Listen up, gentlemen. If you’re struggling to assemble a convincing wardrobe for the fall, look to stylish men in literature for guidance. We’re not kidding. Chic fictional gents may be an old breed eclipsed by movie stars and television heroes, but just because no one reads classic novels unless forced to doesn’t make the fashion lessons of great writers any less significant. Truth be told, some of the best fashion tips ever written out for man come from literature. If you don’t believe us, just look at this list of literary men who dressed like pros. Can you pull off the stylish whims of a Jay Gatsby or Patrick Bateman?
You can’t go wrong with nouveaux decadence and 20s fashion in a decade obsessed with vintage style. Whip out a creamy white suit, waistcoat, and straw boater for semi-formal attire that’s sure to slay.
Dressing like a Victorian aesthete is becoming more and more popular. Perhaps your wardrobe could use a steampunk makeover. Add an ornately patterned waistcoat and bold ascot to up your sartorial manner and dinner suit.
It’s tempting to see the famous Mr. Darcy as a natty dresser, but a double-breasted jacket with tails is nothing to turn up your nose at. Try wearing one outside the costume party scene. You’ll get plenty of positive attention.
You know this man well. He has defined the tuxedo for generations of men at the movie and on the page. Get yourself a fitted tux, cuff links, and a bowtie if Bond is your icon. It always pays to be a little overdressed.
He is the man who made deerstalker caps and Inverness capes worthy of your attention. No one ever wore tweed with quite this much dignity. We’re not crazy about the hat, but if you don’t have a textured trench coat, fix that pronto.
Jack Kerouac gave cuffed jeans and industrial button-downs a mythic reputation in On the Road, making them the first stylish casual outfit. Today, dressing up tough like James Dean and the Beatniks is still sexy AF.
IGNATIUS J. REILLY
Dean Moriarty made casual fashion a force to be reckoned with. Ignatius Reilly made hipster style come alive with his flannel shirt, baggy pants, and hunting cap. He’s also a prominent reminder fashion icons come in all shapes and sizes.
No one comes close to matching the monstrous yuppie fashion of the American Psycho. Don’t go all in with the bold suspenders and a retro Walkman. Wear the Ralph Lauren pinstriped suit and a white collar. They’ll serve you better.
Suspenders are more than a hipster obsession these days. Thanks to the fall runway, everyone is trying to pull of dangling straps and punk-inspired fashion. If your Friday night outfit feels lacking, snap on a few white straps for good measure.
Orange-tinted sunglasses, gaudy tropical colors, and that infamous 90s boat hat were all part of the human peacock outfit assembled by eccentric addict The Duke. Believe it or not, all of these clothes are back in style. Pick your poison.
You really ought to read more famous literature. Novels are an excellent source of fashion advice. If you can’t decide what’s missing from your wardrobe, maybe your first order of business should be a trip to the library.
— Timothy Vest