Literature’s 10 Best-Dressed Authors

Jane Austen

Few contemporary depictions of Jane Austen exist, and most of those that do remain disputed. In the one believed to be the most authentic representation (a watercolor by her sister), Austen wears a short-sleeved, empire-waist dress and a cap from which a few brown tendrils escape. It’s a look that has reappeared countless times in movies, bridal collections, Regency-style dances, and everyday fashion choices. Austen herself seems to have been anything but preoccupied with fashion — only those of her characters who were ostentatious or vain are depicted as having any interest in clothes — but she deserves recognition as a style icon for the durability of her simple, muted look.