Garments, shoes and accessories have different names in different parts of the English-speaking world. Here in the USA I have learned to either use the American English, or receive blank stares from my clients and retail store staff. Still, many British terms and colloquialisms slip through. The blog is no exception, so I thought I’d list the ones I can think of. Let me know if you discover others hidden in my posts.

American British
Barrette Hairclip
Button down shirt Shirt
Gaucho Culottes
Hose Stockings
Gear Togs
Jeans jacket Denim jacket
Jumper Pinafore
Panties Knickers, or Undies
Pin Brooch
Plaid Check
Pumps Winkle pickers
Sweater (1) Jumper, jersey or pullover
(2) Cardigan
Sweater vest Sleeveless pullover
Sweats Tracksuit
Sweatshirt Sweater
Swimsuit Bathing costume, or cozzie
Tall boots Long boots
Tennis shoes Trainers, plimsols or fashion sneakers
Thong G-String
Turtle neck Polo neck
Vest (1) Waistcoat (part of a formal suit)
(2) Bodywarmer (casual sleeveless jacket)

I’ve drawn the words above from memory so they almost certainly include some idiosyncrasies (the result of a British education in Hong Kong and many years living in South Africa).

There are some fab books on this topic. We find that British English A to Zed is hilarious (and great for proving to our American friends that we aren’t just making words up). Cassell’s Dictionary of English Idioms goes beyond individual words, explaining the many obscure expressions in the English language.