AskDefine | Define placket

Dictionary Definition

placket n : a piece of cloth sewn under an opening

User Contributed Dictionary



An alteration of placard.



  1. a slit or other opening in an item of clothing, to allow access to pockets or fastenings
    • 1922: Dislike dressing together. Nicked myself shaving. Biting her nether lip, hooking the placket of her skirt. — James Joyce, Ulysses
    • 2001: When the placket of his shirt gave way, the stones tore freely into the skin on his chest and back, and he no longer imagined Lucy Hartley enjoying his guitar serenades – he wondered if he would get to the roof alive. — Glen David Gold, Carter Beats the Devil

Extensive Definition

A placket is an opening in a garment or the overlapping layers of fabric that cover or disguise such an opening. Plackets provide support for (or hide) fasteners such as buttons, snaps, or a zipper. Plackets are almost always used to facilitate putting on or taking off the garment, but are sometimes used as a design element as well (non-functional design purposes).
In modern usage, the term "placket" usually refers to the centre-front of a button-front shirt. Plackets can also be found at the neckline of a shirt, the cuff of a sleeve, or at the waist of a skirt or pair of trousers.
Plackets are almost always made of more than one layer of fabric, and often have interfacing in between the fabric layers. This is done to give support and strength to the placket fabric because the placket and the fasteners on it are often subjected to stress when the garment is worn. The two sides of the placket often overlap. This is done to protect the wearer from fasteners rubbing against their skin and to hide underlying clothing or undergarments.
A button front shirt without a separate placket is called a "French Front." If the buttons are covered, it is called a fly front, whether the shirt has a placket or French front.
Historically, a placket or placard may also be:
  • A decorative front-panel used to fill in the opening of a doublet or gown (later called a stomacher).
  • A decorative panel or forepart attached to a woman's petticoat.
  • An opening or slit in a skirt or petticoat to access a separate hanging pocket.


  • OED
  • Mikhaila, Ninya: The Tudor Tailor: reconstructing sixteenth-century dress, ISBN 0-89676-255-6

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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