I'm wondering if there's any difference between "get dressed" and "put on clothes".

For example,

I'm getting dressed right now.

I'm putting on my clothes right now.

Which one is better? Are they used in different situations?

Also, when I use "get dressed", How can I say what I'm getting dressed? Is it " I'm getting dressed in a shirt." or "I'm getting dressed a shirt" or something else?


I'm getting dressed right now.

You would say this when you are putting on or changing clothes. It describes the whole activity, not what is happening with the specific clothing items.

Since I just said it, these mean the same thing:

I'm putting on my clothes right now.
I'm changing my clothes right now.

As for mentioning specific clothing items, you wouldn't use getting dressed but the last two are OK.

I'm putting on my shirt.
I'm changing my shirt.


There's no difference.

get dressed means putting on the clothes. Say -

I get dressed after taking a shower

When you are talking about an individual clothe, you use put on... i.e. start wearing something

I'm putting on my pants.

The answer ends here.

A common mistake is using get dressed and dress up!

The latter means put on a costume or some special clothing for some occasion.

Say -

Yay! I dressed up for the party!


There is a slight difference in usage, especially if you compare "putting on clothes", "putting on my clothes", and "getting dressed". "Putting on clothes" is what you do if all you want is not to be naked. "Getting dressed" is what you do if you want to wear clothes and meet some standard doing so. "Putting on my clothes" indicates at least some minimum care about the actual clothes.

For example, I would put on clothes at 6am in the morning to feed the dog. My wife would put on her clothes - I don't care what I look like feeding the dog, my wife does. Neither of us would get dressed to feed the dog, but we would get dressed to go to work. Except if you are a builder or a painter and decorator; for that kind of job you don't get dressed but put on your work clothes.

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