French Clothing Vocabulary

Chic and Tailored

Learning French clothing vocabulary is easier done through pictures than through memorizing translations. Every time you can't remember what a 'chapeau' is, remember this chic girl and the purple hat on her head.

Pants French Clothing Vocabulary
Pants are an essential piece of clothing. In French, the word 'pantalon' refers to pants in general. 'Un jean' is a special word to refer to, you guessed it, jeans!

Chemise & Chemisier

'Une chemise' usually refers to a man's shirt, but can refer to any other type of (non-dress) shirt worn by men or women, while 'un chemisier' can only refer to a woman's blouse.

In Québec, the word 'chandail' is more often used as a general word for shirt. Not to be confused with the French usage of 'chandail', which refers to a sports jersey.

Un Pull

Over your 'chemise', you might where a 'pull', or a sweater, in the colder months of the year.


Shoes in France are usually quite dressy, even when one is wearing jeans. When shopping for 'chaussures' in France, be sure to look up your European size before you head to the shops!


Sneakers are never called sneakers in France...instead they are called by the sport that one does while wearing them. These sneakers would probably be called 'des baskets' because of their likeness to basketball sneakers even though these are technically not for basketball. More casual sneakers would be called 'des tennis'. You won't see people walking down the streets of Paris in these, even if they're on the way to the gym! Among young people, sneakers are coming into fashion.

Skirts Everywhere

You won't see many people in sneakers or sweats, but you will see plenty of women in skirts, the word for which is 'une jupe'. Not to be confused with the word for dress.


Many French learners get the words 'jupe' and 'robe' mixed up, or only use one of the two words to refer to both items of clothing. A 'robe' does not refer to a bathrobe, but to a dress.

Manteau d'hiver

No matter what clothing you're wearing, you'll need a general word for 'jacket', which is 'manteau'. This girl is wearing a 'manteau d'hiver' to keep warm on the ski slopes.

Men's Dress Clothing

Women's dress clothing has already been covered, but what about men's dress clothing? A tuxedo is called 'un smoking'; a regular dressy suit is called 'un costume'. These two words are usually found funny by English speakers.

Don't forget your 'cravate' (tie) with your suit or your 'noeud papillon' (bowtie) with your tuxedo.

Clothing Vocabulary: Accessories

Lastly, some accessory words. These two people are wearing 'une ceinture' to hold up their 'jean'.

A hat is 'un chapeau', socks are 'chaussettes', a scarf is 'un foulard' (or in Québec: 'une écharpe'), and gloves are 'gants'.

Now that you know all the French clothing vocabulary, make sure you learn all the color words and know your sizes in France before you head out to do some shopping.

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French Clothing Vocabulary