Men are from Mars, women are from Venus — or so the saying goes. But is this idea reflected in the fashion blogging industry as well?
Lately there's been a lot of hype surrounding menswear — whether it's taking on a quirkier role (think floral patterns and pink) from it's usual contemporary uniform of chunky boots, APC denim, and “beards of Bunyan-like proportions.” The reason? Some think the internet. “Perhaps the fast proliferation of menswear trends on the Internet is slowly bringing us to an equilibrium where an avid fan of Gitman Vintage and an Alexander Wang devotee can happily coexist,” an article questioning whether menswear is “gay” again on Four-Pins suggests.
Maybe. Or maybe not quite yet.
While there's no doubt that there has been a massive influx of women striking a pose for their personal style blogs within the past five years, it seems that the men have been a bit slower on the uptake.
Instead, men are being associated with the “behind the lens” role. Aimee Song, interior designer and the blogger behind Song of Style, wrote in an email, “…my boyfriend takes most of my outfit pictures and I think a lot of female bloggers are the same way.”
Craig Arend, street style photographer and blogger of Altamira NYC (the original “Models Off Duty” site), feels similarly. “Men are visual creatures,” he noted, “they are fascinated with beauty in a different way than women.”
But it turns out men out number women in online shopping by almost 2 to 1, according to a recent study posted on iCrossing. So while we do have the Tommy Tons, the Phil Ohs, and the Scott Schumans taking their fashion photography blogs to the next level — where are all the men posing? If they are shopping so much online than why aren't they showing off what they got? Or more importantly, why aren't there more male personal style bloggers in existence? Clearly, there's a market of men interested in shopping on the internet.
Justin Livingston, the personal style blogger behind Munrowe, weighed in on how he viewed the difference between the genders in fashion blogging, “I think women find themselves thrust (and welcomed) into the fashion industry much easier than men. As an ‘image industry’ the fashion industry thrives on the ability for its members to recognize beauty and, in turn, reflect that standard for beautiful and tactile products. Men, generally, have a harder time opening themselves up to this ideal – which I believe may be fear of losing masculinity.”
Yesterday, Four-Pins posted another article giving some snarky insight into the mindset behind those who do personal style blogging. In regards to the fashion blogging boys club, the author wrote, “Men are no doubt all up in the club with fashion love at this point. But menswear blogs tend to position garments as objets d’art: ‘This a jacket that’s made from the canvas sails of JFK’s boyhood sloop, and every three days you have to soak it in a special wax for four hours, but it looks really dope against the shadow you have for the first two days after you get your beard trimmed at Freeman’s.' Even when guys are talking about a jacket, they’re still talking about it like they’re under the hood of a car.”
Jennifer Mendenhall, a relatively new blogger on the scene with her site Style Bomb, felt that brands were looking to men more lately, “it seems easier for their blogs to grow, simply because it doesn't seem to be as saturated as with women bloggers… there's an upwards growth trend in men's style with websites like Mr. Porter, Bonobos, Park & Bond and promotions like what Mr. Porter did with the show Suits …”
Livingston also believes that the men are on the rise, “I think a large majority of the blogosphere is female, but there are an impressive number of dapper guys taking over the top spots. As a greater number of men enter the digital world, we’re seeing a better balance of style opinion and fashion advice while creating a healthier gender ratio.”
So what do you boys and girls think? Is there a gender divide in fashion blogging? And if so, is it being bridged as the blogging industry grows?
[Image credit: Justin Livingston, Munrowe]