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Clothes Idioms: 18 Useful Clothes & Fashion Idioms

Clothes Idioms and Fashion Sayings! Learn common clothes and fashion idioms with meaning, ESL picture and example sentences to help you speak English naturally.

Clothes Idioms and Phrases

List of Clothes and Fashion Idioms in English

  • All Talk and No Trousers
  • All The Rage
  • At the Drop of a Hat
  • Bundle Up
  • Dyed-in-the-wool (adj.)
  • Excused Boots
  • Fashion-Forward
  • Feather in One’s Cap
  • First In, Best Dressed
  • Hang It Up
  • Keep It Under Your Hat
  • Knock Someone’s Socks Off
  • Lose the Thread
  • Mutton Dressed Up as Lamb
  • Old Hat
  • Quake In One’s Boots
  • Shake the Dust off Your Shoes (Feet)
  • Throw Down the Gauntlet

Clothes Idioms with Meaning and Examples

All Talk and No Trousers

  • Meaning: Prone to empty boasts
  • ExampleJohn is all talk and no trousers. He likes to talk about how he has big ideas, but I’ve never heard him propose one.

All The Rage

  • Meaning: Very fashionable
  • ExampleA few years ago Uggs were all the rage, but now you don’t see them so much.

At the Drop of a Hat

  • Meaning: Spontaneously, suddenly
  • ExampleJacob is unpredictable. He won’t leave the office for weeks, but then he’ll take off for New York at the drop of a hat.

Bundle Up

  • Meaning: Put on lots of warm clothing
  • ExampleIt’s going to be minus-10 out there today. Make sure you bundle up when you go out!

Dyed-in-the-wool (adj.)

  • Meaning: Consistent in an affiliation or opinion over a long period; inveterate
  • ExampleMy father is a dyed-in-the-wool Labor Party member. He’ll never change.

Excused Boots

  • Meaning: Allowed to avoid mandatory tasks
  • ExampleSusan was excused boots for the party cleanup because she has an exam tomorrow.

Note: This is rather rare.


  • Meaning: Tending to adopt new styles quickly cl
  • ExampleDid you see Susan’s new dress today? She’s always so fashion-forward!

Feather in One’s Cap

  • Meaning: An achievement for which one is recognized; a noteworthy achievement
  • ExampleShepherding the new model from concept to retail is really a feather in your cap.

First In, Best Dressed

  • Meaning: The first people to do something will have an advantage.
  • ExampleAt this company, it’s first in, best dressed. The people who joined later have a much harder time.

Hang It Up

  • Meaning: To retire, to end an activity one has pursued for a long time
  • Example: I’ve always loved bicycling, but now when I do it, it gives me knee problems. It’s time for me to hang it up.

Keep It Under Your Hat

  • Meaning: Don’t tell anyone; don’t reveal this secret
  • Example: I have a really hot stock tip for you. I can tell you now, but keep it under your hat.

Knock Someone’s Socks Off

  • Meaning: Amaze someone
  • ExampleWait until you try the new Yamaha scooters. They’ll knock your socks off!

Lose the Thread

  • Meaning: Be unable to follow someone’s reasoning
  • ExampleI’m sorry. I have a lot on my mind, and I lost the thread of what you were saying. Could you repeat it?

Mutton Dressed Up as Lamb

  • Meaning: A woman who dresses in a style appropriate to someone of a younger age
  • Example: Did you see Sheila in a miniskirt? At her age, she’s mutton dressed up as lamb.

Note: This is rather sexist and is now rather rare, used mostly humorously.

Old Hat

  • Meaning: Old-fashioned, predictable
  • ExampleThe carmaker’s sales declined because many consumers found their designs old hat.

Quake In One’s Boots

  • Meaning: To be very frightened
  • ExampleClaudette said she was quaking in her boots when the layoff annoucements were made, but she still has a job.

Shake the Dust off Your Shoes (Feet)

  • Meaning: Make a clean break with a relationship or situation
  • ExampleWhen you really can’t continue in a job, it’s best shake the dust off your shoes and quit.

Note: This idiom is of biblical origin, and it’s most commonly used in religious contexts.

Throw Down the Gauntlet

  • Meaning: To issue a challenge
  • ExampleThe senator threw down the gauntlet and announced he would challenge the president in the next election.

Clothes Idioms and Sayings | Picture

Useful Clothes Idioms in English

Commonly Used Clothes Idioms in English


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