Empty-suit meaning

A derisive term for an anonymous business executive or bureaucrat lacking in both individuality and substance, i.e., a phony. Such a person is little more than a suit of clothes.As we used to say when I was a young man in Texas, such a person is all hat and no horse, i.e., a drugstore cowboy. A suit, especially an empty suit, is in sharp contrast to a techie. See also suit and techie.
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A person ineffective or incompetent in his/her position of authority. Derived from unfavorable observations that ineffective professionals are memorable only for what they wear and not what they accomplish at the workplace. [c. 1970]
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