The Most Stylish Authors and What You Can Learn From Them. | A Continuous Lean.

The Most Stylish Authors and What You Can Learn From Them.

Jul 7th, 2014 | Categories: Style | by Jake Gallagher

Stylish authors get a bad rap. Unlike their cinematic or musical counterparts, authors are not fortunate enough to have their likenesses plastered on giant posters, television screens, and print ads. Therefore, authors are often left out of the conversation when it comes to the greats of style. Of course there are exceptions to this rule (and you’ll see a few of them below) but by and large, the sartorial merits of authors often go unnoticed. Therefore, in honor of those that have a way with words and wardrobes alike, we give you the best dressed authors of all time.


S.J. Perelman - Humorist, traveler, all around eccentric.

What you can learn from his style - While his style was relatively reserved, Perelman’s glasses prove that a little bit of shape can go a long way.

Required Reading - Westward Ha! (1948)

Ogden Nash

Ogden Nash - Author, lyricist, master of the punchline poem.

What you can learn from his style – When it comes to sport coats, solids are fine, patterns are better.

Required Reading - I’m a Stranger Here Myself (1938)


John Updike - Storyteller, critic, the traddiest author that ever did live.

What you can learn from his style – Do not fear the turtleneck.

Required Reading - Rabbit Run (1960)


William Burroughs - Essayist, satirist, addict

What you can learn from his style – Three pieces are sometimes better than two.

Required Reading - Naked Lunch (1959)


William Faulkner – Novelist, Renaissance man, Southerner

What you can learn from his style – Wear your damn clothes.

Required Reading - As I Lay Dying (1930)

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Tom Wolfe - Reporter, chronicler, New Yorker

What you can learn from his style – It pays to be the most formal guy in the room.

Required Reading - The Bonfire of the Vanities (1987)


Jack Keroauc - Journeyman, scribe, Beat

What you can learn from his style – It’s okay to keep things simple, just make sure they fit.

Required Reading - The Dharma Bums (1958)

Gay Talese

Gay Talese - Journalist, essayist, wearer of illustrious hats

What you can learn from his style – Find your signature. Wear it everyday.

Required ReadingFrank Sinatra Has a Cold (1966)


Fran Lebowitz - Orator, wordsmith, best dressed woman in menswear

What you can learn from her style – Ignore the norm.

Required Reading - Social Studies (1981)

Comments: 14

14 Comments to “The Most Stylish Authors and What You Can Learn From Them.”

  1. Caleb
    on Jul 7th, 2014
    @ 11:15 AM

    “Bad rap” isn’t the colloquialism you’re looking for to say they’re ignored or overlooked.

  2. Jeff
    on Jul 7th, 2014
    @ 12:21 PM

    I respect Wolfe, but I am not a fan of his prose. He bludgeons the reader with exclamation points until they lose all of their value. Reading him aloud is one long scream.

    One could also say his white suit is just another overused exclamation point that long ago lost its punch.

  3. Crystal
    on Jul 7th, 2014
    @ 12:47 PM

    This is mostly a sausage fest. Search a bit harder, would you?

  4. Magdalena O!
    on Jul 7th, 2014
    @ 1:09 PM

    So the only woman on this list is listed as “best dressed woman in menswear.” Sigh.

    Perhaps you should preface this as the most stylish male authors, since there are many women writer style icons. :)

  5. Hayes
    on Jul 7th, 2014
    @ 3:24 PM

    No Ian Fleming? Too easy maybe?

  6. dallas
    on Jul 7th, 2014
    @ 5:08 PM

    “…of all time”

    or the last 50 years.

  7. Beastie Bob
    on Jul 7th, 2014
    @ 10:20 PM

    Barton Fink.

  8. Carla
    on Jul 8th, 2014
    @ 3:59 AM

    What do you mean by “scribe” for Jack Keroauc?

  9. Bernard M. Wrangle
    on Jul 8th, 2014
    @ 5:02 PM

    It’s all dicks and no chicks. Ok, one chick…wearing menswear. Thanks. Perhaps reconsider the title of this piece.

  10. chuck
    on Jul 8th, 2014
    @ 6:31 PM

    Langston Hughes and James Baldwin were sharp as hell

  11. Christian
    on Jul 9th, 2014
    @ 4:00 PM

    Some food for thought in there. John Cheever is missing though (or someone was reluctant to include two Johns).

  12. Vern Trotter
    on Jul 10th, 2014
    @ 1:29 AM

    F.Scott Fitzgerald, John O’ Hara, Heywood Broun, Evelyn Waugh, John Buchan, T.S. Eliot, John P. Marquand, Ian Fleming.

    Just a few from my shelves.

  13. Jeff
    on Jul 10th, 2014
    @ 11:03 AM

    Hemingway’s style was extremely influential.

  14. bert
    on Jul 27th, 2014
    @ 1:16 PM

    Wow! Too many cry babies, “not enough chicks” :,( Give it a rest already. Make your own list and post them elsewhere.