Clothes Words

Bandannas

Bandanna is the Hindu word for tie-dye. In the 1700s bandannas were imported to England from India. They were square cloths with dark red or blue backgrounds sprinkled with white or yellow spots. The English used them as neckcloths and handkerchiefs.

Farthingale

A variation on the hoop skirt, a farthingale was a support that extended a skirt horizontally from the waist. The French equivalent of this structure was called a pannier.

Jersey

Jerseys are knitted shirts that originated on the island of Jersey in the English Channel. They are commonly worn for sports.

Jumpsuits

Also called boilers and sirens, these one-piece outfits were first worn in Britain during World War II nighttime air raids by civilians who worked to keep the lights out in London.

Negligee

This was once a term for any informal dress worn by women and men at home. Now the word describes women's sleep wear.

Nightclothes

These were first fashioned in the 1500s. Up until that time people either slept naked or in day clothes.

Petticoat

Meaning a small coat, petticoat was commonly used to describe a shirt. In the nineteenth century it came to mean a women's slip.

Plaid

Plaid is a Gaelic word for blanket. Woolen blankets made in checkered patterns were worn in the British Isles as outer garments to protect against cold weather.

Masks

Beginning in the sixteenth century, European women wore masks to protect themselves from the weather or to conceal their identities.

Sweaters

Both sweaters and sweatshirts are names for jerseys worn for sports. College jocks called them sweaters because they became soaked in sweat after strenuous physical activity.

Wardrobes

This word was first used to describe a room in which clothes were kept. Later it also meant a piece of furniture in which clothes are hung, and clothing itself.


Centuries of Jeans Fashion and DressUnderpants in History

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