empty suit

empty suit

A person with the appearance of authority, importance, or significance, but who, in reality, is completely ineffectual, incompetent, or unremarkable. My boss likes to think he's God's gift to the world, but he's just an empty suit who couldn't run the business for a day if it weren't for me.
See also: empty, suit

empty suit

An unimportant person; also, a phony. For example, Don't pay any attention to him-he's just an empty suit, or She acts as though she knows what she's doing, but she's really an empty suit. This graphic expression calls up the image of an empty suit of clothes. [c. 1970]
See also: empty, suit
References in periodicals archive ?
One Tory told me the change showed how Brexit had broken normal politics and people were craving politicians of "personality and character who are not just an empty suit".
McGregor goes through the motions as Christopher, an empty suit in more ways than one, bringing no vulnerability to the role, and Pooh himself (voiced by Jim Cummings) is a so-so supporting character with only a few bad puns -- "I'm totally cracked!"; "I don't see any cracks" -- to recommend him.
The problem isn't so much that the administration is stuffed with menacing ideologues, but that it's an empty suit.
Some dismissed him as a (very) handsome face in an empty suit. On the surface, he didn't appear to have the vision, chutzpah, or killer instinct to make for a dynamic leader.
There appeared to be an unspoken pact among the governors to expose the empty suit on the stage.
15-215632 - jelly conductive conductive paste for electro encephalogram syringe empty suit injector,
Sri Lanka, March 30 -- Manmohan Singh's tryst with black gold in Talabira may turn out to be the badly needed Belchi moment for his Congress party, which is in a state of despair, with the Crown Prince appearing to give credence to the growing perception that "he is an empty suit".
If your VP of advertising or classified ad director doesn't understand rates, advertiser needs, training, etc., I believe you have the position filled with an empty suit. If these consultants are so wonderful, why has the ad business gone down the toilet each year?
There once was a man from Chicago / A golf aficionado / Who teed off on our freedom / And caused speech induced tedium / Empty suit with a hopey-changa motto.
So here's the question: If he is such an empty suit, why make him the focus of a story?
If you are talking the talk but don't walk the walk, you are just an "empty suit" or a "talking head." The cure for this is to get out of the office and into the field to visit your teams.
I fondly remember Mitchell Sharp and people of his intellect who moved more behind the scene on the global stage then today's uneducated, empty suit polit-jockeys.
On the other hand, the US view of Gandhi has evolved, as in late 2007, US diplomats described the young politician, recently appointed to lead the Congress youth wing, as "widely viewed as an empty suit and will have to prove wrong those who dismiss him as a lightweight".
Still, it is only fair to say that Mann demonstrates that Reagan was not what his conservative admirers believe--an aggressive man driving the Soviets to the brink and forcing a surrender--or what his liberal detractors suppose--at best, an empty suit against whom Gorbachev could play.