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Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion

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Dressing the Man is the definitive guide to what men need to know in order to dress well and look stylish without becoming fashion victims. Alan Flusser's name is synonymous with taste and style. With his new book, he combines his encyclopedic knowledge of men's clothes with his signature wit and elegance to address the fundamental paradox of modern men's fashion: Why, afte Dressing the Man is the definitive guide to what men need to know in order to dress well and look stylish without becoming fashion victims. Alan Flusser's name is synonymous with taste and style. With his new book, he combines his encyclopedic knowledge of men's clothes with his signature wit and elegance to address the fundamental paradox of modern men's fashion: Why, after men today have spent more money on clothes than in any other period of history, are there fewer well-dressed men than at any time ever before? According to Flusser, dressing well is not all that difficult, the real challenge lies in being able to acquire the right personalized instruction. Dressing well pivots on two pillars -- proportion and color. Flusser believes that "Permanent Fashionability," both his promise and goal for the reader, starts by being accountable to a personal set of physical trademarks and not to any kind of random, seasonally served-up collection of fashion flashes. Unlike fashion, which is obliged to change each season, the face's shape, the neck's height, the shoulder's width, the arm's length, the torso's structure, and the foot's size remain fairly constant over time. Once a man learns how to adapt the fundamentals of permanent fashion to his physique and complexion, he's halfway home. Taking the reader through each major clothing classification step-by-step, this user-friendly guide helps you apply your own specifics to a series of dressing options, from business casual and formalwear to pattern-on-pattern coordination, or how to choose the most flattering clothing silhouette for your body type and shirt collar for your face. A man's physical traits represent his individual road map, and the quickest route toward forging an enduring style of dress is through exposure to the legendary practitioners of this rare masculine art. Flusser has assembled the largest andmost diverse collection of stylishly mantled men ever found in one book. Many never-before-seen vintage photographs from the era of Cary Grant, Tyrone Power, and Fred Astaire are employed to help illustrate the range and diversity of authentic men's fashion. Dressing the Man's sheer magnitude of options will enable the reader to expand both the grammar and verbiage of his permanent-fashion vocabulary. For those men hoping to find sartorial fulfillment somewhere down the road, tethering their journey to the mind-set of permanent fashion will deliver them earlier rather than later in life.


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Dressing the Man is the definitive guide to what men need to know in order to dress well and look stylish without becoming fashion victims. Alan Flusser's name is synonymous with taste and style. With his new book, he combines his encyclopedic knowledge of men's clothes with his signature wit and elegance to address the fundamental paradox of modern men's fashion: Why, afte Dressing the Man is the definitive guide to what men need to know in order to dress well and look stylish without becoming fashion victims. Alan Flusser's name is synonymous with taste and style. With his new book, he combines his encyclopedic knowledge of men's clothes with his signature wit and elegance to address the fundamental paradox of modern men's fashion: Why, after men today have spent more money on clothes than in any other period of history, are there fewer well-dressed men than at any time ever before? According to Flusser, dressing well is not all that difficult, the real challenge lies in being able to acquire the right personalized instruction. Dressing well pivots on two pillars -- proportion and color. Flusser believes that "Permanent Fashionability," both his promise and goal for the reader, starts by being accountable to a personal set of physical trademarks and not to any kind of random, seasonally served-up collection of fashion flashes. Unlike fashion, which is obliged to change each season, the face's shape, the neck's height, the shoulder's width, the arm's length, the torso's structure, and the foot's size remain fairly constant over time. Once a man learns how to adapt the fundamentals of permanent fashion to his physique and complexion, he's halfway home. Taking the reader through each major clothing classification step-by-step, this user-friendly guide helps you apply your own specifics to a series of dressing options, from business casual and formalwear to pattern-on-pattern coordination, or how to choose the most flattering clothing silhouette for your body type and shirt collar for your face. A man's physical traits represent his individual road map, and the quickest route toward forging an enduring style of dress is through exposure to the legendary practitioners of this rare masculine art. Flusser has assembled the largest andmost diverse collection of stylishly mantled men ever found in one book. Many never-before-seen vintage photographs from the era of Cary Grant, Tyrone Power, and Fred Astaire are employed to help illustrate the range and diversity of authentic men's fashion. Dressing the Man's sheer magnitude of options will enable the reader to expand both the grammar and verbiage of his permanent-fashion vocabulary. For those men hoping to find sartorial fulfillment somewhere down the road, tethering their journey to the mind-set of permanent fashion will deliver them earlier rather than later in life.

30 review for Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jared Woods

    Of all the life hacks I've learned to execute in my life, none have proven quite as powerful as the “solve my issues by reading self-help books” technique. By utilising this approach, I’ve tightened up a wide array of weaknesses, from dealing with anxiety to 100% mastering my finances to quitting smoking to understanding tax as a freelancer to whatever… you name it, there’s a book for that. Hence why, when I awoke the other morning in a cold sweat, suddenly acutely aware that I knew nothing abou Of all the life hacks I've learned to execute in my life, none have proven quite as powerful as the “solve my issues by reading self-help books” technique. By utilising this approach, I’ve tightened up a wide array of weaknesses, from dealing with anxiety to 100% mastering my finances to quitting smoking to understanding tax as a freelancer to whatever… you name it, there’s a book for that. Hence why, when I awoke the other morning in a cold sweat, suddenly acutely aware that I knew nothing about fashion, I promptly leapt upon the Amazon machine and clicked the button for this book, listed as one of the most popular titles available on the topic. Whew! It arrived and, besides the monumentally daunting size of the damn thing, the most striking element that came with it was the knowledge that smart male attire has changed very little over the years. This fact stands particularly true in regards to the suit, which is all this (impressively proficient) author cares about anyway. And it makes sense! Because when you wear a suit, things get done. People listen to you, and that is the position held strong by this book throughout, as it spends half of its time preaching a history lesson on the suit’s slow development, then the other half demonstrating how to use this style of dress-up as an illusionary trick, deceiving people into thinking that you’re taller/thinner/heavier by selecting clever patterns and colours and size ratios. Hey, man. Why not be yourself? It didn't take many pages before I realised that I was reading to the wrong book. It was miles away from what my interest whiskers whispered and my expanding boredoms yawned me into queasiness. The shapes of pockets, the number of sleeve buttons, the height of your collar, the ideal fabrics to wear for what season… my God, who decided any of this was so important? Hey, did you know you can fill eight pages about the correct way to display a handkerchief in your front pocket? Have you ever wanted to know the best suit to wear whilst horseriding? How much serious thought have you given to the length of your waistcoat? Truthfully, the only saving grace I found within this onslaught of materialistic fashion customs was the frequent reminders of the dialogue featured in American Psycho. I sometimes pretended I was reading that book instead. Much more entertaining! Far more dangerous. So did I learn anything? Anything at all? Yes. I learned that suits are no joke. But besides that, I did pick up one very valuable tip: that all clothing should be treated as an extension of your body. Match the material to yourself in an attempt to always bring the focus back to your face. That's literally it. Wear colours that harmonise with your hair to frame your head. Never don accessories which detract attention from your features. Always opt for items that replicate the colour of your eyes or skin's hue or your rosy cheeks or whatever. Pop your natural assets. Contrast or complement, that is the entire nutshell key. This information totalled about a page of good advice which has since blessed me with at least one thing to think about. I shall be reevaluating my wardrobe accordingly, thanks. In the end, I’m just going to accept that this side of style is not for me. The exact amount of centimetres between the trouser leg and the shoe buckle is not something I'm inspired by. I hate patterns. I like jeans and Converse. It all seems very expensive, doesn't it? Truth be told, I have zero eyes for this anyway. Even when the guide spelt it out with a before and after shot, I had no fucking idea what I was looking at. And while I can’t fault the thoroughness of this text whatsoever (it's too thorough) and while it’s certainly a good idea to train the mind to keep your presentation circulating, I honestly reckon I’ve learned more about my preferred type of fashion from Billie Eilish music videos. I tell you that I've read this book but it ultimately became an exercise in speed reading. And I can't speed read for shit.

  2. 4 out of 5

    James Marwood

    Superb book on how a man should dress. Covers the basics extremely well, although with a slight US bias (Such as wing collars with black tie, when in the UK and Europe they are reserved for white tie). He has a lovely turn of phrase as well, which keeps the book floating along. The best part though are the photos. Hundreds of wonderful shots of classic and modern mens clothes, with dos and don'ts clearly illustrated.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    Last night I watched Casablanca and I saw that the men in this 1942 movie were much better dressed then we are now. The answer is not so much fashion ( which is ephemeral) but style which is not. This book lays out the elements of what is stylish and what is not.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Spats and Hats

    A very useful and applicable guide. A few minor parts seem subjective but on the whole it is a worthwhile and informative read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alex Trenchea

    Have you ever wondered what makes up that distinguished air of a man that has deferred from the modern jeans to the traditional, more elegant apparel? The book is truly astonishing because it takes you through the whole major aspects of male fashion. I can easily say that it can be used as a referenced guide for the gentleman that aspires to be in control of his wardrobe. Although it is an interesting read I have to be honest and tell you that it is a very difficult book to read. This does not a Have you ever wondered what makes up that distinguished air of a man that has deferred from the modern jeans to the traditional, more elegant apparel? The book is truly astonishing because it takes you through the whole major aspects of male fashion. I can easily say that it can be used as a referenced guide for the gentleman that aspires to be in control of his wardrobe. Although it is an interesting read I have to be honest and tell you that it is a very difficult book to read. This does not arise from the author's style of writing but from the multitude of technical terms which you have to spend a lot of time researching if you want to get a basic knowledge of men's clothing. My favorite thing about the book is that you can gaze a little bit into the history of male fashion as the author explains the current style and evolution of clothes from a historical perspective too. The examples and illustrations also offer an easier understanding of the topic and are a powerful visual aid for those looking to sediment their style knowledge. To conclude, I highly recommend this book for the gentlemen that is looking for some strong and reliable guidelines regarding male adornment.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Adrian Santiago

    More like a 3.75 We don't have a lot of books about the "art" of dressing as a man. Sure, there's plenty of "how to wear and how to dress", but this one even starts with the explanationf of the differences between Style and Fashion. The book has a good balance between text and pictures. Also, every chapter starts with a summary of the topics and some storical points about the dressing codes and things like that. My complains, althought it might be interesting if you are not a tailor or really into More like a 3.75 We don't have a lot of books about the "art" of dressing as a man. Sure, there's plenty of "how to wear and how to dress", but this one even starts with the explanationf of the differences between Style and Fashion. The book has a good balance between text and pictures. Also, every chapter starts with a summary of the topics and some storical points about the dressing codes and things like that. My complains, althought it might be interesting if you are not a tailor or really into all the topics of the book, it might get a little boring reading the differences between the five primary types of dress shirts, hats and blazers. Also, the book doesn't conclude as solid as it could. The final topics and chapters feel a like left out without much explanation (which goes more into the different types of casual dressing instead of examples). By the final pages of the book we get a very useful glosary of terms. And, seriously, most of the images and pictures are very well proportioned and ilustrative about the topics.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Everett Darden

    A very good resource for how men's fashion started back in the 19th century to the writing of this book. It has a ton of great photos of clothing and the people who were pioneers in wearing them. Would recommend to young and old alike.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    A good starting point for those who want to improve their wardrobe. Flusser not only provides helpful tips but also the history behind the traditions of menswear.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sergey Sarachuk

    Хорошая, но не современная, для 1930+

  10. 4 out of 5

    Terry Heller

    This is considered to be one of the must-read books about men's style, and I believe that reputation is deserved. The book is organized into sections such as proportions (cut and tailoring), color, patterns, and footwear, and each section is illustrated with examples that reinforce his point -- the lapels on this man are too wide, on this one too narrow, on this one just right. I particularly enjoyed the section on color and coloring; finding out which clothes work best for a "high-contrast" com This is considered to be one of the must-read books about men's style, and I believe that reputation is deserved. The book is organized into sections such as proportions (cut and tailoring), color, patterns, and footwear, and each section is illustrated with examples that reinforce his point -- the lapels on this man are too wide, on this one too narrow, on this one just right. I particularly enjoyed the section on color and coloring; finding out which clothes work best for a "high-contrast" complexion such as my own is a good thing to know. The book also has dozens of old photographs of style icons such as the Duke of Windsor, Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, and Fred Astaire in beautiful clothes. I think that Flusser's taste in clothes is a little "dandier" than mine. He has been hired to be a wardrobe consultant for films about rich guys (like Wall Street), and some of his recommendations would work better for Gordon Gekko than they do for your rank-and-file government lawyer. He suggests a lot of bright colors and certain cuts which, in my opinion, most men would not feel comfortable wearing to a typical office job or cocktail party. I realize that part of his point is that men should branch out and be less conservative (as long as it is done tastefully), but I do not think I will wear many yellow shirts under my suits, even if it flatters my complexion. Part of his color palette may be due to the time in which this book was written; it is already 11 years old, and some colors are less common now than they were in the late 90's. Also, parts of this book are over-written. It may just be that Flusser grew tired of repeating the same dozen or so style-related words, but he hits the thesaurus waaaay too hard, and uses alliteration at least as heavily as Tom Wolfe. It doesn't prevent him from effectively making his point, but it does make the book somewhat more difficult to read. I would recommend this book as a reference. It is probably not essential to own a copy, but I will probably continue to check it out of the library from time to time to refresh my memory and, perhaps, to draw inspiration from those vintage photographs of Cary Grant.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Andrecrabtree

    Quite the instructive book. Now I realize what it means to be well dressed and how to go about constructing my wardrobe. I used to be intimidated but what i say in what I would call "upscale" Menswear stores. No longer; well perhaps except for the prices. :-) Knowing what to look for, i.e. what will make me look good and why, eases my mind considerably. Now I won't simply go buy a bunch of jeans when the last batch wear out. Time to make a big list and go shopping. Building my wardrobe will take Quite the instructive book. Now I realize what it means to be well dressed and how to go about constructing my wardrobe. I used to be intimidated but what i say in what I would call "upscale" Menswear stores. No longer; well perhaps except for the prices. :-) Knowing what to look for, i.e. what will make me look good and why, eases my mind considerably. Now I won't simply go buy a bunch of jeans when the last batch wear out. Time to make a big list and go shopping. Building my wardrobe will take some time. Yes all of this just from reading this book. And deciding to give a care about what I dress myself in. But I wouldn't have picked up this book if I hadn't decided to start dressing like a grown up. Yep, no more jeans and t-shirts for me. And now I realize that "fashion" doesn't mean your track has American Eagle written on it. Why only 4 stars? I felt Alan was a bit too wordy at times and could have gotten to the point more directly. In some sections it was almost like he was writing things just to have something to say. But just like fashionable clothes sometimes less is more.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michael Di Tizio

    An absolutely essential book for the man who wants to dress better, or simply wants to understand why men's clothes are designed the way they are. I first picked this book up in a department store about 2 years ago, and spent the afternoon sitting in a chair in the men's section reading it from cover to cover. Flusser lays out the history of men's fashion form the mid-to-late 1900s to the present day; it's obvious from reading this how we're still wearing Victorian influenced clothing even at th An absolutely essential book for the man who wants to dress better, or simply wants to understand why men's clothes are designed the way they are. I first picked this book up in a department store about 2 years ago, and spent the afternoon sitting in a chair in the men's section reading it from cover to cover. Flusser lays out the history of men's fashion form the mid-to-late 1900s to the present day; it's obvious from reading this how we're still wearing Victorian influenced clothing even at this late date. He lays out what has worked in terms of suiting for the well-dressed male in the 20th century (what hasn't is implied by its absence) and the underpinnings of garment construction in clothing. He also shows, through stunning period illustration, what styles work for men based on their physicality, skin and hair tone. I use this now as a reference if I'm unclear how to wear a bold pattern and a stripe together, or how to mix patterns of different sizes, or what constitutes semi-formal and formal dress. If you want to dress with style that's right for you, buy this book today.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ville

    I like the systematic and timeless view of "permanent fashion". This book has been a perfect fit for my purpose and mission, with a good level of depth. It explains the difference between English, Italian, and American styles in a relatively unbiased way. My intention is to invest some time in the field of clothing in the hope that I will benefit from the following: saving time by knowing various rules of thumb, freed from seasonal fashion which continuously requires both time and money, knowing the I like the systematic and timeless view of "permanent fashion". This book has been a perfect fit for my purpose and mission, with a good level of depth. It explains the difference between English, Italian, and American styles in a relatively unbiased way. My intention is to invest some time in the field of clothing in the hope that I will benefit from the following: saving time by knowing various rules of thumb, freed from seasonal fashion which continuously requires both time and money, knowing the Why's in order to appreciate the traditional design, and understand what types of change to embrace, know proportions, color combinations, and pattern combination, over- vs under-dressed, and dressing appropriately in (semi)formal settings. I can not say that I have saved time so far, but my knowledge and confidence on the topic has been boosted immensely. Knowledge of the Why's that this book present, has already enabled me to make some sound decisions with respect to shoes, belts, collar shirts, blazers, trousers.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Yingtai

    This looks excellent in its way, but it is NOT an introduction to dress codes. It is an advanced text on what looks good, supposedly timelessly. The tone is ... rather snobbish and precious, which wouldn't bother me so much if it didn't obscure information flow and the underlying logic. I'm not sure if he knows the meaning of logic, actually. Chapter titles: Permanent Fashion; The Power of Colour; Proportion; The Prerogatives of Pattern; The Suit; Jackets, Trousers, and Waistcoats; The Dress Coat This looks excellent in its way, but it is NOT an introduction to dress codes. It is an advanced text on what looks good, supposedly timelessly. The tone is ... rather snobbish and precious, which wouldn't bother me so much if it didn't obscure information flow and the underlying logic. I'm not sure if he knows the meaning of logic, actually. Chapter titles: Permanent Fashion; The Power of Colour; Proportion; The Prerogatives of Pattern; The Suit; Jackets, Trousers, and Waistcoats; The Dress Coat; Neckwear; Hosiery Harmonies; Foot Decorum; Accessories; Formalwear; Business Casual. As you can see, he does cover each major dress code. But from the beginning, he keeps throwing in things that haven't been explained. It's just ... understood. You see what I mean about snobbishness. Let's keep looking for an introduction to men's clothes, and come back to this later.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    A systematic and timeless view of "permanent fashion" brings about clarity of fashion in a world lost forever in the throws of post modern internet tech domination dictating fashion to the world from beneath the tongues of savages. With charm and sense, Flusser delivers a tome accented with taste and style. Brought about again, men's fashion is coming back in vogue with the desire to regain prestige in a world that continues to fall short in delivery opportunity. Fashion climbs to heights rarely A systematic and timeless view of "permanent fashion" brings about clarity of fashion in a world lost forever in the throws of post modern internet tech domination dictating fashion to the world from beneath the tongues of savages. With charm and sense, Flusser delivers a tome accented with taste and style. Brought about again, men's fashion is coming back in vogue with the desire to regain prestige in a world that continues to fall short in delivery opportunity. Fashion climbs to heights rarely seen as men fail to display the failings of our world around us.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Both a monumental tribute to classic style--think Gary Cooper and the Duke of Windsor--and a guide for men who want to employ it. Stellar photos, comprehensive organization, and attention to the smallest sartorial details imbue the book with a perfect blend of nostalgia and freshness. It is Alan Flusser's magnum opus, and you ought to read it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gage

    This book was great for someone who wants to know how a man should properly dress. Granted, it would have been more helpful to me if I were trying to climb the corporate ladder and had to wear a suit every day, but it was a good read for me anyway and helped me pick out my recent suit. I definitely feel more aware of proper, timeless, mens fashion now.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mr_g_stewart

    One chapter in an I'm really glad I bought this book. This book is a guide not so much to keeping up with fashion, but to always being ahead of it by maintaining a permanent state of good dressing based on permanent and immutable precepts: proportion and colour. I bought it as a kind of a coffee-table book, but it turned out to be so much more! Really looking forward to the rest.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Samuel

    I will own this book!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lawrence

    FALSE

  21. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    The single best book for learning elements of timeless dress and discerning the quality of men's clothing.

  22. 5 out of 5

    K

    I wanted more on lapels and less on how to mix four different patterns.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marilou

    Just had to read a book that showcases the cleft in Cary Grant's chin on the cover. A fun tome on how to be elegant and stylish.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Hunter Johnson

    Dressing the Man by Alan Flusser. Interesting both as a style guide and as a history of the changes in men's fashions.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Eric Orchard

    My introduction to classics menswear, maybe too comprehensive for a start but an excellent and definitive text.As much an historical overview of men's clothing as a how to of dressing.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Michaela

    Snotty.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Larry

    Very-detailed history and manual on men's suits. Well-written and well-presented, but dry and not an especially interesting topic to me.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Michaud

    Very informative regarding the aspects of clothing including tailoring and its general rules pertaining to proper fit and style.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chris Brooks

    A bit too flowery and obtuse in language, but still containing some great ideas (and photos) for modern classic men's style.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brian Silcott

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