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VINE VOICEon 3 January 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is very like its cover: which is fake letterpress with a ribbon bookmark; something pretending to be other than it is.

It seems to me very probable that this volume continues a series of articles that were originally published on the web site, in a style becoming known as "long form". Which means essays that talk around a subject, rather than directly on a subject. Mr Porter takes the affectation of referring to people as "Mr" (or "Ms", but overwhelmingly "Mr").

Oddly enough, relatively few articles are about clothes; instead they explore all topics of style: architecture, interior design, cars (but as design, not as temples of speed), grooming products (for men), and famous men. There is a section placed in the middle of the book called "The Knack", which is a collection of advice articles: cocktails, watches, lingerie, cooking.

If you follow the Mr Porter web site for the articles, then this is definitely for you (but have you already read all the content on-line?); if you follow other, similar web sites and print publications (GQ, Esquire, Monocle, Valet, Dappered, Primer), it's worth a look. But treat it as a transient magazine, rather than a a reference book for advice.

My disclaimer: I don't follow Mr Porter, the web site, and I have not read Volume 1 of Mr Porter, the book.
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VINE VOICEHALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 24 January 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Mr Porter Paper-Back, based on the popular website, is a guide to style for the modern gentleman. Whether it be showing you how to get the perfect dimple in a tie, or discussing the different ways to wear a denim jacket, Mr Porter is certain to show you the fashion faux-pas you never knew you were making.

Although this is primarily sartorial elegance, you also get advice on how to mix cocktails, how to behave in a sauna, and how to dance at a wedding.

If I might hazard a word of criticism of this fine tome, resplendent with a silk book-mark, it is this: I haven't read Mr Porter volume one, and it may be that all of the basics are covered in that, but it seems to me that the selection of advice in this book is slightly random. Most men need the basics of choosing the right suit, what goes with what, how to match your tie shape to your face shape and other such introductory tips before progressing to this level of detail. Also -- if I might offer one other critical note -- much of what is covered here is extremely fashionable at the moment -- like the tie dimple -- but is not necessarily timeless.

For those fascinated by male manners and grooming, this is an interesting and entertaining read, and such readers are likely to be able to distinguish between the important and the trivial. For most men, it may be a tad on the fussy side.
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VINE VOICEon 23 January 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a light-hearted but useful little reference book with various bits of advice on how to be a stylish man. It consists of many short chapters that are very easy to read, with the writing style being friendly and inviting. The topics of the chapters are fairly random - there's everything from 'The Denim Jacket' to 'Desk Lamps', complete with photos of stars through the ages wearing denim jackets, or different designs of desk lamp to make your office more fashionable. If you've ever wondered about issues such as how best to pull off the double-denim look, then you'll find these chapters useful! There are also a large amount of short chapters focusing on interviews with particular men - movie stars, designers, etc. I would say the book is about half advice chapters and half interview chapters.

The book is nicely presented - quite small and plain on the outside, but it uses high quality paper stocks and has a wide variety of pictures and photos inside, as well as a ribbon bookmark. I do think the full sale price is incredibly high for what you get though. If you can snap it up on sale then it makes a nice gift for a guy who likes to look good and be knowledgeable about the things that gentlemen should know!
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VINE VOICEon 4 February 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Mr Porter, the website, offers high end expensive menswear online. In order to encourage us to visit the website they have a weekly Mr Porter Journal - a magazine made up of short interviews, general interest pieces and snapshots of the rich and famous in clothes they hope to encourage us to wear. The Mr Porter Paperback takes some of the more general journalistic pieces and repackages them in paper form.

The most obvious question therefore, given that all the material here is available for free online, as part of the back catalogue of past journals at the website, is why you would pay for the articles in book form? It is, perhaps, true that you might be encouraged to read articles you otherwise wouldn't. I imagine that given the nature of the very short articles this is likely to find its way into many bathrooms and toilets - as these are perhaps the least web-browser friendly rooms in your house that might provide a reason.

The paperback form also means, in some cases, that you appear to miss out on some of the photographs that accompanied the original interviews or articles - those more obviously designed to show off particular products. This sometimes leaves articles looking rather slight. Where the articles ask us admire the style of particular individuals extra illustrations would definitely have helped.

As for the content itself, it is very variable. At its best it manages to be amusing and entertaining (many of 'The Knack' articles - mini How To guides) or provide nuggets of information and beautiful illustrations (an article on Art Deco cars or unusual design pieces). At its worst, there are too many interviews with people I, certainly, haven't heard of or don't care about (Race Imboden? Rita Ora?). An article about driving to work ('Fasten Your Seat Belt') meanwhile must be one of the more annoying London-centric things I have read in a long while.

Overall, then a book that is just okay. I got mine for free as a review copy, had I paid for it I might well have felt somewhat let down.
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VINE VOICETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 13 January 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Mr Porter is an upmarket online menswear retailer. It's website features an online 'lifestyle' magazine, The Journal, and this book and it's predecessor consist of various articles reprinted from there.

So it's not, in fact, a 'Manual' at all then, though there is a middle section full of all that guff about how to make the perfect martini and tying your tie properly that all men's magazines print twice a year and is probably of limited use in everyday life,(mine, certainly) especially given that I suspect the vast majority of men who read GQ still live with their parents. The rest of the book consists of interviews with various fashion icons and longform essays on designer furniture, architecture, etc - the usual panoply of metrosexual concerns.

For what it is, It's very well written, and the book is very nicely presented, with various paper stocks, great photography and graphics, and a faux-letterpress cover. I'm just not sure, in this day and age, who would want or need what really amounts to a 20 quid bound copy of a men's lifestyle magazine.
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VINE VOICEon 17 April 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Elegance, sartorial or otherwise, is covered in great detail here. This is the Western/Caucasian meaning of the word, and makes for interesting reading. It does make me wonder about what was covered in Volume 1, and it follows to wonder whether I am vain.

Here is a disclaimer, I look at the male section of the Fashion supplements in Sunday broadsheets and responses range from admiration and envy to "what the heck?" So this provides some form to my nebulous musings,

The chapters are highly readable, and it follows that ideas and themes that come up on the Mr Porter's website have been expanded to the printed form. For anyone snubbing the effort for snobbishness, here is a thought: think of the ridiculous things boys are into and imagine if you whisked one of those aspects away and got them interested in this book instead.

I would recommend it for the young man beginning to find his style.
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VINE VOICEon 10 January 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If I would give this book stars, they would all be very shiny and used in the correct manner that they were intended. And there would be five of them.

This is part two of the series, and although I haven’t read part one, this holds itself well as a stand alone.

This is a manual for the modern man, who takes great care in all things proper. With articles about how to achieve a ‘tie dimple’ (I didn’t know I wanted one until I read this) to how to choose the right Rolex for you. (I did want one before I read this, and still do.)

It also features interviews so well written that it warrants them being published in a book.

It has been printed with such attention to detail and on a number of different paper types that makes it such a pleasure to hold.

It’s brilliant, get it.
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VINE VOICEon 20 March 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a fun, witty and slightly tongue in cheek guide to modern style for men that doesn’t take itself too seriously. However it is not silly or superficial. Anyone with a slight interest in style, will get a lot from this book of short articles on subjects so diverse as choosing a stand out shirt, how to tweet, how to buy lingerie for a lady, how to take the perfect penalty, etc etc. Lots of pictures of stylish role models, with a short paragraph explaining exactly why they were considered icons of male style. The book concentrates on style and not fashion, and so will not date. A perfect book.
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on 29 January 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a thoroughly funny book, where the most random of things - such as how to face a bear if attacked by one - are turned into style icons. We find advice such as 'Don't enter into a marriage that would never work', why buying a second-hand Rolex is a much better investment than buying a brand new one and so on.
It's an illustrated edition and it will entertain you for a few hours on the train/plane, but don't take it too seriously.
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on 16 April 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a peculiar book, billed as volume II of 'A manual for a stylish life, it features interviews with Milanese furniture makers, actor Simon Pegg, musician Brian Ferry and a look at classic art-deco drives, among its range of delights. Pegg is very talented and a clever guy but stylish? Not sure about that.

It comes in at a price that would be expensive for a hardcover of similar size and yet it's only a paperback. Having said that, the paper quality is exceptional and the book is novel made and comes with a nice ribbon marker.
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