Do you like wearing t-shirts? Do you own many t-shirts? Do you like t-shirts with pictures or prints? How often do you wear t-shirts? Are t-shirts popular in your country? When is it appropriate to wear a t-shirt in your country?
  • Wardrobe (noun) - all of the clothes that a person owns.
  • Short-sleeved (adj.) - having short sleeves.
  • Long-sleeved (adj.) - having long sleeves.
  • Predominantly (adverb) - mostly or mainly.
  • To pull off something (phrasal verb) - to succeed in doing something difficult or unexpected.
  • Fashion statement (noun) - clothes that you wear or something else that you own in order to attract attention and show other people the type of person you are.
  • Crass (adj.) - offensive in manner or style.
  • Tacky (adj.) - of cheap quality or in bad style.
  • Plain (adj.) - not decorated in any way; with nothing added.
  • Gaudy (adj.) - unpleasantly bright in colour or decoration.
  • Exposed (adj.) - uncovered so that it can be seen.
  • Casual (adj.) - casual clothes are not formal or not suitable for special occasions.
  • Smart casual (adj.) - (of clothing) neat and stylish, but not too formal, especially when this is the accepted way of dressing for a particular situation, place, or social occasion.
  • Scarification (noun) - the process of making small cuts in someone's skin, especially for cultural reasons.
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Questions and answers
M: Do you own many T-shirts?

R: Well, most of my wardrobe is either short or long-sleeved shirts and T-shirts. And they're predominantly black. I can never quite pull off anything else. And well, they're easier to shop for actually, at least I find.

M: Do you like T-shirts with pictures or prints?

R: I used to love them as a way to make a fashion statement. But now, I've just come to realize that they come across as crass and tacky. I prefer plain colours now without any gaudy additions to them.

M: How often do you wear T-shirts?

R: I think I'd wear them almost every day if I could. They're cheap and easy to buy and, well, they go with almost anything.

M: Are T-shirts popular in your country?

R: I think so, though not by themselves in the winter, since having exposed arms in cool temperatures is never a really good idea. Although, well, they're definitely a key item in every kind of casual dress code there might be.

M: When is it appropriate to wear a T-shirt in your country?

R: Well, almost always, unless you're in a business or a smart casual situation. And even then you might be able to get away with it, unless you had tattoos or scarification that needs to be covered up, for example.
M: Dear listener, did you enjoy Rory, our Rory, in six different T-shirts? Hey!

R: That might be a good time to mention, if you're listening to this episode of the podcast, you might actually want to check out our YouTube channel if you want to see me changing outfits every question. Because, well, first of all, our YouTube channel is amazing. And second of all, it's the only way that you'll get to see this in, well, kind of costume change ever because I'm never doing this again. I don't know how Maria does it for every single episode, but I'm not.

M: Okay. So we should talk about different types of T-shirts. Rory mentioned a... What, like V-neck shirts or V-neck T-shirts. Like victory. And you can say that I'm a big fan of V-neck T-shirts, or I'm not a big fan of V neck T-shirts. And also, dear listener, if you're listening to this, you should google different types of T-shirts that we're mentioning. Okay? Or you can watch our video on YouTube to make sure you know what different shirts mean. Okay? So you should see the pictures of them.

R: Or if you go on our YouTube channel, you will see me holding up the different shirts to the video camera.

M: So, V-neck T-shirt. Go ahead. A V-neck.

R: I don't own any V-neck shirts because I don't like the look of them. But V neck would be like a V shape here and it's open. But I find that to be, I don't know, I think they look noxious. I can't think of another word to describe them.

M: I like V-neck T-shirts. So what about polo-neck T-shirts?

R: I have a polo-neck T-shirt. Hold on.

M: Come on. Come on. We want to see.

R: This is my polo-neck T-shirt. I have two of them. Polo-neck, it's when it's got buttons here at the front, and you can button them down. So it's like a V-neck, but you can control how much of your chest you're showing, which, if you're me is rather important because I like to stay modest. And I do like a good polo neck.

M: Rory doesn't like singlets. Singlets or they're also called half T-shirts.

R: Well, I think they look like a vest, and I wear vests to sleep. But I'm not going to wear one, when I'm outside. I think that's just showing off, isn't it? Like maybe you might wear it if you were like really, really muscley, for example, but I am not. So I'm not going to wear one.

M: So you can say that I enjoy long sleeves T-shirts or short sleeves.

R: It's important to point out they have short sleeves or long sleeves, but they are short-sleeved or long-sleeved.

M: How many T-shirts does Rory own?

R: More than six.

M: Oh, more than six? That's it? It's not like 26?
R: No, more than six, not only six. Because I'm a complete weirdo. I have a really bad habit. It's not a bad habit. It's a good habit. When I see a shirt that I like I try and buy two of the same kind or sometimes three. Because then I can wear it and look the way that I like all the time. Do you do that?

M: Sometimes.

R: Yes. Thank you! See, I'm not a weirdo, most of the time.

M: Yeah. Also, if I can't decide on the colour, I would choose both of them. So it's like green, yellow, pink, red. So I just take both items because I can't decide. So my wardrobe consists of T-shirts, right? My wardrobe like my clothes, not a piece of furniture. And Rory tends to wear T-shirts because he can't pull off anything else. That's a very nice phrasal verb. So if you can't pull off like a unique style... Or Rory what you can't pull off?

R: Well, this is silly because I wear professional shirts to work with a tie. But I don't really look that great in them, to be honest with you. I just do it because it's expected of me. I am looking forward to the day when I do not have to do that anymore.

M: And careful, like T-shirts and shirts. So a shirt would be like a more formal shirt with like, usually long sleeves, or short sleeves. But like a shirt and a T-shirt. And T-shirts are usually easy to shop for. Yeah, to shop for something.

R: You shop for something, you don't shop to something. Well, you do shop to something, actually. But that's in the context of committing a crime. If you sell out your friends and go to the police and tell them what they've done. That's called shopping your friends to the police. But we are talking about T-shirts. So we do not need to talk about that right now.

M: T-shirts can have some prints pictures. They are called graphic T-shirts.

R: They are. Do you want to see mine?

M: Oh, yes. Yes.

R: So, I would like to point out that I told a little bit of a lie for the video, just so I could use the vocabulary. I don't really have a problem with shirts with slogans on them. It's just, I just wanted to use some fancy vocabulary. So, this one is... The green one is from Superdry. And that is a little bit much because the thing about super dry, while it's very nice brand. Superdry, please pay us for advertising. I don't really know. It's like, it's like you're showing off that oh, look at me, I can buy this really expensive Japanese style t-shirt. I don't get the point on having it so massively printed. Perhaps it's just me. Also, the shirt is 10 years old. So it's possible that fashion has moved on since then.

M: So T-shirts can have slogans or graphics or some quotes or images.
R: Yes. Like this one. This one's got a quote, it says they see me rollin' which is a line to from a song that says "They see me rollin', they see me hatin'. I don't know what that song is called. But I do know those are the lyrics to it. And this shirt has sentimental value because my cousin's bought this for my birthday. And it's got a golf cart on the front of it. Because...

M: Aww...

R: You say "aww", but actually it's them having a joke at my expense. When I was much younger. My cousin Kirsty and I took a joy ride in a golf cart on a golf course. And we, well, we, she crushed it, but I got the blame for it. So that was what the shirt's about. It's just reminding us of that time that everybody thought it was me doing the wrong thing when in fact it was my goody-two-shoes cousin who was doing it. I will have my revenge. And our last one is from our good friend Pasha who used to, well, this is one of his clothing designs. And it's from Russia. And he makes jewellery now, but he used to do clothes. So that's one of the T-shirts that he designed. And I have it because it's got lots of sentimental value to me.

M: And also a T-shirt could be worn as a fashion statement. So it could have some sentimental value, or I wear it as a fashion statement. If your T-shirt has some slogans or some graphics, and you say I enjoy graphic, graphic T-shirts. Yeah?

R: It could be anything though. It could be a political statement as well. My friend Lena who is let's just say a Russian dissident living in the United States. She sends me political T-shirts all the time. And they make a political statement about how she feels about how things are in Russia. And that is all I'm going to say about that. So you can have a political statement, a fashion statement. I think those are the two big ones, to be honest with you.

M: If you don't like T-shirts with something on it, you can say I prefer plain colours. Plain is just black or just red, you know, nothing on it. Right? I prefer plain colours. And I don't like any gaudy additions. Gaudy is something negative, yeah? Gaudy. Like gaudy colours like bright, really bright colours.

R: Yeah. It's like bright. In your face, offensive, like that's Superdry logo. Again, Superdry, pay us for advertising. But that Superdry logo is quite gaudy. It's like really out there and in your face and I don't like, that's not really the kind of, well, it's not the kind of statement I want to make. And I would imagine that fashion brands are similarly downplaying things right now, but I could be wrong.

M: You can also use some adjectives like I dislike crass or tacky T-shirts. So if something is crass is like stupid without what... Without considering how other people feel. Crass.

R: Yeah. So if I were to go around wearing a shirt that said something political in a country where that might not necessarily be widely accepted, that would be considered to be crass.

M: What about tacky? Tacky T-shirts.
R: Tacky is just it's just unfashionable, doesn't make a great statement about the person wearing it. So for example, if you're like me, and you're approaching your mid-30s, and you wear shirts with slogans on them publicly. You know, it's not like for wearing around the house, you wear it openly. Then that's considered to be quite tacky. It's not very mature. It's, again kind of childish, not terribly... Oh, how best to describe it in a simple way? It's just not good. It's tacky. It's, it's not, it's not nice.

M: But if you enjoy such T-shirts, you can say, oh, I love gaudy T-shirts, because I enjoy standing out. So to stand out from the crowd like, oh, look at my T-shirt. Hey! Scotland freedom. We can use the second conditional. I'd wear them every day if I could. I would wear T-shirts every day at work, if I could. Hey!

R: What a great strategy though, for when someone asks you how often you do something, you could just say, if I could, I'd never wear them or if I could I'd do it the time. There you go. A free strategy for IELTS on us.

M: T-shirts are easy to keep. So you kind of keep T-shirts in some places. And some T-shirts do not get wrinkled. Wrinkled is when you... And you have to iron it. You know, so...

R: I never iron my clothes anymore. So I'm a terrible example of it.

M: Yeah, but what if your T-shirt gets wrinkled? Wrinkled.

R: I'm gonna get in so much trouble for this. I believe that if you wear it, then the wrinkles will come out by themselves.

M: Ah, right. Sure. You also put some water and you do like, you put some water in you do like... You know... No wrinkles.

R: But when they are wrinkled, they'll probably look a little bit like this. Look, this is slightly wrinkled.

M: Oh, yes, slightly. Okay, fine.

R: Who cares? Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but I was brought up to believe it's not how someone looks. It's the quality of their ideas and character. That's what counts.

M: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

R: And that is my justification for not doing my ironing. My mother is going to be watching this thinking oh my gosh, what am I hope I raised my child.

M: T-shirts go with everything. T-shirt and jeans, a T-shirt and a skirt, shorts. So they go with just about anything. So they match everything.
R: Yeah. It would be hard not to find a T-shirt that doesn't go with something. Like jeans, for example, I wear blue jeans and a grey long sleeve shirt. So and that works out fine for me. They do go together quite well.

M: T-shirts are popular everywhere. So... Well, in winter in Scotland, do people wear T-shirts?

R: I imagine they do under their jackets. It will not be the only thing they wear unless they're insane. Especially at this time of year. We are recording in January in Scotland. It is very cold. I have been snowed in. And so that is why you should definitely not wear just a T-shirt when you come to Scotland in this kind of weather.

M: Yeah, you said like exposed arms. So, for example, here you see my arms are exposed, so they are not covered. So... Because I'm recording from Thailand, I am in Thailand now. Yeah? So I'm wearing this dress, it's actually a dress, not a T-shirt. And you can say that a T-shirt is a key item. So an item of clothing, a key item in casual wardrobe. So they tend to be casual, these T-shirts, and I think it's like the most casual outfits. Outfits or clothes, yeah? Another synonym. Casual or smart casual situations. And surely T-shirts are not quite good in business situations or smart casual situations. Yeah?

R. Well, I always think it depends. Because if you look at Mark Zuckerberg or the late Steve Jobs, for example, they always wore the same thing. And it wasn't, well, it was not what you would expect of two, you know, multibillionaires.

M: So they got away with it. You see, so they wore, they wear, Mark wears a plain grey T-shirt, and he gets away with it.

R: I suspect the reason they get away with it is because they have billions of dollars. You know, if you're gonna get away with things, that's usually what's required.

M: So if you get away with it, you just wear a plain T-shirt during negotiations, and you get nothing for this. Yeah? So everything is successful, you're fine. So you got away with it, or I can get away with it. So do something, you know, like bad and then get away with it. Hey! But sometimes if a person is covered in tattoos... Oh, what did you say? Scarification?

R: Tattoos and scarification. Yeah, so tattoos, well, if you're like me, and you have like tattoos on your arms, and they're all over, then you're covered in them. But a scarification is... Okay, I'm gonna really simplify this. If you have scarification, please do not be offended. But a scarification is like a tattoo, without ink, they make the marks on your skin. And the pattern that's created by the scar tissue is the, is the body modification. That's the best way to describe it. So some people when you hurt yourself really badly, and it leaves a scar like a mark on your arm or your hand, that can happen to you in accident. Some people do that on purpose to themselves in a pattern, and that's called scarification. And it's illegal in so many countries, because it's extremely dangerous, but some people have it and good for them. It is not something I would do, but I think it's becoming increasingly popular these days.
M: Oh, wow. Okay. Also, you can say something about the trends for T-shirts 2023. And the T-shirt trends are... Like people, like should wear according to these trends, should wear T-shirts with strong statements. So we discuss statements, like a fashion statement, a personal statement, a political statement. So strong statements on T-shirts are quite popular. Also T-shirts with mental health mantras. So Rory, what would you put on your T-shirt if you were to choose? Which mental health mantra? Rory, eat more tuna, exercise more, record more podcasts. Like on the chest and at the back. Get up at 5 am every day.

R: Well, no, that's not a mental health mantra. That's a motivational mantra. But a mental health one would be like, remember one day that you're going to be dead and try not to take life too seriously.

M: Also, imaginative images are quite popular.

R: I was gonna say, I have a teddy bear back home with a shirt on it that says "Don't take yourself so seriously, it's not like any of us are getting out of this alive". So actually, that's quite close to do what I just said. And it's disconcerting because it's on a teddy bear.

M: And what do you think is in the trend, dog drawings or cat drawings on T-shirts?

R: I honestly... On T-shirts?

M: On T-shirts. Yes.

R: Is that a thing?

M: Yeah, yeah, yeah, like a trend 2023. So dog or cat drawings on T-shirts?

R: It's cat because people are obsessed with cat. Right?

M: Dog.

R: Really?

M: Oh yeah.

R: Maybe the pendulum is swinging back.

M: Alright, and to wrap it up, dear listener, viewer, our favourite fan, I should tell you a T-shirt joke. Are you ready?

R: Oh, God. Do you have to?

M: Yes, because understanding English means you understand like English humour. So, are you ready?

R: No. Now, I'm ready.

M: I got thrown out of coffee club today. I turned up wearing a T-shirt. Did you get that?

R: No.

M: Coffee club. I was wearing a T-shirt. Tea, tea. Tea.

R: Oh... Oh...

M: You did get that. Ah... You see, dear listener, it's the beautiful language, right? So I went to a coffee club, but I was wearing a T-shirt. Coffee club -coffee, T-shirt - tea, like tea. So I've explained it twice for you.

R: And I have died a little on the inside. And we'll see you next time!

M: Thank you very much for listening! We love you! Bye!

R: Bye!

Get exclusive episodes on IELTS Speaking parts 1, 2, and 3
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