A trip can be a refreshing respite from the normalcy of a daily routine, but it also provides a great opportunity to catch up on some reading. We’ve become increasingly dependent on the instantaneous nature of the Internet but should be careful not to ignore the wealth of knowledge that exists in print. Here are a few suggestions to help you gain some stylistic knowledge, the old fashioned way.
Dressing the Man by Alan Flusser Simply put Dressing the Man is dense, in both weight and pure information. The book is packed with definitions, investigations, and explanations, making it an incredible reference tool on how to properly build a wardrobe for years to come.
Bespoke: The Men’s Style of Saville Row by James Sherwood Another book that will add some extra, but valuable, weight to your luggage, this tome provides an illustrated history of Saville Row. Written for anyone that appreciates tailoring, this book explores each Saville Row suiting house and the customers that frequented these establishments.
Guides to the Basics:
For those looking for less hefty, more fundamental reading material, there are several options out there. A few standouts include:
The Handbook of Style: A Man’s Guide to Looking Good Published by Esquire Written in the informal style that Esquire is known for, this book supplies an unpretentious explanation of essential terms to help guide the reader in basic style decisions.
Details Men’s Style Manual: The Ultimate Guide for Making Your Clothes Work for You This one takes a piece by piece approach, dividing each chapter into separate garments to educate the reader on choosing the right outfit for different scenarios.
A Gentleman Gets Dressed Up: What to Wear, When to Wear It, How to Wear It by John Bridges and Bryan Curtis A more formally oriented book in which the authors adhere to specific rules to describe how a gentleman would dress himself “from head to toe,” and for specific occasions.
When it comes to style, visualising is often times the easiest way to learn, and there is a considerable amount of material that falls within this category.
Icons of Men’s Style by Josh Sims Sims takes iconic photographs of film stars from yesteryear and elaborates on an individual item that each actor wore. Sims covers nearly every possible garment and provides not only a background on the item, but also illustrates how to wear it.
Take Ivy by Shosuke Ishizu, Toshiyuki Kurosu, Toshiyuki Kurosu, and Teruyoshi Hayashida First published in 1965 Take Ivy is a comprehensive collection of photographs taken on the campuses of American Ivy League universities. The images perfectly capture the style and attitude of early American prep. The sequel, Take 8 Ivy, came out this past year; these books together provide great inspiration for today by alluding to the past.
When discussing men’s style magazines, it’s tough to ignore the old standbys such as GQ, Esquire, and Details. That said, venturing outside of the American publication world can provide different perspectives to enhance your wardrobe. Some other options include:
Esquire UK This is in my opinion one of the best written magazines in the world. Taking an informative, yet casual style Esquire UK provides a clear-cut look into style from across the pond.
Inventory Magazine Published in Vancouver, Canada, Inventory may only be a handful of issues old, but it has already gained an impressive reputation thanks to its extensive content. Through interviews with well known designers Inventory gives a comprehensive look into how collections and brands are created.
Stepping beyond English…
The Italian cousin of GQ provides some insight into the intensive world of Italian menswear in a familiar format.
Free & Easy This is likely the most well known of Japanese menswear magazines, providing one the most thorough looks into contemporary Japanese style. The Japanese draw heavily on American influence and this is exemplified through the photo shoots that almost seem to encapsulate American style better than most Americans can.
Lightning A lesser known Japanese men’s magazine dedicated to everything vintage. Images of worn denim and leather boots are paired along side photos of Mcqueen and motorcycles, making Lightning an inspirational aid for the heritage crowd.
2nd Magazine a monthly product based publication is another great Japanese import. Featuring clear photographs of quality American products, 2nd Magazine captures the prep aesthetic and presents it beautifully.
Men’s Ex Easily my favorite magazine in the world, Men’s Ex thrives off of it’s comprehensive collection of street style photograph, or as they call it, “Snaps.” Covering everything from spreezed out Italians, to rugged Japanese youths, to Brunello Cucinelli to Mark McNairy, Men’s Ex is the ultimate in inspiration.