Little Details

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name of a part of a shirt?
frida and god
dragonyphoenix wrote in little_details
On a button-up blouse or shirt, down at the bottom of the front of the shirt, there are two panels that hang down a bit longer. They can be tied into a knot around the waist. I'm trying to work out what they are called.

The scene I'm trying to describe is from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie - yes, I'm writing fanfic if that makes a difference - in the locker room where Merrick throws the knife at Buffy. I need to describe how part of the blouse she's wearing is tied around the waist into a knot because Merrick is thinking it would make a handhold for an enemy to grab. Knowing what the parts of the blouse she'd tied together would be very helpful.

I tried Googling parts of a shirt and found images of shirts describing parts of a shirt but they only tell me that the corresponding backside of the shirt is called a tail but don't say what the front parts are called.


Front or back, I'd call it a shirt tail. (And that is the term I would have used when I wore that style. Strictly speaking, you're tying the bottom of the shirt fronts together.)

I would call it a tail as well, though I might specify "front tail."

I second this. The first term I thought of was a "shirt tail", but specifying it's in the front might be closer.

Thanks. That's helpful because I wasn't sure front tail would make sense to people.

I wasn't sure if "front tail" would make sense but it does seem to be working for people. Thanks.

Actually "she'd tied the bottom of the shirt fronts together" might be exactly what I want to say. Thanks.

That would confuse me, even if you said "she'd tied the bottom of HER shirt fronts together". It still made me think of two shirts.

Maybe "Her shirt tails were knotted at her waist, which would have made a grip for an opponent"?

Or "the /adjective/ shirt's tails were tied at her waist".

'At her waist' makes it clear it was the fronts we are talking about, as well as giving a visual.

'Shirt front' makes me think of an old-timey starched or plastic insert -- Google for 'shirt front' and scroll down.

Okay, thanks. Back to the drawing board. ;-)

I know how this thing is called in Russian so I looked in the dictionary :) but thinks this part of the blouse is called front. Sorry that it's not helpful :)

Thank you for trying. "front tail" seems to be the consensus in English.

The only mention I could find of the different shirt tails being called something different is this site, where they refer to 'front and back tails.'

I haven't seen any special name given in sewing patterns before.

Thank you. That helps a lot.

The only mention I could find of the different shirt tails being called something different is this site, where they refer to 'front and back tails.'

(So the link was marked as spam. If you look up "How Long Should the Front be of an Untucked Button Up Shirt?" you'll find it.)

I haven't seen any special name given in sewing patterns before.

"front tails" does seem to work. Thanks,

The best I found via Google was "front tie blouse" or "tied waist blouse", describing the actual style of the shirt and not the ties themselves. You may have some luck looking on a clothing site for blouses and see if there is a different name for it.

I would imagine if you simply said something like "Merrick eyed the knotted fabric at Buffy's waist" it would still get the point across. Wish I could be more helpful!

I didn't even think of describing the blouse as a whole that way. Thanks, that's very helpful.

Costume professional here:

They're called shirt tails. There is no term that will specifically identify the front tails from the back, other than front and back. The commenter who suggested that you call it the "front shirt tail" has given you the best term that exists in English.

There is a specific term for that manner of wearing a shirt, in which the front shirt tails are tied in a knot in front, usually with the buttons unfastened: it's called midriff style, especially if the knot is tied high, just under the breasts, so that the midriff is exposed. It first became fashionable in the US (in a manner of speaking; it's always been a casual look) in the late 1960s.

There's also a specific name for the portion of the shirt that forms the front, on both sides, where the buttons and buttonholes are: it's called the placket. "Placket" is a term that most non-costume/fashion/clothing professionals will not understand, but "shirt tail" should be easily understood by most readers.

Thanks. midriff style. That makes sense. I've worn it that way myself, way back when I was a teen, but I never actually called it anything.

I'm using the phrase "shirt tail" but also describing it well enough that I think it'll be clear.

A little late, I know, but if you just say something like 'she had tied the tails of her shirt up under her breasts, exposing her belly' or suchlike, everyone will know what you mean, especially if they know that she's wearing a button-up 'dress' shirt. And since tying the 'back' tails under your boobs is pretty impossible, nobody will be confused.


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