Follow Your Own Fashion

Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary/Expressions, Plus Quiz

By Jacqueline Schaalje

woman_looking_at_dress®Mary Vertulfo&EwaS

Fashion trends are everywhere we go—on television, in magazines, on the billboards we pass by every day, and on the people we pass walking down the street. Some people want to follow the latest fashion slavishly. Others really can’t be bothered. They wear whatever they like. And still others wear whatever their grandma liked.

Let’s read how Kelly, Jonathan, Oliver and Natasha deal with fashion.

“You can never be overdressed or overeducated.”
― Oscar Wilde

jonathanJ.K. Califf

Jonathan wants to fit in

I like to be on trend. Obviously, I buy clothes that feel comfortable and that make me look good. But I also want to dress in a way that follows trends for my age range, because I want to be noticed and accepted by my friends and other people that are important for my career. I don’t take any special trouble to find out what is in, because I will know that from watching TV, ads on the internet and what my friends are wearing. I’m not copying everything I see, though. For instance, I don’t like skinny jeans for guys. You won’t catch me dead in one of those. (They’re lovely for women.) I like to pick one or two items that are trendy. You’ll see me wearing a classic watch or cool sunglasses. They make me feel confident and stylish as I go about my day. Scruffy Jeans don’t cut it for me.

“Fashion changes, but style endures.”
― Coco Chanel

Hipster Kelly!

Kelly is a hipster

I think following fashion is totally not cool. As I’m a student, I don’t have the money to spend extra money on new clothes and accessories every time a new trend comes along. Certain trends can be expensive, such as designer handbags, and there are snobs who will look down on you if you are trying to fool them with a cheaper “knockoff” version. I think it’s a waste of money to buy a trendy piece of clothing when you’ll wear it for a few months and then put it in your closet to never use it again when the trend goes out of style. Trends are always temporary, so why waste money? What’s more, buying so many clothes puts a strain on the environment. Most clothes are made in Asia where workers are underpaid and then they need to be shipped. The old clothes need be destroyed, which creates lots of waste. I like to shop for second-hand clothes. After my grandma passed away, my parents allowed me to ransack her wardrobe. That’s where I got this uber-cool thirties dress.

“Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.”
― Coco Chanel


Oliver doesn’t care for fashion

I’ve totally given up on fashion or following the rules of good grooming. Whenever I tried in the past, I always came home with something that I really liked in the shop, but then when I started wearing it, it felt funny. Or rather, the item or whatever it was made me feel funny. I suspect this is what happens to many people when they buy stuff that may not necessarily fit with their personal style. In addition, I feel that when you try to copy things you see on gorgeous celebs, you will never find your own style. When I look what some of my peers are wearing, I just think they look cheap or tacky. Lately, I’ve started collecting key pieces that have timeless appeal. I’m into simple woollen sweaters, linen trousers and blazers. They’re simple yet classy.

“I love new clothes. If everyone could just wear new clothes everyday, I reckon depression wouldn’t exist anymore.”
― Sophie Kinsella, Confessions of a Shopaholic

fashionJim Landrover

Natasha splurges on clothing

I don’t need to watch my budget for clothing, because I’m still living at home and my parents are willing to fund my sometimes outrageous spending. Especially when we go on family trips, we return with lots of bags if prices are reasonable. Of course we try to buy things frugally and find items that are practical, but beyond that everything goes. When I’m buying clothes with my own money, I try to pick up some smart basics that I can wear in different ways. Yeah, I’m a little bit embarrassed because I own so many clothes. And I’m not even a celebrity! But when I go out I don’t want to wear the same outfit as last time. A friend of mine has been borrowing clothes from a website that exchanges clothes with other people who want to get rid of their clothes. Great idea but not for me, although I do occasionally trade things with a friend. Otherwise, I love exclusive items that I can make mine.

What kind of dresser are you?

Vocabulary Exercise

Match the words with the definitions.

You can do this quiz online here.

1 Slavishly –

2 Item –

3 Accessories –

4 Handbag –

5 Second-hand –

6 Uber-cool –

7 Grooming –

8 Fit –

9 Tacky –

10 Frugally –

11 Basics –

12 Outfit –


Exercise 2 Choose the right expression.

Do this quiz online here.

1 Flare trousers, you ______________ those.

2 Generations of women have worn a little black dress to many occasions. It has ____________.

3 When he’s abroad, I admit to ______________ and putting on his favourite socks and shirt.

4 When toxic dyes are used to colour clothes and these then flow into rivers, it _________________.

5 Belly shirts: they will quickly _______________.

6 I’d rather own some ______________ than having to renew my wardrobe four times a year.

7 Karen rushes to the shops _______________. She forgets that what is hot now may be out of style tomorrow.

8 I’m looking for a partner in my own _________________ who understands my sense of style.

9 Buy expensive jewellery that you can’t wear without having to worry every minute about whether it will get stolen?

10 Rachel got a disappointment when she recently travelled to China and expected to be able to buy lots of inexpensive _______________ of designer luxuries. The government has forbidden sales of all goods that aren’t original.

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