1. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    What are these called?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by OurJud, Sep 6, 2016.

    Diner waitress uniform (she works in a cafe not a diner). Smock (That's more like an apron) Overalls (doesn't give the right image)

    I know this is a 50s style diner waitress outfit, but you do see waitresses in bog standard English caffs wearing similar things. Kind of starchy.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Brindy
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    Brindy Contributing Member Supporter

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    I'd call it a dress. It may be separates, a blouse and skirt
     
  3. I.A. By the Barn
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    I.A. By the Barn A very lost time traveller Contributor

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    Darted and collared shift dress?
    Uniform dress?
    Peter-pan collared dress?
     
  4. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would call it a shirtdress. See the dress in the center of the bottom row below:

    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/ea/8e/16/ea8e16d808e42ac6c85f1c9a8fdec678.jpg

    If I needed to get specific, I would say that it's a shirtdress with a fitted waist, straight skirt, three-quarter-length sleeves, and a round collar. I could start talking about waistline darts, but I think I'm already into too much detail.

    The only ambiguity about the shirtdress is the fact that some shirtdresses don't have a "break" at the waist--they instead just button all the way down. But I think there's a limit to how specific you want to get.

    Vogue calls this a shirtdress:

    https://voguepatterns.mccall.com/v9000

    So it seems clear that as far as they're concerned, a shirtdress doesn't have to button all the way down. The Vogue one has a flared skirt, while yours is either straight or very slightly A-line.
     
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  5. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Perhaps I've used a bad picture. Let me see if I can find another. It's certainly a functional uniform worn by waitresses (not something worn for a night out), and as you describe @ChickenFreak - normally buttons all the way down.

    This sort of thing (I used 'waitress uniform' to find this, so I suppose that's my starter for ten)

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Still just a dress, my man.
     
  7. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    It is indeed still a dress. A dress isn't just something worn for a night out. This one would be a princess-seamed shirtdress with a notched lapel/notched collar. You could just call it a "waitress uniform dress", I suppose.
     
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  8. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    But it's not :meh:

    If I say, 'She stood there wearing a dress.' it tells the reader absolutely nothing.

    I'm over-thinking as usual. All I need to do is refer to it as a uniform.
     
  9. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    If a male waiter is wearing a uniform, is he not wearing pants?
     
  10. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Waitress uniform does the job for me.
     
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  11. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    I mean, sure, it is just a dress, but I don't see any problem with describing what kind of dress / uniform it is. It's not the kind of detail that I'd be likely to include in my writing (unless there was something interesting about it, eg it was was stained or burned or something), but if I did I'd probably refer to it as a frock.
     
  12. zoupskim
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    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

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    A shirt dress! A Shress! a Dirt! Wait wait wait wait...

    Sesstrish.
     
  13. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    So then don't say, "She stood there wearing a dress."

    Say, "She wore a dress with buttons up the front and pockets on her hips."

    Saying any clothing item isn't going to do anything for the reader without a description. I could say someone is wearing a shirt, but you wouldn't know what kind of shirt unless I described it. Same concept.
     
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  14. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    She wore a drab uniform dress in a painful shade of candy-pink, the pockets slumped from the weight of straws and pens and uniform pads. The collar was buttoned all the way up to her neck, a puritanical contrast to a skirt so short that it flirted with indecency.
     
  15. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, but if I said apron you'd know exactly what I meant. An apron wouldn't need describing.
    Yes, and for exactly the same reason if I wanted to make it clear he was wearing a waiter's work clothes, I wouldn't just say 'pants' would I?

    I'm beginning to suspect 'dress' has different connotations here in the UK.

    If I wanted to describe a man working in a warehouse I might say he was wearing overalls (or coveralls as I believe they're known in the US). I wouldn't say 'an all-in-one jump suit type of thing', would I? Because they have a name. I was simply trying to establish if this waitress uniform had a specific name that was escaping me.
     
  16. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's what I'm wondering and, really, the main reason I'm still in the thread. I'm not here to torment you until you agree with me. :) So, what does "dress" mean to you?

    To me, it means a garment that goes from shoulders to past the waist and the "indecency" area :), and serves as sufficient clothing without requiring a shirt or other garment underneath it. If it does require a shirt under it, in the US it's a jumper or possibly a pinafore (though a pinafore tends to more often be just an apron with no back); I don't know what that would be in the UK.

    It doesn't have an implication of formality, dressing-up, or anything of the sort. Now, it would be somewhat unusual to be wearing a dress while (for example) digging in the garden or collecting trash, but if one were wearing a garment that fits the above description while performing those activities, it would still be a dress.

    I don't think it does; I think it's a dress or possibly a uniform dress. You could just call it a uniform, but that doesn't communicate whether it has pants or skirt.

    I found another website that definitely refers to them as dresses:

    http://www.housekeepinguniforms.com/housekeeping-dresses

    You might reasonably say, "But that's housekeeping, not waitressing." And, yep, it is. Interestingly, when I look for restaurant uniforms, I don't see dresses at all. Do uniformed waitresses almost always wear pants these days? When I think of the restaurants that I eat at, the waiters and waitresses seem to usually wear their own clothes, though there's sometimes a sort of unifying theme, like black and white.
     
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  17. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well not here in the UK. A dress suggests an item of clothing (as you describe) but that would be worn for formal engagements, not for working in. When I think of a dress, I certainly don't picture the uniform you see in the pics I've posted. This is quite specifically a working garment in my opinion.
    Well, they call them Housekeeping Dresses to be fair, which identifies it as something different to a dress.

    Also, in restaurants, pants for both men and women is normal I would say, but my waitress works in a little roadside cafe.
     
  18. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    But. But. But. That seems to leave a big gap in your vocabulary. If someone asked you, "Could you hand me the pink dress from the closet?" would you say, "The pink what?" because none of the garments looked like evening wear? Would you be at a loss for what they mean?

    Other UK folks, what would you call a garment that has a bodice attached to a skirt but clearly isn't worn for evening?
     
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  19. Brindy
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    Brindy Contributing Member Supporter

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    A dress. You may expand by calling it a formal dress, day dress, cocktail dress, evening dress, prom dress, mini dress, maxi dress, they are all dresses. I would need more than 'dress' to begin to know what image to conjure up. However, the setting may give clues so if I was in a cafe and a waitress came to take my order wearing a dress, I wouldn't envisage a taffeta full length evening dress. If I was told it was plain, uniform with the cafe's logo on, I'd envisage something similar to the op.

    ETA I am in the UK and been around quite a few years.
     
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  20. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    If all the garments were working frocks like the ones I've posted, then of course I would know to pas the pink one. But if a pink waitress 'dress' was hung up alongside other evening wear dresses (some of which were also pink) the last one I would choose would be the waitress uniform.

    If the asker in question was getting ready for work at the local cafe I would know to pass her the uniform. If we were about to go to a nightclub, why would I ever imagine she wanted her waitress uniform?
     
  21. Brindy
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    Brindy Contributing Member Supporter

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    But you see, it's down to context. If I was getting ready for work and I worked in a cafe it would be the uniform. If I was going out to a dinner-dance/prom/ball it would be the taffeta ball gown. As I said previously you need more than dress, either by description or context.
     
  22. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    But it's still a dress. It sounds like to you, "dress" belongs more to the fancy dresses than to the workday dress, while to me there's no preference whatsoever.
     
  23. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh, that's interesting--"frock". That's not a word used in the US much at all--I wouldn't be surprised if some people would truly not know what it means. To you, is "frock" synonymous with "dress"?
     
  24. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Okay, so I describe a nightclub scene, and say the MC is wearing a 'dress' - you're saying that without a description her dress may very well look like either of the pictures I posted?

    :rofl: I can't believe the damn milage this thread is getting!!

    Pretty much. Although I admit now 'working frock' is quite ridiculous.

    It's getting late and I'm becoming confused.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016
  25. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    No. Why would I be saying that? OK, let's switch to another word: Would you agree that both the waitress and the person in the nightclub would be wearing "shoes"?
     

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