Today (September 26) marks the beginning of Paris Fashion Week, and is also the day on which the government will present its projet de loi de finances budget as the country continues to be affected by a cost of living crisis.
Read more: What’s coming up? The week ahead in France
‘Se serrer la ceinture’ translates perfectly to ‘to tighten one’s belt’ in English, and similarly refers to someone cutting their expenditure and living more frugally.
It conjures up the image of someone growing thinner and having to fasten their belt on a tighter hole because they cannot afford to eat as well as before.
An example of the phrase used in a sentence would be: ‘Mon mari est au chômage donc on doit se serrer la ceinture’ (My husband is out of work so we need to tighten our belts).
Other expressions which also link to cutting one’s expenditure include ‘se passer de quelque chose’ (to go without something) or ‘se priver de quelque chose’ (to deprive oneself of something).
Ceinture has been used in French since at least the 12th century and derives from Latin cinctura, for a strip of cloth tied around the waist.
Some other fashion-related terms you might try out, could include:
Avoir le moral dans les chaussettes (to have your morale in your socks) : to be depressed
Etre à côté de ses pompes (to be beside ones shoes) : to be distracted / not concentrating
Mettre des gants (put gloves on): to approach something in a delicate, thoughtful way
Tailler un costard à quelqu’un (to cut someone a suit) : to strongly criticise someone
Etre comme cul et chemise (to be like bum and shirt) : to be inseparable
Trouver chaussure à son pied (to find a shoe for ones foot): to find exactly what you need
De fil en aiguille: Our French expression of the week
French language tip - making things sound mini, dinky or cute