in wife's wear

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Senior Member
Hi all,

If you can differentiate between what unmarried women wear and what married women wear traditionally, what would you call the two? Is it "girl's wear" and "wife's wear"? Or maybe in plural: girls' and wives' wear?

This is again a note for a photo:

A young Mongolian woman in wife's wear.

Thanks a lot!
  • Istarion

    Senior Member
    British English
    In English, as far as I'm aware, we simply don't differentiate at all. Both married and unmarried women wear the same clothes, and call them the same thing. I might translate your photo caption, therefore, as "A young Mongolian woman in the traditional dress of married women," although since I don't know what the photo is for I can't comment on whether that would be suitable.

    Hope it helps,


    Senior Member
    USA - English
    The traditional distinction was between the clothing of a "matron" and the clothing of a "maiden". While these words sound old-fashioned to the modern English ear, that is only because the distinction between what is worn by the two classes of women is no longer observed. If you find the words too formal, you can say "the clothes of a married woman" and "the clothes of an unmarried girl."


    Senior Member
    Matrons' clothing. "Wear" as a noun sounds too "modern" to my ear. I would expect plural (as in "children's clothing", "men's clothing", etc.). (A possible exception to the "rule" is that I have always imagined "sheep's clothing" had the singular "sheep", but it could be the plural "sheep".)
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