Tuesday, August 23, 2011


The internet has a way of expanding the English language and ever since discovering the tailored clothing forums I have also encountered a term that I had never heard used outside of the internet, and that was "quarters". As in, a way of describing the shape of the front of the coat. Whereas in tailoring circles, or the ones I have always frequented, anyway, have generally referred to a "straight front" or a "cutaway front", the internet usage has people referring to "open quarters" and "closed quarters". Which sounds more like an architectural term to me, but whatever. I never understood where the term might have originated, suspecting one of the forum stars may have coined it and it become an iTailor meme.

Well, I think I know where it comes from now.


An illustration from the book I referenced in my last post, showing the "forequarter" of the coat, something more commonly called the forepart, particularly since coats have generally been cut in six pieces since the 1930s, not four. So while it is not completely without precedent to refer to the "quarters" of a coat, it's something you might more readily find at "ye olde taylor shoppe". But then, the iGentry seem to fond of anachronisms, and so it is perhaps appropriate.



Unknown said...

Since starting my own pursuits, that's one of the things that I've constantly had to been en garde about.. all of these terms that overlap depending on the era, hemisphere, the country, the tailor, the style, etc, etc.. It just keeps going on and on. I like it. :) Good idea, there..

SG said...

FYI, the general German term is "Abstich", which can be translated with "cut off". Besides the DB version (square) there is also the regular rounded one, which,depending on the tailor/ designer might get attributes like "conservative" or "flott" (no really good translation for that term, I'd say best translates with fancy or fashionable). The terms "gewagt" or "kühn" (daring or bold) would describe anything that is not regularly seen in cutting manuals or tailoring magazines and varies from era to era. In any case it's not really within the German taste charts. ;)

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