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Style guides

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I've never understood why so many treat so-called style gurus like Alan Flusser with such reference, constantly referring to his opinions as if they were holy scripture. I've read his books, and personally, I'm not all that impressed. I find his writing overly ornamented and his tone effete. It's as if he has purposefully parodied himself as a rather Niles Crane-ish pompous ass While I did find parts of the book interesting, Flusser's tone is extremely off-putting, and shis tyle has always seemed to me to be overly conservative and more than a little too stuffy for my tastes. And his obsession with the trappings of class and wealth (what, doesn't everyone have a tailor in Milan?) mark him out to be a social climber and, by definition, a little class-less. I'm interested in what you all thought of Style and the Man and his other books, or those of other so-called gurus? Personally, I would recommend you read historical perspectives like the new Giorgio Armani book by Celant (although that book has some rather annoying features too) which seek to explain the appeal of a certain designer or style rather that proselytizing a rather limited religion.
post #2 of 17
I agree about Flusser's books. I got into a bit of a dispute on the GQF with some guy there who sounded like a total shill for Flusser and considered anything out of the scope of Flusser's recommendations to be totally unallowable. While it is a good guideline for the beginner and does offer quite a bit of insight and history, it is also extremely opinionated, sometimes to absurdity. One of my favourite examples was the part about how there were three or four "proper" ways to fold a handkerchief, as if any other would violate some law carved in stone. He has other rules like that that are just ridiculous and many of his firm rules only apply in certain professional fields, climes and locales, which he neglects to mention. Mainly, he fails (at least in the work I've read) to emphasise or even suggest the development of a personal style, instead pounding dogma based on his own opinions. That is the major flaw in all his work, in my opinion.
post #3 of 17
Fashion books as such have been outmoded by the changes in the male fashion world. The main change is exactly that: change. Whereas a decade ago, when these books were suitable, mens fashion changed only slightly, what we have now is a fully functional fashion world akin to the other sex's. Because it changes so much, with new trends and styles emerging constantly, these 'fashion guru' books can't hope to keep up. If you need advice, either read the UK GQ's style guru, or Esquire UK's fashion guru (their american counterparts are like Flusser: too classic, and outmoded). Because they write monthly, their opinions are always up to date and derive directly from the contemporary vox pop. The books are good if you are going for an antiquated style such as the 'preppy' look (Preppy Handbook). If you try to stay up to date, read the fashion columns or come on the forum. --European Interloper
post #4 of 17
Gosh, Guys. As a gentleman, I don' feel free to chime in with opinions on Mr. Flusser. I'm not objective because I'm writing my own book. Would anyone like to review a chapter or two via e-mail to assess its quality, to make sure it's more relevant and focused to YOUR needs? I get it back from the editor in a week or so.... I consider myself an information provider. Any author who believes themselves to be more in the Internet Age is kidding themselves. You're only going to listen to what I have to say if it's relevant, short-winded, and useful to you. Is this correct? Steve B.
post #5 of 17
steve b i'd be interested in having look at your book. email me if you want
post #6 of 17
I would be very interested, too. You've my e-mail, Steve?
post #7 of 17
Steve B. send me your book. I can't wait to read it. As for other good "style" guides that more address an overall "younger" aspect, check out Maximum Style : Look Sharp and Feel Confident in Every Situation (Men's Health Life Improvement Guides) by Perry Garfinkel, Brian Chichester (Contributor), the Editors of Men's Health books. It an amazing guide with chapters on grooming, working out, confidence, etiquitte, style, shopping, etc. etc. It is a MUST read.
post #8 of 17
myself, i read and recommend Flusser and Boyer because they are the only ones out there that have the depth and knowledge (having done the research and invested the time) in style....not fashion, like many others, but genuine style that never really changes. comments about the books so far do ring true; a little pompus, etc. but i think they are still valuable resources for the man who wants to know basic rules and principles of how to dress, and how to buy basically timeless clothing. hell, if you think flusser is pompus, what did you think of roetzel's book? also a GREAT resource, but GEEZ did it get thick sometimes.
post #9 of 17
Steve B: I'd be interested in reading your book.
post #10 of 17
Guys: Thanks for the responses... As soon as I have it in acceptable electronic format, we'll talk (post) again.
post #11 of 17
This should be no longer than 2 weeks from now...
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
The_Foxx and all, I think that we need to define the difference between fashion and style. A lot of you are fond of saying that style never changes, while fashion is fleeting. I agree wholeheartedly, if and only if by style you mean the air of a man, his presence. In that case, the distinguishing characteristics of a stylish man have nothing to do with what he is actually wearing or how he looks. In fact, the "rules" to being stylish can be summed up rather concisely: Command respect. Style has no bearing on whether you prefer the fashion of Dolce & Gabbana or that of Gieves & Hawkes, though if you worry too much about what you are wearing, you are, ironically, probably not all that stylish. (Just look at Patrick Bateman.) P.S. To the high school student who stated in a GQ forum post that as long as his parents paid his credit card bills, he would keep on wearing Prada, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, etc... (the author actually listed his favorite designers) - You are definitely not stylish. I doubt that you have any self respect at all.
post #13 of 17
@ Steve B.: I'm looking forward to it...
post #14 of 17
To everyone, I'm sorry. My post was out of line because I thought that Flusser et al. were writing on Fashion, not style. I'm sure that everyone wrote that it was about style, but I must've not picked up on it. As such, a guide to style is useful to a degree, as many small things are more technique than anything else (how to match etc). The chief point, as LA Guy says, is command respect through your appearance. Again, my apologies. --European Interloper
post #15 of 17
Steve B. I would also be interested in reading your book. Thanks Vince
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