Six of the Best

Let’s take a look at some of the weaponry in the well-presented man’s arsenal. While a well-stocked wardrobe might seem obvious & a well-appointed bar preferable; a well-rounded library is essential. For style is so much more than what you wear; your clothes merely the outward projection of something more basic, more elemental. How you feel & what you know should always be the foundation for how you choose to present yourself to the world.

True style can be likened to an education. This study never really stops, becoming a kind of perennial apprenticeship in the sartorial arts, with very, very few masters.  One starts by learning the ropes, grappling with the details, and studying those who have gone before, trying things on for size and gaining the confidence to make the right decisions for yourself. We learn by emulating, adapting and finally making things our own.

Instead of getting caught up in the hubris of message boards and “Fit-offs”, here at Timothy Everest, we recommend cracking open the books. At both of our stores, you will find shelves dedicated to the minutiae of menswear and the Satori of sartoria, so we thought it prudent to dust off half a dozen examples from our personal collections to act as jumping off points.

Six Of The Best: Men and Menswear Books

“Dressing The Man: Mastering The Art Of Permanent Fashion ” Alan Flusser, 2002

As close to the gospel of menswear as you are ever likely to find. Mr Flusser is a writer, designer and film costumier of much repute, and here he sets out the basic tenets for establishing your own personal look based on the central pillars of colour and proportion. Written with enough clarity and knowledge to win over the most ardent skeptic, he tackles the complete wardrobe from hat to shoe with wit, authority and the insight of a man who has dedicated his life to making men look better.

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“How To Be A Man: A Guide To Style And Behavior For The Modern Gentleman” Glenn O’Brien (2011)

While Mr O’Brien certainly spends time on telling you what to wear, this collection of his infamous advice columns from GQ Magazine spends more time explaining the hows and the whys. Beyond clothing, all manner of worldly counsel is offered, no subject untouched by his sardonic voice and jocular logic. A mandatory copy should be handed to all boys graduating school as a rite of passage.

Fun aside: O’Brien claimed it was his crotch that adorned the Andy Warhol designed cover of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Sticky Fingers’ LP.

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“The New English Dandy” Alice Cicolini (2005)

In this accompanying book to the 2003 exhibition “21st Century Dandy”, author Cicolini takes the menswear temperature of the new millennium, shedding equal light on the traditional and the avant-garde, the high brow and low lives, offering a fascinating snapshot of everything from the culture of the celebrity tailor, terrace boy flamboyance and the emerging culture of Shoreditch and East London. A wonderful snapshot of the personalities, brands and attitudes that still shape the way we dress today.

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“Men In Style: The Golden Age Of Fashion from Esquire” Woody Hochswender (1993)

The 1930s is often considered a Golden Age Of Menswear. Much of that well deserved reputation is down to the robust writing and elegant illustrations of Esquire magazine, launched in 1933. While writers like Hemingway and Dashiell Hammett provided a chronicle of the the times, artists like Laurence Fellows recorded what men wore to work, play sports and socialise in, democratising tips and looks previously the preserve of the upper echelons of society. Studying this compendium of articles from the early thirties through to the late forties, its breathtaking to see just how little has changed in what makes a man look his best.

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“Dressing Right” Charles Hix (1978)

Whereas Alan Flusser and Glenn O’Brien’s tomes cut through the trends and fleeting fads to settle on timeless truths, Charles Hix’s books of the late 70s offer a fascinating time capsule of luxury, decadence and more than a little unintentional hilarity. That aside, there is a lot to be said for lifting the rock on work like this truly of its time. You might stumble across some surprising detail discarded and left neglected by the modern gatekeepers of ‘good taste’.

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“Jocks And Nerds: Men’s Style In The Twentieth Century” Richard Martin & Harold Koda (1989) 

The book that inspired the British street style magazine, Jocks & Nerds categorises and assembles 100 years of modern menswear via a set of male archetypes: Alongside the aforementioned Jock & Nerd are the Worker, the Rebel, Military Man, Cowboy and Dandy and more. A novel and compelling way to highlight the breadth of diversity that make up the Vestiary world.