can't make a silk purse (out) of a sow's ear

can't make a silk purse (out) of a sow's ear

You cannot fashion something beautiful or valuable out of poor materials. What do you want me to do with this tacky fabric? You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear!
See also: ear, make, of, purse, silk

can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear

Be unable to turn something ugly or inferior into something attractive or of value, as in No matter how expensive his clothes, he still looks sloppy-you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear . This expression was already a proverb in the mid-1500s.
See also: ear, make, of, out, purse, silk
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