CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums

CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums (
-   Cruise Dress / Packing (
-   -   Dressing to the nines (

green_rd June 19th, 2009 10:20 AM

Dressing to the nines
Okay, stupid question, I know this is a colloquialism, but ..

Often on formal nights cruisers "dress to the nines". What exactly are the nines? Why doesn't anybody dress to the tens? (Or if you are a fan of Spinal Tap, why not eleven?)

Parrot Mom June 19th, 2009 03:27 PM

Re: Dressing to the nines

Originally Posted by green_rd
Okay, stupid question, I know this is a colloquialism, but ..

Often on formal nights cruisers "dress to the nines". What exactly are the nines? Why doesn't anybody dress to the tens? (Or if you are a fan of Spinal Tap, why not eleven?)

ONLY A MAN WOULD ASK THAT!! Women traditionally like to dress up..and "compete" with other women.. Men could usually care less.

green_rd June 19th, 2009 05:46 PM

But I thought most women wanted to be a ten and wear a one. Maybe that's it :idea: 10 - 1 = 9 :!:

Tracyd1014 June 20th, 2009 03:44 PM

It's a figure of speech.
Dressed to the Nines Meaning (according to The Phrase Finder)
"Dressed flamboyantly or smartly."

Personally, it feels good to "dress for dinner." It doesn't mean a full formal, unless that is what you want. I am a jeans girls myself and my husband is most comfortable in hunting apparel but it's nice & it's special to dress up a bit for dinner. Everyone feels good when they look good.


colorcrazie June 20th, 2009 04:02 PM

I know what it means, but am also curious how that particular phrase came into being.

Parrot Mom June 20th, 2009 06:20 PM

"One prevailing theory concerning the origin of "dressed to the nines" surrounds the significance of the number nine. Some sources believe that the number 9 possessed a spiritual or cultural strength, much like the numbers 3,7 or 13 do today. For example, there were nine Muses said to inspire mankind's pursuit of the arts. If someone were described as "dressed to the nines", it could have been an outfit capable of impressing the nine Muses. The expression "to the nines" was actually in popular use before "dressed to the nines" came into vogue. It's entirely possible that the reference was meant as a tribute to the Muses or other significant figures.

Another theory states that women of the Middle Ages would often wear fashionable gloves as part of their formal wear. These gloves were said to contain nine buttons from wrist to elbow, so if a woman was said to be "dressed to the nines", she would be wearing her most formal evening wear. In a similar vein, the price for admission for theatrical performances often ranged from one shilling for a front row seat to nine shillings for the preferred balcony or box seating. Anyone who could afford the highest ticket prices might be considered "dressed to the nines" as opposed to the unwashed groundlings seated on the grass in front of the stage."

colorcrazie June 21st, 2009 02:48 PM

Thanks. Love this kind of stuff.
Marty, the unwashed groundling (love that one too)

green_rd June 22nd, 2009 09:38 AM

Thanks Parrot Mom - that's the kind of answer I was looking for.

Parrot Mom June 22nd, 2009 09:49 AM

Always glad to be of service, especially since "Google" has the

colorcrazie June 22nd, 2009 01:36 PM

I got curious enough to do some research. Found the website where Parrotmom got her info. But, also found out that "to the nines" is such very old slang that it refers to anything, not just dress. It means "to the ultimate". It is so old a saying that it predates long gloves and a bunch of other "guesses". And, it originated as Old English. Which makes it impossible to know to origin. I was amazed that a bit of slang could survive that long!

katlady June 22nd, 2009 01:49 PM

It's always interesting to find the origins for old statements. It's surprising what lasts. :D

Parrot Mom June 22nd, 2009 03:33 PM

NO, it;s amazing the minutea you can fine on Google rofl

colorcrazie June 23rd, 2009 01:51 PM

I try to stay away from google because I can get lost in all the interesting but mostly useless info. And, so much of it does not come from credible sources. So, if I cared enough, I would then have to research sources, and on, and on. Rather chat about cruises!

Triton June 25th, 2009 05:08 PM

That's cool, thanks Parrot Mom. :wink: I love Google too. WWW, what a wonderful thing.

LisaK June 26th, 2009 09:06 AM

how interesting.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:48 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1