Cloths vs. Clothes—What’s the Difference?

  • Cloths are pieces of fabric.
  • Clothes are garments or pieces of clothing, like shirts and pants.
  • Clothes functions as a noun and a verb, but cloths is always a noun.

It’s easy to confuse cloths with clothes. Let’s learn the difference now.

Cloths vs. Clothes—What’s the Difference image

When to Use Cloths

A cloth is a piece of fabric. Cloths is just the plural form of that noun. You pronounce cloths like “klawths” or “kloths.” Here are some helpful examples.

Nina cleaned the furniture with cloths made from an old T-shirt.

Cathy likes to dress her twin daughters in matching cloths.

When To Use Clothes

Clothes are what you wear. In other words, clothes is a noun that refers to garments. When you pronounce it, it has a long O—“klohth.” Clothes is also one form of the verb to clothe. Clothe means to dress, to provide with clothes, or to cover something as if with clothing.

Before you buy clothes at a secondhand store, make sure to check them for stains or tears.

The fatherclothes his children in snowsuits when they go skiing.

At my job, I am not allowed to wear cloths with logos.

Examples

In generations past, members of a household would have made a family’s clothing. Even in wealthier homes, lace-making and embroidery were common hobbies; even if clothes weren’t sewn at home, seamstresses and tailors were close by.

After reviving my collie with cold cloths on her forehead and a bowl of milk, I made her return to bed.

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