You know how some books just get better with age?
Even though the author may write better books, that first one just sits better with you as you know it was made when the author was hungry and he had less of a budget. You can tell he had to use creativity instead of money – and he results are unique and refreshing.
That’s how I feel about Alan Flusser’s Clothes and the Man.
Despite being three decades old it is still a standard-setter for anyone who wants to talk about menswear.
Flusser built a career on “Clothes and the Man,” and with good reason. It’s a very wide-ranging guide to the fundamentals of quality menswear and a great introduction for beginning dressers as well as a resource for more experienced men of style.
I often turn to Clothes and the Man for its clear explanations of clothing fit. It is an excellent resource for the specific measurements that men need to understand to get a good fit.
Positive — Things I Love about Clothes and the Man
1. Simple, Helpful Illustrations — All the major points in “Clothes and the Man” are illustrated with either a photo or a big, simple pencil drawing. The drawings are particularly helpful for taking complicated explanations and turning them into obvious examples of good and bad fit or style.
2. Focus on Timeless Style — Flusser makes a clear and compelling case for a traditional and timeless approach to menswear that avoids and trend-chasing or fashion experiments. He presents the creative options that are available within the boundaries of irreproachable good taste. If you ever thought that suits and ties were stuffy or boring, this is a book that will cure you.
3. Wardrobe and Season Discussion — There are some good guidelines on classic, season-appropriate outfits in the back of “Clothes and the Man” that make a great starting place for anyone who’s beginning to experiment with wardrobe-building.
Room For Improvement
It’s hard to find anything wrong with this book – but if I was forced into a corner I would say…..
1. Too Formal? — Like a lot of older books on menswear, “Clothes and the Man” focuses heavily on suits and odd jacket/trouser combinations. There’s little attention paid to more contemporary items like denim or T-shirts, other than to dismiss them as overly casual. But is this really a weakness – I’m stretching here.
2. Custom Tailoring Focus — Most of the advice in this book requires a tailored fit. Flusser assumes that a man will be buying his clothing bespoke or at least having it adjusted to fit, which can be irritating if you don’t have the money to do that.
Clothes and the Man is the classic must-have for any man serious about menswear. It’s full of everything a man needs to get started with as he builds his own personal style.
I love having it on my shelf and still find myself referring back to it for all sorts of little details. A definite five out of five stars!
Click here to buy Clothes and the Man on Amazon.com.