After a long, drawn out winter the weather is finally turning.  Men--and thankfully women--are shedding their layers and preparing for fun in the sun.  This is a special time of year.  Especially since our friends at Esquire have just released their now iconic Big Black Book.  The style manual for successful men has become a stalwart fashion and etiquette guide for men of all manner of dress and profession.  We've read every line, analyzed each photo, and vetted each piece of advice to give you the essential info you need to take your style--and your life--to the next level.

Again the BBB comes through in grand style with full page spreads on the cashmere kingdom of Brunello Cucinelli, how to inject some color into your Spring wardrobe, and the importance of incorporating the sea into your clothing--even if you've never been on a boat.  Colors from parakeet green to violet and wine grace the glossy pages straight to thick knits, boating sweaters, and work shirts of naval officers and seafarers.

The BBB offers usable advice with a perfect balance of modern innovation and old school tradition.  How to wear a white suit, shoes, and pants, reminiscent of the Great Gatsby, but modern with tattered and torn slim chinos.  What to wear to a wedding--and how to wear it--how much to tip in what country, what (and how) to pack for a vacation and plenty of other important advice fill the pages of etiquette and knowledge.

We particularly enjoyed the anti-suit section.  Many men today aren't required to wear a suit but they are required to look polished and put together which is where suiting separates--mixing and matching different trousers with odd jackets--play a big role.  The BBB displays several different looks that any man can enjoy and actually wear without looking like he's trying to be an Esquire model.

We also enjoyed the plethora of double-breasted jackets in all fabrics, lengths, colors, and weights.  There is a shortage of men wearing DB's these days and this is on our personal shopping list.  We feel like every man should have at least one DB suit and/or DB blazer or sport coat.  When cut slim in an appropriate fabric, and flattering color a DB is a rakish way to set yourself apart from the norm.

The only part of this edition of the BBB we are disappointed with is that they seem to have used the same color scheme for this cover as a precious issue from 2007.  This however is a trivial matter and we're glad to add another BBB to our ever growing collection. We now own every BBB in print save the very first edition which is now fetching a fine price as a collector's item.  Seems like these manuals are a good investment after all.

Subscribe for free menswear business news, style tips & advice.