Clothes matter

Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore was a delight. It was exactly what it promised to be: an examination of the standard uniform of various writers, mainly but not exclusively of the 20th century. Full of pictures and pithiness, clothes project an image of who the writers want you to think they are: rebels, an aloof outsider, cultured, whatever.

It should be said that clothes do matter; even if you claim not to care what you wear, you are still conforming (or not) to a standard. Grabbing the top t-shirt on the pile (and bragging about it) says so much about who you are and the position you have in society and the amount of respect you have for those around you (little, I would argue).

Clothes do not make the writer Рdressing like Joan Didion will not make you write like her Рbut they are another way authors express themselves. And it  was fun to look at the photos and read what the various authors say about their fashion tics.

(PS I cannot imagine reading this book on a kindle/tablet. Get the hard-cover version and enjoy its design.)