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Fiction/Literary sartorial quotations and extracts

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Britalian, Jul 23, 2006.

  1. Britalian

    Britalian Distinguished Member

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    Jul 2, 2006
    My favourite would be from The Thought Gang, by Tibor Fischer.
    As I don't have my copy here with me presently, I'll give the most accurate recounting I can now and amend when I get the book:

    Hubert and the Prof are turning over a small-town book shop in the French provinces- they've resorted to robbery because the dire stock of philosophy texts offends Hubert, the one-armed, one-legged anti-hero, who resorts to personal insult directed at the terrorised shop assistant:

    'What's that jacket you're wearing? My grandfather, who never ventured further than the borders of his tiny village in his entire life, wouldn't have been seen dead in a jacket as laughable as that.'

    Your turn.

  2. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Stylish Dinosaur Dubiously Honored

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    Apr 21, 2005
    Gatsby, of course:

    If only my girlfriend reacted that way...

    Beyond that, the Jeeves and Wooster novels come to mind. Interesting to see the fashions of the day, and Jeeves' reaction to them.

  3. Duveen

    Duveen Senior Member

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    Apr 25, 2004
    Jeffrey Eugenides in Middlesex talks about the pleasures of EG: "Since it was the weekend, I tried to dress down. It isn’t easy for me. I wore a camel-hair turtleneck, tweed blazer, and jeans. And a pair of handmade cordovans by Edward Green. This particular style is called the Dundee. They look dressy until you notice the Vibram soles. The leather is of a double thickness. The Dundee is a shoe designed for touring the landed estates, for tromping through mud while wearing a tie, with your spaniels trailing behind. I had to wait four months for these shoes. On the shoebox it says: “Edward Green: Master Shoemakers to the Few.” That’s me exactly. The few."

  4. medwards

    medwards Senior Member Dubiously Honored

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    Apr 18, 2005
    He went into his room where his things were as neatly laid out as if he had an English valet, undressed, and, walking down the stairs to the bath-house, sluiced himself with cool water. The only concession he made to the climate was to wear a while dinner-jacket; but otherwise, in a boiled shirt and a high collar, silk socks and patent-leather shoes, he dressed as formally as though he were dining at his club in Pall Mall. A careful host, he went into the dining-room to see that the table was properly laid. It was gay with orchids, and the silver shone brightly. The napkins were folded into elaborate shapes. Shaded candles in silver candle-sticks shed a soft light. Mr. Warburton smiled his approval and returned to the sitting-room to await his guest. Presently he appeared. Cooper was wearing the khaki shorts, the khaki shirt, and the ragged jacket in which he had landed. Mr. Warburton`s smile of greeting froze on his face.

    "Halloa, you`re all dressed up," said Cooper. "I didn`t know you were going to do that. I very nearly put on a sarong."

    "It doesn`t matter at all. I daresay your boys were busy."

    "You needn`t have bothered to dress on my account, you know."

    "I didn`t. I always dress for dinner."

    "Even when you`re alone?"

    "Especially when I`m alone," replied Mr. Warburton, with a frigid stare."
    -- W. Somerset Maugham, The Outstation

  5. LabelKing

    LabelKing Stylish Dinosaur

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    May 24, 2002
    I hate air travel. Not because I'm afraid of flying. But there are no porters. I used to travel with 20 suitcases. You need books, and I always brought clothes for hot weather and cold weather. What can you bring now? A little canvas thing.

    Paul Bowles

  6. Vintage Gent

    Vintage Gent Distinguished Member

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    Mar 12, 2003
    The People's Republic of Galveston
    "I grow old... I grow old...
    I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled."
    - T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

    "I was hungover again, another heat spell was on--a week of 100 degree days. The drinking went on again each night, and in the early mornings and days there was The Stone and the impossibility of everything.

    "Some of the boys wore African sun helmets and shades, but me, I was about the same, rain or shine--ragged clothing, and the shoes so old that the nails were always driving into my feet. I put pieces of cardboard in the shoes. But it only helped temporarily--soon the nails would be eating into my heals again."
    - Charles Bukowski, Post Office

  7. Toiletduck

    Toiletduck Distinguished Member

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    Mar 12, 2006
    Heres a famous Chinese ancient saying

    "People respect you for what you wear, before they respect you"
    (xian jing luo yi hou jing ren)

    Sorry for my poor chinese - english translation.

  8. Swann

    Swann Senior Member

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    May 3, 2006
    Manners are especially the need of the plain. The pretty can get away with anything.

    Evelyn Waugh

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