Discussing Fashion Trends in Spanish-Speaking Countries

Instructor: Yolanda Reinoso Barzallo

Yolanda holds a CELTA Cambridge, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Public Administration. She is a published author of fiction in Spanish.

Would you like to know the basic terminology that applies to fashion trend conversations in Spanish-speaking countries? This lesson gives you not only some loose vocabulary, but also some useful expressions.

Everyday Vocabulary

Without noticing, we use fashion vocabulary often. For example, when you say things like 'the girl in the white dress' or 'the man with the blue tie', you are talking about fashion. You do not necessarily have to be involved in the fashion industry to refer to las tendencias de la moda (lahs tehn-DEHN-seeahs deh lah MOH-dah), which means 'fashion trends'.

To learn some basic vocabulary and expressions, we talk to Edgar. He is a diseñador de moda (dee-seh-neeah-DOHR deh MOH-dah), which means 'fashion designer'. If Edgar was a female designer, we would call him a diseñadora. Edgar just got a scholarship to study in France next year so he is very excited. His dream is to see his designs on la pasarela (lah pah-sah-REH-lah), which is 'the catwalk'. Let's see what words Edgar uses most commonly to refer to fashion trends.

Translation: The dream of every fashion designer is to see their product on a catwalk.

Expressions with Words

Loose vocabulary words do not stick unless you can use them in context. For this reason, we give you some useful expressions you can use with the vocabulary in each section of this lesson. The great aspect of the expressions is that they include a 'blank' space in which you can fit any of the new words this lesson has for you. Let's start!

Basic Expressions About Fashion

To begin, Edgar tells us it is good to remember some expressions we can use at any time. Just remember the expressions include verbs that need appropriate conjugation. All we have to do is take a look around and see what's fashionable to then include it in these expressions that never change:

  • estar a la moda (ehs-TAHR ah lah MOH-dah): to wear clothes according to the fashion trends OR
  • vestir a la moda (vehs-TEER): ah lah MOH-dah): to dress according to the fashion trends

For example, we can say that Edgar siempre está a la moda. (Edgar always wears clothes according to the fashion trends.) OR Edgar siempre viste a la moda. (Edgar always dresses clothes according to the fashion trends.)

  • estar de moda (ehs-TAHR deh MOH-dah): to be fashionable

This expression is actually used to refer to things that are fashionable. For instance, Edgar tells us:

Actualmente, los zapatos deportivos están de moda. (Currently, sport shoes are fashionable.)

  • nunca pasar de moda (NOON-kah pah-SAHR deh MOH-dah): never stops being fashionable

Edgar assures us that:

El color negro nunca pasa de moda. (Black color never stops being fashionable.)

Now, let's move on to some specific trends.

Styles of Fashion

Edgar tells us about some estilos de moda (ehs-TEE-lohs deh MOH-dah), which are styles of fashion/wear people can choose:

  • moda juvenil (MOH-dah hoo-veh-NEEL): youth fashion/wear
  • moda casual (MOH-dah kah-soo-AHL): casual fashion/wear
  • moda formal (MOH-dah fohr-MAHL): formal fashion/wear
  • moda semi-formal (MOH-dah SEH-mee fohr-MAHL): semi-formal fashion/wear
  • moda informal (MOH-dah een-fohr-MAHL): informal fashion/wear

You can always refer to a person who chooses a given style:

Mi mejor amiga prefiere la moda casual. (My best female friend prefers the casual fashion.)

Key Fabric and Materials Vocabulary

Edgar tells us that, in Spanish-speaking countries, people can use two terms for 'fabric': el género (ehl HEH-neh-roh), which literally means 'the gender' but is also another word for fabric. The most common word, however, is la tela (lah TEH-lah). To refer to a specific fabric, you would add the preposition de (of) and any of these words:

  • algodón (ahl-goh-DOHN): cotton
  • lana (LAH-nah): whool
  • poliéster (poh-lee-EHS-tehr): polyester
  • seda (SEH-dah): silk

Edgar points now at some current vocabulary for print on fabric:

  • estampado animal (ehs-tahm-PAH-doh ah-nee-MAHL): animal print
  • estampado floral (ehs-tahm-PAH-doh floh-RAHL): flower print
  • a cuadros (ah kooAH-drohs): square pattern
  • degradé (ehl deh-grah-DEH): shaded off

Translation: Animal print fabric is fashionable.

Now, let's look at some key materials vocabulary:

  • el cuero (ehl koo-EH-roh): leather
  • el cuero sintético (ehl koo-EH-roh seen-TEH-tee-koh): synthetic leather
  • el charol (ehl chah-ROHL): patent leather
  • el encaje (ehl ehn-KAH-heh): lace

Put all Vocab and Expressions Together

Let's take a break here and see how Edgar puts the vocabulary and expressions together to talk about fashion:

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