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Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  214 ratings  ·  37 reviews

Discover the signature sartorial and literary style of fifty men and women of letters, including Maya Angelou; Truman Capote; Colette; Bret Easton Ellis; Allen Ginsberg; Patti Smith; Karl Ove Knausgaard; and David Foster Wallace; in this unique compendium of profiles—packed with eighty black-and-white photographs, excerpts, quotes, and fast facts—that illuminates their

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Kindle Edition, 207 pages
Published June 27th 2017 by Harper Design
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Average rating 3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  214 ratings  ·  37 reviews


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Amanda
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this book! Fashion? Literary figures? What's not to like? I'm only taking off one star because I wish that there was more detail about the clothes they wore. I felt that in some instances, this part was glossed over. I felt a bit more research could have been done and included for a book of this scope. All in all, this is a perfect book for literary nerds, fashion fiends, and also a lovely gift book as well!
Anna Maria Ballester Bohn
Not very profound or anything, but certainly enjoyable. Recommended for anyone who ever thought "does this outfit make me look like a writer?". Also, if you have ever thought that, please be my friend.

Also, it was worth it just to find this quite by Quentin Crisp (someone I hadn't even heard of before): "You first have to find who you are. Then, you have to be it like mad."

Meg
Not sure if I want to read all these authors now or pick up the habit of wearing suits and hats everywhere.
David
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and informative book. Lots of random facts thrown in that, while interesting, don't seem to have to do much with the overall theme of the book. And the writing is sometimes a bit clunky. A fun, easy read that I'm taking as a jumping off point to learn some more about these fascinating individuals!
Julie
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wish it was longer (more full, more examples, more pictures, more references). At the same time, it was very consumably-sized. Not daunting or off putting.

The bibliography is brilliant! It I read that whole thing, I would be even more the person I want to be.

Fashion + literature = my favorite
Susan
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Great pictures; shame about the text.
Beth Bonini
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the cover photo suggests - a slinky Joan Didion posed in front of a classic Stingray; looking the epitome of smart California cool - this book is a nexus of of personal style and cult authors. In some cases, the author/curator Terry Newman goes into more detail about how a famous author used clothing to represent themselves - Samuel Beckett and Sylvia Plath are particularly memorable - and at other times, Newman just gives us a sort of sartorial snapshot around a stylistic theme. Glasses, ...more
Lulu Edwards
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 loved it, but needs more photos.
lisa
Mar 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted more pictures!!!!
Pam
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun read with great photos and quotes with an interesting group of authors and the added hook of fashion and personal style. Enjoyable!
Valerie Brett
May 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing
The premise of this book is seductive & appealing; it’s a shame that there are less than 100 black and white photographs, and the writing is terrible. It’s just dense enough to have substance, but really that’s achieved only by volume. There are only one or two pictures per writer (not nearly enough) and the text mentions, usually, several of their notable looks. And, the text seems to not know why it’s there; at times it gives an overview of the person or their work, and other times it ...more
Shayna
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating topic undermined by truly unremarkable execution. I'd love to see this subject tackled seriously, with more research, more photos, and more attention paid to the actual writing. The book suffers from not really knowing what it's doing with each section - the chapters, divided by subject and in no cohesive order, all seem completely separate from one another. Some sections seem like they're included for no reason other than the author likes the subject's work, with no discussion of ...more
False
When you call your book "The Clothes They Wore," I expect the author to pick better subjects to focus on than most of whom were portrayed in this book. Contemporary? Tom Wolfe. "Yes," known for wearing white bespoke suits, but beyond that? No Gay Talese or Nick Tosches? Two men who have made it a lifetime practice of wearing tailored, fussy, detail rich clothing, and in the case of Tosches, written about it at length. Samuel Beckett? John Updike? Patti Smith? Other than the starched man's shirt ...more
Kristina
I enjoyed it and it was quite inapirational, if not for the clothes then because of the authors to discover (not too happy about that, have you seen my tbr pile). I liked that it did not only describe the clothes but gave a clue about the mindset of the authors and what might have inspired them to wear what they wore.
3 stars, because mu expecations were way up there but it didn’t quite deliver it for me.
Chain Reading
Feb 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paper
I'm really internally divided on this book. Part of me hates that it exists, and thinks that what legendary authors wore does not matter at all! However, I still couldn't resist getting it from the library, and it was somewhat less shallow than I expected. It's more about the physicality and personal style of each person, and gives you a sense of what it would be like to come face to face with them.
Kim
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun book. I have always enjoyed learning the personalities, quirks and habits of famous authors. This book touches on their unique styles, their achievements and snippets of their personal lives. Some sections are dedicated to one specific style of hats or glasses, etc worn by authors. My only problem is I wish the book had been bigger with many more authors. Awesome photographs are big plus along with the authors' sections and stories.
Elizabeth Bastos
Jul 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: style
This was a fun, sartorial snack. I didn't know about Joan Didion's soigneeness or Twain's three-piece white linen suit "so white it hurt your eyes to look at it." But as far as choosing the "legendary authors" who counts as one? and you certainly can't cover them all, so some of my favorite "legendary authors" were missing. I wanted to know how George Eliot dressed, and Shakespeare, and more recently Caitlin Moran and Madeline Miller.
Denise Spicer
Well, at least “trendy” writers. Obviously the author of this book likes edgy rebellious literary figures. The text is an attempt to connect the writing style of the featured authors with their sartorial style. Covers signature looks of Hair, glasses, suits, hats, etc. Black and white photos. Bibliography and photo credits.
Lulu
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, fashion
Such an interesting series of short chapters on writers, their style, and how fashion influenced their work. Newman covers everything from Tom Wolfe's white linen suits to Joan Didion's flawless style.
Flexnib
Favourite quote from this book:

The kind of people who always go on about whether a thing is in good taste invariably have very bad taste.
- Joe Orton, Transatlantic Review, Spring 1967


Agree with other reviewer wishing there was more detail about the clothes.
Fallon
Oct 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not sure who this book is for? I really like the idea, but it sounds like something that started out as a Pop Sugar slideshow and less like a decent sized book. Interesting idea, but not really a book I'd pick up again.
Steph Pomfrett
This is a book with gorgeous photos and a selection of very safe choices in terms of the authors chosen. A bit like a literary Smash Hits, but with David Foster Wallace thrown in the middle for authenticity. Meh.
Carolyn
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was fascinating and fun read. it was interesting to see what some of my favorite authors thought about fashion.
Norma
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting. I sat down and read the book in one sitting.
Zaira
Jul 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating
Judy
Sep 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
Interesting look at fashions at certain times. More insight on some authors than others. Recommended for all bibliophiles.
Wendy MacKnight
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read
Research (for my wardrobe!)
Suzanne
May 25, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I love this as an idea, but 2/3rds of them are just old white dudes wearing unremarkable clothing. Had hoped for better.
Kelly Jones
May 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Mostly got it b/c Didion was on the cover looking fabulous.
Pegster
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great picture book which chronicles fashion styles and trends and the famous authors that adapted it as their signature style.
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