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A Guy's Guide to Style Hardcover – April 15, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"A Guy's Guide to Style will become your go-to source for what to wear, when to wear it and how best to put it all together".

Many fashion guides try to press the reader into a particular "best" way to dress. In A Guy's Guide to Style, author Bernhard Roetzel avoids this pitfall by providing a veritable library of fashion fundamentals that form the building blocks of timelessly elegant style. If you've ever wondered what the color of a suit might signify, how your jacket should be cut to best fit your frame or what a watch reveals about its wearer -- it's all here in a handy, pocket-sized guide that somehow manages to find space to photographically illustrate each and every tip.

Roetzel covers how not to show up at the office looking like you're wearing your father's hand-me-downs, how to dress casually without resorting to the torn jeans of your youth, how to go about choosing a tie and even when it is appropriate to wear cowboy boots in public. A Guy's Guide to Style will become your go-to source for what to wear, when to wear it and how best to put it all together. There are even illustrated step-by-step instructions for how to care for all your couture so that it will keep looking as classic as the fashion fundamentals found in these pages.

by Jennifer Schiavone, August / September issue Metrosource

With invitations that specify "business attire" or "creative black tie" or "festive," it's something difficult to navigate the catwalk on the road to looking good. What you need is a fashion primer, with a table of contents that includes "Formal wear," "Cool and casual," "Shoes," "How to buy efficiently," and, of course, "Accessories." Bernhard Roetzel's "A Guy's Guide to Style" provides all those chapters, as well as a chapter on "Cleaning and care" (apparently for those times when the maid is off and the cleaners is closed).

Published by H.F. Ullmann, the pocket-sized "A Guy's Guide to Style" offers a practicum on the basics of good fashion by providing sartorial tips for a broad range of occasions, including business meetings, formal occasions, and recreational activities. Colorful combinations of complete ensembles are offered for those who might need to post photographs in their closets. There's also a tutorial on the differences in business attire and etiquette in countries around the world (e.g. don't introduce women into the conversation in the Islamic world).

Author of numerous style and fashion guides, including "Gentleman: A Timeless Guide to Fashion," "British Tradition and Interior Design: Town and Country Living in the British Isles," "365 Style and Fashion Tips for Men," and "British Style," Roetzel has been a connoisseur of classic menswear for more than fifteen years. An author and editor, Roetzel studied design and worked in advertising and television production in Frankfurt and Hamburg.

Roetzel's tone throughout the guide is conversational and pragmatic. Imagine a personal shopper at Bergdorf's or Paul Stuart who also happens to be your most fashionable friend from university who has now taken you on as his personal project: to transform you into the kind of gentleman who walks down Fifth Avenue and attracts the attention of someone like "New York Times" photographer Bill Cunningham or night-owl Patrick McMullan.

On the subject of leather jackets, Roetzel writes "a brown bomber jacket...creates a sophisticated Ivy League look when teamed with chinos and cordovan leather boat shoes" - and it's hard to refrain from dashing to your closet to see if you can work this look.

As for shorts, Roetzel dryly states that "the length and fit of these reveal a good deal about the true or desired age of the wearer." Food for thought as the summer months approach.

And speaking of warmer weather, Roetzel reminds us that "the most important rule for the summer months is that you must only exhibit the parts of your body that are presentable."

Loaded with photographs of the items that every burgeoning gentleman and blooming Beau Brummell should include in his closet, "A Guy's Guide to Style" serves as an articulate and well-informed shopping companion. Similarly, this sartorial primer works equally well as a gift for your weekend host on the Island, at the beach, in the country - or anywhere that fashionable men gather, their legs crossed just so, never exposing a bare ankle.

As a dear friend once confessed to us, "Life would be so much more pleasant if only everyone dressed just a little bit nicer." Roetzel would agree - and "A Guy's Guide to Style" is one means of making the world look that much better.

by Mark Thompson

EDGE Style & Travel Editor

Friday Apr 6, 2012

If your idea of style is a comfortable old pair of jeans, a ratty tee shirt and dirty sneakers then chances are, you need a copy of this handy guide for those times when such casual attire is out of the question. Take neckties for instance, Roetzel instructs what different necktie colors tell others about you, the proper way of tying different knots and what style is most appropriate for any situation. Whether you're trying to figure out the proper footwear, which shirt to wear for an interview or the right pair of swim trunks to take on a cruise, this deceptively small guide packs a wealth of helpful information. Learn which body type you have and how best to accentuate your physical assets, the effect of color, how to buy efficiently and care for everything in your wardrobe plus a host of other interesting, helpful information that will give you a new appreciation for everyday items.

Concise, informative and well presented with plenty of color photographs, this guide will be appreciated by new college graduates, young rising executives as well as style and garment design students. The straightforward descriptions and dress code guidelines are clear, understandable and applicable to every occasion a gentleman is likely to encounter.

Lifestyle Book Reviews

>From hats and ties down to socks and shoes, this comprehensive handbook is packed with basics, tips, and advice for the fashion-conscious man between about 25 and 50, especially "the growing body of younger men who are developing an interest in style and fashion [for whom] wearing good clothes is one of the joys of living". The focus is on accepted wear recognized as stylish and in so doing, presenting oneself as knowledgeable about the latest contemporary fashion. The primary interest is business dress, including clothing for business travel. Formal occasions and casual wear are also included, but mainly as properly supplementing one's style and standards for business wear. The casual wear, inevitably, is generally "preppy". But in this handbook which is neither campy nor jaundiced, to regard the casual wear as juvenile or exclusive is mistaken. The different types of clothing--business, formal, casual--are all interrelated aspects of the same exceptional sense of style. And for most persons with such a sense, these areas of activity are interrelated; hence the carryover of the sense.

Twelve different types of shirt collars described with close-up photos, different fabrics for different types of apparel, what "signals" necktie designs (e. g., strips, geometrical, tartan) give off, and three ways to tie a necktie are among detailed subjects treated. Accessories of handkerchiefs, watches, belts, sunglasses, and scarves are briefly covered. How suits and shoes are made is covered for the best appreciation of these key items. All this is done in a straightforward reader-friendly writing style with abundant related color photographs ranging from close-ups to full-length figures displaying particular articles and insets, lists, and short respective glossaries when desirable.

Roetzel knows his readers well. He does not spend time trying to make a case for the psychological and social benefits of dressing well, nor impress on them the exceptional quality of the clothing. Knowing that they know this, Roetzel sticks to how to optimally make use of the varied wear.

American Public Media

This deceptively compact book is chockablock with some of the best and most detailed information for those curious about men's style and what exactly defines it.

Mr. Roetzel sets up this work in a very appealing way, neither preachy nor pretentious. A Guy's Guide to Style could be used as a textbook for a course

focusing on men's style.

Mr. Roetzel has managed to really explain the elements of style without saying "you need to wear Brioni suits" or "the only shoes to buy are Lobb" as he delves into the ingredients and necessary knowledge that guide a gentleman toward honing his own personal style.

The original book was written in German and translated for the U.S. And English speaking markets but really does not suffer in the translation.

There are a few expressions that are a bit too literal or awkward, but these niggles hardly affect the impact of the author's exhaustive and thorough


Mr. Roetzel takes the reader through every step of the whys and wherefores concerning almost every single article of clothing or accessory that can be

ascribed to men's style.

The narrative is extremely intelligent in the manner in which the author chooses to present a wealth of information. He is not about brands; he is about style, make, quality, fabric, as well as type of manufacture including machine made, hand finish, handmade, and bespoke. He explains and defines

everything you ever wanted to know and more and in a way that escapes the tedium and ennui one would normally experience with a thorough look into a subject most men would benefit exploring.

One would have to say that this book would be a fabulous primer for those just starting out in the world of fashion and those who would like to

establish an evolving personal style . . . an interesting source of information for those hungry for the foundational and follow-up knowledge to

help establish oneself as an educated consumer.

Reviewer Jeffrey Felner is a columnist in The Examiner and Woman 2 Woman Magazine: Fashion by the Rules, and continues a long and successful career in jewelry and fashion design and merchandising.

The Examiner

About the Author

After studying design and working as a text-writer and conceptionist with advertising agencies in Frankfurt and Hamburg, Bernhard Roetzel dedicated himself to the world of menswear, becoming one of the authoritative experts in this field. In addition to his activity as an author and editor, he also holds lectures and seminars on menswear and style.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: h.f.ullmann publishing; Har/Psc edition (April 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3848000288
  • ISBN-13: 978-3848000289
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #690,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By BeachBrights VINE VOICE on August 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Length: 3:04 Mins
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This is simply one of the best men's style (not to be confused with fashion) introductions that a gentleman, young or old, can start out with.

The book is in a compact, travel friendly size without sacrificing on the overall construction and content of the book. If you are familiar with DK Eyewitness books, this book is similar in that it provides ample color pictures and enough writing to educate even the most seasoned, well dressed gentleman.

Roetzel touches on the foundations that every gentleman should know while adding enough flavor to make it worth your $15 to own. Like his other work...

+Euro-centric approach to style. Much of his advice is universally applicable, but you might find it lacking if you are looking for a uniquely American (U.S.) take on men's style.

+Focuses on classic/traditional men's style. Follow his advice and you will do no wrong in the classic sense. Not a guide for trendy, more youthful men's style. (ex: limited insight into denim, especially selvedge denim, which is an American wardrobe staple...even in the business casual sense)

+Concise and comprehensive. Has more information than most introductory men's style guides/books but can be wordy for others looking for quick advice.

Roetzel does an excellent overall job and men's fashion enthusiasts should welcome this into their library. For a real treat, I absolutely recommend his other book...Gentleman: A Timeless Fashion...required reading for anyone who wants to consider themselves an expert on men's style.
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By Gars on December 18, 2012
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That's what's great about this little book. It is really a quick reference and a handy and good one at that. Is it possible that style really is "coming back" into style? IF so one could hardly do better than this book. It informs on color combinations, what sort of watch to wear with what, everything.

As opposed to a tribute to men's style via photos and such this book actually can tell you how to get dressed!
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I got this to fill in the casual style holes from Flusser's "Dressing the Man", and I think it does that admirably. I couldn't give it 5 stars for several reasons, all of which tie into the first:
1. The book goes a *lot* into history. While this is interesting, in a (relatively) small book, probably the space could have been better used.
2. A lot of the remaining space is devoted to suit and formal wear. While this is fine, because of the space constraints, he really can't go much further than the basics and so gives only a *very* traditional line on suit wear.
3. In all sections, there were either too many or not enough specific examples. There needed to be either more examples, with discussion of how these illustrate both and bad style, or fewer examples, and more discussion of how those few examples illustrate specific principles of good style.

These are fairly minor nits, I realize. I can't help but feel that if Mr. Roetzel had spent less space on history, he might have had more to spend on some of the other areas where this book really shines, and would easily have made it a 5 star book.
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This is a gem of a book for anyone interested in style. It's very compact (good if you travel) but manages to pack a wealth of information about style into its small space, complete with a very large number of colour photographs. Style is of course always personal and nobody suggesting that this guide defines style, but it manages to focus on timeless style rather than just the latest fashion trend, making it much more durable.
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