Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Handbook of Style

'm not the most voracious reader in the world; in fact I read few books at all.  So when I mention a book, take note - something extraordinary is going on here.

 I have a few books on the topic of men's style, and some of them are quite good.  However, this book is *absolutely outstanding* and definitely is worthy of some praise here.  The title is The Handbook of Style - A Man's Guide to Looking Good by the editorial team at Esquire Magazine, published by Hearst Books ©2009.

The first thing you'll note is the book itself - hardcover wrapped in grey cloth with the title embriodered in pink and white fabric in the style of a tag.  It is wonderfully bound.  But what really makes this book excel are a number of factors:

--It's easy to read; it's funny, at times downright hilarious.  Each chapter has the content and then sidebar notes and tips.  You can pretty much open to any page and be sure to have a good time.

--Funny is great, but it's really quite informative too.  I learned all kinds of useful factoids, like how to care for sport coats so they'll last forever, I learned (more) about what to look for in shirts and suits to determine actual quality, I learned about the lingo to use when talking to a barber to communicate what I want, and a myriad of other topics.

--The illustrations are great.  And easy to understand.  From tying various tie knots to bowties to understanding how down coats are constructed, it was beautifully communicated through pictures and illustrations.

--It covers bloody everything.  Well, most everything.  There was one topic I really wanted to find that didn't exist, but no worries.  You're reading Bouge Blog and I'll do the research and give you the scoop.

Some good quotes:
"Before you wash your jean shorts, pretreat them by throwing them away."
"The man who imparts opinions via T-shirt has neither the intelligence to form a cogent opinion nor the good sense to keep it to himself."
 [ On tying a sweater over your shoulders, nicknamed "The Thurston Howell III" ]:  "Why it's good: Surprisingly comfortable (seriously), and if tied loosely, it won't fray your sweater.  Why it's bad: People will think you look like an asshole, and there's a good chance they'll be right.  What you're telling people: 'I'd rather be in Nantucket.'"
Buy this book!  If it's the only one you own on the topic, this is the one to have.  It covers so many topics and styles, and you'll feel like a smarter, more discerning consumer when you read it.

--A

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