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Literature’s 10 Best-Dressed Characters

[Editor’s note: Flavorwire is counting down our most popular features of 2010. This post comes in at position number 6It was originally published August 4, 2010.] If you’re the kind of person who’s into transformational mid-life journeys told with self-deprecating charisma, the you’re probably pretty psyched about the forthcoming film version of Eat Pray Love. And you may also have some of the film’s myriad product tie-ins on your shopping list: The adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert’s wildly popular memoir has been franchised into everything from candles to tea to perfume. Designer Sue Wong has even launched a line of Eat Pray Love-branded clothing. But since her costume-y designs are leaving us a bit cold, we couldn’t help but thinking about which of our favorite literary characters might provide better sartorial inspiration. After the jump, peruse our list of literature’s best-dressed figures and leave your own suggestions in the comments.

Lily Bart, The House of Mirth


Gillian Anderson as Lily Bart in 2000’s The House of Mirth

This aging society girl was always a vision in beautiful dresses and jewels. But because she wasn’t as wealthy as her friends, she was always running up dress-maker debt.

Edith Wharton writes: “The remaining dresses, though they had lost their freshness, still kept the long unerring lines, the sweep and amplitude of the great artist’s stroke, and as she spread them out on the bed the scenes in which they had been worn rose vividly before her. An association lurked in every fold: each fall of lace and gleam of embroidery was like a letter in the record of her past.”

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