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Definitive "Books on Menswear" Thread

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by unbelragazzo, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. Frankie22

    Frankie22 Senior member

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    Just finished le snob. A nice easy read.
     
  2. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    Curious, are you keeping such books out because of their self-promotional/ commercial nature? I actually find vanity books to be sometimes the most interesting. Nick Foulkes' essays in Rubinacci's book, for example, are rare and delightful readings on the subject of Neapolitan tailoring.

    Incidentally, James Sherwood is coming out with a new book, titled The Perfect Gentleman. Might be worth including.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
  3. AeroCarl

    AeroCarl Member

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    That book wasn't what I expected. I thought it was going to be a primer on classic men's style combined with a refined and realistic take on modern etiquette. Maybe some girl advice thrown in here and there. I bought it almost right when it came out so it's been a while since I've read it, but as I recall O'Brien seemed to dance around his points and really only took an active voice on a few subjects. It ended up being less of a "how-to" and more of a "Glenn O'Brien's musings on masculinity in the 21st century." Not that this is a bad thing - it was still an interesting and entertaining read - but does it belong on the list? If it does, I'd file it under the "Weekend Reading" section.

    [​IMG]
    Now I know :).
     
  4. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    Subscribed! Excellent thread and thank you.
     
  5. Oli2012

    Oli2012 Senior member

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    Gut instinct I'm going with The Suit - safe bet?
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Internet Bigtimer and Most Popular Man on Campus Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Prenominating the "Billionaire" compendium.
     
  7. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Sorry Derek I either didn't see this earlier or meant to respond and forgot. At first I thought 1) I didn't want to include just pages of ad copy, as the potential for exaggeration or misinformation is higher, 2) the main function of the list would be to help those new to the forum and tailored clothing gain a foothold, and 3) I didn't want to get into pissing matches about if a book belonged (like, say, books on Prada or Armani). I'm now somewhat starting to reconsider though. Maybe just put them in a separate category to make clear what they are?


    One thing to keep in mind if you're planning to make the suit the ONLY book you read - there are no pictures. I think there are a few illustrations, but no photographs. So be sure to come back to SF to find examples of the concepts you see discussed in the book. This is entertaining:

    http://www.styleforum.net/t/166861/the-suit-by-manton-an-online-illustrated-companion-group-effort


    :rotflmao:

    I'm traveling now, will do some thread editing later this weekend to get that Vass book on the list. Also, let me encourage once again any discussion of content in these books. Just read one and you want to discuss it or see what someone else thought? Confused about a technical point? Post in here.
     
  8. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    I think that could work.

    I personally wouldn't worry about whether Armani or something makes the list. First, groupthink on this board is strong enough that certain brands will never really make it into this thread. Whether that's a good or bad thing is kind of another issue. Second, I don't see any harm with Armani making it on. Personally, I think a good book on the history of Armani would make for a great read. How many books do we need on here to cover what Flusser, Roetzel, and Manton have already said? The introduction stuff is terribly boring after a certain point.

    Speaking of books more interesting than the rehashing of Flusser/ Roetzel/ Manton, I recommend adding Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster to the list.

    Oh, and This is Donegal Tweed by Judith Hoad.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2012
  9. dustinmyself

    dustinmyself Senior member

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  10. davesmith

    davesmith Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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  11. dustinmyself

    dustinmyself Senior member

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  12. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I just got a bunch of books in th mail. Early reports: Storey's History of Fashion reads more like SF 101 for a pre-war English gentleman. For instance, he proclaims a morning coat an absolute necessity, along with detachable collar shirts. He recommends pretty much bespoke everything. It's entertaining at times, but it's not really written as a history of fashion nor are its prescriptions relevant for 99.9% of men in the Western world.

    Amies's ABC of Fashion is often entertaining and a light read but it's really organized as a dictionary of terms. It doesn't give a narrative or comprehensive vision needed for an "intro text". So I'm moving it.

    Handmade shoes for men (the vass book) is outstanding. Great information, great pictures, well written, easily available and not too expensive. Must have for anyone with interest in the subject.
     
    1 person likes this.
  13. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    Just ordered Ready-Made Democracy by Michael Zakim. I've read a few essays by him, and they've always been good. This seems worthwhile for those who are interested in the history of men's dress as an academic topic, not just a "practical" one.
     
  14. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Looks interesting, D. Let us know what you think.
     
  15. Oli2012

    Oli2012 Senior member

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    I've read both The Suit by Anton and Dressing the Man by Flusser.

    If you're after some hard and fast rules for conventional office attire I'd definately go with Anton - his views are decidedly modern and more individual, but you'd probably need a very basic knowledge of suits and terminology before you started. Flusser's guide is more historical and more related to the dandification of formalwear and probably not worth the price, though it is a very beautiful book.
     
  16. fxh

    fxh Senior member

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    If you talk to Nicholas (NJS) you'll see he didn't want it to be called a history. He didn't choose the title the publishers did. And its meant to be, and is, a part of a trilogy. There is also a lot of sly humour in his books which seems to be lost on the literalist americans.

    I think a proper reading of Amies does give a coherent narrative. Again it's not written in the self help compulsive optimism style beloved by the USA mainstream. I'd disagree, that read properly, its a light read. It is, as you've already hinted, actually medium to advanced class, not beginner. Its a book that rewards rereading.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  17. dustinmyself

    dustinmyself Senior member

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    Has anyone read "elegant man"? I'd like to know if its a good read?

    Worthwhile to pick up?
     
  18. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    It's mostly useful as a reference guide to fabrics.

    Really, if someone is buying books just because they want to learn how to dress better, there's Flusser, Roetzel, and "Nicholas Antongiavanni." That's it. Beyond that, the other "how to" books get incredibly redundant. The interesting books at that point are more for hobbyist curiosity, IMO - people who want to learn about the history of men's dress, clothing construction, or maybe how men's dress relates to social issues, such as democracy, economic class, and citizenship.

    I received Esquire's Encyclopedia, Classic Tailoring Techniques for Men, Savile Row: An Illustrated History, and Ready-Made Democracy recently. All four seem to be excellent, but I'll write more later. I'd go as far as to say that Esquire's Encyclopedia is the best book on classic men's clothing I've ever come across. At least in terms of its simple history (not relating to social issues, of course).
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  19. clubman

    clubman Senior member

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    How true! Irony and tongue in cheek humour do not seem to be much evidenced or appreciated nowadays in the US of A, beyond the film Thank You For Smoking. Makes one wonder how Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel had such success! Maybe they ought to get out of the lavatories more and avoid taking snapshots of themselves in bog-room mirrors, in between schmoozing clients.
     
  20. NOBD

    NOBD Senior member

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    The Fairchild Encyclopedia of Menswear
    Mary Lisa Gavenas
     

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