Describing clothes and appearance words

Choose one of the words below but don’t tell anyone which one you chose. Explain the meaning and use of that thing without saying any of the words in the name or any form of those words until your partner guesses which one you are talking. When they guess correctly, discuss if that was the best way of explaining that word.

(Foreign/ Young) people sometimes think this is… but in fact/ actually…

I think most people know what a… is, but anyway it…

In Japan we say this when (we are talking about)…

It has something in common with…

It is sometimes confused with…

It’s (a bit/ something/ quite a lot/ really) like (the British/ American/ Chinese/ Korean…) but…

It’s made from…

It’s similar to…

It’s the closest Japanese equivalent to…

It’s worn (on top of/ with/ by/ to/ for)…

The direct translation/ word-for-word translation/ literal translation is…

The normal translation/ usual translation for this is…/ Translated word for word, it would be…

This also exists in China/ Korea/ most Asian countries/… (but…)

This is a kind of…

This is in English dictionaries, but not everyone knows it. It means…

This is often explained as…

This means (something like)…

This only exists in Japan (and a couple of other countries) and is…

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Clothes vocabulary for Japanese learners of English

Japanese clothes to explain

“chonmage”

“cool biz”

“fundoshi”

“furisode”

“geta”

“Gothic Lolita”

“gyaru style”

“hakama”

“happi coat”

“jimbei”

“monpe”

“netsuke”

“obi”

“recruit suit”

“sailor suit”

“tabi socks”

“visual kei”

“warm biz”

“yukata”

“zori”

 

Useful clothes and appearance vocabulary for Japanese learners of English

accessories

backpack

bathrobe/ dressing gown

blazer

bow

bowtie

bra

braces/ suspenders

business shirt/ dress shirt

clippers

comb over

crew cut

custom made/ tailor made

denim jacket

DJ

dress

eye liner

flip flops/ thongs

football kit

glasses/ spectacles/ specs

greying hair/ hair flecked with grey

hair dye

handbag/ purse

headscarf

high heels

jewellery/ jewelry

jumper/ sweater/ pullover

key ring

leggings

long-sleeved T-shirt

one-size-fits-all

overalls

pajamas/ pyjamas

panty hose/ tights

parasol

perm

pierced ears

platinum engagement ring

plimsolls

purse

sandals

satchel

Saville Row

scarf/ winter scarf/ wooly scarf

shorts

short-sleeved

skirt suit

sleeveless

slip-on shoes

stockings

sunglasses

sweatshirt

tie

top

tracksuit

trainers/ sneakers/ sports shoes

trousers/ pants

tux

unisex

Velcro

vest/ undershirt

waistcoat/ vest

wallet

zip/ zipper

Ask about any words above you couldn’t understand or couldn’t explain.

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Clothes and accessories collocations

Without looking above for now, brainstorm at least one collocation for each of the words below words (= words that go together with those words)

+ glasses

+ heels

+ liner

+ scarf

+ shirt

cuff +

denim +

engagement +

key +

make +

one-size +

panty +

platinum +

tailor +

track + 

If you need to or your teacher says that you should, look on the next page for words that could collocate with the words above. Note that many other answers are possible.

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Use the expressions below to help with the collocations activity above:

business/ dress

custom-made/ tailor-made

eye

fits-all

high

hose

jacket

links

made

made

ring

ring

ring

suit

sun

up

winter

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Clothes and appearance synonyms

Without looking above for now, try to think of other expressions which mean the same as:

braces

custom-made

DJ

dress shirt

specs

hair flecked with grey

jumper

tights

thongs

trainers

trousers

tux

undershirt

waistcoat

wooly scarf

zip 

Use the words under the fold to help with the task above.

—————————————————————————–fold—————————————————————————————

-actle

-edo

-ing

-per

business

dinner

flip

glass

hose

jacket

pants

sports

suspender

sweat

tailor

vest

vest

winter

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Clothes and appearance words The same or different

Decide if each line below has exactly the same meaning or not. If there are more than two, they are all the same or all different. Even a small difference means that they are different.

accessories/ jewellery

backpack/ satchel

bathrobe/ dressing gown

blazer/ jacket

bomber jacket/ jumper

bow/ ribbon

bowtie/ tie

braces/ suspenders

business shirt/ dress shirt

cap/ hat

cardigan/ sweater

crew cut/ skinhead

custom made/ tailor made

denim/ jeans

dressing gown/ gown

fastener/ zip

flip flops/ sandals

flip flops/ thongs

glass/ glasses

glasses/ spectacles/ specs

glasses/ sunglasses

greying hair/ hair flecked with grey

handbag/ shoulder bag

headscarf/ winter scarf

high heel/ high heels

jumper/ jacket

jumper/ sweater/ pullover

leggings/ trousers/ tights

long-sleeved T-shirt/ T-shirt

long-sleeved T-shirt/ sweatshirt/ tracksuit

one-size-fits-all/ unisex

pants/ slacks/ trousers

pants/ underpants

panty hose/ tights

parasol/ umbrella

plimsolls/ trainers

purse/ handbag

purse/ wallet

scarf/ winter scarf/ wooly scarf

shirt/ top/ T-shirt

short-sleeved/ sleeveless

shorts/ short-sleeved

sneaker/ sports shoes/ trainers

stockings/ tights

tracksuit/ trainers

trainers/ sneakers/ sports shoes

undershirt/ vest

velcro/ zip

vest/ waistcoat

winter scarf/ wooly scarf

zip/ zipper

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Clothes and appearance vocabulary with different meanings

All the words below have more than one meaning, e.g. in British English and American English. Discuss the different meanings together.  

jacket

pants

purse

scarf

thong(s)

vest

 

Use the words under the fold to help with the task above.

 

—————————————————————————–fold—————————————————————————————

 

flip flops

G-string

handbag

head

purse

trousers

underpants

undershirt

waistcoat

winter

wooly

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Typical Japanese mistakes with clothes and appearance vocabulary

Without looking above for now, correct the expressions below

beach sandal X

braja X

engage ring X

free size X

glass X

hair colour X

jeans jacket X

muffler X

no make X

no sleeve X

order-made X

pajama X

platina ring X

romance grey X

stocking X

sunglass X

wearing high heel X

Y shirt X

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PDF version for easy saving and printing: clothes-and-appearance-synonyms