I confess to not quite knowing Details’ place on the landscape of gentlemen’s magazines. While glancing at its issues reveals a more deliberately tasteful publication than blunter, intensively airbrushed “lad’s mags” like Maxim (or its countless late imitators), it also lacks the pedigree of comparatively venerable midcentury-man staples like GQ or Esquire. Yet Details must harbor comparable aspirations to style authority, since it, like those two older brothers, has a whole book out on the subject: the Details Men’s Style Manual, by the magazine’s editor-in-chief Dan Peres. “In a world of skinny suits and pointy shoes, I was rather content dressing down,” he writes of recently bygone days. “I had adopted a uniform of jeans, sweaters, and tattered Chucks — and the occasional button-down shirt, untucked, of course. I even wore a fleece to a Versace fashion show once.” So we’re working from square one, then.
The unaddressed question of how someone who inspired an entire New York Times trend piece rose so high in the first place does shake one’s confidence in the Details imprimatur. But combine his history of willful disregard with the presumably high caliber of stylistic consultancy at his fingertips, and Peres looks ideal to write a beginner-level manual on men’s dress. Having undergone a Damascene conversion on the road between European fashion shows, he decided to set his own house — or rather, closet — in order, and what he learned from his magazine’s specialized style editors he organizes into this book’s thirteen chapters. All this he explains in the introduction, which spreads fewer than 700 words across four pages in two colors and three different large fonts. It gets noisier: the two-page spread immediately following presents a list of “rules of style” in a flurry of bolding, boxing, unconventional capitalization, and other formatting tricks.
Read the whole thing at Put This On.