GQ: 38 Fashion Books for Style-Conscious Men to Read right Now

Feb 28, 2021 | style/mode

From Dylan Jones’ London Sartorial and Virgil Abloh’s ICONS to Supreme by Supreme and Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

GQ FASHION: The late Karl Lagerfeld once said, “For every book you buy, you should buy the time to read it.” And now, while we enter a time of uncertainty, we all seem to have invested in some unexpected extra time. So why not fill your time with reading? Better yet, why not swot up on your fashion knowledge?

Whether you work in the industry or not, there’s going to be an aspect of it that will grip you. Whether it’s what happens in order for a Met Gala to take place, the pre-catwalk show process or how football has influenced fashion (even David Beckham in his sarong), there’s a tome out there with which to indulge your sartorial passions.

Below are the fashion books we’re reading right now.

The Mr Porter Guide To A Better Day

The Mr Porter Guide To A Better Day

Compiled by Mr Porter’s editorial team, this handy guide features words from Tom Ford among others and covers all aspects of a man’s daily life, from stress-free morning rituals to how to look your best and make the most of your job.


Ahluwalia Jalebi

First presented as part of the digital London Fashion Week in 2020, Jalebi, is a limited-edition photography tome, photographed by Laurence Ellis. It focuses on several parts of Priya Ahluwalia’s work, notably her clothing collections, with emphasis upon what it means to be a young mixed heritage person living in modern Britain. Through photographs, Ahluwalia explores the rich world of her roots, and her younger days when she would visit Southall, Britain’s first Punjabi community.

ICONS by Nike Virgil Abloh and Taschen


Underpinned by Virgil Abloh’s The Ten sneaker line, ICONS explores how the partnership between the designer and Nike works to unify all the intangible cultural threads connected to sneakers. The book, which was published by Taschen, traces Abloh’s investigative, creative process through documentation of prototypes, original text messages from Abloh to Nike designers and treasures from the Nike and other global retailers.

Fashion in Film - Pocket Editions

Fashion in Film by Christopher Laverty

If you know your Breakfast at Tiffany’s from your The Devil Wears Prada, then you’ll know that fashion and film go hand in hand. This book explores the age-old relationship and will give you facts about how and why certain characters came to be dressed in the designer gear they did.

MSGM 10!

MSGM 10!

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the brand, MSGM founder Massimo Giorgetti has made his first official monograph book dedicated to his label. This volume traces the history of the brand over the last ten years, following an instinctive, nonconventional flow, true to its DNA, and focuses on moments from Giorgetti’s private life as well as the brand’s most acclaimed shows, campaigns, setups, and collaborations with the worlds of art and music, which take the form of striking full-page visuals.

Stone Island: Storia book

Stone Island: Storia

This monograph pays homage to the history of Italian brand Stone Island through never-before-seen photographs, with words from Carlo Rivetti, creative director and president of Stone Island, and fashion journalist Angelo Flaccavento.

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

The tome that all sneakerheads and businessmen alike need, Shoe Dog tells the story of how Nike came to be, by the man who made it happen.

Paul Smith 50th Anniversary Book

Paul Smith 50th anniversary book by Phaidon

British designer Paul Smith is celebrating a successful 50 years in business with a book that details his entire career. This monograph captures the unique spirit of the legendary fashion designer through 50 inspirational objects handpicked by Sir Paul. The book explores his very first show in Paris, creating the Floral Street shop in London, the evolution of the stripe, and his most recent collections and collaborations.

Shoe Maker by Joe Foster

Shoe Maker by Joe Foster

Up there with Adidas and Nike, Reebok is one of the biggest sports brands on the planet. Since the late 19th century, the Foster family had been making running shoes by hand, but a family feud led to the creation of Reebok. Shoemaker, like the bestseller Shoe Dog by Nike’s Phil Knight, is a powerful tale of triumph against all the odds and reveals the challenges and sacrifices that went into creating the world-famous brand.

Tekla Sacred Places Book

Tekla Sacred Places Book by Philip Messmann

Sacred Places, shot by Philip Messmann at Anholt Island in Denmark, captures the essence of a Scandi summer. It sits close to Charlie Hedin the founder of Tekla’s heart, and for him really represents the aesthetic and the philosophy of Tekla. A coffee table book if ever we saw one.

Stan Smith Some People Think I'm a Shoe!

Stan Smith: Some People Think I’m A Shoe by Stan Smith

The iconic tennis player who lent his name to one of Adidas’ trainers back in the early 1970s celebrates the legacy of the kicks in this book, with help from recollections and anecdotes from style influencers, designers, sports legends and fervent sneaker fans.

100 Years of Menswear by Cally Blackman

100 Years Of Menswear by Cally Blackman

Fashion historian Cally Blackman takes a detailed look at the past 100 years of menswear, with notice of some of the most iconic accessories, apparel and footwear. Better still, it highlights the importance and impact of designers such as Pierre Cardin, Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren, all while still giving an insight into street fashion and subcultures such as punk and rock.

ABC of Men's Fashion by Hardy Amies

ABC Of Men’s Fashion by Hardy Amies

“A man should look as if he has bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care and then forgotten all about them,” writes author Hardy Amies. This book is for the well-to-do man who wants to better his knowledge of the clothes that clothe him.


Masculinities: Liberation Through Photography

If you didn’t manage to get down to the Barbican’s Masculinities exhibition in London (or even if you did), this book is an essential shelf addition. With essays by writers and academics including Chris Haywood, Edwin Coomasaru, Tim Clark, Jonathan D Katz, Alona Pardo and Ekow Eshun, as well as the photography of Robert Mapplethorpe, Herb Ritts and others, it explores how masculinity has been coded, performed and socially constructed from the 1960s to the present day. There’s a fantastic exploration into how men’s clothing has shaped masculinity.

The Watch by Gene Stone and Stephen Pulvirent

The Watch by Gene Stone and Stephen Pulvirent

For watch enthusiasts and novices alike, this book is a must-own. Detailing the history of the most important brands in the world, it (with the help with some of the most well-known and avid collectors on the planet) tells you how to buy your first watch, as well as bolster your collection.

Gucci: Dapper Dan’s Harlem by Ari Marcopoulos

Gucci: Dapper Dan’s Harlem by Ari Marcopoulos

Gucci: Dapper Dan’s Harlem showcases photographs of New York neighbourhood Harlem shot by filmmaker and photographer Ari Marcopoulos. The hardback, limited-edition book – there are only 500 available – also details the latest Dapper Dan (real name Daniel Day) collaboration with Gucci

Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture by Elizabeth Semmelhack

Out Of The Box: The Rise Of Sneaker Culture by Elizabeth Semmelhack

Out Of The Box: The Rise Of Sneaker Culture is a carefully curated book by Elizabeth Semmelhack, the creative director and senior curator of the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. It covers a wide array of topics, from significant historical breakthroughs to present-day icons, including the latest from Kanye West.


The World Of Apartamento

In celebration of Apartamento magazine’s tenth anniversary, this compendium is for creative design-heads. It features more than 300 photographs of stunning and stylish interiors, focusing on the homes of a range of subjects from François Halard and Glenn O’Brien to Florence Welch and Paz de la Huerta.

SELF_TITLED by Our Legacy

Self_Titled by Our Legacy

Self_Titled by Our Legacy details the brand’s progressive approach to menswear, with essays and photographs. Established more than ten years ago, Our Legacy moved forward by looking backwards, notably by exploring vintage garments, modernist architecture and the work of their favourite photographers. Today it is one of the best contemporary brands on the planet.

A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk

A Queer History Of Fashion: From The Closet To The Catwalk

This incredible book offers an in-depth look at the complex relationship between homosexuality and fashion. With some of the biggest designers being openly gay, from Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent to Alexander McQueen, fashion and style have played an important role within the LGBTQ community. It is an exploration, through a queer lens, of high fashion as a site of gay cultural production and explores the aesthetic sensibilities and unconventional dress of LGBTQ people, especially since the 1950s.

How to Slay Inspiration from the Queens & Kings of Black Style

How To Slay: Inspiration From The Queens & Kings Of Black Style

Very few surveys of black style and fashion exist and this is easily the best. How To Slay offers an illustrated overview of African-American style through the 20th century, focusing on the last 35 years and how it has impacted fashion in general. With emphasis on icons of black style and taste, from Josephine Baker, Michelle Obama and Maya Angelou, Miles Davis to Rihanna and Naomi Campbell, Kanye West and Pharrell Williams, the book shows how mainstream culture is influenced by black style, even if you cannot immediately see it.

Soccer Style: The Magic And Madness by Simon Doonan

Soccer Style: The Magic And Madness by Simon Doonan

The unapologetic and unbridled style choices of today’s soccer stars offer a fascinating window into the heart of the game, as well as having an effect on the way each and every one of us dresses. This book details the longstanding relationship between fashion and the sport, from George Best to David Beckham and from fans to the managers.

The Birth Of Cool: Style Narratives of the African Diaspora

The Birth Of Cool: Style Narratives Of The African Diaspora by Carol Tulloch

Black culture had a clear and profound influence on the history of dressing in the 20th century and still does today. This excellent book details that relationship, focusing on the role of dressing in the creation and assertion of black identity. Spanning the late 19th century to the modern day, the book draws on ready-made and homemade fashion, photographs, paintings and films, published and unpublished biographies and letters from Britain, Jamaica, South Africa and the United States, looking at everything from Billie Holiday’s style to the workwear of female African-Jamaican market traders.

Vintage Menswear: A Collection from The Vintage Showroom

Vintage Menswear: A Collection From The Vintage Showroom by Douglas Gunn, Josh Sims, Roy Luckett

The Vintage Showroom in Seven Dials is a vast collection of rare 20th-century pieces that visitors need to pay to view. Now though, you can have a glimpse into the showroom without even having to leave your sofa. This book features 130 of the most influential examples of 20th-century and earlier European, American and Asian utilitarian tailoring and design. It’s spread across 300 pages, and has been split into three sections: sportswear, militaria and workwear.


Dapper Dan: Made In Harlem – A Memoir

New York Times bestseller, this book details the life of Dapper Dan, who pioneered high-end streetwear in the 1980s, remixing classic luxury-brand logos into his own innovative, glamorous designs and has since been picked up by Gucci to collaborate with. It tells the story of how he went from a teen who daringly gambled drug dealers out of their money and a young man in a prison cell who found nourishment in books to one of the key black figures to impact widespread fashion.

The Lives of 50 Fashion Legends: Visual biographies of the world's greatest designers by Fashionary

The Lives Of 50 Fashion Legends: Visual Biographies Of The World’s Greatest Designers by Fashionary

This book is filled with historical information about the brands and biographies of some of the biggest designers and fashion influencers in the world, from Coco Chanel to Karl Lagerfeld and Cristóbal Balenciaga. It explores each of the legend’s life choices, how they adapted to trends and adversities and how the fashion industry has changed over the years.

London Sartorial: Men's Style From Street to Bespoke by Dylan Jones

London Sartorial: Men’s Style From Street to Bespoke by Dylan Jones

GQ Editor Dylan Jones has penned a book detailing how London has become the menswear capital of the world. As well as street style shots from people across the capital, the book profiles legends such as Paul Smith and Vivienne Westwood, alongside younger designers such as Christopher Shannon and Agi & Sam.

Fashion Climbing: A New York Life by Bill Cunningham

Fashion Climbing: A New York Life by Bill Cunningham

The late Bill Cunningham was the man who started an obsession with street style: Anna Wintour even said, “We all dressed for Bill,” in the fashion documentary on his life. A Financial Times Book Of The Year 2018 and New York Times bestseller, this book is his personal memoir. Cunningham became one of the most celebrated hat designers of the 1950s, creating elegant town hats for movie stars and playful beach hats for the summer set. However, when women stopped wearing hats, Cunningham explored another route and worked as a fashion journalist, touring the couture houses of Europe.

Camp: Notes on Fashion by Andrew Bolton

Camp: Notes On Fashion by Andrew Bolton

Last year’s Met Gala was co-chaired by Harry Styles, Lady Gaga, Serena Williams, Alessandro Michele and Anna Wintour and drew from Susan Sontag’s seminal essay of the same name. This book explores the meaning of camp and its expression in fashion from its origins to today. In it you’ll be able to see all the looks that were shown at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum Of Art. Oh, and it’ll look pretty fabulous on your bookshelf or coffee table, thanks to its dusty pink cover.

© Muses Support

Supreme by Supreme

Supreme by Supreme

Supreme is one of the biggest brands in the world. Since its inception more than 25 years ago, it has gone from struggling skate brand to Louis Vuitton collaborator. Featuring more than 800 stunning images, from photographers such as Larry Clark, Ari Marcopoulos, and David Sims, this book details the very best of the box logo brand.

Icons of Men's Style by Josh Sims

Icons Of Men’s Style by Josh Sims

This book takes a look at the icons of men’s fashion, but not in the way you think. Rather than focusing on the big designers and influencers, this book focuses on the humble products in your wardrobe. You’ll learn more than you ever thought there was to know about the T-shirt – beloved by James Dean and created for US Navy personnel at the turn of the 20th century – and Levi’s denim jeans, which we all have a pair of.

1000 Sneakers: A Guide to the World's Greatest Kicks, from Sport to Street by Mathieu Le Maux

1000 Sneakers: A Guide To The World’s Greatest Kicks, From Sport To Street by Mathieu Le Maux

This encyclopaedia of footwear showcases sneakers through time from early Air Jordans, the original Air Force 1 and Adidas Superstars. It also features iconic contemporary designs by pop culture figures such as Kanye West and cool fashion designers including Yohji Yamamoto and Martin Margiela.

Garcon Style: New York, London, Milano, Paris by Jonathan Daniel Pryce

Garçon Style: New York, London, Milano, Paris by Jonathan Daniel Pryce

Jonathan Daniel Pryce (AKA Garçon Jon) is the man behind some of the most beautifully shot street style pictures out there. The street style photographer of choice for Vogue, Pryce’s best pictures are featured here, including images of our very own Fashion Director Luke Day and GQ Style Fashion Editor Ben Schofield.

House of Nutter: The Rebel Tailor of Savile Row by Lance Richardson

House Of Nutter: The Rebel Tailor of Savile Row by Lance Richardson

This book focuses on Tommy Nutter, the Savile Row tailor who reshaped the silhouette of men’s fashion – and his rock photographer brother, David, who captured it all on film. Worn by everyone from Bianca Jagger to The Beatles – who immortalised Nutter’s designs on the album cover of Abbey Road – he was a key figure in the changing menswear landscape in the 1960s and before. With illustrations of his look – very similar to those worn by Harry Styles today – against vivid backdrops of the Blitz, the birth of disco and the devastation of the aids crisis, this isn’t a book to leave gathering dust.

Tom Ford by Tom Ford and Bridget Foley

Tom Ford by Tom Ford and Brigid Foley

The ultimate coffee table book, it’s so good we actually pick our editions up and give them a read. Inside you’ll find details on how Tom Ford changed the fortunes of Gucci, from an accessories-centric label to the sexiest brand in the world, as well as showing a catalogue of looks from his time at Yves Saint Laurent between 1994 to 2004. This presents 416 pages of fashion history.

This is Not Fashion: Streetwear Past, Present and Future

This Is Not Fashion: Streetwear Past, Present And Future by King Adz

In this book, King Adz and Wilma Stone recount how subcultural movements have been incorporated into a multibillion-dollar global industry and taken over both the high street and high-end fashion. It highlights punk, Ivy League preppies, the hip-hop kings and queens of Harlem, the movement born out of British football culture, the skater scene of California, the paninari scooter-brats of Milan and more. 24.95.

Sneaker Freaker: The Ultimate Sneaker Book by Taschen

Sneaker Freaker: The Ultimate Sneaker Book by Taschen

Simon “Woody” Wood, the owner and founder of Sneaker Freaker, began the magazine in 2002 as a means of getting free kicks. The independent publication has documented every collab, custom, limited edition, retro reissue, Quickstrike, Hyperstrike, and Tier Zero sneaker released over the last 15 years, and this book brings it all together in more than 650 pages jam-packed with insider knowledge and his own irreverent observations.

Gods and Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano by Dana Thomas

Gods And Kings: The Rise And Fall Of Alexander McQueen And John Galliano by Dana Thomas

This book focuses on the lives and careers of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, two men who were at the forefront of the fashion industry. Spanning the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, Gods And Kings tells the story of these two charismatic figures and how the fashion industry changed over this time period.

By Zak Maoui



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