12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 1998
This book is elegantly illustrated and shows the timelessness - some might say "sameness" - of men's fashion from the 1930s to the 1940s. This is the kind of book you don't lend to friends, because you'll never get it back. Speaking of which, does anyone have a copy to sell? I loaned mine to a friend - soon to be an ex-friend - and the book is out of print.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2002
This book should NOT be out of print. Based on Esquire's coverage of fashion in the '30s and '40s, it not only shows how little men's fashion has changed over the years but also WHY the male of the species is so adverse to radical innovation.
Mr. Hochswender is, arguably, the best living writer on this subject. Besides an encyclopedic knowledge of the field, his style, witty and easy to comprehend, makes for a great read.
If you can acquire this book somehow, please do it. You will have deeper insight not only into fashion but also into male behavior in general.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The beautiful illustrations of men's haberdashery produced for "Esquire" magazine between the 1930s and 50s by Laurence Fellows, Leslie Saalburg, and Robert Goodman remain vital references for men of classic tastes today. From Alan Flusser's great books to various menswear blogs, the attentive reader still encounters them all the time. That's what makes "Men in Style," assembled by Woody Hochswender, such an essential reference work ... and what makes it so unfortunate that available copies are evidently so hard to find.
While great for reference and education, though, what's surprising about "Men in Style" is how entertaining a read it is. That's because -- unlike many of the others who reproduce these images -- Hochswender has included the editorial copy that accompanied the illustrations as they appeared in the magazine. As a professional copywriter myself, it was a joy to read (as Hochswender describes it in his introduction) "the crisply explanatory writing, dictatorial without being annoying, [arising] from a time when standards of behavior were inextricably linked to conventions in clothes. The editors were extremely uncompromising in their point of view, but at least they had one." Arnold Gingrich, founding editor of "Esquire," apparently produced much of this copy himself in the early years, and is to be commended for his distinctive and entertaining voice.
If there's anything wrong with this book, it has to be that it's far too short. Hochswender had two or three decades worth of "Esquire" to work from, and I wish he had picked two or three times as many of these illustrations to include. Still, it's easy to tell someone else they should have worked harder, and I have no complaints with the outstanding work he did do. Among men who appreciate and try to maintain classic style -- a Nockian Remnant in a world where every day is "Casual Friday" -- "Men in Style" is a book to return to again and again for both spiritual uplift and practical application.