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How to Express Articles of Clothing in Chinese

When you’re learning Chinese, accumulating vocabulary is an important part of the language journey. 

Although it’s not necessary to memorize TONS of vocab that you won’t use often, like technical terms or very specific items, it is always good to learn the ones you find the most practical, and have a guide to refer to when expressing less common things!

With that in mind, we’ve come out with another infographic and blog post in our supplemental vocabulary series, to give your vocabulary a boost! 

This post is on a SUPER practical topic: 衣服 (yī fu) - clothing/clothes

If you missed our previous vocab series posts, be sure to check out some of the most popular ones, such as our ultimate guide to colors in Chinese and our guide to body parts in Chinese.

Now, let’s get to it! 

First, check out this infographic for some of the most useful content for articles of clothing in Chinese. You can right click to save the image, or download the infographic for future practice and reference.

Then, check out the below vocabulary lists with audio, plus a bunch of bonus content!

Vocabulary Lists

衣服 (yī fu) - clothing/clothes

  • 衬衫 (chèn shān) - shirt/blouse
  • 背心 (bèi xīn) - tank top
  • T恤衫 (T xù shān) - T-shirt
  • 毛衣 (máo yī) - sweater
  • 卫衣 (wèi yī) - hoodie
  • 运动衫 (yùn dòng shān) - sweatshirt
  • 外套 (wài tào) - coat/jacket
  • 羽绒服 (yǔ róng fú) - down jacket (common of puffer winter coats)                          

  • 裤子 (kù zi) - pants/trousers
  • 牛仔裤 (niú zǎi kù) - jeans
  • 短裤 (duǎn kù) - shorts
  • 裙子 (qún zi) - skirt/dress
  • 连衣裙 (lián yī qún) - dress
  • 运动裤 (yùn dòng kù) - sweatpants
  • 紧身裤 (jǐn shēn kù) - leggings
  • 瑜伽裤 (yú jiā kù) - yoga pants

  • 帽子 (mào zi) - hat
  • 手套 (shǒu tào) - gloves
  • 围巾 (wéi jīn) - scarf
  • 袜子 (wà zi) - socks
  • 胸罩 (xiōng zhào) - bra
  • 内裤 (nèi kù) - underwear

  • 鞋 (xié) - shoes
  • 运动鞋 (yùn dòng xié) - sneakers/athletic shoes
  • 高跟鞋 (gāo gēn xié) - high heels
  • 正装鞋 (zhèng zhuāng xié) - dress shoes
  • 芭蕾舞鞋 (bā lěi wǔ xié) - flats
  • 靴子 (xuē zi) - boots
  • 人字拖 (rén zì tuō) - flip flops
  • 凉鞋 (liáng xié) - sandals
  • 拖鞋 (tuō xié) - slippers

  • 睡衣 (shuì yī) - pajamas
  • 西装 (xī zhuāng) - suit
  • 西服 (xī fú) - suit
  • 制服 (zhì fú) - uniform
  • 校服 (xiào fú) - school uniform

Want to put these words to use? 

Here are a few ways you can these words - just insert the vocab word you want, where the red sample word is:

我很喜欢你的!(wǒ hěn xǐ huan nǐ de xié) - I really like your shoes!

你的衬衫很好看!(nǐ de chèn shān hěn hǎo kàn) - Your shirt is looks nice!

这是我新买的毛衣。(zhè shì wǒ xīn mǎi de máo yī) - This is the new sweater I bought.

我要去买帽子。(wǒ yào qù mǎi mào zi) - I am going to go buy a hat.

他穿着黑色的裤子。(tā chuān zhe hēi sè de kù zi) - He’s wearing black pants.

Note: When expressing “to wear” in Chinese, 穿 (chuān) is generally used when the article of clothing is something that’s frequently used - for words like 衣服 (yī fu), pants 裤子 (kù zi), 衬衫 (chèn shān), 袜子 (wà zi), 裙子 (qún zi), 鞋 (xié), etc.

On the other hand, 戴 (dài) is used more for accessories, like 眼镜 (yǎn jìng) - glasses, 帽子 (mào zi) - hats, 手套 (shǒu tào) - gloves, 项链 (xiàng liàn) - necklaces, etc.

Learn More Chinese!

We hope you enjoyed this post on useful clothing vocabulary in Chinese and how to use it!

If you’re just getting started learning Chinese, make sure to take Level 1 of our Beginner Conversational Course! Level 1 of the course is completely FREE, containing 45 video lessons, complete with study features like interactive flashcards with audio, PDF lecture notes, quizzes and more! 

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