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.