In Scarlett’s era, as in most, wearing fine garments was a marker of riches; for ladies, plenty of level of fabric indicated that there was a lot of money. On the novel’s first page, Mitchell gives specifics about Scarlett’s garments, down to the “twelve yards” of fabric in her cloth. Prior to the party at Twelve Oaks, Scarlett spends a decent amount of time choosing which dress she should wear, demonstrating her ruined, cosseted way of life.
Amid the American Civil War, Rhett makes a fortune sneaking fabrics for the women to use to make new dresses. After the war, when Jonas Wilkerson and his new spouse visit Tara with the aim of getting it, Scarlett, in desire, takes note of Emmie’s elegant garments. Scarlett desires to dress-to-trick Rhett into feeling that she is doing great; she knows he will see it if her garments are old and exhausted. Later, Rhett spoils their little girl, Bonnie, by enabling her to wear whatever she loves. At the point when Scarlett says Bonnie’s blue velvet dress will get dirty, Rhett calmly says they can get another dress just like it, indicating a feeling of straightforwardness and riches.
Garments also show whether the novel’s female characters adhere to their societal desires. Ladies who are not members from the customary Southern culture, like Belle Watling and Emmy Slattery, for example, flaunt “cheap” yet nice garments. When she desires to tempt Ashley, Scarlett wears a short dress to the barbecue at Twelve Oaks, despite the fact that she knows it is not appropriate for the day. Scarlett is fully aware of society’s rules; nonetheless, she does not bother breaking them as long as it will encourage her to accomplish her desires.
Everybody is amused when Scarlett stops wearing her grieving garments after Charles’ demise, yet she cannot reject the lovely green cap Rhett gives her. Later on in the book, after Scarlett and Ashley are seen together, Rhett demands that she wears an attractive dress for the gathering. Rhett advises her: “No modest, matronly dove grays and lilacs tonight.”