Book By Its Cover: Round Table

June 4th, 2011 § 14 comments

A couple of weeks ago I, E., got dressed like a book cover. And then, to make herself feel like she was in good nerd company, she invited others to transform a book cover into an outfit. Thankfully, she’s not the only nutty one out there.

Quest for Fashion Sense was inspired by James Thurber’s The Thirteen Clocks and channeled the the “colorful yet dark and forbidding looking” cover into a colorful but edgy outfit that makes great use of layering.


  • H&M Corduroy Jacket
  • Esprit Cami
  • Max Rave Red Jersey Dress
  • Grey Leggings
  • Mossimo Over the Knee Boots
  • Silver Feather Earrings (gift from a friend)
  • Blue Flower Ring (gift from a friend)

Miss B from Missing From Academia found inspiration in the Stephen King novel Wizard and Glass, creating an outfit in dusky, mysterious hues with a bit of shine.


  • Novel: Wizard and Glass, Stephen King
  • Outfit: (if this is relevant)
  • Knit Skirt: Target
  • Button Up: Limited
  • Patterned Tank: New York and Co.
  • Scarf: Thrifted
  • Shoes: Charlotte Russe

Emily of Academica Sartorial chose Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead as her launching point. She writes, “The neutrals with coralish red were there in my outfit, as well as the geometric patterns in both the book cover and the headband. And I felt a little 1940s, which is when The Fountainhead was written.”


  • Dress: Gap
  • Cardigan: Target
  • Shoes: Target
  • Belt: vintage
  • Necklace: Brian Moody
  • Headband: gift

Demeiza was inspired by the riotous cover of Samantha Harrison and Bari Kumar’s book India Bazaar and the outfit she put together — including an armful of bangles, a patterned scarf, and a t-shirt screenprinted with the image of a squirrel on a motorbike — helped brighten up a day of reading and writing since it reminded her of her own visits to South Asia.

As a grad student in literary history, Kristin found the cover and content of Albert Camus’ essay collection Resistance, Rebellion, and Death to be a compelling choice. A simple v-neck tee and vest are reminiscent of the graphic quality of the book cover, and I like to think that the bare feet are part of the “resistance, rebellion!”

Katie from Interrobangs Anonymous had double the inspiration! She put together an outfit of blues and greys with a patterned silk scarf to mimic the covers of Ancient Denvers: Scenes from the Past 300 Million Years of the Colorado Front Range by Kirk Johnson and No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod.


  • Grey dress – thrifted
  • Blue cardigan – Target
  • Blue, cream and tan belt – thrifted
  • Blue and cream silk scarf – thrifted
  • Blue and white silk scarf – thrifted
  • Blue ballet flats – Old Navy
  • Turquoise “coral” earrings – World Market

But then, she also realized that back in November she had dressed like one of her old etymology text books!

I can’t say that I ever thought of dressing like a science textbook, but I am SO glad that Katie did. Isn’t it a fun cover and outfit?

Salazar from 14 Shades of Grey took inspiration from a book that she bought because of the cover in the first place — Sally Gardner’s, I, Coriander — and created a soft but playful outfit mixing shades of green and floral motifs.


  • Blouse: from home, remixed
  • Cardigan: thrifted, remixed
  • Jeans: The Limited thrifted, remixed
  • Flats: Me Too, thrifted
  • Belt: thrifted
  • Flower Pin: self-made, from Michael’s fabric flower

Katie from Striped Socks Play Ping Pong chose the graphic silhouette cover of Phill Gatenby and Craig Gill’s The Manchester Musical History Tour as her starting point. She layered a cool, angle-seamed scarf over a little black dress to mimic the one point perspective on the cover and then added a sweet little silhouetted bicycle pendant and graphic ring as accessories.

Page found inspiration in the cover of Fanny by Erica Jong, one of her all-time favorite reads. Not only does her outfit reflect the color palette of the cover…it also embraces the spirit of the title character.

Finally, you can see Emma from in her Flickr stream here. (Sorry, Emma, I couldn’t download the picture itself!)

I hope I got everyone who sent int submissions, and thanks, everyone, for playing along! It was fun for us to see what you all came up with!

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§ 14 Responses to Book By Its Cover: Round Table"

  1. Laura says:

    I totally dressed like a book but it was rainy and I didn’t get any pictures! I consider this an epic fail.

  2. Miss B says:

    So many great submissions! I really love Quest for fashion sense and Page’s renditions. Well done ladies, all of you.

  3. Salazar says:

    I think it’s awesome that not only each of us have a completely unique take on this, but that we have completely different genres of books as well!

  4. i love the idea and the etymology book is a fantastic one! i’ll keep my big fat liberal mouth shut about ayn rand, though ;)

  5. maryeb says:

    This is such a great idea. Not only did I get some new sartorial inspiration, I also got new titles to add to my reading list.

  6. Emma says:

    It’s great to see everyone’s outfits – looks like we all got a lot of great inspiration from books. I particularly love the India Bazaar inspired look. Now to work my way through all the hundreds of other books on my shelves!

  7. Where have you BEEN all my life? (she asked as she made her exam lists while entertaining her small children and wondering how she could work that fierce new pencil skirt from Anthropologie into her teaching wardrobe.)

  8. Annie says:

    I LOVE these posts! SO inspiring. Not going to lie, though, I cringed when I saw Ayn Rand… but Emily looks great!

  9. penny says:

    I loved to see what everyone else did and I also enjoy the tags you classify your posts with, for example this one: visiting lecturer :)

  10. Kelly says:

    Hi girls,
    Firstly, I’m quite annoyed at myself for realising I wasn’t following you guys when I thought I was. Secondly, I am really bummed I missed out on doing this … Thirdly, I kind of did this already, so can’t be too annoyed at myself (actually, I posed with some book that matched my outfit … I have always been slightly backward like that). Definately in good nerd company :)
    PS ‘now’ following

  11. courtney says:

    i love the purple dress with the red belt. i’d never think to put them together, but it looks adorable.

  12. Quest for Fashion Sense says:

    I loved reading and seeing everyone else’s book cover inspirations – thanks for the lovely round up!

  13. [...] ACADEMIchic rounded up a great selection of other bloggers and readers who were also inspired by E.’s “Inspired by a Book Cover” outfit.  You can view them all here. [...]

  14. [...] ACADEMIchic rounded up a great selection of other bloggers and readers who were also inspired by E.’s “Inspired by a Book Cover” outfit.  You can view them all here. [...]

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