Adults|Spoken|Upper-Intermediate|15. Fashion and style

Look at the photos and answer the questions

  1. Look at the people in the pictures. What can you say about their characters and lifestyles? Describe each person in five words.
  2. What kind of music do they like?
  3. What other interests do they have?
  4. Where do they go and what do they do in the evenings and at the weekend?
  5. What are their homes like?
  6. Judging from their appearance, what do you think these people believe is important in life?
  7. Can you judge people by the clothes they wear? If so, how? If not, why not?
  8. Do you think that fashion and status are connected? If so, how?

Rate your opinion for each statement

Useful language

  • That’s what I think.
  • I agree.
  • I’m not sure I agree with that.
  • Well, that’s true, but…
  • I’m sorry but I don’t agree with…
  • I couldn’t agree more.
  • I agree up to a point.
  • I think I see what is meant, but..
  • I’m in two minds about it. / I’m ambivalent about…
  • I don’t see eye to eye with…
  • That’s true in a way, I suppose, but…
  • I don’t feel convinced…
  • That’s one way of looking at it. On the other hand…

strongly agree 1 2 3 4 5 strongly disagree

Comment on the pictures

Which words from the list below can you use to describe the people?

  • fashion victim
  • scruffy
  • smart
  • trendy
  • old-fashioned
  • casually dressed
  • unconventional
  • well-dressed

Read the quiz and choose Yes or No for each question

Who are you?

10-15: Congratulations! You’re a style guru! You’ve discovered how to look your best with the least amount of time, energy and worry. You know the latest trends and how to make a fashion statement without becoming a fashion victim! You maintain a classic wardrobe and you are always well-dressed. You are definitely an inspiration to others!

5-10: Good! Your life doesn’t revolve around fashion but you’re aware of it and always look good. You have your own style and prefer to wear what you feel good in rather than what the magazines say. You can be cool and trendy at times, but you prefer to be carefree and casual. Be careful of becoming boring and predictable, though.

0-5: Oh dear! You’re really not very aware of fashion at all and to be honest you don’t care either. You are rather conventional and will never be a trend-setter. You could try to be more flexible in your attitude and wear an eye-catching colour occasionally. Others may treat you differently, because you’re not fashion conscious. Don’t worry though — it’s their problem, not yours.

When do people wear these things?

  • flip-flops
  • fur coat
  • high heels
  • jumper
  • open-neck shirt
  • parka
  • pyjamas
  • sandals
  • shorts
  • slippers
  • tracksuit
  • trainers
  • trouser suit
  • vest top

Answer the question

In which situations would you

  1. dress down?
  2. dress up?
  3. get changed?
  4. try something on?
  5. tuck something in?
  6. hang something up?
  7. get a bigger size?
  8. get something taken in?

Listen to the audio and choose what each speaker says


Speaker 1

During the week, when I’m at work, I tend to wear fitted jackets, high heels, straight skirts — you know, quite stylish clothes. The first impression my clients get of me is fairly crucial, so I spend time looking for clothes that are businesslike. I can’t afford to spend too much on them, though — I don’t buy expensive clothes. It’s got to the point where I don’t feel right in casual clothes, so even at the weekends I’ll still wear the same kind of thing but perhaps swap the jacket and heels for a sweater and flat shoes, um, pumps.

Speaker 2

I always wear the same things when I’m not at school tracksuit bottoms, a fleece or a T-shirt and designer trainers. Nearly all my friends do. I’ve also got three different football kits — Man United, England and Barcelona. In the summer, I sometimes wear shorts instead of tracksuit bottoms but it’s always sports stuff. There’s no point in dressing up in smart clothes, anyway they just get dirty. What matters is feeling relaxed and not having to worry about what you look like.

Speaker 3

Well, I’ve always had a fairly clear idea of how I want to look. I want to be a designer when I leave school and I’m always flicking through magazines to pick up ideas. At the moment either very short or very long skirts are cool, worn with trainers or wedges and nothing in between. And low-waisted trousers. Strong patterns and crop tops in bright colours — even colours that clash, like lime green and pink — are popular too. I wouldn’t dream of wearing anything sort of frumpy or like my mum wears. I even try to adapt my school uniform a bit to personalise it — so I might wear patterned or striped tights with it.

Speaker 4

I don’t think about clothes very much. I suppose I wear what I’ve always worn — a shirt and tie with trousers and maybe a sweater. I don’t spend much money on clothes, so most of them are a few years old. I sometimes go into charity shops and my son gives me things he’s fed up with. I’ll wear anything as long as it’s warm and not too scruffy. I’m certainly not trying to impress anyone!

Speaker 5

I like clothes but I’m not a fashion victim and I don’t dress up. Now I’ve got kids, my clothes have to be practical, so no high heels and tight skirts these days. Having said that, I don’t want to end up living in tracksuits or jeans and baggy jumpers all the time like some mums. I go for casual but well-cut clothes in natural fabrics, like silk or cotton. I do tend to spend quite a lot on my clothes but then I can wear them over and over again and they don’t drop to pieces. It’s an investment.

Roll the dice and answer the question

Find your question by rolling your die twice.

The 1st roll determines the number on the top. The 2nd roll determines the number on the left.

Talk for two minutes on the topic.

Your teacher will ask you follow-up questions. You can ask your teacher any question on the topic if you land on «Ask Any Question».

Discuss the questions and quotes with your teacher


  1. Have you ever bought second-hand clothes? Why or why not? What are the pros and cons?
  2. What kind of clothing do you find provocative? What do you think of showing skin?
  3. Do you have any tattoos or piercings? What do you think of them?
  4. Would you ever wear dreadlocks? What do you think of people wearing them?
  5. What do you think of men who wear make-up? When is a person wearing too much make-up?
  6. «Every generation laughs at the old fashions but religiously follows the new.» Do you agree? Why?
  7. How do you understand the quote: «Fashions fade, style is eternal»?

Read the model essay. Pay attention to the prompts given

Now write your essay agreeing or disagreeing with the quote. Use the prompts above and the words and phrases below



Useful language

  • Some people claim that…
  • It is often said that…
  • However, in my view/opinion, …
  • However, on balance, …
  • Firstly, it is clear that…
  • There is a strong argument for …
  • While it is true / Although it may be said that…
  • To clarify the point, there is…
  • From my point of view / in my view,
  • It seems clear to me that…
  • Finally, it is important to remember / must be remembered that…
  • Lastly, I feel that…
  • To sum up / In conclusion, it seems to me that…
  • Casually dressed
  • Well-cut

«Fashions fade, style is eternal»

Урок Homework Курс
  • Warm-up
  • Do you agree?
  • Lifestyles
  • In fashion
  • Favourite clothes
  • Let's talk
  • Spot the difference
  • Homework