How to say 170+ clothing items in Spanish: A ridiculously helpful vocab guide

Whether you’re looking to dress to impress or simply want to buy a new pair of socks, learning the names of clothes in Spanish is sure to pay off.

Traveling around Spanish-speaking countries is one of the best ways to learn Spanish, and who doesn’t love shopping while traveling? You’ll be able to acquire some exciting and unique clothes from all the culturally-rich regional cultures of Spain and Latin America

Even if shopping isn’t exactly your cup of tea, we all need clothes to survive! Here are a few situations when knowing clothing vocabulary in Spanish could come in handy:

  • You move to a Spanish-speaking country and need to go clothes shopping.
  • You run into a wonderful street market and want to buy some unique clothes.
  • You want to get a souvenir for yourself or your loved ones back home.
  • You planned a trip to Argentina in July and forgot to bring your winter clothes for the Southern Hemisphere winter.

As you can see, you’re very likely to need to talk about clothes in Spanish at some point! This guide will walk you through over two hundred different clothing vocabulary words, so don’t worry if it seems like a lot. Instead, spend some time learning your favorite words and familiarize yourself with the rest. Start by learning some of the most popular clothing names with this free activity poster.

Table of contents

Clothes in Spanish

The first thing you should know is how to actually say “clothes” in Spanish. The Spanish word for clothes is ropa. As with English, ropa is plural and can refer to a whole outfit or clothes in general. However, ropa is generally used in the singular form as a general term for all clothing, so you should still say la ropa, mi ropa, etc.

If you need to talk about a singular piece of clothing, though, there’s another word for that: prenda. This one can be plural as well, so if you’re talking about a few specific pieces of clothing, you can also say prendas! More in the table below.

ClothesLa ropaˈroparoh-pa
Piece of clothingLa prendaˈpɾɛ̃ndapren-da
Pieces of clothingLas prendasˈpɾɛ̃ndaspren-das

Example sentences of clothing in Spanish

Here are some example sentences that will help you both understand how to use the vocabulary words introduced above and also visualize some of the most common scenarios you will encounter where you will need to talk about clothes in Spanish.

Woman trying on Clothes in Spanish.

I love your clothes!¡Me encanta tu ropa!mɛ ɛ̃nˈkãnta tu ˈropa ‖meh en-can-ta too ro-pa
Where did you get your clothes?¿Dónde compraste tu ropa?ˈdõnde kõmˈpɾaste tu ˈropa ‖don-deh com-pras-teh too ro-pa
What’s the best place to buy clothes around here?¿Cúal es el mejor lugar para comprar ropa por aquí?ˈkual ˈɛs ɛl meˈxoɾ luˈɣaɾ ˈpaɾa kõmˈpɾaɾ ˈropa poɾ aˈki ‖coo-al es elle meh-hor loo-gar pa-ra com-prar ro-pa pore ah-key
Which piece of clothing do you think is the prettiest?¿Cuál crees que sea la prenda más bonita?ˈkwal ˈkɾees ˈke ˈsea la ˈpɾɛ̃nda ˈmas̬ βoˈnita ‖coo-al krehs keh seh-ah la pren-da mas bo-ne-ta
Are these clothes yours?¿Estas prendas son tuyas?ˈɛstas ˈpɾɛ̃ndas ˈsõn ˈtuʝas ‖ehs-tas pren-das son too-yas

Download our FREE activity poster

For a great way to memorize the most common clothing types in Spanish, make it interactive. Download our printable activity poster today, it's sure to pay off. Let's go!

Free Berlitz printable poster to help you learn the most common clothing items in Spanish.

Dress codes in Spanish

Learning the dress codes in Spanish can save you a lot of trouble–and even potential embarrassment! Whether you’re attending an important business event or a quinceañera, you want to make sure you are always dressed appropriately. Here are some of the most common ways to talk about dress codes in Spanish.

Formal dress codes in Spanish.

Smart casualSmart casualˈs̬maɾt kaˈswales-mart kah-soo-al
Semi-FormalSemiformalsemifoɾˈmalseh-me for-mal
Office attireOficinaofiˈsinaoh-fee-see-na
Cocktail dressCóctelˈkok̚tɛlcoc-tel
Evening wearVestimenta nocturnobɛstiˈmɛ̃nta nok̚ˈtuɾnoves-tee-men-ta
Black tieEtiqueta ɛtiˈkɛtaeh-tee-keh-ta
White tieEtiqueta rigurosaɛtiˈkɛta riɣuˈɾosaeh-tee-keh-ta ree-goo-ro-sa
Evening gownVestido de nochebɛsˈtiðo ðe ˈnoʧeves-tee-doh deh no-che
Ball gownVestido de bailebɛsˈtiðo ðe ˈβai̯leves-tee-doh deh 

Underwear in Spanish

Maybe you forgot to pack your underwear, or maybe you’ve stayed in Spain or Latin America and need to top-up your underwear drawer. Whatever the case, you definitely do not want to be in a situation where you wish you knew how to say underwear in Spanish! Here are a variety of underwear types along with how to say them in Spanish.

UnderwearLa ropa interiorˈropa ĩ̯ntɛˈɾjoɾroh-pa een-teh-ree-or
UnderpantsLos calzoneskalˈsoneskal-soh-nes
BoxersLos boxersˈβoksɛɾsbock-sers
BriefsLos calzoncilloskalsõnˈsiʝoskal-son-see-yos
BraEl brasier / El sosténβɾaˈsjɛɾ / sosˈtɛ̃nbrah-see-air / sos-ten
SocksLos calcetineskalsɛˈtineskal-seh-tee-nes
No-show socksLos calcetines invisibleskalsɛˈtines ĩmbiˈsiβleskal-seh-tee-nes een-vee-see-bles
PantiesEl calzónkalˈsõnkal-son
StockingsLas mediasˈmeðjasmeh-dee-as
PantyhoseLos pantysˈpãntispan-tees
CamisoleLa camisolakamiˈsolakah-me-soh-la
RobeLa bataˈβatabah-ta
NighttieEl camisónkamiˈsõnkah-me-son
ThongLa tangaˈtãnɡatan-gah

Outerwear in Spanish

Outerwear can serve many purposes. From protecting us from the elements to making us look nice, there’s no denying the importance of our clothes. Let’s break outerwear down into a few categories to then talk about how to say them in Spanish.

Dress in Spanish

If you enjoy wearing dresses, you probably have a long list of all your favorite dress styles. Of course, there’s a different way to say each type of dress in Spanish. Don’t be overwhelmed by all the different dresses, though! Just focus on the most important ones (and your favorites!).

Dresses, tops and pants in Spanish.

DressEl vestidoβɛsˈtiðoves-tee-doh
Long dressEl vestido largoβɛsˈtiðo ˈlaɾɣoves-tee-doh lar-goh
Short dressEl vestido cortoβɛsˈtiðo ˈkoɾtoves-tee-doh core-toh
Maxi dressEl vestido largoβɛsˈtiðo ˈlaɾɣoves-tee-doh lar-goh
Formal dressEl vestido formalβɛsˈtiðo foɾˈmalves-tee-doh for-mal
Semi-formal dressEl vestido semi-formalβɛsˈtiðo semifoɾˈmalves-tee-doh seh-me-for-mal
Cocktail dressEl vestido de cóctelβɛsˈtiðo ðe ˈkok̚tɛlves-tee-doh deh coc-tel
Wedding gownEl vestido de noviaβɛsˈtiðo ðe ˈnoβjaves-tee-doh deh no-vee-ah
SundressEl vestido sin mangasβɛsˈtiðo sĩm ˈmãnɡasves-tee-doh seen man-gas
BallgownEl vestido de baileβɛsˈtiðo ðe ˈβai̯leves-tee-doh deh bah-e-leh
Tube dressEl vestido de tuboβɛsˈtiðo ðe ˈtuβoves-tee-doh deh too-boh
Canesu dressEl vestido canesúβɛsˈtiðo kaneˈsuves-tee-doh kah-neh-soo
Sheath dressEl vestido rectoβɛsˈtiðo ˈrek̚toves-tee-doh rec-toh
Empire-fit dressEl vestido de corte imperioβɛsˈtiðo ðe ˈkoɾte ĩ̯mˈpɛɾjoves-tee-doh deh cor-teh eem-peh-ree-oh
Blouse-top dressEl vestido de tipo ablusadoβɛsˈtiðo ðe ˈtipo aβluˈsaðoves-tee-doh deh tee-poh ah-blue-sah-doh
Shirt dressEl vestido camiseroβɛsˈtiðo kamiˈsɛɾoves-tee-doh kah-me-seh-ro
A-line dressEl vestido de corte evaséβɛsˈtiðo ðe ˈkoɾte eβaˈseves-tee-doh deh core-teh eh-vah-seh
High-waisted maxi dressEl vestido de cintura altaβɛsˈtiðo ðe sĩnˈtuɾa ˈaltaves-tee-doh deh seen-too-rah al-tah
Tunic dressEl vestido de corte túnicaβɛsˈtiðo ðe ˈkoɾte ˈtunikaves-tee-doh deh core-teh too-nee-kah
Drop waist dressEl vestido de cintura bajaβɛsˈtiðo ðe sĩnˈtuɾa ˈβaxaves-tee-doh deh seen-too-rah bah-ha
Asymmetric dressEl vestido asimétricoβɛsˈtiðo asiˈmɛtɾikoves-tee-doh ah-see-meh-tree-coh
Mullet dressEl vestido con corte mulletβɛsˈtiðo kõn ˈkoɾte muˈʝɛtves-tee-doh con core-teh moo-let

Pants in Spanish

From chinos to slacks to jeans, there are many different types of pants in Spanish. Interestingly, the word “pants” is very commonly used in Spanish to refer to a very specific type of pants: tracksuit pants! So if you hear someone say pants in Spanish, no, your brain isn’t playing any tricks on you!

PantsEl pantalónpãntaˈlõnpan-tah-lon
TrousersEl pantalónpãntaˈlõnpan-tah-lon
JeansEl pantalón de mezclillapãntaˈlõn de mɛsˈkliʝapan-tah-lon deh mes-klee-ya
Tracksuit pantsLos pantsˈpãntspants
SweatpantsLos pants de algodónˈpãnts̬ ðe alɣoˈðõnpants deh al-goh-don
ChinosLos chinosˈʧinoschee-nos
Khaki pantsEl pantalón color khakipãntaˈlõn koˈloɾ ˈkakipan-tah-lon koh-lore kah-kee 
SlacksEl pantalón de vestirpãntaˈlõn de βɛsˈtiɾpan-tah-lon deh ves-teer
Suit pantsEl pantalón de trajepãntaˈlõn de ˈtɾaxepan-tah-lon deh trah-heh
Linen pantsEl pantalón de linopãntaˈlõn de ˈlinopan-tah-lon deh lee-no
JoggersLos joggersˈxoɣxɛɾsyo-gehrs
ShortsLos shortsˈsoɾtsshorts

Shirts and tops in Spanish

There is such a wide variety of tops and shirts in Spanish that it’s hard to know where to begin. From polo shirts to blouses, there are all kinds of tops out there for you to learn! Again, don’t stress too much about memorizing every single one. Instead, focus on learning your favorites and just familiarizing yourself with the rest!

Tops and shirts in Spanish.

ShirtLa camisakaˈmisakah-me-sa
T-shirtLa camiseta / La playerakamiˈsɛta / plaˈʝɛɾakah-me-seh-ta / plah-yeh-ra
BlouseLa blusaˈβlusablue-sa
Button up shirtLa camisa de botoneskaˈmisa ðe βoˈtoneskah-me-sa deh boh-toh-nes
Dress shirtLa camisa de oficinakaˈmisa ðe ofiˈsinakah-me-sa deh oh-fee-see-nah
Polo shirtLa poloˈpolopoh-lo
TopEl topˈtoptop
SingletLa camisetakamiˈsɛtakah-me-seh-ta
VestEl chalecoʧaˈlekocha-leh-coh
SweaterEl suéterˈswɛtɛɾsoo-eh-ter
SweatshirtLa sudaderasuðaˈðɛɾasoo-da-deh-ra
CardiganEl cárdigankaɾðiɣãncar-de-gan
TunicLa túnicaˈtunikatoo-ne-kah
BlazerEl blazerβlaˈsɛɾbleh-e-sehr
Flannel shirtLa camisa de franelakaˈmisa ðe fɾaˈnelakah-me-sah deh frah-neh-la
Short sleeve shirtLa camisa de manga cortakaˈmisa ðe ˈmãnɡa ˈkoɾtakah-me-sah deh man-gah core-tah
Turtleneck sweaterEl suéter de cuello de tortugaˈswɛtɛɾ ðe ˈkweʝo ðe toɾˈtuɣasoo-eh-ter deh coo-eh-yo deh tore-too-ga

Jacket or coat in Spanish

If the beautiful beaches of Mexico or a cool glass of sangría in the warm sun of Valencia is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Spanish, you might be wondering why the emphasis on coats and jackets in Spanish. If that’s the case, you may be surprised to learn that some of the coldest places on Earth are actually in Spanish-speaking countries!

Think of Patagonia, which is the region in the southern tip of South America composed of mountains, forests, glaciers, and even fjords! This icy region can get extremely cold in the winter, and it even hosts the world’s southernmost city: Ushuaia, Argentina! In fact, if you’re interested in ever visiting Antarctica, Ushuaia is the most common port of call for Antarctica cruises!

As if that wasn’t enough, Latin America is also home to some of the highest cities in the world! In fact, the top five highest cities in the world are all located in Latin America:

  1. La Paz, Bolivia - 3,869 m (12,693 ft)
  2. Quito, Ecuador - 2,784 m (9,133 ft)
  3. Toluca, Mexico - 2,648 m (8,687 ft)
  4. Cochabamba, Bolivia - 2,621 m (8,599 ft)
  5. Bogota, Colombia - 2,601 m (8,533 ft)

As you can imagine, all of the cities above can get very cold with such elevations! Now, without further ado, let’s get into how to say jackets and coats in Spanish.

Cold weather jacket in Spanish.

JacketLa chaquetaʧaˈkɛtacha-keh-ta
WindbreakerEl rompevientosrõmpeˈβjɛ̃ntosrom-peh-vee-en-tos
CoatEl abrigoaˈβɾiɣoah-bree-goh
Trench coatLa gabardinaɣaβaɾˈðinagah-bar-dee-na
RaincoatEl impermeábleĩmpɛɾmeˈaβleem-per-me-ah-bleh
CloakLa capaˈkapacah-pa
Puffer jacketLa chaqueta inflada o plumasʧaˈkɛta ĩ̯mˈflaða
Cha-keh-tah in-flah-dah
Bomber jacketLa chaqueta bomberʧaˈkɛta βõmˈbɛɾcha-keh-tah bom-ber
Jean jacketLa chaqueta de mezclillaʧaˈkɛta ðe mɛsˈkliʝacha-keh-tah deh mes-klee-ya
Leather jacketLa chaqueta de cueroʧaˈkɛta ðe ˈkwɛɾocha-keh-tah deh coo-eh-roh
Biker jacketLa chaqueta bikerʧaˈkɛta βiˈkɛɾcha-keh-tah deh bah-e-ker
PonchoEl ponchoˈpõnʧopon-cho
ParkaLa parkaˈpaɾkapar-kah
PeacoatEl abrigo marineroaˈβɾiɣo maɾiˈnɛɾoah-bre-goh
AnorakEl anorakanoˈɾakah-no-rak

Skirt in Spanish

Just as there are many different types of dresses to learn, there are also all kinds of skirts in Spanish. Luckily, many of these overlap, so you’ll have an easier time learning the skirts if you’ve already studied the dresses!

SkirtLa faldaˈfaldafal-da
Long skirtLa falda largaˈfalda ˈlaɾɣafal-da lar-ga
Short skirtLa falda cortaˈfalda ˈkoɾtafal-da core-ta
Mini skirtLa mini faldaˈmini ˈfaldame-ne fal-da
Pleated skirtLa falda plisadaˈfalda pliˈsaðafal-da ple-sah-da
A-line skirtLa falda línea Aˈfalda ˈlinea afal-da lee-neh-ah ah
High waist skirtLa falda de talle altoˈfalda ðe ˈtaʝe ˈaltofal-da tah-yeh al-toh
Tweed skirtLa falda de lanaˈfalda ðe ˈlanafal-da deh la-nah
Pencil skirtLa falda de lápizˈfalda ðe ˈlapisfal-da deh la-pees
Circle skirtLa falda círculoˈfalda ˈsiɾkulofal-da seer-coo-loh
Accordion skirtLa falda acordeónˈfalda akoɾðeˈõnfal-da ah-core-deh-on
Drape skirtLa falda drapeadaˈfalda ðɾapeˈaðafal-da drah-peh-ah-da
Asymmetrical skirtLa falda asimétricaˈfalda asiˈmɛtɾikafal-da ah-see-meh-tree-cah

Swimming and athletic clothes in Spanish

Whether you’re a die-hard athlete, or simply enjoy wearing cute athleisure outfits to get your morning latte, this section’s for you. Check out the table below to learn how to talk about athletic clothes in Spanish! 

Athletic clothes, shoes and socks in Spanish.

Bathing suitEl traje de bañoˈtɾaxe ðe ˈβaɲotrah-heh deh bah-nyo
BikiniEl bikiniβiˈkinibee-key-nee
One-pieceEl traje de baño enterizoˈtɾaxe ðe ˈβaɲo ɛ̃ntɛˈɾisotrah-heh deh bah-nyo
Swimming trunksLos shorts para nadarˈsoɾts ˈpaɾa naˈðaɾshorts pa-rah nah-dar
PareoEl pareopaˈɾeopah-reh-oh
Rash guardLa camiseta de neoprenokamiˈsɛta ðe neoˈpɾenokah-me-seh-ta deh neh-oh-preh-no
Surf shirtLa licraˈlikɾalee-cra
Sports braEl brasier deportivoβɾaˈsjɛɾ ðepoɾˈtiβobrah-see-air deh
Jogging tightsLas mallas para correrˈmaʝas ˈpaɾa koˈrɛɾmah-yas pah-ra koh-rer
Ski maskEl pasamontañaspasamõnˈtaɲaspa-sa-mon-tah-nyas
HoodieLa sudadera con capuchasuðaˈðɛɾa kõn kaˈpuʧasoo-da-deh-ras con kah-poo-chas
LeggingsLas mallasˈmaʝasmah-yas

Shoes and boots in Spanish

You didn’t think we were gonna get through this whole article without talking about shoes, right? Whether you consider shoes to be the most important piece to bring your outfit together, or you simply care about using the right shoes to maximize comfort, you should definitely spend some time learning at least a handful of different shoes in Spanish.

ShoesLos zapatossaˈpatossah-pah-tos
BootsLas botasˈβotasboh-tas
High heelsLos taconestaˈkonesta-koh-nes
SandalsLas sandaliassãnˈdaljassan-dah-lee-as
Flip flopsLas chanclasˈʧãnklaschan-clas
Formal shoesLos zapatos de vestirsaˈpatos̬ ðe βɛsˈtiɾsah-pah-tos deh ves-tear
Flat shoesLos flatsˈflatsflats
Ballet flatsLas bailarinasβai̯laˈɾinasbah-e-la-re-nas
Tennis shoesLos tenisˈtenisteh-nees
SlippersLas pantuflaspãnˈtuflaspan-toon-flas
LoafersLos mocasinesmokaˈsinesmo-cah-see-nes
Running shoesLos tenis para correrˈtenis ˈpaɾa koˈrɛɾteh-nees pah-ra coh-rer
Ankle bootsLos botinesβoˈtinesboh-tee-nes
EspadrilleLas alpargatasalpaɾˈɣatasal-par-ga-tas
Rain bootsLas botas de gomaˈβotas̬ ðe ˈɣomaboh-tas deh go-mah
Safety bootsLas botas de protecciónˈβotas̬ ðe pɾotɛkˈsjõnboh-tas deh pro-tec-see-on
Combat bootsLas botas de combateˈβotas̬ ðe kõmˈbateboh-tas deh com-bah-teh
EscarpinEl escarpínɛskaɾˈpĩnes-car-peen
Mexican sandalsEl huarachewaˈɾaʧeooh-ah-rah-che
Boat shoesEl zapato náuticosaˈpato ˈnau̯tikosah-pa-toe na-ooh-tee-coh
Platform shoesLos zapatos de plataformasaˈpatos̬ ðe plataˈfoɾmasah-pa-toes deh pla-tah-for-ma
ClogsEl zuecoˈswekosoo-eh-koh
Kitten heelsEl tacón de gatitotaˈkõn de ɣaˈtitotah-con deh gah-tee-toe

Hats in Spanish

Last but not least, we have hats. Though you may think there are only a handful of different types of hats, the truth is that they’re an entire world of their own. From baseball caps to Panama hats, there are dozens of different types of hats to keep the sun out of your face (while looking stylish!). Check out the table below for over a dozen ways to say hat in Spanish.

HatEl sombrerosõmˈbɾɛɾosom-breh-ro
CapLa gorraˈɣoragoh-rah
BeretLa boinaˈβoi̯naboh-e-nah
FedoraEl fedorafeˈðoɾafeh-doh-ra
Top hatEl sombrero de copasõmˈbɾɛɾo ðe ˈkopasom-breh-ro deh coh-pa
Bowler hatEl bombínβõmˈbĩnbom-been
Panama hatEl sombrero Panamásõmˈbɾɛɾo panaˈmasom-breh-ro pa-na-ma
Floppy hatEl sombrero de ala anchasõmˈbɾɛɾo ðe ˈala ˈãnʧasom-breh-ro deh ah-la an-cha
Baseball capLa gorra de béisbolˈɣora ðe ˈβei̯s̬βolgo-rah deh beh-ees-bol
Boater hatEl sombrero de navegantesõmˈbɾɛɾo ðe naβeˈɣãntesom-breh-ro deh na-veh-gan-teh
Cowboy hatEl sombrero de vaquerosõmˈbɾɛɾo ðe βaˈkɛɾosom-breh-ro deh vah-keh-ro
Sun hatEl sombrero para el solsõmˈbɾɛɾo ˈpaɾa ɛl ˈsolsom-breh-ro pah-ra el sol
Beanie hatEl gorro de inviernoˈɣoro ðe ĩ̯mˈbjɛɾnogoh-ro deh een-ve-air-no

Other important clothing-related terms

Now, most of the items below aren’t strictly considered clothing, but they can be a part of a great outfit, so we’re including them! From jewelry to accessories, check out the table below for some fun clothing in Spanish vocabulary.

Accessories and sunglasses in Spanish.

OutfitEl atuendoaˈtwɛ̃ndoah-too-en-doh
BeltEl cinturónsĩntuˈɾõnseen-too-ron
ShawlEl shalˈsalshal
PashminaLa pashminapas̬ˈminapash-me-nah
BodysuitEl bodyˈβoðiboh-dee
RomperEl monoˈmonomoh-no
ScarfLa bufandaβuˈfãndaboo-fan-da
UniformEl uniformeuniˈfoɾmeooh-nee-for-meh
School uniformEl uniforme escolaruniˈfoɾmɛ ɛskoˈlaɾoo-nee-for-meh es-koh-lar
PajamasLas pijamaspiˈxamaspee-yah-mas
GlovesLos guantesˈɣwãntesgoo-an-tes
RingEl anilloaˈniʝoah-nee-yo
LegwarmersLos calientapiernaskaljɛ̃ntaˈpjɛɾnascah-lee-en-tah-pee-air-nas
TieLa corbatakoɾˈβatacore-bah-ta
BowtieLa corbata de moñokoɾˈβata ðe ˈmoɲocore-bah-ta deh moh-nyo
SuspendersLos tirantestiˈɾãntestee-ran-tes
OverallsLos overolesoβɛˈɾolesoh-veh-roh-les
NecklaceEl collarkoˈʝaɾcoh-yar
BraceletEl brasaleteβɾasaˈlɛtebra-sa-leh-teh
WristbandLa pulserapulˈsɛɾapool-seh-ra
RingEl anilloaˈniʝoah-ne-yo
CufflinksLas mancuernillasmãnkwɛɾˈniʝasman-coo-air-ne-yas
HoodLa capuchakaˈpuʧacah-poo-cha
MittensLas manoplasmaˈnop̚lasma-no-plas
HandkerchiefEl pañuelopaˈɲwelopah-nyoo-eh-loh
SunglassesLos lentes de solˈlɛ̃ntes̬ ðe ˈsollen-tes deh sol
WatchEl relojreˈloxreh-logh

Pant styles in Spanish

Selecting the correct pant style is one thing that can get confusing when shopping for clothes, especially if you’re still a beginner in Spanish. That’s why we’ve decided to include this table below, so you can shop for pants in Spanish like a pro!

Skinny or slimPitillopiˈtiʝopee-tee-yo
High-waistedDe talle altode ˈtaʝe ˈaltodeh tah-yeh al-toe

Clothing-related Spanish idioms

If you’re an intermediate Spanish speaker, you’re probably already familiar with the wonderful world of Spanish idioms. Many of these come with deep pearls of wisdom, while others are just shady remarks that you can use to look like a true native!

If the vest fits, you should wear it.A quien le quede el chaleco, que se lo ponga.a ˈkjɛ̃n le ˈkeðɛ ɛl ʧaˈleko | ˈke se lo ˈpõnɡa ‖ah key-ehn leh keh-deh el cha-leh-coh keh seh lo pon-gaIf the shoe fits.
From the looks and the suit, you can tell the character.Por la facha y por el traje, se conoce al personaje.poɾ la ˈfaʧa i̯ poɾ ɛl ˈtɾaxe | se koˈnose al pɛɾsoˈnaxe ‖pore la fah-cha e pore el tra-heh seh coh-no-seh al per-so-na-hehYou can tell who a person is based on their looks and outfit.
Whoever wears green thinks they’re pretty.Quien de verde se viste, bonita se cree.ˈkjɛ̃n de ˈβɛɾðe se ˈβiste | boˈnita se ˈkɾee ‖key-en deh ver-deh seh vees-teh bo-nee-ta seh crehGreen is an unflattering color, so if you dare to wear it–you must think you’re pretty!
Even if the monkey wears silk, it’s still a monkey,Aunque la mona se vista de seda, mona se queda.ˈau̯nke la ˈmona se ˈβista ðe ˈseða | ˈmona se ˈkeða ‖ah-oon-keh la mo-na seh vees-tah deh seh-da, mo-na seh keh-daA cute outfit doesn’t override an ugly face!
In fashion, whatever suits you.En la moda, lo que te acomoda.ɛ̃n la ˈmoða | lo ˈke te akoˈmoða ‖en la mo-da lo keh teh ah-coh-mo-daWhen it comes to fashion, you should choose what you feel comfortable with.
If you’re cold, then cover yourself with your uncle’s cape.¿Tienes frío? Pues tápate con la capa de tu tío. ˈtjenes ˈfɾio ‖ ˈpwes ˈtapate kõn la ˈkapa ðe tu ˈtio ‖tee-eh-nes free-oh poo-es ta-pa-teh con la ka-pa deh too tee-ohUsed when someone says they’re cold. It’s not to be taken literally!
If the shoe is tight, let someone else wear it.Zapato que aprieta, otro se lo meta.saˈpato ˈke aˈpɾjɛta | ˈotɾo se lo ˈmɛta ‖za-pa-toh keh ah-pree-eh-ta oh-troh keh seh lo meh-taIf the shoe doesn’t fit, it’s not for you.
When you see a broken shoe, the other one isn’t too far away.Cuando veas un zapato roto, no andará muy lejos el otro.ˈkwãndo ˈβeas ũn saˈpato ˈroto | ˈno ãndaˈɾa mwi ˈlexos ɛl ˈotɾo ‖coo-an-doh veh-as oon za-pa-to ro-to no an-da-ra moo-ey leh-hos elle oh-trohBroken people tend to hang around other broken people.
Dirty laundry should be washed at home.La ropa sucia se debe lavar en ˈropa ˈsusja se ˈðeβe laˈβaɾ ɛ̃n ˈkasa ‖la roh-pa soo-see-ah seh deh-beh la-var en kah-saYou should always keep family drama behind closed doors.

Clothes-related verbs in Spanish

Spanish is a verb-heavy language, so there are many verbs that will come in useful when talking about clothes. Whether you’re out shopping or simply talking about wearing or changing clothes, make sure to know the following clothes-related verbs in Spanish!

Woman returning clothes in Spanish.

To get dressedVestirsebɛsˈtiɾseves-teer-seh
To get undressedDesvestirsedɛs̬βɛsˈtiɾsedes-ves-teer-seh
To try onProbarpɾoˈβaɾpro-bar
To wearUsaruˈsaɾooh-sar
To fitQuedarkeˈðaɾkeh-dar
To button upAbotonaraβotoˈnaɾah-boh-toe-nar
To tieAbrocharaβɾoˈʧaɾah-bro-char
To take offQuitarkiˈtaɾkey-tar
To changeCambiarkãmˈbjaɾcam-be-ar
To ironPlancharplãnˈʧaɾplan-char
To returnDevolverdeβolˈβɛɾdeh-vol-ver

Cultural considerations when it comes to clothing in Spanish

Your appearance is very important

Across most of Latin America, the clothes you wear are extremely important. Beyond marking someone else’s first impression of you, what you wear and how you dress can also impact long-standing relationships. For example, it can be considered rude to show up at your friend’s house without looking nice, as it can be a sign of disrespect.

This is especially important when it comes to business relationships, as how you dress can impact how well you do in the Spanish-speaking business world. In fact, LinkedIn considers dress codes to be one of the biggest cultural differences when doing business in Latin America!

Sizes are different

Of course, clothing sizes are different because they’re in Spanish, but they also tend to use different sizing charts! Most of Latin America uses the European sizing chart, but this does vary per country. Check out the handy chart below so you’re always prepared.

English sizesSpanish sizesSpanish size abbreviationEuropean size - Women’sEuropean size - Men’s
XSExtra ChicoECh36-4040-42
XLExtra GrandeEG54-5656-58
XXLExtra Extra GrandeEEG58-6060-62

Informal markets are very popular

You may already know that a lot of shopping is done at informal markets all over Latin America, and clothes are certainly no exception. If you visit Mexico and want to shop for some unique clothes, look out for a “tianguis de paca.” These informal street markets will let you overhaul your entire wardrobe for pennies!

And as with all informal markets in Latin America, bargaining is not only encouraged but even expected. Try to get a better deal by making your own bundles and coming up with your own price for the whole bundle. Just make sure to always ask for the original price and then bid much lower for the bundle!

Now go fulfill your shopping wants in Spanish Speaking countries

We hope this article has enough clothing items to satisfy even the most severe of shopaholics. All in all, we covered over 170 names for clothing in Spanish plus a few extra dozen words related to clothes.

If you enjoyed this article, make sure you check out our Spanish blog! We publish exciting new articles every month to help you keep pushing your Spanish boundaries. Our posts are always completely free too, so make sure to bookmark the page and share it with your friends!

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