Sixty Clothing Idioms: Part 1

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  • a feather in one’s cap – an honour, an achievement to be proud of.
  • a hand–me–down – an item that has been passed on to a person from someone else.
  • as tough as old boots – very tough.
  • at the drop of a hat – without hesitation, immediately.
  • below the belt – unfair/disregarding the rules.
  • birthday suit – naked.
  • bulging/bursting at the seams – overflowing.
  • by the seat of one’s pants – by instinct rather than skill or knowledge.
  • cloak–and–dagger – involving mystery and sometimes espionage.
  • cut from the same cloth – similar.
  • down–at–the–heels – shabby in appearance.
  • dressed to kill – dressed glamorously, often with the intention of making an impression.
  • dressed to the nines – dressed smartly.
  • hand in glove with – in close association with.
  • hot under the collar – angry or embarrassed.
  • I’ll eat my hat if ___” – “I think it is very unlikely that ___”/ “I’ll be very shocked if ___”.
  • if the cap/shoe fits, wear it – since a general remark or criticism applies to someone, they should accept i.t
  • in another person’s shoes – in another person’s situation.
  • off–the–cuff – without preparation.
  • old hat – outdated.
  • out of pocket – having lost money/paid for directly by someone.
  • the boot/shoe is on the other foot – the situation has reversed, the person in the position of advantage is now in a position of disadvantage.
  • to air one’s dirty laundry/linen in public – to discuss private problems in front of others.
  • to bet one’s boots – to bet all of one’s possessions.
  • to buckle down – to determinedly tackle a task.
  • to catch someone with their pants down – to catch someone while they are unprepared (usually when they are in an embarrassing or compromising position).
  • to come apart at the seams – to be in an extremely poor condition/to be close to collapse.
  • to drag oneself up by one’s bootstraps – to improve oneself through one’s own effort.
  • to fill someone else’s shoes – to (usually temporarily) take someone’s place.
  • to fit like a glove – to fit perfectly.

If you’ve found this post useful, why not check out our other articles on idioms?

09 Dec 2014
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