"In language we distinguish between someone who speaks a sentence well--clearly, and with confidence and dignity--and someone who speaks it badly. In dress too, manner is as important as matter, and in judging the meaning of any garment we will automatically consider whether it fits well or is too large or too small; whether it is old or new; and especially whether it is in good condition, slightly rumpled and soiled or crushed and filthy. Cleanliness may not always be next to godliness, but it is usually regarded as a sign of respectability or at least of self-respect. It is also a sign of status, since to be clean and neat always involves the expense of time and money."
The Language of Clothes by Alison Lurie (1981)
Or, if you prefer a more recent edition with a fabulous retro-looking cover and a new introduction about fashion today, this was published in 2000...but it's paperback.
(First of what I hope will be many sartorial food-for-thought quotes from this captivating book.)
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