Clothes in English: Vocabulary for Describing Look

Ellison Claptonreviewed bySana Liashuk / more about Editorial Process9 min
Created: Jan 30, 2023Last updated: Jan 29, 2024
Clothes in English Vocabulary

You can’t do without knowing the English language if you like to travel, but for some reason, the terminology associated with clothing is often left unattended. Of course, novice students often focus on everyday things, such as the ability to order a meal in a restaurant or book a transfer to the airport. But what if you want to go shopping? You cannot buy the necessary items without knowing English clothes names. So, why not start replenishing your vocabulary in advance?

 You will be surprised by the number of clothing terms if you are far from the fashion world! Modern designers regularly please their audiences with new inventions, so it might be challenging to learn everything. However, we’ve made every effort to simplify the procedure and compiled the list of the most commonly used terms.

Learning Styles: Basic Clothing Vocabulary

The style names are the first thing you should familiarize yourself with when dipping into the fashion world. Have you already managed to build your image, or are you still looking for those combinations that will highlight your personality? In any case, catch our selection: it will be helpful!

  • Casual

This style implies the daily clothes we wear: jeans, T-shirts, blouses, trousers, dresses, etc. In the 1950s, when people were looking for everyday wearables that were practical and easy, this trend first emerged. These are the basic clothes in English because everyone has them in their closet.

  • Smart Casual

According to Collins Dictionary, this style is a mixture of casual and business styles, most common among people who attend offices. The rejection of bulky office suits and the choice of more relaxing clothing characterizes it. For instance, suits can be a little looser, and you can complement a business skirt with a voluminous jumper or turn the white shirt’s sleeves up to the elbow.

  • Street style

This clothing style is based on a person’s freedom of self-expression and combines all the latest trends. For instance, combining classic jackets and sports clothing became one of the most popular options among influencers and trendsetters. Only a few years ago, such a style would have been called bad taste, but now it’s in demand among fashion lovers.

  • Business Style

Even if your work does not require a strict dress code, you probably have a suit for formal events. Modern fashion is more flexible, so the business style does not necessarily involve pencil skirts or classic suits because designers regularly release new collections with unusual silhouettes.

  • Athleisure

This clothing English term consists of two words “athletics” and “leisure” and implies a combination of two styles. Have you ever seen celebrities wearing glamorous clothes with trainers or high-heeled shoes with joggers? Of course, it can be partially compared with street style, but athleisure is more extravagant and unusual.

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  • Gorpcore

The newest clothing style is made for those who choose convenience over perfect looks as on a catwalk. Gorpcore typical clothes include shoes for mountain hiking, loose trousers, and puffy or fleece jackets. And even though such things can hardly be called the latest trend, fashionistas successfully combine them to create attractive and stylish outfits.

You Stylish Casual Look: Clothes English Vocabulary for Everyday

Only some people wear evening dresses or suits daily since most people would likely choose casual clothes like jeans, cozy sweaters, and convenient trainers or flat shoes. However, even such simple things may cause many questions among English learners, so it’s time to replenish your dictionary with some widely used words. Let’s start with the most current clothing words describing jeans and trousers since they form the basis of a modern wardrobe.

  • Culottes

These are free-cut short trousers with a below-knee length. Culottes have a high or medium fit and mostly suit tall women. Their distinctive feature is that they expand immediately from the waist, emphasizing it.

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  • Bermudas

These are the loose, elongated women’s shorts below the knee. As a rule, models are presented with side pockets and wide lapels. Different lengths are available, so every lady can choose a suitable alternative considering her height.

  • Skinny jeans or trousers

Although many stylists say that this style is outdated, millions of girls still consider skinny as one of the most popular English clothes, combining it with massive sweaters and oversized tops. This element of clothing resembles leggings, only made from denim. They hug your legs, flattering the figure. 

  • Mom jeans

These are the trendiest denim trousers with medium or high waists that should be in every girl’s wardrobe and clothes names list. Their primary difference compared to skinny jeans is that they expand at the hips and narrow towards the ankle, making this style suitable for any figure.

  • Palazzo

Such trousers are designed to fit loosely on the legs. They do not go straight down or taper towards the legs. This model suits everyone regardless of shape and is the latest trend among modern fashionistas. Jeans of this style are trendy, but you can also find fabric trousers in different shades. Such an item can perfectly fit into an office wardrobe and complement a casual look.

Tops for Perfect Outfits: Most Common Clothes Vocabulary You Shouldn’t Miss

Choosing a suitable top is one of the essential points when creating your perfect look. Of course, it depends on preferences: while some like casual style and will never give up cozy sweaters, others cannot imagine their everyday outfits without a classic blouse or turtleneck. Take a look at some popular words for clothing that will be helpful!

  • Polo

It’s a shirt or a sports shirt with short sleeves, a stand-up collar, and several buttons on the fastener. Even though this item was initially invented as sports clothing, fashionistas immediately fell in love with such designers’ solutions and started wearing it even at official events.

  • Crop top 

This clothing item is a cropped top, the bottom line of which runs at waist level or higher. It’s incredibly popular among young ladies, so you can find numerous variations of this thing, including those with long and short sleeves.

  • Sweatshirt

A sweatshirt is a sports jersey sweater that manufacturers often insulate with fleece, making this element one day perfect for winter. And although sweatshirts were originally worn with jeans or leggings, they can now be combined with dress pants, light skirts, and even dresses.

  • Hoodie

The only difference between a sweatshirt and a hoodie is that the latter has a hood. Such clothing looks best when oversized, so many men and women consider this top a perfect option for casual outfits. You can combine hoodies with any bottom. Just ensure to stick to the color palette that suits you.

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  • Poncho

It is a cape made of a rectangular one-piece fabric with a hole for the head. Many will say such a clothing item is something outdated that we associate with our grandmothers. And they will be wrong! Ponchos are quickly making a comeback, along with cardigans and sweaters, as they are warm and comfortable.

Outerwear: Clothes Vocabulary List for Cold Weather

You are lucky if you are heading to hot countries, where all the clothes you need will fit in a small suitcase. But quite a few English-speaking countries will please you with such weather. If you’re heading to rainy Britain or freezing Canada, you need outerwear, so let’s see what clothes vocabulary you might need.

  • Bomber

It is a short jacket with elastic cuffs, a stand-up collar, and a wide elastic band at the bottom. This item was initially designed for the US military. Still, it attracted a lot of attention from ordinary people, so modern designers decided to meet the growing demand and released many bomber jackets for every taste.

  • Puffer jacket

This clothing is the most common option for the cold season. It has a puffed structure and can be found at any length. Wearing oversized jackets is the latest trend, so consider it when purchasing the desired puffer.

  • Duffle coat

It’s a single-breasted wool coat with a hood. It usually has wooden buttons fastened into leather or cord loops. You can find duffle coats in different lengths and models, so it’s rightfully considered one of the things that should be present in every woman’s basic wardrobe.

  • Trench coat

It is a straight-cut coat with two sides with shoulder straps. It’s usually complemented with a belt, but the trend for oversized clothing makes many people wear it without the latter. A trench coat is the basis of a wardrobe, which goes well with shoes with heels and looks advantageous in images of sport-chic style. 

  • Teddy coat

Caring for the environment and animals is now one of the most critical global issues, and after many years of using natural fur, most still prefer to abandon it. This name of clothes implies an item made of artificial materials, which became a perfect alternative, and the teddy coat has remained at the peak of popularity in the last decade. This cozy jacket is made of faux fur, which will warm even in the most severe frosts. You can find a considerable number of options: both cropped and ankle-length coats that are so cozy and comfortable.

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Where to Learn Clothes Names in English?

Many would say that such terminology is not of utmost importance, but we disagree with it. Maybe you would like to go shopping or simply compliment a passerby for their stylish outfit? Of course, it is difficult to navigate the fashion world because designers offer something new daily. Do not be discouraged, as our online school Promova will help you learn any topic you like. 

Highly qualified tutors will become your reliable assistants, forming an individual educational plan for every student. Our learning programs are flexible, so everyone will be able to find a suitable option. Are you still thinking about whether it’s time to strengthen your skills and communicate like a native speaker? Familiarize yourself with the opportunities our school will give you, and you will lose all doubts.

You can search for the latest updates in the fashion world, read reviews, and familiarize yourself with the words’ meanings with the help of such well-known dictionaries as Collins. But we would like to simplify the process since we have already gathered all the necessary materials. Education has never been as easy and accessible as it is now!



Where may clothes words be useful?

Such knowledge can be applied in different situations. For example, tourists often go shopping while traveling, so such vocabulary will definitely be practical. In addition, it will help you in daily communication with foreigners: if you want to compliment someone, you will know what the chosen clothing item is called. 

What are the styles types that are widespread worldwide?

Casual is the most common option since most people have their wardrobe based on it. They imply everyday clothes, including jeans, jackets, sweatshirts, basic dresses, etc. Smart casual is also popular and suggests adding elements of business outfits to your daily looks. For instance, combining classic trousers with a bright oversized jacket is a good idea for both men and women. 

What are the most popular bottoms clothes words?

Jeans have been popular for decades, and the range of styles is growing all the time. You can opt for classic skinny or mom jeans or go for culottes for something a little more out of the ordinary. 

Which clothing English vocabulary to consider when traveling to cold countries?

The most popular items include puffer jackets and faux fur coats that perfectly suit any outfit. A duffle coat is also a classic alternative, complementing a business-style outfit. Just select the right length and shade that will perfectly fit your appearance. 


Morgan J.Jan 16th, 2024
What a refreshing read!
Alaya VargasJul 25th, 2023
Great job on compiling this useful vocabulary list! It's a must-read for anyone interested in expressing themselves fluently when discussing clothing and appearances in English.