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IELTS Cue Card Sample Question – Describe an Item of Clothing that You Bought for Someone

Part 2 of the IELTS Speaking Test, also known as the ‘cue card’ section, is one of the aspects of the test that you should focus more attention on.


It is because this part of the test is arguably the most challenging as you have to speak for two minutes straight, without interruptions and questions from the examiner. 

We are with you in your IELTS journey, so in this article, we are providing you with sample responses to the cue card topic ‘Describe an item of clothing that you bought for someone.’ Read on. 

What is the IELTS Cue Card Question?

During this phase of the IELTS test, the examiner will issue you a topic card containing a topic and a few talking points. This card is known as a ‘cue card.’

You will also be given a pen and paper to assist you in your preparation. You have one minute to plan and another one to two minutes to talk. The subject will be something close to your heart. 

For example, you can be asked to describe an experience or explain why you like or detest something.

Following your discussion of the topic, the examiner will ask you 1-2 follow-up questions about what you stated.

The entire portion is about 3-4 minutes long.

How to Answer this Specific Question: “Describe an Item of Clothing that You Bought for Someone”?

Topic/ Question

Describe an Item of Clothing that You Bought for Someone

Guidelines to answer this question

You should say:

  • What this item of clothing is
  • Whom it is for
  • Why you gave it to that person

And explain and describe how you think that person was feeling when you gave it to them. 

  • Think of an item of clothing that you have bought for someone. While there are a lot of clothing items that you might have given to others, this piece of clothing should be something that there is a lot to discuss. For instance, a lovely dress is more worthy of discussion than a pair of shorts. 
  • Once you have chosen the piece of clothing that you want to speak about, take notes right away. Take note that you have only 60 seconds to prepare, and you cannot afford to waste time. 
  • Take notes on what piece of clothing it is and to whom you gave it. Describe how it looks and why you decide to give that person such a piece of clothing. Include also how the recipient felt when they received it. You must not write sentences; simply write keywords and phrases. 
  • Do not forget to use advanced grammar and vocabulary when formulating your sentences. It will impress the examiner and eventually help you score high in this part of the test. 
  • Be mindful of the time and take notes quickly. However, ensure that your handwriting is readable by you. The examiner will not evaluate what you have written on your notes but how you can deliver your speech coherently. 
  • To make sure that you cover everything, remember to glance at what you have written from time to time. It is completely fine. You will not be deducted marks if you do so. 

Sample Responses for “Describe an Item of Clothing that You Bought for Someone”

Sample Response 1: 

“They claim that girls’ closets are constantly full with clothes, but they never have anything to wear. In the majority of cases, this is correct. My sister is a perfect example. She is completely hooked on shopping. For her, the final weekend of each month is set aside for shopping. Today, I’d like to talk about an item of clothing that I bought for her. 

Recently, I gave her a leather jacket. Our taste when it comes to clothes is quite similar and keeping my preference for clothing in mind, I decided to surprise her with this jacket. We are sisters but more so, we are the best of friends too. Our relationship is solid and unbreakable.

It’s a slim-fitting black jacket with a gleam to it. The main zipper is slanted to one side, distinguishing it from the others. The length is short. It features a lining cloth on the inside. In addition, the jacket has two open pockets and one inside pocket. It also has a basic wrist closure and a straight collar.

I bought her this jacket for no specific reason. I asked her a few weeks ago whether she needed to buy some clothes since I wanted to give something to her. She was both moved and overwhelmed. As a result, we searched on the internet to purchase this jacket. Indeed, she loved it and told me the jacket is near and dear to her heart, and it will always be a treasured piece of apparel because it was from me. I was so happy she loved it.”

Follow-up Question 1:

What types of clothes do you prefer to wear? Why?


“I am the kind of person who loves to wear jeans and t-shirts. If you see my closet, it’s full of jeans, of all kinds. I love t-shirts too, in all sizes and colors, but my favorite would be a plain white t-shirt. I have like 20 white t-shirts. If I am going somewhere and I can’t decide on what to wear, I just grab a pair of jeans and a plain white t-shirt and I’m set. I feel comfortable in them.”

Follow-up Question 2:

How do you think people’s clothing and style choices have changed over the years? 


“It’s actually an interesting question. I can say that the way people dress and style is a cycle and what’s ‘in’ 30 years ago will eventually be ‘in’ again in the future. Baggy pants for example were trendy in the 90s and faded out, but these days, a lot of people are into baggy pants again. It’s really cool how fashion is evolving.” 

Sample Response 2:

“Just a couple of years ago, I decided to surprise my father with a magnificent suite for his 50th birthday. It was a nice outfit with high-quality fabric. It was appealing, and the color was striking. I think he was really happy about it. This looks to be a good candidate for this cue card topic, and I am pleased to deliver a brief description of the gift.

The suit arrived the evening before my dad’s birthday celebration. I came running into the house and begged him to meet me in the living room. I had a feeling he was trying to catch me off guard with something. But I didn’t realize that this would be a fantastic suit. In truth, I had been meaning to buy it for him but I had no idea how to get his body measurements. I ended up asking my mom about it.

My father is a fascinating individual. He enjoys surprising people and at that time; I think it was time for me to surprise him. Most of the time, the people he is attempting to surprise become aware of the surprise. As a result, he is unable to surprise them in the majority of circumstances. But in this case, he was pleasantly surprised, and I was relieved to have completed my mission. I saved my allowance for two months for that suit.

My father is one of the people I admire and respect the most in my life and I wanted to give him something special. I’m glad he liked it. So, undoubtedly, this was a special present for him. Furthermore, the outfit was produced in a color that he adores. It was dark blue and stitched by the city’s most recognized and expert tailor. He’s been wearing the suit to formal occasions and taking good care of it.”

Follow-up Question 1:

Do you enjoy giving clothing items as a gift? 


“To be honest, no I do not like buying clothes for other people as gifts. That is why as much as possible, I prefer to buy other things like perfume, books, and bags among others. It is because it’s really hard to find an item of clothing that will suit the taste of the people we’re giving it to, let alone the accurate size that would fit them.”

Follow-up Question 2:

How often do people in your country give presents?


“We do enjoy giving presents and it’s something that has been part of our tradition. May it be birthdays, anniversaries, New Year, Christmas, and graduation events, we give gifts. It’s one of the things I look forward to, giving presents.” 

Vocabulary List to Answer the Question: “Describe an Item of Clothing that You Bought for Someone”

Here are some words in the sample responses for the cue card topic Describe an item of clothing that you bought for someone.’ with their meanings and sample sentences for your reference. 

WordPart of SpeechDefinitionSample Usage of the Word in a Sentence
apparelnounClothing“Despite her unusual apparel, she looked wonderful.”
appealingadjectiveInteresting, intriguing“She had straightened it, and despite its century-old age, the outfit looked rather appealing.”
baggyadjectiveSloppy and dangling in folds“To evade throngs of admirers, she dresses down in baggy clothes.”
constantlyadverbAlways, continuously over time“Plans to improve the company have been constantly stymied.”
distinguishverbTo detect or point out a distinction“I can’t distinguish the twins apart.”
evolveverbTo gradually change, especially from a simple to a more complicated form“Every school should evolve its own method of operation.”
hookedadjectiveAddicted “I know a girl who became hooked on the internet.”
off guardadjectiveUnprepared for a surprise or adversity“His parents appeared to be caught off guard by her gratitude.”
overwhelmedadjectiveTo have a powerful emotional impact on“I was overwhelmed by depressive sensations.”
preferencenounA choice for one option over another or others“On the booking form, please indicate your preference.”
purchaseverbTo buy“Insurance can be purchased online.”
slantedverbTo slope or lean in one way, diverge or induce a divergence from vertical or horizontal“The sunshine slanted into the room through the windows.”
strikingadjectiveDrawing attention because to being uncommon, extraordinary, or noticeable“The lady in the portrait bears a striking resemblance to my great grandmother.”
trendyadjectiveVery fashionable or current“She sported a trendy haircut, an earring, and designer stubble.”
unbreakableadjectiveNot likely to break quickly“Make certain that your patio doors are made of unbreakable material.”

Additional Reading — IELTS Speaking Cue Card Questions


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