Views #578 | Intermediate 5

Used Clothes

Marion and Todd debate wearing used clothes.
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Todd: Hey, Marion, I like you outfit. Nice jeans and T-shirt.

Marion: Oh, thank you.

Todd: Where did you get it?

Marion: Actually, my T-shirt is a hand-me-down from a friend of mine who's leaving so she gave me some of her clothes.

Todd: Oh, really. Ah, OK. See, that's cool, like if I know the person who wore the shirt before, I'll wear it, but I will never go to a second hand clothing store or a used clothing store (Really) I think that's disgusting.

Marion: Why?

Todd: Well, I mean, you don't know who wore it before.

Marion: But they're washed, Todd. You know!

Todd: Yeah, but, OK, first of all, what if the person who wore it was just the type or person you really hated. There's something about the person that you just really didn't like, and then, now you're wearing that person's clothes. Doesn't that disgust you?

Marion: No, do think a person's personality rubs off on their clothes (No, but) and then it survives the wash cycle in your washing machine?

Todd: OK. Right. Right. I see what you're saying, but I'll put it to you this way. Imagine that you work with somebody.

Marion: Yes.

Todd: Ok, at your job, is there somebody that you don't like.

Marion: Yes.

Todd: OK, now imagine that there's a clothing bin and people can put clothes in there and you see a shirt and you like it, and you're just about to take it and someone says, that's that persons shirt. Would you still take it?

Marion: Mm, I probably wouldn't.

Todd: Right. See. See.

Marion: Yeah, but only because I wouldn't want to feel like that person had done me a favor in some way. (Right) I wouldn't want to be beholden to that person if I don't like them.

Todd: Right. Yeah. I mean, I don't know. I guess it's good to have second hand clothes if people don't have anything, you know for charity and things like that.

Marion: Yeah. Well, actually, when I was in college, I didn't have very much money, so the only clothes I could buy were second-hand clothes so I actually really got to like going around the charity shops and finding clothes that I really liked, so nothing that was following the trends of the moment, but in college that really doesn't matter. I think it's better to wear something if you feel comfortable in, and I think there's a real sense of achievement when you find something that you've wanted for God-knows-how-long, for example, I found a brown suede jacket one time in a charity shop, and I thought, "Oh, my God. This is exactly the type of suede jacket that I have been longing for", but I could never afford that jacket at full-price, even at half-price in a normal shop. I could never have had it, so actually most of my wardrobe at home is second hand clothes I would say, and I love it. I will go to a second hand clothes shop before a normal clothes shop any day. It's so much more fun.

Todd: Well, that's very interesting. You have fun shopping at those stores

Marion: I will.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson


Actually, my T-shirt is a hand-me-down from a friend of mine.

A 'hand-me-down' is clothing or a toy given to you by someone you know.  Usually younger children in families receive hand-me-downs from their older brothers and sisters.  Notice the following:

  1. She hated to be the youngest in the family, because she always had to wear hand-me-downs.
  2. My little sister is taller than me now, so I wear her hand-me-downs.


I will never go to a second-hand clothing store.

If something is 'second-hand,' it has been used by someone before you, usually by someone you don't know.  These are items you buy in a store, like clothing, furniture, shoes or accessories.  Notice the following:

  1. I bought my favorite purse at a second-hand store.
  2. They are very concerned about the environment, so they buy everything second-hand.

rub off

Do you think a person's personality rubs off on their clothes.

To 'rub off on' someone or something is to transfer a personal characteristic to that thing.  For example, if you start using a phrase that your friend uses, then she is rubbing off on you.  Notice the following:

  1. She is so negative, and I feel like it rubs off on me.
  2. Maybe some of his creative ideas will rub off one me.


I wouldn't want to be beholden to that person if I don't like them.

If you are 'beholden' to someone, then you owe him something or are in debt to him in some way.  Notice the following:

  1. Thank you so much for your help.  I will be beholden to you forever.
  2. You don't have to feel beholden to me.  We're friends and friend help one another.

longing for

This is exactly the type of suede jacket that I have been longing for.

When you 'long for' something, you really want it.  Notice the following:

  1. I am longing for a vacation to the beach.
  2. She spends so much time longing for a boyfriend, but she never never talks to them at parties.

Vocabulary Quiz

hand-me-down • second-hand • rubbing
beholden • longing
  1. I have been for a hamburger all day .
  2. I would never buy something this nice. It was from my cousin.
  3. His friends' bad behavior is off on him.
  4. The nice thing about shopping in stores is that nobody will have the same clothes you do.
  5. For what you have done to help our family, we are to you.
Answer these questions about the interview.


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