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    The Dress as a Metaphor in Muriel Spark’s 1963 novella “The Girls of Slender Means”

    A Schiaparelli dress functions as token of membership for the residents of the May of Teck Club in Muriel Spark’s The Girls of Slender Means. The expensive couture dress, which most of the club’s members would not be able to afford, is a symbol of the social and economic unification which temporarily arose in post-war Britain as a result of the devastation of the second world war. Rationing and commiserating over old luxuries periodically levels the social hierarchy established by the members of the May of Teck of Club. Within this system of rogue egalitarianism, the luxurious gown owned by a sassy younger club-member named Anne acts as a sartorial…