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🌈 French Color Adjectives + French Clothes – Example Phrases

Camille Chevalier-Karfis By Camille Chevalier-Karfis - updated on Jun 19, 2020
woman wearing a multi colored dress and rainbow umbrella

Understand the rule of French color adjectives and practice your French clothes vocabulary with many examples written by my French Skype student Robyn.

Clothing and colors are part of everyday life in France: essential if you want to go shopping, they are also used daily to describe people around us.

Today, let’s review our French color adjective rules and French clothing vocabulary with many examples.

French Color Adjective List

You wouldn’t believe the names for colors I found… Pretty much everything is possible. Yet here is a list of colors I’ve heard… So I would say pretty common colors in French.

In bold are the essential colors in French. If you just one to learn the main ones, learn these.

abricotapricot
ambreamber
améthysteamethyst
ardoiseslate-grey
argent (argenté)silver
aubergineeggplant
blanc (blanche)white
bleublue
briquebrick-red
brun brown
cafécoffee
canaricanary yellow
caramelcaramel
cerisecherry red
champagnechampagne
chocolatchocolate-brown
citronlemon-yellow
corailcoral
ébèneebony
emeraudeemerald green
framboiseraspberry
grenatgarnet
indigoindigo
ivoireivory
jadejade
jauneyellow
kakikhaki
lavandelavender
lilaslilac
marinenavy
marronbrown
noirblack
noisettehazel
ocreochre
oliveolive-green
or (doré)gold
orangeorange
paillestraw-colored
pastelpastel
pêchepeach
piepiebald, black and white
pistachepistachio-green
pruneplum
rosepink
rouillerust-colored
rougered
rubisruby red
sablesand-colored
safransaffron-colored
saphirsapphire-blue
saumonsalmon-pink
sépiasepia
tabactobacco brown
tomatetomato red
topazetopaz
turquoiseturquoise
vermillonvermillion
vertgreen
violet (violette)purple

More French colors? I’ll direct you to the list of French color names on wikipedia (with swatches so it’s perfectly clear!)

Color Adjectives Agreements in French

Like any French adjectives, color adjectives will agree in number (singular or plural) and gender (feminine or masculine) with the noun they modify.

Unlike English, French color adjective go after the noun.

  • Des cravates noires – black ties:
    Ties is feminine plural in French so you add an “e” and and “s” to the regular adjective “noir”.

Invariable French Color Adjectives

However some color adjectives are invariable, meaning they will never change spelling (they won’t agree with the noun they modify).

1 – 🍎💎🌷

Adjectives coming from nouns of fruits, precious stones or flowers are invariable, in general – there are exceptions such as “rose”, “mauve” and “incarnat”.

  1. Des cravates orange – orange ties (not oranges)
  2. Des yeux marron – brown eyes (not marrons)
  3. Des yeux noisette – hazel eyes (not noisettes)

2 – Several colors to make one color

When a color uses several colors, then the color adjectives are invariable.

  1. Une Chemise bleu vert (not bleue verte)
  2. Des yeux gris bleu (not gris bleus)

3 – Nuances of colors

The same rules apply when you nuance a color adjective with an adjective of nuance.

  1. Des cheveux brun foncé. (not bruns foncés)
  2. Une chemise vert pâle. (not verte pâle)

Color Adjectives in French Examples

We were reviewing the adjectives of colors with my Australian Skype student Robyn.

For homework, I asked Robyn to review the extended vocabulary list about clothes in my intermediate level audiobook “A Moi Paris L2” (chapter 4), the precise rules about color adjectives in French in my audio lesson on French adjectives (chapter 5) and to write sentences describing what she’d be wearing in certain occasions (and to be creative!).

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And now, let’s train with Robyn’s homework. Merci Robyn !

(BTW, I am not including a translation for these but if you must, you may copy and paste the sentences in Google translate and it should do an OK job since these are rather simple sentences).

1 – French Clothes for the Beach 👙

Quand je suis à la plage, je porte un maillot de bain noir, un chapeau en paille noir et jaune et un paréo rouge avec des fleurs. J’ai une serviette bleue et j’emporte des sandales jaunes.

2 – French Clothes for the Office 👔

Quand je suis au bureau, je porte une jupe noire, un chemisier blanc, une ceinture grise, une écharpe rouge et des chaussures à talons noires. Je porte une serviette noire.

3 – Dressy French Clothes 👗

Quand je sors au restaurant, je porte une robe argentée, une écharpe noire, un sac à main argenté et des chaussures incarnates.

Quand je vais à un mariage, je porte une robe verte, un chapeau de paille jaune à large bord, une pochette dorée, des collants beiges et des chaussures à talons marron.

4 – French Clothes for Sports 🥾

Quand je vais faire une randonnée, je porte un pantalon marron, un chemisier rose pâle à manches longues, une veste marron, une ceinture beige, un foulard rose foncé à petits carreaux et une paire de bottes marron foncé.

Quand je vais faire une randonnée dans la neige, je porte un pantalon bleu marine, un chandail bleu clair, un manteau rouge avec un col de fourrure, un chapeau rouge en laine, une écharpe blanche, des gants bleu vert et des bottes marron.

5 – French Sleepwear Vocabulary 😴

Quand je vais me coucher, je porte une culotte blanche, des chaussettes roses et une chemise de nuit rose clair. Avant, le soir, chez moi, je porte une robe de chambre saumon et des pantoufles orange.

You may also like Sharon’s blog about adjectives describing people’s appearance and personality, my blog about how to dress in Paris and French Underwear Vocabulary.

I post exclusive mini lessons, tips, pictures and more daily on my Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages – so join me there!

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