Describing people – appearance

Hair, face, skin and complexion

He used to have black hair but it’s gone grey,almost white.
What sort of person would you like to go out with? Blonde, fair, dark or ginger-haired / red-haired?

She has such beautiful auburn hair. [red-brown]

Fair and dark can be used for hair, complexion or skin.

Height and build

Fat may sound impolite. Instead we often say a bit overweight. If someone is broad and solid, we can say they are stocky. A person with good muscles can be well-built or muscular. If someone is terribly thin and refuses to eat, they may be anorexic.

General appearance

She’s a very smart and elegant woman, always well-dressed; her husband is quite the opposite, very scruffy and untidy-looking.

He’s very good-looking, but his friend’s rather unattractive.
Do you think beautiful women are always attracted to handsome men? I don’t. I think first impressions matter most.

[Tip: The suffix -ish is useful for describing people:

She’s tallish. He has brownish hair. He must be thirtyish.]