Perfect gift 3 - Style books

Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Always a good option for the chap who likes his clothes but is too difficult to actually buy clothes for (and the two things tend to go together) - there's a fairly large crop of style books out there, which range from the desperately earnest to the wry and self-aware, from the trite to the informative, and from the densely written to those who's main appeal is in their pictures. Here are a selection of my favourites, all of which have also been more thoroughly reviewed previously in the blog.

Debrett's Guide for the Modern Gentleman (full review)
Definitely a favourite, and one of the few that may actually contain some useful information even for those who prefer not to get their dress sense from a book. It covers a huge range of topics including how to order a suit from a tailor, a selection of home-decoration styles, and lists of must-have music, films and books. Its flaw is that it covers few of the topics in any real detail, but it's attractive, amusing and diverse, and may actually be of some help to someone about to leap into an unfamiliar situation like a weekend shooting party, or a Savile Row tailor.

Gentleman: A Timeless Guide to Fashion (full review)
More of a coffee-table book than a real guide, it's hard to quite figure out who would find this book genuinely useful except, perhaps, for a man who simultaneously won the lottery and was overcome by a powerful desire to develop the perfect male wardrobe. All the same, noone with an interest in clothes can fail to enjoy the detailed breakdown of every possible outfit and clothing type, nor to be suddenly struck by the feeling that their existing wardrobe is hopelessly inadequate.
Gentleman: A Timeless Guide to Fashion (Lifestyle)

Bespoke: Savile Row Ripped and Smoothed (full review)
Unlike the others, this is less of a coffee-table book and more of a read-in-a-single-sitting page-turner. If you have any interest in bespoke suits then you will find Richard Anderson's description of the techniques, secrets and characters of Savile Row absolutely fascinating. You will also crave a bespoke suit. Sorry about that.