Creative Words to Describe Outfit & Clothing

In a work of literature, the perfect words to describe clothes play a vital role for readers to visualize the appearance of the characters. Someone’s attire and appearance reveal a lot about their way of life, cultural affinities, and sometimes even their identity.

Clothes are the first thing that comes to mind when describing someone’s appearance. Moreover, clothes also convey information about the era in which the person might be living.

It’s extremely helpful when you have a grip of ideal words that help you portray characters in a novel. So, here’s a guide to help you with words to describe clothing.

A sweater, cap, jeans, and watch is placed on the bed with two yellow tulips.
Photo by Angela Bailey on Unsplash

List of Common Words to Describe Clothes

The creative words to describe clothes can give you and your friends an opportunity to have an interesting conversation about style and trends.

Beyond a discussion about clothing, these words also serve as reminders of what might be appropriate for different situations and occasions. Let’s take a look at some common words to describe clothes.

  • Casual: Relaxed and comfortable clothes for everyday wear.
  • Formal: Clothes suitable for official events or important occasions.
  • Plain: Ordinary clothes of one color like gray, beige, or black.
  • Trendy: Modern, fashionable, and up-to-date outfits.
  • Fashionable: Clothes representing a current style in fashion.
  • Stylish: Elegant and sophisticated clothing to grab attention.
  • Smart: Neat and tidy clothes but not necessarily formal.
  • Classy: High-class and sophisticated clothes with a luxurious feel.
  • Baggy: Loose clothing with hanging folds and lots of room in them.
  • Snazzy: Clothes that are attractive and glamorous by look.
  • Colorful: Piece of clothing with bright or varying colors.
  • Tasteful: Clothes that show great aesthetic taste.
  • Well-fitted: Clothes that fit perfectly and comfortably.
  • Tight-fitting: Outfits covering the body in a close or tight manner.
  • Flattering: clothing that appeals to the eyes and enhances appearance.
  • Scruffy: Clothes being no longer fresh or new in appearance
  • Sleeveless: A piece of clothing without sleeves.

List of Pattern Vocabulary to Describe Clothes

Different patterns can be found in clothing based on era, time, trend, and history. A pattern can help you get a clear idea of an outfit when describing someone’s clothes.

Here are some common pattern vocabulary words to describe clothes:

  • Plain
  • Striped
  • Paisley
  • Pinstriped
  • Polka Dots
  • Tie-dyed
  • Herringbone
  • Floral
  • Plaid
  • Checked
  • Gingham
  • Camouflage
  • Argyle
  • Houndstooth
  • Basketweave
  • Chevron
  • Lattice
  • Toile
  • Damask
  • Ikat
  • Honeycomb
  • Animal print

Words to Describe Clothing Material

There are many variants in clothing materials, just like there are in colors and patterns. Besides cotton and wool, some other popular materials for clothing are as follows:

  • Linen
  • synthetic
  • sateen
  • denim
  • cashmere
  • organza
  • terrycloth
  • leather
  • silk
  • brocade
  • nylon
  • fibers
  • cellulosic
  • bast
  • chiffon
  • dimity
  • muslin
  • taffeta
  • lawn
  • chintz
  • dobby
  • voile


As with other skills, people use many words to describe how a person’s outfit or clothes look. In this article, you will find a list of common words to describe clothes.

There are also some words used to refer to clothing patterns and more specific vocabulary that describes clothing materials. Hope you find this post helpful!

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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