Lesson 2_4: Clothes

Reading: Bargain.


Find something that made you amazed. Compare the way of shopping abroad with one in your country.


Todd: Now, I thought we would talk a little bit about your country. First of all, about shopping, what is shopping like in Sri Lanka?

Mini: The basic difference of shopping in Sri Lanka is that you can bargain, like most of the places you can bargain, so if you and talk to the seller like very friendly and saying that you don’t have that much money, you only have this much money, and then he will of course reduce the price for you.

Todd: That’s pretty cool. So, does this only apply to shopping for food or shopping for clothing or is it for everything?

Mini: I think it’s for everything, even for jewelry, furniture, everything you can bargain.

Todd: OK, now are things, most things in Sri Lanka much cheaper than they are in Japan or the United States?

Mini: Of course, it’s very much cheaper. When I come here and see and it’s like half the price.

Todd: Wow, half the price.

Mini: Yeah, most of it. For example, if it’s like a 100 yen here, the thing in Sri Lanka will be like maybe ten yen, twenty yen, so it’s like very cheap.

Todd: Wow. That is a big difference. Only twenty percent of the original cost.

Mini: But on the other hand, the salary that we receive is quite lower than the salary that you receive in Japan, so maybe in terms of Sri Lankan people it’s expensive but for me, when I see from this perspective it’s very cheap.

Todd: Right, so if you buy a shirt, like a nice cotton shirt in Sri Lanka, how much would that cost?

Mini: Around a 100 rupees in terms of yen, and it will be around 150 yen, 200 yen.

Todd: That is cheap. Mini: It’s very cheap.

Todd: OK, and how about if you want to buy a nice suit, you want to buy slacks and a jacket and a tie and a dress shirt, how much would that cost?

Mini: If you want to order it order-made, it will be around 5,000 yen, around 4,000 rupees, but if it’s just like the suit in the shop, it’s more cheaper than that.

Todd: Even cheaper.

Mini: Yeah, around 4,000 yen.

Todd: So, 4,000 yen. Now, 4,000 yen is how much in rupees?

Mini: 3,500, 3,200 rupees around.

Todd: Yeah, I think in dollars that would be about 35 dollars.

Mini: That’s very cheap.

Todd: That’s really cheap.


Ex 1. Shopping.

Look at the sentences below and fill in the gaps using the appropriate word or expression from A, B or C.

  1. What did you ________ your mother for her birthday? A. purchase B. buy C. acquire
  2. Why do we __________ so much money on food? A. spend B. buy C. sell
  3. I’ll ________ you a pound to wash my car. A. spend B. charge C. pay
  4. Did you ________ the shoes in the shop before you bought them? A. put on B. wear C. try on
  5. Shop assistant: Can I help you? Customer: Yes please. I’m __________ the soft furnishings department.  looking for B. wanting C. hunting for
  6. If the trousers are too small you can take them back and ________ them for a larger pair. A. sell back B. exchange C. replace
  7. (Angry customer to shop manager). I’d like to __________ about one of your members of staff. A. moan B. groan C. complain
  8. She __________ her shopping at Mafebury’s every Monday. A. makes B. does C. goes
  9. One of the advantages of shopping there is that their ________ are so low. A. prices B. expenses C. costs


Ex 2. Clothes. VERBS: Look at the sentences below and fill in the gaps using the appropriate word or expression from A, B or C.

1. It takes him ages every morning to get up, __________, and have breakfast. 7. Your yellow trousers don’t __________ your bright green shirt.
A. put on B. wear C. get dressed A. fit B. measure C. match
2. You’ve got an important interview today. Don’t forget to __________ a tie. 8. He’s _________ his coat – it’s too small for him now.
A. get dressed B. try on C. put on A. grown into B. grown out of C. grown up
3. What dress are you going to ________ to the party? 9. Walking across the USA, he ________ three pairs of boots.
A. wear B. get dressed C. try on A. wore off B. wore out C. wore on
4. Did you __________ the shoes in the shop before you bought them? 10.The doctor asked the patient to _________.
A. wear B. try on C. fit A. undress B. undo C. untie
5. These shoes don’t __________ me – they’re a size too small. 11.Can you _________ the zip at the back of my dress?
A. fit B. measure C. suit A. do up B. tie up C. put on
6. Green clothes usually __________ people with red hair. 12.Would you mind _________ my shirt please?
A. fit B. suit C. match A. creasing B. ironing C. squashing

Ex 3. Shopping: A. Where are they? Look at the sentences on the left and decide where the speaker is. Choose from the list of shops on the right.

1. I’d like twelve red roses please. A. a record shop
2. How much is that silver bracelet? B. a department store
3. I need a packet of envelopes and some writing paper please. C. a florist’s
4. Do you have any photography magazines? D. a stationer’s
5. Is this cabinet 17th or 18th century? E. a chemist
6. Take the escalator to get to menswear. F. a jeweller’s
7. Have you got anything for a sore throat? G. an antiques shop
8. Do you have the latest album by Coldplay? H. a newsagent’s

Ex 4. A. Clothes. NOUNS AND ADJECTIVES: A. Read the texts below and write the names of the people next to the appropriate items of clothing on the next page. There are not pictures for all the items of clothing mentioned.


At a party.

That’s Jim over there by the door. Can you see him? He’s wearing jeans and trainers, a striped shirt and a white waistcoat.

At a fashion show.

Miranda is wearing a stunning outfit by designer Jean-Claude Cliché. Of course, many people would say that high heels, a tartan skirt, a blouse with a floral pattern and a spotted silk scarf don’t match.

At the office.

Mr Johnson always wears plain trousers, a plain shirt and a jacket.


At home.

Jenny, our eldest daughter, hangs around the house in an old pleated skirt, a sweatshirt and a pair of her granny’s old slippers.

On the beach.

Bob is wearing a baggy pair of shorts with a horrible floral pattern, held up with a belt, a striped T-shirt, a pair of sandals with long black socks, and a cap to protect his head from the sun. He looks a sight!

A parent’s advice on a cold day.

Make sure you wear warm clothes, Tony. You’ll need a thick jumper, your wellingtons, those corduroys and your brother’s old overcoat. Oh, and don’t forget your scarf – the checked woollen one – and your mittens.


B. Read the texts above and write the names of the people next to the appropriate items of clothing.


baggy: very loose a baggy jumper/pair of jeans

creased/crumpled: unironed , full of lines and wrinkles a creased/crumpled jacket/shirt

faded: having lost its original colour or brightness a faded pair of jeans/sweatshirt

fancy: special and unusual, with a lot of decoration The pretty lace blouse had a fancy embroidered trimming.

fetching: attractive; can be used to describe a person (generally a woman) or an article of clothing She was wearing a particularly fetching dress.

flared: wide at the bottom flared trousers/jeans

flat: with very low or no heels I’d wear flat shoes for your walking holiday if I were you.

garish: very colourful, in a way that is not in good taste He was a paragon of bad taste in his checked trousers and garish pink shirt.

grubby: dirty grubby coat/face

loud: very colourful, in a way that some might find unpleasant That tie is far too loud, especially with that brightly coloured shirt.

moth-eaten: full of holes Does he have to dress so scruffily? Look at that moth-eaten jumper he is wearing.

patched: with pieces of material sewn on to cover holes The tramp looked a sad sight in his ragged jacket and patched trousers. platform: platform shoes have thick high heels and an elevated sole Flared trousers, wide lapels and platform shoes de rigueur for the fashion-conscious in the 1970’s.

shabby: looking old and in bad condition This costume is so shabby that 1’1/ have to throw it out.

sturdy: strong Cordelia was wearing sturdy riding gear.

synthetic: made from artificial substances/material Clothes that are part natural fabric and part synthetic are easy to wash and care for.

tailored: designed to fit close to the body A tailored suit is the best thing to wear for formal occasions.

worn-out: old and ready to be thrown away Those worn-out gardening trousers are only fit to be torn up and used as dusters.



If I were in your/his, etc shoes: if I were you/him/etc. If I were in their shoes, I would seriously think about taking him to court.

to pull your socks up: to work harder and start trying to improve your work/behaviour/ performance If you don’t pull your socks up, you are going to fail these exams.

sb wears the trousers (In that house): (informal) to be the dominant partner of the two people involved; generally used about women Jenny wears the trousers in that house. Nathan won’t breathe unless she gives him permission!

to be in the red: to have spent more: money than is in your account ~ so that you owe the bank money. .1: We can’t still be in the red. I put 3,000 into our account last week.



Ex.5. Fill in the gaps with an appropriate adjective from the box below. Each gap is followed by a definition of the adjective you need. You may have to use some of the adjectives twice and there are some extra adjectives which you do not need to use.


 tailored worn-out -flaredbaggy garish loudshabbyfetchingflat -fancy grubby crumpledcreased syntheticpatched moth-eaten sturdy platformfaded


  1. When on safari, it is important not to wear 1) (very colourful) or 2) .. (very colourful) clothes, as bright colours will only scare animals away. Stick to muted colours. If going on a walking safari, remember to pack a pair of 3) (strong), 4) (without heels) shoes -hiking boots are best.
  2. You wouldn’t think that man over there is Doctor Fredricks, would you? Look at him, standing there in those 1) …… (dirty) jeans and that 2) (full of holes) cardigan.
  3. She breezed into the room wearing 1) .. (unironed), 2) (having lost its original colour or brightness) , 3) (very loose) trousers and black 4) (old and ready to be thrown away) shoes. Looking up, her father almost choked on his tea. “I’m off to school,” she said.
  4. Neither of us looked particularly 1) .. (attractive) on the day we first met. I’d crawled out of bed and thrown on the first things that came to hand: a 2) (old) pair of jeans, a 3) (unironed) shirt and a pair of tennis shoes. She had walked in dressed in a hideous pair of 4) (wide at the bottom) corduroy trousers and a huge 5) (very loose) jumper. Sartorially, we were made for each other.


Ex.6. Use this text to guess the meaning of the key words.


I got up at 7.30, had a shower, got dressed, and had breakfast. It was a cold morning so I put on my overcoat and left home about 8.20. When I got to work I took off my coat and hung it up behind the door. It was hot in the office, so I took my jacket off as well. During my lunchbreak I had a look round the shops. I saw a nice jacket in one shop and tried it on, but it didn’t fit me – it was too small and they didn’t have a bigger size.


Ex. 7. Which of the following words can be combined with dressed to describe the way people look in their clothes?


well casually nice bad badly over smartly attractive untidy untidily


Which of the expressions you have found is similar in meaning to the words below?


scruffy elegant disheveled relaxed


Ex. 8. Supply the best word or words.

1 How long does it take you to………………. in the morning? a) get dressed b) dress up c) dress yourself
2 You can’t go to the interview………………. jeans and an old jacket! a) dressed with b) dressed in c) dressed up
3 Just a minute! I must have a shower and……………….before we go out. a) change b)exchange
4 You’d better……………….your coat before you go out into the cold. a) wear b) dress in c) have on d) put on
5 ……………… that blue dress to see if it suits you. a) Test b) Prove c) Try on d) Probe
6 I can’t go out in this shirt. I’ve………………. all day. a) dressed in it b) had it on

c) got dressed in it

7 The doctor asked me to……………….my shirt. a) put off b) take off c) take out d) put out
8 We got John a new………………. for his job interview. a) dress b) costume c) suit d) suite
9 How much would you expect to pay for a pair of men’s ………….. ? a) socks b) stockings c) tights
10 They won’t let you into the restaurant without a…………………. a) cravat b) tie
11 These are the………………. I work in. a) clothing b) clothe c) clothes d) cloth
12 Your collar looks very tight. Why don’t you ………………. your tie? a) loose b) lose c) loosen
13 Ticket inspectors usually wear a blue suit and a…………………. a) peaked cap b) casket
14 It was so early in the morning that she answered the door in a ….. a) dressing gown b) robe c) dress
15 How much……………….in the window? a) is that trouser b) are those trousers

c) are those pantaloons






Spring, summer, autumn, winter: every season there are new clothes and new fashions in the shops. Colours and styles keep changing. One season black is the ‘in’ colour, but the next season everyone is wearing orange or pink or grey. One season tight-fitting clothes are fashionable and the next season baggy clothes are ‘in’.

The length of women’s skirts goes up and down from year to year. In the 1960s, miniskirts became very fashionable and a woman could wear a skirt twenty or thirty centimetres above the knee. A few years later, maxi skirts became trendy and then you had to wear skirts twenty or thirty centimetres below the knee. Each season there is always a ‘correct’ length and if your skirt is just a little too long or too short some people will thing that you are very unfashionable. Men have similar problems with their shirts. Some years it is fashionable to wear very small collars. Another year small collars become out-dated and large button-down collars are trendy. Sometimes it even becomes fashionable to wear shirts with no collars at all. A shirt that you once thought was very trendy can look strangely old-fashioned a few years later. And your father’s shirts, which you always thought were very conservative and traditional, can suddenly become stylish. Keeping up with the fashions can be very expensive. So one way to save money is never to throw your old clothes out. If you wait long enough, the clothes are out of fashion today will be back in fashion tomorrow. Yesterday’s clothes are tomorrow’s new fashions


  2. New fashions come out every
  3. a) year b) season c) two years
  4. Tight-fitting clothes are
  5. a) Always in fashion b) sometimes unfashionable
  6. c) always conservative
  7. The fashionable length for a woman’s skirt depends on
  8. a) the year b) the woman’s height       c) the colour of the skirt
  9. You can tell if a man’s shirt is trendy by looking at
  10. a) the collar b) the buttons                      c) the colour
  11. It’s a good idea to keep your parents’ old clothes because
  12. a) they are conservative
  13. b) the style might be ‘in’ again in a few years’ time
  14. c) it is always trendy to wear old-fashioned clothes



  1. Do you like shopping for clothes? Why? Why not?


  1. What clothes are you and your friends wearing at the moment?


  1. What styles and colors are fashionable at the moment for men and for women?





Ex. 9.The following story uses expressions involving items of clothing. Replace them using an entry from the box.


secretly • sacked him • had a plan which he was keeping secret • try to do better • place • on a small amount of money• be quiet • wearing his very best clothes • secret • hit her hard • worked closely • nonsense • admire


Bert had never been hand in glove with Mrs Jameson, our boss. One day, Mrs Jameson told him he had to pull his socks up. Bert told her to belt up and threatened to give her a sock in the jaw. She gave him the boot and I had to step into his shoes. The next day, Bert came to the office dressed up to the nines. He told Mrs Jameson he didn’t want to be without a job and live on a shoestring. He said he was keeping something up his sleeve which he could use against the company, but would keep it under his hat if she gave him his job back. Mrs Jameson laughed up her sleeve at this and told Bert he was talking through his hat. I had to take my hat off to her.

ex.9. Check your spelling. One word in each of the following sentences is incorrectly spelt, or a wrong word has been used. Use your dictionary to help you correct them.

  1. I’d like my money back. I’d like a refound.
  2. $35 for a new television. What a bargein!
  3. It usually costs .150, but I got it for .75 in the sails.
  4. I don’t like to buy things by male order – you never know exactly what you’re going to get.
  5. Don’t forget to get a reciept from the sales assistant in case you need to return it to the store.
  6. The lapel on the jacket says ‘Wash in cold water only’.
  7. I’m afraid your cashear has overcharged me.
  8. If I pay in cash, can you give me a disscount?
  9. I brought a new stereo system yesterday. It cost me almost .600.
  10. I’m not going to that shop again; I think they treat their costumers very badly.
  11. The serving in this shop is so slow. I’ve been waiting for almost fifteen minutes.
  12. It’s quite a good idea to buy some things in bulk, as it’s more economic.



Look at the following sentences and decide whether the words and expressions in bold refer to a small amount of money or a large amount of money. Use your dictionary to help you.

  1. The shoes in that shop cost a fortune.
  2. That car was a rip-off!
  3. He paid through the nose for his ticket to Hong Kong.
  4. Our local petrol station sells cut-price petrol.
  5. The repairs to his car cost him an arm and a leg.
  6. She bought it for a song in a flea market.


Listening Task: Words About Clothing: Let’s See if I Can Name a Few Off the Cuff


Learn Clothing idioms that dress up the English language by heart.


Listen to Words and Their Stories  at: http://www.voanews.com/specialenglish/archive/2007-06/2007-06-18-voa3.cfm


Have you ever considered all the English expressions that include words about clothes?  Let’s see if I can name a few off the cuff, or without any preparation.

People wear pants to cover the lower part of their bodies.  We sometimes say that people who are restless or nervous have ants in their pants.  They might also fly by the seat of their pants.  They use their natural sense to do something instead of their learned knowledge.  Sometimes, people may get caught with their pants down.  They are found doing something they should not be doing.  And, in every family, one person takes control. Sometimes a wife tells her husband what to do. Then we say she wears the pants in the family.

Pants usually have pockets to hold things.  Money that is likely to be spent quickly can burn a hole in your pocket.  Sometimes you need a belt to hold up your pants.  If you have less money than usual, you may have to tighten your belt.  You may have to live on less money and spend your money carefully.   But once you have succeeded in budgeting your money, you will have that skill under your belt.

I always praise people who can save their money and not spend too much. I really take my hat off to them.  Yet, when it comes to my own money, I spend it at the drop of a hat – immediately, without waiting.   And sadly, you cannot pull money out of a hat.   You cannot get money by inventing or imagining it.

Boots are a heavy or strong kind of shoes.  People who are too big for their boots think they are more important than they really are.  I dislike such people. I really do. You can bet your boots on that.  Yet, truly important people are hard to replace.  Rarely can you fill their shoes or replace them with someone equally effective.

My father is an important person.  He runs a big company. He wears a suit and tie and a shirt with sleeves that cover his arms.  Some people who do not know him well think he is too firm and severe. They think he is a real stuffed shirt. But I know that my father wears his heart on his sleeve.  He shows his feelings openly.   And, he knows how to keep his shirt on.  He stays calm and never gets angry or too excited.

Also, my father has never lost his shirt in a business deal.  He is too smart to lose all or most of his money.   This is because my father rolls up his sleeves and prepares to work hard.  He often has a special plan or answer to a problem that he can use if he needs it.  He is like a person who does magic tricks.  We say he has a card up his sleeve.


This VOA Special English program, WORDS AND THEIR STORIES, was written by Jill Moss.  I’m Faith Lapidus.


Discussion: Write a paragraph.

  1. 1. What do you think the saying “You are what you wear” means? (Argumentation)
  2. 2. In what way is a person’s character, mood, social status reflected in his or her clothes? (Contrast – Comparison)



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