Today we are launching a new Clothes in Books feature:
Dress Down Sunday
--- looking at what goes on under the clothes. And we could think of no-one better to start us off than the Queen of the Big Pants, Bridget Jones, who is also, as it happens, in Midsummer mood – two themes in one!
Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
[Young London Singleton Bridget has gone for a mini-break to a country house hotel with caddish boyfriend Daniel]
Sunday 25th June 8st 11, alcohol units 7, cigarettes 2, calories 4587 (oops).Oh dear. Daniel decided the place was nouveau from the moment we arrived, because there were three Rolls Royces parked outside, and one of them yellow. I was fighting a sinking realization that it was suddenly freezing cold and I had packed for 90 degree heat. This was my packing:
Long floaty white dress 1
Trailer-park trash pink jelly mules 1 pair
Tea-rose-pink suede mini dress 1
Black silk teddyBras, pants, stockings, suspenders, (various)
There was a crack of thunder as I teetered, shivering, after Daniel to find the foyer stuffed with bridesmaids and men in cream suits and to discover that we were the only guests staying in the hotel who were not in the wedding party.
observations: Bridget Jones was the first, the original, the best. To categorize her as ChickLit is just wrong – this book is extremely clever, extremely funny, and a true satirical comedy of manners. It’s as if Edith Wharton re-wrote House of Mirth for the 1990s, with Lily Bart allowed a modicum of happiness in an unforgiving society. In fact Bridget takes getting married, or at least pairing up, just as seriously as Lily does, and Helen Fielding has as exact and careful an eye for the social niceties and snobberies of modern England as Wharton did for turn-of-the-century New York. Poor Bridget – she still remembers seeing her A Level results and realizing she would have to go to Bangor, an idea that the hideous Daniel – Cambridge-educated – finds utterly hilarious. And it matters not a whit that Bangor is a perfectly respectable academic university: what matters is perception and the class system.
Her capsule wardrobe sounds perfect, even though the black silk teddy couldn’t be worn under the floaty white dress without showing through. An old dictionary definition of teddy reads ‘a short undergarment combining chemise and drawers in one’.
Links up with: The Provincial Lady has a dress that doesn’t work out. The Fossil sisters know about lists of clothes. Other Midsummer entries over the past few days, eg here, or click the label below.
The picture was a front cover from the Queenslander magazine, and comes from the State Library of Queensland archive.