He was dressed to the tee (or t)

This is a mash up of two phrases describing perfection – “dressed to the teeth” (dressed very stylishly with nothing overlooked) and “to a tee (or t)” (perfectly).   “Dressed to the nines” (same definition as dressed to the teeth) also might be in the mix, but my guess is that the speaker was thinking teeth as tee and teeth are similar in sound.  Of course, it is possible that the person spoken about was dressed in a very stylish, perfect looking tee shirt, but doubtful.  Many thanks to Sam Edelmann for hearing this one and passing it on.

... shirt / Funny Formal Bachelor Party, Wedding, Prom, or Funeral Tux Tee

3 Comments on “He was dressed to the tee (or t)”

  1. Joe Atwoki Birungi says:

    It is a possibility the T could refer to TEA which the English always took as serious occasion . When invited to Tea a person was expected to arrive well dressed for the occasion.

    • davemalaphor says:

      Interesting. Given the context and the person involved (someone from the States who has never ventured out…), I think tee shirt is probably the correct mashup. Thanks Joe for your input and if you hear a mixed idiom, please send it my way!

  2. Laura says:

    I always thought this was “drest to the t”. A play on an older spelling of “dressed”. I guess we could say “dressed to the d” now. Hmm.

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