The dictionary definition of garment is

an item of clothing

Should I write every garment or every piece of garment? The second one sounds more correct to me, but it's wordier. Is the first one grammatically correct also?

An example sentence:

In the suitcase, every garment seems brand-new.

Essentially, is garment countable or not countable?

If it is countable, you can say:

three garments

if not, you have to say:

three pieces of garment


three articles of garment

(if piece or article isn't correct, what noun should I use instead?)

  • 3
    To me a piece of garment would imply just a sleeve of a shirt, or one leg of a pair of trousers. – TrevorD May 8 '16 at 11:39

"Piece of garment" is valid syntax but means (as a comment indicates) a sleeve or leg or some other fragment of a garment.

"Garment" by itself can certainly be used, in singular or plural -- it is a fairly normal countable noun.

"Clothing" is not a countable noun, and so with that word you'd use "piece of clothing".


Garment is a countable noun:

  • a piece of clothing.

I'd avoid using "a piece of garment" to indicate an article of clothing.

Ngram piece of garment vs piece of clothing.

  • If garment is a piece of clothing, then garment and clothing are equivalent, or nearly equivalent? Why do you suggest to "avoid" this usage? Thank you – Zack Xu May 10 '16 at 8:48
  • No a garment is a shirt, a blouse, a pair of trousers etc. You use piece of with clothing because it is a non countable noun, like luggage. A piece of garment is a part of a shirt, trousers etc. – user66974 May 10 '16 at 8:56

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