Why Do Fashion People Needlessly Drop the 'S' From Words?

Illustration for article titled Why Do Fashion People Needlessly Drop the 'S' From Words?

"Let's pair that look with a red shoe;" "This will work with a pant;" "I want to see her with a nude lip." What the fuck happened to plurals in fashion? When did everything suddenly turn into one singular sensation?


Those who work in the fashion have seemingly always had their own insular, ever-evolving language that's equal parts vapid and hilarious. But thanks to the reality TV success of celebrity stylists like Rachel Zoe and Brad Goreski, the general public has become familiarized with it to, frankly, an annoying degree. (Does anyone else get second-hand embarrassment for those who abbreviate "major" to "maj"?)

By its very nature, fashion is influential, so whenever words get invented to describe a new article of clothing—skort, jeggings, etc.—it's not unusual for it to get absorbed into the real world's lexicon. But popularizing portmanteaus is one thing—changing existing words is another. For some time now, the fashion industry has been dropping the "s" off of words, turning "jeans" to "jean," "lips" to "lip," "pants" to "pant," and—most egregious of all—"trousers" to "trouser." (And within the entire genre of "shoe," words have been shortened to "wedge," "heel," "platform.")

And it's not just high fashion. This has trickled down to the mall. The Gap is now referring to "shorts" as "short." I short you not. My question is: why?

Rachel Braier at The Guardian suggests it's a "less is more" thing:

Is it that the soft, curvaceous form of the letter S offends these rail-thin style mavens? Will they start using other letters in its place? Perhaps K or Z with their bold and angular lines will become a more fashionable choice.

She's half-joking, but it sounds plausible, like that there's at least a kernel of truth to the idea that, in some fashion savant's subconscious, plural means "bigger" and "bigger" is not as chic as "smaller." I know that sounds stupid—but so does referring to "panties" as "a panty." It's all stupid, so it would only make sense that the etymology would be as well.

The trouser is so now in the singular world of fashion [Guardian]



I love pairing a black boxer with a complementary white shoe.