English Clothing Vocabulary

A collection of all of the clothing illustrations featured on this page.

This English clothing vocabulary will come in handy when you go shopping or want to compliment someone who's wearing something you like. To hear the words pronounced in American English, please check out the video below. There is a pause after each item so that you can practice saying the words yourself.

Hear the clothing vocabulary pronounced

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Talking about clothing

There are many different ways to describe clothing. For example, there are many different types of shirts:  short-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved shirts, shirts with v-necks, polo shirts, button-up shirts, dress shirts, etc. I have given several examples in the video.

It doesn't matter if you don't know the exact name of a type of shirt. You can try to describe it if you need to.

What is your favorite clothing item? What do you like to wear every day? What do you like to wear to fancy events? Leave a comment below to practice your English.

illustration of a bikini

bikini:  clothing for women used for swimming that has a two pieces to cover the top and bottom of the body.

illustration of a one-piece swimsuit

one-piece swimsuit/bathing suit:  a single item of clothing for women to wear swimming.

illustration of a blouse

blouse:  a piece of clothing for women and girls that is a bit formal. It is sometimes made of finer materials like silk.

It can have buttons or not or be long-sleeved, short-sleeved or have no sleeves).

illustration of a bra and panties (underpants)

bra and panties:  clothing worn by women underneath their clothes.

illustration of a button-down shirt

button-down shirt:  a shirt with buttons in a line down the front of the shirt.

illustration of a pair of Capri jeans

capri pants:  shorter pants with legs that go down to the calf.

illustration of a dress

dress:  a garment worn by women which covers both the top and bottom parts of the body.

illustration of an evening gown

evening gown:  a formal dress usually worn in the evening for special occasions.

illustration of a halter top

halter top:  a top worn by women that ties around the neck and does not have any sleeves.

illustration of a jeans skirt

jeans skirt:  clothing that covers the hips and legs and is made of jeans material.

illustration of a pair of pants

pants:  clothing which covers the lower body and has an opening for each leg.

illustration of a pair of pumps (heels)

pumps or heels:  accessories which cover the feet that have a raised heel which is often pointy.

illustration of a ruffled skirt

ruffled skirt:  a skirt with ruffles, which is material gathered into frills (as seen in the picture).

illustration of a ruffled tank top

ruffled tank top:  a sleeveless top with ruffles - or material gathered into frills (as seen in the picture).

illustration of a pair of shorts

shorts:  pants that end above or at the knee.

illustration of a pair of skinny jeans

skinny pants / skinny jeans:  a style of pants or jeans that is very slim so that they tightly fit to the legs, hips and buttocks.

illustration of a sleeveless blouse

sleeveless blouse:  a fancy type of top for women that does not have sleeves.

illustration of a pair of stockings

stockings:  a very thin covering made of nylon or silk which cover the legs (which women usually wear with skirts and dresses). These are also called pantyhose.

illustration of a women's suit jacket and skirt

suit:  a two-piece set of clothing consisting of a jacket and a skirt (or pants).

illustration of a tank top

tank top:  a sleeveless top.

illustration of a v-neck t-shirt

v-neck t-shirt:  a t-shirt with the neck opening in the shape of a "v."

illustration of a short-sleeved shirt

short-sleeved shirt:  any style of shirt with sleeves that come close or to the elbow.

illustration of a baseball t-shirt

baseball t-shirt:  a style of t-shirt that is similar to what baseball players wear.

illustration of cargo pants

cargo pants:  a style of loose fitting pants with several large pockets (especially on the side of the legs near the knees)

illustration of a crew neck t-shirt

crew neck t-shirt:  a t-shirt with a round shaped neck.

illustration of a pair of gym shorts

gym shorts:  cotton shorts that are often worn by students in athletics class at school.

illustration of a hoodie sweatshirt

hoodie:  a type of sweatshirt that has a hood attached to it.

illustration of a pair of blue jeans

jeans:  a type of pants made of sturdy cotton material called jeans or dungarees.

illustration of a pair of jeans shorts

jeans shorts:  jean pants that come to the knee or above the knee.

suit jacket and tie

suit jacket:  a formal jacket worn by men (usually with suit pans of the same material).

tie:  an long thin strip of material (usually silk or cotton) that is tied in a knot around the neck.

illustration of a polo shirt

polo shirt:  a shirt with a color and usually a few buttons down the neck (so the shirt can be pulled over the head).

illustration of a pair of running shoes

running shoes:  athletic shoes for running. Note: In American English "running" shoes can be used to talk about all casual athletic shoes. 

illustration of a button-down shirt

shirt:  a top with buttons down the front.

illustration of a short-sleeved baseball t-shirt

short-sleeved baseball t-shirt:  a short-sleeved shirt in the style of a baseball uniform top.

illustration of a pair of sweat pants

sweat pants:  casual pants often worn in the gym made of thick cotton and often have a draw-string at the waist of the pants and elastic at the bottom.

illustration of a t-shirt

t-shirt:  a casual top usually made of cotton.

Check out some clothing idioms

Expand your vocabulary further with these idiomatic expressions. There are a number of idioms related to clothing in English.

For example, to lose one's shirt, to step into someone's shoes, at the drop of the hat are very common idiomatic expressions in English.

Click to see an infographic with eight popular English clothing idioms.

link to Clothing idioms infographic

Your turn:  Practice your clothing vocabulary

There are many other types of clothes but hopefully this clothing vocabulary list has been helpful. Here are some questions you can answer to practice your English:

  • What types of clothes do you prefer to wear? 
  • Do you like formal or casual clothing? 
  • What is your favorite clothing item? Mine is a cashmere sweater. It's very warm and soft.
  • What do you wear to work or school?
  • Do you have traditional clothing in your country? What is it like?

You can either write the answers to these questions on a piece of paper or simply answer the questions out loud to yourself or with a speaking partner.

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