The ascent of man
The workday has become international. Men who are climbing the higher rungs of the professional and business worlds tend to accumulate many frequent-flier miles, and chances are their wardrobe labels reflect their travels. Alan Flusser, menswear designer and tastemaker, has written "Style and the Man," (HarperStyle, $24.95), a guide to dressing and shopping the fashion capitals of the world.
This is not a guide for bargain hunters, but a sourcebook for the gentleman who is willing to invest in quality and status.
Flusser lists addresses, phone and fax numbers, hours and contacts for establishments as diverse as Asprey's accessory palace in London and Chirstl of Vienna, purveyors of the finest gloves.
The book is well-padded with anecdotes and historical references to all that is pertinent to a gentleman's dress. What everyone needs are good buddies who are funny,
sophisticated and willing to tell the truth even when it hurts. "Paisley Goes With Nothing," (Doubleday, $20) is a style guide for men who need some smart warnings about fashion pitfalls.
Hal Rubenstein and Jim Mullen are just those guys. They tackle grooming, dressing and etiquette head on. Some quick bites:
Your socks should never be funnier than you are.
There's a time and place for everything except dickies.
You're supposed to go through the revolving door before she does, so you can push.
It's a good crash course for those embarking on a career -- or a timely brush-up. Styles do change.
Small shopping strategies
Parents know smaller doesn't mean cheaper when it comes to outfitting kids. "The Smart Shoppers Guide to the Best Buys for Kids," (Macmillan Spectrum, $12.95) is a paperback packed with savings hints from Sue Robinson, editor of Kid News. She shares insider info about buying clothes, toys and furniture from discounters, catalogs and showrooms. Her sense of the retail cycle provides tips on seasonal bargains. For example, February and March are the best months for buying bicycles because large toy chains are bringing in new spring models and clearing out the floor stock at huge savings. Is there a wedding in your future? It's never too soon to think about the dress and trimmings. Brides and their friends who have some needle knack may want to consider making their own. "I Do Veils," by Claudia Lynch, is a step-by-step guide to making headpieces and hats with professional results.
Ideas range from arranging fairly simple veiling to fancy jeweled and embroidered crowns. Call or fax Harpagon Productions, Rocky River, Ohio (216) 233-3143. Cost including shipping is $24.95.