On the search for some fashion books? These are the 15 best books about menswear out there!
Menswear-focused books can be an important part of a grown gent’s home. Some style books are best suited for your nightstand, others for your coffee table.
Once you’ve read them, they’re a “rabbit-hole-free” resource for quick sartorial reminders. (Should your pocket square match your tie?).
They can also add a fun salon-like quality to your cocktail parties and dinners (did you know that brogues were made to drain water?). Plus, coffee table books are a necessary consideration when it comes to interior decorating and organization.
15 Essential Menswear Books
Check out these 15 best books about menswear, and pick out a few for yourself!
ABC of Men’s Fashion
Starting with this absolute classic, ABC of Men’s Fashion is like the Mastering the Art of French Cooking of the menswear world. Famously organized like a dictionary, this alphabetical guide certainly isn’t written like one. Sir Hardy Amies comes from a place of expertise and wit.
And even though Sir Hardy Amies wrote this tome in 1964, you know you can trust the man who imparted men with games like this: “A man should look as if he has bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care, and then forgotten all about them.”
Mario Testino SIR
TASCHEN’s limited edition of Mario Testino SIR is an actual piece of art. They crafted 1,000 numbered and signed copies, each bound in Japanese cloth, and presented in an exquisite metal slipcase.
Each volume features over 300 of Testino’s men’s fashion-focused photographs, many previously unpublished, all artistically curated to deconstruct the concept of masculinity.
There’s also an essay by famed art curator Pierre Borhan and an interview with art editor Patrick Kinmonth.
If you don’t have an extra grand lying around for this gigantic installation, you can opt for the modestly-priced coffee table trade version.
The Finest Menswear in the World: The Craftsmanship of Luxury
Written by luxury writer and Robb Report contributor Simon Crompton, The Finest Menswear in the World: The Craftsmanship of Luxury is a fascinating read.
It’s a technical behind-the-scenes look into how and with what all of the highest-end clothes are made.
It gets really specific, too, spotlighting things like the Milanese buttonhole, the importance of hand-stitched seams, and the science of silk screen printing.
True Style: The History and Principles of Classic Menswear
Like a good mentor, acclaimed fashion master G. Bruce Boyer speaks in a gentle-yet-firm voice in True Style: The History and Principles of Classic Menswear.
This book is a comprehensive guide from the evolution of fabric use to the principles of partnering patterns and textures. It’s also an entertaining read, written in prose as stylish as Boyer himself.
Men and Style: Essays, Interviews and Considerations
Men and Style is known for combining life lessons with fashion lessons, and really, aren’t the two inextricably related?
In addition to essays and advice, David Coggins interviews fashion world professionals and tastemakers, adding a conversational component to the book.
Sure, some of the advice can be taken with a grain of salt.
For example, “it only takes one time for you to realize that you wear a sport coat to the 21 Club” (21 sadly closed), and “never order a pink cocktail.” Still, when it isn’t giving excellent universal advice, the whole book is just so wildly entertaining.
Cool: Style, Sound, and Subversion
The New York club kids of the ‘80s, the greasers, and beats of the ‘50s all represented an X-factor of their generation — a style and vibe for the mainstream to catch up to.
Yet all of these “cool kids” have made a timeless impact on everyday fashion despite their subversive origins.
Streetwear: The Insider’s Guide
If there’s a long twisting line of young guys on Fairfax in LA or outside Round Two in New York, you better believe it’s because of a sneaker drop.
Today, hypebeast culture has even captivated high fashion, Louis Vuitton’s collaborations with Nike for example. Streetwear: The Insider’s Guide is the definitive source on urban youth culture, the source of the hypebeast phenomenon.
This book features hundreds of sketches, graphics, and photos documented by insiders who were there from the beginning.
The Sartorialist: MAN
Per The Sartorialist: MAN’s tagline, this book boasts, “Inspiration Every Man Wants, Education Every Man Needs.”
Scott Schuman has been documenting the world’s most fashionable people for years on his popular street style blog, The Sartorialist. This book focuses on men’s style specifically.
It’s essentially a documentary filled with a range of individual styles, all over the world, from men of all ages.
Whether or not you like preppy style, we can all take notes on how old America exudes effortless elegance. The best place to observe this? The campuses of Ivy League schools, of course.
Take Ivy was originally published in Japan in the ‘60s, even influencing Tokyo street style. From Finals Clubs to boat houses, this book showcases impeccably casual men hanging around in between their poli-sci and art history classes.
Relatedly, I should also mention the classic, Official Preppy Handbook, which you can find at second-hand online stores at a wide range of prices.
Virgil Abloh. ICONS. Nike
A visual education, ICONS explores The Ten, Virgil Abloh’s line of reimagined Nike
More than just for street stylers, this book delves into history, design, art, and sportswear culture. Since it’s TASCHEN, the book itself is an exquisite object. It’s minimal, a fun pop of color, and just beautiful to look at, open or closed.
The Laws of Style: Sartorial Excellence for the Professional Gentleman
Regarding fashion, few categories can be as confusing and ever-changing as the realm of “smart casual.” The Laws of Style explores the culture of casual Friday in the face of constant cultural shifts.
More options mean more advice, and Douglas Hand offers easy tips and tricks for men in every industry and with a lot of judgment-free practicality.
A Man & His Watch
More than just a technical history, A Man & His Watch delves into the watch world in the best possible way, through stories and lore about men who loved watches.
We’re talking Winston Churchill, FDR, Nasir Jones, Ralph Lauren, Sylvestor Stallone, and of course, Paul Newman. (Newman sported his Rolex Daytona every single day for 35 years).
Let’s be real, telling time isn’t the reason we wear watches. It’s for style and stories.
Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion
Sometimes, the best fashion advice is the kind that helps you avoid faux pas and pitfalls.
Sure, clothes should also be about self-expression, but Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion is for the guy who never wants to look at an old picture of himself and wonder, “What was I thinking?”
Legendary style expert Alan Flusser makes doing this easy. With two pillars, proportion and color, Flusser offers an approachable method to looking and feeling your best.
Gentleman: The Ultimate Companion to the Elegant Man
Gentleman: The Ultimate Companion to the Elegant Man gives essential working knowledge about fashion basics
Where it really shines, however, is in its easy-to-understand full sweep of the topic of fabrics. We’re talking flannels, chiffon, worsted, and much more.
It’s like a taste of fashion school without the 50k tuition.
Handmade Shoes for Men
Handmade Shoes for Men is both a 101 and a masterclass when it comes to men’s footwear.
It comprehensively breaks down the complete process of shoe-making, with a focus on timeless classics. The detailed photographs of every production state are what really bring this book to life.
For experts and neophytes alike, this book is impressively informative.
Whether you’re looking for a pop of color in your living room or ensuring your library is as complete as it can be, several of these books may be able to help.
A few of the selections on our list, ABC of Men’s Fashion, for example, are considered essentials for the style enthusiast.
The good thing about menswear books is that they’re always fun reads, with beautiful pictures. Really, they’re the kinds of books even non-readers can enjoy.
Questions? Comments? Leave them below!