The Quote Garden

 I dig old books.

 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Clothing & Shoes

Be careless in your dress if you must, but keep a tidy soul. ~Mark Twain

I find it ruins clothes to wear them. ~Charles Searle, Look Here!, 1885

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

Dress, like poetry, began as an art with a purpose. It has evolved into an art for art's sake. ~Robert Lynd, "Dresses," Solomon in All His Glory, 1923

Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends... Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts. ~Henry David Thoreau

A man who has at length found something to do will not need to get a new suit to do it in; for him the old will do.... bare feet are older than shoes, and he can make them do. Only they who go to soirées and legislative halls must have new coats, coats to change as often as the man changes in them. But if my jacket and trousers, my hat and shoes, are fit to worship God in, they will do; will they not?... I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes... ~Henry David Thoreau

Any man may be in good spirits and good temper when he's well drest. There ain't much credit in that. If I was very ragged and very jolly, then I should begin to feel I had gained a point... ~Charles Dickens (1812–1870), The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit

Now, this gown. Look, look, look. In this skirt there's genuine mon cher. In the way it hangs my whole character is expressed. Observe the fullness of it, that indicates those admirable virtues which make me an ornament to Society, while the frill at the bottom just suggests those foibles — you can hardly call them faults — which add a certain grace and interest to my personality. And the flounce... I would sooner have designed this flounce than won the Battle of Waterloo. ~W. Somerset Maugham, Lady Frederick, 1907

When in doubt, wear red. ~Bill Blass, as quoted by The Reader's Digest, 2002

Women sometimes indignantly deny that they dress for the eyes of men. They dress, they say, to please themselves, and are more interested in what women think than in what men think about their clothes. ~Robert Lynd, "Dresses," Solomon in All His Glory, 1923

Since women dress largely to annoy one another, she sheathed herself to mid-ankle in a soft, intriguing mist of cobweb pink. She swayed deliciously through the doorway in fifty pounds' worth of inspired naughtiness, openly triumphant and astonishingly pleased with herself. ~F. E. Baily, Dolf, 1921  [a little altered —tg]

Women usually love what they buy, yet hate two-thirds of what is in their closets. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

In dress, seek the middle between foppery and shabbiness. ~Horace Mann (1796–1859)

Man's art of dress and woman's art of dress are poles asunder... Men are unpleasant-looking creatures. They have hairy faces and long feet. The average male European is not a person with whom even a dressmaker of genius could do anything. Hence his scorn of dress. Hence his attempt to conceal his identity in a dark suit and a bowler hat. ~Robert Lynd, "Dresses," Solomon in All His Glory, 1923  [a little altered —tg]

Without black-velvet britches, what is man? ~James Bramston, "The Man of Taste," 1733

For the apparel oft proclaims the man... ~William Shakespeare, Hamlet, c.1600  [I, 3, Polonius]  [This is actually part of the "to thine own self be true" speech. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Love with the ordinary human being is a perfectly superficial emotion, and, if the novelists were true to life, they would write less about hearts and more about dresses. ~Robert Lynd, "Dresses," Solomon in All His Glory, 1923

Just around the corner — in every woman's mind — is a lovely dress, a wonderful suit, or coat, or entire costume which will make an enchanting new creature of her. The vision is elusive, but persistent. And every season sees its return. Hence the endless fascination in new fashions. ~Wilhela Cushman, "Something New," 1946

Strip the human race, absolutely naked, and it would be a real democracy. But the introduction of even a rag of tiger skin, or a cowtail, could make a badge of distinction and be the beginning of a monarchy. ~Mark Twain

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society. ~Mark Twain, quoted in More Maxims of Mark compiled by Merle Johnson, 1927  []

      After all, what is the purpose of clothing? Are not clothes intended primarily to preserve dignity and also to afford comfort to the wearer? Now I know of nothing more uncomfortable than the present day clothes of men. The finest clothing made is a person's own skin, but, of course, society demands something more than this.
      The best-dressed man I have ever seen, however, was a native of the Sandwich Islands, who attracted my attention thirty years ago. Now, when that man wanted to don especial dress to honor a public occasion or a holiday, why he occasionally put on a pair of spectacles. Otherwise the clothing with which God had provided him sufficed. ~Mark Twain, 1906

KNICKERBOCKERS  Short for Trousers. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Altogether New Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz, 1914

      "She's going to a dance, and she's got the sweetest dress for it — creamy yellow silk and cobwebby lace..."
      "There's magic in the words 'silk' and 'lace,' isn't there?" said Aunt Jamesina. "The very sound of them makes me feel like skipping off to a dance. And yellow silk. It makes one think of a dress of sunshine..." ~L. M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island, 1915

Being a million-heiress, when I am not sailing, or walking, or bathing, it is clothes, clothes, and being made presentable, and having your hair just right. I am dieted and groomed until I could shriek. ~Laura L. Livingstone (Herbert Dickinson Ward), Lauriel: The Love Letters of an American Girl, 1901  [a little altered —tg]

Stripped of the cunning artifices of the tailor, and standing forth in the garb of Eden — what a sorry set of round-shouldered, spindle-shanked, crane-necked varlets would civilized men appear! ~Herman Melville, Typee

You need not dress by Fashion's Last Decree,
But don't have Pins where Buttons ought to be.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Apparel," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

I have heard with admiring submission the experience of the lady who declared that "the sense of being perfectly well-dressed gives a feeling of inward tranquility which religion is powerless to bestow." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson can't wear a tuxedo and not have a martini in your hand. ~Patrick Stewart, @sirpatstew, Instagram post, 2020

I doubt if women would go to all this trouble of dressing up if they, too, did not believe that a perfect woman nobly planned is the result of a collaboration between the Almighty and a dressmaker. ~Robert Lynd, "Dresses," Solomon in All His Glory, 1923

It will be a relief to me when women adopt trousers entirely and have done with this mad effort toward slimness. ~Kate Trimble Sharber (b.1883), "Petticoats — Or None," 1912

Outskirts: Where the women run around in slacks. ~Arnold H. Glasow (1905–1999)

What gown and what head-dress she should wear on the occasion became her chief concern. She cannot be justified in it. Dress is at all times a frivolous distinction, and excessive solicitude about it often destroys its own aim... ~Jane Austen

Needle, needle, dip and dart,
Thrusting up and down,
Where's the man could ease a heart
Like a satin gown?
See the stitches curve and crawl
Round the cunning seams—
Patterns thin and sweet and small
As a lady's dreams...
~Dorothy Parker, "The Satin Dress," 1926

You can look at optimism and pessimism as two different outfits in your closet, and you decide each morning which one you're going to wear. ~Robert Brault,

All dress is fancy dress, is it not, except our natural skins? ~Bernard Shaw

[T]here is something... in having a proper costume for an occasion... It fortifies one. Indeed, I do not doubt that the soldier's uniform serves such a purpose, giving him courage. He probably would not fight half as well without it. ~Cid Ricketts Sumner, Saddle Your Dreams, 1964

...a gown that made Daphne almost swoon with satisfaction. It was the very textile of her soul woven and dyed... Once inside, it confirmed her dreams. The creature she saw in the mirror was just what she wanted to be... She went home in a swirl. ~Rupert Hughes, The Thirteenth Commandment, 1916

It seems that every teen-age girl is eager to wear black... ~Beth Blair, 1947

The finest attire will do nothing for you unless you do something for the attire. ~Charles Searle, Look Here!, 1885

Character! do you say—what a long word for a flower! Yes, flowers have a great deal of character, and so have feathers and ribbons, lace and gauze. It is only a slight thread which connects all this with our feelings; but that slender thread is never broken.... thus we shall have in the kingdom of flowers an endless choice of decoration for the head-dress of woman, according to her style, appearance, and age. ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, 1875  #accessories

There is no doubt that it is easier to fall in love in some years than in others, and this is almost entirely due to the fashions of the day. ~Robert Lynd, "Dresses," Solomon in All His Glory, 1923

I guess there is no two races of people in worse repute with everybody than the international bankers and the folks that put all those pins in new shirts. ~Will Rogers (1879–1935)

They may talk of a comet, or a burning mountain, or some such bagatelle; but to me, a modest woman, dressed out in all her finery, is the most tremendous object of the whole creation. ~Oliver Goldsmith

With an evening coat and a white tie, as you told me once, anybody, even a stock-broker, can gain a reputation for being civilized. ~Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1890

A handsome shoe often pinches the foot. ~French proverb

Flip-flops make your toes feel like they're on vacation. ~Suzy Toronto,

The convention of one age is the laughing-stock of the next. ~Robert Lynd, "Beaver," 1922

Saying yes to the skinny jeans by saying no to the donuts. ~Betsy Cañas Garmon, (2009 tweet, @wildthyme)

She wore a short skirt and a tight sweater and her figure described a set of parabolas that could cause cardiac arrest in a yak. ~Woody Allen, Getting Even, 1971

One should either be a work of Art, or wear a work of Art. ~Oscar Wilde

Greek dress was in its essence inartistic. Nothing should reveal the body but the body. ~Oscar Wilde

Red Flannel, although he was too shy to talk, would almost tie himself into knots trying to get the nightgown's attention. Every wash day he waved and clapped and flung his legs into the air, dancing with the wind, until he had the socks and the aprons and the underpants laughing so hard they wound themselves around the line. This merry company... enjoyed their weekly roughhousing in the sun. Sometimes, in a stiff, brisk wind, the sheets blew up like hot-air balloons and the line of bath towels, marching like soldiers, smacked each other in sharp good humor. And all the while Red Flannel somersaulted about... ~Ethel Pochocki, Rosebud & Red Flannel, 1989

If I could have a garden for a dress,
I'd choose a ground of warm and yellow sunshine,
Sprigged with spicy lavender and pinks.
I'd wear a wreath of mignonette and daisies,
Mitts of cobweb lace upon my hands.
My dainty shoes of softest suede would be,
A melon leaf with buckles, shining dew.
~Virginia Semple, "If I Could Have a Garden for a Dress"

After all, there's something about a wedding gown, prettier than in any other gown in the world. ~Douglas Jerrold, The Wedding Gown: A Comedy in Two Acts, 1834

Your Clothes if hung up carefully, will wear
Much better than if flung upon a Chair.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Apparel," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

Designer jeans are so tight, you can't even call the fastener in front a zipper. It's more like a do-it-yourself vasectomy. ~Robert Orben, 2400 Jokes to Brighten Your Speeches, 1984

So soon as a fashion is universal, it is out of date. ~Marie Dubsky, Freifrau von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830–1916), translated by Mrs Annis Lee Wister, 1882

"Too little Closet Room!" cries Eve, and frowns;
For Adam says, "Too many Frocks and Gowns!"
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Women," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

Brevity is the soul of wit — and the sole charm of a bicycle skirt. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Foolish Dictionary, Executed by Gideon Wurdz, Master of Pholly, Doctor of Loquacious Lunacy, etc., 1904

LACE  Feminine trimmings that border on the unmentionable. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Altogether New Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz, 1914

Feet-casements., n.  Boots or shoes: see Trotter-cases. ~Slang and its Analogues: A Dictionary of Heterodox Speech, John S. Farmer and W. E. Henley, 1890s

Testicles are irritated and deprived of the cool air and sunshine which nature obviously intended them to have by placing them where they are, by the abominable cut of the garment on which men so pride themselves, the trousers. The kilts or the Roman toga or the Japanese kimono are incomparably more manly and more beautiful and more healthy. ~Marie Carmichael Stopes, Change of Life in Men and Women, 1936  [a little altered —tg]

Never wear anything that panics the cat. ~P. J. O'Rourke, Modern Manners: An Etiquette Book for Rude People

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Last saved 2024 Apr 19 Fri 18:55 CDT