Download the Clothing Idioms List & PDF Worksheets
View the updated web-version of the clothing idioms list in the table below.
The idiom worksheets and games are also free to download.
- Download and print the PDFs.
- Use the materials for interactive learning activities in class.
- Students can also complete the worksheets to review or for self-study.
Clothing Idiom Worksheets for ESL Students
Fun Clothing Idiom Games for the Classroom
25 Idioms and Phrases About Clothing
*Updated: April 25, 2018
|Idiom / Phrase||Meaning||Example Sentence|
|ants in your pants||anxious or nervous||Frank had ants in his pants before taking his exam.|
|at the drop of a hat||instantly||At the drop of a hat, I called my sister when I heard she was pregnant!|
|birthday suit||naked||You should try sleeping with your birthday suit on. It's much more comfortable.|
|buckle down||work hard||Let's buckle down and finish the assignment.|
|burn a hole in my pocket||spend too much money||I burned a hole in my pocket overpaying on insurance.|
|by the seat of your pants||achieve instinctively or quickly||That was impressive. You did your graduation speech by the seat of your pants without any preparation.|
|caught with your pants down||unprepared||Don't get caught with your pants down at a red light. Be ready to drive when it turns green.|
|dress to kill||dress in glamorous clothes||She is always dressed to kill when she goes to the bar.|
|fit like a glove||fit perfectly||Those jeans fit her like a glove.|
|get the boot||get fired||Bob got the boot last week. He needs to find a new job.|
|handle with kid gloves||handle delicately||Please handle those wine glasses with kid gloves.|
|hat trick||three goals by one player||Ronaldo scored several hat tricks last season.|
|have a card up your sleeve||have a secret plan||You had a card up your sleeve and you won the match by distracting the goalkeeper.|
|keep something zipped up||keep something a secret||He tried to keep the affair zipped up, but his friend told his wife what happened.|
|keep your shirt on||stay calm||Keep your shirt on and try to relax. The plane will land soon.|
|off the cuff||improvised||The groom made did wedding speech off the cuff.|
|pull up your socks||try hard||Good job. You pulled your socks up, studied all day, and aced the test.|
|put a sock in it||stop talking||Put a sock in it and listen to the teacher!|
|put yourself in my shoes||sympathize||Put yourself in the my shoes, then you will understand why I did it.|
|put your thinking cap on||concentrate||You put your thinking cap on and created a brilliant ad for the new product.|
|ride my coattails||do nothing and let others do all the work||She has been riding my coattails all year and I don't get any credit for my effort.|
|roll up your sleeves||work hard||You rolled up your sleeves and got the job done.|
|take my hat off to someone||honor someone||I take my hat off to Frank. He was the best singer of the century.|
|wear the pants||be in charge||She wears the pants in the family. Her husband stays home and sleeps all day.|
|wear your heart on your sleeve||show emotions openly||You always wear heart on your sleeve and give annual donations to charity.|
Extra Examples of Clothing Idioms in Use
Do you want to read more examples and sentences with clothing idioms?
Try entering the expressions in a corpus database or language app.
We highly recommend the following corpus resources and tools: