Fitzgerald Fashion

Inspiration from Tender is the Night I'm in the middle of reading Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I borrowed a copy from the library, and it's one of those lovely old books that has been read and reread so many times that the pages are falling out.

I came across the below passage last night. In this scene one of the characters, Nicole, notices a woman who is getting ready to travel abroad and says:

"That's going to be the belle of your boat - that one with all the men to say good-by - you see why she bought that dress? You see why nobody else would buy it except the belle of the world cruise? That's a story dress - that extra material tells a story and somebody on a world cruise would be lonesome enough to want to hear it."

I love the idea of a "story dress" and how the extra material begs others to notice it. Fitzgerald's tone is cheeky and melancholy and beautiful all at the same time. Clothing still makes a statement about the intentions, mindset, and desires of the wearer.

Here are a number of modern story dresses. Some of these are more formal than others, but all of these designs contain an element of drama.

BCBGMAXAZRIA White Strapless Pleated Feather Gown

Blue Organza Ruffle Gown

Yellow Black and Khaki BCBGMAXAZRIA Runway pleated Tulle Draped Moss Dress


Black Halston Wrap Gown

Did you know Tender is the Night was written while Fitzgerald was living in Towson, Maryland? (For those outside of the DC area, Towson is a suburb of Baltimore, Maryland, and is about 55 miles away from DC.) I have this picture in my mind's eye of Fitzgerald writing feverishly while being surrounded by the sights and sounds of the Baltimore area  - including the fashion.

What do you think? Do these dresses tell a story? Have you ever worn a dress that fits Fitzgerald's description?

(P.S. Interested in reading more by Fitzgerald? The DC Ladies just launched a book club and their first selection is The Great Gatsby. To find out how to participate go here.)