10 types of openings used in clothes

How do you open clothes? An opening is there for closure in your garment. How’s that for an oxymoron! But it’s indeed true for the openings used in sewing. These are openings sewn into garments to facilitate easy donning and removal, as well as to provide options for securing the garment with various fasteners.

You will find many kinds of openings used along necklines, sleeve hems, waistbands of skirts and pants and skirts – categorized depending on how they are finished or what kind of fastener is used for closure.

A general guideline for openings is gender specific – Women’s garment openings are closed from right to left; Men’s from left to right.

Different openings used in clothes.

Related post: Different kinds of fasteners used in sewing.

1. Faced opening

faced opening in sewing

This most favorite kind of opening is sewn with a facing fabric – a facing is a fabric piece sewn along the edge of the opening and then flipped to the back side. It is understitched to the seam allowance there so that the facing flips easily to the back. The facing is hemmed to the back to keep it in place or left as  it is after finishing its edges. This is usually used for neckline openings and also sometimes for waistbands.

A bias cut fabric is usually used for making the facing. This kind of finishing is mostly used for armhole openings, waistlines and necklines. Learn how to sew facings here

2. Placket opening

plackets as opening

This opening has a placket sewn along the opening to make the opening bigger. A slit is made along the opening and two fabric pieces are joined along the slit to make this opening. This type of Plackets is used along sleeve cuffs, necklines of polo shirts etc. Another way is to make a full open placket – to make this placket add extra fabric along the edge and then fold it to the inside and make a full opening as seen in a shirt. 

The plackets usually have buttons as fasteners. A Henley placket is a partial button or snap front opening, often found in Henley-style shirts, where a few buttons are located at the neckline.

Related posts

3. Hemmed opening

This finishing used in the opening is the simplest. The edge around the opening is folded twice quite narrowly and then stitched. This opening is quite delicate and is used for openings without much strain-Like that of a baby dress or armscye of a sleeveless dress

Related post – How to sew a hem by hand; 5 best invisible stitches to hem ; How to use the rolled hem feet.

4. False placket opening

This opening has a fake placket. There will be no big opening as in the case of a placket opening because the placket is all for a show.

5. Bias Bound opening

bias bound opening

A bound opening uses bias cut fabric strips to bind the fabric edges of the opening. This finishing is usually seen in tops, dresses, blouses etc.

Related post : Fabric edge binding tips. ; Different types of bias tapes

6. Fly Opening 

button fly opening

This opening is seen in pants. jeans,  shorts and sometimes on skirts. The fly openings usually have a zipper fastener and sometimes buttons and buttonholes. The buttonholes will be placed across horizontally

Related post

7. Seam opening

This opening is placed in the seam – usually, this is seen in fitted garments, like close fitting gowns. The waist seam will have an opening which can be fastened with a zipper, usually invisible zipper. A seam opening is also placed in the shoulder seam.

8. Overlapped opening

The kind of opening seen in wrap dresses. One side of the garment will overlap the other side and this is then tied using sashes or ties.

9. Back opening

The opening seen in the back of dresses – could be a full opening or a half opening with button closures or zippers.

opening with invisible zipper

10. Keyhole opening

back opening

The above picture is that of a keyhole opening that is a small, usually rounded or teardrop-shaped, opening often found ususally at the back of a blouse or top. It is secured with a button or hook-and-eye closure.

11. Gathered opening

gathered opening

A gathered opening is gathered with a drawstring, ties or elastic 

drawstring gathered opening

12. Slit opening

Many garments sport side slits or vents as openings, usually designed for ease of movement. Necklines may have slits instead of fasteners.

slits on skirts

What is the name of the a piece of cloth sewn in under a closure?


The piece of cloth sewn in under a closure, such as a zipper or buttons, is commonly referred to as a “placket.” A placket is a strip of fabric that is sewn onto a garment to provide reinforcement and a neat finishing edge for closures, making it easier to open and close the garment.

What are the factors to consider when choosing openings?

Type of your garment (pants generally have a front opening), ease of use (a gathered elastic waist may be more convenient for a small kid), functionality ( fitted garments will have a side opening on the left side), fabric choice (open weave fabrics may have a simple opening), style of the dress (a back opening with keyhole on a blouse for aesthetics)

What are the things which are used to close a garment opening called?

The components used to close a garment opening are called “closures” or “fastenings.

Related posts : Bodice types; Types of gown

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

26 thoughts on “10 types of openings used in clothes”

  1. please could someone tell me what it is called when the back of a garment is open, but laced up with a ribbon . like through eyelets on the sides of the opening???


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