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25 Pieces of Fashion advice from literature

25 Pieces of Fashion advice from literature

25 Pieces of Fashion advice from literature
07 March 2014

What do you reckon 007's annual salary is? Factoring in danger of death and the very real likelyhood of capture and torture on every mission, it needs to top £200,000, surely?

Judging by his sartorial tastes he's on a fair whack. And although it's unlikely we're all earning as much as Bond there are things we can learn from the great man's wardrobe. There are, in fact, things we can learn about fashion from books in general. Behold, our 25 pieces of fashion advice from literature.

At Home: A Short History of Private Life (Bill Bryson)

“For anyone of a rational disposition, fashion is often nearly impossible to fathom. Throughout many periods of history – perhaps most – it can seem as if the whole impulse of fashion has been to look maximally ridiculous. If one could be maximally uncomfortable as well, the triumph was all the greater.”

An Ideal Husband (Oscar Wilde)

“Fashion is what one wears oneself. What is unfashionable is what other people wear."

The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary (Ambrose Bierce)

“Sweater, n. Garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.”

Utopia (Thomas More)

“[how can anyone] be silly enough to think himself better than other people, because his clothes are made of finer woolen thread than theirs. After all, those fine clothes were once worn by a sheep, and they never turned it into anything better than a sheep.”

The Code of the Woosters (P.G. Wodehouse)

“There are moments, Jeeves, when one asks oneself, 'Do trousers matter?'"

"The mood will pass, sir.”

Horns (Joe Hill)

“He paused, twisting his goatee, considering the law in Deuteronomy that forbade clothes with mixed fibers. A problematic bit of Scripture. A matter that required thought. "Only the devil wants man to have a wide range of lightweight and comfortable styles to choose from," he murmured at last, trying out a new proverb. "Although there may be no forgiveness for polyester. On this one matter, Satan and the Lord are in agreement.”

Revolution (Jennifer Donnelly)

“He's wearing boots, a kilt, and a long-sleeve tee. No coat, even though it's December. Beautiful people don't need coats. They've got their auras to keep them warm.”

American Psycho (Brett Easton Ellis)

"The Edge is wearing Armani," she shouts, pointing at the bassist.

"That's not Armani," I shout back. "It's Emporio."

"No," she shouts. "Armani."

"The grays are too muted and so are the taupes and navies. Definite winged lapels, subtle plaids, polka dots and stripes are Armani. Not Emporio, " I shout, extremely irritated that she doesn't know this, can't differentiate, both my hands covering both ears. "There's a difference."

Much Ado about Nothing (William Shakespeare)

"Fashion wears out more apparel than the man."

From Russia With Love (Ian Fleming)

"Bond mistrusted anyone who tied his tie with a Windsor knot. It showed too much vanity. It was often the mark of a cad."

The Rose Prince (Bram Stoker)

"There is no honour due to fine clothes, but only to what is in the man himself who wears them."

(Image: Rex)

Orthodoxy (G. K. Chesterton)

“White is not a mere absence of color; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black. God paints in many colors; but He never paints so gorgeously, I had almost said so gaudily, as when He paints in white. ”

Fight Club (Chuck Palahniuk)

“Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.”

The Czar's Soliloquy (Mark Twain)

"A policeman in plain clothes is a man; in his uniform he is ten. Clothes and title are the most potent thing, the most formidable influence, in the earth. They move the human race to willing and spontaneous respect for the judge, the general, the admiral, the bishop, the ambassador, the frivolous earl, the idiot duke, the sultan, the king, the emperor. No great title is efficient without clothes to support it."

Joyland (Stephen King)

"Out in front stood a tightly muscled guy in faded jeans, balding suede boots splotched with grease, and a strap-style tee shirt. He wore a derby hat tilted on his coal-black hair. A filterless cigarette was parked behind one ear. He looked like a cartoon carnival barker from an old-time newspaper strip. There was an open toolbox and a big portable radio on an orange crate beside him. The Faces were singing “Stay with Me.” The guy was bopping to the beat, hands in his back pockets, hips moving side to side. I had a thought, absurd but perfectly clear: When I grow up, I want to look just like this guy.

The Popular Girl (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

“His hat was green, actually! His coat, seasons old, was quite evidently the product of a well-known ready-made concern. His shoes, long and narrow, turned up at the toes. From head to foot everything that could possibly be wrong about him was wrong.”

A Case of Identity (Arthur Conan Doyle)

“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.”

Making Money (Terry Pratchett)

"The Monks of Cool, whose tiny and exclusive monastery is hidden in a really cool and laid-back valley in the lower Ramtops, have a passing-out test for a novice. He is taken into a room full of all types of clothing and asked: Yo, my son, which of these is the most stylish thing to wear? And the correct answer is: Hey, whatever I select."

Neil Gaiman (Stardust)

"While clothes do not, as the saying would sometimes have it, make the man, and fine feathers do not make fine birds, sometimes they can add a certain spice to a recipe."

The Road To Wigan Pier (George Orwell)

"You may have three halfpence in your pocket and not a prospect in the world… but in your new clothes you can stand on a street corner, indulging in a private daydream of yourself as Clark Gable"

Orlando (Virginia Woolf)

"Clothes have more important offices than merely to keep us warm; they change our view of the world and the world's view of us."

The Prophet (Kahlil Gibran)

"Your clothes conceal much of your beauty, yet they hide not the unbeautiful."

The Fellowship of the Ring (J.R.R. Tolkien)

"For I am Saruman the Wise, Saruman the Ring-maker, Saruman of Many Colours!"

I looked then and saw that his robes, which had seemed white, were not so, but were woven of all colours, and if he moved they shimmered and changed hue so that the eye was bewildered.

"I liked white better," I said.

Kafka on the Shore (Haruki Murakami)

"We’re so caught up in our everyday lives that events of the past, like ancient stars that have burned out, are no longer in orbit around our minds. There are just too many things we have to think about every day, too many new things we have to learn. New styles, new information, new technology, new terminology … But still, no matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away. They remain with us forever, like a touchstone."

An Enemy Of The People (Henrik Ibsen)

"You should never wear your best trousers when you go out to fight for freedom and truth."