True Style: The History and Principles of Classic Menswear

True Style: The History and Principles of Classic Menswear

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 0465053998

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


From choosing the right pair of eyeglasses to properly coordinating a shirt, tie, and pocket square, getting dressed is an art to be mastered. Yet, how many of us just throw on, well, whatever each morning? How many understand the subtleties of selecting the right pair of socks or the most compatible patterns of our various garments—much less the history, imperatives, and importance of our choices?

In True Style, acclaimed fashion expert G. Bruce Boyer provides a crisp, indispensable primer for this daily ritual, cataloguing the essential elements of the male wardrobe and showing how best to employ them. In witty, stylish prose, Boyer breezes through classic items and traditions in menswear, detailing the evolution and best uses of fabrics like denim and linen, accoutrements like neckties and eyeglasses, and principles for combining patterns, colors, and textures. He enlightens readers about acceptable circumstances for donning a turtleneck, declaims the evils of wearing dress shoes without socks, and trumpets the virtues of sprezzatura, the artistry of concealing effort beneath a cloak of nonchalance.

With a gentle yet firm approach to the rules of dressing and an incredible working knowledge of the different items, styles, and principles of menswear, Boyer provides essential wardrobe guidance for the discriminating gentleman, explaining what true style looks like—and why.

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professional, business, and manufacturing class found no practicality in satin breeches and silver-buckled shoes and powdered wigs, and eventually sensed that there was not even any symbolic worth in such things, either. George “Beau” Brummell stands as a synecdoche for this shift, and much credit has been given him ever since for advancing the standard outfit of the business class: plain wool coat and trousers, white linen shirt, and necktie. Brummell’s great contribution to social history is

wearing clothes, and this is especially true of evening clothes, is to wear them as if you mean it, while at the same time giving the impression that it’s a natural grace. Not like some Prussian general on the reviewing stand, but the way Fred Astaire wore them. Elegant ease and natural assurance—that’s the way to wear evening dress. 9780465053995-text.indd 70 7/1/15 10:04 AM 10 EYEWEAR L et me state without undue equivocation: spectacles became popular in 1965. I have no great stake in

personality, while still being mindful of tradition. Any man, if he takes care, can attain a similar balance. Each of these men—if I may speak for them—also understands the rules of dressing without getting caught up in the myths. There are so many of the latter, after all, and so many of them make such little sense. This is of course something that fashion magazines usually don’t mention: why people wear what they wear and, more importantly, why they don’t wear certain things. I mean, there are

enough for air to circulate (to evaporate perspiration) 9780465053995-text.indd 122 7/1/15 10:04 AM Maintenance 123 for at least twenty-four hours; and (3) to store them properly in a closet or some other storage facility such as an armoire. On this last point, it pays to make the small investment in decent wooden hangers on which to rest tailored garments (knitted garments should never be hung; they should be folded) and in wooden shoe trees with which to maintain the shape of shoes.

black suits in order to maintain a minimum of disruption. This approach would also 9780465053995-text.indd 160 7/1/15 10:04 AM The Shoe-Hosiery-Trouser Nexus 161 recommend dark hosiery of approximately the same color and shade as the suit. Continuity and uniformity govern here, and not a bad thing either. It makes for neat dressing, foolproof— unless you’re color-blind—and entirely proper. The drawback is not that it’s devoid of personality; it’s merely boring for both the wearer and the

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