A few months ago, the guys at Bonnegueule.fr approached me about promoting an English version of their ebook to my readers. Those guys wrote a handful of fashion articles for my site (under the pseudonym “Gill”) and the articles all came out well. So I said send me a copy and I’ll take a look.
Now, this has been a monthly occurrence for years. Someone wants me to promote their book or product. I tell them to send me a copy. And typically within 15 pages, I think it’s crap, delete it and move on with my life.
Not this time. In fact, I was so impressed by it that I emailed them and said that not only would I like to promote it, but I’d like to slap the PostMasculine name on it and sell it as a staple product here. It was that good.
Honestly, as someone who has scoured the internet for men’s fashion advice for years, and who only recently feels like he’s “got it together” in the style department, it was something that I wish I had found a long time ago. If you’re a man, there are a few problems when it comes to learning about fashion and style by yourself. The first is that most sources simply showing clothing that looks good and they don’t explain WHY it looks good. GQ and most fashion blogs are a good example of this. You flip through them, see all of these “great” jackets and watches, and no explanation of why they’re considered great or why they look good, how they differ from lesser or cheaper jackets or watches, or whether they’d look good with your physical features or not.
The other problem is that people only describe what looks good on them without knowing why. So for instance, a tall, 25-year-old rocker kid may give out fashion advice to a short, stocky, 40-year-old business executive and it will be a complete mismatch of information in every way.
Here’s what I loved about the Style Guide for Modern Men:
1. Style Advice Which is Personalized. Instead of telling you about a bunch of cool shirts, or their favorite pair of pants, the Style Guide spends a lot of time talking about the three fundamentals everyone must understand: fit, cut, and quality. They explain how if you’re short and a little bigger around the middle you’re going want to find shirts with this specific fit, jeans with this type of cut, and match them with these accessories. If you’re tall and thin in the shoulders, then you want another type of fit and cut. If you’re 22 and a university student, then you want to focus on these types of shoes. The book explains how to match clothing to your particular body-type, physical features, and personality — something I’ve never seen any other fashion/style source cover in depth. You coming away finally understanding why a $20 shirt on a discount rack at H&M can sometimes end up looking better on you than a $150 shirt from Saks.
2. A-to-Z Wardrobe Coverage. The guide clearly lays out what every man needs in his wardrobe: Collared shirts and T-shirts, jeans, shoes, a jacket/coat, a suit, and some accessories. The guide then tackles each one of these items with its own chapter. Here’s what distinguishes high-quality leather from low-quality leather. Here’s how to pick the right cut of jeans based on your leg shape. Here’s how to layer your coat with your sweater. Here are the essential shirts every man needs in his closet and how to pick out the one that matches your body-type.
3. Hundreds of Images and Examples. My biggest complaint with some other ebooks on style — even some of them which were good — was the shortage of useful image examples. Even popular ebooks on style have only an image or example for every 10-20 pages. The Style Guide has hundreds, so you can see what everything looks like as you’re reading about it.
4. Covers the Shopping and Dressing Experience. The one thing I’ve never seen discussed anywhere else is the actual experience of buying new clothes, trying them on and becoming comfortable in them. The Style Guide covers how to bargain hunt, how to handle pushy salespeople, how to feel comfortable with a new look you’re trying out, why you shouldn’t always take fashion advice from women, what you should try on in the store and why, etc. For a lot of men, clothes shopping is a tedious experience. I think this could change that.
5. Light on Theory, High on Practicality. The attitude in the Style Guide is pretty analogous to my attitude when doling out pick up and dating advice: stop obsessing about theory, pay more attention to what works. For instance, the Style Guide tells you flat out to stop worrying about which colors go with your complexion. Instead, focus on what works within your outfits. Stop worrying about brands and having to keep up with a million different trends and designs and always come back to the three fundamentals: fit, cut and quality.
If you’re a man who doesn’t dress as well as he could, or who has been frustrated in trying to learn about fashion and style in the past, if you want a clear book to explain all of the important concepts to you so that you can dress yourself well from now on. Then I encourage you to check this out.