Green’s Dictionary of Slang

rig n.3

[rig v.1 (1)]

1. one’s clothing, one’s style of dress.

[UK]G. Parker Life’s Painter 133: Twig methodist phizzes, with mask sanctimonious / Their rigs prove to judge that their phiz is erroneous.
[UK]Times 29 Oct. 2/5: ‘Dress,’ says Dr. Pangloss very properly, ‘is the word, not rig, unless metaphorically.’.
[US]T. Haliburton Letter-bag of the Great Western (1873) 157: I have made all my Sunday clothes old, and worn all my old ones out; so that I shall come out in a new rig at New York, as fine as examination day.
[UK]T. Hughes Tom Brown’s School-Days (1896) 79: Now you’ll do very well as to rig, all but that cap.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 9/2: Joe’s ‘rig’ at this time was enough to keep him out of any respectable ‘gonnoff mob’.
[US]W.H. Thomes Slaver’s Adventures 392: Why are the men dressed in their Sunday rig?
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 8 Jan. 8/3: With expression ‘fly’ and ‘leary,’ / With as much as he can carry / Of bad beer and rum, come ’Arry / In a ‘rig’ that’s quite the ‘cheese.’.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘His Colonial Oath’ in Roderick (1972) 78: I thought, perhaps, my city rig or manner displeased him.
[US]Ade More Fables in Sl. (1960) 156: When he got into this Rig and strapped on his Jewelled Sword, he wouldn’t have traded Places with Nelson A. Miles.
[US]S. Ford Shorty McCabe 74: Sure, I’ve got a head waiter’s rig.
[UK]E. Pugh City Of The World 269: While the sniders themselves walk about as big as a sucking millionaire and clobbered up to the thatch in iky rig.
[US]J. Black You Can’t Win 118: You might wear that rig if you were out hunting burglars.
[UK]Hotspur 11 Jan. 44: In some astonishment in seeing Jelly in footer rig.
[US]H. Miller Sexus (1969) 236: Maude thought it shocking, his running around in that rig.
[UK]K. Howard Small Time Crooks 18: That was a smart-looking rig right there on that dummy, with a bold wide stripe and plenty of colour in the silk shirt.
[US]B. Jackson Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 178: Next mornin’ at the crack of dawn, / he was up tryin’ a brand new rig on. / He had a red vest with a bow in the back, / he had a shirt and shoes to match.
[US]T. Southern Blue Movie (1974) 151: The time in the ‘Marie A.’ rig, that was wild.
[UK]M. Read Scouting for Boys in Best Radio Plays (1984) 186: Hello! Only I just called to bring the clothes back. The butler’s rig.
[US](con. 1946) G. Pelecanos Big Blowdown (1999) 56: A chocolate-brown suit with a matching tie, and a camel hair topcoat over the whole rig.
[UK]Guardian Travel 8 Jan. 3: Four old men in their generation’s preferred rig of suits and berets.

2. in fig. use, one’s personal style.

[UK]T. Jones ‘The True Bottom’d Boxer’ in Egan Bk of Sports (1832) 74/1: ’Till groggy and queery, straight forward’s the rig.