A dress is a one-piece garment containing a skirt. What's the word for a one-piece garment that looks like a dress, except it has shorts instead? Are there any qualifiers depending on the length of the shorts?

  • 11
    Actually, "skort" is a garment that starts at the waist, it's not a whole-body garment like a dress, @PhilSweet – Kristina Lopez Nov 2 '17 at 22:03
  • 7
    I think any question about names of clothing articles needs to clearly specify if they want answers for BE or AmE, because the answers will most likely be different. – T.E.D. Nov 3 '17 at 10:33
  • 3
    @T.E.D. there are many clothing terms that have different meanings in AmE and BE. Commonly known examples are jumper, pinafore, and pants. In AmE it's perfectly acceptable to walk out in public with your pants showing. In BE, not so much. – Robert Columbia Nov 3 '17 at 15:10
up vote 18 down vote accepted

It is called a 'Playsuit'. If the length of the shorts increases enough that they become trousers, it would become a 'Jumpsuit'.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Playsuit_(ladies%27_clothing)

  • 7
    In the US in 2017, only children wear playsuits, regardless of what the garment looks like. – 1006a Nov 3 '17 at 2:11
  • 2
    @1006a: Well, children, and Taylor Swift, as the Wikipedia article shows. – sleske Nov 3 '17 at 9:10
  • 9
    @1006a - Yeah, this is clearly a BE answer. "Trousers" isn't a term used often in the US (its "pants"). I believe here its called a "romper" (Kristina's answer). – T.E.D. Nov 3 '17 at 10:33
  • 1
    @sleske That link is to a Daily Mail article, though, which I'm pretty sure is a British rag. La Swift herself didn't call it that. – 1006a Nov 3 '17 at 14:36
  • 1
    @AytAyt their online branch has quite a large US staff, so some American influence creeps in. But not in this case – Chris H Nov 4 '17 at 20:08

The one-piece garment with shorts is sometimes referred to as a "romper", as shown here - from a recent online catalog in the US:

enter image description here

Thanks to @RaceYouAnytime's generosity, here are some additional notes regarding "romper":

The OED describes "romper" as originally referring to a garment worn by children, but it can also refer to adult garments of this sort.

2.a. A one-piece garment covering the trunk and all or part of the legs, worn esp. as a playsuit by a young child; (subsequently also) an all-in-one outer garment for a baby.

2.b. An item of clothing of related design worn by adults: spec. (a) a fashionable, loose-fitting woman's garment combining esp. a short-sleeved or sleeveless top and wide-legged shorts

  • 2
    Woops, I didn't live up to my username this time, you beat me. +1. – RaceYouAnytime Nov 2 '17 at 22:24
  • 4
    Note that some people recently have been trying to promote similar one-piece outfits for men as romphims . – T.E.D. Nov 3 '17 at 10:35
  • 9
    @T.E.D. Oh god. I hope that doesn't catch on - the word or the style... – Michael Nov 3 '17 at 11:07
  • 1
    @T.E.D. That is… truly abominable. Cannot unsee. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 3 '17 at 23:27
  • 1
    @JanusBahsJacquet - Then you (and Michael and his 8 upvoters) had definitely better not go to twitter and look at the #romphim hashtag – T.E.D. Nov 4 '17 at 0:12

I've always heard that referred to as a jumper

  • 3
    Really? – Chris H Nov 3 '17 at 15:59
  • Yes, really. Unless I'm watching BBC America ;-) – Stephen R Nov 3 '17 at 16:00
  • 5
    I've heard 'jumper' when it ends in a skirt, and 'romper' when it ends in shorts. When I was in school we had a uniform and the girls outfits were called 'jumpers', it was a dress-like outfit worn over a t-shirt. (US English) – MMAdams Nov 3 '17 at 18:14

If the lower part is full length and it is a functional garment (rather than a fashion garment), it could be called a coverall (or coveralls). If the top of it is a bib rather than a sleeved garment, it would be called overalls or (rarely) dungarees.

In Australian English this item of dress is a jumpsuit.

This fashion website lists jumpsuits for sale

The length of the legs does not change the name of the item. The defining feature is that it is a slim-fitting top and bottom in one piece. Slim-fitting in that it is not a 'onesie'. Top and bottom in that it is not a overall/coverall/dungaree that requires a separate t-shirt underneath.

I believe these items were last fashionable here in the 1970's and have had a recent resurgence in popularity.

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.