Dresses in Literature: Imprudent Purchases Edition

by Erin on January 11, 2011

Braver

When did the "imprudent vain purchases" trope stop being so prevalent in stories intended for girls? I seem to recall quite a lot of it in Alcott (Eight Cousins, Little Women) but I don't think I've seen it in modern YA books. Is it the credit culture? Too many vampires? People having actual sex? Or have I only been reading apocalyptic-YA? Not too many descriptions like this in those books:

Now Grandmama is a very prim old lady, sweet and neat, and dainty as can be, but still rather precise and severely plain in everything; and this frivolous, fussy little costume, with its low-cut neck, trimmed with many rows of dainty lace, and little more than a few flounces of lace to serve as sleeves — no, nothing about the little dress seemed at all like the Grandmama we know.

Anyway, this image comes from a story called "The Pink Gown" in an issue of St. Nicholas. 

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