Learn IELTS Vocabulary: Clothes

Jun 28, 2020 | IELTS, IELTS Speaking, IELTS Test, IELTS Vocabulary

IELTS Speaking Test Sample: Clothes

If you have to speak about clothes, would you know what to say?

This model answer to this IELTS Speaking topic will supply you with the ideas and vocabulary you need. Pay close attention to the words in bold. Definitions for the words in bold are at the end of the page.

Before you read the conversation, you might like to download this free PDF quiz and have a go at completing the blanks.

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: Do you often buy clothes?

Candidate: I don’t slavishly follow fashion trends. Once I’ve bought something new I tend to wear it until its threadbare. To be honest, I’m a bit of a cheapskate.

Examiner: Are clothes important to you?

Candidate: I’m an individualist really and simply wear whatever I like. I don’t follow the haute couture of the Paris and Milan fashion houses.

Examiner: What kind of clothes do you prefer to wear?

Candidate: Most of the time, I knock around in a pair of faded jeans and an old sweater. I find them to be cheap and practical.

Part 2

Describe an occasion when you wore your best clothes 

 You should say:

 — when it was

 — what you wore

 — what they looked like

 and explain why you wore your best clothes.

IELTS Clothes Vocabulary by Andre Turner @ EnglishWithAnExpert.com


As I said earlier, I’m not really a slave to fashion – but I’m still something of a conformist. I recently attended my brother’s wedding and felt I had to follow the dress code. After all, it’s a big occasion, and the wedding photos and videos will be around for a long time.

My wife wore a casual summer dress, but I was the best man and wore a tuxedo. My brother was wearing a white dinner jacket, and so I followed convention and wore black. Since the groom’s coat was double-breasted, I wore single. We both wore the same waistcoat

There were a few final touches – we both wore a bow tie and wore opposite colour pocket squares. I have to say, I was looking fairly dapper considering my usual loungewear.

Part 3-style questions

Examiner: Do you think people really need to dress formally in the workplace? [Evaluate]

Candidate: To be honest, I don’t think it’s necessary. The concept of Casual Friday is increasingly being extended to the whole week, and with the trend for working at home, employers are less able to dictate what we wear.

Examiner: Why do some people like to wear traditional clothes? [Explain]

Candidate: I guess they are more conservative and enjoy the formality. It’s usually the older generation that does this. My grandfather retired years ago, but he still wears a suit every day.

Examiner: Do older and younger people like to wear the same type of clothes? [Compare]

Candidate: No, as I just mentioned, the older generation tends to dress more formally. Younger people wear all sorts of crazy styles these days. Have you seen the grunge style – it’s a dirty and untidy fashion popular among young people that retirees would never dream of wearing.

Definitions for IELTS Achievement Vocabulary

Part 1

slavishly — following what other people say or do without thinking for yourself

threadbare — clothing or cloth that has become so thin that it almost has holes in it

a cheapskate — someone who does not like to spend money

an individualist — someone who does something in their own way without worrying what other people think

haute couture — expensive and fashionable clothes produced by leading fashion companies

a fashion house — a company that produces clothes which have a certain fashion or style 

to knock around — to spend time somewhere with no particular purpose

faded — to have lost colour

 practical — making sensible decisions and choices, for example choosing clothes to fulfil a purpose and not for fashion

Part 2

slave to fashion — A person who is particularly concerned that his or her clothing and appearance follows the current trends

conformist — behaving in a way that most people think is correct or suitable

dress code — an accepted way of dressing for a particular occasion or in a particular social group

best man — a male friend or relative chosen by a man as his main assistant when he gets married

tuxedo — a man’s dinner jacket

double-breasted — a double-breasted jacket or coat that has two parallel lines of buttons down the front when it is fastened

waistcoat — a piece of clothing without sleeves that is usually worn over a shirt

a final touch — something that you add or do to make something complete

a bow tie — a narrow piece of cloth worn around the collar and tied into a bow

a pocket squares— a handkerchief or piece of cloth that sticks out of the top breast pocket of a suit

dapper — a man who wears attractive clothes that make him look good

loungewear — casual, comfortable clothing suitable for wearing at home.

Part 3

Casual Friday — a day when you are allowed to wear casual clothes at work

to dictate — to tell someone to do something

conservative — very traditional and not willing to accept much change

formality — an official style of behaving 

grunge style — a fashion associated with loose layered clothing and ripped jeans

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