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The Books Every Fashionista Should Own

Reading! The written word; the last bastion of everything that is sanctified and holy. "The world will read again!" Cries a drunken Timothy Spall at a house party in the movie Vanilla Sky. Almost a desperate plea than a prophetic forecast. But for those that choose reading as their pastime, whether it’s to achieve some elusive goal of omniscience, to kill time at an airport or simply an excuse not to talk to your hairdresser, I salute you. For fashionistas and wannabe sartorial scholars, here is a list of top books everyone should have on their shelves, recommended by fellow bloggers, designers and smart-alecs.

American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis 

"American Psycho if it’s fiction. Or I quite like the Debretts guide for the modern gentleman if it’s non-fiction." - David Goodman, Rake Magazine.

American Psycho
American Psycho

ABC of Men's Fashion - Hardy Amies 

"This style guide was published by Hardy Amies in 1964 and is still as relevant today proving that good style never goes out of fashion." - Adam Tanous, Dapper Chapper

Take Ivy - Teruyoshi Hayashida  

"It might not be haute couture but Take Ivy resonates with anyone who enjoys a touch of preppy cool. For further inspiration, this book and JFK’s style are one in the same. It’s also been an inspiration for many of today's fashion designers." - Chris Beastall, Ape to Gentleman.

Take Ivy
Take Ivy

The Bandini Quartet - John fante 

"It's probably the deepest, grittiest, most honest piece of writing I've ever read. I think 'fashionistas' sometimes forget about GRIT. Grit is the womb of all genius. Without it, everything is pretty, and pointless. With a style comes a responsibility. You have to OWN what you wear... you can't just wear what you own." - Galih Richardson, We Are Outlanders

Man's Search for Meaning - Victor Franklin 

"I read it last Summer and found it the most moving book as to man's strength in adversity that I cannot imagine, and how a sliver of beauty or human kindness can keep the will to live." - Emma Willis, Shirt Tailor.

Galih Richardson
Galih Richardson

The Fantastic Man Book 

"Definitely the Fantastic Man book. The team behind Fantastic Man magazine have brought together 69 of the world’s trendsetting men. There’s everyone from the obvious names like David Beckham and Tom Ford, to some lesser known but equally as Fantastic (and stylish) Men. I keep this book on my sideboard so that it always catches my eye, it’s a great form of style inspiration!" - John Robertson, The Everyday Man

A Year on the Run - Damian Hall 

"As the co-founder of a running brand you won't be surprised that I'll recommend a running book. Even fashionistas know in their hearts that to look good you need to feel good and running is the perfect way to achieve this. It’s a great book to dip into with a different running "nugget" for every day of the year - interesting, occasionally quirky but always inspiring. The book is also beautifully illustrated by young graphic artist Damian Hall." - Bill Byrne, Co-founder of Iffley Road.

The Fantastic Man Book
The Fantastic Man Book

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde  

"A critique on how one can get consumed by living a hedonistic lifestyle while jealousy and the pursuit of perfection can be your undoing. Witty and elegantly written, perfect to accompany you on your commute or while holiday." - Chris Chasseaud, Norwegian Rain

The Backbone of Britain: The People Behind the Craft 

"There’s a number of different publications that I often find myself deeply emerged in. The real gem that sits on the shelf comes from Chris and Rob at ‘With love project’, whom we have had the pleasure to work with before. What started out as a blog, soon turned into a much bigger picture, and after months and months of hard work, they curated a book. The aim, to find people who still produce things with a passion and purpose in Britain, something that every proud Brit, craftsman and connoisseur should pursue with a fiery passion." – Jason Crompton, Norman Walsh.

The Backbone of Britain: The People Behind the Craft
The Backbone of Britain: The People Behind the Craft

Fashion guide for Men - Bernhard Roetzel  

"I would like to mention Bernard Roetzel's Fashion guide for Men and The Gentleman because they both cover it all for the man who is looking for the why's and how's in men's fashion." - Jan Höjman, Tailorstore.

Peter Brooker

Peter is a published author on men's style, a huge James Bond fanatic and the host of our very own Menswear Style Podcast. His new book 'From Tailors with Love: An Evolution of Menswear Through the Bond Films' is available now.

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