Articles of Clothing

Prendas de vestir

Dog wearing hat
El perro lleva un sombrero de fiesta. (The dog is wearing a party hat.). Carol Yepes/Getty Images

Learning to talk about clothing in Spanish is one of the practical ways you can put your knowledge of Spanish to use. Whether you're going shopping in an area where Spanish is spoken, making a packing list for a Spanish-speaking person, or preparing a laundry list for your hotel, you'll find these words useful.

Names for Articles of Clothing

Here are some of the most common names for articles of clothing.

Although some regions have their own names for some types of clothing, these words should be understood nearly everywhere Spanish is spoken.

  • bathrobe — el albornoz
  • belt — el cinturón (leather belt, cinturón de cuero)
  • blouse — la blusa
  • boots — las botas
  • boxers — los bóxers
  • bra — el sostén, el sujetador, el brasier
  • cap — la gorra, el gorro
  • coat — el abrigo
  • dress — el vestido
  • gloves — los guantes
  • gown (formal dress) — el traje, el vestido, el vestido de noche, el vestido de baile
  • halter — halter, top
  • hat — el sombrero (any kind of hat, not just a type of Mexican hat)
  • jacket — la chaqueta
  • jeans — los jeans, los vaqueros, los bluyines, los tejanos
  • leggings — las mallas (can refer to any type of tight-fitting elastic clothing), los leggings
  • miniskirt — la minifalda
  • pajamas — la pijama
  • pants, trousers — los pantalones
  • pocket — el bolsillo
  • purse — el bolso
  • raincoat — el impermeable
  • sandal — la sandalia
  • shirt — la camisa
  • shoe — el zapato
  • shoelaces, shoestrings  — cordones, agujetas (primarily in Mexico)
  • shorts — los pantalones cortos, el short, las bermudas, el culote (especially for cycling shorts)
  • skirt — la falda
  • slipper — la zapatilla
  • sock — el calcetín
  • stocking — la media
  • suit — el traje
  • sweater — el suéter, el jersey, la chompa
  • sweatshirt — la sudadera, el pulóver (with hood, con capucha)
  • sweatsuit — el traje de entrenamiento (literally, training clothes)
  • swimsuit — el bañador, el traje de baño
  • tennis shoe, sneaker — el zapato de tenis, el zapato de lona
  • tie — la corbata
  • top (women's clothing article) — top
  • T-shirt — la camiseta, la playera
  • tuxedo — el esmoquin, el smoking
  • underwear — la ropa interior
  • watch, wristwatch — el reloj, el reloj de pulsera

The general word for "clothing" is la ropa. It can refer to clothing in general or to an article of clothing.

General types of clothing include ropa deportiva or ropa sport (sportswear), ropa informal (casual clothing), ropa formal (formalwear), ropa de negocios (businesswear), and ropa casual de negocios (business casual clothing).

Using Definite Articles With Articles of Clothing

When referring to a person's article of clothing, it is usual to use a definite article rather than a possessive pronoun, much as is done with body parts. In other words, someone would refer to your shirt as la camisa (the shirt) rather than tu camisa (your shirt) if the meaning is still clear.

  • Durante la cena, yo llevaba los jeans verdes. (During the dinner I wore my green jeans. The meaning is clear without specifying that the jeans were mine.)
  • Mis zapatos son más nuevos que los tuyos. (My shoes are newer than yours. Possessive adjectives are used here for emphasis and clarity.)

Verbs Related to Clothing

Llevar is the verb most often used to refer to wearing clothing. Paulina llevó la blusa rota a la tienda. (Pauline wore the torn dress to the store.)

You can usually use ponerse to refer to putting on of clothing: Se puso la camisa sin abotonar. (He put on the shirt without buttoning it.)

Sacar and quitar are usually used when referring to the removal of clothes. Los adolescentes entraban en una iglesia y no se quitaban el sombrero. (The adolescents would enter a church and not take off their hats.) No hay problema si sacas los zapatos. (There's no problem if you take off your shoes.)

Cambiarse is the verb of choice for changing possessions including clothing.

Cuando te vas a cambiar de ropa, ¿sigues alguna rutina? (When you change clothes, do you follow some routine?)