Clothes Idioms (Page 1)

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All dressed up and nowhere to go
You're prepared for something that isn't going to happen.
All hat, no cattle
(USA) When someone talks big, but cannot back it up, they are all hat, no cattle.('Big hat, no cattle' is also used.)
All mouth and trousers
(UK) Someone who's all mouth and trousers talks or boasts a lot but doesn't deliver. 'All mouth and no trousers' is also used, though this is a corruption of the original.
All talk and no trousers
(UK) Someone who is all talk and no trousers, talks about doing big, important things, but doesn't take any action.
Apron strings
A man who is tied to a woman's apron strings is excessively dependent on her, especially when it is his mother's apron strings.
At the drop of a hat
If you would do something at the drop of a hat, you'd do it immediately.
Belt and braces
(UK) Someone who wears belt and braces is very cautious and takes no risks.
Belt and suspenders
(USA) Someone who wears belt and suspenders is very cautious and takes no risks.
Big girl's blouse
A person who is very weak or fussy is a big girl's blouse.
Birthday suit
If you are in your birthday suit, you are naked.
An intellectual woman is a bluestocking.
Boot is on the other foot
When the boot's on the other foot, a person who was in a position of weakness is now in a position of strength.
Bright as a button
A person who is as bright as a button is very intelligent or smart.
Button it
If someone tells you to button it, they are ordering you to be quiet.
By the seat of your pants
If you do something by the seat of your pants, you achieve something, but only by a narrow margin or do something without advance preparation.
Cap in hand
If you go cap in hand, you humbly ask someone for something like forgiveness or money.
Caught with your pants down
If you are caught with your pants down, you are exposed in an embarrassing situation.  It can also mean that you were caught unprepared for a situation or an event.
Crepe hanger
(USA) One who always looks at the bad side of things and is morbid or gloomy. In olden days crepe was hung on the door of a deceased person's home.
Cut from the same cloth
If people are cut from the same cloth, they are very similar in terms of ideas, opinions, beliefs, etc.
Cut your coat according to your cloth
If you cut your coat according to your cloth, you only buy things that you have sufficient money to pay for.
Cute as a button
If someone's as cute as a button, they are very attractive.
Dead men's shoes
If promotion or success requires replacing somebody, then it can only be reached by dead men's shoes' by getting rid of them.
Deep pockets
If someone has deep pockets, they are wealthy.
Dig your heels in
If you dig your heels in, you start to resist something.
Down at heel
Someone who is down at heel is short of money. ('Down in heel' is used in American English)
Drag your heels
If you drag your heels, you either delay doing something or do it as slowly as possible because you don't want to do it.
Dress to kill
When someone is dressed to kill, they are dressed very smartly.
Dressed to the nines
If you are in your very best clothes, you're dressed to the nines.
If someone is a dyed-in-the-wool supporter of a political party, etc, they support them totally, without any questions.
Eat my hat
People say this when they don't believe that something is going to happen e.g. 'If he passes that exam, I'll eat my hat!'
Feather in your cap
A success or achievement that may help you in the future is a feather in your cap.
First up, best dressed
First up, best dressed comes from big families; the first child awake wore the best clothes, so if you are first to do something, you are ahead or have an advantage. Similar to the early bird catches the worm. (First in, best dressed is also used.)
Fit like a glove
If something fits like a glove, it is suitable or the right size.
Fly by the seat of one's pants
If you fly by the seat of one's pants, you do something difficult even though you don't have the experience or training required.
Fur coat and no knickers
Someone with airs and graces, but no real class is fur coat and no knickers.
Give someone the boot
If you give someone the boot, you fire them from a job or expel them from an organisation, etc.
Give the shirt off your back
If you would give the shirt off your back, you would do anythingto help, no matter what the personal sacrifice.
Gloves are off
When the gloves are off, people start to argue or fight in a more serious way. ('The gloves come off' and 'take the gloves off' are also used. It comes from boxing, where fighters normally wear gloves so that they don't do too much damage to each other.)
Goody two-shoes
A goody two-shoes is a self-righteous person who makes a great deal of their virtue.
Grey suits
The men in grey suits are people who have a lot of power in business or politics, but aren't well-known or charismatic.
Hand in glove
If people are hand in glove, they have an extremely close relationship.
Hang by a thread
If something hangs by a thread, there is a very small chance indeed of it being successful or surviving.
Hang your hat on (something)
To depend on OR believe in something.
Hard on someone's heels
If you are hard on someone's heels, you are close to them and trying to catch or overtake them.  ('Hot on someone's heels' is also used.)
Have a trick up your sleeve
If you have a trick up your sleeve, you have a secret strategy to use when the time is right.
Have something up your sleeve
If you have something up your sleeve, you have some hidden or secret plan, idea, etc, to use to your advantage when the time is right.
Have your collar felt
(UK) If someone has their collar felt, they are arrested.
Hot under the collar
If you're hot under the collar, you're feeling angry or bothered.
I'll eat my hat
You can say this when you are absolutely sure that you are right to let the other person know that there is no chance of your being wrong.
If the cap fits, wear it
This idiom means that if the description is correct, then it is describing the truth, often when someone is being criticised. ('If the shoe fits, wear it' is an alternative)

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