Learn Expressions About Clothes

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Clothing idioms and phrasal verbs provide interesting ways to describe fashion, dressing habits, and wardrobe preferences. Here are 20 expressions focused exclusively on clothes.

Clothes Expressions

  1. Dress to kill
    Meaning: Dress in a very fashionable way.
    Example: She dressed to kill for the gala.
  2. Put one’s glad rags on
    Meaning: Dress in one’s best clothes.
    Example: Let’s put our glad rags on and party!
  3. Pull one’s socks up
    Meaning: Improve performance or behavior.
    Example: He needs to pull his socks up for the presentation.
  4. Wear the trousers
    Meaning: Be in control in a relationship.
    Example: In their marriage, it’s Jane who wears the trousers.
  5. Dressed to the nines
    Meaning: Dressed very elegantly.
    Example: He arrived at the event dressed to the nines.
  6. Fit like a glove
    Meaning: Suit perfectly.
    Example: This tailor-made suit fits like a glove.
  7. Burn a hole in one’s pocket
    Meaning: Money that one is eager to spend quickly.
    Example: His bonus is burning a hole in his pocket.
  8. Take one’s hat off to someone
    Meaning: Show respect or admiration.
    Example: I take my hat off to her achievements.
  9. Keep it under one’s hat
    Meaning: Keep something secret.
    Example: They asked her to keep the news under her hat.
  10. Hand-me-downs
    Meaning: Clothes passed down from others.
    Example: She was used to wearing her sister’s hand-me-downs.
  11. Tighten one’s belt
    Meaning: Reduce expenses.
    Example: The company is tightening its belt during this recession.
  12. Wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve
    Meaning: Show emotions openly.
    Example: You always wear your heart on your sleeve.
  13. Button one’s lip
    Meaning: Stay silent, not talk.
    Example: He was advised to button his lip about the surprise.
  14. Roll up one’s sleeves
    Meaning: Prepare to work hard.
    Example: We need to roll up our sleeves to finish this project.
  15. Zip it up
    Meaning: Stop talking, keep quiet.
    Example: The teacher told the class to zip it up.
  16. Caught with one’s pants down
    Meaning: Caught unprepared.
    Example: The team was caught with their pants down by the early launch.
  17. Out of pocket
    Meaning: Expenses paid personally.
    Example: She was out of pocket after buying new uniforms.
  18. Throw in the towel
    Meaning: Admit defeat, give up.
    Example: The boxer threw in the towel after the third round.
  19. In one’s Sunday best
    Meaning: In one’s best clothes.
    Example: The congregation was in their Sunday best.
  20. Tied to one’s apron strings
    Meaning: Strongly influenced by someone, often a mother.
    Example: He’s still tied to his mother’s apron strings.

Clothes Expressions


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