EPISODE 18
LEVEL B2

 

READING COMPREHENSION

 

CLOTHES – ITEMS AND ADJECTIVES

As lots of women, I am keen on buying clothes and wearing them, of course. Although it happens that I buy garments I never or hardly ever wear. Take this patterned skirt (= with different patterns on) that I bought in sales last summer. I don’t know why I bought it, actually. Or these tight-fitting jeans (= close to your body) I got last month. I thought I looked good in them until I looked at myself in the mirror at home. Most of my clothes are rather loose (= not tight) or even baggy (= very loose), so I needed a change, but… I’m not sure I’ll ever put on these trousers.
You can find lots of different clothes in my spacious wardrobe. Most of them are plain (= with no pattern on), but a couple of years ago I used to wear striped (= with lines of one colour on a background of a different colour) or checked clothes (= with a pattern of squares), although some people said they didn’t suit me. I hardly ever wear skirts; for sure no minis, I’ve got just two or three knee-length ones (= reaching down to your knees). As for shoes, you’d have to be lucky to see me wearing high-heels (= shoes with high heels), I feel most comfortable in flat shoes (= without heels) or boots (= a kind of shoe covering all of your foot and part of your leg).
And I just love wearing all sorts of accessories (= additional objects that make you look more attractive), like belts (= made of leather, worn around your waist), bracelets (= a piece of jewellery worn around your wrist), rings or earrings. My friends know about it and always buy them for me as presents.

More contexts for the new words:

  • I’d prefer to have plain yoghurt for breakfast today. (= without any things added to it)

 

EXERCISE 1

Put the words into categories.

 

baggy

earring

flat

high heels

knee-length

loose

belt

boots

bracelet

checked

patterned

plain

ring

striped

tight-fitting

 

PatternsStylesShoesAccessories

 

 

EXERCISE 2

Complete the questions, then answer them.

 

  1. In what kind of shoes do women look sexy: f………………………., high h………………………, or b………………………? Why?
  2. When it comes to style, do you prefer l………………………, tight-f………………………, or b……………………… clothes? Why?
  3. What a……………………… (e.g. jewellery) do you usually wear?

 

ENGLISH IN USE 

 

Quite obviously, when describing clothes (or other nouns) we use different adjectives. Normally, you wouldn’t use more than two or three adjectives at a time to describe one noun. But even if you use only three of them, there is a certain rule you must be aware of. The rule concerns the order of adjectives you use one after another.

It is useful to know how to use a couple of most commonly used ones. So, this is the order in which you would use adjectives:

1. OPINION (e.g. lovely, gorgeous, revolting)
2. SIZE (e.g. big, tiny, huge)
3. OTHER QUALITIES (e.g. warm, soft, tight)
4. AGE (e.g. new, young, ancient)
5. COLOUR (e.g. yellow, beige, purple)
6. PATTERN (e.g. striped, check, spotted)
7. NATIONALITY (e.g. Swiss, Spanish, foreign)
8. MATERIAL (silk, fur, suede)

And here are examples of sentences when these adjectives are used in the proper order, according to the rule presented above.

Why does he always wear those hideous old shoes?
You would never see me wearing tight pink cotton trousers.
I bought a long patterned silk scarf the other day.

 

 

IDIOM CLOSE-UP

 

A/ Is the size of this dress ok?

B/ Yes, it FITS LIKE A GLOVE.

 

If something fits like a glove, it fits very well.

 

 

PHRASAL VERBS CLOSE-UP

 

  1. If you TAKE a piece of clothing IN, you make it more narrow or tight, so that it fits you.

I’ve lost some weight, so I’ll have to have this skirt taken in.

 

  1. If you LET a piece of clothing DOWN, you use the extra cloth in the bottom fold to make something longer.

As my daughter grew taller, I had to let down all of her dresses.

 

 

EXERCISE 3

Match the problems with solutions.

 

  1. It fits like a glove.           a) Let it down!.
  2. It’s too short.                   b) No problem! 🙂
  3. It’s too loose.                   c) Take it in!

 

NEWS

 

SIZING MIX-UP

National authorities are starting to scrutinize the sizing policies  used in various stores. In an effort to introduce standardized guidelines for the whole fashion industry, inspectors have revealed that each shop has its own measuring and sizing standards. While it comes as no surprise to most women, who hardly ever buy a garment without trying it on, and have come to embrace the frustrations of unpredictable sizes, it does vex the uglier sex, who detest shopping in general, and hanging out in the fitting room in particular. The rationale behind substandard sizing practices is simple enough: you are more likely to come back to a shop where you wear size 40 instead of size 42! More surprisingly, perhaps, particular shops also lack internal standardization. This is especially true of H&M, where you might – on one day – buy a dress size 40, a pair of jeans size 42, and a blouse size 38, all fitting you like a glove! Who can explain that mystery?

 

GLOSSARY

to scrutinize – to examine closely

to embrace – to accept

to vex – to frustrate

rationale – explanation, justification

 

 

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>>Answers

KEY TO EXERCISES 

 

Ex.1

Patterns: plain, patterned, striped, checked

Styles: tight-fitting, loose, baggy, knee-length

Shoes: flat, high heels, boots

Accessories: belt, bracelet, ring, earring

 

Ex. 2

  1. flat, heels, boots
  2. loose, fitting, baggy
  3. accessories

 

Ex.3

  1. b
  2. a
  3. c

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