Another week and another book selected from the stack of menswear-related titles on the table next to the roaring fireplace here in the library at Well Dressed mansion. A steaming mug of strong tea, a pile of butter cookies and my reading monocle polished and ready.
Todays offering is a recent publication from the productive Josh Sims, eminent author of “Icons of men’s style” as well. This time it’s not the big pieces he’s taking a look at, but as the full title states, it’s about “Iconic men’s accessories”. This basically opens the field to include everything a man might wear, from top to toe, both hands and pockets full.
The chapter headings will give you a good idea of what to expect from the book. The 176 pages consist of:
- Formal headwear
- Casual headwear
- Watches & jewelry
Each chapter covers up to half a dozen sub-topics, with each topic getting at least 2 pages, if not more.
As is the way with Josh Sims, you get a proper amount of information to go with the illustrations. To me this means the difference between a picture book that has the longevity of a newspaper and a book that has actual value as a reference. The text is obviously well researched, is well written and the nice topic-sized chunks mean it can be read in intervals.
I was intrigued to find that the modern rucksack, with a load bearing frame, originates from Norway, with one of the patents filed by Ole Bergan in 1909, a surname that no doubt was the origin of Bergans, a company that still makes rucksacks.
Another interesting fact is that braces, or suspenders, were once considered to be part of a gentleman’s underwear, and hence had to be hidden from sight. Not a problem when everyone wore a three-piece suit, or a pullover, but when heat meant clothing had to be discarded, it could leave a chap in trouble. The introduction of the belt helped a lot in this respect. As late as in 1938 it was considered “sartorial indecency” to be wearing braces without cover in Long Island, New York.
In summary I’d say this is one of the rare menswear books that is worth the asking price. At 19.95 pounds retail there is more quality info than usual and Josh Sims is to be commended on yet another fine piece.
- Excellent textual content
- Great images
- Could have been even longer
Retail price 19.95 pounds
Available now from the usual places, or direct from Laurence King Publishing.