The Quote Garden
 “I dig old books.”
 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Clothing & Shoes

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NOTE:  Some of the quotes on this page were submitted to me by visitors, and not all have been verified for original source or wording. I'm working hard to confirm everything, but in the meantime please be aware of the possibility for errors.   —ღ Terri, March 2021

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

Dressing well is a form of good manners. ~Tom Ford

Unmentionables — those articles of ladies' apparel that are never discussed in public, except in full-page, illustrated ads. ~Changing Times

A dress that zips up the back will bring a husband and wife together.  ~James H. Boren

I base most of my fashion sense on what doesn't itch.  ~Gilda Radner

People seldom notice old clothes if you wear a big smile.  ~Lee Mildon

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

When you can't do something truly useful, you tend to vent the pent up energy in something useless but available, like snappy dressing.  ~Lois McMaster Bujold

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

I don't see how an article of clothing can be indecent.  A person, yes.  ~Robert A. Heinlein

Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.  ~Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Seldom do people discern
Eloquence under a threadbare cloak.

If men can run the world, why can't they stop wearing neckties?  How intelligent is it to start the day by tying a little noose around your neck?  ~Linda Ellerbee

I have a hankering to go back to the Orient and discard my necktie.  Neckties strangle clear thinking.  ~Lin Yutang

A man hasn't got a corner on virtue just because his shoes are shined.  ~Anne Petry

I talk to him when I'm lonesome like; and I'm sure he understands.  When he looks at me so attentively, and gently licks my hands; then he rubs his nose on my tailored clothes, but I never say naught thereat.  For the good Lord knows I can buy more clothes, but never a friend like that.  ~W. Dayton Wedgefarth

Just around the corner in every woman's mind - is a lovely dress, a wonderful suit, or entire costume which will make an enchanting new creature of her.  ~Wilhela Cushman

A dress makes no sense unless it inspires men to want to take it off you.  ~Françoise Sagan

Any man may be in good spirits and good temper when he's well dressed.  There ain't much credit in that.  ~Charles Dickens

When in doubt, wear red.  ~Bill Blass

Women usually love what they buy, yet hate two-thirds of what is in their closets.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

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

What a strange power there is in clothing.  ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

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]

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

There is much to support the view that it is clothes that wear us and not we them; we may make them take the mould of arm or breast, but they would mould our hearts, our brains, our tongues to their liking.  ~Virginia Woolf

A man cannot dress, but his ideas get cloath'd at the same time.  ~Laurence Sterne

Shopping tip:  You can get shoes for 85 cents at the bowling alley.  ~Author Unknown

O what a sight were Man, if his attires
Did alter with his minde;
And like a dolphins skinne, his clothes combin'd
With his desires!
~George Herbert

I have often said that I wish I had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity — all I hope for in my clothes. ~Yves Saint Laurent

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

Remember that always dressing in understated good taste is the same as playing dead.  ~Susan Catherine

      "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

The only man who really needs a tail coat is a man with a hole in his trousers.  ~John Taylor

Do men who have got all their marbles go swimming in lakes with their clothes on?  ~P.G. Wodehouse

I simply can't understand
Why swimsuits are in such demand
They're soggy and damp,
Bind like a clamp,
And hold about three pounds of sand!
~D.R. Benson

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

What do nudists wear on casual Fridays? ~Terri Guillemets, "A night at the office," 1992

Our clothes are too much a part of us for most of us ever to be entirely indifferent to their condition:  it is as though the fabric were indeed a natural extension of the body, or even of the soul.  ~Quentin Bell

I want to die with my blue jeans on. ~Andy Warhol

Stretch pants — the garment that made skiing a spectator sport.  ~Author Unknown

Why is it considered seductive for women to wear beautiful clothes? Wouldn't it make more sense to wear something so ugly that a guy couldn't wait to take it off you? ~Flash Rosenberg

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

As long as there are cold and nakedness in the land around you, so long can there be no question at all but that splendor of dress is a crime.  ~John Ruskin

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, Letters and Social Aims

Where's the man could ease a heart
Like a satin gown?
~Dorothy Parker, "The Satin Dress"

Almost every man looks more so in a belted trench coat.  ~Sydney J. Harris

The first purpose of clothes... was not warmth or decency, but ornament.... Among wild people, we find tattooing and painting even prior to clothes.  The first spiritual want of a barbarous man is decoration; as indeed we still see among the barbarous classes in civilized countries.  ~Thomas Carlyle

The dress must not hang on the body but follow its lines.  It must accompany its wearer and when a woman smiles the dress must smile with her.  ~Madeleine Vionnet

You have to have the kind of body that doesn't need a girdle in order to get to pose in one.  ~Carolyn Kenmore can't wear a tuxedo and not have a martini in your hand. ~Patrick Stewart, @sirpatstew, Instagram post, 2020

Dress is at all times a frivolous distinction, and excessive solicitude about it often destroys its own aim.  ~Jane Austen

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

Every uniform corrupts one's character.  ~Max Frisch

Nothing is more alluring to a man than a woman who looks good in her jeans. ~Nina Garcia

[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

After all there is something about a wedding-gown prettier than in any other gown in the world.  ~Douglas William Jerrold

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

Fashion is like the id.  It makes you desire things you shouldn't.  ~Bob Morris

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

It's always the badly dressed people who are the most interesting.  ~Jean Paul Gaultier

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)

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

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

Clothes are inevitable.  They are nothing less than the furniture of the mind made visible.  ~James Laver, Style in Costume

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, 1973

On the subject of dress almost no one, for one or another reason, feels truly indifferent:  if their own clothes do not concern them, somebody else's do.  ~Elizabeth Bowen

For your own sake you should give her a new gown; for variety of dresses rouses desire, and makes an old mistress seem every day a new one.  ~William Wycherley

Know, first, who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly.  ~Epictetus

High heels were invented by a woman who had been kissed on the forehead.  ~Christopher Morley

Dresses for breakfasts, and dinners, and balls;
Dresses to sit in, and stand in, and walk in;
Dresses to dance in, and flirt in, and talk in;
Dresses in which to do nothing at all;
Dresses for Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall.
~William Allen Butler, "Nothing to Wear"

Jeans represent democracy in fashion. ~Giorgio Armani

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

Clothes can suggest, persuade, connote, insinuate, or indeed lie, and apply subtle pressure while their wearer is speaking frankly and straightforwardly of other matters.  ~Anne Hollander

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

When I free my body from its clothes, from all their buttons, belts, and laces, it seems to me that my soul takes a deeper, freer breath.  ~August Strindberg

Fashion is architecture:  it is a matter of proportions.  ~CoCo Chanel

It's not what you wear - it's how you take it off.  ~Author Unknown

Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.  ~Janet Lane

Fashion Law:  If the shoe fits, it's ugly.  ~Author Unknown

Like every good man, I strive for perfection, and, like every ordinary man, I have found that perfection is out of reach - but not the perfect suit.  ~Edward Tivnan

Sweater, n.:  garment worn by a child when its mother is feeling chilly. ~Author unknown

Adornment is never anything except a reflection of the heart.  ~Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel

Judging from the ugly and repugnant things that are sometimes in vogue, it would seem as though fashion were desirous of exhibiting its power by getting us to adopt the most atrocious things for its sake alone.  ~Georg Simmel

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

Fashion is what you adopt when you don't know who you are.  ~Quentin Crisp

To be a fashionable woman is to know yourself, know what you represent, and know what works for you.  To be "in fashion" could be a disaster on 90 percent of women.  You are not a page out of Vogue.  ~Author Unknown

The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize. ~Robert Harling, Steel Magnolias

Any affectation whatsoever in dress implies, in my mind, a flaw in the understanding. ~Philip Dormer Stanhope

His clothes fit him so ill, and constrain him so much, that he seems rather their prisoner than their proprietor.  ~Philip Dormer Stanhope

If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular? ~Author unknown

She had the loaded handbag of someone who camps out and seldom goes home, or who imagines life must be full of emergencies.  ~Mavis Gallant

Women dress alike all over the world: they dress to be annoying to other women.  ~Elsa Schiaparelli

The New Women! I could barely recognize them as being of the same sex as myself, their buttocks arrogant in tight jeans... ~Fay Weldon

No one has ever had an idea in a dress suit.  ~Frederick G. Banting

There is nothing touches our imagination so much as a beautiful woman in a plain dress.  ~Joseph Addison

I have always dressed according to certain Basic Guy Fashion Rules, Including: Both of your socks should always be the same color, Or they should at least both be fairly dark. ~Dave Barry

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

But I do mean to say, I have heard her declare,
When at the same moment she had on a dress
Which cost five hundred dollars, and not a cent less,
And jewelry worth tem times more, I should guess,
That he had not a thing in the wide world to wear!
~William Allen Butler, "Nothing to Wear"

I'm like every other woman: a closet full of clothes, but nothing to wear — so I wear jeans. ~Cameron Diaz

Those who make their dress a principal part of themselves, will, in general, become of no more value than their dress.  ~William Hazlitt, On the Clerical Character, 1819

A nudist is simply a human being without artificial additives.  ~Author Unknown

If honor be your clothing, the suit will last a lifetime; but if clothing be your honor, it will soon be worn threadbare.  ~William Arnot

I love America, and I love American women.  But there is one thing that deeply shocks me - American closets.  I cannot believe one can dress well when you have so much.  ~Andrée Putman

"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

A part of this strangeness of dress is that it links the biological body to the social being, and public to private.  ~Elizabeth Wilson

Fashion can be bought.  Style one must possess.  ~Edna Woolman Chase

The best-dressed woman is one whose clothes wouldn't look too strange in the country.  ~Hardy Amies

A skirt is no obstacle to extemporaneous sex, but it is physically impossible to make love to a girl while she is wearing trousers.  ~Helen Lawrenson

Did you hear about the Scottish drag queen?  He wore pants.  ~Lynn Lavner

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

Brevity is the soul of lingerie.  ~Dorothy Parker

Clothes therefore, must be truly a badge of greatness; the insignia of the superiority of man over all other animals, for surely there could be no other reason for wearing the hideous things.  ~Edgar Rice Burroughs

Is not the most erotic part of the body wherever the clothing affords a glimpse?  ~Roland Barthes

He who sleeps in the raw, is in for a nude awakening.  ~Author Unknown

The prettiest dresses are worn to be taken off.  ~Jean Cocteau

All women's dresses, in every age and country, are merely variations on the eternal struggle between the admitted desire to dress and the unadmitted desire to undress.  ~Lin Yutang

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

You don't have to signal a social conscience by looking like a frump.  Lace knickers won't hasten the holocaust, you can ban the bomb in a feather boa just as well as without, and a mild interest in the length of hemlines doesn't necessarily disqualify you from reading Das Kapital and agreeing with every word. ~Elizabeth Bibesco

Clothes make a statement.  Costumes tell a story.  ~Mason Cooley

What a man most enjoys about a woman's clothes are his fantasies of how she would look without them.  ~Brendan Francis

Occasionally I think I overspent on a pair of shoes, but when I calculate on a cost-per-compliment basis it always ends up a budget purchase. ~Terri Guillemets, "Savings & goings," 1996  [Clearly I wrote this a long time ago because now I calculate value based on comfort, not cuteness! —tg]

Clothes are never a frivolity:  they always mean something.  ~James Laver

Those hot pants of hers were so damned tight, I could hardly breathe.  ~Benny Hill

If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater... suggest that he wear a tail.  ~Fran Lebowitz

Although a life-long fashion dropout, I have absorbed enough by reading Harper's Bazaar while waiting at the dentist's to have grasped that the purpose of fashion is to make A Statement.  My own modest Statement, discerned by true cognoscenti, is, "Woman Who Wears Clothes So She Won't Be Naked."  ~Molly Ivins

The truly fashionable are beyond fashion.  ~Cecil Beaton

Never wear anything that panics the cat.  ~P.J. O'Rourke

No one in the world needs a mink coat but a mink.  ~Murray Banks

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Last saved 2021 May 11 Tue 21:04 PDT

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