French Vocabulary: Clothes


The people of France are a fashionable bunch, so knowing how to talk about clothes and accessories in French will serve you well. This list contains the essential clothing vocabulary for any beginner or intermediate, and is broken down into various sections to make memorising easier. Once you’ve finished with this list, you may also find it useful to look at a French clothes website, so you can reinforce and learn vocabulary with pictures instead of direct translations.

The Basics

les vêtements, les fringues (informal) = clothes
un chapeau = a hat
des chausettes = socks
un pantalon = trousers
un pull = a jumper
des chaussures = shoes
un jean = jeans un survêtement, un survêt = a tracksuit
un pull à capuche = a hoody
un blouson, une veste = a jacket* *(un blouson usually refers to a thicker jacket worn outdoors, like a bomber jacket, whereas une veste usually refers to a thinner jacket that can be worn indoors, like a suit jacket)


Men’s Work Wear

une cravate = a tie
un costume = a suit
une pince à cravete = a tie pin
une chemise = a shirt
un pantalon de costume = suit trousers
une veste de costume = suit jacket


Women’s Work Wear

un tailleur = women’s suit
un tailleur pantalon = a pant suit
un tailleur jupe = a skirt suit
une jupe-culotte = culottes
un collant = tights
un chemisier = a blouse


Men’s Evening Wear

un smoking = a tuxedo
une ceinture de smoking = a cummerbund
un nœud papillon = a bow tie
une cravate = a tie
des boutons de manchettes = cuff links
une pince à cravete = a tie pin
un gilet de costume = a waistcoat


Women’s Evening Wear

une robe = a dress
une robe de soirée, une robe du soir = an evening gown
une robe de bal = a ball gown
une robe de plage = sundress, summer dress
des chaussures à hauts talons, des talons hauts, des talons aiguilles = high heels
le maquillage = make-up
le rouge à levres = lipstick
un diadème = a tiara*
*une tiare may also refer to a tiara, but usually one worn by a royal


Night-time Wear

un peignoir, une robe de chambre = a dressing gown
le pyjama = pyjamas
des chaussons, des pantoufles, des charentaises = slippers*
*des charentaises are slippers whose tongue extends over the instep of the foot.


Swimwear

un bikini = a bikini
un maillot de bain =a swimsuit, swimming trunks
un slip de bain = swimming trunks
un bonnet de bain, un bonnet de natation = swimming cap


Outdoor and Sports Wear

des guêtres de randonnées = walking gaiters
des chaussures de randonnée = hiking boots
des tennis, des baskets = sneakers, trainers
un imperméable = a waterproof jacket, a raincoat
un bonnet = a beanie
un polaire, une veste polaire = a fleece
une écharpe tube = a snood
une écharpe = a scarf
une veste de ski = ski jacket


Underwear

des bas = stockings
un soutien-gorge = a bra
une culotte = women’s underpants, knickers
un slip = (men’s or women’s) underpants, briefs
un caleçon = boxer shorts, trunks (men’s)
un boxer-short = boxers
un caleçon long = long johns, training tights (usually men’s)