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 – 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)
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 – Journalist, essayist, wearer of illustrious hats
What you can learn from his style – Find your signature. Wear it everyday.
Required Reading – Frank 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)