-By Michael Macko, Details Fashion Director
When I was a teenager, I used to spend my summers on Long Beach Island in Jersey working as a dishwasher at an Italian restaurant called the Spaghetti Pot. It was at Beach Haven Books there that I came across two books that ignited my love of style: Looking Good: A Guide for Men, by Charles Hix, and its follow-up, Dressing Right. I devoured their contents, which came packaged in short, witty chapters like one on texture titled "Surface Thoughts." Then I spouted off the information to any other guys I came in contact with.
And though 30 years have passed since I first picked them up, most of the information I embraced then is still plenty relevant. Hix, a prominent men's fashion journalist in his day, steers clear of the leisure-suit and polyester-shirt clichés of the seventies to put together what's basically a metrosexual manifesto—nearly a quarter of a century before the term was coined.
Beyond the style instruction, there's the beautiful black-and-white photography. The most notable images are by Bruce Weber, including an inspiring portrait of the photographer himself looking especially cool in his inimitable laid-back way. My current favorite shot is of a man in rolled-up Levi's, Topsiders, and the most perfect white athletic socks—which I'm currently trying to hunt down!—from Dressing Right. This combo would look right at home in Williamsburg or Nolita now.
Speaking of tracking something down, getting your hands on copies of Looking Good and Dressing Right requires a little legwork, but with diligence you can find good used ones on eBay or at vintage bookstores.
Photographs courtesy of Looking Good and Dressing Right