Book by Smith Russell
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All the world is not, of course, a stage, but the crucial ways in which it isn’t are not easy to specify.
– ERVING GOFFMAN
You need one. I don’t care if you work in your basement. I don’t care if you’re an artist. A grown-up man needs at least one suit for special events. And once you have one, a good one which fits you and doesn’t make you feel constricted and displayed like a prize cake, you will wonder why all your clothes aren’t suits. You will want to buy three more. The standard men’s uniform of loose but sober jacket and trousers is a remarkable confidence-giving garment: people will treat you differently when you are in a suit; they will look at you differently, they will ask your opinion, they will expect you to take care of trouble.
Women like men in suits. They may tell you otherwise — particularly if they are associated with a university in some way, or artists. Academics and students in, say, English, or philosophy, may squeal with disgust at the idea of a “dressed-up man”; artists will giggle, as if the idea is just embarrassing. This is because in these circles to admit attraction to a man in a suit is to betray the solidarity of one’s working-class comrades and to delay the inevitable revolution. “Suit” is synonymous with “fascist baby-eater,” or at the very least “insensitive boor” or “uptight suburbanite.”
Obviously the honest expression of aesthetic response and/or sexual desire in these circles is not going to be exactly unfettered. In other words, don’t believe a word of it.
I have found that there is almost no woman, no matter how many pairs of Birkenstocks she owns, no matter how devoted to her organic garden, who does not react with some slight tremor of the heart, some mild increase in blood pressure and dilation of the pupils, on seeing a man — particularly her own man — emerging from a cocoon of olive cotton and stepping forward in the sober costume of authority, his shoulders squared, his posture righted, with crisp collar and cuffs.
Part of the bad rap of suits, among bohemian men and women alike, is that our ostensible nonconformists never seem to picture good suits. They always imagine bad ones: the ones their dad or their first husband wore to tense family events; they picture green double-breasted ones, or pale grey pinstripes with a waistcoat and slightly flared trousers, all of them hot and stiff and shiny and looking like faded posters for movies set in Atlantic City in the eighties.
I have often taken men, highly resistant men, shopping for their first grown-up suit. They have tended to be artistic types, writers usually, who have managed to make it well into their thirties without leaving their teenage uniform of jeans and running shoes, and who on occasion have never even learned to tie a tie. Each required a new suit for a special occasion (a wedding, an interview, a book tour), but I think each had also come to a stage in his career that made the suit symbolic of a decision to embrace a new kind of life, a life of success that would have a public component. In short, adulthood.
The procedure was for them fraught with misgivings both ideological and aesthetic. Several of them had old suits hanging in their closets, suits which they had been forced to buy by parents or bosses in previous lives (double-breasted and green) and which they felt they had to wear, like a kind of absurd, lit-up party hat, as one of the penances of certain excruciating obligatory events, such as weddings or graduations or Easter church services. They thought — consciously or not — that suits had to be rather tight and hot and itchy and that they had to be unfashionable and, bafflingly, that they had to be in pale colours. The first-time suit buyer nervously gravitates for some reason toward dove grey and beige. I suspect that this comes out of a fear of formality. My guys felt, instinctively, that a lighter-coloured suit was a kind of compromise, and that it was more youthful. Charcoal and navy, they thought, were “bankers’ colours,” colours that a young man doesn’t feel he can carry off without being rich and grey-haired.
They could not have been more wrong, of course. If you are buying only one suit, that suit must be versatile, and a pale suit is only wearable in summer, which is not a long season in most of the G8 nations. You can, on the other hand, buy an extremely lightweight navy suit that is wearable year-round, and you can haul it out for cocktail parties and funerals alike. My friends tended to think that navy was somehow square — until they saw themselves in navy by Boss or Armani or Paul Smith or John Varvatos or the more forward lines of Canali or Zegna. All that defiant contrariness goes away when they come out of the change room wearing both jacket and trousers (this is important — you have to see the whole thing) of a soft, lightweight, dark-coloured new suit of elegant cut, with proper shoes, a white shirt, and a silver tie. They see this in the mirror and they are amazed. Their first expression is always one of surprise verging on shock; this quickly changes to a wide smile. They realize that a new part of themselves has been discovered. They look manly but not old; confident but not conservative.
If the new suit fits you properly, you will not feel “dressed up.” It will not be constrictive or feel unnatural; it shouldn’t make you feel self-conscious or delicate about how you stand or sit. You shouldn’t notice it. And neither should other people: they should notice you, how strong and fit and clever you’re looking.
Men’s Style is a personal and knowledgeable compendium of tasteful advice for the thinking man on how to dress and shop for clothes in a world of conflicting fashion imperatives. This sophisticated and witty book by the popular Globe and Mail columnist combines nuggets of history and the sociology of masculine attire with a practical and supremely useful guide to achieving an elegant and affordable wardrobe for work and play.
In chapters and amusing sidebars on shoes, suits, shirts and ties, formal and casual wear, underwear and swimsuits, cufflinks and watches, coats, hats, and scarves, Russell Smith steers a confident course between the hazards of blandness and vulgarity to articulate a philosophy of dress that can take you anywhere. He tells you what the rules are for looking the part at the office, a formal function, or the hippest party, and when you can toss those rules aside.
Men’s Style is supplemented throughout with fifty black-and-white illustrations and diagrams by illustrator Edwin Fotheringham.
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Description du livre Thomas Dunne Books, 2007. Hardcover. État : New. First Edition. N° de réf. du libraire DADAX0312361653
Description du livre Thomas Dunne Books. Hardcover. État : New. 0312361653 New. Looks like an interesting title! We provide domestic tracking upon request, provide personalized customer service and want you to have a great experience purchasing from us. 100% satisfaction guaranteed and thank you for your consideration. N° de réf. du libraire M-0312361653
Description du livre Thomas Dunne Books, 2007. Hardcover. État : New. N° de réf. du libraire P110312361653
Description du livre Thomas Dunne Books, 2007. État : New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Praise forMen's Style: AGlobe and MailBest Book "Witty and informed manual of male dress sense.Mr. Smith provides detailed tips, with illustrations, on myriad points of male attire, from tweed selection to shirt-tucking to watches and Y-fronts, along with helpful overviews of big-picture manly clothing dilemmas."--The New York Times "His restless intellectualism, his muscular prose, and his signature wit make him theauteur de modefor the club crowd and fashion literati alike.Men's Styleabounds with captivating and original insights. Both a practical guide for the elegant man and a cultural survey of fashion and trends. It is even more entertaining as a collection of Smith's seductive prose and his often hilarious observations about the urban landscape."--The Globe and Mail "Flippantly brilliant."--Flare "A lively, witty yet sensible primer."--VancouverSun "Personal, knowledgeable, and full of tasteful advice."--Weekly Scoop. N° de réf. du libraire ABE_book_new_0312361653
Description du livre État : Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. N° de réf. du libraire 97803123616551.0