Theme 11: Clothes and Fashion

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 …

Definitions

  • 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