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Top Three Menswear Books To Read During The Coronavirus Quarantine

COVID-19 has taken our world and turned it topsy-turvy. To say that we’re living in unprecedented times is an understatement of, well, unprecedented proportions. Many of us have been laid off or lost jobs. Even those of us who still work (from home) find ourselves with government-mandated extra time on our hands.

Global pandemic or not, we’re image consultants. We think about clothes, grooming, and communication all the time. Image is top of mind for us, a passion. We spend lots of time educating ourselves on the subject, and we hope that the following three books – favorites of ours around the shop – will help keep boredom at bay, give you a break from the 24-hour news cycle, and enrich your understanding of your menswear.


Dressing The Man – Alan Flusser

Alan Flusser’s Dressing The Man was originally published in 2002 and quickly became the go-to reference for all things menswear. Both a tailor and sartorial historian who’d already written two other books, Flusser’s third tome knocked it out of the park. 

The book’s success can be attributed to its setup: it’s one part history, and one part how-to manual. To truly understand style – not fashion, but style – is to understand that how we wear things and why we wear things are inextricably linked. Organized into sections such as color, pattern, shoes, formalwear, casual wear, and much more, it’s easy to read from front to back or pick apart in whatever order you might like. The author’s flowery prose manages to convey expertise alongside accessibility, which is no small feat.

Keep this one on your coffee table. It makes a great reference work, as well.

Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion


True Style – G. Bruce Boyer

Where Dressing The Man functions as a how-to guide, True Style takes a more abstract approach to writing about menswear. This book is less for the budding clothes enthusiast and more for the seasoned style aficionado.

A former menswear editor for Town & Country, GQ, and Esquire, Boyer is a giant of menswear. Also a former English professor, his tone is knowledgeable and philosophical. His book seeks to answer the question, “What is style?”

He organizes his answer by chapter, most of which are named for major concepts that exist in the pantheon of men’s dress. Some examples are:

  • Eyewear
  • Shirts
  • Pocket Squares
  • Maintenance
  • Grooming
  • Evening Dress
  • Boots


One chapter is called “Maxims.” Literally just a collection of quotes that Boyer himself coined, they’re fantastic little tidbits that every guy interested in style can enjoy. Some of our favorite examples are as follows:

  • “Being inappropriately dressed has the potential to be more embarrassing than saying something stupid.”
  • “Style is the art of bending fashion to personality.”
  • “Clothes are social tools, like language, manners, and a sense of humor.”
  • “It’s much easier to get what you want if you’re dressed for it.”

For a professorial, abstract take on all things men’s style, treat yourself to Boyer’s book.



Icons of Men’s Style – Josh Sims

Whereas most books on the subject focus on men of style, Sims’ coffee table book focuses on those prototypical items in our closet that have defined the boundaries of menswear for the past 100+ years. 

This book won’t teach you the best shirt collar for your face, nor will it bemoan the modern man’s inability and/or unwillingness to wear a bow tie. It will give you a comprehensive list of the canonical pieces of clothing that comprise a well-dressed man’s wardrobe, complete with basic historical background and plenty of illustrations. 

The list of items Sims generated for his book gets two thumbs up from us. He tackles everything from Bermuda shorts to the denim jacket, from the t-shirt to the duffle coat, and almost everything in between.

This is definitely a book to keep on the coffee table. 
Icons of Men's Style


In Conclusion

The days and weeks ahead will be long, for better or for worse. While we are hoping for the quickest, healthiest end possible to the coronavirus pandemic, we see this time as an opportunity for reflection, self-improvement, and – just maybe – a little bit more enjoyment of life’s small pleasures. Reading and menswear are two of our most treasured pleasures, and we hope you enjoy the books mentioned above as much as we do.

We are here for you during this difficult time. Should you find yourself with such time that you can begin planning your spring wardrobe, we’d be happy to set up a call or a video chat. Should you need anything else – related to clothing or not – do not hesitate to reach out to us at info@henrydavidsen.com or 215-253-5905.


Icons of Men's Style
Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion



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