
The point where the side front and the side back pieces join is the side seam. This seam goes from under the arm to the hem.
20. Sleeve front
The portion of the sleeve that faces out on the front of the jacket is the sleeve front.
21. Welt pocket
In conjunction with the pocket flap, there will likely be a welt pocket, either hiding under the flap, or just above the flap.
22. Side front seam
The jacket front and the jacket side front are joined at the side front seam, which is often a curved seam for fitting.
23. Chest pocket
Some jackets have a simple welt pocket at the chest. This is where a pocket square would be placed, if using one.
24. Yoke front
Not all jackets will have a yoke, but if there is one, it spans from the back over the shoulder to the front of the jacket. The part of the yoke that’s on the front side of the shoulder is the yoke front.
The back of the jacket
25. Upper sleeve
Most jackets have a sleeve made up of more than one single piece. The top portion is the upper sleeve.
26. Under sleeve
The lower part of the multi-pieced sleeve is the under sleeve.
The curved opening that goes around the arm (from over the shoulder to under the arm pit) is the armscye. For your reference, it is pronounced arm-sigh.
The shoulder, along with the armscye and sleeve head, is another major point of fitting in any jacket. It is the seam that runs from the sleeve to the neck.
29. Back upper collar
The top portion of the back side of the collar is the back upper collar.
30. Yoke back
If your jacket has a yoke, the portion on the back of the jacket is the yoke back.
31. Center back seam
Most coats have a seam that runs from the neckline to the hem down the middle of the coat. This is the center back seam.
32. Side back seam
The seam where the jacket back and jacket side back are joined is the side back seam. This seam is often curved for quality fitting, much like the side front seam.
33. Jacket side back
The jacket side back is the section of fabric that connects the jacket back to the jacket side front.
34. Jacket back
The section of fabric between the side back seam and the center back seam is the jacket back.
35. Back vent
Most coats have a back vent to allow for movement when wearing the jacket. Often the vent is placed at the bottom of the center back seam. Sometimes it’s a pair of pleats on either side of the center back, sewn into the side back seams.
36. Jacket hem
The bottom of the jacket, all the way around the entire jacket, is the hem.
37. Sleeve hem
The bottom of the sleeve, around your wrist area, is the sleeve hem.
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