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Off The Cuff (2004)

Off the Cuff (2004)

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3.63 of 5 Votes: 4
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0525948368 (ISBN13: 9780525948360)
dutton adult

About book Off The Cuff (2004)

"Queer Eye for the Straight Guy", along with Carson Kressley, saw their 15 minutes of fame expire several years ago. Still, Kressley does know his stuff (before the TV series, he worked as a stylist for Ralph Lauren) and this book remains as one of the better men's style guides I've read recently. Like the other style guides I've read, "Off the Cuff" advises readers to steer towards timeless styles and away from the hot trend of the moment. Unlike other books, he actually has a chapter with specific tips to help the reader develop their own sense of personal style.I found myself in agreement with much of his style advice, though there were some specific things I didn't think were a good idea or would personally never do (for instance, wear a denim jacket underneath a blazer. That is, if I did wear a blazer). I think the reader would do well to read this book with an open yet critical eye - open to new ideas they might incorporate in their wardrobe or personal style (perhaps a lightweight V-neck sweater might be nice winter layering over a dress shirt), and critical of specific style advice they might never need or want (cashmere or pink oxford shirts, for instance). I will say that just about everything he lists in his "wrong answer" sidebars is completely spot-on.Compared to the "Details" style guide, this one has much more actual words, and more discussion of what to do and what to avoid when assembling a men's wardrobe. And compared to "Color for Men", this book is way more up to date with current trends in men's fashion, but doesn't have as much material on assessing fit, or especially on matching styles to body proportions (which Kressley is admittedly not all that hung-up about).One note is that "Off the Cuff" uses cartoon-like illustrations throughout, for both levity and teaching purposes. Sometimes that works well - a drawing is sometimes the best way to depict something, such as how to tie a necktie. But sometimes you'd just like to see a photo, for instance to understand a particular style of garment.Finally, Carson Kressley writes much like he's talking to you, including lots and lots of jokes. Some are truly funny, others are a little off-color - even to a gayboy like me.I picked this book up used from the San Francisco Public Library book sale.

One of the big things that annoyed me about this book was how Carson kept making assumptions about his readers that didn't pan out for me. Of course the reader has a job where he has to carry files on the Anderson account to work, so he needs advice on a good man purse. Of course their job entails presentations to dress up for. Of course they like sports/cars, so he uses sports and car metaphors occasionally to drive his point home. Of course they will know who I am talking about when I say Robert Redford/Shannon Doherty/Cary Grant. Some of this fashion advice is probably great, but when I'm going to buy clothes (which I would be doing every weekend if I were to build out my wardrobe like Carson recommends) I'm not going to pop in the CD and fast-forward to track 5 to hear his advice. Also, Sarah wrinkled her nose in disgust at several of his hot fashion tips - she does not want to see me in a pink oxford or a cashmere sweater or velvet dress shoes. I also found myself wondering how much of Carson's personality on this CD is an affectation and how much is the real deal. I've only ever met one gay dude this flamboyant.

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