Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.
Related to clothes: American eagle, H&M
the emperor's new clothes
Something widely accepted as true or professed as being praiseworthy due to an unwillingness of the general population to criticize it or be seen as going against popular opinion. Taken from the Hans Christian Andersen fable of the same name, in which a vain king is sold imaginary clothing by two weavers who promise him that it can only be seen by those who are ignorant, incompetent, or unfit for their position. The company's newest device is, in fact, a complete waste of money, but so many people are invested in their brand loyalty that they will continue to buy and adore it like the emperor's new clothes.
clothes don't make the man
You cannot judge a man's character based on his clothing and appearance. A: "I can't believe John embezzled all that money. I always thought he seemed so professional." B: "Well you know what they say— the clothes don't make the man." I really need to get some better work clothes, but I just don't have the money right now. At least the clothes don't make the man!
1. The pieces of cloth that infants were once wrapped in, so as to limit their movement. The phrase is perhaps most commonly associated with the story of Jesus' birth: "And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes." Mama wrapped your babe in swaddling clothes and took him to the wet nurse so you could rest.
2. Strict limitations imposed upon the young and immature. Teenagers need swaddling clothes too, in the form of curfews and chores.
3. A period at the start of something. It can refer to a person's youth or to the early stages of an idea or project. In my mind, my son is still in his swaddling clothes—I can't believe he's about to start middle school. This idea is still in its swaddling clothes, so it might sound a little rough right now.
Clothes make the man.
Prov. People will judge you according to the way you dress. Jim was always careful about how he dressed. He believed that clothes make the man.
not have a stitch of clothes (on)
Fig. naked. He walked through the house and didn't have a stitch of clothes on.
Rur. one's best clothes. (See also Sunday best.) John was all dressed up in his Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes. I hate to be wearing my Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes when everyone else is casually dressed.
Best finery. Churchgoers never wore their everyday clothing to worship service. Instead, they wore their Sunday best, their Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes.