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The Suit: A Machiavellian Approach to Men's Style Hardcover – May 23, 2006

57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nicholas Antongiavanni is the nom de plum for a former speechwriter to President George W. Bush, New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani, and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. The author currently works for a powerful media mogul and lives in Westchester County, New York, with his wife and small child. A leading expert on men's tailoring, he owns more suits than he would care to admit.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; annotated edition edition (May 23, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060891866
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060891862
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #459,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 125 people found the following review helpful By Randall Couch on May 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A couple of months ago, the bespoke tailors of London's famed Savile Row, including directors of its most renowned and venerable firms, took to the street (most discreetly and properly, of course) to demonstrate against increases in rent and taxes that threaten this historic English institution. The rise in property-related costs is fueled in part by the desire of multinational fashion corporations to appropriate the prestige of this fabled address for their mass-produced, no-size-fits-any products. The Westminster City Council has responded with zoning plans and other recommendations to help the home of fine tailoring continue to flourish. Whether it can long withstand powerful institutions and market forces is another question.

This feeling that the barbarians are at the gate would have been familiar to the author of The Prince. Spain was newly united and expansionist, France was meddling again, and the great Lorenzo de'Medici was dead. Florence warred with itself as power swung from royalists to republicans and back. Machiavelli feared for the state's survival. Personally, he cared less for whom he worked, and more that he merely be allowed to serve his city. The advice in his little treatise emphasized that the man of virtú - the strong and effective individual - could change the course of history.

Nicholas Antongiavanni clearly sympathizes with this view. His delightful book stands with those who build (or want to build) a personal style based on good fit and one of several aesthetic traditions, rather than being at the mercy of corporate accountants, fickle designers, and depressing statistics about average body measurements.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By C. Franke on June 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Extremely clever and quite enjoyable... really a refreshing change of pace for those of us who like to read about Men's fashion.

Antongiavanni's dry wit might not be fully appreciated by those who are not devotees to the work of Machiavelli but the parody is hilarious to the well read gent with a grasp of matters sartorial.

How refreshing to see a book on mens clothing not targeted to the recent grad on his first interview!

Great read, well thought out and quite entertaining. Antongiavanni pulls off a neat trick by making the book entertaining and useful for those who HAVEN'T read Machiavelli while leaving those who have to marvel at his ability to parody such divergent topics. Well done!
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47 of 56 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Kessler on June 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am not a man, and I don't play one on T.V. but I could not put this book down. It is a great read even if you are not familiar with Machiavelli's Prince but, if you are, it is a pleasure of the highest order. My husband is not in any way familiar with Machiavelli (except through common ethnicity) but he found the advice most helpful on a recent shopping excusion. Antongiavanni presents a beaux ideal of what a well-dressed man should look like (taking into account as many particulars as can be examined--even down to deformities) and leaves the application of those rules up to the virtue of the reader. His rules are demanding but virtue is not an easy thing and no good thing is acquired without it. If you cannot accept all his rules or accomodate your virtue to every particular, you will still be a better dressed man for the effort. As a matter of social commentary, most readers will appreciate Antongiavanni's discussion of the difference between style and fashion--the former being the thing to emulate the latter being the thing to eschew. Read it and buy one for a friend. You will have given him (or even her) a better gift than gold.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A. Saleem on June 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Unlike, most other reviewers I am going to base this review on the fact if you have NOT yet read the Prince but are a devotee of sartorial arts.

I have not read the Prince and as such cannot compare its writing style. However, I will comment on its content. This is a book certainly aimed for (at least somewhat) advanced readers with a passion for fine men's apparel. The advice given in this book is top-rate & is in the very best of taste, though often it may appear (especially to new readers) as highly subjective or opinionated. The rules and laws explained in this book... that govern the field of men's business wear... are correct and in accordance with how they were established during the golden era of men's wear. You may (as a reader in 21st century) opt to discard these old rules and that is perfectly fine... in fact the author often suggests it. But in any case, you need to know the basics before you can properly discard them and this book provides a decent dose of historic info too.

It's greatest shortcoming is only that WHAT COULD NOT made it into the book, such as lavish illustrations and pictures (but the price certainly reflects this also). But whatever DID made it into this book is (for the most part) as first rate as it gets.

Naturally you would like to ask... how am I suppose to know that the advice is indeed first rate? Well, should you find yourself shopping in the most reputable of men's stores... (may that be your Haberdasher on 5th Ave or your esteemed tailor on Savile Row) discuss with them some of the concepts explained in this book and chances are most of the time... a knowledgeable sales person or your tailor will echo exactly what is said in the book.
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