Dressed to Kill

2013年07月23日 VOA, Words and Their Stories.

Read and understand the article. If you may have any difficult words to pronounce and words you cannot understand, always ask your teacher.

*Teachers will divide the article into 2-3 paragraphs to help you understand and check the pronunciation of the difficult words.


*Read the words carefully.

  1. burst /ˈbɚst/ (v.) to break open or into pieces in a sudden and violent way
  2. hand-me-down /ˈhændmiˌdaʊn/ (adj.)owned or used by someone else before you : secondhand — used especially of clothing
  3. restrictive /rɪˈstrɪktɪv/ (adj.)limiting or controlling someone or something
  4. seam /ˈsi:m/ (n.)a line where two pieces of cloth or other material are sewn together
  5. deck out /ˈdɛk ˈaʊt/ (phrasal v.)to decorate someone or something with something


Dressed to Kill

* Read the text below

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 (1)Last week, I explained some English expressions about clothes. Everything I told you was true. I did not talk through my hat or say something without knowing the facts.

(2) Everyone knows there are many English expressions about clothes. There is no need to keep it a secret, or keep it under your hat. In fact, if I keep talking, soon enough you will start to think I am an old hat about this — a real expert. Do not be fooled, though. My friends sometimes call me a wolf in sheep’s clothing. This is someone who acts like a good person, but is really a bad person.

(3) I’m not really a bad person. But I do love clothes. It is always fun to get dressed up. I look great in my best clothes. When I put them on, I feel decked out. You might say when I wear my best clothes, I am dressed to the nines or dressed to the teeth. In fact, my husband says I look dressed to kill. Of course, I would never kill anyone. But, there is something special about putting on clothes that are pleasing to the eye.
My best clothes are not modern or fashionable. Maybe someday they will come into fashion. But I really do not care. They certainly look better on me than my birthday suit. Did you know that everyone has a birthday suit? You wear it when you are wearing no clothes at all. Babies are born wearing their birthday suits.

(4) I am very careful with my clothes. I handle them with kid gloves. I try not to get them dirty or torn. Most of my clothes fit like a glove. They fit perfectly. But when I eat too much, I feel like my clothes might burst at the seams. My clothes feel too restrictive and tight.

(5) Some of the clothes I like best are hand-me-downs. My older sister gave them to me when she no longer wanted them. Hand-me-downs are great because clothes often cost too much money. I live on a shoestring. I have a very small budget and little money to spend on clothes. However, my sister has a lot of money to spend on clothes. Maybe someday the shoe will be on the other foot. The opposite will be true. I will have a lot of money to buy clothes and my sister will get hand-me-downs from me.

(6) I admit I dream of being rich. I dream that someday I will be able to live like a rich person. I will know what it is like to walk in another person’s shoes. Some of my friends got rich by riding someone else’s coat tails. They are successful today as a result of someone else being successful. But, I believe you should never criticize others for something you would do yourself. What is said about someone else can also be said about you. Remember, if the shoe fits, wear it


*Let’s talk about the article base on the questions below

  1. Do you like clothes? What’s your favorite clothing item?
  2. If you were an item of clothing, what will you be and why?
  3. Do you think clothes tell people about their personality? How?

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