When you want to say that it is not possible to judge someone solely by his appearance, in Italian you can say “l’abito non fa il monaco!”.

This nice Italian idiomatic expression literally means that “the dress does not make the monk”, which in English would be “clothes don’t make the man”.

Here you have some examples to use this idiom.

Italian English
Non posso credere che Marco si sia appropriato di tutti quei soldi, sembrava molto professionale: è proprio vero, l’abito non fa il monaco! I can’t believe that Marco embezzled all that money, he seemed very professional: it is really true, clothes don’t make the man!
Laura è arrivata all’università vestita con jeans e scarpe da ginnastica e gli studenti non hanno capito che fosse la professoressa. L’abito non fa il monaco! Laura arrived at university wearing jeans and trainers and the students did not understand that she was the professor. You can’t judge a book from its cover!
L’abito non fa il monaco: tutti lo chiamavano dottore solo perché era molto elegante!  Clothes don’t make the man: everybody called him doctor only because he was very elegant!


Do you know any similar expression in your language?