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Gentleman's Guide to Grooming and Style Hardcover – 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 357 pages
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble; 2nd edition (2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760762481
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760762486
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #645,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
Mr. Roetzel's book is an excellent place to start for those who want to learn the basics of men's fashion - and to move beyond. To roughly paraphrase its author: before one can "push the envelope" in terms of style, one must first understand what the social conventions are. This book can provide one with the foundational understanding of conventional modes of dress. Once armed with this basic understanding, one can adjust the norms to suit one's personal tastes or move beyond even this lofty goal to set the trend among friends and acquaintances.

This book covers the major aspects of choosing clothing by identifying well-known (quality) brands and famous clothiers. Although the author's tastes are markedly Anglo-centric, there's nothing wrong with this. After all, if you're reading this review, you have the means to order many of the manufactured items he recommends. Additionally, the author explains how to identify quality in case you are adventurous (and tasteful) enough to explore new brands. The true gentleman recognizes the utility of brand identification in selecting goods known for their quality, but his devotion is never slavish. This book will help you understand what makes a brand memorable.

Aside from fashion, the book covers many aspects of lifestyle, including the appreciation of smoking, spirits and shaving.

If not for the difficulty in finding it, I might recommend this book to every young man as a coming of age gift, as well as for those who manifest an interest in taste rather later in life. For those who have already developed a sensible style, the book may be consulted either to check one's instincts or to find something new along similar lines.
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By A Customer on July 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
Roetzel's "Gentleman" is about creating a classic, elegant life style. Following Mr. Retzel's philosophy, style is not something we do for others. The pursuit of style is for one's own personal satisfaction. Therefore, Mr. Roetzel focuses on an understated, conservative elegance, with an acknowledgment of the importance of details, even if no one else notices. Roetzel's book focuses on mens fashion, with a bias toward tailored English clothing, but he goes beyond business clothing, to address casual, sport, and home style. In addition to the obligatory chapters on suits, shoes, and casual dress, there are sections on grooming and fragrance, hairstyles, wristwatches, and how to enjoy an elegant, relaxing breakfast at home. This book is a treatise on gracious living, and he introduces his readers to many of the small luxuries which no one should miss out on: the experience of a traditional shave from a good English barber; a pair of shell cordovan shoes; a bespoke suit; a comfortable and beautiful dressing robe. His philosophy is best exemplified by the section on eating breakfast, where he exhorts one to begin the day with a leisurely elegant ritual including "perfectly toasted bread." Personally, I barely ever eat breakfast, but the call to slow down and take the time to enjoy life's small pleasures resounds loudly none the less. The book is not perfect, and Mr. Roetzel has some rather quaint and outdated ideas - Overall, however, the book is an excellent roadmap for those who wish to live a cut above the norm in this too-fast, hyper-casual, overly-efficient, mass-produced, machine-made, often-shoddy world
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