What is the meaning of the word outwear?  Outerwear is the opposite of innerwear.  Yes, that is an amazingly simple explanation.

Actually outerwear can be a bit sneaky.  At first thought, it is often considered to be a type of “jacket” or “coat”.  However, when we really take a look at the word, it is most clothing aside from undergarments.   In other words, outerwear is clothing worn outdoors or clothing designed to be worn outside other garments.

So, outerwear would consist of most fashion with the exception of underwear, lingerie, panties, boxer shorts, g-strings, thongs, boxer briefs, etc.  Some clothing gets a bit confusing because socks are worn under long pants, but if you are wearing shorts they are exposed.  Another example could be a sports bra which is worn under clothes and sometimes out.

Outerwear refers to clothing worn over regular garments to provide protection from the elements, such as cold, wind, rain, or snow. It's designed to keep individuals warm and shielded during varying weather conditions while also serving aesthetic and style purposes. Outerwear comes in a range of styles, designs, and materials, catering to different genders, ages, and fashion preferences.

Women's Outerwear:

Women's outerwear encompasses a wide array of clothing designed to fit the female body and cater to various style preferences. It includes:


These are long, often heavy garments that typically extend below the hips. Variations include trench coats, pea coats, duffel coats, and overcoats.  Learn more about coats.


Generally shorter than coats, jackets can range from casual denim or leather jackets to formal blazers. They offer a range of styles suitable for different occasions.

Parkas and Anoraks:

These are hooded, insulated jackets, often with fur-lined hoods, designed to provide warmth in cold climates. They are excellent choices for winter wear.


Sleeveless garments that can be worn over a shirt or sweater, providing warmth to the core while allowing more freedom of movement for the arms.

Ponchos and Capes:

These are loose, sleeveless outer garments that provide coverage over other clothes and are often used for a fashionable and dramatic look.

Men's Outerwear:

Men's outerwear includes a range of clothing items designed to fit the male body shape and cater to various needs and preferences. It consists of:

Coats and Overcoats:

Similar to women's coats, men's coats come in various styles, including pea coats, trench coats, overcoats, and duffel coats, often in neutral or classic colors.


sports jackets, offering both casual and formal options.

Parkas and Outdoor Jackets:

These provide warmth and protection during outdoor activities and harsh weather, including options like insulated parkas and waterproof jackets.


Sleeveless outerwear options like puffer vests or fleece vests can be layered over shirts or sweaters for added warmth.

Children's Outerwear:

Children's outerwear is specially designed to accommodate the needs and proportions of growing bodies while ensuring comfort and protection. It includes:

Coats and Jackets:

Children's coats and jackets are often designed with playful colors, patterns, and graphics, providing warmth and protection during colder months.

Snowsuits and Winter Gear:
Insulated one-piece suits or sets that are waterproof and designed to keep children warm during snow-related activities.

Raincoats and Windbreakers:

Outerwear designed to protect children from rain and wind while being lightweight and easy to move in.


Similar to adult vests, children's vests can be worn over their clothing to provide added warmth and versatility.

In summary, outerwear for women, men, and children is a diverse category of clothing designed to provide protection from the elements while catering to specific body shapes, style preferences, and practical needs.

When we think of outerwear, we often think in terms of Jackets, Coats, Raincoats, Trenchcoats and Overcoats.  Actually, below is a more complete list.


Academic gown







Denim Jackets

Duffle coat


Frock coat


Goggle jacket




Leather jacket


Mess jacket

Mino (straw cape)

Opera coat


Pea coat



Rain pants





Ski suit

Sleeved blanket

Sport coat

Top coat

Trench coat




Winter Coats

Again, above is only portion of what can be considered to be outerwear.

Learn about winter clothes in our fashion terminology section.

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