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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
plain clothes

"ordinary dress" (as opposed to military uniform), 1822; of police detectives, it is attested from 1842. Also plainclothes.

Wiktionary
plain clothes

alt. civilian clothes worn by someone in an occupation or organization for which a uniform might be expected, as the police or clergy. n. civilian clothes worn by someone in an occupation or organization for which a uniform might be expected, as the police or clergy.

WordNet
plain clothes

n. ordinary clothing as distinguished from uniforms, work clothes, clerical garb, etc. [syn: civilian clothing, civilian dress, civilian garb]

Wikipedia
Plain Clothes (1988 film)

Plain Clothes is a 1988 comedy film directed by Martha Coolidge. The film stars Arliss Howard and was released by Paramount Pictures. As of 2011, it is available on VHS.

Plain clothes

Plain clothes may refer to:

  • Plainclothes law enforcement, police work done out of uniform
  • Plain Clothes (1988 film), an American comedy film
  • Plain Clothes Theatre Productions, a theatre company based in Bristol, England
  • Plain dress, a religious practice of wearing clothes of traditional, modest design

Usage examples of "plain clothes".

She wore the same plain clothes she had donned the night of the eclipse, and her hair retained the unforgettable, jagged steak of gray.

A detective in plain clothes was sitting on the small of his back in one of the slippery plush chairs.

I loved the whole concept of stripping the stage and letting the actors, in plain clothes, with no sets and minimal movements, act out the story for the audience.

The next night, we put on plain clothes, and we sailed for England.