Adjective order

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For a website I'm working on, I'm translating Japanese clothing item names to English. These item names usually consist of a bunch of adjectives and a noun.

I've been using the following categories to put the adjectives in the correct order:
Size/measure, shape, condition, age/period, color/pattern, geographical, material, type, function (noun)

Could you tell me if the order of adjectives is correct for the following item names?

Wide laced cross chain pants - These wide, lace-up pants have a detachable chain with little crosses dangling from it. Does "cross chain" go into the shape, materials or type category? Should I say "cross chained" instead? When do I use -ed at the end of an adjective?
Cross cuffed pants - These pants have little crosses on the cuffs. Can I say "cross cuffed" or does that not make sense?
Striped grosgrain ribbon blouse - The blouse is striped, but the grosgrain ribbon is not. Is this the correct order?
Gathered Cross Arch longsleeve - "Cross Arch" is the type of lace being used. Should it go under materials, even though the item name does not say "lace"?

Thanks in advance!
  • I'd like to stay as close to the original Japanese item name as possible, so I'd rather not use "with .." if the Japanese item name doesn't either, unless there's no alternative.

    Sparky Malarky

    English - US
    "Cross chained" is very confusing. It sounds like there are chains that cross back and forth. When you say "cross" you are talking about the religious symbol, right? This is not usually used as an adjective. A t-shirt with a picture of a cross on it is "a t-shirt with a cross," not "a cross t-shirt."
    Yes, I'm referring to the religious symbol. Come to think of it, "a cross t-shirt" sounds as if the t-shirt is angry. :')

    So, naming a dress with roses on it a "rose dress" is incorrect, and I'd have to name it "rose print dress" or "dress with roses" instead?


    Senior Member
    I agree with Sparky. There are some things that can be described using adjectives and some things that cannot, and "something with crosses on it" is one of the things that cannot. The problem is that cross can mean many things - like Sparky, I thought it meant that the chains crossed backed and forth - but the adjective is never used to refer to the the cross symbol, and that's the case whether it's a Christian cross or the little "x" sign used in tic-tac-toe. Cross doesn't work in describing either the chains or the cuffs.

    In order to make these descriptions even somewhat understandable in English, I really think you need to add some other words, e.g., "striped blouse trimmed with grosgrain ribbon" and "long-sleeved, gathered top embellished with Cross Arch lace." (I have no idea what "Cross Arch" lace is, by the way. Maybe your readers will, though.)

    (Cross-posted with Tiphona)

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Edit to add this is a response to question about a rose print dress ----

    Yes you would. Most of your sample sentences would not conjure up the item you are trying to describe in each case, really. Cross cuffed pants is particularly mind-boggling!
    This is really helpful, thanks! :D

    How do these sound:
    Cuffed pants with crosses
    Striped blouse with grosgrain ribbon

    I'm still working on the others. :)

    Is it incorrect to say "laced pants" instead of "lace-up pants"?

    Cross Arch lace is tulle lace with embroidered arches (the architectural kind you see in churches: ) on it, and under each arch there's a cross (religious symbol). Maybe "Arched Crosses lace" would be better?

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    The first two are better now.
    You probably need new threads if you need to discuss each description in turn.

    Lace is tricky because it has several meanings in fashion terms.


    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    So, naming a dress with roses on it a "rose dress" is incorrect, and I'd have to name it "rose print dress" or "dress with roses" instead?
    I would interpret "a rose dress" as meaning "a rose-coloured dress."

    I'm thinking either "Wide chained laced pants with crosses" or "Wide laced pants with chained crosses" for the first one. Would any of these work, grammar wise?
    "Chained crosses" sounds like a series of crosses which are somehow linked together. I think your best bet is really to describe them as you did in the OP: These wide, lace-up pants have a detachable chain with little crosses dangling from it.


    Senior Member
    I want the description to be as short as possible though. How about Wide laced pants with chain of crosses"?
    If your description must absolutely be as short as possible, that version should work. If you have room for one more letter, then adding "a" would be helpful: Wide laced pants with a chain of crosses.
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