Quotations about   fashion

Note that not all quotations have been tagged, so the Search function may find additional quotations on this topic.



In the course of my travels I remarked that all those whose opinions are decidedly repugnant to ours are not in that account barbarians and savages, but on the contrary that many of these nations make an equally good, if not better, use of their reason than we do. I took into account also the very different character which a person brought up from infancy in France or Germany exhibits, from that which, with the same mind originally, this individual would have possessed had he lived always among the Chinese or with savages, and the circumstance that in dress itself the fashion which pleased us ten years ago, and which may again, perhaps, be received into favor before ten years have gone, appears to us at this moment extravagant and ridiculous. I was thus led to infer that the ground of our opinions is far more custom and example than any certain knowledge.

[Et depuis, en voyageant, ayant reconnu que tous ceux qui ont des sentiments fort contraires aux nôtres ne sont pas pour cela barbares ni sauvages, mais que plusieurs usent autant ou plus que nous de raison; et ayant considéré combien un même homme, avec son même esprit, étant nourri dès son enfance entre des Français ou des Allemands, devient différent de ce qu’il seroit s’il avoit toujours vécu entre des Chinois ou des cannibales, et comment, jusques aux modes de nos habits, la même chose qui nous a plu il y a dix ans, et qui nous plaira peut-être encore avant dix ans, nous semble maintenant extravagante et ridicule; en sorte que c’est bien plus la coutume et l’exemple qui nous persuade, qu’aucune connaissance certaine.]

René Descartes (1596-1650) French philosopher, mathematician
Discourse on Method [Discours de la méthode], Part 2 (1637) [tr. Veitch (1901)]
    (Source)

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

I further recognized in the course of my travels that all those whose sentiments are very contrary to ours are yet not necessarily barbarians or savages, but may be possessed of reason in as great or even a greater degree than ourselves. I also considered how very different the self-same man, identical in mind and spirit, may have become, according as he is brought up from childhood amongst the French or Germans, or has passed his whole life amongst Chinese or cannibals. I likewise noticed how even in the fashions of one's clothing the same thing that pleased us ten years ago, and which will perhaps please us once again before ten years are passed, seems at the present time extravagant and ridiculous. I thus concluded that it is much more custom and example that persuade us than any certain knowledge.
[tr. Haldane & Ross (1911)]

Since then I have recognized through my travels that those with views quite contrary to ours are not on that account barbarians or savages, but that many of them make use of reason as much or more than we do. I thought, too, how the same man, with the same mind, if brought up from infancy among the French or Germans, develops otherwise than he would if he had always lived among the Chinese or cannibals; and how, even in our fashions of dress, the very thing that pleased us ten years ago, and will perhaps please us again ten years hence, now strikes us as extravagant and ridiculous. Thus it is custom and example that persuade us, rather than any certain knowledge.
[tr. Cottingham, Stoothoff (1985)]

Added on 11-Jan-22 | Last updated 11-Jan-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Descartes, René

To my mind, simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.

Coco Chanel (1883-1971) French dress designer [Gabrielle Chanel]
(Attributed)
    (Source)
Added on 20-Nov-20 | Last updated 20-Nov-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Chanel, Coco

Male supremacy: Doctrine built upon three forms of superiority: the ability to grow a handlebar mustache, the ability to answer most of Nature’s calls efficiently, and the possession of pockets.

Marie Shear (1940-2017) American writer and feminist activist
“Media Watch: Celebrating Women’s Words,” New Directions for Women (May/Jun 1986)
    (Source)
Added on 7-May-20 | Last updated 7-May-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Shear, Marie

To say that an idea is fashionable is to say, I think, that it has been adulterated to a point where it is hardly an idea at all.

Murray Kempton (1917-1997) American journalist.
Part of Our Time, ch. 6 “The Day of the Locust” (1955)
    (Source)
Added on 1-May-20 | Last updated 1-May-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Kempton, Murray

Pocket Envy: Women’s unfulfilled yearning for practical clothes

Marie Shear (1940-2017) American writer and feminist activist
“Media Watch: Celebrating Women’s Words,” New Directions for Women (May/Jun 1986)
    (Source)
Added on 2-Apr-20 | Last updated 2-Apr-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Shear, Marie

Choose your pleasures for yourself, and do not let them be imposed upon you. Follow nature, and not fashion; weigh the present enjoyment of your pleasures against the necessary consequences of them, and then let your own common-sense determine your choice.

Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773) English statesman, wit [Philip Dormer Stanhope]
Letter to his son, #119 (27 Mar 1747)
    (Source)
Added on 6-Feb-20 | Last updated 6-Feb-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Chesterfield (Lord)

Our ancestors used to wear decent clothes, well-adapted to the shape of their bodies; they were skilled horsemen and swift runners, ready for all seemly undertakings. But in these days the old customs have almost wholly given way to new fads. Our wanton youth is sunk in effeminacy, and courtiers, fawning, seek the favors of women with every kind of lewdness. […] They sweep the dusty ground with the unnecessary trains of their robes and mantles; their long, wide sleeves cover their hands whatever they do; impeded by these frivolities they are almost incapable of walking quickly or doing any kind of useful work.

No picture available
Orderic Vitalis (1075-c. 1142) English monk, chronicler
Historia Ecclesiastica, Book 4 [tr. Chibnall (1969-80)]

Alt. trans.: "Our ancestors used to wear decent clothes, nicely fitted to the shape of their bodies and suitable for riding and running and performing every task that they should reasonably perform. But in these wicked days the practices of olden times have almost completely given way to novel fads."
Added on 6-Jul-17 | Last updated 6-Jul-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Orderic Vitalis

No man ever stood the lower in my estimation for having a patch in his clothes; yet I am sure that there is greater anxiety, commonly, to have fashionable, or at least clean and unpatched clothes, than to have a sound conscience.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) American philosopher and writer
Walden, “Economy” (1854)
    (Source)
Added on 3-May-17 | Last updated 17-May-17
Link to this post | 5 comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Thoreau, Henry David

The fashion wears out more apparel than the man.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Much Ado About Nothing, Act 3, sc. 3 (1598-99)
Added on 19-Apr-17 | Last updated 19-Apr-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Shakespeare, William

Styles, like everything else, change. Style doesn’t.

Linda Ellerbee (b. 1944) American broadcast journalist
Move On: Adventures in the Real World (1991)
Added on 15-Mar-17 | Last updated 15-Mar-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Ellerbee, Linda

The custom and fashion of to-day will be the awkwardness and outrage of to-morrow. So arbitrary are these transient laws.

Dumas - custom and fashion of today - wist_info quote

Alexandre Dumas, père (1802-1870) French novelist and dramatist
(Attributed)

Quoted in James Comper Gray, The Biblical Museum: Old Testament, vol. 3 (1878 ed.).
Added on 21-Jul-16 | Last updated 21-Jul-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Dumas, Alexandre pere

Every age has its pleasures, its style of wit, and its own ways.

Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux (1636-1711) French poet and critic
The Art of Poetry [L’Art Poétique], Canto 3 (1674)
Added on 7-Jul-16 | Last updated 7-Jul-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Boileau-Despréaux, Nicolas

I frankly admit to not knowing who I am. This is why I refuse to buy clothes that will tell people who I want them to think I am.

Russell Baker (1925-2019) American journalist, author, humorist
“Talking Clothes,” So This Is Depravity (1973)
Added on 15-Apr-15 | Last updated 15-Apr-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Baker, Russell

Gentlemen: I shall never shave, for the same reason that I started a beard, and for the reason my father started his. I remember standing at his side, when I was five, while he was shaving for the last time. “Father,” I asked, “Why do you shave?” He stood there for a full minute and finally looked down at me. “Why the hell do I?” he said.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) British playwright and critic
(Attributed)

Postcard response when invited by an electric razor company to shave off his beard with their product. Variant:
  • "I was about five at the time, and I was standing at my father's knee whilst he was shaving. I said to him, 'Daddy, why do you shave?' He looked at me in silence, for a full minute, before throwing the razor out of the window, saying, 'Why the hell do I?' He never did again."
Added on 12-Feb-15 | Last updated 12-Feb-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Shaw, George Bernard

It is disgusting to notice the increase in the quantity of coffee used by my subjects. … If possible, this must be prevented. My people must drink beer.

Frederick II (1712-1786) King of Prussia (a.k.a. Frederick the Great)
Proclamation (13 Sep 1777)
Added on 30-Oct-14 | Last updated 29-May-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Frederick II (the Great)

If you rebel against high-heeled shoes, take care to do it in a very smart hat.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) British playwright and critic
The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism, Capitalism, Sovietism, and Fascism, ch. 79 (1928)
Added on 5-Dec-13 | Last updated 5-Dec-13
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Shaw, George Bernard

Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
The Rambler, #135 (2 Jul 1751)
Added on 1-Feb-13 | Last updated 8-Apr-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Johnson, Samuel

Fashion is something barbarous, for it produces innovation without reason and imitation without benefit.

George Santayana (1863-1952) Spanish-American poet and philosopher [Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruíz de Santayana y Borrás]
The Life of Reason or The Phases of Human Progress, Vol. 3 “Reason in Religion, ch. 7 (1905-06)
    (Source)
Added on 25-Jun-10 | Last updated 16-Mar-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Santayana, George

Be neither too early in the Fashion, nor too long out of it, nor at any time too precisely in it.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English writer, physician
Introductio ad Prudentiam, # 498 (1725)
    (Source)
Added on 28-May-10 | Last updated 26-Jan-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Fuller, Thomas (1654)

Without any censorship, in the West fashionable trends of thought and ideas are carefully separated from those which are not fashionable; nothing is forbidden, but what is not fashionable will hardly ever find its way into periodicals or books or be heard in colleges. Legally your researchers are free, but they are conditioned by the fashion of the day. There is no open violence such as in the East; however, a selection dictated by fashion and the need to match mass standards frequently prevent independent-minded people from giving their contribution to public life. There is a dangerous tendency to form a herd, shutting off successful development.

Alexander Solzhenitsen (1918-2008) Russian novelist, emigre [Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn]
“A World Split Apart,” Commencement Address, Harvard (8 Jun 1978)
    (Source)
Added on 6-Mar-09 | Last updated 28-Apr-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Solzhenitsen, Alexander

For an idea ever to be fashionable is ominous, since it must afterwards be always old-fashioned.

George Santayana (1863-1952) Spanish-American poet and philosopher [Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruíz de Santayana y Borrás]
Winds of Doctrine (1913)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-Mar-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Santayana, George

There is no such thing as a moral dress. It’s people who are moral or immoral.

Jennie Churchill
Jennie Jerome Spencer-Churchill (1854-1921) American-British socialite [Lady Randolph Churchill]
Quoted in London Daily Chronicle (16 Feb 1921)

In response to a Philadelphia clergyman dictating that for a gown to be "moral" it must be cut no more than 7½" off the ground or 3" below the neck.
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 7-Dec-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Churchill, Jennie