While there are plenty of style and etiquette books available for women, you’d be hard-pressed to find many of a masculine nature. Is it because men are less interested in looking good? Do they not want to give off a great first impression? Wouldn’t they like to be known as the dependably stylish one in their group, rather than the deadbeat in the tracksuit pants and holey t-shirt? How could they not want to exude confidence to their peers, wearing outfits that fit perfectly, while still maintaining a distinctly masculine look?
Paul Giles, a columnist for News Corp (and a former international male model) has recognised the gap in male fashion guides, and has written this book to help teach the more oblivious men in the world how to portray confidence and style in their everyday lives. There have been few books released in Australia that tackle men’s grooming, etiquette and clothing (besides a Queer Eye For The Straight Guy book I once came across), and so this book is invaluable to the man who wants to look good, without appearing to try too hard.
Split into several chapters, this book mostly deals with wardrobes and fashion, while the rest of the pages are dedicated to grooming, clothing maintenance and etiquette for all social situations. Giles lists the most important items a man should have in his wardrobe and justifies his claims in much the same way as a women’s magazine would- saying that once you have these clothing staples, you won’t need to buy anything else (except a few trend pieces here and there). He also teaches how to look after said items so that they last as long as possible, without getting too ratty. This is made to appeal to the reluctant shopper, who would rather not make a habit of going out clothes shopping. He provides helpful diagrams on various necktie knots (and the best occasion for each one) and even shows the different ways you can fold a pocket square for maximum impact. Shoes, belts, hats and other accessories are also covered in the fashion section, for those who are unsure about what they might need to help pull an outfit together.
In the grooming section, Giles highlights the importance of hygiene and tries to change men’s perceptions regarding skin care, (unwanted) hair removal and general body upkeep. He explains the best facial hair styles for different face shapes, and gives useful advice regarding the management of sweat, bad breath and other embarrassing hygiene issues that some people face on a daily basis. In the etiquette section, he highlights the importance of a strong handshake, the benefits of good posture, the best ways to romance a woman and a host of other topics.
Some men may not need this book, while for others, it might provide just the support they need. Regardless, it’s full of interesting tips (that both men and women can take on board) and could mean the difference between your man being a fashion faux-pas or a style god.