What is an outfit these days if not an OOTD? That acronym, often in hashtag form, is widely used by fashion bloggers for their “outfit of the day”, usually on trend, always photographed. It may surprise fashionistas to learn that the word “outfit” originally referred, in the mid-18th century, to the act of fitting out or equipping a ship for a journey, expedition or battle – a meaning now obsolete. Another related meaning at that time involved the articles and equipment required for an expedition, later meaning equipment of any kind. Only in the mid-19th century did outfit’s meaning extend to refer to a set of clothes, often including accessories. An early example comes from R.H. Dana Jnr’s 1840 memoir of his two-year voyage from Boston to California on a merchant ship, describing “the usual outfit of pumps, white stockings, loose white duck trowsers”. The pandemic, though preventing many expeditions, is influencing outfit choice. Fashion terms originating in the 1970s are seeing frequent online searches, namely “loungewear” and “ athleisure ” – the latter a hybrid of workout clothes and loungewear as reflected in the linguistic blend of “athletic” and “leisure”. New items have evolved: the work-from-home context requiring a shirt or blouse kept on the back of one’s chair to be quickly presentable for video conferences has given us the “Zoom shirt”. Another 2020 innovation is “biz-leisure”, coined by Harper’s Bazaar magazine – the look amalgamates dressy and more relaxed pieces, and the word compounds the clipped “biz” from business, with “leisure”. The emergence of quarantine-wear underscores the word “fashion” as the prevailing style of clothing, hair, decoration or behaviour at a particular time. But this isn’t its only meaning. “Fashion” comes from the Old French façon , fazon , deriving from the Latin noun faction-em from the verb facere, “to make”. In some archaic and mostly obsolete meanings from the 14th and 15th centuries, “fashion” referred to the action or process of making, or the make, build or shape of something. In Chinese Pidgin English (CPE), which developed in the 17th century as a trade language in the Pearl River Delta, the Cantonese yéuhng “manner”, as in dím yéuhng “what manner” or “how”, became calqued as CPE “fashion”. A sentence such as Ngóh ji dím yéuhng jouh in Cantonese, meaning “I know how to act/ do it”, was calqued word-for-word to become the CPE “My savvy how fashion do”.