I love running into clothing references outside of clothing specific spaces. I recently ran across a couple in Terry Pratchett’s Making Money, and thought they would be fun to share.
From Wikipedia: “Making Money is a fantasy novel by British writer Terry Pratchett, part of his Discworld series, first published in the UK on 20 September 2007. It is the second novel featuring Moist von Lipwig, and involves the Ankh-Morpork mint and specifically the introduction of paper money to the city.” The basic premise is moving from the gold standard to the potential of the city as the basis for currency, with delightful clothing quotes all over the place.
Internal style vs external fashion
“…if you were going to wear high heels then this week’s fashion tip was ‘Don’t Wear Sunglasses At The Same Time,’ because when you walked out of the bright sunlight into the relative gloom of, say, a bank, you would lose all sense of direction and impale the foot of one of your own bodyguards. Someone should have told her, in fact, that true style comes from innate cunning and mendacity. You can’t buy it.” (pg 152)
I wouldn’t say true style only comes from innate cunning and lying. It is true that it is innate. Style is how you do you, and how you express who you are. It’s not what you buy.
Personal style comes from within you. Style is not external to you.
“‘He’s a bit crabby, I have to say, but he can be cooperative if we put on a decent show.’ He stood back ‘let’s see…grisly candles, Circle of Namareth, Glass of Silent Time, the Mask, of course, the Curtains of, er, Curtains, and,’ here he put a small box down beside the bottle, ‘the vital ingredients.’
‘Sorry? You mean all those expensive-sounding other things aren’t vital?’ said Moist.
‘They’re more like… scenery,’ said Hicks, adjusting the hood. ‘I mean, we could all sit around reading the script out loud, but without the costumes and scenery who’d want to turn up?’” (pg 241)
As in art, so in life. All the world’s a stage. And all that jazz.
Even though style is innate and cannot be bought, it sometimes helps to have a little magic dust up your sleeve for those times when your most confident self is feeling very far away.
And sometimes, clothing can be just the golden ticket.
Special clothes for special occasions
“Wing it! There’s nothing left. Remember the nearly gold chain? This is the other end of the rainbow. Talk yourself out of a situation you can’t talk your way out of. Make your own luck. Put on a show. If you fall, let them remember how you turned it into a dive. Sometimes the finest hour is the last one.
He went to the wardrobe and took out the best golden suit, the one he wore on special occasions.” (pg 312)
And don’t forget you are a special occasion.
There we have it! Three of my favorite clothing quotes from Terry Pratchett’s Making Money. (Though there are many more.)
I love how Terry Pratchett weaves clothing so seamlessly through his writing.
One of these days I’ll try to break down the Vimes boots passage, which is one of the most illustrative and succinct arguments in favor of high quality clothes, the expenses of poverty, and why fast fashion doesn’t really save you money.
(If you have other clothing quotes you want me to breakdown, or book suggestions, let me know here in the Ask Me Anything form.)