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, 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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After years of managing hundreds of fashion brands from London's office of a global retailer, Mandy has ventured into freelancing. Connected with several fashion retailers and media platforms in the US, Australia, and the UK, Mandy uses her expertise to consult for emerging fashion brands create top-notch content as an editorial strategist for several online publications.