The ‘Style Guide’ dinner: What is the essence of style?

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Last month, we organised a dinner at the beautiful Beaumont Hotel to celebrate The Style Guide - the book published earlier this year by myself and photographer Jamie Ferguson. 

There had been official launch events, and signings, at Fenwick's of Bond Street, Bergdorf Goodman, and The Armoury in New York

But this was an industry event - an opportunity for the sponsors of the book (Vitale Barberis Canonico, Anderson & Sheppard, Begg & Co and Edward Green) to talk to some of the men featured in the book.

We scheduled the dinner to coincide with the visit to London of our cover star: Yasuto Kamoshita, creative director of United Arrows and his own line Camoshita.  

It was a pleasure to be able to host such an influential person in the modern history of menswear. 

I also wanted to use the opportunity to produce some interesting content - something that readers would value, and that would take advantage of all the accumulated brainpower in the room. 

So we decided to make a film, in which we would ask the attendees two questions:

  • What do you particularly like that you're wearing today? and
  • What do you think makes a man stylish?

The first question is easy for men that put so much thought into their daily clothing, and produces some interesting points - Jake on his windowpane check, or Aleks on the colours of a 'gentleman's square'. 

The second is much harder to answer, a personal and subjective question that many would struggle to put into words. 

But I found it interesting how every attendee had a slightly different answer (it's about personality, or context, or history, or comfort) that nevertheless circled around the same theme.

That theme was that style is not a question of picking the precise blue in a shirt, or the precise break of a trouser. It is, rather, the mental approach to wearing those clothes, and how that changes over time. 

I think, in total, our film achieves it's aim: to produce something of substance out of what was a extremely enjoyable evening. 

I hope you agree. 

Thank you very much to all our sponsors, to the team at The Beaumont Hotel, and to Sipsmith for their support. 

On the subject of the Style Guide, by the way, several shops around the world have re-stocked since our last post - including Leffot in New York and Chicago, Skoaktiebolaget in Stockholm, and Double Monk in Sydney and Melbourne. (The latter has also just launched their new website, which is worth a visit.)

And we have a few new stockists. They are:

  • Solito, Mexico City
  • Basics & Bespoke, Luxembourg
  • Anglo-Italian, London
  • Nide, Finland
  • Crane Brothers, Auckland 

Please support your local store and pick up a copy - and if none are near you, buy from the Permanent Style Shop