A good get-up

23/03/2012 § Leave a comment

I am wearing yellow tights today and my colleague compared me to Gudrun from Women in Love. (Actually, he called “What price the stockings?” at me.) 

But that reminded me how amazing the outfits are in Women in Love. Which is available in searchable form on Project Gutenberg, so here are the most luscious outfits described in the books (and all of them here [pdf]). Surely Gudrun is the most stylish literary figure ever written?

Gudrun was the more beautiful and attractive, she had decided again, Ursula was more physical, more womanly. She admired Gudrun’s dress more. It was of green poplin, with a loose coat above it, of broad, dark-green and dark-brown stripes. The hat was of a pale, greenish straw, the colour of new hay, and it had a plaited ribbon of black and orange, the stockings were dark green, the shoes black. It was a good get-up, at once fashionable and individual.

… all the far end of the place began booing after Gudrun’s retreating form. She was fashionably dressed in blackish-green and silver, her hat was brilliant green, like the sheen on an insect, but the brim was soft dark green, a falling edge with fine silver, her coat was dark green, lustrous, with a high collar of grey fur, and great fur cuffs, the edge of her dress showed silver and black velvet, her stockings and shoes were silver grey.

[Hermione] was a strange figure in the class-room, wearing a large, old cloak of greenish cloth, on which was a raised pattern of dull gold. The high collar, and the inside of the cloak, was lined with dark fur. Beneath she had a dress of fine lavender-coloured cloth, trimmed with fur, and her hat was close-fitting, made of fur and of the dull, green-and-gold figured stuff. She was tall and strange, she looked as if she had come out of some new, bizarre picture.

And I couldn’t agree more with this:

‘One gets the greatest joy of all out of really lovely stockings,’ said Ursula.

‘One does,’ replied Gudrun; ‘the greatest joy of all.’

If I can find it later, I will add a bit from the very amusing essay in which Angela Carter accuses D.H. Lawrence of being a stocking fetishist.

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