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Conduct Of Life:
Manners When Travelling
How To Dress
Achieve Happiness
Of A Happy Life And Wherein It Consists
Man The Maker Of Happiness
Happiness Through The Pursuit And Use Of Money
The Art Of Having Time
The Miracle Of Tact
Frienship - Part 1
Friendship - Part 2
Friendship - Part 3
The Simple Life
The Essence Of Simplicity
Right Living As A Fine Art

How To Dress

( Originally Published 1913 )



Your dress (as insignificant a thing as dress is in itself) is now become an object worthy of some attention; for I confess I cannot help forming some opinion of a man's sense and character from his dress, and I believe most people do as well as myself. Any affectation whatsoever in dress implies, in my mind, a flaw in the understanding. Most of our young fellows here display some character or other by their dress; some affect the tremendous, and wear a great and fiercely cocked hat, an enormous sword, a short waistcoat, and a black cravat; these I should be almost tempted to swear the peace against, in my own defense, if I were not convinced that they are but meek asses in lions' skins. Others go in brown frocks, leather breeches, great oaken cudgels in their hands, their hats uncocked, and their hair unpowdered; and imitate grooms, stage-coachmen, and country bumpkins so well in their outsides, that I do not make the least doubt of their resembling them equally in their insides. A man of sense carefully avoids any particular character in his dress; he is accurately clean for his own sake, but all the rest is for other people's. He dresses as well, and in the same manner, as the people of sense and fashion of the place where he is. If he dresses better as he thinks, that is, more than they, he is a fop; if he dresses worse, he is unpardonably negligent: but of the two, I would rather have a young fellow too much than too little dressed; the excess on that side will wear off with a little age and reflection; but if he is negligent at twenty, he will be a sloven at forty. Dress yourself fine where others are fine, and plain where others are plain; but take care always that your clothes are well made and fit you, for otherwise they will give you a very awkward air. When you are once well dressed for the day think no more of it afterwards; and without any stiffness for fear of discomposing that dress, let all your motions be as easy and natural as if you had no clothes on at all. So much for dress, which I maintain to be a thing of consequence in the polite world.



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