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Men's Fashion: The Complete Sourcebook Hardcover – December, 1996


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson (December 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500017255
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500017258
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.8 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #845,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Libraries never seem to have enough costume sources to satisfy performing arts students and faculty. Peacock's (Twentieth Century Fashion, LJ 11/1/93) latest book concentrates on men's fashion and accessories from roughly the French revolutionary era to the present (1789-1995). The 1000 colored line drawings are hand-rendered, showing a variety of front, side, and rear views of day wear, sportswear, evening wear, negligee, and underwear, as well as accessories and hairstyles. Brief biographies of designers, tailors, and outfitters and a bibliography of related books conclude the work. While a laudable effort, the book is vexing in its arrangement by 16 chronological periods rather than by category of dress, especially because the silhouetted call-outs with keyed descriptions are interspersed at eight chronological divisions. The result is a lot of time-consuming page flipping. Nonetheless, this is recommended for most costume collections.?P. Steven Thomas, Illinois State Univ. Lib., Normal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

It is a well-accepted fact that men's fashion evolves at a slower pace than women's. But from Peacock's colored illustrations and copious research of the years between 1790 and 1995, masculine clothing styles seem to change much more quickly than one might believe. This former BBC designer documents exemplary costumes, first with pictures, then by brief descriptive phrases. Even the fashion challenged can't help but trace transitions in men's apparel; court wear for the well-dressed gentleman disappears about 1829, and its substitute, sportswear and later leisure wear, quickly takes over. The more outrecostumes are also portrayed, from attire for pop star to punk and little-known British raver. Missing are chapters on the birth and death of such fashion oddities as spats and grunge jeans. Barbara Jacobs

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By E. Quon on April 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just a picture book? A GREAT picture book, with detailed captions to help you understand what you see.
Most fashion reference books have a few sketches or photos of men's attire for each 20-100 years or so. This book has dozens. For example, Day Wear 1897-1900 has 8 full sketches including shoes and accessories and another 8 for Day Wear 1900-1907. Then there's Sports & Leisure Wear and Evening Wear, Footwear and more.
I need to dress a man for a 1900 picnic. I turn to Day Wear and have quite a few choices. This allows me to select several that use garments I already have on hand and easily determine what other items would be appropriate--if bow ties are were worn or shoes have pointed toes, etc.
I got this book at the library, then couldn't function without it, so I had to buy it. There might be a book this useful for men's fashion after 1920, but I've never seen anything this helpful for any period before then.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sator on December 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Books on men's dress history of any quality are few and far between so it is a delight to find something a thorough as this one. Most of the time all you find are snippets of information in between the volumes of things written on women's fashion history but here at last is a book devoted entirely to men's dress. I know of no other book which has so many pictures as this one with so many eras being covered in this degree of detail. Some eras are covered better with the greatest strength probably the 18th to early 20th century with other periods being covered in less depth.

Illustrations are plenty in this book and as usual from this author each one is carefully researched and beautifully demonstrate the essential feature of each period's dress. One might complain that photographs might have been better but the problem is that limited examples of original clothing have survived or have done so only in poor condition. Museums are also reluctant to display many things because of the fragility of the items.

Of course you can complain about a lack of text too but that is to look a gift horse in the mouth. You can likewise also complain that regional variations in dress (England vs France vs Germany vs Italy vs Russia etc) are not covered and nor the difference between different social groups (based on profession and social class) throughout the ages. However if you put in full textural explanations about the social implications of dress in Shakesperean England or the pro-aristocratic significance of ruffled shirts in post-revolutionary France you would soon end up with an encyclopedia running several volumes. The fact is this book is as good as it gets until some publisher demonstrates a willingness to print such a massive undertaking. So give thanks that someone has published this gem in the meanwhile for it is truly excellent.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan R. Palma on November 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is the most fantastic book of gentlemen's vintage clothing that I have ever read. It is filled from cover to cover with detailed drawings, in both color and B&W, accompanied by a decription with every item shown in this great book.
Example, (the following has a detailed color drawing and reads as follows): Day Wear 1928. British. Single-breasted grey wool overcoat, wide lapels, inset sleeves with split cuffs, button trim, large patch-and-flap pockets, top-stitched edges and detail. Straight-cut trousers with turn-ups. Collar-attached shirt. Striped tie. Trilby hat. Two-tone leather brogues. Leather gloves. Walking Stick. The drawing that accompanies the above description is in color so that you may see the correct colors to be used.
This is a wonderful book and is a must have for any gentlemen interested in vintage clothing. It's a guide for having the clothes remade for your own personal everyday wear or for studying.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a VERY good book on the evolution of the clothing of the modern man and his three-piece suit. The book is separated into sections for ease of understanding: court dress, day dress, evening dress, sporting dress, sleepwear, etc.

One gets a good look at men's clothing since the end of the 18th century to the end of the 20th century.

A large drawback, however, are the highly stylised illustrations in the book. One gets the *details* of men's dress and the sense of colours, but no historical sources with which to make a comparison. This is very important to the scholar of historical clothing. In the silhouettes section featured in the book, the figures of the men shows the same hat silhouette through several decades of the 19th century. In fact, the shape of the hat (crown flare, height, etc.) changed drastically, esp. in the beginning of the 19th century century. For instance, no image is given to exemplify the look of the ideal hour-glass silhouette (wasp-waist) which was so essential to the fashionable man the 1830s and the 1840s.

This book would have been ideal if the illustrations had been accompanied by actual images from the periods depicted (from portraiture or photographs), including fashion plates. This would allow the reader to see the illustrated clothing and the overall *look* of the period and compare it to the "ideal" silhouette and appearance of the time depicted through their own eyes.

I would recommend this book for all scholars of men's fashion history but also recommend the use of actual pictorial references from history.
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