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Clothes and the Man: The Principles of Fine Men's Dress Hardcover – October 12, 1985


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"A sense of style is acquired," notes menswear designer Flusser (Making the Man), and "the ultimate aim of this book is to try to educate the reader about the basic principles of fine dressing." Through his overview of changes in men's fashions from the 1930s ("the height of elegance") to the present, and his discussion of the current styles of suits, shirts, shoes and accessories, the author attains his goal. There are tips on fit and color coordination, recommendations for appropriate wear for different occasions, clothing suggestions for other-than-average figures (playing down a full figure, drawing attention away from long legs, giving the illusion of height to a short man) and drawings that illustrate what Flusser decrees to be the right way to knot a tie or fold a handkerchief. A useful guide by an expert in the field. Author tour. October
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Villard Books; 1st edition (October 12, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394546237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394546230
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Unfortunately the book is out of print now...fairly easy to find on the net though!
Christopher W. Rimby
Like Dressing the Man : Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion, this book is a must-have for any person who has a passion for classic men clothing.
Dry
My son gave me a copy of this book several years ago and it has been a reference for me on well grooming for men.
Billy T. Lowe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Andrew S. Rogers VINE VOICE on April 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
If I say that this book changed my life, I should immediately qualify that by noting that I first read it about the time I graduated from college and was really setting out on my own for the first time. It really defined my sense of classic men's style, and gave me an appreciation, previously lacking, for -- and an ability to recognize -- a truly well-dressed man.
Alan Flusser, a dandy to the core, makes a great case for his argument that men's style (as distinct from "men's fashion" -- yuck) changes little over the decades. The "look" that worked for Fred Astaire or Cary Grant still works today. Tab collars, rounded collars, suspenders, monk straps, French cuffs, handkerchiefs (aka "pocket squares") no tassel loafers with suits! ... the man who absorbs "the principles of fine men's dress" presented here will be well armed to do battle with a world where "dressing down" has become the sad and sorry norm.
If, as Oscar Wilde said, "A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life," Alan Flusser will help you take a great many paces down that road. Take that step now! It may even change your life too.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
It is claimed above that this book ships within 4-6 weeks, but it is actually out of print -- I tried to order it several months ago and was unable to. I eventually bought a copy from an auction site.
If you manage to buy this book elsewhere, you'll find it a pleasure to read. It has been adequately summarized in other reviews, so I'll simply relate two features that I especially liked: first, a fold-out section with pictures describing various shirt fabrics; and second, Flusser's tips on quickly discriminating between quality and standard merchandise.
If you are interested in reading about fine men's clothing, I recommend Bernhard Roetzel's _Gentlemen: A Timeless Fashion_. It offers much the same information as Flusser's book and features color photographs on every page (Flusser's does not).
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is probably one of my two favorite books on Men's style, the other being Gentlemen Style by Bernhard Roetzel. This book has very useful information for male fashion basics and is well illustrated. It is devoted to true male classic style so don't look to it if you want trendy or the lastest. I would say it is a sigificanlty better book than Style and the Man by Flusser, though, the text of the two books is fairly dupliciative - this one is better illustrated and goes into more detail.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 10, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I have read this book several times with pleasure and refer to it often. (I even reached for it on my wedding day for advice on pocket squares.) Flusser combines detailed information about fabrics, tailoring, and color with his own wonderful sense of style, based on 1930s and '40s models that have remained classic. A beautiful book and well worth the price.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Flusser's Clothes and the Man is a must have for any person serious about menswear, and any man who cares about dressing well. But be warned: if you're looking for a book on fashion, look elsewhere, because this book concerns style, and the two are not the same. Once you read this book, shopping trips will never be the same.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Rob on November 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a quick, one-day read, but a lifetime keeper for reference.

Mr. Flusser covers all the essentials in detail: suit coats; suit trousers; sport coats; blazers; dress shirts; neckties; handkerchiefs; hose (socks); shoes; hats; and jewelery.

He covers sportswear such as cable-knit pullover sweaters and cardigans very briefly.

Mr. Flusser asserts the lines, look, and feel of all fine mens wear can be traced to the timespan of the 1930s - 1950s. This was the Golden Age of Hollywood when men dressed well (Cary Grant; Fred Astaire; Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.; Adolph Menjou; and England's Edward, Prince of Wales). Mr. Flusser's point is that if you want a suit that will not be out of date in five or ten years, ensure it is grounded in 1930s - 1950s style, with emphasis on the 1930s.

The only thing I disagreed with in the entire book was his reverence for the four-in-hand necktie knot in all settings. This knot is asymmetrical and does not belong in the boardroom or office. It is a knot that is to be worn casually to a club or in some other social setting. The Windsor or Half Windsor should be worn to the office.

This is somewhat a digression, but there is more to fine dressing than just the fabric against your body, or the leather upon your feet. Care must be taken to groom the hair inside your nose, so that it does not protrude outward. The hair on and in the ear must be cut. Nothing looks worse than looking at a man in fine clothes and seeing he has a thick patch of hair growing out of each ear cavity. Andy Rooney eyebrows are also verboten. Hair, beards, moustaches, eyebrows, ears, nose, teeth...all of these must be groomed/maintained properly to accentuate the look of fine clothes.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I happened to watch a re-run of Shell's Wonderful World of Golf this morning featuring a match at a country club in Belgium during the 1950's. Former King Leopold was among the thirty well-dressed people observing the play, and most of the men could have walked up Park Avenue this year and been in style.

More useful than Flusser's later book, Clothes and the Man reminds us that, ignoring the excesses of the 1970's and the general absence of style in Silicon Valley in the 90's, the well dressed man evolves slowly. We may wear driving moccasins and eschew opera pumps in the new century, but the well turned out 1920's man is recognizeable today. That's important because it's the long lives of Anderson & Sheppard suits and Cleverly shoes that makes them attainable by people of less than extraordinary means. And, at least for me, the pleasure of proper fit and great fabrics is the reason to pay attention.
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