sartorial elegance

elegance in clothing


sartorial elegance = Eleganz der Kleidung — sartorial splendour = Pracht der Kleidung



 “Whether dressing up at the track , or dressing down at morning trackwork, or just wearing sunglasses to night-time meetings at Happy Valley, Andy is a picture of SARTORIAL ELEGANCE.”


“Dressing for the office was like solving a SARTORIAL Rubik’s Cube in which the rare winning combination was simultaneously appropriate for my age, rank, body type, and schedule.”

Susanna Schrobsdorff - Who Bought All These Ridiculous Clothes and Why Are They In My Closet?

Did you


- relating to the making of clothes, usually men’s clothes, or to a way of dressing

Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary


It’s easy to uncover the root of sartorial. Just strip off the suffix -ial and you discover the Latin noun sartor, meaning “tailor” (literally, “one who patches or mends”). Sartorial has been in style with English speakers since at least 1823. The Sartor, or British journal of cutting, clothing, and fashion was founded in 1870.

Interestingly, sartorius is the name of the long thigh muscle, so named because it’s used in crossing the legs to bring them into the position needed to sit like a tailor.

Sartorial is an excellent adjective when talking about clothes and fashion styles. Here are a few applications:

- sartorial agony = the difficulty involved in finding something to wear that looks good.

- sartorial comfort = the ability to wear anything and still look good in it.

- sartorial confusion = having no clue about current fashion styles and trends.

- sartorial pleasures = the positive feelings elicited by buying clothes and dressing up.

- sartorial faux pas = wearing boxer shorts and a T-shirt to a job interview.

PRACTICE OWAD in an English conversation, discuss something like:

“In high society SARTORIAL ELEGANCE is the pre-condition to be taken seriously.”

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Paul Smith

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