Whether you’ll be moving to Spain indefinitely or simply visiting for a week-long vacation, you’re likely to find yourself at a clothing shop at some point. While you could arguably get through this experience with little to no Spanish, we always recommend you prepare yourself by knowing the basics so that you can have a stress-free, successful experience. Besides, it’s nice to feel like you can ask the simple questions you may need to ask as well as respond appropriately to questions asked of you.
Note: This article is just one of our resources in the “Easy Spanish for…” series! If you’re preparing to use your Spanish language skills here in Spain, you may also enjoy our mini guide for Traveling, for restaurants, and for shopping at a supermarket.
Finding your way around the store
Here are a few examples of the common areas you will encounter in a clothing store:
Zapateria Shoe section
Bisuteria Hats / headwear
Probadores Dressing rooms
Caja / Cajero Register
Here is a list of some of the most common clothing items you may want to look for / ask about:
Pantalones cortos (shorts)
Traje de baño
Ropa de deporte
Top / shirt
Gym shoes (trainers)
Booties (short boots)
The following words / expressions could be useful for you when describing exactly what you are looking for. Simply keep in mind that adjectives go AFTER the nouns they modify in Spanish so instead of saying “a sleeveless shirt” we would say “una camisa sin mangas.”
De manga larga
De manga corta
Of course, it’s always helpful to have some complete phrases up your sleeve in order to practice ahead of time and feel confident if you need to use them. These are a few we use often:
¿Tiene esto en otra talla?
¿Tiene esto en otro color?
Es un poco grande.
Es un poco pequeño.
No me queda bien.
Do you have this in another size?
Do you have this is another color?
I want to try it on.
It’s a little big.
It’s a little small.
It doesn’t fit me well.
And a few we hear often, with a common response or two:
Could I help you with anything?
Yes, I’m looking for…
No thanks. Just looking/browsing.
Would you like to try it on?
How many items do you have?
Ready to purchase?
I can help the next customer.
(Do you want) a bag?
In cash or by card?
Do you want a receipt?
¿Le puede ayudar en algo?
Si, estoy buscando…
No, gracias. Solo estoy echando un vistazo.
¿Cuantas prendas tienes?
¿List@ para comprar?*
Puedo atender el próximo cliente.
¿(Quieres) una bolsa?
¿En efectivo o con tarjeta?
¿Quieres el ticket? / ¿Quieres factura?
A Final Thought
One interesting thing to note about sizing in Spain is that although you can use the Spanish equivalents (such as pequeño, mediano, grande, etc, for “small,” “medium,” “large,” etc), it is actually most common for Spaniards to refer to sizes by their letter…for the size written in English! However, keep in mind that they letters are then pronounced in Spanish so it might sound different to you. For example, if you’re looking for a size extra small you would say “un XS” which is pronounced /un ek-keys es-say/, a small as “un S,” pronounced /un es-say/, a medium as “un M,” pronounced /un em-ay/, a large as “un L,” pronounced /un el-ay/, an extra large as “un XL,” pronounced /un ek-keys el-ay/, and so on.
Are there any specific doubts you have about Spanish for shopping for clothes? As always, let us know how we can help you and stayed tuned for more information on this topic this week!
*In the Spanish speaking world, adjectives often end in ‘a’ when referring to a female and ‘o’ when referring to a male and so in cases in which a gender is not specified, it has been common to insert an @ or x. If you see the “@” symbol in any of our words, that’s what it means!