Saturday, February 25, 2012
Like most men, what I first learned about clothing I learned by observing others. In my case, observation took me to Brooks Brothers and its cousins, where I remained for many years. It was only after I began travelling internationally with some regularity that I took a wider interest in men's dress, beginning to read everything I could find on the subject, both in and out of print. There was a lot of dross, but a couple dozen volumes were of enduring value and I continue to return to them again and again.
There are at least two reasons to collect books on men's dress: the novitiate may seek guidance while the clothing hobbyist can never have too much information. I hope to give value to both of them by offering a series of the titles that have been the most useful to me, autographed by the author (this means that though they may no longer be stocked by Amazon there are still a few copies in a warehouse somewhere, and of course that the author is still walking around). The combination makes them true rarities, but for the moment still reasonably priced.
The first two offerings along this line are Nicholas Storey's History of Men's Fashion and History of Men's Accessories. There were fewer than half a dozen of each of these still available at wholesale in North America, and ASW has them. Storey writes about dress from a classically English perspective, with all that that implies. I enjoyed learning from them, and so will the few men who acquire these copies.