If a group of magazine editors worked on a fashion manual you’d expect it to read a lot like a collection of magazine articles.
That’s basically what the “Details Men’s Style Manual” is.
Daniel Peres (and the editors at Details Magazine) bring their combined fashion knowledge to bear in a simple, graphic-heavy format. This is style advice in its most digestible form.
Overall – Details Men’s Style Manual is an excellent read and worth every penny. It is one of my favorite casual clothing texts for introducing people to the simple, basic concepts of menswear.
For my part, I sometimes use it as a double-check on contemporary styles — the book’s from 2007 and is definitely a post-millennial take on traditional menswear.
Positive – Things I Love about Details Men’s Style Manual
1. Magazine Layout — This book was written by guys who don’t usually have a lot of space to waste. Every chapter (devoted to a particular item of clothing) is five or six pages long at the most. You get the most fundamental information and then move on quickly.
2. Relaxed Style — Most really detailed menswear books assume a base dress standard that’s too high for a lot of guys’ needs. The “Details” manual is one of just a few I’ve found that don’t assume you wear a suit on a regular basis and anything else is dressing down. That makes it a lot more relevant than some of the other well-written but older books out there.
3. Modern Style Icon Interviews — They don’t always add any important knowledge, but it’s neat that each chapter ends with a one-page interview with a fashion or entertainment personality. It adds flavor and gives a perspective that isn’t the editors’.
Areas where Details Men’s Style Manual can be improved
1. Shallow Information — There’s not much room for any subject to get covered in depth. You’re just going to get the basics on each piece, so someone who’s already familiar with menswear fundamentals might not get much new information (though I always find their “Beginner – Intermediate – Advanced” examples on each piece of clothing helpful even with prior experience).
2. Relaxed Style — Yes, I listed that as an advantage too. It’s a question of knowing when the sort of casual, urbane look that the Details guys like is appropriate and when you need to adopt a more classic, timeless style. Check the “Details” manual for help building your social evening wardrobe, not your interview suits.
Final Recommendation – BUY
A definite five out of five stars for this one as an introduction to men’s style.
It’s a good gift for someone whose wardrobe needs a little help — start them off with some quality information in quick, easily-digestible form.