not quite the thing

not quite the thing

Not considered socially acceptable, respectable, or appropriate. Primarily heard in UK. She found herself pregnant without being married, which was not quite the thing for a lady in Victorian England. Surely you knew that wearing a tracksuit to a job interview wasn't quite the thing, right?
See also: not, quite, thing

not ˌquite the ˈthing


1 not considered socially acceptable: It wouldn’t be quite the thing to turn up in jeans and trainers.
2 (old-fashioned) not healthy or normal
See also: not, quite, thing
References in classic literature ?
To be sure I had my hard little journalistic misgivings that it was not quite the thing for a State Senator to come round reading Tennyson at ten o'clock in the morning, and I dare say I felt myself superior in my point of view, though I could not resist the charm of the verse.
Do not tell his father, but that young man is not quite the thing. He has been opening the doors very often this evening, and keeping them open very inconsiderately.
"I should ask you to come to us, you know, but my wife's not quite the thing. But I tell you what; if you want to see them, they're sure now to be at the Zoological Gardens from four to five.
He sat, elegant and bulky, in the drawing-room, the head of his stick hovering in front of his big teeth, and talked for hours with a thick-lipped smile (he said nothing that could be considered objectionable and not quite the thing) talked in an unusual manner--not obviously irritatingly.
but not quite the thing," I thought, as I surveyed the effect: "they want more force and spirit;" and I wrought the shades blacker, that the lights might flash more brilliantly--a happy touch or two secured success.
The play's not quite the thing in this high-concept revival, and it sure isn't the acting.
This is not quite The Thing's polar opposite - Kalifornia director Dominic Sena manages to keep a chilly grip on the tension.
The young man wears a mask: "It's like the new edition of an old book that one has been fond of--revised and amended, brought up to date, but not quite the thing one knew and loves." Like Haussmann's Paris, in other words.
For example, the new slimline Carol Vorderman may look attractive, but a sexy tight frock and comehither smile is not quite the thing for the daytime quizshow Countdown.
But the badge-status big spenders - who can't bring themselves to accept, arrogantly, that there are viable alternatives beyond the traditional 4x4 grand British marque would argue - "the Amazon is not quite the thing, old boy."
But, if truckstop disco design is not quite the thing for a city with Coventry's past and hopefully future, what might be better?