According to Webster’s Dictionary:
Definition of SKIRT
a (1) : a free-hanging part of an outer garment or undergarment extending from the waist down (2) : a separate free-hanging outer garment or undergarment usually worn by women and girls covering some or all of the body from the waist down b : either of two usually leather flaps on a saddle covering the bars on which the stirrups are hung c : a cloth facing that hangs from the bottom edge or across the front of a piece of furniture d : the lower branches of a tree when near the ground
There are three major silhouettes where skirts are concerned. But those silhouettes can be achieved through various design and construction methods.
Flared: Narrower at the hip than at the hemline.
A-Line; Fitted at the hip and gradually widens towards the hem, giving the impression of the shape of a capital letter A.
Godets; Flared triangular sections inserted into garments.
Gored; Vertical strips of fabric that are narrow at the top and wide at the bottom.
Paneled; Strips of fabric the same size at top and bottom.
Tiered; Horizontal strips of fabric gathered and sewn together to form a skirt wider at the hem.
Yoked: A form fitting yoke across the hip with a fuller skirt attached. Can be pleated, gathered, paneled or gored.
Full: Flares from the waist to the hem.
Circle; Forms a complete circle when laid out on a flat surface.
Dirndl; A full gathered skirt. It has a narrower line and smaller sweep than the Bouffant.
Bouffant; Tightly gathered at the waist and flares fully at the waist and is very full at the hemline. This term was only used for a couple of years and refers to the extreme sweeps on some hemlines.
Bubble; Gathered at the waist and hemline to create a Bubble
Bell; Forms a Bell shape at the Hip and is usually a bit narrower at the hemline
Harem; A Bubble skirt that is attached to a narrow band of fabric at the hemline
Straight: Forms a straight line from the hip to the Hem.
Pencil; Very Narrow Straight Skirt
Wiggle; Narrower at the knee than at the Hip. The Wiggle skirt is like the Unicorn. It exists only in people’s imagination. Some illustrations appear to be a wiggle skirt but if it has a kick pleat or the hem circumference is as wide or wider than the hip line it is not what is considered a Wiggle Skirt.
Flounced; Straight skirt with wide ruffle, pleats or other treatment at the hem.
Pleats; Fabric is folded and stitched in place. Pleats can be stitched only at the top or part way down the entire skirt. There are several types of pleats.
Box: Two folds turned away from each other with underfolds meeting in the middle.
Inverted: Box pleats in reverse with the folds turned toward each other and meeting at the top.
Knife: Folded over one time so that all folds face in the same direction.
Accordion or Crystal: Pressed along the entire length with folds resembling the bellows of an accordion. These pleats are usually done by a commercial pleater.