No… we don’t mean C.S. Lewis and his Lions, Witches, and walk-in closets. We mean novels containing characters with amazing dress sense. Reading is a sure-fire way to broaden your outlook, but we reckon it’s also a great way to pick up some serious style advice. We’ve put together a list of some of the best turned-out literary delights we’ve come across at DC HQ. There are plenty more to be found of course, but this collection is a great jumping-off point if you want to get lost in a great book while picking up some pointers (and a taste of the high life along the way). Bonus? Ladies love a guy who reads. And a guy who dresses well. Best of both right here. Read and repeat!
The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde’s tale of depravity and outlandish moral behaviour was written at the end of the Victorian era, but still feels fresh and exciting. Dorian is exquisitely turned out, and he and his mentor, the corrupting Henry Wotton, move around the finest houses of London is magnificent tailoring.
“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.” – Essentially, go big or go home…
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great American Novel? It’s up there. And it’s a stylish as it gets.
Daisy’s even moved to tears by the threads: “They’re such beautiful shirts, she sobbed, her muffled in the folds.
The recent DiCaprio film? We quite like it, thanks to Tom Ford’s best efforts. But we love the Redford effort from the 1970s. The stylist? Mr Ralph Lauren.
The Novels of P.G. Wodehouse
The funniest British writer of all time? Check. The source for AskJeeves’s namesake? Check? Classic British tailoring throughout? Check. I mean look at that title below – Young Men in Spats. Magnificent.
Bertie: “There are moments, Jeeves, when one asks oneself, ‘Do trousers matter?'”
Jeeves: “The mood will pass, sir.”
Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
Waugh’s most famous novel is a journey through Oxford and beyond, into the world of the aristocracy.
Some advice from within:
“Clothes. Dress as you do in a country house. Never wear a tweed coat and flannel trousers – always a suit. And go to a London tailor; you get better cut and longer credit…”
The Leopard – Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
Aristocracy again, but this time in Italy. A magnificently written novel, whose author was a member of this exclusive bunch himself. Highly recommended – this still from the 1963 film adaptation lets you know what you’re in for. Swankiness, in case you can’t tell.
The James Bond Novels – Ian Fleming
He’s the man. Need we say more? We reckon the books make the films seem scruffy.
The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test – Tom Wolfe
A bit of a curveball – Tom Wolfe’s New Journalism classic has him follow hippies and acid freaks through the 1960s. Tie-dye and flowers in their hair abound. But fear not, Tom ‘The Man in the White Suit’ Wolfe stays sharper than a dagger. His getup both gave him access to the group he investigated while marking him as an outsider at the same time. Peacocking at work? Classy. Take tips.
Liked that? Check out how to take your suit to the next level!