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Idioms

20 Idioms based on Clothing

These are English idioms based on clothes and clothing. You can also try this Clothing Idioms Quiz

Click on any idiom for more information, including example sentences, notes and quizzes.

Idioms

a knight in shining armour | armor

If someone is a knight in shining armour, they help you when you are in a difficult situation.

a wolf in sheep's clothing

A wolf in sheep's clothing is someone who seems to be a good person but is really a bad person.

at the drop of a hat

If you do something at the drop of a hat, you do it immediately, without preparation or planning.

deep pockets

You can say a person or an organisation has deep pockets if they have lots of money.

dressed (up) to the nines Informal

If you are dressed to the nines, or dressed up to the nines, you are wearing very smart clothes for a special occasion.

earn your stripes

If you earn your stripes, you do something to prove that you have the skills or ability for a particular job or rank.

fill somebody's shoes

If you can fill somebody's shoes, you can replace them and do what they do.

hot under the collar

If you are hot under the collar, you feel angry or annoyed about something.

keep it under your hat

If someone tells you a secret and you keep it under your hat, you don't tell anyone.

knock your socks off

If something knocks your socks off, it amazes you and surprises you.

off the cuff

If you speak off the cuff, you speak without planning what you will say beforehand.

old hat

If something is old hat, it's old-fashioned and no longer seen as being modern and new.

pull your socks up Informal

You can say "pull your socks up" to someone if you think they should improve the way they are behaving or the way they are doing something.

quaking in your boots

If you're quaking in your boots, you are very frightened.

rags to riches

If you go from rags to riches, you start out very poor and you become very rich.

talk through your hat

If you're talking through your hat, you're talking about something without knowing much about it, or you claim something is true when it isn't.

the jewel in the crown

If something is the jewel in the crown, it's part of a group or set of similar things, and it's the best of them all.

tighten your belt

If you tighten your belt, you try to spend less money.

wear your heart on your sleeve

If you wear your heart on your sleeve, you show your emotions openly and you don't try to hide your feelings.

work your socks off | work your tail off

If you work your socks off, or work your tail off, you work very hard.

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