Shopping for clothes can be fun, but it can also be hard work. Does the shop have the item you are looking for, in your size and in the right colour? Can you find a bargain in the sales? Use our buying clothes vocabulary next time you are shopping in an English speaking country.
Useful phrases for shopping for clothes
Some questions you could ask in the clothes store include:
- Do you have this in my size?
- Does this come in a size 16?
- Do you have this in red?
- Is this shirt in the sale?
- Is this coat still in stock?
- Can I try it on?
SALES ASSISTANT: Can I help you?
CUSTOMER: Yes, I’m looking for a polo shirt.
SALES ASSISTANT: They’re over here. What size are you looking for?
CUSTOMER: I am size 12.
SALES ASSISTANT: I’m not sure if we have it in your size. Let me check…Here we are, the last one in stock.
CUSTOMER: Great, I’ll take this one.
Talk about shopping problems:
- This shirt is too tight on me.
- Can I exchange it for the next size up?
- This dress is too long.
- Do you have this dress one size smaller?
- I bought this in the sale, but I’ve changed my mind. Can I exchange this for a shirt in a different colour?
- Yellow doesn’t really suit me.
Nick is looking for a birthday present for his girlfriend Jo. He’s seen a jumper online but he can’t find it in the size or colour that he knows Jo will like.
NICK: I’m looking for a cashmere jumper for my girlfriend. I saw it on your website. Do you have it in stock?
SALES ASSISTANT: I’m sorry. We’ve sold out of that item.
Jo has bought a jacket for Nick, but it doesn’t fit. She takes it back to the store with her receipt.
JO: I bought this last week for my boyfriend, but it doesn’t fit him. It’s too tight. Can I exchange it for a larger size?
SALES ASSISTANT: Yes, we have it in extra large. Would you like to come over to the till?
Buying clothes vocabulary to use
too tight – too small
to change your mind – to reverse your previous decision/opinion
to exchange – to take an item back to a shop and change it for another or different item that you prefer
to fit – to get something to suit you
sold out – the item you require or need is not available as the shop has sold all of the items and has none left
to have an item in stock – the shop you visit has a supply of the goods you want
to try something on – to wear something to try if it fits
to suit – when a size or colour or style of clothing looks well on a person you can say it suits you
changing (fitting) room – the room where you try on clothes
I’ll take this one – I want to buy this one
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