Topic Vocabulary >> Lesson 11: Clothes and Fashion
The examiner may ask you to talk about the clothes you like to wear or your attitude towards fashion. Read the following IELTS-style questions and answers below and pay attention to the phrases in bold. Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the bottom of the page to check the meaning of any phrases you don’t understand.
Part 1-style questions
Examiner: Do you enjoy buying clothes?
Pedro: I used to … yes … like most young people I was a bit of a slave to fashion and I’d always have to buy that must-have shirt or pair of shoes … I’m not so bothered now though … I wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing something old fashioned but I’m not as bothered as I used to be about what I wear …
Examiner: What kind of clothes do you like to wear?
Marco: I prefer casual clothes actually … I hate getting dressed up for special occasions … personally I think it’s possible to look good in a pair of jeans … but that’s my opinion … I don’t think my wife would call me a fashion icon that’s for sure …
Examiner: Are there many clothes shops where you live?
Sylvia: Yes … there are lots in my town … apart from the big chain stores we’ve got a couple of really nice shops that sell vintage clothes … old clothes but in a classic style that never really go out of fashion … I love going there …
Part 2-style task
Describe someone you know who dresses well. You should say
- who they are
- how you know them
- what kind of clothes they wear
and say why you like the way they dress.
Tomoko: I’d like to talk about one of my teachers … Miss Evans … she teaches us English in the school I go to … we always look forward to seeing what she’s going to wear when our lessons start … she’s always very well dressed and takes a lot of pride in her appearance … it’s not that she dresses in very smart clothes … she doesn’t come to school dressed to kill or anything like that … but what she wears really suits her … and she has a great sense of style as well … we often ask her where she gets some of her clothes and most of the time they’re just off the peg … and she says she’s not interested in designer labels or anything like that … she doesn’t seem too concerned about keeping up with the latest fashion … she just wears clothes that are timeless … yes … Miss Evans is the person I think looks great in the clothes she wears …
Part 3-style questions
Examiner: What factors do you think affect the clothes we choose to wear?
Maki: It depends … where we are or where we’re going is a big factor … if you are going out to a club or party you’re going to dress for the occasion … and then there are those who think it’s important to look like they’re on trend … they’ll want to wear the latest fashions … there are lots of factors really …
Examiner: What kind of things determine what is in fashion and what we should be wearing?
Martin: I suppose the big fashion houses and fashion shows must have an effect but the clothes you see on the catwalk don’t always reflect what normal people wear … so I suppose it will be things like what singers are wearing in videos or models are wearing in magazines … that kind of thing …
Examiner: Is it possible to look good without spending lots of money on clothes?
Corinna: I’m sure it is … yes … I suppose it’s about having an eye for what looks good … knowing how to mix and match different items of clothing that go well together … I think you can pick up great bargains in charity shops … sometimes for youngsters even hand-me-downs can look good …
- to be on trend: to be very fashionable
- casual clothes: not formal
- classic style: a simple, traditional style that is always fashionable
- designer label: a well-known company that makes (often expensive) clothing
- dressed to kill: wearing clothes that attract admirers
- to dress for the occasion: to wear clothes suitable for a particular event
- fashionable: in fashion
- fashion house: a company that sells (usually expensive) new styles in clothes
- fashion icon: a person who is famous for their sense of fashion
- fashion show: an event where modals show off the latest in fashion designs
- to get dressed up: to put on nice clothes, often to go out somewhere special
- to go out of fashion: to not be in fashion any more
- hand-me-downs: clothes that are passed down from older brothers or sisters to their younger siblings
- to have an eye for (fashion): to be a good judge of
- to have a sense of style: the ability to wear clothes that look stylish
- the height of fashion: very fashionable
- to keep up with the latest fashion: to wear the latest fashions
- to look good in: to wear something that suits you
- to mix and match: to wear different styles or items of clothing that aren’t part of a set outfit
- must-have: something that is highly fashionable and therefore in demand
- off the peg: clothing that is ready made
- old fashioned: not in fashion any more
- on the catwalk: the stage that modals walk along to show off the latest fashions
- a slave to fashion: someone who always feel the need to wear the latest fashions
- smart clothes: the kind of clothes worn for a formal event
- to suit someone: to look good on someone
- to take pride in one’s appearance: to pay attention to how one looks
- timeless: something that doesn’t go out of fashion
- vintage clothes: clothes from an earlier period
- well-dressed: to be dressed attractively
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