Men in Style: Golden Age of Fashion from "Esquire" Hardcover – Illustrated, 25 May 1993
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Mr. Hochswender is, arguably, the best living writer on this subject. Besides an encyclopedic knowledge of the field, his style, witty and easy to comprehend, makes for a great read.
If you can acquire this book somehow, please do it. You will have deeper insight not only into fashion but also into male behavior in general.
While great for reference and education, though, what's surprising about "Men in Style" is how entertaining a read it is. That's because -- unlike many of the others who reproduce these images -- Hochswender has included the editorial copy that accompanied the illustrations as they appeared in the magazine. As a professional copywriter myself, it was a joy to read (as Hochswender describes it in his introduction) "the crisply explanatory writing, dictatorial without being annoying, [arising] from a time when standards of behavior were inextricably linked to conventions in clothes. The editors were extremely uncompromising in their point of view, but at least they had one." Arnold Gingrich, founding editor of "Esquire," apparently produced much of this copy himself in the early years, and is to be commended for his distinctive and entertaining voice.
If there's anything wrong with this book, it has to be that it's far too short. Hochswender had two or three decades worth of "Esquire" to work from, and I wish he had picked two or three times as many of these illustrations to include. Still, it's easy to tell someone else they should have worked harder, and I have no complaints with the outstanding work he did do. Among men who appreciate and try to maintain classic style -- a Nockian Remnant in a world where every day is "Casual Friday" -- "Men in Style" is a book to return to again and again for both spiritual uplift and practical application.