You can’t run. You can’t hide. You can’t leave the house without inevitably spotting someone with Stan Smith shoes nearby. These sneakers are everywhere in Paris, super trendy, and apparently very comfortable to walk in. If you see someone looking effortlessly chic with their sneakers, you may be tempted to go out and get your own pair in order to join in. After all, it’s just a pair of sneakers and there’s always the soldes (the sales which occur twice a year and are required by the French government). Much to your surprise, however, after doing some 2am online shopping, you stumble upon the word BASKETS in your shoe hunt, and cannot find a category for shoes other than boots and heels. Baskets? Such as picnic baskets? Weaving baskets? Organizing baskets? For some inexplicable reason, the term for sneakers in French is baskets, and not the kind you take to the park with a bottle of wine and cheese. Here are ten vital words of French for clothing and fashion slang (and how to pronounce them) so you won’t be left dazed and confused the next time you go shopping:
Top 10 vital French words and slang for clothing:
Sneakers: these are called baskets. Perhaps it is an ill variation on basketball. Perhaps not. But it is what it is.
Pullover: in the rare case of the French language being more simple and direct than English, a pullover is simply called a pull.
Shoe: Godasse. Yes, that’s right. Godasse. No, this has nothing to do with Becky or her butt. It just happens to be that the word godasse in French is slang for a shoe.
Shirt: This one is simply known as la chemise. It is feminine. This is important to remember, because a t-shirt is….not feminine, according to the French language.
T-shirt: le tee-shirt. Yes, that’s right. A t-shirt is masculine. So this is a case of easy French – just ajouter a ‘le’. Why the t-shirt is masculine and the shirt is feminine, no one knows. Though if you do, please let us know.
Dress: While a robe is normally considered to be a cover-up for nudity or lack of clothing, a dress in French is actually known as la robe. This may have to do with some ancient sexual innuendos or due to the sacred status of matching lingerie here. Maybe that’s the real showpiece instead of the dress itself.
Jeans: le jean – again, a case of easy French. Jeans are masculine. No one knows why, again.
Skirt: skirts are known as la jupe in French, and that’s probably because some harassing men might try to jump at the chance to make provocative and unwanted harassing comments upon seeing you in a skirt in Paris.
Suit: Faire attention, Halloween and medieval times fans – in French, le costume refers to a suit.
Tuxedo: Maybe we can attribute this word to Yves Saint Laurent since it certainly has nothing to do with the Gallic love for nicotine – a tuxedo in French is known as le smoking
Bikini: this can simply be known as a bikini or a little less simply as a maillot de bain.