French Language Blog

Invested In Vêtements – Summer Clothing In French Posted by on Aug 9, 2017 in Vocabulary

Now that it’s Août, le temps (the weather) is getting cooler, but la chaleur d’été (the summer heat) can still be felt en France. Making it through la canicule means more than  making sure you have un parapluie (an umbrella), en fait (in fact) I have un placard (a closet) full of les vêtements d’été (Summer clothes) that needs to be sorted out chaque été (every Summer)!

Photo by Juan José Richards Echeverría on Flickr. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Being from la Floride, ma garde-robe (my wardrobe) did not have les vêtements d’hiver (the Winter clothes) I needed to survive l’hiver when I first came to France. Heureusement (fortunately), I did have more than enough vêtements d’été once things started to heat up!

Cependant (however), I took the opportunity at the start of les soldes d’été this year to buy des nouveaux vêtements (some new clothes), specifically les vêtements d’été.

Une fois au magasin (once I was at the store), I suddenly realized I didn’t know how to talk les vêtements d’été en français !

I wanted to buy some new shorts, sandals, and a tank top, but when I tried to ask l’employé (the employee) where I could find them, I had trouble even describing what I wanted:

Excusez-moi, je cherche des vêtements d’été… 
Oui ? Vous cherchez quoi exactement ? 
Je cherche… Je suis désolé, mais je ne connais pas le mot en français… Quelque chose comme le petit pantalon ? 
Alors, on a des pantalons en plusieurs tailles. Vous cherchez quelle taille ? 
Non, ce n’est pas une taille… 
Vous cherchez un short, c’est ça ? 
Oui, c’est ça! 

Excuse me, I’m looking for Summer clothes… 
Yes? What exactly are you looking for? 
I’m looking for… I’m sorry, but I don’t know the word in French… Something like little pants? 
So, we have pants in many sizes. What size are you looking for? 
No, it’s not a size… 
You’re looking for shorts, is that it? 
Yes, that’s it! 

I was surprised to hear that shorts are le short in French, but the clumsy conversation helped me learn un nouveau mot (a new word) and continue shopping.

Malheureusement (unfortunately), I had to go through similar embarrassing questions to figure out how to say sandals and tank top, but in the end the experience made it much easier to remember the words for les vêtements d’été.

Voici un vocabulaire des vêtements d’été :

Shorts – Le short
Sandals – Les sandales
Tank Top – Le débardeur
Flip Flops – Les tongs
Swim Suit – Le maillot de bain
Bikini – Le bikini
To Sunbathe – Se faire bronzer
Sundress – La robe d’été
T-Shirt – Le T-shirt
Short Sleeved Shirt – La chemise à manches courtes
Short Sleeved Shirt – La chemisette
Umbrella – Le parapluie
Parasol – L’ombrelle
Beach Umbrella – Le parasol
Sunscreen – La crème solaire
Beach Towel – La serviette de plage
Hat – Le chapeau
Baseball Cap – La casquette
Sunglasses – Les lunettes de soleil

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About the Author: John Bauer

John Bauer is an enthusiast for all things language and travel. He currently lives in France where he's doing his Master's. John came to France four years ago knowing nothing about the language or the country, but through all the mistakes over the years, he's started figuring things out.