Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sarah from Neroli Blossoms Guest Posts: When Fashion and Fiction Collide the results are Fabulous!

Hi I'm Sarah and I blog over at Neroli Blossoms. I met Wesley in college through mutual friends, and even though we live across the country so we can't physically hang out, she's my good friend and go-to guru for anything book related.

Wesley usually has pretty intellectual things to say about books, but we're going to dip our toes in the shallow end and talk about book clothing and style. Stay with me here, I promise I have a good resource for you.

One of the features I used to run on my blog (and the reason I first started my blog) was called Literary Inspirations. These started back when I was working my first real job right out of college. It was 8 straight hours of photoshopping clothes and required no mental engagement. It didn't take long for my ipod to get boring and they had blocked Pandora (or maybe it wasn't around yet? I forget how old I am).

Anyway, my boyfriend/now husband introduced me to my lifesaver: This site is amazing. If you're not familiar, it's a website of free public domain audiobooks, ready for download. Hear that? It's free! People volunteer to read the books so you get all sorts of readers. Some sound professional while others...not so much. But most books have several versions so you can find your preferred reader and download that version. (My personal favorite is Mark F Smith - I've found he's one of the most natural sounding readers, done a ton of the classics, and read the whole of Huck Finn in a southern accent. Sold.) So that's how I passed my working hours and Literary Inspirations began. I started wondering if you could take the idea or feeling of a book and translate it into a modern day fashion/home/style collage. Some books worked better than others. Some books had actual clothing descriptions that you could go off of, and others were based on the story. Life has been more hectic lately and I haven't done one in a while. So when Wesley asked if I'd like to do one for her blog, I jumped at the opportunity!

The book we're getting inspired from today is Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I have to say, I thought this was going to be easy - it has exact clothing descriptions - but wow, was this difficult to create without it looking absolutely ridonkulous. And maybe it still does?

We're talking dystopian society, almost the entire world broken into a caste system (in which humans are pre-determined and conditioned from birth), families non existent ("mother" and "father" and the equivalent of curse words), humans are grown in a lab, and you dress in the color that is assigned to your caste system (sort of like homecoming week in high school, right?). Enter the "Savage" to shake everything up. But in the end the house always wins. Or in this case, society.

Literary Inspiration - Brave New World

So on to the fashion. No. Just no. "Alpha children wear grey...Gammas...wear green, and Delta children wear khaki...Epsilons...wear black". Our subject for today is the main female character, Lenina, who is a Gamma. We even get a full description of one of her outfits, but I don't think anyone can save this and turn it into something we'd wear today.

"Her jacket was made of bottle green acetate cloth with green viscose fur at the cuffs and collar." Uh, ok I couldn't find anything with green fur, but here's a jacket with more natural cuffs, we'll go with that.

"Green corduroy shorts and white viscose-wollen stockings turned down below the knee." No. You're getting military green capris for this, Lenina. And no knee socks.

"A green-and-white jockey cap shaded Lenina's eyes; her shoes were bright green and highly polished". No, no, NO. Ok, the cap we can do. But shiny green shoes with this? Trust me girl, we're giving you tennis shoes instead. They have green on the bottom, that should suit you.

"Around her waist she wore a silver-mounted green morocco-surrogate cartridge belt". Uh...I don't even know what that is, so here's a nice shiny belt for you instead.

And apparently, this was HOT in A.F 632. (After Ford, as in Henry Ford, of the Model T and assembly line fame. Which, if using his death as a standard of measurement, puts Lenina at 2579 A.D. Is this our future?!?!)

So there you go. If you'd like to see more (slightly less confusing ones) check out the Literary Inspiration tab on my blog. Thanks to Wesley for inviting me over, and happy reading everyone!

 Everyone, seriously check out the literary fashions on Sarah's blog. I love the American Girl ones the best, sentimental favorite! Thank you Sarah for being here!


  1. Ok, so I don't like the jumpsuit as a fashion thing per se but there is something really great about just zipping up one clothing item and walking out the door. Easy decision making for clothes. Also this makes me really want to re-read Brave New World, it's been awhile.

    1. Thanks for having me guest post! And I totally agree. While I'm not cool with the whole 'dress in one color to distinguish your class' thing, there's no denying that it would be much easier to get dressed everyday.


Thank you so much for your comment. I'd love to talk books with you!