8 Clothing Words in Spanish Books Don’t Teach You

picture of a hat and clothing words in spanish

Clothing words in Spanish books tend to include “calcetines” for socks, “bragas” for panties, and “pendientes” for earrings. Unfortunately, not all people in Hispanic countries understand “camiseta” as a t-shirt or “falda” as a skirt. There are other words Spanish books don’t teach you. For instance, there are words like medias, pollera, and pulsera, which are a lot more common in Argentina than the words in the vocabulary section of most Spanish books. Are you learning Spanish through a book? Here are 8 clothing words in Spanish books don’t teach you.

Clothes words in Spanish for t-shirt

  1. T-shirt

When you visit a clothing store in Argentina you will find t-shirts under the sign “remeras”. Therefore, how do you say t-shirt in Spanish? Well, in Argentina we call them “remeras”. The word “camiseta” is used for undershirts and for jersey. For example, Argentina ‘s soccer team jersey is “la camiseta de la selección argentina”. 

What is “campera” in Spanish?

2- Jacket

When you travel through Latin America you might hear lots of different words for “jacket” like chamarra, abrigo, chaqueta. In Argentina we call a jacket “campera”. When my mother would tell me to put on a jacket she would say “ponete una campera que hace frío” or “llevate una campera”. Other common words are “abrigo” and “rompevientos” (windbreaker jacket).

La pollera has got nothing to do with chickens

3- Skirt

In case you ever hear the word “pollera” in Spanish, this has got nothing to do with chickens or “pollo”. Pollera is the word for “skirt” in Argentina. Other Hispanic countries refer to the skirt as “falda”. But where does the word “pollera” come from? To illustrate, this is a definition of “pollera”: es el término con que se designa a la falda externa del vestido en Hispanoamérica, donde es usado como parte de atuendos folclóricos en varios países. However, in Argentina we use this word to name regular skirts as well. 

Clothing vocab in Spanish for socks

4- Socks

Most Spanish books teach the word “los calcetines” for socks. The problem is that in lots of countries socks are known as “las medias” (yes, halves). Argentinians never say “calcetines”. When I teach this, my students are relieved because they hate the word “calcetines”, it is long and hard to pronounce! So, if this word gives you a headache, just say “las medias”.

They say “bragas”, we say “bombachas”

5- Panties

Fashion words in Spanish can be extremely confusing, but especially when we talk about underwear. Panties in Spain are called “bragas”, in Central America “pantis”, in some countries “calzones”, and in Argentina “bombacha”. ¡Las mujeres usan bombacha y los hombres calzones! Among the bombachas you can find different types like colaless, tanga, culotte, vedetina, etc. 

How do you say bra in Spanish?

6- Bra

I have learned from movie subtitles in Spanish that a bra is known as “sostén” in some Spanish speaking countries. But that wasn’t the word I used for bra! In Argentina we call bras “corpiños”. Therefore, a woman wears “bombacha” and “corpiño” which together are “un conjunto de ropa interior”. Other translations of bra are: sutién, brasier, ajustador and sujetador. 

Clothing vocabulary in Spanish for bracelet 

7- Bracelet

Bracelet in Spanish can be brazalete, pulsera and esclava. While in Spain it is more common to say “el brazalete”, in Argentina we say “la pulsera”. Other accessories are anillo (ring), earrings (aros), collar (necklace), and cinturón (belt).   

Is it aros or pendientes?

8- Earrings

Even though the word “earrings” tends to be translated as “pendientes”, there is a word that is more popular in Argentina. In my country we call earrings “aros” or “aritos”. Accessories like aros, collares and pulseras fall under the category “bijou”, the short of the French word “bijouterie”. 

Conclusion

Clothing words in Spanish vary in different countries. Here is a clothes vocabulary list in Spanish comparin Spain’s clothes words (left side) and Argentina’s (right side).

  1. La camiseta – La remera
  2. La chaqueta – La campera
  3. La falda – La pollera
  4. Los calcetines – Las medias
  5. La braga – La bombacha
  6. El sostén – El corpiño
  7. El brazalete – La pulsera
  8. Los pendientes – Los aros 

What words do you use for “socks” in Spanish? Leave a comment below. 

And, if you’d like to share your opinion on other translations, my friends from Day Translations are celebrating the work of professional translators around the world. You can join the event and vote for your favorite translations! Click here to learn more.

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2 thoughts on “8 Clothing Words in Spanish Books Don’t Teach You

  1. Hola! Soy mizuki, de Japón!
    Estudie español de España.
    Por eso gracias a tu blog, puedo aprender muuucho sobre español de Argentina🙏

    He leído el artículo de “ 8 Clothing Words in Spanish Books Don’t Teach You”
    Pero entonces, como se dice “stocking” “hoses” en Argentinian Spanish?? En españa, decía “medias” creo…

    1. ¡Hola, Mizuki! Muchas gracias por leer mi blog. Tus palabras me alegraron el día.

      A “stocking” le decimos las medias can can y “hoses” son las calzas.

      ¡Espero haber ayudado! Un saludo desde Mar del Plata.

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I’m so happy you’re here! My name is Melany and I help language learners speak Argentine Spanish. I primarily teach Argentine slang and idioms, how to sound more natural and to speak Spanish with confidence.

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