Clothing and Loss


In the fashion world, understanding the zeitgeist is a way of orienting oneself within a temporal framework. And it’s in this way that style is woven so memorably through Didion’s writing. What someone is wearing betrays not just the aesthetic of a certain moment but the emotional weight that Didion assigns to it.

At the Atlantic, Adrienne LaFrance shows how Joan Didion uses descriptions of clothing to underscore the “passage of time” and “what has been lost.” These prove to be essential themes within Didion’s memoirs Blue Nights and The Year of Magical Thinking, which chronicle the author’s grief after the death of her daughter and husband.

Jake Slovis earned his MFA in Writing from Rutgers University, where he now teaches English Composition. He is a second-generation Argentine American and has spent significant time living and writing in Buenos Aires. He currently resides in Brooklyn. More from this author →