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.
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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
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
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
Élégant(e), distingué (e), chic
Elegant, chic, sophisticated, stylish
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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