Girls Basic Frock
This article is about the clothing worn until 18th century. For its 19th century successor, see frock coat. For the military term, see frocking.
Frock has been used since Middle English as the name for an article of clothing, typically coat-like, for men and women.
In British English and in Commonwealth countries the word may be used as an alternative term for a girl’s or woman’s dress. In Australia it is frequently used this way, with the phrase “to frock up" meaning to wear a formal dress or gown for a special occasion.
Relatedly, a frock coat is a men’s coat style of the 19th century, characterized by full skirts reaching to the lower thigh or knee. Despite the similarity in the name, the frock coat should be regarded as being a distinct garment quite separate from the frock. In the French language the frock coat is called ‘une redingote’ (from English “riding coat"), and so unlike the English language implies no immediate relationship to the frock which is called ‘une fraque’. Indeed, the modern French word for a tail coat is “une frac" which better betrays the historical relationship between the tail coat and the frock. In construction the frock coat could scarcely be more different from the frock for unlike the latter it is usually double breasted, lacks any pockets, lacks a high collar, has V-shaped lapels, is closely fitted and is constructed with a waist seam.