The Gentleman’s Wardrobe – Book Review

Sewing for my man isn’t something I’ve done a lot of in the past, although he’s not short of woolly socks! I’m hoping to do more for him in the future, but there is a dearth of good menswear patterns out there.

So it was with bated breath that I’ve been awaiting my copy of The Gentleman’s Wardrobe, Vintage-Style Projects to Make for the Modern Man by Vanessa Mooncie.

The book is beautiful to look at.  The styling is reminiscent of Japanese sewing books. Moody shots in a modern industrial setting.  Whilst the styling appeals to the “hipster” look my husband likes, the patterns are really quite classic.

The shirts, trousers and a jacket could all be made up in different fabrics to achieve different looks.  They are the kind of patterns that once you’ve got the fit nailed you’d have a set of basic styles that you could make over and over again for the man in your life.

There’s also a selection of useful accessories and nightwear.

It really does cover all the bases.  The only thing really missing would be an overcoat.  But that’s nit picking.

The book is, for a change, not aimed at the beginner sewist.  There are some basic techniques included, but this is not a “learn to sew’ book.

There are full sized pattern sheets included.  They do require tracing but are nowhere near as busy as a Burda pattern sheet so should pose no trouble.

As you can imagine I was really excited to look through this book and was, quite frankly, planning to make everything except the wallet and bow tie and short sleeved shirt for my mister.  The styles are that good and these are the only garments he wouldn’t wear.

And then I checked the size chart.

My man has a 19″ neck.  And his chest is definitely more than a 42! The grading to get these to size would be ridiculous.

And lets be honest.  As with us ladies, the 16″ neck market is widely served with both RTW and vintage patterns.  This was a great opportunity to hit an untapped and underserved market with cool patterns that a wide range of men would be glad to wear.

Sadly it’s an opportunity that once again has been missed.

Thankfully I’d ordered this from the library to “audition” it.  It’s not a book I’ll be buying.

I’m so disappointed!


16 Responses to The Gentleman’s Wardrobe – Book Review

  1. What a shame! Looks like a great book otherwise.

  2. What a shame about the sizing. I’d have the same issue. The clothes look beautiful but clearly aimed ( like many patterns for us) at the smaller bodied folk!

    • Pendle Stitches says:

      It’s such a shame! And hugely frustrating. I know that there has to be some sort of middle ground, but it just seems to be so short sighted, whether in sewing patterns or RTW.

  3. That is absolutely terrible. Since when was a large a 42″ chest? I think that they have shot themselves in the foot with the sizing on this one. I was getting all excited too as decent menswear patterns are pretty thin on the ground. I suppose that this is the men’s versions of all those lovely sewing books that I would have to grade up so much I would be quicker drafting things myself. Oh well, maybe one day. 🙂 Xx

    • Pendle Stitches says:

      I agree! There is this huge market that’s completely untapped. I know David Coffin’s books are good for tweaking shirt patterns, but there is plenty of room for some cool new patterns.

  4. Carmen says:

    I agree! There are never any cool mens patterns anywhere.

  5. Jane says:

    Ah what a shame. Having only three size brackets is bad enough, but using such small sizes is just absurd. My husband is a very slim man and he’d be a combination of Medium/Large in this book! It’s bonkers – they’ve really missed a trick there. x

  6. Looks like my comment didn’t work first time around! I agree with the others on here, such a shame about the sizing. The styles are beautiful though, how disappointing 🙄

  7. Tialys says:

    Japanese sizing as well as Japanese styling 🙁

  8. Kim says:

    So sad, this could have been really useful. I’m glad you were able to check out a library copy. Have you checked the Winnie Aldrich Menswear pattern cutting book? It may possibly be better for your needs. (If you can’t get a copy to look at contact me and I can loan you mine)

    • Pendle Stitches says:

      I have the woman’s and kids books (thank you very much 😉 ). I think I’ll get a copy of the mens from the library and check it out.

      Our library is great. If they haven’t got a book in stock you can order it and they’ll try and get it for you for the pittance of 60p! It’s a great way of auditioning books without any commitment. And if you love them….then they can get added to the bookshelf!

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