QUOTES about CLOTHES and FASHION

It is fancy rather than taste which produces so many new fashions. Voltaire

The clothes that I wear push fashion forward, the reason I am a success is because it is my passion to be ahead of the game. Bianca Vanilla 

I adore fashion, my favorite is my red dress, but I never wear it in public. Eva Belize

Fashions, after all, are only induced epidemics. George Bernard Shaw

Every-day he wore the same shabby ill-fitting clothes, but he always wore that gold-braided cravat that no-one dared copy. That was all he needed in order to own style over fashion.  Source: David Argent by Miss C. Bosch.

A hair shirt does not always render those chaste who wear it. Montaigne

Yves Saint Laurent is a young man of excellent taste; the more he copies me the more taste he displays. Coco Chanel 

Style is the dress of thoughts, and let them be ever so just. Lord Chesterfield

When a person is in fashion, all they do is right. Lord Chesterfield

Ladies of fashion starve their happiness to feed their vanity, and their love to feed their pride. Charles Caleb Colton

Fashions fade, style is eternal. Yves Saint Laurent

Fashion condemns us to many follies, the greatest is to make oneself its slave. Napoleon

The goal I seek is to have people refine their style through my clothing without having them become victims of fashion. Giorgio Armani

Fine clothes are good only as they supply the want of other means of procuring respect. Samuel Johnson

A beautiful dress may look beautiful on a hanger, but that means nothing. It must be seen on the shoulders, with the movement of the arms, the legs, and the waist. Coco Chanel

Fashion is made to become unfashionable. Coco Chanel

Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes. Thoreau

It is an interesting question how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes. Thoreau

Many come to bring their clothes to church rather than themselves. Thomas Fuller

He that is proud of the rustling of his silks, like a madman, laughs at the rattling of his fetters. For indeed,Clothes ought to be our remembrances of our lost innocence. Thomas Fuller

Good clothes open all doors. Thomas Fuller

Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months. Oscar Wilde

Modesty antedates clothes and will be resumed when clothes are no more. Mark Twain

While Japanese young people tend to dress in western styles, kimonos are still worn in the more rural areas. Traditionally, a young woman’s parents presented her with an exclusive long sleeve kimono (Furisode) on her 20th birthday. The expenditure indicated by this was meant to convey to the families of potential suitors that the girl’s family possessed financial abundance. The long sleeves communicated both her adulthood and availability for marriage. It would only be worn on formal occasions and finally on her wedding-day. As a married woman, all her kimonos would have short sleeves. Susie Lee

The fashion show is an E thing; elegance, ego, eccentricity, emotion, eminence, extravagance, and embarrassment. Ryland Blair

The undressed is vulgar; the nude is pure, and the well-dressed tainted. Robert G. Ingersoll 

We genuflect before the Gods of fashion only to receive preposterous reprise. Janet J. Osborne

Most fashion shows are the existence of an old mediocrity in a new guise, only occasionally are we pleasured with accustomed excellence. Richard Blair

Modesty died when clothes were born. Mark Twain

Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it. Yves Saint Laurent

There is much to support the view that it is clothes that wear us, and not we, them; we may make them take the mold of arm or breast, but they mold our hearts, our brains, our tongues to their liking. Virginia Woolf

Those who make their dress a principal part of themselves, will, in general, become of no more value than their dress. William Hazlitt

Fashion is the abortive issue of vain ostentation and exclusive egotism … tied to no rule, and bound to conform to every whim of the minute. William Hazlitt

The fashion pages have always baffled me. In my opinion, the articles appear to be full of gobbledygook as to make the astrology column seem factual by comparison. John Paulos 

What is popular is not necessarily vulgar; and that which we try to rescue from fatal obscurity had in general much better remain where it is. William Hazlitt

It is only the modern that ever becomes old-fashioned. Oscar Wilde

An Islamic writer recalls her joy in the clothes she wore as a young girl at a wedding: They were always in beautiful bright colors: crimson, pink, turquoise, purple, and embroidered with sparkling crystals, sequins and beads. … The older girls and women would wear glamorous heavily-beaded silk blouses and long, princess-like skirts. I wanted to wear those fairy-tale clothes too. I longed even more to wear a sari which the women wore so elegantly and which flattered their curves. Source: Love in a Headscarf by Shelina Zahra

Take here the grand secret; if not of pleasing all, yet of displeasing none, and court mediocrity, avoid originality, and sacrifice to fashion.  Johann Lavater

Wearing the finest attires is good only as they source the want of other means of obtaining deference. John Baden

There are female dandies as well as clothes-wearing men; and the former are as objectionable as the latter. Thomas Carlyle

I have heard with admiring submission the experience of the lady who declared that the sense of being well dressed gives a feeling of inward tranquility which religion is powerless to bestow. Emerson

I come from grunge, and then Brit-pop, scenes where you boast about how little you spent on an outfit. … Now, it seems you must find The Dress, then The Dress needs to have The Belt, and a complementary but not overly-matching bag must be found which works with not only the correct hosiery, but with something to throw over yourself if you become chilly. Quote from: How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran


Natural beauty is our personal view of symmetric simplicity. When it is adorned, the minority continues to crave, but most people lose interest. Source: Death on the Catwalk by Francesca R Couture 

Next to dressing for a rout or ball, undressing is a woe. Byron

In order to look special wearing the chancy unique; it must be worn with your persona, and if the two don't blend, then the look becomes pear-shaped. David Bowie

Probably every new and eagerly expected garment ever put on since clothes came in, fell a trifle short of the wearer’s expectation. Charles Dickens

The most loyal and faithful woman indulges her imagination in a hypothetical liaison whenever she dons a new street frock for the first time. George J Nathan

Let me be dressed as I will, yet flies worms and flowers exceed me still. Oscar Wilde

I am reminded of a piece of advice my father gave me regarding shoes. …He said it is better to buy one good pair of shoes than four cheap ones. One pair made of fine leather could outlast four inferior pairs and, if well-cared-for, would continue to proclaim your good judgment and taste no matter how old they become. Carey Grant

He is only fantastical that is not in fashion. Robert Burton

Woman for whom Botox and fillers are the norm don't feel dressed without it. It’s like going to the hairdresser’s for them. Also, famously, lipstick sales go up in a recession: you may not be able to afford the shoes and the dress but you are sure going to keep your lips pillow perfect. Quote source: Hospital Babylon by Imogen Edwards-Jones

Loud dress becomes offensive to people of taste, as evincing an undue desire to reach and impress the untrained sensibilities of the vulgar. Thorstein Veblen

Theoretically, we Mennonites do not even know what we look like, since a focus on our personal appearance is vainglorious. Our antipathy to vainglory explains the decision of many of us to wear those frumpy skirts and the little doilies on our heads, a decision we must have arrived at only by collectively determining not to notice what we had put on that morning. Quoted from: Mennonite in a little black dress: a memoir of going home by Rhoda Janzen

Adornment is never anything except a reflection of the heart. Coco Chanel

Our underclothes were woolen vests and knickers and an extraordinary, but apparently necessary, concoction called a liberty bodice, which had no freedom about it, so how it got its name I cannot imagine. It was made of some harsh stuff, with here and there straps and buttons that did nothing. Source: Wait for Me by Deborah Duchess of Devonshire

One should always dress like a marble column. Jacqueline Kennedy

I dress for the image, not for myself, not for public, not for the fashion, not for the men. Marlene Dietrich

The soul of this man is his clothes. Shakespeare

Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man; the biography of the man himself cannot be written. Mark Twain

The apparel oft proclaims the man. Shakespeare

I see that the fashion wears out more apparel than the man. Shakespeare

The unwearable of high heels is self-evidently all around us, coming to a head at the average wedding reception, a uniformly high-heeled occasion. In our minds, we see it as a serene and elegant gathering of women in their finest, one of the big chances of the year to pretend you’re at the Oscars, in your stilettos.  In actuality of course, … there are women staggering around in the unaccustomed vertical, foot-flesh spilling over tight, unkind satin. Quote source: How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran 

Innovation! One cannot be forever innovating. I want to create classics. Coco Chanel

Beneath the dingy uniformity of international fashions in dress, man remains what he has always been; a splendid fighting animal, a self-sacrificing hero, and a blood thirsty savage. William Ralph Inge

Every fashion, the fashion before: in a duller dress. Dorothy Parker

Clothing for eternity:
In her wrenching memoir chronicling the heartbreak of the death of her small daughters: Jackie Hance recounts: Once the funeral dates were picked out, a friend came and gently asked what I wanted the girls to wear in their coffins. They were going to be God’s little angels; I was dressing them for eternity.  I wanted to scream that they were not God’s angels, they were my baby girls. ... I knew what they liked to wear to parties, school, beach, club and camp, but we never discussed what to wear for eternity.  As with so much else now, I was on my own. Source: I'll see you again by Jackie Hance

Poor body, time and the long years were the first tailors to teach you the merciless use of clothes. Though some scold today because you are too much seen, to my mind, you are not seen fully enough or often enough when you are beautiful. Henry Beston

Morris dancers are mimics, mocking the foppery of Victorian costume. Charles Adieu 

Queen Victoria, at age 21, did a good deal to change bridal fashions. According to a recently published account: Victoria refused the weighty gowns of gold, silver tissue, ermine and jewels of her predecessors, and also declined to don her crimson velvet robes of state. The queen planned a simple dress of pure white, playing on notions of purity and innocence. … Her bridal gown followed a simple pattern reminiscent of the simple day dress: a bodice with puffed sleeves over a full skirt. She designed similarly delicate, white outfits for her bridesmaids. Source: The Ring and the Crown by Alison Weir

It is always self-defeating to pretend to the style of a generation younger than your own; it simply erases your own experience in history. Renata Adler

Blue and green should never be seen together, but the person wearing this mix, will be of interest. John Cartier

Indeed, among the lesser auxiliaries to success in love, an absence, the declining of an invitation to dinner, an unintentional, unconscious harshness are of more service than all the cosmetics and fine clothes in the world. Marcel Proust 

There is always a heavy demand for fresh mediocrity. In every generation the least cultivated taste has the largest appetite. Thomas Bailey Aldrich

I am a pair of shoes quite shabby now; and down heel I must admit, but oh so comfy on the feet. Jules Heimlich

She was ushered in according to your dress, and shown out according to your brains. Unknown

The Second World War impacted on every aspect of life at the time: Clothing coupons were issued in 1941 when clothes rationing began, and the allowance was gradually cut until in 1945. Each person had to manage on only 36 coupons a year.  A woman’s tweed suit cost 18 coupons, a woolen dress 11, a skirt 7, and a blouse or a cardigan 5. Buying a pair of shoes cost 7, so make-do-and mend was the order of the day, with stockings being endlessly repaired, and a father’s worn shirt made into a blouse for his daughter. Wartime brides often borrowed a wedding dress, to save their coupons for a going-away outfit.  Source: Source: Serving the Good and the Great by Violet Liddle  

Style is the perfection of a point of view. Richard Eberhart

Taste is the enemy of creativeness. Picasso

Anecdote: Describing his creation of the image of “the little tramp”, actor Charlie Chaplin recounts: “On the way to the wardrobe, I thought I would dress in baggy pants, big shoes, a cane and a Derby hat. I wanted everything to be a contradiction: the pants baggy, the coat tight, and the shoes large. I was undecided whether to look old or young, but remembering Max Sennett had expected me to be a much older man, I added a small mustache which I reason would hide my age without changing my expression.” Charlie Chaplin

Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry the Eighth, was said to have had a small extra finger on one hand. In order to conceal this, she wore dresses with extra-long sleeves. During her tenure as queen, this became the fashion.


It is almost as stupid to let your clothes betray that you know you are ugly as to have them proclaim that you think you are beautiful.  Edith Wharton

In the wake of the Mao Tse-tung communist revolution in 1949, China became the drabbest society on earth.  Gone were the last vestiges of Qing dynasty silk.  Gone were the western outfits favored by the nationalists between the wars.  In the pursuit of strict equality, everyone was issued with what looked very much like pajamas, gray ones.  Yet, today when you walk down a typical Chinese street, what you see is a kaleidoscope of western styles of clothing.  ... It seems as if the triumph of the west’s consumer society is close to being complete.  
Source: Civilization: The west and the rest by Niall Ferguson. 

Modes of dress and hairstyles often convey political leanings and beliefs.  This occurred during the 1770s during the revolution of the American colonies from British rule:  Apparently, at one ball (dance) held during that time:
“It seemed that hair height was the easiest way to discern the ladies with British sympathies from those who favored the rebels.  A report about a Philadelphia ball described an unidentified lady, whose hair was calculated to be eight feet seven inches above ground level, causing the rest of the ladies to seem like grasshoppers beside her.  Source: Treacherous Beauty: Peggy Shippen, The Woman Behind Benedict Arnold's Plot To Betray America by Stephen Case and Mark Jacob

In her memoir, "My Paris Dream”, Kate Betts recounts her experiences as a young woman living in Paris.  Reflecting upon a visit by her divorced mother, she writes:  “She believed in the idea that beautiful clothes could  boost your confidence. Back in New York, she went on legendary shopping sprees, buying up two or three pairs of shoes at a time, but when all the packages were undone and the latest outfit hung in the closet, an aura of emptiness hung over these extravagances.  In Paris, my mother  embraced the fashion consciousness that mysteriously wraps itself around you, like a silk scarf.”


DEFINITION and MEANING
Clothes, as indicators of fashion, have long distinguished the rich from the poor. During the middle ages, sumptuary laws forced people to dress in styles and materials deemed suitable to their place on the social scale. While such rules are no longer imposed, arguably clothes and accessories still, to a large extent, influence the ways in which their wearers and owners are perceived and treated.