Role Of Clothing In The Great Gatsby

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When meeting someone for the first time a large part of an initial impression is their clothing. The color, quality and style of their clothing gives information about them as a person that may or may not be true. F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author of The Great Gatsby, utilizes clothing as an informer of each character’s lifestyle and their desires. Fitzgerald carefully depicts each character’s clothing using color, material, and quality to expose their insecurities. He uses clothing to show how each character wants to be perceived. Unlike race or eye color, clothing is not permanent and can be easily changed, which Fitzgerald uses to exhibit character’s status, emotions, and personalities. In the novel, character mask who they are using their…show more content…
The caramel color likely represents corruption as Myrtle's brown muslin dress did. Gatsby wears the suit before meeting, Meyer Wolfsheim for lunch, who is his partner for bootlegging and other illegal activities. When Gatsby arrives at Nick’s house to have tea with Daisy he wears a white flannel suit, a silver shirt, and a gold-colored tie. The material of Gatsby’s white suit is flannel, which in the 1920s would be the most affordable material for suits. Fitzgerald making the suit flannel could be an allusion to Gatsby’s origins in that although he appears to be from “old money” he in reality was someone living in poverty who did illegal things to get rich. Fitzgerald might have chosen to make his shirt silver to represent Gatsby’s wealth, but his tie which sits on top of his shirt is described as gold-colored instead of gold which could be because Fitzgerald only uses gold to describe “old money”. The gold-colored tie on top of the silver shirt could symbolize that Gatsby’s illegal actions have more of an impact than his wealth nullifying his money’s value. After some time at Nick’s house, Gatsby asks Daisy and Nick to come over to his house to give them a tour. Showing Daisy and Nick, his house he presents everything like he is a magician and each thing he shows them is a new trick. When they get to his bedroom, he tells Daisy and Nick about the Englishman who…show more content…
Fitzgerald uses clothing and fashion as a comparison to the “American Dream” because it is forever changing and its value is different to every person. Daisy herself is a metaphor of the “American Dream”, she being dressed in white symbolizes the “purity” of the “Golden Dream”. Gatsby spends his whole life trying to reach her, like the green light, but in his eyes he is never successful. Even though to many people Gatsby has achieved the American Dream he himself is not content because of his obsession with destroying and preserving his past. He would never be happy with his wealth or having Daisy, unless she said that she only ever loved him, and he came from old money. On the day that Daisy and Gatsby are reintroduced, Daisy wears lavender which could represent unattainability of the “American Dream”. The color lavender taints the immaculate image that the “Golden Dream” or Daisy has because she was only seen in white before. The American Dream’s tainted color could represent how the only way for people to change their socioeconomic status drastically is through criminal activity like Gatsby did. Like the “American Dream” Daisy is unattainable to Gatsby because she is married. Gatsby is only able to be in a relationship with Daisy through them having an affair, which many people would view as a sin or illegal. On the day
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