Clothes Before Prose

Clothes Before Prose

The Aristocrats Tempting Their Fate With Ruby Chokers

In Angela Carter's "The Bloody Chamber," this Marie Antoinette-era trend takes on a dark new meaning.
Liberty McAnena
Clothes Before Prose

In "My Year of Rest and Relaxation," Clothing is a Battleground for Selfhood

Through the dislocation between the narrator’s conscious and subconscious clothing choices, Ottessa Moshfegh interrogates our current obsession with vanity, materialism, and consumerism
Ethan Price
Clothes Before Prose

In "I Capture the Castle," the Stepmother Archetype Gets A Bohemian Makeover

Her eccentric wardrobe and artistic side is reflected in the caring and sensitive choices she makes for her family.
Esmé Hogeveen
Clothes Before Prose

In "Pattern Recognition," Anonymous Dressing Is the Way of the Future

William Gibson's ideas about fashion and surveillance are straight out of 2019.
Niina Pollari
Clothes Before Prose

In ‘The Famous Five,’ Clothes Unsettle The Same Traditions They Uphold

Clothing is part of Enid Blyton’s sleepy iceberg approach to literature: surprising depths beneath calm waters.
Mikaella Clements
Clothes Before Prose

In ‘The Haunting of Hill House,’ Clothes Make (and Ruin) the Women

Shirley Jackson’s gothic masterpiece is attuned to suspense and style in equal measure.
Nadia Bailey
Clothes Before Prose

The Problem with Joan Didion’s ‘Good Taste’ in ‘Play It As It Lays’

The novel ‘Play It As It Lays’ is filled with brand names, but all those Pucci blouses and chic white clothes are just a way to stay in control.
Holly Connolly
Clothes Before Prose

In “The Secret History,” Dressing Well Has Murderous Possibilities

Tartt’s debut novel shows the fine line you walk when dressing for the world you want.
Drew Zeiba
Clothes Before Prose

With Chanel and Hippies, “The Razor’s Edge” Defined “Chic”

The author W. Somerset Maugham saw chic as a quality that graces you, and when it does, it’s best not to pay it too much attention.
Alex Ronan
Clothes Before Prose

How Tom Wolfe Made Clothing a Man’s Deepest Trait in “Bonfire of the Vanities”

In the Tom Wolfe classic, the superficial layer revealed everything you needed to know about a person.
Max Lakin