As the grand finale to my senior year of college I’ve decided to embark on an independent study on men’s fashion. This quickly became more difficult than I thought. Hunting for interesting and insightful material on the subject was like hunting for Snooki’s last shred of dignity — it was so close and yet so far away. Although it took what felt like weeks to dig up poignant works, I found them. NOTE — These aren’t picture books or lookbooks for you to casually flip through like the last issue of US Weekly. While most do have fun pics, the authors also know what they’re talking about and deserve to be read.
American Fashion Menswear by Robert E. Bryan
Robert E. Bryan has had an illustrious career that many fashion journalists only dream of — he was the men’s fashion director of The New York Times Magazine, the men’s editor at W, the fashion editor of Men’s Wear magazine, an editor for DNR, and now he works as a historian alongside his continuing fashion work. Not to mention he has appeared on the International Best Dressed List twice!
With the help of Assouline publishing and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), Bryan presents to you this compendium of fashion that exonerates American men’s wear. Coupled with incredible fashion photography are pieces that cover everything from utility-driven work wear to the always popular Ivy-League style.
Retail Price: $50
The Men’s Fashion Reader
Edited by Andrew Reilly and Sarah Cosbey
In the words of Reilly, “this book came about as a result of the shortage of literature we [Reilly and Cosbey] believed to exist on the topic of men and dress.”
Rather than a long textbook that lectures on the technicalities of fashion, this book is in fact a collection of commissioned and reprinted works from some of the great fashion minds. Taking more of a scholarly approach to men’s wear, The Men’s Fashion Reader
covers fashion as masculinity, sexuality, defiance, identity, acculturation, fantasy, and much more. Anyone even remotely serious about men’s fashion should pick this up.
Retail Price: $83
Modern Menswear by Hywel Davies
Davies is a fashion writer and professor who brings to you this focused text on modern day men’s wear. The book profiles big names in the industry who have led the men’s fashion revolution and broken the boundaries and rules that is consider the traditional styling.
Men’s wear has come light years from when designers first thought of featuring it as its own genre of clothing. Now, there are more male fashion consumers than ever before and that speaks to how the fashion world has elevated men’s wear to the level of art and self-representation.
Retail Price: $40
Fashionisto: A Century of Style Icons
By Simone Werle
Ever wonder what it takes to be considered a fashionisto? While Simone Werle does not provide a detailed list of instructions to achieving this status, he documents the prominent men throughout history that have done so.
These are the gentlemen that have led the most influential fashion movements in history. They teach by example to all men willing to learn about the swagger, the elegance, the confidence, and the flair that makes a fashionisto a fashionisto.
Retail Price: $30