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Definitive "Books on Menswear" Thread

post #1 of 130
Thread Starter 
Dear all -

As a part of my ongoing effort to provide as much information to newcomers with as little trouble as possible to knowledgeable SF members, I'm going to try and curate this thread to consolidate a list of well-known and -respected books on menswear. Post in the thread if you've got a suggestion. I will look into it, and if it doesn't look offensive, I will add it to the list. The list will be kept in this first post, so that you don't have to look through the thread to get to it. Due to this, feel free to discuss any book within the thread, as it won't impede those just looking for the list.

A (*) by a listing means that I have read at least part (in most cases, all) of the indicated book. This is mostly just for me to keep track for myself but I'm also happy to answer any questions I can on the books I've read.

Introductory Textbooks

The Suit by Manton (*)
Dressing the Man by Flusser (*)
Style and the Man by Flusser (*)
Clothes and the Man by Flusser (out of print?)
Le Snob:Tailoring by Simon Crompton
A Guy's Guide to Style by Roetzel
Icons of Men's style - Josh Sims
Elegant Man by Villarosa
The Executive Look by Levitt (out of print?)
ABCs of Men's Fashion by Amies (*)
The Perfectly Dressed Gentleman by O'Byrne
Dressed for Success by Molloy (out of print?)

Intermediate Textbooks

The Men's Fashion Reader, edited by McNeil and Karaminas
A Well Dressed Gentleman's Pocket Guide by Lenius
Esquire's Encyclopedia of 20th Century Men's Fashion by Schoeffler and Gale (*)
Men in Style by Hochswender and Gross
Apparel Arts volumes (no Amazon links, and they're really hard to find and expensive from what I understand)
Ivy Style by Mears et al (forthcoming)


History of Menswear

Scottish Estate Tweeds by Johnstons of Elgin
One Hundred Years of Menswear by Blackman
The Trench Book by Foulkes
History of Mens' Accessories by Storey
History of Men's Fashion by Storey (*)
History of Men's Fashion by Chenoune (*)
Men's Fashion Illustrations from the Turn of the Century by Mitchell
Men's Coats by Buzzaccarni (out of print?)
Shoes: The Complete Sourcebook by Peacock
Men's Fashion The Complete Sourcebook by Peacock
The Allure of Men by Baudot
The Englishman's Suit by Amies (*)
The Cut of his Coat by Shannon
Sharp Suits by Musgrave
Dandies by Laver
Take Ivy by Hayashida
The Inventors of Tradition by Lipscombe and McKenzie
Savile Row Story: An Illustrated History by Richard Walker (*)
Nothing but the Best by Thomas Girtin (*)
Today There Are No Gentlemen by Nik Cohn (*)
Sex and Suits by Anne Hollander
Handbook of English Costume in the 19th Century by Cunnington and Cunnington
Handbook of English Costume in the 20th Century, 1900-1950 by Mansfield and Cunnington
Fashion for Men: An Illustrated History by Diana de Marly

Profiles in Style: Elegant Gentlemen of Years Past

Fred Astaire Style by Boyer
Rebel Style by Boyer
Gary Cooper by Bruce Boyer
Cary Grant Style by Torregrossa
Last of the Dandies by Foulkes (life of d'Orsay) (*)
A Family Album by the Duke of Windsor
Sotheby's auction catalog for the Duke of Windsor collections
Churchhill Style by Singer

Accessories

Cuff Links by Jonas and Nissenson
The Boutonniere by Brioni (essentially)
Hatless Jack by Steinberg
85 Ways to Tie a Tie by Fink and Mao
The Book of Ties by Chaille
The Book of Public School Old Boys, University, Navy, Army, Air Force, Club Ties by Laver (out of print?)

Behind the Veil: The Making of Menswear

Classic Tailoring Techniques by Cabrera
Textbook on Footwear Manufacture by Thorton (out of print? pdf here)
The Blue Book of Men's Tailoring by Croonborg
Harris Tweed by Platman
Handmade Shoes for Men ("The Vass Book") (*)

Seminar in Bespoke Tailoring for Advanced Students

Sicilian Tailors by Sleevehead
Bespoke by Sherwood
The London Cut by Sherwood

Weekend Reading: Not quite comprehensive enough to be an intro textbook, not detailed or technical enough to be an intermediate textbook

Eminently Suitable by Boyer (*)
Elegance by Boyer (*)
Mr. Classic by Hackett
The Gentleman's Guide to Timeless Fashion by Roetzel (*)
The Dandy: Brummell to Beerbohm by Ellen Moers (*)
post #2 of 130
I find that Le Snob - The Suit is a very good little book. Well worth a read or for reference.
post #3 of 130
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhood View Post

I find that Le Snob - The Suit is a very good little book. Well worth a read or for reference.

I believe you mean this book, titled 'Tailoring'?

http://www.amazon.com/Le-Snob-Tailoring-Simon-Crompton/dp/1742701698

I haven't read it, but I respect and enjoy Simon Crompton's blog enough to include immediately.
post #4 of 130
In addition to those already posted;

Sharp suits - Eric Musgrave (as much for the excellent photography as anything else)


Some pocket guides

ABC of Men's fashion - Hardy Amies
A well dressed gentleman's pocket guide - Oscar Lenius


Possibly more of a guide to the origins of menswear staples

Icons of Men's style - Josh Sims
post #5 of 130
Roetzel has a new one out that's more "how-to" than his last. I prefer "Gentleman," but some may find the new one more useful.
post #6 of 130
Dressing the Man by Flusser
Style and the Man by Flusser
Clothes and the Man by Flusser
Men's Coats by Buzzaccarni
Elegant Man by Villarosa
Scottish Estate Tweeds by Johnstons of Elgin
Cuff Links by Jonas and Nissenson
Le Snob by Simon Crompton
Bespoke by Anderson
Eminently Suitable by Boyer
Elegance by Boyer
Rebel Style by Boyer
Fred Astaire Style by Boyer
Gary Cooper by Bruce Boyer
Trench by Foulkes
Cigar Style by Foulkes
Last of the Dandies by Foulkes
Shoes by Peacock
Men's Fashion by Peacock
Men's Fashion Illustrations from the Turn of the Century by Mitchell
Sicilian Tailors by Sleevehead (e-book only)
The Executive Look by Levitt
The Blue Book of Men's Tailoring by Croonborg
Classic Tailoring Techniques by Cabrera
One Hundred Years of Menswear by Blackman
The Boutonniere by Brioni (essentially)
Mr. Classic by Hackett
Cary Grant Style by Torregrossa
The Allure of Men by Baudot
Harris Tweed by Platman
The Savile Row Cutter by Skinner
The Day of the Peacock by Ross
ABCs of Men's Fashion by Amies
The Englishman's Suit by Amies
The Cut of his Coat by Shannon
The London Cut by Sherwood
Bespoke by Sherwood
The Book of Ties by Chaille
The Men's Fashion Reader, edited by McNeil and Karaminas
History of Mens' Accessories by Storey
History of Men's Fashion by Storey
History of Men's Etiquette by Storey
History of Men's Fashion by Chenoune
The Provocative Pen of Lucius Beebe
The Fashion Reader, edited by Welters and Lillethun
Handmade Shoes for Men ("The Vass Book")
Sharp Suits by Musgrave
Sotheby's auction catalog for the Duke of Windsor collections
A Family Album by the Duke of Windsor
The Suit by Manton
Hatless Jack by Steinberg
A Guy's Guide to Style by Roetzel
The Gentleman's Guide to Timeless Fashion by Roetzel
A Well Dressed Gentleman's Pocket Guide by Lenius
85 Ways to Tie a Tie by Fink and Mao
The Book of Public School Old Boys, University, Navy, Army, Air Force, Club Ties by Laver
Dandies by Laver
The various vanity books put out by companies such as Marinella, Rubinacci, Anderson & Sheppard, Old England, etc.
Esquire's Encyclopedia of 20th Century Men's Fashion by Schoeffler and Gale
Men in Style by Hochswender and Gross
Today There are No Gentlemen by Cohn
Boots and Shoes by FY Golding (SF member DWFII has digital copies posted somewhere)
Apparel Arts volumes
Take Ivy by Hayashida
Textbook on Footwear Manufacture by Thorton
The Inventors of Tradition by Lipscombe and McKenzie
Churchhill Style by Singer
Ivy Style by Boyer and Chensvold (forthcoming)
The Empire of Fashion by Lipovetsky
Fashion and its Social Agendas by Crane
The Culture of Clothing by Roches
The various books on vintage clothing by Rin Tanaka (more SWD, but many are still good)
(E)tutee's incredible contributions at London Lounge
On that note, Voxsartoria/ F. Cobera's "Guide to Coherent Combinations" should also be considered as good as a book (though, as of today, it looks like he took it down)

If I can make a suggestion - this post should include StyleForum's Amazon affiliate link. If someone purchases a book because of a recommendation here, it would be nice if StyleForum could get some monetary benefit.
Edited by dieworkwear - 7/28/12 at 12:30pm
post #7 of 130
Thread Starter 
Great contribution, thank you, Derek - I hope you don't mind me basically copying and pasting the entire thing into the OP (took out FC's thread since it's down now). Can somebody tell me what the SF affiliate link is and how it works? You click on it, and then once inside Amazon, SF gets credit for purchases?
post #8 of 130
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocHolliday View Post

Roetzel has a new one out that's more "how-to" than his last. I prefer "Gentleman," but some may find the new one more useful.

I like 'Gentleman' for eye candy, but it's more kind of a list of the different kinds of classic menswear garments and outstanding makers than a how-to of what to wear together or for what occasion or for a given complexion or body type, etc....
post #9 of 130

what i got from "dressing the man" was more or less, "proportion and color" takes top priority. 

 

I will have to check out some of the others on the list.

 

anyone willing to list them in order of "helpfulness"?  biggrin.gif

post #10 of 130
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dustinmyself View Post


anyone willing to list them in order of "helpfulness"?  biggrin.gif

I think we should keep the OP just a list, possibly separated into categories (I will have to look more into some of these before being able to do that), without making any value judgments about the books, although I reserve the right to remove or not include suggest books if I think they are unhelpful.

I encourage the use of the thread as a discussion area for the books though - for instance, "what does Flusser mean when he says...?" or "I found this book particularly helpful for color coordination..." or "What book will give me the best history of the drape cut?" etc....
post #11 of 130
I suggest separating this into categories.

There are books here for those who are interested in the history of men's clothing, books for those interested in style icons, books for those who are just looking for very practical guides on how to dress well, and books for those who are interested in technical things.

To be sure, many of these books overlap. Few of these are "one thing," but rather a mix of the aforementioned. I'm not sure how you can get around that problem besides stating it up front and categorizing each by its general "spirit."

You'll have to ask Fok for the affiliate link. And yes, when someone clicks on the link and buys a book, SF gets some small percentage of the sale.

I'm too lazy to, but someone really ought to go through and provide links to Etutee's London Lounge guides. They are some of the best things ever written on this subject.
post #12 of 130
Thread Starter 
Well here's a link to his profile, from which it's not too hard to find his posts:

http://thelondonlounge.net/forum/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=112&sid=7b9dd5fb6ad569a0d67367193844ae43

I read them all but it's been a while. Agreed on the categories though - it'll take me a little bit, but I will try and bring some order to the list.
post #13 of 130
Thread Starter 
Just one more note on the purpose of the thread - I think it's clear why I wouldn't want to rank in terms of usefulness. The point of this thread is not to tell newbies what books to read. It's to:

- present the universe of books that could be helpful, whether you're new to tailored clothing, considering your first bespoke order, or a veteran clothes horse
- again in the OP, give an idea of what kind of information each book has, through categorization and perhaps a VERY short, non-judgmental statement about the contents of each book, so that you have a nice centralized tool to help you decide which books to read
- provide a space to discuss books on clothing
post #14 of 130
great thread
post #15 of 130
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