Author-Inspired Fashion: Charlotte Brontë

From the plains of Yorkshire to the modern era.
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Madison - UNC Asheville
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From the plains of Yorkshire to the modern era.

One of my first articles for College Fashion was Author-Inspired fashion for the lesser-known Brontë sister, Anne. I was excited to bring her impressive work to life through fashion, so I thought it only appropriate that I also cover her sister, novelist and poet Charlotte Brontë.

Charlotte was the eldest of her sisters - at least the ones that survived past childhood - and she often acted as guide and teacher to them, sometimes to a stifling degree. Even from her youth she was creative, encouraging her younger sisters and brother Branwell to follow her in her intellectual pursuits.

Though she stood at less than five feet tall, Charlotte Brontë is a giant in English literature. Her most famous novel, Jane Eyre, has been around for over 150 years and has been translated in many languages. (It even has its own CF article.) Jane Eyre, along with other books by Brontë, were largely inspired by her experiences in a horrendous boarding school, her career as a governess, and her Christian, proto-feminist beliefs. She died at the age of 38.

The Nanny

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Brontë's work as a governess was nothing like Fran Fine's job. Brontë dealt with spoiled and unruly children, ungrateful parents, long hours, and low wages. No wonder she took so much inspiration from her former job in her writing career.

For a fun look that's perfect for today's babysitting work, combine a ruffled top and ripped boyfriend jeans. A crossbody bag and unisex shoes are practical like Charlotte while still fun for the 21st century girl. Gem earrings are a nice final touch.

Sharp Survivor

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Between Fall 1848 and Spring 1849, Charlotte's three remaining siblings, Emily, Anne, and Branwell, died from disease and (in the case of Branwell) opiate addiction. Charlotte was completely devastated and stopped writing for a while, until she took it back up to distract herself from her grief.

Brontë was a sharp, sensible woman who stuck to her guns. For a look inspired by her fortitude, pair a sleek dress with some modest tights and flat shoes. For a pop of color symbolizing new hope after grief, paint your nails bright orange. Some simple rings finish the look.

Nineteenth Century Romance

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Brontë's novels have provided readers with romantic daydreams for centuries. Many a teenager has swooned at the dark hero Mr. Rochester, for instance. So this outfit is inspired by the romantic aspects of Brontë's novels.

This pale pink dress is both sugar-sweet and flattering on a variety of body types. For a look that's more fitting for today's time but still has a romantic feel, add these suede cut-out booties and an envelope clutch. Lastly, put on a slightly edgy statement necklace for a hint of that Gothic vibe.

Your thoughts?

So what did you think? What's your favorite Brontë book? What was your favorite look? Which author would you like to see featured next? Let us know in the comments below!