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Nine West Shoe & Handbag Glossary
Almond Toe
Refers to the shape of a shoe's toe - a tapered, rounded point looking much like the shape of an almond.
Ankle Wrap
A strap attached at the rear of a shoe that wraps around the ankle.
Antiqued Leather
Light-color leather over which is dyed a darker color to create a contrasting, rubbed-off, aged appearance. This may also be referred to as distressed leather.
Arch
The high or curved part of the sole of the foot, located between the heel and the ball of the foot. Arch can also be used to refer to the raised area of the innersole of a shoe.
Athleisure
Refers to athletic-inspired footwear meant for urban, casual wear..
Ball
The padded area of the foot between the arch of the foot and the big toe.
Ballet Flat
A flat inspired by the classic ballet shoe.
Boot
Footwear that rises to the ankle or higher. Boots can be dressy or casual, practical or fashionable.
Bootie
A shoe that looks very much like a boot but without the shaft.
Brocade
The term comes from Italian broccato meaning "embossed cloth." Brocade is fabric, very often with embroidered or embroidered-style designs. The designs are generally very elaborate.
Brogue
Most often a low-heeled shoe or boot with perforated detailing.
Burnished Leather
An antiqued effect arising from the process of buffing the leather's surface.
Canvas
A heavy, closely woven cloth - usually of cotton, linen or hemp.
Cap Toe
Most often seen on dress shoes, a cap toe is a toe style with a full toe overlay and a straight-stitched line across the top part of the toe.
Circumference
The measurement around the widest part of a boot's shaft - near the top of the boot.
Clog
A closed toe, open back shoe with a platform sole.
Clutch
A woman's purse that is strapless and carried in hand.
Column Heel
A woman's high heel that is round and column-shaped.
Corporate Casual
Shoes that are clearly casual but suitable for most casual Friday dress codes or relaxed corporate styles.
Convertible Handbag
A handbag with a wrist or shoulder strap that may be removed or hidden.
Crepe Sole
A sole characterized by a nubby texture similar to crepe paper.
Croc-Embossed
Leather or synthetic leather that's been embossed or stamped in a pattern to simulate crocodile skin.
Crossbody Bag
Similar to a satchel, yet smaller with a shoulder strap - usually worn so that it diagonally crosses the body, with the bag hanging on the opposite hip rather than straight down from the shoulder. Most crossbody bags have pockets for storing and compartmentalizing personal items neatly and efficiently.
Cross Training
Athletic shoes suitable for cross training activities - from running to aerobics.
Distressed Leather
Leather that has been scratched, rubbed or treated to achieve an aged effect.
Driving Moc
A casual moccasin or slip-on perfect for driving due to its flexible, pedal-gripping sole and protected, wraparound heel.
Elastic Gore
An elastic fabric panel that is inserted into shoes to provide stretch.
Espadrille
Any shoe that has woven rope or rope-look trim, most often found in the shoe's sole area.
Evening Bag
A small handbag made of rich fabric or beaded, ornamented, etc., and carried by women on formal or dressy occasions - used for carrying money and small personal items or accessories.
Faux Leather
Man-made, non-animal material used to simulate genuine leather.
Flat Heel
Shoes with no or a very low heel height
Flip-Flop
A thong sandal that makes a "flip-flop" sound as you walk.
Footbed
The insole of a shoe where the foot rests.
Full-Grain Leather
Leather that shows a natural texture or grain.
Gladiator Sandals
Strappy sandals inspired by the footwear worn by ancient Roman gladiators. Modern styles may feature studs, spikes, buckles or zippers and may have flat, mid or high heels.
Heel Height
A shoe's heel height is measured on a vertical line at the top of the heel, and goes from the bottom surface of the shoe's sole to the floor.
Hobo Bag
A woman's large shoulder bag with a soft or flexible body that forms a characteristic crescent shape between the two ends of the strap. Hobo bags are most often made of soft, flexible materials and tend to slouch when set down.
Huarache
A woven, casual, sandal-like shoe originating in Mexico and Central America.
Innersole
The part of the shoe upon which the foot rests, usually cushioned.
Instep
The area of the foot between the toes and the ankle; also the top front part of a shoe.
Jellys or Jellies
Shoes, most often sandals that are man-made of soft, rubbery materials.
Kitten Heel
A type of tapered, low heel that is slightly set forward.
Lace-Up
A shoe or boot that is fastened with laces: a string (or shoelace) threaded through the eyelets of a shoe used for tying the shoe.
Leather
The hide of an animal that has been treated and tanned.
Lining
The material inside a shoe.
Loafer
A type of low, slip-on shoe that does not have shoelaces or buckles.
Lug Sole
A sole with a heavy, three-dimensional pattern for traction.
Manmade
Not made from an animal.
Mary Jane
A woman's shoe with a strap across the instep.
Microfiber
An exceptionally smooth, closely knit fabric.
Midsole
The part of a shoe between the outsole and where the foot rests, generally cushioned.
Moccasin
A slip-on style with visible stitching, very often with a soft leather bottom. .
Monk Strap
A shoe designed like an oxford but with a strap closure across the instep.
Mule
A backless, closed-toe shoe.
Napa Leather
A type of leather characterized by its stretchy, smooth and soft texture.
Nubuck Leather
A type of leather that has been sanded or buffed on the grain side for a smooth texture with a slight nap. It has a soft, velvety surface and is considered very durable.
Outsole
The bottom of the shoe that actually contacts the ground.
Overlay
The detailing on a shoe made by layering one material on top of another.
Patent Leather
A type of leather that has been varnished for an exceptionally shiny finish.
Pebbled Grain
A leather finish created by embossing leather to create a pebble-like surface..
Peep Toe
An opening at the front of a shoe that allows the toes to show.
Platform Shoe
A high-heel shoe with a thick sole under the front part of the foot.
Polyurethane
A type of man-made material that can be made to have the look and feel of leather.
Pump
A woman's dress shoe with enclosed toe and sides, most often a slip-on.
Quarter Panel
The sides of a shoe from its heel to its toe.
Retro
Imitative of a style, fashion or design from the past.
Riding Boot
A tall, low-heeled or flat boot without laces. Fashion riding boot styles may feature embellishments and varying boot shaft heights.
Ruching
Detailing characterized by gathered or pleated material with stitching accents.
Saddle Shoe
A shoe with a contrast colored instep overlay or "saddle," usually found on golf shoes or retro styles.
Satchel
A bag carried on the shoulder by a long strap and typically closed by a flap.
Scalloped
A type of detailing characterized by round, wavy edges.
Sculpted Heel
A type of high heel molded in one piece, usually out of high-impact plastic.
Shaft Height
Measurement of the shaft of the boot, which is from the top of the boot to the inside seam where the instep and the sole meet.
Siping
A process of cutting thin slits across the rubber sole of a shoe to improve traction in wet or icy conditions.
Slide
A step-in shoe, totally backless with an open or closed toe.
Slingback
A shoe that is backless with a rear strap that goes around the upper heel, usually with a buckle or elastic panel.
Slipper
A flat, casual slip-on - usually worn indoors.
Slouched
Shoes with a baggy, gathered design that slouches down, usually found in boots.
Snake-Embossed
Leather or synthetic leather that's been embossed or stamped in a pattern to simulate snakeskin.
Snip Toe
A type of toe that is tapered, with a squared front as if snipped.
Sock Lining
Inside material of a shoe.
Sole
Another word for outsole, the bottom part of the shoe.
Spectator
A type of shoe characterized by contrasting heel and toe overlays, usually a mid-heeled tailored style.
Stacked Heel
A heel that has horizontal lines, indicating that it is made up of stacked layers of leather, or a heel with that appearance.
Stiletto
A high, tapered, narrow heel also called a "spike" heel, named for a type of slim knife.
Strap Drop
In handbags, the length measured between the top of the bag and the center point of the handle.
Strappy Sandal
A sandal characterized by a multiple-strap design.
Suede
Leather that has been sanded or roughed to produce a surface with a soft texture or nap.
Sueded Fabric
Fabric that has been given a soft nap to simulate the feel of suede leather.
Tailored
Characterized by a fitted, precise design that follows the contours of the foot or body.
Thong Sandal
Any sandal that has material that fits between the toes.
Tote Bag
A medium to large and often-unfastened bag with parallel handles. The name comes from the term tate or tote, meaning to carry.
T-Strap
A shoe with a single vertical strap that links the toe and ankle areas.
Twill Fabric
A woven fabric characterized by a smooth surface and durable wear.
Upper
The part of the shoe that covers the top part of the foot.
Vamp
The front center part of a shoe's upper.
Wallet
A pocket-sized, flat, folding holder for plastic cards, business cards and money.
Wedge
A heel that lies flat to the ground, extending from the shoe's shank to the shoe's back.
Welt
A strip of leather that is stitched as the binding point between the sole and the upper.
Wingtip
A piece of wing-shaped leather stitched over the toe cap of a shoe or boot.
Wristlet
A small purse or small handbag one can wear on one's wrist. Designed to hold plastic cards, business cards, money and small personal items.
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