a women's suit/a coat and skirt/a costume?

englishhobby

Key Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
Russian
Home Country
Russian Federation
Current Location
Russian Federation
What's the most common word for the clothing for women consisting of two or three pieces (a jacket, a skirt and a blouse).
She is wearing a women's suit/a coat and skirt/a costume?
 

bhaisahab

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 12, 2008
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
England
Current Location
Ireland
I'd call it a suit. I think it might depend on the style.
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
Don't all it a costume! What you describe is a suit or a skirt suit.
 

Lynxear

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2007
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
A "costume" is only applicable if the woman was an entertainer and the clothing was part of the entertainment. Also it would apply to all her clothing not just the skirt.

Women don't really were a "suit" as such. I am not sure if this is still a current term but "pant suit" would be more suitable for a woman. A coat is more of something worn over normal clothing.

As an aside, this reminds me of a time when I first met my ex-wife who was British. She was having trouble with her car and I took it to my father who was a master mechanic. We fixed the problem and I returned the car later that day. The following morning I had a phone call from her.

She said, " Did you know that your father left a spanner under my bonnet?"
I laughed saying, "Oh, he left a wrench under the hood of the car, did he?"

If you ask for comments on names for clothing, you should ask identify whether you want a BE or AE answer. The answers could be quite different.
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
Lynxear's "pant suit" ("trouser suit" in BrE) only works if it's a jacket and trousers. A matching jacket and skirt, bought together as a single item in a shop, is a "skirt suit" in BrE. If you told me that a woman was wearing a suit, I wouldn't know if it was a matching jacket and a skirt or a matching jacket and trousers. Having said that, there wouldn't be many everyday situation in which the difference would matter much.
 
Top