Blue and green not fit to be seen; pink and green fit for a queen.
Before the 1960s and the fashion for so-called psychedelic colours, people had very strict ideas about which colours looked good together. If you choose the right shades of blue and green, they can look wonderful. After all, what colours are grassy fields and the sky?
As bright as a button
is a simile, which I’d also question for veracity. I think the buttons in question were on a military uniform and probably needed to be polished. Bright doesn’t just mean shiny, it can mean intelligent or cheerful.
That’s a bobby-dazzler
was said to me about a sweater knitted from brightly coloured oddments of wool. Bobby is a slang word for a policeman, deriving from the name of the founder of the British police, Robert Peel.
Age before beauty
is a well-known expression used by someone allowing another person to go through a door or other narrow space first. Etiquette is involved, but it is hardly polite to draw attention to another person’s age and suggest that she is less attractive than the speaker.
Beauty is only skin-deep.
What a person’s character is like is far more important than their appearance.
Handsome is as handsome does.
It doesn’t matter how attractive someone is if they behave badly.
If the cap fits you have to wear it.
A figurative expression about personal attributes.
I wouldn’t like to be in her shoes.
She must be in a difficult situation.
An off the cuff remark.
A cuff is the end of a sleeve. Why should off the cuff mean spontaneous? It is used about speech.
Bless his little cotton socks.
Nowadays the comment might just be “Aw!”
Tied to mother’s apron strings.
Aprons seem to be coming back into fashion. When it was more difficult to wash clothes, women working in the kitchen always wore an apron tied at the back to protect their clothes. A child who wouldn’t leave his mother was said to be tied to her apron strings. The strings in question were narrow pieces of cloth or webbing rather than string.
Treat with kid gloves.
Someone who might be upset easily has to be treated with care. Kid is a sort of soft leather, presumably made from the skin of a young goat.
Put your shoes on, Lucy.
This is the first line of a song, which my mother used to quote when we were getting ready to go out. No-one in our family was called “Lucy”.
Talking through one’s hat.
There are a variety of meanings for this expression. Whichever you choose, the person described is not making much sense.
Comfortable shoes are high on most people’s list of priorities. Well-heeled has come to mean wealthy.
This is self explanatory. However in Derbyshire there is a traditional custom, known as well-dressing. At a particular time of year the local people go out and decorate water wells!
Have you ever gone out in your best smart clothes and discovered that everyone else is dressed casually?
Put on your glad rags.
These are what you would wear to go to a party.
Cut a dash.
A smartly dressed young man might be described as dashing even if he was standing still! In a particular outfit he might “cut a dash”. Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable defines this as being looked at and talked about for a showy or striking appearance.
We used to enjoy the following rhyme about someone whose appearance would certainly have set people talking:-
I used to know a man
Who always wore a saucepan
on his head.
I asked him why he did it.
“I don’t know why,” he said.
“It always makes my ears so sore,
I am a foolish man,
I should have left it off before
and worn a frying pan.”
It used to be traditional for people to put on their best clothes to go to church on Sunday.
There are plenty of references in the Bible to clothing and appearances. Perhaps the best known is Matthew Chapter 6 verses 28 to 30 (KJV) And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.