French Fashion and Clothes Vocabulary

By OptiLingo • 4 minute read

clothes in french fashion

French Clothing and Fashion

French fashion is internationally famed for its elegance and excellence. From Coco Chanel to Jean Paul Gaultier, French designers have paved the road to trends worldwide. When you’re learning French, it’s important to have a good vocabulary of clothes in French. But you should also know about French fashion culture, so you can dress like a French person properly. 

French Clothes of Haute Couture

In the world of style, the French combine their love of logic with wit, flair, and elegance. Their elaborate and uniquely French approach to design is called “haute couture” or “high fashion”. This term can describe French clothes, makeup, perfume, and accessories, designed to be elegant and trendy. Haute couture is not only a major industry, but it also has an iconic status worldwide.

Designer clothes provide plenty of material for haute couture. Wearing Chanel, Louboutin, Dior, or Louis Vuitton shows high elegance and sophistication. Not to mention wealth. This, of course, is not how everyday French people dress. Even if you don’t wear designer French clothes, you can still present yourself in the French style. 

clothes in french haute couture

Everyday French Clothing

Of course, most of us can’t afford to wear designer clothes. Luckily, you can achieve an everyday French look easily. The goal is always to look clean and well put-together. 

For men, “de rigueur” (the regular) includes donning suits with bright ties and pleasant smelling aftershave. For women, it’s about looking “soignée,” or cared for by showing attentiveness to hair, skin, clothing, and accessories. In fact, a French woman or man making a quick stop at the grocery store might not look any different than one dressed for a vacation. It’s rare to see the French unkempt.

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Clothes in French Vocabulary

Having a good vocabulary is crucial for French fluency. However, keep in mind that it’s not about how many words you know. It’s about knowing the right ones. Talk about French style, and dress in French after mastering these words. So here’s a list of 65 French words for different types of clothing:

Clothes in French: Les Vêtements

  • un anorak – ski jacket
  • un blouson – jacket
  • un chapeau – hat
  • une écharpe – scarf
  • un gilet – cardigan
  • un imperméable – raincoat
  • un jean – jeans
  • un maillot – bathing suit
  • un manteau – coat
  • un pantalon – pants, trousers
  • un pull – pullover
  • un pyjama – pyjamas
  • un short – shorts
  • une sweat – sweater
  • un tee-shirt – T-shirt

Footwear: Les Chaussures

  • des bottes (f) – boots
  • des chaussettes (f) – socks
  • des chaussures (f) – shoes
  • des chaussures à haute talons (f) – high-heeled shoes
  • des sandales (f) – sandals
  • des tenis (m) – sneakers

clothes in french fashion clothing

Women’s Clothing: Vêtements des Femmes

  • un bikini – bikini
  • une chemise de nuit – nightgown
  • un chemisier – blouse
  • une jupe – skirt
  • une minijupe – miniskirt
  • une robe – dress
  • un tailleur – suit
  • des bas (m) – stockings
  • un collant – tights
  • une combinaison – slip
  • un jupon – half-slip
  • un slip – panties
  • un soutien-gorge – bra

Men’s Clothing – Vêtements d’Hommes

  • une ceinture – belt
  • une chemise – shirt
  • un costume – suit
  • une cravate – tie
  • un gilet – waistcoat
  • un nœud papillon – bow tie
  • un smoking – tuxedo
  • un veston de sport – sport jacket
  • un boxer-short – boxer shorts
  • un caleçon – underwear
  • un maillot de corps – undershirt

French Clothing Verbs

  • aller à – to fit, be the right size for
  • chausser – to put shoes on
  • s’habiller – to get dressed
  • se déshabiller – to get undressed
  • se rhabiller – to get dressed again
  • essayer – to try on
  • porter – to wear
  • faire la lessive – to do laundry
  • plier – to fold
  • repasser – to iron

clothes in french


  • acrylique – acrylic
  • de coton – cotton
  • en cuir – leather
  • de daim – suede
  • de feutre – felt
  • en laine – wool
  • de nylon – nylon
  • en polyester – polyester
  • en soie – silk
  • de tissu synthétique – synthetic

Learn French to Experience French Style and Fashion

French Fashion is a crucial part of French culture. Clothing and style are highly valued in France and among French people. That’s why it’s worth putting the effort into your appearance when you’re in France. There’s only one thing French people appreciate more than a well-dressed visitor: someone who speaks French.

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