All dressed up and nowhere to go? Blame it on your significant other. It’s time for a dressing down (19th C.) — ”a scolding or severe tongue-lashing. “ — what comes of dressing someone (15th C.), “giving them a thrashing.”
It’s not your fault. You’re all decked out—ready and rarin’ to go—a clotheshorse (19th C.), who’s chafing at the bit. Unlike the original clotheshorse, a wooden frame on which we hung clothes to air or dry, today’s clotheshorse knows how to show off her fancy duds (1275), rescuing them from their original meaning as a mere “coarse sackcloth.”
You’re a real fashion plate (c.1850-55)—a delicacy for the eyes. Initially a newspaper or magazine advertisement featuring chic fashion models, you later looked as if you had actually stepped out of one of those ads.
Dressed to the nines, (18th C.), places you at the height of fashion. Being up to the nines meant being “to the utmost degree or extent” of anything. Some think it a corruption of the Middle English, to then eyne, “to the eyes.” But as the highest single digit, nine has long had magical properties associated with it. As the trinity of trinities, it implied “the sum of all perfections.”
Your partner disputes equating your quest for perfection with dressing up (17th C.), wearing apparel more fashionable than the occasion calls for, primarily to impress and influence others. Dressing things up he says disguises things, making them appear more interesting or appealing than they really are
You have no choice now but to dress him down (mid 20th C.), not unlike when the military publically imposes a particularly severe, often highly formalized discipline, often entailing a reduction in rank and perhaps even ejection ( cashiering) of the individual from the service.
He then reminds you it’s a dress-down occasion—a casual day at the office during which time the dress code has been relaxed. You can only stare back at him having been now fully exposed.