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331 of 336 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the Best Book on the Subject
This is Mr. Flusser's best effort to date. This book is more akin to his "Clothes and the Man" than to his more recent "Style and the Man." Beware, that this book deals almost exclusively with suits, ties, shirts, and formal wear - there is a section on sportcoats but, this book will not be informative or helpful if you always dress casually.
The book has some...
Published on November 11, 2002

versus
91 of 106 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars There is a Better Source for Sartorial Splendor
Gentlemen, trust me. Fluisser's book is nicely photographed, but it is not the final word on correct dress. There is a better book, all around. It is by Bernhard Roetzel, and it is called, "Gentleman: A Timeless Fashion." I am an American who has traveled a great deal in Europe and Asia. Trust me, this is the textbook. You will find it on display in the...
Published on April 18, 2004 by K Culbertson


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331 of 336 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the Best Book on the Subject, November 11, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion (Hardcover)
This is Mr. Flusser's best effort to date. This book is more akin to his "Clothes and the Man" than to his more recent "Style and the Man." Beware, that this book deals almost exclusively with suits, ties, shirts, and formal wear - there is a section on sportcoats but, this book will not be informative or helpful if you always dress casually.
The book has some passages (maybe illustrations as well?) that are very similar to "Clothes and the Man" but still, there is plenty of new material. The book goes into detail regarding clothing coloring with respect to a person's complexion and also how to mix and match various fabric patterns (e.g., stripes with stripes, checks with checks, checks with stripes, etc.) The book is also very nicely illustrated with photographs and drawings. A very impressive book and quite comprehensive.
Though it would appear that Mr. Flusser has changed his opinion on some matters over the years (e.g., monograms), still the book and Mr. Flusser take a stand for traditionally styled clothing. This book is NOT for the trendy and NOT for those seeking to learn about modern fashion - it is about style, and conservative, traditional style at that. It's about the rules for why clothing should be the way it is - it explains the history of why mens' garments have developed in the way they have and accordingly sets forth the rule for their proper wear based on their history and origin (e.g., why dinner jackets should have peaked lapels, not notched; why formal wear trousers are NOT cuffed, why suit trousers are cuffed; the symmetry and proper fitting of suits, shirts, and trousers, etc.)
With respect to suits and formal wear, this is, in my humble opinion, the best book out there. Unlike, "Style and the Man" there is no detailed list of fine places to shop, the book is about setting forth the traditional rules for clothing and then allowing one to experiment from there, i.e., experiment once you have a firm foundation of knowledge. It's a fine book; voluminous, appealingly illustrated, and informative.
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73 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helps organize men's fashion, May 7, 2004
By 
This review is from: Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion (Hardcover)
When it comes to fashion, most men get nervous. Of course everybody wants to look nice, but isn't it complicated to know how to look good?
That's where I found this book to be especially helpful. Flusser's main point is that most of the elements of good style haven't really changed much at all in the last 75 years or so. Flusser asserts that the main goal of men's attire is to frame the body in order to display the man's face.
A great aspect about the book is that you only need to remember the "rules" for your specific skin tone/height/proportions. For instance, a man with gray/silver hair should wear silver/gray in his attire to properly frame his face, etc. Flusser also is very clear about how clothes should properly fit you, which is helpful when you are trying things on.
The illustrations and photographs (both new and classic) are remarkably well done and effectively portray Flusser's points (both good and bad examples). Other reviews here have pointed out some of the "doctoring" of the photos in some instances. I do see evidence of this, but I do not think it is really a substantive beef of the book.
Flusser's book certainly has some shortcomings. It mainly focuses on the men's suit and typical business dress. Although it does have a chapter on more casual dress (and the formal tuxedo), it is a small part of the book.
This is a great book for the man who wants to look nice. It covers a lot of details, from tying a tie properly to folding a handkerchief to wearing a tie clip. It's probably not for you if you wear jeans to work every day and only wear a suit two times a year.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of two indispensable titles for a menswear library, January 16, 2007
By 
James B. (San Francisco, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion (Hardcover)
After reading other reviews of this book, I requested it for the 2006 holidays and received it. I have read it cover to cover and am highly pleased overall. I offer the following plusses and minuses:

+ There are many photographs and illustrations showing proper fit, proportion, and style. Many of the photos are black and white, though this follows from the icons in them being from the first half of the 20th century - Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, The Duke of Windsor, and so on. There are recent color photographs also, including an excellent series on matching wardrobe color to different complexions.

+ This book points out many of the often mishandled details in menswear. Tailors at even good stores routinely hem a suit coat sleeve to the first thumb knuckle and leave the coat hanging halfway to your knees. The salesmen will recommend coats that bunch at the neck, and will steer anyone under 5 feet 8 inches away from double-breasted coats. This book shows that these faux pas are not merely blemishes but true style defects, yet easily repaired ones: show 1/2 inch of shirt cuff; hem your coat to be half your suit's visual height; find a proper fitting coat; and wear double-breasted if it fits well.

- Mr. Flusser, the author, never hesitates to state with a flourish that which can be stated neatly. Rather than say, to paraphrase, "A shirt with a white contrasting collar should have French cuffs, optionally also in contrasting white; button cuffs are not dressy enough," he uses twice the verbiage painting images of star-crossed sartorial lovers. It's a minor nuisance.

- It is occasionally difficult to decipher the men's clothing history lesson from the modern men's clothing advice. This is especially difficult in the sport coat chapter.

The other indispensable title for a menswear library is, appropriately, "The Indispensable Guide to Classic Men's Clothing" by Sulavik and Karlen. It specifically solves both minuses.

For "Dressing the Man," do not let two plusses against two minuses render you ambivalent. This book holds the advice to greatly improve a man's wardrobe and personal style, and to help him ignore disposable fashion in the process.
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87 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True to the Twin Pivots: Proportion and Color, June 15, 2004
By 
Craig L. Howe (Darien, CT United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion (Hardcover)
As a web developer, I have recently had a run of men's custom tailoring customers. I found myself looking for an encyclopedic source of styling details and fashion fundamentals.
In my mind the name Alan Flusser is synonymous with taste and style. This book gave me everything I needed to build websites designed to appeal to the male buyer of custom suits and shirts. Unlike the fashion buyer, Flusser believes permanent fashion starts with being accountable to a personal set of physical characteristics.
The custom buyer's face's shape, neck's height, shoulder's width, arm's length and torso's structure, and the foot's size remain relatively constant. Once he relates the permanent fashion's fundamentals to his physique and complexion, he is on his way to building a stylish, cost-effective wardrobe that will withstand fashion's seasonable vagaries.
This book contains a large collection of photographs of stylish men. These vintage photographs illustrate the range and diversity of authentic men's fashion. Along the way, magnitude of options will equip the reader with both the vocabulary and options required to build a custom wardrobe. There is even a glossary at the end of the book to help with the journey.
My needs were unique, I admit. This book equipped me with the knowledge, detail and options required to build a website that appeals to buyers and the purveyors of custom men's clothing.
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91 of 106 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars There is a Better Source for Sartorial Splendor, April 18, 2004
By 
K Culbertson (Greensboro, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion (Hardcover)
Gentlemen, trust me. Fluisser's book is nicely photographed, but it is not the final word on correct dress. There is a better book, all around. It is by Bernhard Roetzel, and it is called, "Gentleman: A Timeless Fashion." I am an American who has traveled a great deal in Europe and Asia. Trust me, this is the textbook. You will find it on display in the epicenters of finality regarding man's dress, Bond Street, Savile Row, London. The photos are great, and the advice given by Roetzel is, unlike Flusser, not ethnocentric to America. It works like crazy in America, but also works in other countries. Flusser is a Hollywood maven. Roetzel understands gentlemanly dress.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A guide to classic style, June 16, 2003
By 
Tacul (Boulder, CO United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion (Hardcover)
This book is aimed at building a classic wardrobe. There is a short chapter in the back which addresses "business casual" dress, but the primary focus is on more formal business clothing such as suits, dress shirts, ties, oxford shoes, etc. For anyone who has occasion to wear a suit and tie, this book is very useful. If you don't own a suit and only wear a tie once or twice a year, then this book is likely a waste of time.
Some of the most useful sections of this book are on selecting colors and clothing shapes which match your coloring and body type. This is a concept that has been around a long time, but Mr. Flusser addresses it simply and usefully without the cute and artificially complex winter-summer-spring-fall gimicks that other authors have utilized.
The book focuses on quality tailoring and achieving a balanced, timeless look through high quality clothing that fits and harmonizes. This book, and Bernhard Roetzel's book, Gentleman, are probably the two best books on the subject of classic style. It is a good investment for a man who wishes to raise his style up a notch or two.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading and referencing, April 27, 2004
By 
Duane Gran (Charlottesville, VA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion (Hardcover)
There aren't many books that give classic and trustworthy clothing advice for men, but I wish there were more. The book has made me a better dresser and it has helped me to avoid making bad purchases, but I do have a few issues to raise:
* The author writes fluent prose, but sometimes it feels as though the author enjoys his quill a bit much
* As others point out, the color photos are rife with error and it is inexcusable
* While bespoke fashion is ideal (I own a little), most readers would be better served by some advice on how to properly fit a garment from the rack. The author gives only brief mention of this purchasing option and I got the feeling that he considers any suit not made on Saville Row to be rubbish.
* I found his mention of cuff links to be cursory. Flusser admonishes that a real cuff link is jeweled on both sides, but when is the last time you ever saw this? He could have at least given some tips on selecting quality single sided cuff links, because they vary greatly in quality.
I do indeed like the book, but in addition to learning about fashion I wanted to learn about how to make due without breaking the bank. In a future revision I hope the author includes some mention of practical, yet dignified, clothing choices.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Foundation for Dressing, December 15, 2004
This review is from: Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion (Hardcover)
A lot has been writen about Flusser and his books, and I won't go into all the details or critiques often given. I would just like to say that this book is probably one of the best foundational sartorial tomes one can get in this modern time. It brings about a nice harmony of the classic things that never go away, while melding them with modern styles - while not giving up classic good looks. And I think that from this foundational information, anyone who takes their dress serious can then spring from this foundation and derive their own signature style, while maintaining the elements of classic good looks. It's all about being oneself, and one must know the rules before they can break them (and get away with it without looking like a trendy fool). This book paves the way for sartorial growth.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great reference for the man who truly cares, August 15, 2003
This review is from: Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion (Hardcover)
Alan Flusser is a national treasure, and "Dressing the Man," along with his earlier book "Clothes and the Man," is a valuable guide for the man who is interested in discovering the principles of classic male style and applying them in his life. Through a wealth of photos and informed commentary, Flusser explains those principles, lays out the "How" and -- more importantly -- the "Why," and even assembles about as comprehensive a glossary as any man not a top-of-the-line tailor is ever likely to need. Some of the ideas, such as how to pair multiple patterns, aren't for beginners. But any man who studies this book and takes the ideas in it to heart will do himself credit, and be a definite improvement to the overall menswear landscape.
That's not to say this book is perfect. First, there's the semantic problem in the subtitle, "Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion." "Permanent fashion," is, of course, an oxymoron. And as I believe he noted in "Clothes and the Man," the principles and approaches he outlines here are rooted in timeless *style,* not changing fashion.
More important is the issue of the manipulated photos on pages 26-31. Even before I had told her about the reviews on this page mentioning the obvious doctoring of these images, my wife noted that there was something fishy going on. Her theory had to do with the processing techniques, not the lighting, but the point is the same: there's some publishing trickery going on in an attempt to emphasize the arguments Flusser is making about the effects of various styles of dress. I'm reluctant to hold Flusser himself responsible for this, but it is disappointing that someone resorted to such an obvious trick in order to make the author's point.
Still, however, those are only six pages out of more than 300, and don't mar the overall quality and usefulness of the work. If Amazon.com allowed partial stars in its ratings, I'd give this book four and a half, or even four and three-quarters. The copy I studied was a borrowed one, and now it's on my Wish List so I can have a copy of my own. I'm sure it will be a standard reference for years to come.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Permanent Fashion, February 6, 2003
By 
Brian (Front Royal, VA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion (Hardcover)
Alan Flusser states in his foreword "The linking of permanent with fashion may well strike many as an oxymoron. Particularly today, when fashion is taken to mean a commitment to risk and change, mating it with the idea of permenance is bound to cause confusion, if not downright controversy. This is not an oversight but rather an attempt to provoke the inquiring mind."
Flusser concentrates on the importance of the silhouette and emphasizes the idea of clothing as being an extension of one's self, in direct contrast with popular men's wear designers of today, who instead force the man to conform to certain standards by means of premade and prefitted clothing.
Flusser goes into great detail about which colors and shapes will bring out the best in the man, with examples for all skin, facial, and hair types. He includes a wealth of examples to demonstrate the power of a correctly picked suit and its effect on the height, girth, and skin color, and how to maximize one's benefits and how to maintain an even, balanced look.
For one looking to move up to a higher level of sartorial sophistication, Flusser takes the reader through multiple pattern mixing, and advising how to correctly match shirts with ties, belts with shoes, and how to properly wear pocket handkerchiefs and suspenders.
This review only touches on some of the larger parts of the book. The book goes into great detail about the history of men's fashion, and how preferences for colors and materials have evolved through time. I was very pleased to find the book extremely well written and intelligent throughout. I recommend this book to anyone who cares about bettering the way one looks.
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Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion
Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion by Alan J. Flusser (Hardcover - October 1, 2002)
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