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Usage of the term "suiting"

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
The term "suiting", of course, refers to the cloth a suit is made from, just as jackets are made from jacking and shirts are made from shirting. This I've known for a long time. But over the past few years, I've seen the term used as a collective noun for suits. It seems as if half of the websites that sell suits have now changed their wording from "suits" to "suiting". Is this actually correct usage of the term? Is this a new thing of this decade, or has "suiting" always been a collective noun for suits? I can only recall seeing this recently. My printed dictionaries from the 1990s and earlier only have the definition that "suiting" is the material a suit is made from. Some online dictionaries only have that definition, though the collective noun can be found in many. I get the impression that people and brands now use the term "suiting" as a collective noun just to sound fancy. People who don't know anything about suits use the term because they think it makes them sound knowledgeable. Since it's now in dictionaries, it's legitimate. But is this usage only a recent development?
post #2 of 22
Add the misuse of the word "bespoke" to this.
post #3 of 22

It's become a marketing term, with businesses hoping it projects an air of sophistication.

 

When money and language conflict, money usually wins.

 

Cheers,

 

Ac

post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Academic2 View Post

It's become a marketing term, with businesses hoping it projects an air of sophistication.

When money and language conflict, money usually wins.

Cheers,

Ac

It's not just businesses that use it but also magazines and newspapers in their articles about suits. Whenever I read a New York Times article about men's style these days they always mention "suiting".
post #5 of 22

And I'm sure we all know that in many quarters today when referring to shoes the word 'oxford' denotes just about any shoe with lacing that isn't an athletic shoe.

 

Semantic drift.

 

Cheers,

 

Ac

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Academic2 View Post

And I'm sure we all know that in many quarters today when referring to shoes the word 'oxford' denotes just about any shoe with lacing that isn't an athletic shoe.

Semantic drift.

Cheers,

Ac

But this isn't so recent. Americans have used the term "oxford" for a lace-up shoe at least since the 1960s. Americans have the term "balmoral" for what the British call an Oxford. This to me is more of a regional difference than a semantic drift. How far back does the current usage of "suiting" go?
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt S View Post

The term "suiting", of course, refers to the cloth a suit is made from, just as jackets are made from jacking and shirts are made from shirting. This I've known for a long time. But over the past few years, I've seen the term used as a collective noun for suits. It seems as if half of the websites that sell suits have now changed their wording from "suits" to "suiting". Is this actually correct usage of the term? Is this a new thing of this decade, or has "suiting" always been a collective noun for suits? I can only recall seeing this recently. My printed dictionaries from the 1990s and earlier only have the definition that "suiting" is the material a suit is made from. Some online dictionaries only have that definition, though the collective noun can be found in many. I get the impression that people and brands now use the term "suiting" as a collective noun just to sound fancy. People who don't know anything about suits use the term because they think it makes them sound knowledgeable. Since it's now in dictionaries, it's legitimate. But is this usage only a recent development?

'Suiting' is, of course the cloth.

'Jacking' is a verb. As in, ...off
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt S View Post


But this isn't so recent. Americans have used the term "oxford" for a lace-up shoe at least since the 1960s. Americans have the term "balmoral" for what the British call an Oxford. This to me is more of a regional difference than a semantic drift. How far back does the current usage of "suiting" go?

 

I doubt it predates the internet.  As you mentioned, it is simply folks trying to sound fancy.

 

Also, I believe what AC meant was using "oxford" to describe any shoe dressier than Chuck Taylors having laces.  In other words, blurring the "open lacing/closed lacing" distinction.  I have even noticed that on Alden & AE's websites, i.e. referring to a derby or blucher as an oxford.  Folks you'd think would know better. 

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt S View Post

The term "suiting", of course, refers to the cloth a suit is made from, just as jackets are made from jacking and shirts are made from shirting.

I've been jacking for years and still haven't made one jacket out of it.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt S View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Academic2 View Post

And I'm sure we all know that in many quarters today when referring to shoes the word 'oxford' denotes just about any shoe with lacing that isn't an athletic shoe.

Semantic drift.

Cheers,

Ac

But this isn't so recent. Americans have used the term "oxford" for a lace-up shoe at least since the 1960s. Americans have the term "balmoral" for what the British call an Oxford. This to me is more of a regional difference than a semantic drift. How far back does the current usage of "suiting" go?

 

Actually the (knowledgeable) British distinguish between an oxford and a balmoral, or at least they used to (the balmoral has a horizontal seam running across the quarters, like the boot of the same name), just as they distinguish between a derby and a blucher.

 

Cheers,

 

Ac

post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt S View Post

The term "suiting", of course, refers to the cloth a suit is made from, just as jackets are made from jacking and shirts are made from shirting. This I've known for a long time. But over the past few years, I've seen the term used as a collective noun for suits. It seems as if half of the websites that sell suits have now changed their wording from "suits" to "suiting". Is this actually correct usage of the term? Is this a new thing of this decade, or has "suiting" always been a collective noun for suits? I can only recall seeing this recently. My printed dictionaries from the 1990s and earlier only have the definition that "suiting" is the material a suit is made from. Some online dictionaries only have that definition, though the collective noun can be found in many. I get the impression that people and brands now use the term "suiting" as a collective noun just to sound fancy. People who don't know anything about suits use the term because they think it makes them sound knowledgeable. Since it's now in dictionaries, it's legitimate. But is this usage only a recent development?


Suiting and coating bother to the cloth.

Jacking is jacking off and has nothing to do with cloth whatever.

To the class of shop to which you refer, knowledge is not required, quality is a burden of the trade that is best ignored and in fact all that is wanted is a steady stream of saps crossing the threshold to be parted from the money for the tat on offer within.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GBR View Post

Jacking is jacking off and has nothing to do with cloth whatever.

You're a legend.
post #13 of 22

"Pricepoint" to mean "price range" or simply "price" is much more annoying to me.

post #14 of 22
I'd like to interest you in some vintage heritage curated selvedge suiting complete with YKK zipper fly and Goodyear welted full canvas. Made the same way are grandfathers did by firelight
post #15 of 22
It's an evolution in the common use of the word "suiting." The English language does evolve, in the meanings and connotations of words, in idiom, in grammar, etc.

For example, not many years ago, "Recommend me a tailor," would have immediately struck people as something which might have been asked by someone not fully fluent in the English language. (The proper form of the request being more along the lines of, "Recommend a tailor," or "Give me a recommendation to a tailor," or something similar.)

But the "Recommend me a...," construction has taken the Internet by storm, to the extent that it's become somewhat common usage.

For that matter, there was a time prior to the rise of online menswear forums when American men felt free to refer to "suspenders" and "pants." Today, of course, most well dressed American men feel compelled to adopt British usage - braces and trousers.
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