Exercise 1

A. Listen to Mark, Shelby, and Carlos describe how their tastes in fashion have changed. What was their style, and what is their style now?




1   Mark



2   Shelby



3   Carlos



B. Listen again. Write the items of clothing or accessories you hear for each of the looks below.

grunge ________________

urban ________________

goth ________________

bohemian ________________

sporty ________________

preppy ________________



Mark:    Then: grunge

Now: urban, hip-hop

Shelby: Then: conservative, stuffy, boring, then goth

Now: bohemian

Carlos: Then: sporty

Now: preppy, classic


grunge: ripped jeans, checked flannel shirs, wool cap

urban: baggy jeans, oversized T-shirs, hooded sweatshirts, baseball cap

goth: long black dresses, heavy black boots, dark makeup

bohemian: long flowing floral skirts and dresses, long tunics

sporty: sweatpants, jogging suit, jerseys with numbers

preppy: light-colored slacks, polo shirt. sweater


1   Mark

Well, back in my high school days, in the early 90s, I was really into rock and alternative music. I saw the band Nirvana, and they were totally awesome. After that, I started to do the grunge thing – ripped jeans, checked flannel shirts, and a wool cap. But grunge didn’t really stay popular very long, and after a couple of years, I got into rap and hip-hop. It was really the rap artists who finally inspired me to wear baggy jeans, oversized T-shirts, hooded sweatshirts, and, of course, my baseball cap – you know, a more urban style! Yeah, I think it was in the mid-90s when I went to my first hip-hop concert. After that, I completely gave up my grunge style.

2   Shelby

Growing up, my mom always dressed me in very conservative clothes. I never had a problem with it until, um, I think when I started high school. Right around that time, I began to feel that my clothes were really boring and stuffy. I started asking my mom to buy me more stylish things, but she always said no. It was so frustrating! Well, when I was old enough, I finally bought the clothes I liked – and I went for a total goth look. I wore long black dresses, heavy black boots, dark makeup . . . My mother really hated it, but I guess I wanted to make a statement. Now that I’m in college, I just wear comfortable, fun clothes – mostly long flowing floral skirts and dresses and long tunics. I guess you would call it the bohemian look.

3   Carlos

Well, I was really into sports in high school, and I was always wearing sweatpants, a jogging suit, or jerseys with numbers on them. I didn’t have much time for fashion. I guess I had a sporty look. But nowadays, you’ll almost always see me in light-colored slacks, a nice polo shirt, and maybe a sweater when it’s cold. A lot of people call it the preppy look. I don’t see any need to change it. It worked for me in college, and it works for me now. It’s a classic look. Naturally, I’ll put on something formal if I’m going to a wedding or a special event, and when I plan to do something athletic, then, of course, I wear sports clothes.

Exercise 2

A. Listen to Gabriela, Joon, and Alice talk about what is important to them when forming an impression. Complete the chart.


What is important

1   Gabriela


2   Joon


3   Alice


B. Listen again. Which speakers mention what is not very important to them? What do they mention? Complete the chart.


What is not very important

1   Gabriela


2   Joon


3   Alice




1   Gabriela: appearance, clothes

2   Joan: face (In a social setting); overall appearance, confidence (in a business setting)

3   Alice: eyes


1   Gabriela: personality

2   Joon: doesn’t say

3   Alice: clothing, hair color


1   Gabriela

People say, you know, that personality is more important than appearance. But honestly, when you meet someone, you don’t see their personality, you see how they look. The way people dress, for example, can tell you a lot about them. Later, you know, after you’ve talked to someone for a while, that’s when you get to know their personality, . . . but that takes time. But an impression, . . . you form one of those right away. Well, I do anyway.

2   Joon

Well, in a social setting – a party, club, a restaurant, something like that – I like to look at a person’s face. Uh, but in a business setting, it’s somewhat different. It’s more people’s overall appearance that matters. I like to see how people appear to others, how they interact, how they present themselves to people. You know, I think it’s actually – I like to see their level of confidence. I . . . I think confidence is what’s important to me.

3   Alice

Um, when I meet new people, uh . . . I guess it’s their eyes. They have to be big, kind, and . . . um . . . interesting. Uh, I really don’t care about clothing or hair color, or anything like that.

Exercise 3

Listen to a conversation between two friends. Then check (✓) true or false.




1   Doug sewed the coat he is wearing.

2   Doug didn’t like or couldn’t afford the clothes he found in stores.

3   Doug made the pants he is wearing.

4   Krista prefers to wear trendy clothing.

5   Doug thinks fashionable clothes can be comfortable too.


1 True   2 True   3 False   4 False   5 True


Krista:   Wow, Doug, that’s a funky coat you’re wearing! I like it!

Doug:   Thanks, Krista! I made it myself.

Krista:   Really? I didn’t know you knew how to sew!

Doug:   Sure! I started taking sewing classes last fall.

Krista:   And what inspired you to do that?

Doug:   I was just tired of all the stuffy, conservative stuff I found in the stores. And I couldn’t afford the stylish things I really liked. So I decided to make them myself?

Krista:   That’s so cool. So did you make those pants, too?

Doug:   No, I bought these in a secondhand clothing store. I tend to mix retro pieces with modern ones. It’s my own style.

Krista:   Well, it looks great on you.

Doug:   Anybody can do it, Krista. It’s not hard to mix and match.

Krista:   I prefer wearing more functional clothing. I hate to be uncomfortable.

Doug:   You can do both – be comfortable and fashionable! I’ll show you. Let me design something for you.

Krista:   OK, sounds great!

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