In an industry which is known for its fads, fickleness and superficiality (clothing and fashion) Bruce Boyer’s writing has stood the test of time and he remains enormously respected within the industry.
When I caught up with Bruce at Leonard Logsdail’s studio in New York this March, he mentioned he had a new book coming out later this year and he was kind enough to send me a copy last week.
Bruce has spent decades covering menswear globally and in his new book “True Style – The History and Principles of Classic Menswear” Bruce distills a lifetime of knowledge into its pages.
Arranged alphabetically, each chapter covers a key item of classic menswear, be it clothing or accessories, highlighting its origins and evolution as societal more’s have shifted and along with it, creating changes to the male wardrobe. Understanding how something came into existence and how it has changed over time gives us a better appreciation for the item itself, as well as clues as to how it’s best worn. The greatest value in each chapter is contained towards the end, where Bruce highlights how best to wear the item in question, common mistakes which are made and how to choose the right item for you. Where many other books miss the mark is to give a historical account, but offer no advice on how to wear something well. I’m glad Bruce chose to go down the path he did, it will be practically helpful to the many men who read it.
In addition to the chapters covering specific items of clothing, Bruce has chosen to select a few key styles of menswear, explained their core elements and history and what makes the look their best – such as the Ivy look, the Italian look and the always contentious topic of “Sprezzatura” (the Italian term meaning studied nonchalance). If you’ve wondered why some men look efortlessly stylish, while others look too studied, this will interest you.
For me, the chapter on craftsmanship is the one closest to my heart and throughout the book there runs an undercurrent highlighting the values of buying less, buying well, caring for your clothes and for yourself. Bruce is from the old school, he is a gentleman and for the dwindling few of us who can appreciate the philosophy subtly woven throughout the pages, True Style is a valuable addition to any enthusiasts book collection.
But True Style on Amazon here.
Buy True Style on BookDepository here.