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Men's Style: The Thinking Man's Guide to Dress [Anglais] [Relié]

Russell Smith , Edwin Fotheringham

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Description de l'ouvrage

3 avril 2007
Men’s Style is a personal and knowledgeable compendium of tasteful advice for the thinking man on how to dress and shop for clothes in a world of conflicting fashion imperatives. This sophisticated and witty book by the popular Globe and Mail columnist combines nuggets of history and the sociology of masculine attire with a practical and supremely useful guide to achieving an elegant and affordable wardrobe for work and play.

In chapters and amusing sidebars on shoes, suits, shirts and ties, formal and casual wear, underwear and swimsuits, cufflinks and watches, coats, hats, and scarves, Russell Smith steers a confident course between the hazards of blandness and vulgarity to articulate a philosophy of dress that can take you anywhere. He tells you what the rules are for looking the part at the office, a formal function, or the hippest party, and when you can toss those rules aside.

Men’s Style is supplemented throughout with fifty black-and-white illustrations and diagrams by illustrator Edwin Fotheringham.
--Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

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All the world is not, of course, a stage, but the crucial ways in which it ­isn’t are not easy to specify.

You need one. I ­don’t care if you work in your basement. I ­don’t care if you’re an artist. A grown-­up man needs at least one suit for special events. And once you have one, a good one which fits you and ­doesn’t make you feel constricted and displayed like a prize cake, you will wonder why all your clothes ­aren’t suits. You will want to buy three more. The standard men’s uniform of loose but sober jacket and trousers is a remarkable con­fidence-­giving garment: people will treat you differently when you are in a suit; they will look at you differently, they will ask your opinion, they will expect you to take care of trouble.

Women like men in suits. They may tell you other­wise — particularly if they are associated with a university in some way, or artists. Academics and students in, say, English, or philosophy, may squeal with disgust at the idea of a “dressed-­up man”; artists will giggle, as if the idea is just embarrassing. This is because in these circles to admit attraction to a man in a suit is to betray the solidarity of one’s working-­class comrades and to delay the inevitable revolution. “Suit” is synonymous with “fascist baby-­eater,” or at the very least “insensitive boor” or “uptight suburbanite.”

Obviously the honest expression of aesthetic response and/or sexual desire in these circles is not going to be exactly unfettered. In other words, ­don’t believe a word of it.

I have found that there is almost no woman, no matter how many pairs of Birkenstocks she owns, no matter how devoted to her organic garden, who does not react with some slight tremor of the heart, some mild increase in blood pressure and dilation of the pupils, on seeing a man — particularly her own man — emerging from a cocoon of olive cotton and stepping forward in the sober costume of authority, his shoulders squared, his posture righted, with crisp collar and cuffs.

Part of the bad rap of suits, among bohemian men and women alike, is that our ostensible nonconformists never seem to picture good suits. They always imagine bad ones: the ones their dad or their first husband wore to tense family events; they picture green double-­breasted ones, or pale grey pinstripes with a waistcoat and slightly flared trousers, all of them hot and stiff and shiny and looking like faded posters for movies set in Atlantic City in the eighties.

I have often taken men, highly resistant men, shopping for their first grown-­up suit. They have tended to be artistic types, writers usually, who have managed to make it well into their thirties without leaving their teenage uniform of jeans and running shoes, and who on occasion have never even learned to tie a tie. Each required a new suit for a special occasion (a wedding, an interview, a book tour), but I think each had also come to a stage in his career that made the suit symbolic of a decision to embrace a new kind of life, a life of success that would have a public component. In short, adulthood.

The procedure was for them fraught with misgivings both ideological and aesthetic. Several of them had old suits hanging in their closets, suits which they had been forced to buy by parents or bosses in previous lives (double-­breasted and green) and which they felt they had to wear, like a kind of absurd, lit-­up party hat, as one of the penances of certain excruciating obligatory events, such as weddings or graduations or Easter church services. They thought — consciously or not — that suits had to be rather tight and hot and itchy and that they had to be unfashionable and, bafflingly, that they had to be in pale colours. The first-­time suit buyer nervously gravitates for some reason toward dove grey and beige. I suspect that this comes out of a fear of formality. My guys felt, instinctively, that a lighter-­coloured suit was a kind of compromise, and that it was more youthful. Charcoal and navy, they thought, were “bankers’ colours,” colours that a young man ­doesn’t feel he can carry off without being rich and grey-­haired.

They could not have been more wrong, of course. If you are buying only one suit, that suit must be versatile, and a pale suit is only wearable in summer, which is not a long season in most of the G8 nations. You can, on the other hand, buy an extremely lightweight navy suit that is wearable year-­round, and you can haul it out for cocktail parties and funerals alike. My friends tended to think that navy was somehow square — until they saw themselves in navy by Boss or Armani or Paul Smith or John Varvatos or the more forward lines of Canali or Zegna. All that defiant contrariness goes away when they come out of the change ­room wearing both jacket and trousers (this is important — you have to see the whole thing) of a soft, lightweight, dark-­coloured new suit of elegant cut, with proper shoes, a white shirt, and a silver tie. They see this in the mirror and they are amazed. Their first expression is always one of surprise verging on shock; this quickly changes to a wide smile. They realize that a new part of themselves has been discovered. They look manly but not old; confident but not conservative.

If the new suit fits you properly, you will not feel “dressed up.” It will not be constrictive or feel unnatural; it ­shouldn’t make you feel self-­conscious or delicate about how you stand or sit. You ­shouldn’t notice it. And neither should other people: they should notice you, how strong and fit and clever you’re looking. --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

Revue de presse

“Supersedes all other men’s style guides.”
Globe and Mail

“A sober and much needed guide to la mode masculine.”
Montreal Gazette

“A lively, witty yet sensible primer designed to educate North American men of all ages.”
Vancouver Sun

From the Trade Paperback edition. --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.3 étoiles sur 5  25 commentaires
28 internautes sur 29 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent guide for men's style 2 janvier 2008
Par Jeremy Schultz - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I read the local library's copy and just purchased a copy to keep. I read through several men's style books a couple months ago and I found this one to be the best. It covers all parts of the man's wardrobe (shoes, suits, shirts, ties, coats, etc.) and it's very well-versed on the history of men's style and where conventions of dress originated. It's not just a history lesson though, it has a lot to say about how to dress, how to look for quality, and what a man needs to build a versatile and tasteful wardrobe.
22 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Can I at least take the exam? 28 mars 2009
Par Andrew S. Rogers - Publié sur
Before reading this book, I would have flattered myself that I belonged in what Russell Smith calls the "Advanced Class" -- men who know enough about the basics of men's style to be able to bend the rules a little in order to display more personality, yet not transgress the bounds of elegance, masculinity, and taste. Having read Mr. Smith's entertaining, intelligent, and opinionated book, though, now I'm not so sure. After all, one of the author's standing jokes is about men who wear double-breasted green suits. I have one in my closet, not far from shirts with button-down collars and/or monograms on the sleeve, all of which he dislikes. He believes fedoras (which I've recently taken to) are usually a bad idea, and cowboy boots (I own two pairs -- I'm from Texas), always one.

So while the author might not grade my style too highly, I am happy to give his a high grade indeed. "Men's Style" is a very well-written and argued book. It makes the case for taking style and how you present yourself seriously (which in fact is one of the best and most useful things about this book, since so many men do not seem to agree), while maintaining the sense of humor and eye for the personal that keeps the well-dressed man from coming off as soulless and corporate. It's a very fine line to walk, but "Men's Style" maintains this balance better than any such primer I've come across in some time.

Like those other guides, "Men's Style" goes into detail on fabrics for suits and shirts, how to polish your shoes, what tie knots to wear when, and all the other things books like this need to cover. But as I've said, this one stands apart not only for the author's distinctive prose, but also because he fits all these things into a confident and articulate intellectual case for not being afraid to take aesthetics seriously. Because this book is more opinionated than most of those other guides (I particularly liked his reminder that "button-down shirt" refers to a certain type of collar, not to shirts that button down the front, which are known as ... "shirts"), you'll probably find more to disagree with here than you would in, say, something by Alan Flusser. But as either an introductory guide or a refresher course for true members of the Advanced Class, "Men's Style" deserves to take its place in the fraternity of the best writing on men's clothing.
31 internautes sur 35 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 One's personal taste does not equal universal wisdom 17 octobre 2009
Par Monk24 - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
The interesting bits (and the reasons for the second star) is the technical information on the construction of shirts, shoes and suits. The irritating part is the patronising tone. The list of this Mr Smith disapproves of, disdains or despises is long and includes button down collars, fraternities, boat shoes, "newspaper men" and hats (yes, all hats) and he gets vitriolic on these. The list of things he likes is shorter: pocket squares and spread collars, British style in general and that of Prince Charles in particular. This is fine as an opinion, as a personal taste, but don't present it as universal wisdom.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 I keep coming back to R. Smith's book. It's a gem. 1 mars 2010
Par E. Noble - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I'm in my 30s & work in both the science & media industry in New York City. When I made the transition to really caring about how I dressed, I read Russell Smith's book along with several other style books for men. His writing is practical, unambiguous, insightful, and his choice to use few illustrations a welcomed relief for helping me form my own sense of style. His book just works for me.

Although I have read other books on men's style, I keep finding myself referring back to Smith's book whenever I or my friends (or family) pose questions about style, a clothing, or an event that requires dressing up. "Men's Style" is a gem. I highly recommend other guys to read it first before buying a whole bunch of other books on the same subject.
11 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Best Book I've Ever Read On This Topic 30 mars 2009
Par FateJacketX - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I've read a few books on the topic of men's and women's style and this one, in its subdued presentation, is by far the best.

It came to me with no cover, slightly used, and inviting in its pale, solid, blue exterior. From the first few pages it becomes evident that the author knows everything about which he writes. He lays down the laws of what to do and what not to do, all the while tirelessly praising the British as the be-alls-to-end-alls; the alphas and the omegas of fashion and style. It's referentially sycophantic and often a little awkward. If you can get past that, you're in for a great treat - a great bit of wealth through knowledge.

From slacks to shoes to skater boi shorts to dinner clothes to leather pants, this piece has it all. And for good measure, the author throws in little tidbits of trend and style history to help you understand just why you're taking an interest in the first place. Excellent, excellent book.

However, I have to add that I don't agree with everything the author says. He tends to open the otherwise cracked doors that separate man from the fem a little too widely. He often encourages men to do some pretty prissy things. See for yourself and judge.
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