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!

Category: Visiting Lecturer, Wardrobe Challenge, Weekend Workshops
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