Je vais me mettre en bras de chemise.
Zhuh vaym met-trah brahd-shuh-MEEZ. Click below to hear this!
I’m going to get into shirtsleeves.
In my corner of the world, today is like a full-fledged summer day. It’s positively balmy. Everyone is out walking dogs and babies in the sun.
So we came home from church, looked at each other, and said, “Short sleeves!” Next thing you know, we were en bras de chemise and sandals. Nowadays, we often mean in short sleeves when we say this.
Of course the expression makes it sound as if we were wearing just the sleeves, whether long or short, and scorning the rest of the shirt. (The literal translation of the French is in arms of shirt.) In both languages, however, the expression found its origin in the formal practice of men always wearing a coat or jacket when out in public. When they shed the coat at home, they are in shirtsleeves or en bras de chemise: the shirt without the coat, not the sleeves without the shirt.
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