Thursday, 15 December 2011

Objective Proficiency p 76. Clothes. Extra Speaking

1. MONOLOGUE. Prepare a talk of AT LEAST 5 minutes on the subject. You may use the pictures above and the contents below if you wish:

"Customers want good value, but they care more than ever how food and clothing products are made."

Sir Stuart Alan Ransom Rose (born 17 March 1949) is a British businessman, who was the executive chairman of the British retailer Marks & Spencer.

Though mechanization transformed most aspects of human industry by the mid-20th century, garment workers have continued to labour under challenging conditions that demand repetitive manual labour. Mass-produced clothing is often made in what are considered by some to be sweatshops, typified by long work hours, lack of benefits, and lack of worker representation. While most examples of such conditions are found in developing countries, clothes made in industrialized nations may also be manufactured similarly, often staffed by undocumented immigrants. What awareness-raising events could be organized to improve these conditions and in order to draw the attention of both the media and the general public to the workers? Do you think that outsourcing production to low wage countries is part of the problem? Is globalization a contributing factor to the poor working conditions of garment workers? In spite of all this, can you think of something positive related to this issue?

You may make some notes for your talk to take into the exam. These should not exceed five lines.

In this part of the test, the examiner will ask you some questions about issues related to the TOPIC. Remember that you are expected to have a conversation as natural as possible and give full answers. This part of the examination will last AT LEAST 5 minutes. You will not see the questions below.


1. Do you enjoy wearing flamboyant clothes or do you prefer to wear plain ones?
2. What articles of clothing were de rigueur for the fashion-conscious in the 1970's?
3. What type of sweaters do you like wearing?   
4.  When was the last time you dressed up to the nines? What did you wear?
5. What should the well dressed 35 year old be wearing for casual gear?
6. What is currently in vogue in fashion shows
7. How would you revamp your wardrobe in an environmentally friendly way?
8. When was the last time that you or someone you know got very hot under the collar? What happened?
9. Have you heard any comments recently that you would consider below the belt?
10. What experiences do you have under your belt? What would you like to have under your belt in the next 10 years?

Picture 1
Polka dot
s: /
ˈpɒlkə/ dots that together form a pattern, especially on cloth. Sp. Sp. topos. E.g. a polka-dot tie. He is wearing a pair of polka-dot pyjamas.

Striped: /straɪpt/ marked with a pattern of stripes. Sp. a rayas. E.g. a striped shirt. A blue and white striped jacket. He is wearing a striped shirt.

Check(ed): having a pattern of squares, usually of two colours. E.g. checked material. He is wearing a checked shirt. A yellow and red check skirt.

She is wearing high-heeled shoes/ high heels.

Stiletto (heel): /stɪˈletəʊ/ a woman's shoe with a very high narrow heel; the heel on such a shoe.  

I would wear flat shoes for your walking holiday if I were you.

He is wearing trainers/ wellingtons (wellies)/ lace-ups (a shoe that is fastened with laces. E.g. a pair of lace-ups. Lace-up boots.)/ loafers (a flat leather shoe that you can put on your foot without fastening it) / slippers/ flip-flops/cowboy boots.

A wrinkled suit. The suit has wrinkles.

Creased: unironed, full of lines and wrinkles. E.g. I can't wear this blouse. It's creased. 

Crumpled: unironed, full of lines and wrinkles. E.g. crumpled clothes.

Picture 2
Chav: /tʃæv/ a young lower-class person typified by brash and loutish behaviour and the wearing of (real or imitation) designer clothes. The stereotype of a chav includes wearing branded designer sportswear. Stereotypical attire might be accompanied by some form of gold jewellery otherwise termed 'bling'. E.g. Chavs wear designer label gear and the latest trainers and back to front baseball caps or hoodies. This photo illustrates the chavish style: all of the boys are wearing hooded jackets or jumpers with the hood up over a cap, with baggy jeans or a plain dark coloured pair of shorts. The girls are all wearing caps with a relatively short top or skirt. They are wearing jewellery and bright colours and several layers. Belts are also noticeable.

Bling: expensive shiny jewellery and bright fashionable clothes worn in order to attract attention to yourself
She has a fake tan and wears too much bling.

Hoody (also hoodie): 1.a jacket or a sweatshirt with a hood. 2. informal a person, especially a youth, wearing a hooded top. This sweatshirt allows you to fully zip-up the hoodie to cover part of your face.
Is covering head with a hoodie disrespectful?  Do people in black hoodies look suspicious? Does it matter how much the hoodie covers their face or how baggie their jeans are?

He is wearing a jogging suit/ tracksuit/ a sweatsuit/ a sweatshirt/ sweatpants

Neck warmer: (also neck gaiter /ˈɡeɪtə(r)/) a high tubular collar fitting closely around the neck, often worn by skiers. Sp. braga de cuello. 

Garish: /ˈɡeərɪʃ/ very brightly coloured in an unpleasant way. Gaudy. Sp. chillón, llamativo. E.g. garish clothes/ colours. It's a little too garish for my taste. He was a paragon (a perfect example of a particular good quality) of bad taste in his checked trousers and garish pink shirt.

Gaudy: /ˈɡɔːdi/ too brightly coloured in a way that lacks taste. E.g. gaudy clothes/ colours.

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

Wear jewellery/(especially US) jewelry/accessories/a watch/glasses/contact lenses/perfume.

Use/wear/apply/put on make-up/cosmetics.

Have a cap and a hood/red dress on.

Spend/waste money on designer clothes.

To judge from the clothes they are wearing…

Speak volumes (about/for something/somebody): to tell you a lot about something/somebody, without the need for words. E.g. His achievement speaks volumes for his determination.What you wear speaks volumes about you.

Picture 3 

Grubby: /ˈɡrʌbi/ rather dirty, usually because it has not been washed or cleaned. E.g. grubby hands/ clothes.

Scruffy: dirty or untidy. Sp. desaliñado. E.g. He looks a little scruffy. He is wearing a scruffy pair of jeans.

Shabby: in poor condition because they have been used a lot. Sp. desgastado. E.g. She is wearing shabby old jeans and a T-shirt.

Worn-out: old and ready to be thrown away. E.g. Those worn-out gardening trousers are only fit to be torn up and used as dusters (cloths for removing dust from furniture)

Unkempt: not well cared for; not neat or tidy. Sp. descuidado. E.g. they were unwashed and unkempt.

Dishevelled: /dɪˈʃevld/ very untidy. He looked tired and dishevelled.

Moth-eaten: full of holes. Shabby. E.g. does he have to dress so scruffily? Look at that moth-eaten jumper he is wearing.

Patched: holes covered with a piece of cloth or other material, especially in clothes. E.g. the tramp looked a sad sight in his ragged (/ˈræɡɪd/ old and torn) jacket and patched trousers. Patched jeans.

Tramp: a person with no home or job who travels from place to place, usually asking people in the street for food or money.  

Faded: having lost its original colour or brightness. E.g. a faded pair of jeans. A faded sweatshirt.

Be (dressed) in rags (= very old torn clothes).

Wear/dress in second-hand clothes.

Picture 4

Onesie: /ˈwʌnzi/ a loose-fitting one-piece leisure garment for adults, covering the torso /ˈtɔːsəʊ/ and legs. E.g. I’d had a bath and was in my onesie ready to settle down for yet another reality TV marathon.

Be dressed as a baby/ man/woman/clown/pirate. He was dressed as a woman (= he was wearing women's clothes).

Change into/get changed into a pair of jeans/ your pyjamas/ (especially US) your pajamas/ your onesie.

Have good/great/terrible/awful taste [U] in clothes. 
Picture 5

Harem pants or harem trousers: /ˈhɑːriːm/ are baggy, long pants tapered at the ankle. What do you feel about men in harem pants?

Baggy: very loose. E.g. a baggy jumper/ pair of jeans 

He is wearing a baggy/loose/tight/tight-fitting T-shirt.

Snug: fitting somebody/something closely. E.g. The elastic at the waist gives a nice snug fit. These jeans are a bit snug (= too tight).

Taper: /ˈteɪpə(r)/ to become gradually narrower. E.g.  He is wearing tapering/ tapered jeans. 

Be fashionably/stylishly/well dressed.

Unflattering: /ʌnˈflætərɪŋ/ making somebody/something seem worse or less attractive than they really are. Sp. poco favorecedor. E.g. an unflattering dress. Unflattering comments. 

Sturdy: /ˈstɜːdi/ strong and not easily damaged. E.g. a sturdy pair of boots. A sturdy bag.
Picture 6

Clingy /ˈklɪŋi/ also clinging /ˈklɪŋɪŋ/ (of clothes or material) sticking to the body and showing its shape. Sp. ajustado, ceñido. E.g. a clingy top.

Skimpy (of clothes) very small and not covering much of your body. Sp. muy corto. E.g. a skimpy dress.

Bleach: to become white. To make something white. E.g. A bleached pair of jeans.

Stonewashed (of jeans, etc.) washed in a special way so that the cloth loses some colour and looks older. E.g. a stonewashed pair of jeans.

Monologue: questions

Garment (formal) a piece of clothing: He was wearing a strange shapeless garment.  

Labour: (V) to do hard physical work. E.g. We laboured all day in the fields.

Labour: (N) work, especially physical work. E.g. manual labour (= work using your hands)

Sweatshop: a place where people work for low wages in poor conditions. 

Outsource: /ˈaʊtsɔːs/ to arrange for somebody outside a company to do work or provide goods for that company. E.g. We outsource all our computing work.

Question 1

  1. (of people or their behaviour) different, confident and exciting in a way that attracts attention. E.g. a flamboyant gesture/style/personality. He was flamboyant and temperamental on and off the stage.
  2. brightly coloured and noticeable. E.g. flamboyant clothes/designs

plain: not decorated or complicated; simple. E.g. a plain but elegant dressPlain food. The interior of the church was plain and simple. Plain yogurt (= without sugar or fruit).

Question 2

Platform shoes: they have thick high heels and an elevated sole. E.g. Flared trousers, wide lapels (Sp. solapas) and platform shoes- de rigueur (/ˌdə rɪˈɡɜː(r)/ considered necessary if you wish to be accepted socially) for the fashion- conscious in the 1970's.

Flared: /fleəd/ wider at the bottom edge than at the top. Sp. acampanado. E.g. a flared pair of trousers.

Bell-bottoms: trousers/pants with legs that become very wide below the knee. (As modifier bell-bottom) E.g. bell-bottom trousers. Bell-bottomed E.g. bell-bottomed trousers.

Question 3

He is wearing a polo neck/turtleneck sweater. You can wear a polo neck with that jacket.

He is wearing a V-neck/ crew neck (a round neck on a sweater) sweater.

A polo /ˈpəʊləʊ/shirt

Question 4 

Dress up: to wear clothes that are more formal than those you usually wear. E.g. There's no need to dress up—come as you are.

Dressed (up) to the nines: (informal) wearing very elegant or formal clothes.

Pinstriped: dark cloth with vertical lines printed on it. It is used especially for making business suits. Sp. de raya diplomática. E.g. He is wearing a pinstriped suit.

He is wearing a business suit/ a two-piece suit/a three-piece suit (with waistcoat/vest)

A short-sleeved shirt/ a long-sleeved shirt

Glitzy: very attractive, exciting and impressive, in a way that is not always genuine, with no real value. Glamoroso, deslumbrante. E.g. a glitzy, Hollywood-style occasion. A glitzy television show. Danni added some sparkle to the night by wearing a glitzy dress which showed off her enviable curves. 

Fancy: special and unusual, with a lot of decoration. E.g. I wanted just a plain handbag – nothing fancy. 

Fetching: /ˈfetʃɪŋ/ (especially of a person or their clothes) attractive. E.g. She looked very fetching in a little red hat. A fetching blue sweater. A fetching smile. She was wearing a particularly fetching dress.

Tailored: made to fit well or closely. Sp. entallado. E.g. a tailored jacket. A tailored suit is the best thing to wear for formal occasions.

Be wearing a new outfit/ bright colours/ fancy dress/ fur.

Outfit: a set of clothes that you wear together, especially for a particular occasion or purpose. E.g. She was wearing an expensive new outfit. Conjunto. 

Fur: a piece of clothing, especially a coat or jacket, made of real or artificial fur. E.g. elegant ladies in furs.

Be (dressed) in black/red/ your best suit/leather/silk.

Be dressed for dinner/a special occasion.

Wear/dress in designer clothes.  

Question 5  

Dress in casual clothes.

Chinos: /ˈtʃiːnəʊz/ informal trousers/pants made from strong cotton. E.g. a pair of chinos.

A dress with short / long sleeves. He rolled up his sleeves.

Dress down: to wear clothes that are more informal than those you usually wear, for example in an office. E.g. Sue dressed down in old jeans and a white blouse.

Be dressed for work/school. 

Question 6

Vogue (for something): /vəʊɡ/ a fashion for something. The vogue for child-centred education. Black is in vogue again. Sixties music has come back into vogue. This novel had a great vogue ten years ago. Be (back/ very much) in vogue. Create a vogue for something.

Follow/keep up with (the) fashion/the latest fashions.

Be in/ come into/ go out of fashion 

Organize/put on a fashion show.

Show/unveil a designer's spring/summer collection 

Sashay/strut down the catwalk/(North American English also) runway.
Sashay: /ˈsæʃeɪ/ to walk in a very confident but relaxed way, especially in order to be noticed. E.g. I watched her as she sashayed across the room.
Strut: to walk proudly with your head up and chest out to show that you think you are important. E.g. The players strutted and posed for the cameras.

swagger: (V) /ˈswæɡə(r)/ to walk in an extremely proud and confident way. E.g. He swaggered into the room looking very pleased with himself.

swagger: (N) a way of walking or behaving that seems too confident She walked to the front of the class with a swagger.

Panache: /pəˈnæʃ/ the quality of being able to do things in a confident and elegant way that other people find attractive. Flair, style. E.g. She carried off the performance with panache. 

Question 7 

Update/revamp your wardrobe.

Revamp something: to make changes to the form of something, usually to improve its appearance. E.g. To revamp my wardrobe I start with the things that are stained and wash them with laundry soap that is for stain removal. If the stain does not come out I use the fabric for patches. Next I take the clothing with rips and holes and determine if they can be repaired with simple needle and thread or if it will need a patch.

Clothing: there is no singular form of clothes or clothing: a piece/an item/an article of clothing is used to talk about one thing that you wear such as a dress or shirt. 

Dress [U] clothes, especially when worn in a particular style or for a particular occasion. E.g. We were allowed to wear casual dress on Fridays.

Wear [U] (usually in compounds) clothes for a particular purpose or occasion, especially when it is being sold in shops/stores. E.g. the children's wear department. Casual wear. Formal wear. Sports wear. Designer wear.

Gear [U] (informal) /ɡɪə(r)/ clothes: Her friends were all wearing the latest gear (= fashionable clothes).
Casual gear. Sports gear. Designer gear.

Synthetic: artificial. E.g. shoes with synthetic soles. Clothes that are part natural fabric (Sp. tela, tejido) and part synthetic are easy to wash and care for.

Pull on/pull off your coat/gloves/socks.

Question 8

Hot under the collar(informal) /ˈkɒlə(r)/ angry or embarrassed. E.g. He got very hot under the collar when I asked him where he'd been all day. What are you getting so hot under the collar about?

Question 9

Below the belt: (of a remark) unfair or cruel. E.g. That was distinctly below the belt! You should apologize to Jane. What you said to her last night was really below the belt.

Question 10

Have something under your belt: (informal) to have already achieved or obtained something. E.g. She already has a couple of good wins under her belt. Once they had got their first championship under their belts, there was no stopping them. Michael has three years of college under his belt. James is new to the company and doesn’t have much work experience under his belt.

Other idioms with an article of clothing.

And, to cap it all: (informal) used to introduce the final piece of information that is worse than the other bad things that you have just mentioned. E.g. And then, to cap it all, it started to rain! It rained all the time, the hotel was horrible, and, to cap it all, we lost our passports.

At the drop of a hat: immediately; without hesitating. E.g. The company can't expect me to move my home and family at the drop of a hat. If he proposed to her, she would definitely marry him at the drop of a hat.

Out of pocket (especially British English) having lost money as a result of something. E.g. That one mistake left him thousands of pounds out of pocket. My expenses cost me more than they paid me, so I worked and ended up out of pocket. The organizer of the concert was £3,700 out of pocket after it was cancelled.

Fit (somebody) like a glove: to be the perfect size or shape for somebody. E.g. The dress fits me like a glove. I was sure this coat was going to be too big for me, but it fits like a glove.

Be given the boot/ get the boot: (informal) to be told that you must leave your job or that a relationship you are having with somebody is over. E.g. He should have been given the boot years ago. Jim got the boot last week for persistently being late.

Have/keep something up your sleeve: to keep a plan or an idea secret until you need to use it. E.g. Actually I do have a few ideas up my sleeve. It seemed to be a hopeless case but his lawyer had something up his sleeve.

If I were in your shoes: used to introduce a piece of advice you are giving to somebody. If I were you. E.g. If I were in your shoes, I'd resign immediately. If I were in their shoes, I would seriously think about taking him to court.

Be in somebody's shoes/ put yourself in somebody's shoes: to be in, or imagine that you are in, another person's situation, especially when it is an unpleasant or difficult one. E.g. I wouldn't like to be in your shoes when they find out about it. Well what would you do? Just put yourself in my shoes.

Pull your socks up: (British English, informal) to try to improve your performance, work, behaviour, etc. E.g. You're going to have to pull your socks up. If you don't pull your socks up, you are going to fail these exams.

Wear the trousers: (British English)  (often disapproving) (especially of a woman) to be the person in a marriage or other relationship who makes most of the decisions. E.g. It's obvious who wears the trousers in that family! Jenny wears the trousers in that house. Nathan won't breathe unless she gives him permission!


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