But it was not the word “pant” in itself, nor the use of the verb “unwind” as an adjective which struck me – it was the use of the singular. I have never referred to a “pant” or a “trouser”, any more than I would use “a glass” to mean a pair of spectacles – it is always “pants” or “a pair of pants”. “Pants” is what is known as a plurale tantum – a word that only ever appears in the plural form – and “pant” is a bizarre and grammatically incorrect back-formation.
However, the use of the fashion singular is becoming more and more common, mostly in marketing and advertising copy but also in the words of designers themselves. We can probably expect to hear more about “the pant”, “the trouser” and “the legging”, although I hope that we will be spared “the bottom”, at least in reference to sportswear.
A week or so ago I have started to annoy people by using the word “jean” in the singular – something like “that’s a nice jean”, or “I like a jean with a high waist”. Thus fashion-speak insinuates itself into everyday life.