Style Library [Part 1]

Words by: Andrew Hodges

Over the years I have collected a number of books on men’s style. Following is a list of some of my favorites (in no particular order).

Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion, Alan Flusser (2002). This 305 page tome is one of my all-time favorites. It is full of photographs and old Esquire illustrations. Flusser covers the full spectrum of men’s style. The book includes chapters on color, proportion, and pattern. Each category of men’s clothing has a chapter including ones on suits, odd jackets, trousers and waistcoats, dress shirts, neckwear, socks, shoes, accessories, formal wear and business casual.

Style & the Man, Alan Flusser (2010). This book was updated in 2010. It is essentially a small watered-down version of Dressing the Man without the great pictures and illustrations. Flusser packs a lot of information into 137 pages, but I still prefer Dressing the Man.

Eminently Suitable: The Elements of Style in Business Attire, G. Bruce Boyer (1990). In this book Boyer dispenses history and advice on dressing for business. Although this book is over 20 years old, the content is still relevant today.

The London Cut: Savile Row Besoke Tailoring, James Sherwood (2007). An investigation into the houses on Savile Row. The book includes a nice collection of images of famous men and women in their Savile Row tailored clothing.

Men’s Wardrobe, Kim Johnson Gross, Jeff Stone & Woody Hochswender (2000). This book does a great job of showing how to put together different outfits using a few core articles of clothing. For instance, one photo spread shows three different outfits built around a stone-colored cotton suit. In the first photo the suit is coupled with a blue dress shirt, bow tie, and London tan shoes, belt and briefcase. For golfing with a client, the suit pants are paired with a yellow polo shirt, golf shoes and a hat. For casual Friday, the suit jacket is paired with dark blue jeans, a white t-shirt, tennis shoes and a canvas messenger bag.

Gentleman: A Timeless Fashion, Bernhard Roetzel (1999). This big book is full of good information and lots of nice pictures. This is probably my second favorite book behind Dressing the Man.

Dressing in the Dark: Lessons in Men’s Style from the Movies, Marion Maneker (2002). This book is light on style advice, but contains a wealth of photos of film celebrities in various states of dress.

Sharp Suits, Eric Musgrave (2009). I wish this book had more classic style images, and fewer of rock stars in outlandish suits. Nevertheless, the book has enough valuable content to make it worthwhile.

The Suit: A Machiavellian Approach to Men’s Style, Nicholas Antongiavanni (2006). Michael Anton, writing under his Italian pseudonym, offers one of the most unique books on men’s style. Anton’s book is a parody of Machiavelli’s The Prince. But instead of being a book on how to rule, The Suit is a book on how to dress.

If I have failed to list one of your favorite style books, please post in the comments. I might have to add it to my library. Next week I’ll share a list of books in my library that were not worth the money.