Style Thief: Early 20th Century Superbabe Annemarie Schwartzenbach

By now you’re familiar with early 20th Century writer, photographer, traveler, and all-around superbabe Annemarie Schwarzenbach. Hmm, you may be thinking, do I want her, or do I want to be her?

If the latter is at least part of your answer, you’re in luck. Below, the pieces you need to dress like Annemarie Schwarzenbach.

Shirts and Sweaters

1. Striped Button-Down (straight sizes here, plus here) 2. Turtleneck Sweater 3. Cable Knit Crewneck Sweater 4. White Button-Down (straight sizes here, plus here)

Annemarie loved a good dress shirt, whether layered under a sweater or matched with a jacket and tie (more on those later). The two above Old Navy shirts should help you achieve her look, as should the size-inclusive sweaters from LL Bean and Lands’ End, which each come in a range of colors.


1. Black Welt Pocket Pants 2. Grey Plaid Pants 3. Burgundy Sailor Pants (straight sizes here, plus here) 4. Navy Sailor Pants (straight sizes here, plus here)

Wide leg pants are the ticket here. Whether you want nautical details or more modern welt pockets, any of the above options will give you a distinct WWII-era look.

Jackets and Coats

1. Brown Tweed Blazer 2. Camel Blazer 3. Camel Coat 4. Peacoat (straight sizes here, plus here)

I have never looked this cool in a car, but honestly I don’t get a ton of opportunities with the whole subways/barely leaving my apartment thing. Whatever your mode of transport, the above pieces will keep you suave and sexy. That coat on the bottom left comes in a range of colors, BTW, and the peacoat comes in a wine color, too.

Ties and Ascots

1. Swiss Dot Ascot 2. Gingham Tie 3. Knit Tie 4. Paisley Ascot

I love a skinny tie, but for the most part, they’re just not gonna work for this look. Find a fat one like that plaid puppy up top, an actual damn ascot — or, if you must go slim, choose a knit version.


1. Brogues 2. Moccasins 3. Saddle Shoes 4. Boots

Your footwear should be flat, fancy, and fabulous. Dog, unfortunately, not included.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Nora is a writer and shoot producer living in Brooklyn. Send her links to weird clothing and dog videos to nora [at] autostraddle [dot] com.

Nora has written 52 articles for us.


    • To be clear my comment is a desperate cry for help not a rejection of this stylistic choice. I want it to work I just can’t figure it out. I always looks like the button down is trying to escape from a sweater that’s attempting to strangle it to death.

      • I’ve heard it helps to layer a slim-fit tank over the button-down and under the sweater. That adds another layer, which doesn’t work for everyone, but keeps the buttons from poking out on the sweater and holds the shirt closer to your frame.

    • I already own those same saddle shoes so this is a) reassurance that they were a great choice and b) basically my shopping list now

      • This wasn’t supposed to be a reply, there goes my stellar one-second record of looking like I know what I’m doing!

      • See my point is made, important staff people.

        Your readers could field a gallery inspired by queer icons and subjects of the Style Thief column

  1. !!!!

    I only know of Schwartzenbach because she broke my darlin Carson McCullers’ heart.

    What a Halloween couples’ costume that would be…

  2. But did Annemarie hire a professional photographer for a photo shoot? Because all of the photos are amazing

      • Actually, Annemarie Schwarzenbach was friends with many professional photographers who documented her life. She was very popular with photographers for obvious reasons.

        Annemarie Schwarzenbach and the 2008 exhibition “Auf der Schwelle des Fremden” was a lesbian awakening for me.

  3. so I’m not the only one completely obsessed with her (ashamed to admit that although I am a German speaking literature nerd, I have never actually read anything by her, just consumed every single bit of queer literature gossip surrounding her and her unbelievable beauty)

Comments are closed.