This is the transcript for the podcast episode about fashion:

Today’s topic is fashion. I must confess it´s not my area of expertise, but it is quite a common topic in English exams. As well as needing vocabulary to describe people in photographs you can often be asked questions about the fashion industry as a whole and it´s positive and negative aspects. You may also have to describe the costumes people are wearing in a movie you are reviewing or perhaps the uniforms of the staff in a hotel or restaurant. So really it´s a great subject for us to cover and you will hear some brilliant language today that would definitely impress an examiner, or anybody else you are speaking with.

Remember you can get the transcript for this lesson on the Real Exam English website, and you can find information there about class too. For any of you who are listening on Spotify, they have just added a ratings button where you can give the podcast a score from 1 to 5. It would be great if you could give add a rating whenever you get a chance.

Ok then, it´s time for the questions, let´s go:

do you generally form an opinion of others based on your first impression of them? 

Now, I know it’s probably unpopular to say, but. 

 Whether we like it or not, we all form an opinion of people when we first see them. We all make snap judgments in the back of our heads whether we like it or not. 

And also, they’re not entirely inaccurate. They’re definitely not perfect, but they’re not entirely inaccurate the way a person dresses or the way a person holds themselves, I really think. 

Reflects a lot on on what their tastes and desires and ideas are like. You can. You can learn a lot about someone by how they’re dressed, so I would say me, just like absolutely everybody else does form an opinion based on the first impressions, but I suppose personally and as a society. 

We should be working as hard as we can to to battle that a little bit and make sure we form opinions of people once we get to know them a little bit more. 

On what occasions do you think carefully about what you’re going to wear?

Honestly, in most occasions I think quite carefully about what I’m going to wear and not to a point, not to an obsessive point or not to a point where I think that I’m extremely interested in fashion. 

Or something like that, but there are a lot of facets important Areas when it comes to clothes and a perfect example of that is Australia is a really hot country and if you choose the wrong clothes and you go out on a summer evening or something like that, you end up getting sweat stains and you feel so uncomfortable ’cause you’re hot, you’ve really got to choose the correct light and breathable clothing so. 

Not only is it about looking good, it’s also about getting the right functional things too. 

A lovely little inversion there at the end, not only is it about looking good. This is a really useful inversion to know, and is one that you can get quite easily into your speaking too. Imagine you´re in a dialogue and your partner says it is important that we cut down on greenhouse gases to save the planet. You say, not only is it important to cut down on greenhouse gases but also deforestation. Or doing exercise is great for your body. Not only is it good for your body, but also your mind. Nice structure isn’t it, practice that one guys!

We also had our first bit of fashion vocabulary, light and breathable clothing, which is clothes that keeps you feeling fresh in a hot climate, and then we had this word facets, there are a lot of facets with it comes to clothes. Facets means aspects or parts or characteristics and is a nice alternative to those words. For instance, there are many facets to consider when buying a new car. Or being able to share videos is a positive facet of doing classes online.

Do you generally form an opinion of others based on your first impression of them?

Like what they’re wearing and stuff? Yes, uhm.Not to a greater extent, but like you know, if someone comes up and they’re just wearing sportswear and they clearly haven’t been to the gym. I’m gonna I’m gonna form some kind of opinion if someone is wandering down the street wearing the T shirt or a band I like, I’ll assume that they’re a coolish person because if they’ve got compatible music taste to me. You know, then they must be pretty alright.Often I’m wrong about both of those things.But that’s just human nature to form these kind of opinions.

On what occasions do you think carefully about what you’re going to wear?

Formal occasions, weddings, and stuff like that. I don’t like wearing ties and so I think whether I can get away with a cravat instead of a tie.I don’t like wearing shoes. I think very carefully about whether I can get away with not wearing shoes, that kind of thing like I think formal occasions.Uhm, I find it quite stressful finding acceptable clothes or ratherClothes that other people would consider acceptable. And I also think are acceptableI’m not scruffy, but.I’m also not that smart.Fashion-wise.

Phrasal verb time. He said, If I can get away with a cravat instead of a tie, or whether I can get away with not wearing shoes. If you get away something risky, you don´t suffer any bad consequences of it. For instance, the shoes don´t exactly match the dress, but I think you’d get away with it. Or I got on the underground without buying a ticket and got away with it, nobody saw me.

In terms of fashion vocabulary we had scruffy, which kind of means untidy, and maybe even dirty. Like, the scruffy man appeared to be living under a bridge. We also the opposite, smart, which means well-presented. And he said I´m not that smart, fashion-wise. This suffix -wise means with respect to. So fashion-wise means with respect to fashion. And the reason the speaker used this word here is to specify that he is not smart with respect to fashion, as opposed to not being smart with respect to being intelligent. Another example would be: Weather-wise, Spain is a great place to live.

Do you generally form an opinion of others based on your first impression of them?

I think it’s hard to avoid that.I think it’s what.Your first impression leads you to and the behavior that you attach to it.OK, I I don’t.Even from someone voice we’ve we’ve.Create a first impression of that person, so I think it would be really, really hard to say I don’t.I’m above that because I’m not, but it is what we do with that information that we grasp. I think that’s the important part.

What are the economic and cultural implications of the fashion industry?

Economically, I mean it’s it’s. It’s a an essential industry in that people are always going To be interested in acquiring garments, to clothe their body so it’s it’s something that’s always going to be there.It’s not something you know that’s going to come and go as as a fad, right? People aren’t going to suddenly say, well, you know what?We’re not wearing shirts anymore. Shirts were so last Millennium and people are going to still wear shirts. It’s it’s what kind of shirts?But certainly it’s a constant weather when people have more disposable income.Uhm, well, certainly I would think correlates to more more.Dollars or euros or whatever being spent on fashion, but it’s it’s kind of a no-brainer that it is economically driven.

Some really nice language to take a look at here. In the first answer the speaker said “I´m above that” which means that she is too important to do something like that. For example, I´m not going to clean the toilets, I´m above that. Or I’m not staying in that dirty hotel, I´m above that.

In the second answer we heard the verb to clothe. So, everyone knows the word clothes right, but less well known is this verb, to clothe, usually meaning to provide someone with things to wear. Like, the parents don´t have enough money to clothe the kids this winter. Then we heard this nice expression, it’s not something that comes and goes as a fad. A fad is something that is trending for a short period of time and then disappears. Like, the ice bucket challenge was a popular fad a few years ago, or the latest diet where you only eat bacon and drink Guinness is only a fad.

She then made a joke that shirts were so last millennium. This is a brilliant way to say that something is no longer cool or trendy, in a fun kind of way. Like when you give your teenage son a Fortnite t-shirt, they might say, Ugh…Fortnite is soo last year. The cheeky fecker.

What is sooo this year is preparing for English exams, and if you need help preparing for exams, or if you just want to improve your fluency through conversation, or maybe just refresh your English, or whatever, then make sure to get in contact with me, I’d be more than happy to help. You can find details about classes on the Real Exam English website,

On what occasions do you think carefully about what you’re going to wear?

Well, I think carefully about what I’m going to wear. Most days I’m a bit of a color coordinator, but often if I’m going out for events or gatherings and things I I do think a lot about what I’m going to wear. Make sure that everything matches.

Do you think people nowadays are unhealthily obsessed with fashion and style?

Yes, especially young people too much, so I’ve seen a lot of fashion changes here where I live that I didn’t see ten years ago when I first came here. I’ve noticed the changes within the local community. The changes with some of the girls and things Here, with clothes that they would never have worn before so.

Ok so this speaker is a color coordinator. So she carefully chooses her colours so that they combine well with each other. Or as she said in her own words she makes sure that everything matches. People sometimes get confused between matches and suits. Whereas matches means the colours combine well, if the clothes suit someone then they are right for that person and make them look good, like, hey that colour really suits you.

To what extent does peer group pressure influence the way people dress?

I think it’s more societal pressure than peer group pressure. I mean, I think you know it’s it’s one of those things that’s got multiple variables in there in. To answer your question, because you know, sometimes it can be about the age of your peer group. It can be about the socioeconomic status of your peer group. It’s also about the type of people. Some people aren’t, particularly if you’re in a peer group that isn’t fussed About fashion, then it doesn’t necessarily influence how you dress up.

What are the economic and cultural implications of the fashion industry?

What’re the what’re? The economical and societal implications? I suppose it’s you know, throw away fashion so you know stuff that you get fairly cheap. That’s mass produced I mean.

The shop that I’m kind of thinking about is something like, uhm, you know, there’s there’s sort of low cost fashion houses that the the kind of change the trend changes.

So for example like H&M or Primark or something like that, not that I’m knocking them to to up to a degree because people need affordable clothing, however. Uhm, we get this sort of throwaway culture where people buy lots of clothes and then throw them away. And you know, the way that they’re produced. May not be green as in environmentally friendly. You know there might be a number of people who are paid slave wages. Children who work to sew close together, so societally that impact is not good.Uhm, for those people for the benefits of the planet and. And I think economically sort of throwaway fashion is or high end. And even it’s about making money up to a degree.

We had some top notch vocabulary here. We heard about throw away fashion and throwaway culture where people buy clothes and them throw them away after using them once or twice. We heard affordable clothing which is clothes that is cheap enough for everyone to buy, we heard about people being paid slave wages, which means they are paid very poorly for what they do, and their working conditions are often terrible too. We heard about clothes being mass produced which means it is made in huge volumes and then low cost fashion houses, which are companies that make cheap clothes. Wow, so much excellent vocabulary in one answer, awesome.

On what occasions do you think carefully about what you’re going to wear?

Ooh, I think oh I was going out to dinner or if I was going to a party or.I think generally I don’t put a lot of thought into it day to day. I have friends who do Play around with things like.More time and energy to thinking about doing everything but. Yeah, if I had to go to A to a social function or something something like that or if I was meeting friends I hadn’t met in a long time or something like thatAt the moment we covid don’t have a lot of those. But a friend of mine has a fashion blog.And every day she pulls her outfit of the day and every Saturday does tryons and she gets sent loads of clothes to try on.

So this speaker has friends who play around with different clothes, which means they experiment and try out different things. One of her friends has a fashion blog and puts on her outfit of the day. An outfit is a complete set of clothes for an occasion. Like, I love your outfit, where did you buy it, or I just bought a new outfit for the wedding. The fashion blogger also does tryons which means she puts on clothes to see if they look good and to show them to the followers of her blog.

Uff I´m getting a little bit out of my comfort zone here so I think that´s enough fashion vocab for one day. Language-wise it turned out to be a really rich topic in the end, didn´t it. Remember to put into practice as much of this new language as possible, maybe you could write an article about your fashion sense and the impact it has, socially, culturally and economically, there are so many different facets to discuss.

Also, remember to keep an eye out on Instagram and Facebook for notification of free conversation classes, as well as other news. Ok folks, that´s it, all the best, Trevor

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