Garments Terminology

Garments terms consists of the names of private garments and courses of garments, as well as the specialized vocabularies of the trades that have developed, manufactured, marketed and sold clothing over centuries.

Garments terminology varies from the mysterious (watchet, a light blue shade name from the 16th century) to the everyday (t-shirt), as well as adjustments with time in action to fashion which consequently shows social, artistic, and political patterns.

In spite of the continuous introduction of brand-new terms by stylist, apparel producers and marketing experts, the names for several standard garment classes in English are really secure over time. Gown, shirt/skirt, frock, and also coat are all confirmed back to the early medieval period.

Dress (from medieval Latin gunna) was a standard clothes term for centuries, referring to a garment that hangs from the shoulders. In middle ages and renaissance England gown referred to a loosened external garment worn by both males and females, in some cases short, regularly ankle size, with sleeves. By the 18th century dress had become a basic classification term for a woman’s outfit, a meaning it maintained up until the mid-twentieth century. Only in the last few years has gown lost this basic significance for gown. Today the term gown is unusual except in specialized instances: academic outfit or cap and also dress, evening dress, nightgown, healthcare facility dress, as well as so on (see Dress).

T-shirt and skirt are originally the very same word, the previous being the southern as well as the latter the northern pronunciation in very early Center English. Like gown, shirt is becoming a customized term in Britain, though it keeps its general definition in the United States (see T-shirt).

Layer remains a term for an overgarment, its crucial definition for the last thousand years (see Layer).

Names for brand-new styles or styles in clothing are regularly the calculated innovations of designer or apparel suppliers; these consist of Chanel’s Little Black Gown (a term which has endured) as well as Lanvin’s bathrobe de design (which has not). Other terms are of even more unknown origin.

Clothing styles are often called after people ?? typically with an armed forces connection:

The Garibaldi jacket and also Garibaldi t shirt were bright red woolen garments for ladies with black needlework or pigtail and armed forces details popular in the 1860s; they are named after the Italian cutting edge Giuseppe Garibaldi who saw England in 1863.
The Eisenhower coat or “Ike” jacket is a waist-length, military jacket of The second world war origins. Called the “Jacket, Field, Woollen, M-1944”, it was appointed by after that General Dwight Eisenhower as a new field jacket for the US Forces in Northern Europe. The coat was based upon the British Military ‘Battle Outfit’ coat of the same period.
The cardigan is a knitted jacket or button-front sweatshirt developed to maintain British soldiers warm in Russian winters. It is named for James Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan, that led the Fee of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War (1854).

The Mao coat is an extremely ordinary (usually grey), high-collared, shirtlike jacket customarily worn by Mao Zedong and also the people of China during his routine. Its shabby layout as well as uniformity was a response to pre-Revolution class distinctions of clothing, with elites wearing intricate silks, while poor laborers wore very rough garments.
The Nehru coat is an uniform coat without lapels or collars, popularized by Jawaharial Nehru, the initial Head of state of independent India.

Another abundant source for apparel terms is place names, which typically reflect the origin (or intended origin) of a style. Modern terms such as Bermuda shorts, Hawaiian t shirts, as well as Fair Isle sweaters are the latest in a long line that stretches back to holland (linen), damask (“from Damascus”), polonaise (“in the style of Polish females”), jersey (originally Jersey frock), Balaclava, mantua, and also denim (“serge de after the city).

Costume chroniclers, with a “rearward-looking” view, need names for clothes designs that were not utilized (or needed) when the styles were in fact used. For instance, the Van Dyke collar is supposed from its appearances in seventeenth century pictures by Anthony Van Dyck, as well as the Watteau pleats of the robe are called after their look in the portraits of Antoine Watteau.

Likewise, terms may be used ahistorically to whole groups of garments, to make sure that bodice is related to garments that were called keeps or a pair of bodies until the introduction of words bodice in the late 18th century. And dress is now related to any kind of lady’s garment including a corset and also skirt, although for a lot of its background gown just indicated clothes, or a complete attire of apparel with its ideal accessories.

A remarkable pattern at the turn of the 21st century is “cute” brief types: camisole comes to be cami, hooded sweatshirts or sweatshirts come to be hoodies, and since 2005, short or “diminished” cardigans are cardies.

The much-older term shimmy for “slip” is probably an incorrect singular from shimmy.

Himfr is a scholar, focusing his research on Chinese societies. If you are interested in buying China goods, please see

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