Learn the Terms - Bodice

October 19, 2017

Learn the Terms - Bodice

The bodice refers to the portion of the dress between the neckline and the skirt. It includes the upper bodice area (front & back), the midriff area, and the waist area. A bodice may include one or more of the following to create the entire bodice.


Corset: a form-fitting bodice with boning and lace-up closures.

Drop waist: bodice that is exaggerated to 3" below the natural waistline or lower. Can be made with Princess seams or darts, be baggy or tightly fit.

Fitted: darts fit the garment to the body, coming either from the side seams, waist seams or both.

Midriff: Area between the "Empire" waist seam and the "drop" waist seam. Fits very closely around the mid-section, accentuating the waist. Can be wide or narrow.

Princess: Princess seams from the shoulder/sleeve area to either the top of the midriff or the waist.

Surplice: sections of fabric cross wrap in the front or the back.

Tank: sleeveless with wide armholes like a tank top.