Writing in Style: The Most Fashionable Authors

The most prominent style icons have tended to be movie stars or celebrities of a similar mold, but that doesn’t mean that the literary types haven’t had a hand in the trends of fashion as they’ve developed throughout history. Do the clothes make the man? Mark Twain certainly thought so. As he once stated “The clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.” Twain knew a thing or two about dressing well, but he was by no means the only writer who did so. Let’s take a look at a few other writers who are still remembered for their contributions to fashion as well as literature.

Tom Wolfe

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Twain wasn’t the only author known for his white suits.  Many years later, Tom Wolfe would make this look popular again, bringing it to the 20th century. When he wasn’t wearing white, Wolfe would frequently sport navy blue blazers and ties with a tasteful pocket square. But hey, what else could we expect from the man who gave us The Bonfire of the Vanities?

Simon Van Booy

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Noted for frequently sporting blazers, sweaters, and button-downs together, Simon Van Booy stands almost alone in his field. It’s been said that his British-born author’s style is more similar to that of a yachtsman than that of a writer and philosopher. Say what you will about him, but he’s certainly done his part to bring style to modern literature.  Van Booy’s style has been compared to that of his predecessor, Truman Capote

Truman Capote

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Capote himself enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, which he made no attempt to hide. After the publication of his novel In Cold Blood, he decided to celebrate it’s success by throwing a masked ball at The Plaza Hotel in New York for the city’s elite. This crowd at this event featured many famous faces, including Frank Sinatra.  Given his love of society, it is not surprising that Capote would have been quite fashionable himself. His wardrobe consisted of many elegant suits and he often sported bowties.

John Steinbeck

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Other writers have proven that you don’t need to lead an ostentatious lifestyle to dress to the nine. One such example is John Steinbeck, who chronicled the lives of the working class people in his community of Monterey California very well. Steinbeck himself was a man of modest yet tasteful style and was known for frequently combining blazers and sweaters, although most photos of him include a cigarette in his hand.  In his work Travels with Charley In Search of America, Steinbeck discussed how he stayed in clean clothes during his time on the road.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

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This list wouldn’t be complete without the man who gave us The Great Gatsby. Often described as the “real life Gatsby,” F. Scott Fitzgerald’s style was iconic during the jazz age, a term which he coined. The film adaptation of his book gave us a good look into how people dressed back then. Fitzgerald frequently sported three piece suits and sport coats and had a love of tweed almost comparable to that of J.R.R. Tolkien. He was also an early pioneer in the rep tie movement. 

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