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What is Garment in Fashion? A Complete Guide

What is a Garment?

The word “Garment” originates from the Old French verb ‘garnir’ – to equip or adorn the body with an article of clothing.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word ‘garment’ has been used since the 14th century to describe anything from simple clothes to complex costumes.

However, compared to cloth’s functional attributes of covering and protecting the body, garments have structural and aesthetic constructs that carry cultural symbols or social messages.

‘Garment’ is one of the most common terms in textile and fashion industries, in particular in fashion design, often used as a synonym for¬†clothing, apparel, outfit, and attire.

However, each of these terms has unique meanings, as we’ll see below:

Garment vs. Clothing vs. Apparel vs. Outfit vs. Attire

While Garment, Clothing, Apparel, Outfit, and Attire are used interchangeably, each term has unique meanings that suit different contexts.

Garment Vs. Clothing

‘Garments’ refers to single pieces of clothing, such as a dress, a pair of pants, a suit, a jacket, or a jumper, that has a certain stylistic construct.

On the other hand, ‘Clothing‘ describes all kinds of clothes one could use to cover and protect the body, such as shirts, pants, dresses, and coats.

Garment Vs. Apparel

‘Garment’ describes single pieces of clothing, such as a dress, a pair of pants, a suit, a jacket, or a jumper.

‘Apparel’ describes anything that can be worn on the body, whether clothing, garments, footwear, or accessories.

Garment Vs. Outfit

Unlike ‘Garment,’ which describes a single piece of clothing, an ‘Outfit’ is a combination of ‘Apparel’ (garments, footwear, and accessories) intended to be worn together (as in curated and assembled to depict a fashion style or way of dressing.)

Garment Vs. Attire

Unlike ‘Garment,’ which describes a single piece of clothing, ‘Attire’ describes outfits created for specific occasions or professions.

The word attire highlights the need to wear outfits that respect the situational context.

For example, business attire requires semi-formal suits, footwear, and accessories.

Wedding attire requires formal dresses and outfits comprised of dinner suits and formal shoes for men and long dresses, high-heel shoes, and floral accessories for women.

Similarly, cocktail attire requires a specific semi-casual way of dressing according to unwritten rules.

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Secrets for a Wealthy, Successful, and Confident Look

With over twenty years of front-row fashion and styling events, collabs with haute-couture houses, and a PhD in Luxury Fashion, Laurenti is an expert in crafting personalized looks that depict old-money sophistication.

With years of expertise in high-end fashion collabs and a PhD in Sustainable Fashion, Ru specializes in curating eco-luxe wardrobes for the modern gentleman seeking understated refinement.

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