Have you ever been reading a book, and see the clothes described, and then look at your own closet in disappointment? Me. All the time. Everyday. Apparently, ballgowns are considered ‘inappropriate’ for daily wear, and honestly it so upsetting. If I can’t dress like an opera star every day, what’s the point? So here are the books I would love to jump inside of for the clothes. I’ll just continue to sit here pining after imaginary clothes and opportunities to wear them.
The Finishing School Series by Gail Carriger
Gail Carriger is a steampunk queen! Her Finishing School series features the boarding school for Victorian lady-spies I never knew I needed. And while the high-flying adventure and wit are certainly draws for me, part of what really caught me was the clothes! Oh my god, I have never wanted a Victorian outfit more in my life. The descriptive attention that these books pay to the clothes, and the importance of what they say about a Victorian lady (even if this is a fictional Victorian Britain) is absolutely incredible. Even when outfits are described as gaudy, I want them. Chartreuse and magenta stripes? Sure! A sedate midnight blue with black fringe? Yes please! Gimme, gimme, gimme!
Gossip Girl by Cecily Von Ziegesar
Tell the truth, who wouldn’t want the wardrobe of the Gossip Girl cast? They are literally some of wealthiest kids in New York, and their closets are decked out in designer fashions. Sure, the boys and girls who occupy said clothes might not be the kindest to each other, but when you’re wearing Prada, does that really matter? I’m just saying, I think I might have a thicker skin if it was wrapped in Hermes silk.
Rule by Ellen Goodlett
I’m not sure I could survive Kolonya. Between the backstabbing, the political rivalries, and social climbing hierarchy, I think I’d end up on the pointy end of a knife. But it would all be worth it for those clothes! Gauzy fabrics in wild colors, gowns with glorious necklines and slits. Maybe I can just be an insignificant noble in the Kolonyan court? Like, I can sit on the edges and wear the clothes but not act out the intrigue.
The Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima
Between the beaded leatherwork of the mountain Clans, the courtly clothing of the Gray Wolf court, and the military uniforms of Odin’s Forge, the Seven Realms are full of so many glorious, glorious clothes. I want them all! Raisa’s got it made. By day, horseback riding in leather leggings and beautiful tunics, by night, dancing in beautiful silk ballgowns and jewels. So what if her kingdom is constantly threatened by enemies both within and without? Worth it.
A Court Of Thorns And Roses by Sarah J. Maas
The Fae courts of Prythian might not be the safest for mortals, but man do the Fae know how to dress. Each court tends to dress according to its theme, meaning Spring courtiers tend to dress in spring-time colors, Night courtiers tend to dress in night colors… you get the idea. The descriptions of the gowns and tunics are swoon-worthy and I want them. All of them. If only I had enough formal events to wear them to. Catch me on the subway in Feyre’s iconic silver dress.
The Folk Of The Air By Holly Black
Will I ever write a blog post and not feature Holly Black? Probably not. But be real, wouldn’t you want every single one of those dresses? Or those tunics? I mean, the dress Jude wears to the coronation ball, the white one that fades to blue at the hem and has trees reaching up from the bottom. Or the green tunic she wore to the tournament, embroidered with Madoc’s symbol! Or what about the raven-feathered outfit Cardan wore? Or any of Taryn’s dresses! *le sigh…* My only regret is that these clothes don’t exist in real life.