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Why is Anna Karenina such a sympathetic character while Madame Bovary is not? Once they broke the glass on their respective moral compasses, their misdeeds led to the same tragic end.

It’s because Anna has a trait that Emma does not: a loving heart. That allows us to take her side even when she is wrong. Emma is a narcissist, incapable of loving even her own child.

Fashion figures prominently in the lives of Anna and Emma. When you see the film adaptation of Anna Karenina, you’ll be swept away by Anna’s wardrobe, with its romantic embellishments and luxurious fabrics—and yes, fur. To help us get our 19th century glamour on, Banana Republic introduced a 76-piece holiday line (from $29 to $500 a piece) for men and women, inspired by Anna Karenina.

Joe Wright, the director of the film, worked with costume designer Jacqueline Durran, mixing 1950s couture with 1870s Russian dress to achieve Keira Knightley’s look. Stay tuned next week. I’ll show you how you can get the contemporary version.

Meanwhile, I could only blend the 1950s with the 1970s for a holiday look. (It falls short of Anna, but I don’t happen to have anything from the 1870s hanging around. Hey, I’m only off by—what?—100 years on the tail-end?) This little outfit is proof that you can break a rule of vintage styling: if you really mix up the eras, you won’t look ridiculous wearing all vintage. I’ll probably wear this outfit to the symphony on New Year’s eve. I did not get a good closeup of the jacket for you: it has a double row of jeweled buttons down the middle! I’m very fond of its bracelet-length sleeves.

Skirt: 1970s vintage black/silver

Jacket: 1950s worsted wool, originally paired with a sheath dress

In one sentence or less––Madame Bovary or Anna Karenina––which life is more instructive for you? What’s your favorite dress in the movie Anna Karenina? P.S. The Etsy shop has a few new things in it that are perfect for gifts.

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.