HomeMisc.FashionTrends on Trial: Classic Fashions from Classic Literature

Trends on Trial: Classic Fashions from Classic Literature

molly and colleen hurford flip through the pages of classic books and shine a light on the famous fictional fashionistas …

For this week, we decided to showcase not a new trend, but rather, some … classics, as it were. And by classics, we don’t mean a little black dress. We’re talking about literary classics, and the women who made them famous. We’ll show you our favorites, and how you can get inspired by them.

Gone With The Wind: Scarlett O’Hara

“Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast aristocrat of French descent, and the heavy ones of her florid Irish father. But it was an arresting face, pointed of chin, square of jaw. Her eyes were pale green without a touch of hazel, starred with bristly black lashes and slightly tilted at the ends.”

Gone With The Wind‘s classic fashion…

Why it’s classic: Scarlett had flirting and fierceness down to a science in the 1800s. She wasn’t gorgeous, but she works with what she has and makes men fall head over heels in love with her.

How you can make it work: It’s all about confidence, not fashion! As long as you feel hot and own your style, whatever it may be, it doesn’t matter if you don’t match up to the media’s standards of beauty. It’s in the attitude, own it!

“There wasn’t a nice dress in Tara or a dress which hadn’t been turned twice and mended. … The moss-green velvet curtains felt prickly and soft beneath her cheek and she rubbed her face against them gratefully, like a cat. And then suddenly she looked at them. A minute later, she was dragging a heavy marble-topped table across the floor.

… Scarlett turned green eyes on Mammy, eyes which were feverishly gay, eyes which looked like the bad little girl of the good old days Mammy sighed about. ‘Scoot up to the attic and get my box of dress patterns, Mammy,’ she cried, giving her a slight shove. ‘I’m going to have a new dress.’”

Why it’s classic: This is the original DIY scene. Who can forget Scarlett’s rage against the curtains? She tears them down, makes herself a killer dress, and goes to Atlanta to make sure that the government doesn’t take her house from her. She knew what she wanted, and made sure that she got it.

How you can make it work: first and foremost, embrace DIY! Whether you knit your own scarf, make a dress, hem a skirt, bead a necklace, don’t be afraid to have a style that is uniquely yours. And we can look at Scarlett’s logic for why she needed the dress to illustrate the old adage “Don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want.” Sure, Scarlett was broke and in debt, but she managed to look like a million bucks and save her home.

Sherlock Holmes: Irene Adler

To Sherlock Holmes, she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes, she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex. She has the face of the most beautiful of women, and the mind of the most resolute of men.

“What a woman — oh, what a woman!” cried the King of Bohemia, when we had all three read this epistle. “Did I not tell you how quick and resolute she was? Would she not have made an admirable queen? Is it not a pity that she was not on my level?”

“From what I have seen of the lady, she seems, indeed, to be on a very different level to your Majesty,” said Holmes coldly.

Why it’s classic: While this may not be a physical description, we love Irene Adler because she was the one woman who the admittedly misogynistic Sherlock Holmes ever admired. Watson says that she is “always the woman” to Holmes, and it isn’t her good looks or her great wardrobe that makes her that way. It’s how she refuses to be considered the “weaker sex” and manages to best him time and time again.

How you can make it work: Whoever said that men don’t like brainy women was — face it — a complete idiot. Never be afraid to show off your brains as much as you show off your new shoes!

The Great Gatsby: Daisy

“She dressed in white, and had a little white roadster, and all day long the telephone rang in her house and excited young officers from Camp Taylor demanded the privilege of monopolizing her that night.”

“Through this twilight universe Daisy began to move again with the season; suddenly she was again keeping half a dozen dates a day with half a dozen men, and drowsing asleep at dawn with the beads and chiffon of an evening dress tangled among dying orchids on the floor beside her bed.”

Why it’s classic: Daisy’s look was pure ’20s: thin white dresses, all about decadence but without the volume. She drew men to her with her casual nature and her secretly wild ways. White isn’t the most automatic of color palette choices, and we could go on forever about the literary implications Fitzgerald was making when he chose to put her in this “innocent” color, but instead we’ll focus on how daring Daisy was for wearing white in almost every scene. We love someone who has such distinct style — even her car is white!

How you can make it work: You don’t always need tons of details or accessories to look “done up.” Rather, a simple white dress that fits great can be way more effective than any amount of accessories that you can pile on. Simplicity is key for Daisy, and it works well no matter what’s in fashion. Still, you may want to consider a long strand of pearls or a giant white hat. Also, don’t be afraid to wear white — even after Labor Day!

If you haven’t noticed a trend in our trend piece, we chose super independent and interesting women from classic lit — no wallflowers or women being used as strictly “love interests.” Do they make women more fiercely stubborn and focused than Scarlett O’Hara or Irene Adler? Doubtful.

There’s the saying “well behaved women seldom make history,” and clearly that’s true in literature — and our list — as well!

Pop-Break Staff
Pop-Break Staffhttps://thepopbreak.com
Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.


  1. I never had an interest in fashion but you ladies put a certain twist onit and make it very interesting and informative. Nice work.

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