Boys' Clothing Glossary: "G"

Figure 1.--

We have begun to build a glossary of boys' clothing terms. As boys clothes until the 19th century was the sane as adult male clothing, we have included many applicable men's clothing terms. We have also included some women's terms as younger boys commonly wore dresses until the 20th century. As HBC is extensively used by non-native English speakers we plan to give considerable attention to this glossary so that words can be looked up. It will also serve as an index as we will provide links to the appropriate pages. We eventually hope to add foreign words, but that will take some time.

Gaberdine: Gaberdines or gabardines were originally a long, loose coat or frock for men worn in the Middle Ages, especially by Jews. In modern usage gaberdin overcoats were commonly worn by men and boys. Many British private schools perscribed a particular style of gaberdine raincoat to be worn over their school uniform.

Gaberdine raincoat/overcoat: For a period in the middle decades of the 20th century, the gaberdine school raincoat formed a distinctive part of British schoolboy clothing. It was of woollen or cotton gaberdine, a close twill-weave fabric with a smooth finish. The raincoat was frequently worn not only for school, but also as general boy-swear. Interestingly, the gaberdine raincoat is the one major element of British school uniform (other than black leather lace-up shoes) which is not derived from some form of sportswear--not surprisingly since topcoats are not typically worn for games! At some schools the gaberdine raincoat was compulsory, some schools even specified the brand. Boys had different opinions about the coats. Some have complained that they were "utterly useless for repelling more than a minute or so of the gentlest rain". Others thought them quite serviceable. While opinions vary, quite a number of HBC readers from England still remember the gaberdine raincoats that they wore as boys.

Gandhi cap: A white cap, pointed in front and back and having a wide band, worn by Indians.

Gaiter: There are several diffrent menings for gaiter. Some now not commonly used terms decribe fotwear. It is a covering of cloth or leather for the ankle and instep and sometimes also the lower leg, usually worn over the shoe or boot. A cloth or leather shoe with elastic insertions at the sides. Gaiter has also ben used for an overshoe with a fabric top.

Galoshes: Protective rubber or water-proof covering for shoes or overshoebfor rainy days. Galoshes were often hightop in the 19th century. In the 20th century there were low-cut galoshes for shoes like men's oxfords. Boys more commonly wore boot-like galoshes. In the 1940s boys' boot-like galoshes often had metal fastners.

Galligaskins: Loose hose or breeches worn in the 16th and 17th centuries as well as loose breeches in general. Also used for leggings or gaiters, commonly of leather.

Galluses: Suspenders for trousers.

Garibaldi: A loose blouse worn by women and children in the mid-19th century, named for the destinctive red shirts worn by Garibaldi and his followers who united Italy.

Garb: A fashion or mode of dress, often used to describe a distinctive kind of uniform kind such as a garb of a monk. Also usedfor clothes in general.

Garment: A specific article of clothing.

Garter: A stap to hold up socks, usually worn by me. Boys might wear simple garters which are essentially elastic band under the top of turn-over-top kneesocks. More commonly used in England than America.

Gaucho: Often used in the plural, "gauchos." Refers to the "gaucho pants§" or wide wide, calf-length trousers for men or women based on the trousers worn by South American gauchos (cowboys).

Gender: Fashions are for the most part gender specific. There are some clothes, however that are worn by both boys and girls. In addition there have been eras when children and yoyhs have worn similar clothes. Unyil the 20th century both girls and younger boys wore dresses. After World War II, pants and other boyish garments began to become popular with girls.

Gertrude: A slip or underdress for infants.

Ghillie/gillie: A low-cut, tongueless shoe with loops instead of eyelets for the laces, which cross the instep and are sometimes tied around the ankle.

Gigot: Leg of mutton or puff short sleeves that blouce out around the arm sockets. Used in blouses, dresses, smocks, and rompers.

Gingham: Gingham is a plain-woven fabric, initially made exclusively od cotton fabric. The strongm seviceable nature of the fabric makes its ideal for children's summer clothing. It has been worn more by girls than boys, but French and other European boys did wear gingham smocks in the first half of the 20th century. Some of the bows worn by boys in the late 19th century appear to have been made of gingham fabric. Gingham was especially popular in France and was valled "vichy" because that city was known for the production of the fabric.

Glengarry: One one of two cap styles worn with Scottish kilt outfits. The Glengarry is a cap with straight sides, a crease along the top, and often short ribbon streamers at the back, worn by Highlanders. Adopted a a British army as part of military dress. Often worn by boys in full Highland kilt costume.

Gloves: A protective covering for the hand which, unlike mittens, are made with a separate sheath for each finger and for the thumb. The primary purpose is to prortive the hand in cold weather, but they are also, especially white gloves, are worn as part of forml dress outfits.

Goffer: An ornamental plaiting used for frills and borders, especially on women's clothing. Used as a verb, goffer means to flute (a frill, ruffle, etc.), with a heated iron or other means.

Golilla: A collar of lawn or linen, slightly rolled under at the edge and starched to stand out from the neckline, worn in Spain in the 17th century.

Gore: A triangular piece of material inserted in a garment, sail, etc., to give it greater width or a desired shape. Also referred to as a "godet" or "gusset". A gore can also be one of the panels, usually tapering or shaped, making up a garment, as a skirt.

GoreTex: Brand of waterproof/breathable fabric. GoreTex is a membrane attached underneath the outer fabric and protected on the inside by a nylon or mesh liner. Its pores are 700 times smaller than a water drop, but still large enough for perspiration vapor to pass through. Thus after several hours of wear you don't become damp from your own perspiration. It's also windproof. Not a necessity, but this and other brands with similar function perform well.

Gorge: The seam formed at the point where the lapel meets the collar of a jacket or coat.

Gorget: A wimple of the Middle Ages, worn with the ends fastened in the hair.

Grain: The side of leather from which the hair has been removed.

Granny: A "granny knot" is an inperfectly tied knot. Term used in Scouting.

Greatcoat: Great·coat or a heavy overcoat.

Grego: A short, hooded coat of thick, coarse fabric, originally worn in the eastern Mediterranean countries.

Grommet: A metal-bound eyelet in cloth, sometimes used decoratively, as on a garment.

Gros point: A large stitch used in embroidery as opposed to a petit point. Also called a "tent stitch."

Guayabera: Fancy ligh-weight open necked shirt. The word is also recognized in Spain. It usually has several large front pockets, modeled upon a loose, smock-like shirt originally worn by men in Cuba. Now worn throughout Mexico, and Central America. Usually white or a light color.

Guimpe: A chemisette or lace yoke, embroidery, or other material, worn with a low-cut dress.

Guernsey: A close-fitting knitted woolen shirt worn by sailors and soccer or Rugby players. This is a predominately British definition, not commonly used in America. Named after one of the Channel Islands where these shirts presumably originated.

Guipure: Laces, usually heavy, made of linen, silk, and other materials. Made with the pattern connected by brides rather than by a net ground. Also laces or trimmings made with cords or heavy threads or metal.

Gumshoe: A shoe made of gum elastic or India rubber; rubber overshoe also used for sneaker or plimsol.

Gum shoes/boots: Also known as Wellington boots or "Wellies" in England.

Gusset: A small, triangular piece of material inserted into a shirt, shoe, and other garments to improve the fit or for reinforcement. See also "godet" or "gore".

Gym shoe: A lightweight canvas shoe with a rubber sole used in physical eduction or gym classes. Also referred to as a "sneaker" in America and "plimsol" in Britain.

Gym suit: Gym suit or gym uniform is an outfit for participating in school phyical education classes or other sports.

Christopher Wagner

Navigate the Historic Boys' Clothing Web Site:
[Return to the Main glossary page]
[Introduction] [Activities] [Bibliographies] [Biographies] [Countries] [Photography] [Style Index]
[Contributions] [FAQs] [Satellite sites]
[Boys' Clothing Home]

Navigate the Historic Boys' Clothing Web chronological pages:
[Return to the Main chronological page]
[The 1900s] [The 1910s] [The 1920s] [The 1930s] [The 1940s] [The 1950s] [The 1960s] [The 1970s] [The 1980s] [The 1990s] [The 2000s]

Navigate the Historic Boys' Clothing Web style pages:
[Blazers] [Jackets] [Long pants suits] [Kilts] [Sailor suits] [Knickers] [Eton suits]
[Fauntleroy suits] [Hair styles] [Youth groups]

Created: July 10, 2001
Last updated: November 28, 2001