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Esquire The Handbook of Style: A Man's Guide to Looking Good Hardcover – January 6, 2009


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Esquire The Handbook of Style: A Man's Guide to Looking Good + Details Men's Style Manual: The Ultimate Guide for Making Your Clothes Work for You + Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Hearst (January 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1588167461
  • ISBN-13: 978-1588167460
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Very good information.
Ricky R Jackson
A great gift idea for Christmas, Graduation, birthday!
C. Wenzel
A really good handbook to help you look good.
Gus Raya

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

157 of 167 people found the following review helpful By Gravenimages on November 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Solid, if quite general, information on basic mens style. The writing is good, occasionally snarky, and the advice offered will still be relevant several years from now. The layout is well put together and the celebrity images run from vintage to recent. And I disagree with other reviews dismissing this range as dated. There is a certain classicism represented in the choices, and I appreciate a restraint which avoids too many trendy faces that will be forgotten in a year or two.

Unfortunately what weakens this edition from four to three stars is the omission of any color photos. One cannot properly compare dark brown and black shoes in a B&W photo. A page that purports to guide the reader in pairing shirts, trousers, and jackets is ineffectual as a grayscale reproduction. Fashion in our daily lives always exists in full color, and any book claiming to be a style guide should mirror this reality.

The publisher should correct this in future editions.
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62 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Cesareo Tongco on January 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you like to dress up, then this book is for you. It is packed with valuable advice and is fully illustrated throughout. Chapters are intuitively chosen; the book starts by discussing the finer points of buying a suit. It then goes through shirts, pants, even personal care, and ends with a chapter on building a wardrobe. Each page is filled with tips, pictures of fashion icons, and notes for investing in your clothes. I personally found the Accessories chapter to be a fun read, especially since I am a fan of vintage watches and bow ties.

Are you old enough to know what the Preppy Handbook is? If so, this is an updated and less-snobbish version of the classic. In fact, this is the new Preppy Handbook, occasionally with a similar tongue-in-cheek approach. There are several other books in the market, but none are as easy to read as this. The focus is on men's clothes in general, not just suits and formal wear as in Alan Flusser's Dressing the Man. And though brands and specialty stores are mentioned, the emphasis is on how to distinguish well-made clothes, not just where to buy them.

Unlike other fashion books that will become outdated, this is one is not about trends, but really about style. You will pass this on to your sons in the future, so do them a favor and buy them one each. Give it the day they leave for college, or as an 18th birthday present.

If you read GQ or Esquire for their buying guides, do yourself a favor and pick up this book. It would take years of subscribing to magazines to come up with all the info between the covers.

Overall, an entertaining, informative, and essential guide for any man who cares about the way he looks.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Danno VINE VOICE on August 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Are you a man who simply wants to dress better without being mistaken for a metrosexual? If you are, this book is definitely something you can use. Divided into different bite-sized chapters, each packed with useful information and photos, the Esquire Handbook of Style is intended as an introduction to a world of classic men's style that is both elegant and masculine. While much of the material in here is recycled from various articles from Esquire magazine that you may have already read, it's great having it organized and in one place.

The focus is almost always on dressier clothing that white-collar professionals would wear to the office, as well as what to wear to the theater, restaurants, weekending, etc. We are repeatedly given the message that a modest amount of quality clothes chosen tastefully will serve us much better than a large number of cheap, trendy clothes. It's a message that many of us do need to hear over and over, because moderately-priced clothing stores often push cheaply manufactured knockoffs of current trends and leave us with the impression that unless we wear the very latest styles we look awful. The Esquire Handbook of Style takes a totally different approach, and shows not only how to determine quality in clothing before you buy, but also how versatile the basic building blocks of a man's wardrobe really are.

This is intended as a long-term reference book. Almost all the photos are of Golden Age Hollywood celebs such as Fred Astaire and Cary Grant. The binding, quality of paper, and the cover itself suggest that this is a book that you can use throughout your life. Indeed, it's so well-bound that you might mistake it for a vintage book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Acrophobe on March 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a decent style guide that I might recommend to someone who has no clue about how to dress well, or what constitutes a good wardrobe. It's a starting point, with some helpful information on shirts, suits, pants, shoes, coats, accessories, personal grooming, and tips on wardrobe maintenance, packing a suitcase, and so on. For someone with a moderate budget who needs to build a wardrobe from the ground up, the checklist type approach in the Esquire handbook could work well. The book is a convenient size, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to bring it with you on your next shopping trip.

That said, it's not a very good resource for someone who already has a working knowledge of menswear and who wants more detailed information, and there are some other issues worth mentioning. There are no color photographs, which should be a priority when color is so important to many of the parts of a wardrobe. Illustrations and photos are used interchangeably, but a few of the illustrations would work better as photos.

Some important things are glossed over or skipped entirely. In the shoe chapter, there is virtually no information on shoe construction. There are many different ways to make and identify a good shoe (and a bad one), but you wouldn't know it from this book. There is a two-sentence definition of goodyear welts, and that's about it. For garments, there is almost no information about fabrics, fabric weights, weaves or patterns. You'll know lots of cute little trivia about what kind of collars wall street bankers like to wear, but like the shoe chapter, you'll be left ignorant about what defines a well-made shirt. There are five pages dedicated to watches, but the book is very light on substantive information.
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