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Best-dressed literary characters

Boldtype is my absolute favorite literature-related website/newsletter. I get a huge kick out of their real life celebs vs. literary figure comparisons, and this week’s best-dressed list from the world of fiction is no exception. Inspired by the recent movie adaptation of author Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Eat Love Pray, designer Sue Wong came up with this gaudy, over the top collection. In Elizabeth Gilbert’s defense, the book was a memoir, not a true work of fiction.

Boldtype decided to explore characters from literature that they felt better deserved to be on a best-dressed list, thought they certainly weren’t the first to consider the idea. Linda Grant of More Intelligent Life wrote a similar article entitled “Paper Dolls” in April 2010 and gave ups to Truman Capote for Holly Golightly’s slim black dress, black sandals, and pearls from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and also a nod to Virginia Woolf’s Orlando‘s genderbending garb.

In addition to the characters listed in the Boldtype and More Intelligent Life articles above, I’d add:

  • Daisy Gatsby – duh – hand in hand with Jay
  • Nabokov’s Lolita and her little polka dotted scarf (a little creepy, but Lolita has inspired an entire subculture of dress and is quite alive in the sartorial imagination of today)
  • Francois Choderlos de Laclos’ 1782 novel Les Liasons Dangeureuses (Dangerous Liaisons), later made into a movie with Glenn Close and Michelle Pfeiffer
  • The three geishas from Arthur Gulden’s Memoirs of a Geisha. Mameha’s is the prized kimono destroyed by Sayuri at Hatsumomo’s demand, but Hatsumomo and Sayuri were beautifully clothed, as well – an occupational requirement, I suppose

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