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One of the Classic Essentials that Every Man Should Have
on April 24, 2006
This book is widely regarded as something of a classic - and for good reason. Of all books on the subject it is the most encyclopaedic in thoroughly covering everything from shaving, to suits, to sportswear, knitwear, dressing gowns and much more. The whole book is crammed with succinctly presented information from start to finish that it becomes a perfect reference book to keep on the shelf.
For many people the question will be whether to choose this or Allan Flusser's 'Dressing the Man'. The answer is really that they serve different purposes. If you quickly want to know how to look your best for a job interview in a suit then go for Flusser, as his book best explains suits in greater details and better still, tells you how to coordinate it with the shirt and tie. Roetzel tends to be more segmented and tells you less about how to coordinate the different items.
However, Roetzel great strength is that he has countless little tips jam-packed into his book that Flusser never touches on. One point at which Roetzel thoroughly surpasses Flusser is in his section on shoes, which is by far and away superior. The plethora of full colour photographs of different shoe types and on what occassion they should be worn has superior clarity to the brief and poorly illustrated overview dealt the topic by Flusser. Other places that Roetzel surpasses Flusser is his discussion on items such as sport coats, overcoats, socks, as well as extremely useful tips such as how to fold a suit jacket when travelling, and even the best way to iron a shirt.
One point worth mentioning is that the book is orientated towards an English ideal of what a 'gentleman' is. However, the book was originally written in German and also so gives a good continental perspective on how the French, German and Italians have adopted English fashion. Of course the likes of Ralph Lauren and Alan Flusser still strive to recreate the classical English look to the point that these Americans strive for an ideal more English than the English themselves. What you will read here is therefore perfectly adaptable to New England in the United States and unless you are a Southerner in your seersucker or linen suit there will be precious little that fails to translate into an American setting. Also Ivy League looks do get a bit of mention and are not completely neglected.