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 ?
Some dismissed him as a (very) handsome face in an empty suit.
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,
I believe you have the position filled with an empty suit.
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?
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.
While the details of Bachmann's life "can be woven together into a narrative that makes Bachmann look like a nutcase," Tobin wrote, "the problem with such efforts is that unlike Palin, after more than a decade as a legislator, [Bachmann] can't be dismissed as a political flash in the pan or an empty suit.
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.
So powerful was her non-response that it sealed the impression of an empty suit in reasonable business and political circles, writers, leaders, students and anyone capable of reading a paragraph or two.
John Slattery as Roger Sterling oozes reptilian charm, and Jon Hamm as antihero Don Draper is a brilliant empty suit.
I never would have thought that it was even remotely possible that there could be a bigger empty suit in American politics than George Bush.
Alexia Willetts is seen collecting the empty suit racks from Marks and Spencer, which has kindly lent them for the suit amnesty.