Quotes About Clothing Etiquette

Woman looking at top garment
It's always wise to have the right outfit for every occasion. Sean Malyon/Cultura/Getty Images

Some of the most brilliant ... and not so brilliant famous people have been quoted for their opinions about appropriate attire. Some of the sayings are funny, a few are thoughtful, and others are harsh.

Wearing the right thing is important for anyone who cares about having good manners and proper etiquette. Knowing the proper attire for every occasion can make the difference between success or failure, in both your social and professional life.

Everyone has opinions about what is or isn't appropriate to wear. Some people don't worry about what others think, and they'll dress whatever way they want. However, if you care about following the protocol of proper etiquette, you'll follow conventions.

The risk of not doing so is that you may not get into certain venues that are strict about enforcing their dress code. In other words, don't wear frayed jeans and expect to get into a four or five-star restaurant where semi-formal dress is expected.

Here are some quotes to make you think…and maybe even chuckle:

Good Manners

“Wearing the correct dress for any occasion is a matter of good manners.”
~Loretta Young

Most people will agree with Ms. Young. When you follow the dress code, you show respect for others. Not doing so is rude and gives others the impression that you think you can't be bothered.

"What a strange power there is in clothing." ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

Wearing an outfit that looks good on you, is comfortable, and is appropriate for the occasion gives you confidence and shows others that you are someone to be reckoned with because you value yourself.

"You've got to have the right attire for the right event. I attend a lot of dinners, a lot of concerts, and I have to be on the red carpet; each has its own dress code, and I have to be prepared. Jeans and a hoodie are great for a concert, but a dinner party?" ~Amar'e Stoudemire

That pretty much sums up a lot of people's thoughts about wearing proper attire. Be prepared by having a range of clothing in your closet. If you attend a variety of events, you should have the wardrobe to go anywhere.

Be Yourself

“Know first who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly.”

If you prefer loose, flowing skirts, you'll be miserable in a tailored suit, and others will notice. You can find ways to be comfortable with your own personal style while following the conventions of where you are.

"I love being a woman and I was not one of these women who rose through professional life by wearing men's clothes or looking masculine. I loved wearing bright colors and being who I am." ~Madeleine Albright

Yes, you can get ahead while maintaining a ladylike wardrobe. There is nothing wrong with dressing yourself in feminine apparel, as long as it suits the occasion.

"I like old movies, screwball comedies, vintage clothes, and basically I'm an old-fashioned gal." ~Zooey Deschanel

Old fashioned is good, and that's why so many people love Ms. Deschanel. She typically wears classic items with a modern twist.

Know the Basics 

"I have always dressed according to certain Basic Guy Fashion Rules, Including: Both of your socks should always be the same color, or they should at least both be fairly dark." ~Dave Barry

Some people don't care about fashion, and they never will. They're doing well just to find close-to-matching socks. These are the folks who will walk into a roomful of well-dressed people and have no clue that they don't fit in. And somehow that's endearing for some folks.

"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." ~Mark Twain

They might not have a long-term influence on society, but they're likely to cause a momentary stir.

"The finest clothing made is a person's skin, but, of course, society demands something more than this."  ~Mark Twain

No explanation needed here. Mr. Twain's wisdom prevails once again.

Cheap Yet Chic

“Never use the word ‘cheap.’ Today everybody can look chic in inexpensive clothes (the rich buy them too). There is good clothing design on every level today. You can be the chicest thing in the world in a T-shirt and jeans—it’s up to you.” ~Karl Lagerfeld

If there is an outfit you like but can't afford it, check out the more moderately priced stores. You'll probably find a knockoff.

"You don't need really expensive clothes to look cute." ~Christy Romano

“Good clothes open all doors.” ~Thomas Fuller

You don't have to spend a fortune on your wardrobe. Just make sure that whatever you wear matches the occasion, fits you well, is clean, and doesn't have you squirming around in discomfort.

“Many a woman’s clothes represent more dollars than sense.” ~Unknown

Spending all your money on your wardrobe leaves you very few resources to enjoy wearing them. Even movies cost money, and if you want popcorn, you might want to check out the clearance racks for your date-night outfit.

“You’d be surprised how expensive it costs to look this cheap.” ~Steven Tyler

Someone needs to teach Mr. Tyler how and where to shop.

Earliest Fashion

“The first costume on record was a hand-me-down – from the fig tree.” ~Unknown

This quote just states the obvious, that all fashion starts somewhere.

Sausage Casing

"Please don't wear skinny jeans if you don't have skinny genes." ~Seth Rogen

Most folks have seen skinny jeans on people who are anything but skinny. There's nothing wrong with full-figured women embracing their curves, but they need to be kind to their bodies and everyone who sees them by wearing appropriate clothing that suits them.

That also goes for skinny girls. If the jeans are too tight for comfort, choose something that allows you to breathe.

Be Comfortable

"A woman is never sexier than when she is comfortable in her clothes." ~Vera Wang

This is a brilliant statement. There is nothing sexy about a woman who has to constantly fidget with her clothing.

“If a woman rebels against high-heeled shoes, she should take care to do it in a very smart hat.” ~Bernard Shaw

When it's time to dress up, don't forget the accessories. You can go for the killer pumps, but if your feet rebel, try something else.

"I don't know who invented the high heel, but all men owe him a lot." 
~Marilyn Monroe

Ms. Monroe made an excellent point. Most women suspect that a man invented the high heel. No matter how comfortable a woman says she is when wearing 4-inch stilettos, she's only saying that because she knows they make her legs look great. That said, if you want your child to have a long-lasting, lucrative career, you might want to encourage her to become a podiatrist because some women will never give up their high heels.