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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.
clothe (someone/oneself) in (something)
To dress someone or oneself in something She clothes her newborn in the cutest outfits. I clothed myself in a beautiful gown for the gala.
See also: clothe
clothes make the man
You can judge a man's character based on his clothing and appearance. I'm not surprised John was fired for cause—he never dressed professionally, and the clothes make the man. You really need to get some better work clothes before starting this new job. The clothes make the man, you know
steal (someone's) clothes
To advance or appropriate someone else's ideas, policies, or agendas as one's own. Many believe the challenger is really trying to steal the incumbent's clothes and beat him at his own game.
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.
clothes make the man
People say clothes make the man to mean that dressing well helps people to be successful. The lawyer was wearing a stylish blue suit. Clothes make the man, Wade thought.
steal someone's clothesBRITISH, JOURNALISM
If a politician or political party steals another's clothes, they take their ideas or policies and pretend that these are their own. Instead, Labour has been allowed to steal the Conservatives' clothes by promising to involve the private-health sector. It would be stealing their political clothes — and few politicians can resist this opportunity.
steal someone's clothesappropriate someone's ideas or policies. British informal
the ˌemperor’s new ˈclothes,
the ˌemperor has no ˈclothesused to describe a situation in which everybody suddenly realises that they were mistaken in believing that somebody/something was very good, important, etc: Soon, investors will realize that the emperor has no clothes and there will be a big sell-off in stocks.This comes from a story by Hans Christian Andersen. Two men offer to make an emperor a new suit from a very light material which they say stupid people cannot see. When the emperor puts on the suit, nobody wants to appear stupid so they all praise his new clothes. However, when a little boy asks why the emperor has no clothes on, everybody admits that they can see no clothes and that the emperor is naked.
Best finery. Churchgoers never wore their everyday clothing to worship service. Instead, they wore their Sunday best, their Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes.