Skip to content

Category Archives: books

Men’s style books: Adolf Loos, Why a Man Should Be Well-Dressed

Here we have a book that, to Put This On readers, may at first seem both perfectly relevant and perfectly irrelevant. Much of the relevance comes expressed, of course, in the title itself: notions of Why a Man Should Be Well-Dressed would make for a fine companion to instructions about how a man can dress well, or, […]

The Consummate Writer of Place: Christopher Rand in Los Angeles, China, and Beyond, 1943-1968

“LOS ANGELES may be the ultimate city of our age.” So begins the 20th century’s most unjustly forgotten book on Los Angeles, written by one of its most unjustly forgotten writers of place. Christopher Rand’s Los Angeles: The Ultimate City appeared in 1967, published by Oxford University Press and built upon a trilogy of articles TheNew Yorker ran in […]

Men’s style books: Nathaniel Adams and Rose Callahan, I Am Dandy

I Am Dandy: The Return of the Elegant Gentleman consists of 56 profiles of well-dressed men. Each one names the place of birth, current location, and occupation of the profiled. The first varies, the second tends toward the predictable urban suite of New York, London, and Paris, and the third includes such implausible careers as “creative […]

Five favorite reads of 2013 on Conversational Reading

Conversational Reading collected five of my favorite reads this year, new or old, a list which wound up hitting Los Angeles, Japan, Mexico City, China, and spanning the mid-1940s to this year: Mario Bellatin (trans. David Shook), Shiki Nagaoka: A Nose for Fiction. Despite the excitement he reliably gins up among his readers, Mario Bellatin, the […]

Men’s style books: Kevin Burrows and Lawrence Schlossman, Fuck Yeah Menswear

Whether published this century or the last, most men’s style books I pick up don’t present themselves as products of the internet age. This even holds for volumes that owe their very existence to the popularity of their authors’ blog, web series, Tumblr, what have you. So the process seems to have gone with Kevin […]

Men’s style books: Sex and Suits by Anne Hollander

Conversations about menswear writing kept coming to the same book: Anne Hollander’s Sex and Suits: The Evolution of Modern Dress. Though led by a promising title, the content comes as something of a surprise. While enlightened enough to realize that a woman can, possessed of inherently fresh perspective, put together a men’s style book, I wouldn’t expect […]

Books about Vancouver

Though often overlooked as one of the great West Coast cities, Vancouver, BC synthesizes many of the most appealing qualities of its American counterparts. The Canadian outpost combines San Francisco’s walkability, Portland’s livability, Seattle’s seaside surroundings, and Los Angeles’ slickness, all in a carefully designed urban setting. The city’s current state is the result of […]

Jeffrey Banks and Doria de la Chapelle: Preppy

Most Americans I know hesitate to embrace all of “American culture.” This makes sense, considering the broadness of any such umbrella, one that would have to cover a population of 300 million with origins across the entire world. So we pick and choose from this country’s bulging social, political, cultural, and aesthetic grab bag, taking […]

Men’s style books: Tom Julian, The Nordstrom Guide to Men’s Style

I haven’t set foot in a Nordstrom in years. Come to think of it, maybe I’ve never entered one at all. They seem expensive, and I — perhaps you, too — tend only to break out that kind of money at the most obscurely specialized of specialty shops: places with new-old-stock tie clips from sixties […]

Cally Blackman: 100 Years of Menswear

About the menswear of the twentieth century, I can say this for sure: I don’t think I’d wear most of it. Neither would you, I imagine, unless you’ve thrown in your lot with the Brooklyn handlebar-mustache set, though in that case you’d have pledged allegiance to only a select set of time periods, stylistically compatible […]