a hair shirt

a hair shirt

if someone wears a hair shirt, they choose to make their life unpleasant by not having or experiencing anything that gives them pleasure I don't think you have to put on a hair shirt in order to be a socialist.
See also: hair, shirt
References in classic literature ?
In her little bit of a kitchen she did her own cooking; she wore a hair shirt next the skin, and castigated herself with whips--these aids to grace are exhibited there yet.
A hair shirt is made of rough animal hide, the hairy side going against the wearer's skin, the hairless side facing outward.