French clothing words - Les vêtements

Updated: Sep 13

Les vêtements or les habits are the French equivalent words for clothes. In slang vocabulary, the word les fringues is mostly used. Learning all things about clothing in French language can be very handy as it might help you in different situations. For instance, in shopping for your favorite fashion clothes, complimenting someone's outfit, describing a suspect's clothes during a police investigation, or even talking about your favorite ways of dressing.

In this lesson, I will be sharing a vocabulary list of common clothes in the French language. Unisex clothes like le pantalon, le short or la veste can be worn by women as well as men.


clothing words in French

For a quick navigation


Everyday clothes terms with pictures

Underwear terms in French

Clothing accessories in French (Les accessoires)

Seasonal Clothing words

Common verbs used with clothes

Common adjectives related to clothes

Clothes patterns and fabric names

Practice your clothes vocabulary


Everyday clothes terms with pictures


Below is a list of casual clothes for everyday wear, and useful garments for taking to the bathroom or to bed.

  • une chemise : a shirt

  • un pantalon : pants

  • un tee-shirt : a T-shirt

  • un jean : jeans

  • un haut : a top

  • un chemisier : a blouse

  • un costume: a suit

  • une veste : a jacket

  • un short : a short

  • une tunique : a tunic

  • une robe : a dress

  • une jupe : a skirt

  • un pyjama : a pajama

  • une robe de nuit : a nightgown

  • une serviette : a towel

  • un peignoir : a robe, a bathrobe


Les vetements clothes in French


Underwear terms in French


I guess that the word most known by foreigners for underwear in French is la lingerie. However, underwear is generally called in French "les sous-vêtements". Another term commonly used is "les dessous". Here are a few underwear words with their translation in English.

  • Un slip, une culotte : panties (US), knickers(UK)

  • un string: a thong

  • un caleçon : underpants

  • un soutien gorge: a bra

  • un débardeur: a tank top (US), a vest top (UK)

  • un bustier : a bustier, a tube top

  • des collants (m) : tights

Clothing accessories in French (les accessoires)


Clothes are best matched with accessories like earrings, necklaces, … Here is a vocabulary list for les accessoires de vêtements en français. The gender of the noun is indicated with the letter (f) which stands for feminine and (m) for masculine.

  • des boucles d'oreille (f): earrings

  • une bague: a ring

  • un collier: necklace

  • une écharpe: a scarf (for the neck)

  • un porte-monnaie: a purse

  • un porte-feuille: a wallet

  • des gants (m): gloves

  • une ceinture: a belt

  • un sac à main: a handbag

  • une montre : a watch

  • un chapeau : a hat

  • une veste: a jacket

  • des chaussures (f): shoes

  • des chaussettes (f ): socks

  • un foulard: a scarf (for the head)

  • des lunettes: glasses, spectacles

  • des socquettes (f): ankle socks



Seasonal Clothing words


Seasonal clothes are the outfits you would wear during the different seasons of the year: summer, winter clothes, or those rainy weather. Here are the names of common seasonal clothing.

  • des bas (m): stocking

  • des bottes (f)

  • Des gants (m): gloves

  • des lunettes de soleil (f) : sun glasses

  • des sandales (f): sandals

  • des tongs: flip-flops, thongs

  • un bikini: a bikini

  • Un blouson: a jacket

  • un bonnet: a hat, a knit cap

  • un gilet, un cardigan : a cardigan

  • Un imperméable : a rain coat

  • un maillot de bain ; a swim suit

  • Un manteau: a coat

  • un pull, un pull-over: a sweater, a pullover

  • Une écharpe: a scarf

  • une serviette de plage : a beach towel

Common verbs used with clothes

Among the verbs related to clothing in French, you have the reflexive verbs like s’habiller (to dress, to get dressed), and its derivatives like se déshabiller (to undress), or se rhabiller (to dress again, to put one's clothes back). You also have the following verbs :

  • aller bien à quelqu'un : to fit someone well

  • essayer : to try

  • porter: to wear

  • mettre: to put on

  • repasser: to iron

  • plier: to fold

  • ranger: to keep, to store clothes

  • faire la lessive: to do the laundry


Common adjectives related to clothes


Along with color adjectives, you can use the below adjectives to describe clothes worn by yourself or someone else, or better, to compliment someone.

Adjective in French (feminine and masculine)

Adjective in English

court, courte

Short

Long, longue

Long

Élégant(e), distingué (e), chic

Elegant, chic, sophisticated, stylish

Classique

Classic

Joli, jolie

Pretty

Magnifique

Magnific

Moderne

Modern

Propre

Clean

Sale

Dirty

Froissé, froissée

Crumpled, crinkled

Démodé, démodée

Old-fashioned

Branché, branchée

Trendy


Clothes patterns and fabric names

Les motifs (patterns)

The Translation of a cloth pattern in French is "le motif". There are different types of patterns as you can see in the vocabulary list below.

  • à rayures: striped

  • à carreaux: checked, checkered

  • à pois: polka dot

  • à fleurs : with flowers

  • à losanges : with losanges

  • à cœurs: with hearts

  • géométrique : geometric

For instance, He is wearing a striped shirt will be translated as Il porte une chemise à rayures.


Fabrics and materials

How to say a cotton skirt or a leather jacket? Here are the fabrics and materials names in French, "les tissus".

  • le coton: cotton

  • le cuir: leather

  • la laine: wool

  • la soie: silk

  • le velours: velvet

  • le lin: linen

  • le nylon: nylon

It's important to note that you should use the preposition "en' to talk about the material. For example, a cotton dress will be translated in French as une robe en coton.


Practice your clothes vocabulary in French


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