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Fashion Sense: Bernhard Roetzel’s "A Guy’s Guide to Style"

by Mark Thompson
EDGE Style & Travel Editor
Friday Apr 6, 2012

With invitations that specify "business attire" or "creative black tie" or "festive," it's something difficult to navigate the catwalk on the road to looking good. What you need is a fashion primer, with a table of contents that includes "Formal wear," "Cool and casual," "Shoes," "How to buy efficiently," and, of course, "Accessories." Bernhard Roetzel's "A Guy's Guide to Style" provides all those chapters, as well as a chapter on "Cleaning and care" (apparently for those times when the maid is off and the cleaners is closed).

Published by H.F. Ullmann, the pocket-sized "A Guy's Guide to Style" offers a practicum on the basics of good fashion by providing sartorial tips for a broad range of occasions, including business meetings, formal occasions, and recreational activities. Colorful combinations of complete ensembles are offered for those who might need to post photographs in their closets. There's also a tutorial on the differences in business attire and etiquette in countries around the world (e.g. don't introduce women into the conversation in the Islamic world).

Author of numerous style and fashion guides, including "Gentleman: A Timeless Guide to Fashion," "British Tradition and Interior Design: Town and Country Living in the British Isles," "365 Style and Fashion Tips for Men," and "British Style," Roetzel has been a connoisseur of classic menswear for more than fifteen years. An author and editor, Roetzel studied design and worked in advertising and television production in Frankfurt and Hamburg.

Roetzel’s tone throughout the guide is conversational and pragmatic. Imagine a personal shopper at Bergdorf’s or Paul Stuart who also happens to be your most fashionable friend from university who has now taken you on as his personal project: to transform you into the kind of gentleman who walks down Fifth Avenue and attracts the attention of someone like "New York Times" photographer Bill Cunningham or night-owl Patrick McMullan.

On the subject of leather jackets, Roetzel writes "a brown bomber jacket...creates a sophisticated Ivy League look when teamed with chinos and cordovan leather boat shoes" - and it’s hard to refrain from dashing to your closet to see if you can work this look.

As for shorts, Roetzel dryly states that "the length and fit of these reveal a good deal about the true or desired age of the wearer." It’s food for thought as the summer months approach.

And speaking of warmer weather, Roetzel reminds us that "the most important rule for the summer months is that you must only exhibit the parts of your body that are presentable."

Loaded with photographs of the items that every burgeoning gentleman and blooming Beau Brummell should include in his closet, "A Guy’s Guide to Style" serves as an articulate and well-informed shopping companion. Similarly, this sartorial primer works equally well as a gift for your weekend host on the Island, at the beach, in the country - or anywhere that fashionable men gather, their legs crossed just so, never exposing a bare ankle.

As a dear friend once confessed to us, "Life would be so much more pleasant if only everyone dressed just a little bit nicer." Roetzel would agree - and "A Guy’s Guide to Style" is one means of making the world look that much better.


Hardcover: 240 pages
Price: $19.99
Publisher: hf ULLMANN
Language: English
ISBN-10: 3848000288
SBN-13: 978-3848000289
Publication Date: 15 May 2012


A Guy’s Guide to Style
Bernhard Roetzel blog


A long-term New Yorker and a member of New York Travel Writers Association, Mark Thompson has also lived in San Francisco, Boston, Provincetown, D.C., Miami Beach and the south of France. The author of the novels WOLFCHILD and MY HAWAIIAN PENTHOUSE, he has a PhD in American Studies and is the recipient of fellowships at MacDowell, Yaddo, and Blue Mountain Center. His work has appeared in numerous publications.


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