11 Best Fashion Books You Need on Your Shelf

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Today I want to breeze through some of the fashion books that I've read in the past year. Some I use as reference books for blogs, others I use for design inspiration, some I just the like pictures ok? 

I think these fashion books offer something for everyone and I'd love to get some recommendations from you in the comments below. 

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DRESSED TO KILL - JAMES BOND THE SUITED HERO 

The impact of the Bond films on popular culture is impossible to overestimate. (BTW if this is your cup of tea then I can recommend  my friend Pete Brooker's podcast From Tailors With Love where he dedicates an entire 30 minutes every week to the style of James Bond). 

Dressed to Kill follows the sartorial transformations from the 1960s chic of the Nehru-collared jacket in Dr No to the classic Italian tailoring by Brioni in Goldeneye. 

Dressed to Kill is available on AMAZON: 25 GBP

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FASHIONPEDIA 

The visual dictionary of fashion design. This is very much a reference book for me that I must turn to at least 2-3 times a week. It has everything from flat designs, collar types to the anatomy of a mans dress watch. 

From the Fashionary Website: 49 USD (I purchased mine in the Saatchi Gallery).

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ICONS of MEN'S STYLE - JOSH SIMS

I probably started my modest collection with this beautiful book a few years ago. Again this is a great reference guide for me. Behind nearly every item in the modern male wardrobe is a 'first of its kind' - the definitive example., often designed by a single company or brand for specialist use, from which all subsequent versions have evolved (and originals of which are now collected in the booming vintage market). 

Icons of Men's Style: Available from Waterstones for 10 GBP 

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FASHION IN FILM - CHRISTOPHER LAVERTY 

Christopher Laverty is a costume and fashion writer and consultant. Fashion in Film celebrates the contributions of fashion designers to cinema, exploring key garments, what they mean in context of the narrative, and why they are so memorable. Be sure to check out Christopher's blog

Clothes on Film is available through his publisher Laurence King: 30 GBP

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HOUSE OF NUTTER: LANCE RICHARDSON 

House of Nutter tells the story of two gay men who influenced some of the most iconic styles and pop images of the twentieth century. A fascinating read and wonder through 60's, 70's menswear. Anyone who loved Rocketman and is interested in the suits Elton John wore would definitely be interested in this book. Tommy Nutter also designed the clothes worn by 3 of The Beatles on the cover of the Abbey Road album. 

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A HISTORY OF FASHION - J.ANDERSON BLACK & MADGE GARLAND 

This is a real comprehensive view on the subject of fashion. Maybe you'd struggle to take this on your summer hols, it's quite hefty. However, it's a glossy treasure-house of information. I was lucky enough to pick this up in a charity store. Sadly I've not managed to find one online. 

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THE KING OF CARNABY STREET - THE LIFE OF JOHN STEPHEN - JEREMY REED

John Stephen first came to London in 1952 at just eighteen years old, but his expertise and unerring eye for cut and detail propelled him to the front of the fashion brigade. You'll find his blue plaque on the fringe of Carnaby Street. 

Available from Waterstones for 20 GBP

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BOUTIQUE LONDON: A HISTORY: KING'S ROAD to CARNABY STREET - RICHARD LESTER 

To any style conscious Londoner in the sixties just two places mattered: the King's Road and Carnaby Street. By the end of the decade the whole world came to be seen, to take part in the theatre that played out of the new boutiques and onto the street. 

This book is beautiful, wonderful images and really captures the essence of the time. 

By this used on Amazon right now for 15 GBP 

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MAKING THE CUT: RICHARD ANDERSON 

Master cutter Richard Anderson has worked on Savile Row for over 35 years. He started his career at the age of seventeen as an apprentice at Huntsman. In 2001 he co-founded his own Savile Row company, Richard Anderson LTD, with Brian Lishak. 

I learnt a lot from Richard in this book and its beautifully presented. 

Available through Thames and Hudson for 30 GBP

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SAVILE ROW - THE MASTER TAILORS OF SAVILE ROW 

James Sherwood is currently working with Henry Poole I noticed. He did a book with Turnbull and Asser and it's hard to believe that this book is nearly 10 years old. It's the real almanac for Savile Row tailors and it's elite and lustrous history. 

Available on Amazon for 30 GBP. More information on James Sherwood can be found on his website

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THE WORLD'S MOST INFLUENTIAL FASHION DESIGNERS - NOEL PALOMO-LOVINSKI 

Another great reference book for the history of inspiration. Each of the 50 designers is analyzed according to his or her most significant contributions to the dialogue of fashion. There is a special emphasis on who and what influenced each designer, as well as how the designer has inspired others, thereby revealing connections that have helped to shape the history of fashion. 

Buy used from AMAZON for 2 GBP 

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Books + Beer | Time to Bin the Box-sets

Today I'd like to talk to you about Books and Beer. Sounds a great cop-buddy duo from the 70's right? Books is a learned detective with 10 years on the force. He has a resplendent moustache and immaculately dressed in 3-piece city tweed suits. Beer can do shoulder rolls across the hood of an SUV and doesn't wait for back up. 

I'll be the first to admit that in the advent of Netflix, box-sets etc, there's been a huge disparity between the books I currently own and the books I've read. Meaning I have every intention of reading books when I buy them, yet find the months tick by and they've sat on the shelf, unmolested by eyes and hands. 

Well today's the day I end this procrastination. Especially with the launch of Books + Beer, a brand new subscription box inviting members to relax and take time to broaden their minds with fascinating reads and a couple of the finest craft beers.

Reading has always been a stabilising influence for me. However, I spend so much time reading and researching articles, that I've become like the chef in the restaurant that orders a take-away when he gets home because he can't stand the sight of his own kitchen. 

Books + Beer aims to provide a monthly prompt to slow down, with all you need for a relaxed night in, in a box – the perfect chilled-out moment to enjoy the simple pleasure of reading. 

Members select their preferred genre - (I've opted for business and self-development) and receive a recently-published paperback, along with two craft beers. Doesn't that sound like a better night in that thumbing through endless reams of odious and self-congratulatory social posts. What nourishment are you really going to get from seeing someone’s birds eye view of a bowl of pasta? 

What about the craft beer Carl, are those any good?

Each box features two interesting cans or bottles, from pioneering, up-and-coming breweries. They choose brews to suit most palates – and also include tasting notes and recipe suggestions plus a curated soundtrack, so you’ve got a chilled night in, in a box! 

Need one more reason to sign up? 

Books and Beers have also partnered with CALM, with a 50p donation from every single box benefiting the male mental health charity and its vital work. Suicide remains the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK, what a horrible fact! This is a worthy cause and a great subscription service. 

And the price? 

Books + Beer costs £10 per month, plus P&P, with discounts of 5% and 10% on six and twelve month subscriptions - and including a donation to CALM.

 

The Best Books to Up Your Dating Game

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Gentleman, it's been over 13 years since many of us picked up The Game by Neil Strauss, chucked on the most bilious of shirts and peacocked up and down the streets of Soho like the horrible wretches we were. Has there been any other decent books about dating since then that will help us up our game? Here's a list I've put together for you. 

 

Confessions of a Tinderella 

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It's not all about learning chat up lines and body language. This book from Rosy Edwards talks about what Tinder can be like from the other side of the fence. Are women just as frivolous when it comes to swiping as guys? Are they any less materialistic? Rosy talks about where guys are going wrong on Tinder in a candid and hilarious way. 

 

High Fidelity - Nick Hornby

Yes it's fiction, but High Fidelity is a real page turner. The film is also a great watch and it really encompasses a spiritual journey that all men would like to embark on; hounding out our ex-girlfriends and finding out why they dumped us. 

 

You Just Don't Understand - Deborah Tannen

How often do we get to hear that? Tannen makes the important point that if two people communicate in different ways, continuing with the same approach - only trying even harder - won't solve problems when they are at cross purposes.

Not currently in print but well worth digging out if you find it pop up on eBay or in vantage market stalls. 

 

Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps - Allan Pease

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This book demonstrates the fundamental differences between men and women's brain circuitry. There is some clever use of humour and some nice anecdotes, which enhance the pleasure of reading this book.

It is well written and uses scientific fact very well to explain human behaviour. Slightly sexist and dated at times, so anyone that's a fan of the early James Bond films will love this. 

 

On Love and Loneliness - Krishnamurti

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Sometimes we need to pull back the onion layers on a relationship and ask what we are really in it for? Is it a quick bang? Are we filling a Dad shaped hole? (That's for the women reading, otherwise that sounds weird).

On Love and Loneliness is a compelling investigation of our intimate relationships with ourselves, others and society. 

 

Why Men are the Way They are - Warren Farrell

I once read that any man that hasn't read this book, is walking around with a blindfold on.

It's a book that sympathises with both sexes although centres on Farrell's assumption that men prioritise women's looks in their partner selection, while women have multiple criteria. 

 

How To Flirt With Women & Get What You Want: A Guide To Flirting, Dating & Seduction - Ryan Harris

This book doesn’t only tell you how to up your game, it teaches you the benefits of a positive mindset, and really engaging with mindfulness, to bring your successes to other arenas of your life.

This book focuses on creating quality connections with women, recognising and utilising your own strong points and building the confidence to use them to their fullest.

 

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