Book Review- The Sartorialist by Scott Schuman


I was first amazed by The Sartorialist by Scott Schuman as I passed by it in the Market Common Barnes and Noble. Three things caught my attention. First was the size of the book. It’s a squat very thick book measuring 5×7 inches. Then I simultaneously noticed the title and the very attractive young lady on the cover. In case you’re wondering, a sartorialist is a person interested in matters of or related to the tailoring of clothing. I picked it up, leafed through it, and had to know more.

Schuman is a world-renowned fashion photographer most well-known for his work with celebrities and models in many of the most popular fashion magazines. He started one of the first photoblogs to exhibit his desire to showcase the fashions and styles of ordinary, that is to say ‘non-celebrity’, folks. The Sartorialist is an outgrowth of that blog and represents many of Schuman’s favorite and most popular blog entries. There are a few celebrities photographed from time to time but always in daily clothes and according to Schuman’s terms (i.e. his lighting, placement, and pose).

The book is heavily illustrated with photographs along with Schuman’s comments on many of them. Many of the styles represented are unique, not the cookie cutter style of a television show or store chain. That is what drew Schuman to these individuals instead of the people found on a runway or at a magazine photo shoot. In fact, he enjoys photographing the same people over time to see how their style changes or is represented by a variety of clothing.

As a What Not to Wear television show groupie I am greatly interested in fashion as it both affects me and appeals to my eye. As such, I enjoyed this book immensely and would heartily recommend it if you’ve ever given any thought beyond the norm to your own personal style. This is a book you can learn from and have fun with. Page through the book slowly. Make a list of individual style elements that appeal to you and slowly incorporate these into your own life. Then, just for fun, pick out your two favorite photos. Pick one in your own gender that you would most like to emulate. Then pick one in the opposite gender that you find the most attractive. Try not to look so much at physical characteristics, but the personal style exhibited. Maybe you’ll find a style you like worn by someone you love.

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