When did it become a common expression to describe trousers, pants, pantsuits and jackets?
The Oxford English Dictionary lists the term as being from the mid-18th century and was used in the US and elsewhere for pantsuits in the early 19th century.
It was popularised in the 1920s by the British clothing designer, John Winton.
The Oxford Dictionary also notes that “dressy” refers to trousers, which in turn refers to a suit, dress or coat.
It’s been used as a slang term for a number of years, according to The Washington Post’s Dictionary of American Slang and Unconventional English.
“Dressy trousers” were a term used by British fashion writer William Morris in the mid 1800s.
“Dressing trousers” refers, in part, to a combination of a pair of trousers and a dress.
In the early 1900s, the term was used as slang for trousers and was popularized by the US fashion designer, Edward Hopper.
“You know the difference between a dress and a suit?”
Mr Hopper asked in the 1936 film “The Great Dressing Up” (which starred Humphrey Bogart).
“A suit is a dress that goes with your coat.”
“The drape and trimming are the very things of the season,” he added.
Dress trousers became a trademark for the American designer in the 1930s, when they became part of the British wardrobe.
Mr Hopper was one of the early designers to adopt the term.
He also used the term in an advertising campaign, when the American publisher, HarperCollins, featured the jacket and trousers of a man named Ernest Jolson.
Mr Jolson was a famous actor who had appeared in the films “The Last Temptation of Christ” and “The Magnificent Seven” and was known for his fashion sense.
The ad also featured a photograph of Jolson and the jacket.
American author and actor Fred Astaire said that when he met Mr Jolson, the actor used the word “dressed” to describe a pair in the style of a suit.
“He said, ‘I’m dressed.’
It was not a joke.
He didn’t mean it in a funny way,” Mr Astaire told The Associated Press.
His ad was later taken down.
“The word dressy means ‘to dress’, ‘to have a suit,’ ‘to wear something’,” said the writer and actor.
What about the trend for “dressing pants” and other “dress” phrases?
When did the phrase become a slang word?
In the 1930’s, the British fashion designer Edward Hooper used the phrase “dress trousers” in a photograph.
They were popularised by the American fashion designer John Wesson in the late 1800s, according the Oxford English Dictionaries.
The British clothing critic William Morris used the expression “dresses” in his 1930s ad campaign.
“A dress is a suit that goes on your coat,” he said in the film “Mulan” (1936).
“The trimming and drape are the signs of the summer season.”
American actor Humphrey, Jr. and fashion designer Ralph Lauren both adopted the term to describe their own style of trousers.
“I am dressed,” Mr Winton said in his 1936 film.
In an advert for the US film, “The Temptations of Christ”, the man with the jacket is wearing a dress shirt and trousers, while the woman is wearing trousers.
Why do some men and women use the term dressy in different ways?
“Dressed” can be used in a way that suggests a certain level of sophistication, but can also imply casualness, the Washington Post said.
There are some men who like to wear a suit and a tie.
And there are some women who don’t mind dressing in a dress but prefer a skirt and a blouse.
What do they mean when they say dressy?
“To be dressed is to have something formal about your appearance, to look more refined and polished,” said Ms Chirinos, of the American Association of University Women.
“If you’re wearing trousers and you look like you’re in your twenties, you’re a little bit dressy,” said Mr Wesson.
Who is the man in the photograph?
The man is wearing white trousers.