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Clothing in Literature

Discussion in 'Entertainment, Culture, and Sports' started by Manton, Nov 14, 2004.

  1. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    and in The Big Sleep, there was a flamboyant character in a jacket with golfball buttons.

    Moose Molloy, in Farewell, My Lovely.
     
  2. mack11211

    mack11211 Senior member

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    Nearly on topic...

    Dreiser's Sister Carrie has great passages about the psychology of department store shopping in Chicago.
     
  3. shoreman1782

    shoreman1782 Senior member

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    Augie March has a few poetic passages when Augie is (IIRC) working for a clothing/outdoor merchant.
     
  4. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    OMFG talk about resurrection!

    Jon.
     
  5. denimdestroyedmylife

    denimdestroyedmylife Senior member

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    I like thomas mann. In terms of asthetics, my favorite period/location would be central europe/italy in the first 25 years or so of the 20th century. so mann's writtings have a great interst for me in terms of clothing.
    Yes! Mann seems very interested in a character's attire; in Magic Mountain, a character's attire often seemed to contrast with his personality (I am thinking of Settembrini here) and often it is used to indicate whether the character is an insider or outsider (wearing a hat outdoors or not, in this case). The first thing that came to mind was Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther; I cannot see a gentleman wearing a blue frock and yellow waistcoat without thinking of the novel; to be honest, I have never seen this in the field. The second novel to come to mind is Gibson's Pattern Recognition; the BR MA-1, the stealthed black 501s; CPUs!
     
  6. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    Although it is by no means a "clothes" book, I always liked the end of Owen Wister's classic The Virginian (so many elements of which immediately turned into cliches of Western fiction and cinema): The eponymous hero, erstwhile cowpuncher and gunfighter, turns into a clotheshorse and bespoke fan ("And no ready-made guy, either," he describes himself.) When he and his schoolmarm bride return to her native Vermont, he is wearing a bespoke tweed suit of "better than average cut."
     
  7. Baron

    Baron Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    In Don't Point That Thing at Me by Kyril Bonfiglioli, the narrator, Charlie Mortdecai, spends much of the book admiring his own good taste. This includes his bespoke shoes (Lobb) and his various bespoke suits (no tailor specified). He's also very fond of good port, brandy and scotch and he collects and sells fine art.
     
  8. TheIdler

    TheIdler Senior member

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    I love the moments in the Bertie Wooster/Jeeves stories when the knowing butler gently guides the gentleman to the correct choice of tie or jacket or pale buttercup-colored socks.
     
  9. RJman

    RJman Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Has Teh Tailor of Panama been mentioned?
     
  10. GQgeek

    GQgeek Senior member

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    Has Teh Tailor of Panama been mentioned?

    Is that a book? :p
     
  11. topbroker

    topbroker Senior member

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    F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, of course. Beautiful shirts.

    Dawn Powell, Angels on Toast. Powell's men on the make dote on their wardrobes (and so does she).

    Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho. You'll get yeas and nays on this one, of course; but I think it's a brilliant novel, and it obviously has a lot of clothing in it.

    James Ellroy, American Tabloid. Ellroy's clotheshorse FBI agent Kemper Boyd is always nattily attired and has a memorable exchange with his boss J. Edgar Hoover:

    "In fact, you've always dressed distinctively. Perhaps 'expensively' is more apt. To be blunt, there have been times when I wondered how your salary could sustain your wardrobe."

    "Sir, you should see my apartment. What my wardrobe possesses, it lacks."

    Hoover chuckled. "Be that as it may, I doubt I've seen you in the same suit twice. I'm sure the women you're so fond of appreciate your sartorial flair."

    "Sir, I hope so."


    Rex Stout, Nero Wolfe series. The narrator Archie Goodwin is a terrifically dapper dresser and often gives details of his outfits.
     
  12. Miguel Antonio

    Miguel Antonio Senior member

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