glad rags

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glad rags pl (plural only)

  1. (slang) Formal attire, dress clothes.
    Synonym: Sunday best
    • 1896, Henry M. Blossom, Jr., Checkers: A Hard-luck Story, Grosset & Dunlap, page 39,
      “But say, you wouldn’t have known me if you’d seen me here with my wife that time—my glad rags on, a stove-pipe lid, patent leather kicks and a stone on my front. […]
    • 1897 April, W. H. Carruth and Paul Wilkinson, "Dialect Word-List.—No. 4", in Kansas University Quarterly, Series B:—Philology and History, Volume VI, Number 2, University of Kansas, page 88,
      glad rags: “Sunday-go-to-meeting” clothes.—General.
    • 1920, Helen Reimensnyder Martin, The Schoolmaster of Hessville, Doubleday, page 285,
      “[…] Or she’ll say, ‘Well, I must go now and put on my glad rags.’ Glad rags yet, John! Yes, that’s what she calls her best frock! Ain’t it funny? […]”
    • 1935, Graham Greene, England Made Me, Penguin Classics (1992), →ISBN, page 83
      ‘I bet you are busy,’ he said. He paused at the door: ‘I shall need some money for glad rags.’ ¶ ‘Glad rags?’ ¶ ‘White tie and the rest of it.’
    • 1959, Shelagh Delaney, A Taste of Honey, Grove Press, →ISBN, page 30,
      Helen: Help yourself to a drink, Peter, and I'll go and put my glad rags on. [Exit.]
    • 2007, Brett Atkinson, Central Europe, Lonely Planet Publications, →ISBN, page 143,
      Brno has an excellent theater and classical music, and you’re expected to put your glad rags on.
  2. (slang) Stylish clothing.
    • 1969, Iceberg Slim, Mama Black Widow: A Story of the South’s Black Underworld, Holloway House Publishing (2004), →ISBN, page 183,
      Lock Jaw said, “Bessie, how would you like to get dressed up in a grand worth of glad rags and go to a fancy blowout with me?”
    • 2002, Judith Clarke, Wolf on the Fold, Front Street, →ISBN, pages 41–42,
      ‘She might forget,’ said Clightie. ‘You know how she does. While she's in there putting her glad rags on; she might come out, all dressed up, and not remember what she’s dressed up for.’
    • 2007, Anthony Ham and Alison Bing, Morocco, Lonely Planet Publications, →ISBN, page 85,
      Put on your glad rags and git down with the in-crowd at Casablanca’s hip Boulevard de la Corniche (p101)