clothes make the man

Cf. Gk. εἴματα ἀνήρ, the man is his clothing; ERASMUS Adages ‘Divitiae’ vestis virum facit.

a 1400 Prov. Wisdom 1. 59 in Archiv (1893) XC. 245 Euer maner and clothyng makyth man.

c 1445 Peter Idley’s Instructions to his Son (1935) I. 82 Ffor clothyng oft maketh man.

1591 J. FLORIO Second Fruits 115 Though manners makes, yet apparell shapes.

1617 R. GREENE Alcida B3 The Hood makes not the Monke, nor the apparrell the man.

1836 CARLYLE Sartor I. V. Clothes gave us individuality, distinctions, social polity. Clothes have made men of us.

1933 J. HILTON Lost Horizon 3 Still, it did happen—and it goes some way to show that clothes make the man, doesn’t it?

2001 Washington Post 17 Dec. C12 Gem of the day (credit Mark Twain): Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.


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