A bunch of crazy, shocking, and funny quotes about Fashion, Power, and Money,
chosen and carefully arranged by

~The Fashioniste!~

(I bolded some of the more interesting ones, in case you don't wanna read through it all...)

Man is overtaken by Love, which is caused by Beauty, which is guided by Fashion, which is determined by designers.

Thus grows up fashion, an equivocal semblance, the most powerful, the most fantastic and frivolous, the most feared and followed, and which morals and violence assault in vain. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fashion, n. A despot whom the wise ridicule and obey. -Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Fashion is a tyrant from which there is no deliverance; all must conform to its whims.  -French saying

Fashion is a tyrant from which nothing frees us. We must suit ourselves to its fantastic tastes. But being compelled to live under its foolish laws, the wise man is never the first to follow, nor the last to keep it. -Blaise Pascal

Fashion and POWER!

The most striking effect of riches is the splendour of dress, which every man has observed to enforce respect, and facilitate reception. -Samuel Johnson

The Cynic’s Dictionary defines a “status symbol” as:  the right car, wristwatch, dog or polo shirt; any esteemed possession worn as a badge of superiority so that the wearer will not be forced to prove such status in a test of wits or character.

Fine clothes are good only as they supply the want of other means of procuring respect [and they do]. -Samuel Johnson

It does not only apply to men, of course:
Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman. -Coco Chanel 

Whom I thank for my success?
God!—and my dear tailoress.
  -Friendrich Nietzsche, “Seven Epigrams on Woman” (The question is whether he was not just quoting a hypothetical woman, but if he was also saying it himself.)

So we have this original point:
Rich apparel has strange virtues; it makes him that hath it without means esteemed for an excellent wit; he that enjoys it with means puts the world in remembrance of his means. -Ben Jonson

And then this other one as well:
Rich apparel has strange virtues; it makes him that hath it without means esteemed for an excellent wit; he that enjoys it with means puts the world in remembrance of his means.

Dress is a very foolish thing, and yet it is a very foolish thing for a man not to be well dressed. -Lord Chesterfield

The difference between a man of sense and a fop is that the fop values himself upon his dress; and the man of sense laughs at it, at the same time he knows he must not neglect it. -Lord Chesterfield

Again: fashion, n. A despot whom the wise ridicule and obey. -Ambrose Bierce

As for fashion? I am wise enough not to spend more than just a little of my time on it (you know, Beau Brummel, the world’s first dandy, was said to have spend six hours a day pampering himself), though I am also wise enough to know that I cannot neglect it without rendering myself as even more superfluous, ridiculous joke to the world than I already be anyhow.

Whatever diversion is costly will be frequented by those who desire to be thought rich; and whatever has, by any accident, become fashionable, easily continues its reputation, because every one is ashamed of not partaking it. -Samuel Johnson

If you are not in fashion, you are nobody. -Lord Chesterfield

The members of a literary group are required to have a blazer, more than they are required to have ever actually read a book. It's the old joke that an uncultured fool in a nice suit will be allowed into a gathering of intellectuals, while the well-educated lover of learning, as long as he remains poorly dressed, will be shut out.

Processions, cavalcades, and all that fund of gay frippery, furnished out by tailors, barbers, and tire-women, mechanically influence the mind into veneration; an emperor in his nightcap would not meet with half the respect of an emperor with a crown. -Oliver Goldsmith

In civilized society external advantages make us more respected. A man with a good coat upon his back meets with a better reception than he who has a bad one. You may analyze this and say, What is there in it? But that will avail you nothing, for it is a part of a general system.
-Samuel Johnson

Dress does not give knowledge. -Tomas de Iriarte

Clothes form the intellect of the dandy. -Henry Wheeler Shaw

To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered—and well-dressed. –Voltaire (slightly revised)

To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are the three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost. -Gustave Flaubert 

High meets low—Regarding the Dolce & Gabbana's t-shirt featured above: I was not able to find the price of that t-shirt online (it is certainly from at least a few seasons ago, as that’s when I first saw it), but it is not unlikely that it retailed for around $300.

Nowadays, fashion “bubbles up” from the steaming streets more than it “trickles down” from the top of society.

Those who create are rare; those who cannot are numerous. Therefore, the latter are stronger. -Coco Chanel
Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups. –cynical triusm found on t-shirts and bumper stickers
Even knowledge has to be in fashion, and where it is not, it is wise to affect ignorance. –Baltasar Gracian
All the brains in the world are powerless against any kind of stupidity that is in fashion.
-Jean de La Fontaine
   So, in conclusion:
To succeed in the world, we must be foolish in appearance, but really wise. -Charles de Montesquieu

We are taught to clothe our minds, as we do our bodies, after the fashion in vogue; and it is accounted fantastical or something worse, not to do so. -John Locke

First I want a woman guest to be beautiful. Second, I want her to be beautifully dressed. Third, I demand animation and vivacity. Fourth, not too many brains. Brains are always awkward at a fine and festive party. -Elsa Maxwell (slightly revised)

I can do anything you want me to do so long as I don't have to speak. -Linda Evangelista

Black and a silent part make every woman appear—smart. -Friedrich Nietzsche

Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid. -Hedy Lamarr

It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid, than to open it and remove all doubt. –Mark Twain

Our clothes are too much a part of us for most of us ever to be entirely indifferent to their condition:  it is as though the fabric were indeed a natural extension of the body, or even of the soul.  -Quentin Bell

For me, elegance is not to pass unnoticed but to get to the very soul of what one is. -Christian Lacroix

Thy clothes are all the soul thou hast. –Beaumont and Fletcher

A man's appearance falls within the censure of every one that sees him; his parts and learning very few are judges of. -Sir Richard Steele

Where the eye is the jury thy apparel is the evidence. -Francis Quarles

Seldom do people discern eloquence under a threadbare cloak. –Juvenal

There is much to support the view that it is clothes that wear us and not we them; we may make them take the mould of arm or breast, but they would mould our hearts, our brains, our tongues to their liking.  -Virginia Woolf

A man cannot dress, but his ideas get clothed at the same time.  -Laurence Sterne

Dress changes the manners. -Voltaire

How anybody dresses is indicative of his self-concept. If students are dirty and ragged, it indicates they are not interested in tidying up their intellects either. -S. I. Hayakawa

Dress has a moral effect upon the conduct of mankind. Let any gentleman find himself with dirty boots, old surtout, soiled neckcloth and a general negligence of dress, and he will in all probability find a corresponding disposition by negligence of address. -John Shute Barrington

An opposing view (as are the three other points that follow): I have always a sacred veneration for any one I observe to be a little out of repair in his person, as supposing him either a poet or a philosopher; because the richest minerals are ever found under the most ragged and withered surfaces of the earth. -Jonathan Swift

Poets, artists, and men of genius in general are seldom coxcombs, but often slovens; for they find something outside of themselves that is better worth studying than their own persons. –William Hazlitt (slightly revised)

It’s always the badly dressed people who are the most interesting. –Jean Paul Gaultier

Any affectation whatsoever in dress implies, in my mind, a flaw in understanding. –Philip Dormer Stanhope

We admonish others not to judge a book by its cover, but in the world, books are judged by their covers, and people by their appearances.

Dress is a table of one’s contents as a person. (Also: One’s outfit is a table of contents.) -Johann Kaspar Lavater

When a person is in fashion, all they do is right. -Lord Chesterfield

All credibility, all good conscience, all evidence of truth come only from the senses. -Friedrich Nietzsche

"Beauty is truth, truth beauty"---that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
-John Keats, “Ode on a Grecian Urn”

Most men seem to live according to sense rather than reason. -St. Thomas Aquinas

We live not according to reason, but according to fashion. -Seneca


Fashion and MONEY

Worldly wisdom dictates to her disciples the propriety of dressing somewhat beyond their means, but of living somewhat within them. -Charles Caleb Colton

A man of the world must seem to be that he wishes to be. -Jean de la Bruyere

In all the professions every one affects a particular look and exterior, in order to appear what he wishes to be thought; so that it may be said the world is made up of appearances. -Francois, Duc de la Rochefoucauld

Virtue cannot be faked, though the world may be a place run on and run by symbols, where the appearance of merit is more often rewarded than merit itself (said Rochefoucauld), just as the lack of the appearance of merit is maligned as worthless, regardless of its contents. It is thus of course a place predominated by beings obsessed with their own appearances and in conveying a certain persona, rather than in being a certain person.

You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure. -Zig Ziglar

In his list of top ten steps to professional success for “How to be a Billionaire,” Donald Trump states that the Number 1 most important thing is to dress the best you possibly can.

You have a much better life if you wear impressive clothes. -Vivienne Westwood

Economics is the basis of society, and fashion is the main way of proving, or at least making it appear, that someone has a surplus in his personal budget. It is a person's way of showing that he can afford, literally afford, to give his time and attention and, of course, money, to that which is superfluous, frivolous, and merely for the purpose of show. Fashion exists in taking the time to decide what one shall wear in public, and regardless of the wearer's personal beliefs, values, and interests, it always aims at using tubes of fabric to indicate individuality and a financial status.

Fashion is, for the most part, nothing but the ostentation of riches. -John Locke

“…And let me just assert, once again, that the alliance betwen beauty and money has never ceased and will never cease.”

If you look good and dress well, you don't need a purpose in life. -Robert Pante

When the Queen puts on that dress for £6000, the statement she is making to the nation is: "I am the fantastically gifted royalty, and you are the snivelling peasants." The very idea that people would be interested in the facts about this dress is massively insulting to the human race. -Morrissey

In the Fall 2006, the Yves Saint Laurent store in New York was selling a dress with a price tag of nearly $34,000--well, including New York state sales tax, it was actually over $38,000. An article in one magazine asked, How do you justify a dress costing the same price as a car? But either you get it or you don't... pure, uncut, 100% American capitalism. And who is not both a benefactor and a victim thereof?

[Perhaps one reason that a dress] costs $33,000 is because that’s what shoppers want to pay for it. Some people’s search for identity goes no further than wanting that expensive bag on that movie star in that issue of InStyle. Shoppers who have to imitate Kate Moss to express themselves are a retailer’s dream; they’ll pay any price if you clock them wearing that Dior Saddle bag. -Josh Patner

What is identity? Something everyone wants, but no one will work for, and for which almost all of us are willing to accept money as a viable substitute.

In bourgeois society capital is independent and has individuality, while the living person is dependent and has no individuality. -Karl Marx

Hal Rubenstein (editor of InStyle magazine): Do you feel lots of pressure because of the extensive editorial coverage you've received in the States?
John Galliano: Yes. But I'm going to be a real good boy and take it day by day and try to concentrate on what's most important to me, and that's offering women a service.
HR: What kind of service?
JG: Couture.
HR: But what about all these rumblings that couture is dead?
JG: Because it's gotten so expensive. It doesn't need to be. It should be available to any woman.
HR: Then you can justify a dress costing $30,000?
JG: It won't cost that much from me, but yeah. People give that much money away to charity. Why can't you indulge that much on yourself? What you're paying for is technique. And the opportunity to look truly wicked. Isn't it worth it as long as you look wicked and feel good? Look at those ladies who came to the show yesterday. They give to charity and then they buy dresses. They looked fab.
HR: What about the woman who loves clothes but doesn't have $30,000 for a dress?
JG: Why should she pay that much? My dresses are very reasonably priced, for dresses that are cut on the body. Understand--I cut them on the body. That makes it special.
-----Note: I know, you’re like “What?! When the hell is this interview from??” And I’ll anwer you: it was done in 1994, when he was still producing only his own signature line, and was still some two years away from his appointment as chief designer at the House of Dior.

When both Alber Elbaz and Karl Lagerfeld were interviewed last year for Numero magazine, they agreed that every season, all the women want the same dress: “the $100,000 one.”

That, incidentally, was the starting price for Melania Trump’s diamond-embroidered Dior by Galliano haute couture wedding dress: “Estimated to have cost Trump between $100,000 and $200,000, the dress, which has a 13-foot train and a 16-foot veil, took 1,000 hours to make. The Dior team spent 550 hours sewing on diamante crystals and it took four of them to transport it across to Miami for the wedding. Apparently advised to "eat well" before the day to keep her strength up so that she could carry the 60 lb. creation, Knauss arrived at the church in secret before putting the dress on before the ceremony. She then squeezed herself and the dress into one of Trump's two Maybach Mercedes to stand in the receiving line. Later on, in order to save both herself and the gown itself from the rigours of the day, she changed into a more simple Vera Wang for dinner.”

Imelda Marcos, First Lady of the Philippines from 1965-86 and an avid shoe collector, was wonderfully mindful of her role in the, shall we say, reality-show of society:
"I have to be beautiful so the Filipinos will have a star to look at from their slums.”
"It is terribly important to do certain things, such as wear overembroidered dresses. After all, the mass follows class. Class never follows mass."
"I did not have three thousand pairs of shoes, I had one thousand and sixty."
"I am my little people's star and slave. When I go out into the barrios, I get dressed because I know my little people want to see a star. Other presidents' wives have gone to the barrios wearing house dresses and slippers. That's not what people want to see. People want someone they can love, someone to set an example."

And what about guys who want to simultaneously accentuate their dressing style, while also accentuating class discrepancies?

dandy – n., A man who affects extreme elegance in clothes and manners, a metrosexual from the 1890s, though two of the best-known royal dandies were both kings of the United Kingdom—George IV and his grandnephew, Edward VII, who were notorious womanizers and gluttons.
       adj., dandyish, adv., dandyishly (huh?)

I'm addicted to the aristocratic pleasure of offending. -Count Robert de Montesquiou, the most infamous dandy of late-19th-century Europe

Dandyism is refined vulgarity. -Charles Frederic Goss

Dandyism is a species of genius.  -William Hazlitt

Tell this to the dude wearing that Dolce t-shirt, LOL:
Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity. -Coco Chanel
, herself sometimes described as a ‘female dandy,” quite ironically

I have heard with admiring submission the experience of the lady who declared that the sense of being perfectly well-dressed gives a feeling of inward tranquility which religion is powerless to bestow.  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Revised quotation: I have heard with admiring submission the experience of the gentleman who declared that the sense of being perfectly well-dressed gives a feeling of inward tranquility which a lady is powerless to bestow. 

Anyway…back to women:

A woman’s clothes are the price her husband pays for peace. -Bantu proverb

Women overrate the influence of fine dress and the latest fashions upon gentlemen; and certain it is that the very expensiveness of such attire frightens the beholder from all ideas of matrimony. -Abba Goold Woolson – but it is also to frighten some onlooking women from competing for men…

The core of high fashion, or luxury, is ostentatious redundancy. How much of a difference does it make to a man if the perfect-faced, perfect-bodied 18-year-old girl he looks at is wearing an orange cotton bikini that cost $2, or one made of embroidered silk that cost $2,000? It is a case of one-upmanship between women in that imaginary global beauty pageant that goes on amongst them, very much unbeknownst to guys. Nay, we should perhaps call it one-upwomanship…ergh.

A husband is judged by his wife's face and a wife by the appearance of her husband's clothes. -Serbian proverb

A cruel proverb: Man without woman, is a head without a body; woman without man, is a body without a head. -German proverb

In Russian slang the word tryapka is used to refer to a man who is overly fastidious with his clothes. The literal meaning of the word? Rag.

Men are held up to as harsh of a standard for their socioeconomic status as women are for their looks. -Nancy Etcoff

She who is born a beauty is born betrothed. -Italian proverb

What about one who is born with little beauty, though a lot of money?
Heiresses are never jilted. –George Meredith

But ! --
Beauty with money is not as powerful as ugliness with more money.

Anyway, back to that Galliano interview:
HR: Would you rather be doing this than anything else?
JG: I love women. I love work. Hide that tummy, elongate that neck, shade the butt. I enjoy it. I'm an accomplice to helping women get what they want. [screeches] I just love it!
HR: And what do they want?
JG: Oh, you know. Come on. Sex. It's so subversive. Everyone wants to be sexually attractive and have people tell them that they've tapped into their sexual power. Unfortunately, when was the last time you heard a man say to a woman, "You look beautiful"? I'm into it. But it's a dying trade, man.

A thought about all of this: If Galliano is right, then women, in their fashions, prioritize sex over having a family. How vulgar can a woman get! If, However, Nietzsche’s pronouncement is right—that for the woman, a man is only a means, and the end is always a family—then we may applaud and approve of the virtue of the lady in question. But what about the way a man might be using fashion himself? What about the man who prioritizes his own looks over attracting a mate for sex OR for having a family! Oh, what could be more outrageous, more appalling, more vulgar than that?

Like the knights of former days, dandies arrogantly refuse to earn money; any work, however light, is incompatible with their dignity. -Alexander von Gleichen-Russwurm

A dandy is a man who tries to uses his looks the way a woman does:

A Dandy is a clothes-wearing Man, a Man whose trade, office and existence consists in the wearing of Clothes. Every faculty of his soul, spirit, purse, and person is heroically consecrated to this one object, the wearing of Clothes wisely and well: so that the others dress to live, he lives to dress ... And now, for all this perennial Martyrdom, and Poesy, and even Prophecy, what is it that the Dandy asks in return? Solely, we may say, that you would recognise his existence; would admit him to be a living object; or even failing this, a visual object, or thing that will reflect rays of light.... -Thomas Carlyle

Revised for the opposite sex and thereby made rather mundane: A lady is a clothes-wearing creature--a creature whose trade, office, and existence consist in the wearing of clothes. Every faculty of her soul, spirit, person and purse is heroically consecrated to this one object--the wearing of clothes, wisely and well; so that, as others dress to live, she lives to dress.

This one is the classic one:
A fashionable woman is always in love—with herself.
      -Francois, Duc de la Rochefoucauld (attributed)

Revised again: I have heard with admiring submission the experience of the lady who declared that the sense of being perfectly well-dressed gives a feeling of inward tranquility which a man is powerless to bestow.

“Where's the man could ease a heart
Like a satin gown?” -Dorothy Parker

There is new strength, repose of mind, and inspiration in fresh apparel. -Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Just around the corner in every woman's mind is a lovely dress, a wonderful suit, or entire costume which will make an enchanting new creature of her. -Wilhela Cushman

And the guy who feels that way about what he wears? The dandy, the fashionable man, lives to dress, not to work, and his clothes are a symbol of that.

Like every good man, I strive for perfection, and like every ordinary man, I have found that perfection is out of reach--but not the perfect suit. -Edward Tivnan

And, let it be said:
A fashionable man is always in love with himself!

Thorstein Veblen devoted a whole chapter of his book to “Dress As An expression Of The Pecuniary (Rich) Culture.” He wrote that “our apparel is always in evidence and affords an indication of our pecuniary standing to all observers at first glance...dress, therefore, in order to serve its purpose effectively should not only be expensive, but it should also make plain to all observers that the wearer is not engaged in any kind of productive labour...” (LOL)

To treat a poor wretch with a bottle of Burgundy, and fill his snuff-box, is like giving a pair of laced ruffles to a man that has never a shirt on his back. -Tom Brown

Said Scopas of Thessaly, "But we rich men count our felicity and happiness to lie in these superfluities, and not in those necessary things." - Plutarch, Morals (vol. II, Of the Love of Wealth)

Luxury is something you don’t need, it’s something you want. The bag of potato chips I ate for lunch today was a luxury. -Robert Duffy

Give us the luxuries of life, and we will dispense with its necessities. -John Lothrop Motley