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clotheshorse A person who delights in wearing and showing off fancy clothes; a fashion plate, dandy, or fop; an exhibitionist. A clotheshorse is literally a wooden frame on which clothes are hung out to air or dry. The figurative meaning plays on the connections between horse ‘a frame, with legs, on which something is mounted’ and a person. Figurative use dates from the mid-19th century; literal use from the early 19th century.
She ordered her chauffeur to drive her to Fifi’s, Shmifi’s—a fancy French place for clothes horses. (J. Ludwig in Canadian Short Stories, 1962)
daffadowndilly A dandy or fop; one excessively concerned with his appearance; a coxcomb or narcissist. This 19th-century Briticism, also spelled daffydowndilly, originally was a name for the daffodil, a member of the genus of flowers called Narcissus. In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a young man overly impressed with his appearance. As punishment, the gods made him fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. He stayed by the pool until he died and was then turned into a flower, the narcissus (or daffodil). Thus, the nickname for a daffodil became the nickname for a narcissist.
dressed to kill Stunningly or impressively attired; provocatively dressed, specifically in such a way as to completely overwhelm someone of the opposite sex, or, in the words of a similar slang phrase, “to knock ’em dead.” Dating from the early 19th century, this expression still enjoys widespread popularity.
dressed to the nines Dressed in one’s best from head to toe, perfectly attired, dressed in the height of fashion or style; also dressed up to the nines. Apparently the original phrase, dating from the late 18th century, was simply (up) to the nines meaning ‘to perfection, to the utmost degree or extent.’ At some point in the evolution of its usage the expression came to apply to a person’s dress; it is rarely heard outside of that context today. Although the exact origin of this expression is unknown, several varying theories have been proposed. One suggests that the phrase is actually a corruption of Middle English to then eyes ‘to the eyes.’ Another, less plausible but nonetheless pervasive theory holds that the expression is a reference to the nine Muses and to the magical power formerly attributed to the number nine.
fashion plate A person who always wears the latest styles, a clotheshorse; a tony dresser; a dandy or coxcomb. Literally, a fashion plate is a newspaper or magazine advertisement featuring chic, urbane models nattily attired in the most fashionable clothes. In its figurative sense, a fashion plate is anyone who seems to have stepped out of one of these advertisements.
the glass of fashion and the mold of form A male fashion plate; a style-setter; a well-dressed Adonis; a gentleman of excellent physique with exquisite clothes-sense. The expression is a verbatim description of Prince Hamlet by Ophelia (III, i).
in full feather Exquisitely dressed, in full regalia, dressed to the nines. The origin of this expression is associated with the molting and subsequent new growth of a bird’s plumage.
No words can describe the serene effulgence of the Heartsease appearance when in full feather and high spirits. (J. E. Cooke, Elite, 1855)
like a dog’s dinner Dolled up, dressed to kill, all decked out; stylish, natty, dapper. This British colloquial expression, the opposite of like a dog’s breakfast, is of unknown origin.
little Lord Fauntleroy See INEXPERIENCE.
macaroni A coxcomb or dandy; one with pretensions of sophistication and intellectualism. This British term originally referred to members of the Macaroni Club—an 18th-century group of well-traveled Englishmen who, in affecting Continental mannerisms, became notorious throughout the British Isles for their decadent behavior and pomposity. The phrase is now used to describe conceited, insolent fops.
The weak chin, … resolute brow, and good forehead, portray Sheridan to the life, as he appeared, a macaroni and brilliant lounger in Carlton House. (Athenaeum, November, 1881)
neat as a bandbox Conspicuously neat in appearance, spiffy, smart-looking, fresh, sharp; in the United States, usually looking as if [he] just stepped out of a bandbox. This American phrase appeared as early as 1833 in The Knickerbocker and has been in common use since, despite the impossibility of a bandbox ever containing a human being. A bandbox is a small receptacle for collars and millinery, much used in the 17th century for storing the ruffs, or bands, commonly worn then. The following citation hints at the elliptical process by which the person himself rather than the item of apparel came to be described as “neat as or out of a bandbox.”
Why, he is a genteel, delightful looking fellow, neat as a starched tucker fresh from a bandbox [sic], (Samuel Woodworth, The Forest Rose, 1825)
spit and polish See NEATNESS.
|Noun||1.||stylishness - elegance by virtue of being fashionable|
elegance - a refined quality of gracefulness and good taste; "she conveys an aura of elegance and gentility"