Definitive "Books on Menswear" Thread

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

  1. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012


  2. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    Is there anything different and valuable in Roetzel's new Guys' Guide to Style that is not to be found in the two editions of his Gentleman books? Those at my local B&N are plastic wrapped, and I've suspected that is more a less a condensation of his earlier stuff. Is this a false impression.
     


  3. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    No. To be honest, it's not even as good as his Gentleman book. Some new information, but very, very basic. Gentleman is much more sophisticated and informative.
     


  4. AeroCarl

    AeroCarl Member

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    I've found that "Gentleman" is centered around the history and lore of various men's clothing items. Although beautifully written and photographed, it isn't much of a "how to dress" book (and it's not intended to be). "A Guys Guide To Style", however, is a how-to guide and while worth owning, only covers the basics and thus doesn't contain any new information if you've already read The Suit or any of Flussers books.
     


  5. Sevier

    Sevier Member

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    Anyone know if there is a SW&D equivalent to this thread? Would be very keen to read books from that perspective too...
     


  6. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    I'd say that's a fair characterization. Again, after The Suit and Flusser, I'm not really sure there's that many more things that can be said about how to dress well. Though, I would say Gentleman does have some interesting bits about how to wear certain things. Not to be ignored. But past that, good menswear books tend to be for a hobbyist's interest.



    To my knowledge, there isn't, but I think someone should start one. I tried bringing the idea up a few times over at Random Fashion Thoughts, but to no avail.
     


  7. OldManMachine

    OldManMachine Well-Known Member

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  8. msulinski

    msulinski Senior member

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    I found Roetzel's "Gentleman: A Timeless Guide to Fashion" to be only OK. I didn't find the chapters on underwear and shaving to be necessary, and the brand whoring for Hermes annoyed me a bit. Why do Hermes ties and belts get their own special sections?
     


  9. OldManMachine

    OldManMachine Well-Known Member

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    Have you checked out any other book besides that one? If you did, which book would have been your first pick?
     


  10. msulinski

    msulinski Senior member

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    I've read Flusser's "Dressing the Man" and "The Suit." I recommend both of these over the Roetzel book.
     


  11. Ivar

    Ivar Senior member

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    I'm surprised so many of you find "The Suit" a good introductory book. I think it's more of an intermediate or advanced read: the esoteric terminology, the gimmicky prose style, and the lack of pictures all make it a pretty daunting book, even for the advanced reader. I find that a bit of a shame, since Manton has shown here and on other forums that he has it in him to express himself lucidly and pedagogically.

    It was a long time since I read "Dressing the Man", but from what I remember, Flusser's prose felt like reading some boring academic paper. He also dwelled far too much on the history of this and that, which I remember felt a bit wearisome and pointless to me as a rank beginner. (I would, however, probably enjoy those passages today.)

    My vote thus goes to Roetzel. But only for lack of better options.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012


  12. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    I guess it's hard to imagine reading a book as someone who cares little about clothing and knows even less. But I definitely wasn't bored reading Flusser. The lack of pictures in 'The Suit' makes it perhaps not the best choice for a sole source of information, but even accompanied with google searching and browsing of SF it gives you what you need to get started. Personally I find the stylistic stuff entertaining.
     


  13. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    That's a fair critique of The Suit. The lack of pictures does make it difficult if you're not already familiar with the subject. And given that Gentlemen is more of a hobbyist/ lifestyle book than purely just how to dress well, that leaves Flusser's. I suppose there's more room for one all-encompassing, "how to dress well" book than I thought.

    As an aside, Savile Row: An Illustrated History is turning out to be easily the best book on Savile Row I've read, and Esquire's Encyclopedia is probably the best book on the history of menswear in the 20th century. Not much academic analysis, if that's what you're looking for, but much more in line with the kinds of things people on this board enjoy. Straight history of various pieces and periods.

    Cabrera's Classic Tailoring Techniques is also very good. Helps clarify the nitty gritty of how something is made. Obviously not to be used to correct your tailor on anything, but if you're simply interested in the subject of tailoring as a non-professional, this is a great read. Every page has illustrations, so you can follow along.

    There ought to be more books on fabrics. Aside from The Elegant Man's section(s), I don't know what else is out there. Does anyone know if there's a book dedicated to the different types of fabrics and patterns used today?
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012


  14. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    Derek -
    If you don't mind telling us, how did you procure your copies of the Esq Enc and Cabrera's book? Is there some way to get lucky and find a copy for a reasonable price or is forking over a few hundred just the way it has to be?
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012


  15. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    Sometimes they'll come up on used books sites for less, but the Esquire piece will always be expensive.
     


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