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Women in hot countries often wears these clothes at home. The top and the bottom share the same pattern.

Do you say "she is wearing an outfit"?

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Or the above guy wears a T shirt and a pair of shorts which share the same pattern.

Is he wearing an outfit?

The dictionary says "outfit: a set of clothes that you wear together, especially for a particular occasion or purpose"

What if I created my own top-bottom combination that looks weird. For example, I wear a shirt with a tie and jean shorts. Do this set of clothes called "the outfit"?

  • 3
    An outfit is a set of clothes, often worn for a specific purpose or event, often designed to be worn together. The patterns might match, or they might not. It's quite a general word, and could mean almost any combination of clothing. It's best to look up words in a good dictionary if you are unsure of their meaning.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Mar 15 at 11:34
  • 3
    S/he is wearing a matching outfit. We wouldn't refer to 'an outfit' without describing it in some way. Commented Mar 15 at 11:37
  • 4
    Please edit to show that you've looked up the meaning of the word "outfit," and then explain why you suspect it might not apply in these cases. Voting to close for not meeting the basic on-topic requirements for questions about word usage. I would think you'd be familiar with them, but please read the help pages if you haven't yet. Commented Mar 15 at 13:56
  • I'd say that common phrases for the outfit in the picture are 'co-ord set' and 'two-piece set' - that is, an outfit made from matching colours, prints, or fabrics. Whether it's a matching top and skirt outfit or a coordinating jogger and sweatshirt ensemble, co-ords are separates that are designed to be worn together. Commented Mar 15 at 14:29
  • Co-ord sets have become very fashionable in recent years, but I recall that my mother had a 'twinset' 60 years ago. Commented Mar 15 at 14:33

2 Answers 2


The word outfit in American English is most frequently used of an ensemble of clothing, something for the torso, something for the lower half of the body, and it can even include a hat. It refers to how the individual elements look in combination. Most often it is used of women's clothing but not always, and the top and bottom matching does not disqualify the ensemble from being called an outfit.

She was wearing a summer outfit -- a short-sleeved blouse, pedal-pushers, and a straw sun hat.

She was wearing a chic outfit that looked rather like a uniform: a gingham blouse with matching skirt and matching gingham pillbox hat.

This guy came into the luncheonette wearing a strange outfit --military camouflage trousers, combat boots, a white dress shirt with a button-down collar and paisley tie, and a bright yellow hard-hat like you would see at a construction site. He was carrying an armful of blueprints and didn't know where to set them down.

  • What if I created my own top-bottom combination that looks weird. For example, I wear a shirt with a tie and jean shorts. Do this set of clothes called "an outfit"?
    – Tom
    Commented Mar 15 at 14:50
  • 3
    @Tom Yes. It basically just refers to the totality of the look, clothing-wise. Pretty much any articles of clothing worn at the same time could be described as an outfit. Usually the articles of an outfit are intended to go together or fit some common pattern, but you could have a strange, weird or mismatched outfit consisting of random articles of clothing. If you came into work as you described, someone might ask if you picked your outfit in the dark. Commented Mar 15 at 15:04
  • One could use the word in good-natured mockery: That's quite an outfit you've got on there, Tom.
    – TimR
    Commented Mar 15 at 15:17

Collins Dictionary defines outfit:

An outfit is a set of clothes.

M+W says in its noun2b

a clothing ensemble often for a special occasion or activity

Cambridge Dictionary says

a set of clothes worn for a particular occasion or activity

Though the latter two dictionaries mention special and particular, none say that the top and the bottom cannot share the same pattern. Hence, we should be able to use this noun here.

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