What’s the Future of Menswear Blogging?

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By Jared Michael Lowe, Lifestyle Journalist and Editor in Chief of lowefactor.com

“How many times can a guy tie a tie and show it on his blog? It’s the same old, same old. I’m happy to see that menswear blogging is becoming more and more fashion driven.” Tyler Thoreson, VP of men’s editorial at GILT, said in the press room after speaking on a panel. Earlier in the day, he alongside Andy Spade of Partners & Spade, Jeff Raider of Warby Parker, as well as a few others gave a lively talk on the marriage of content and commerce at Details Magazine first ever Tech and Tastemakers Summit.

The half day conference brought together sartorially minded techies to a guy’s guy focused digital summit. Think the IFB Conference, but with wall to wall dapper lads in a variety of gingham, sleek suits, and shiny cufflinks.

Panels featured how to leverage blogging careers, tales of digital entrepreneurship from the uber successful – we’re talking Pete Cashmore of Mashable kind of success, who was one of the premiere speakers at the conference – and the ever popular topic of how to work with brands. Cashmore and the others aforementioned weren’t the only big names on the ticket; the panel also featured a who’s who of the digital fashion industry. The Style Girlfriend’s Megan Collins was there as well as street style star, Nick Wooster and even one of the early auteurs of street style, Jak and Jil’s Tommy Ton dished on his digital profile.

However, as the conference progressed, the topic of the future of menswear blogging was on a lot of minds.

Over the past few years, menswear blogging has picked up momentum. Bloggers like Tommy Lei of My Belonging and Sabir Peele of Men’s Style Pro have made their respective marks as go-to personal style bloggers showcasing a wide array of a gentleman’s wardrobe. Blogs like A Continuous Lean and Kempt (run by Urban Daddy) read more like a magazine – offering trend stories, profiles of brands, and sneak peeks behind men’s fashion weeks and last but certainly not least are menswear street style blogs. Still, the medium is new. And with its newness, there isn’t much diversity. A good many of the menswear blogs adopt these familiar formulas. However, at what costs and to what success?  Not everyone can be the next Street Etiquette, Four Pins, or even Details Magazine.

So what do the future look like for such a new space with a lot of the same things going on?

“We’re starting to see more of a generation of self-taught style lovers mature. People are beginning to approach menswear blogging differently” Thoreson proclaims.

“We’re starting to see more of a generation of self-taught style lovers mature. People are beginning to approach menswear blogging differently” Thoreson proclaims. Eugene Tong, Detail’s Style Director agrees and adds “We’re living in the age where we can’t circle jerk each other’s point of views. There has to be more variety and with that more authenticity.” Both men are seminal to the discussion. They are at the forefront of the industry – albeit working for large fashion hegemonies – and have seen many a copycat blogger come and go.

Daniel Saynt of Socialyte also adds, “You’re going to see more niche menswear blogs coming into the fold. There aren’t too many DIY menswear blogs. Neither is there any grooming or men’s furnishing blogs. Watches are a huge industry. No one is tapping into that.”

Saynt has a point. Niche blogs are few and far between in menswear blogging. On the female front, they dominate. For examples, look at the success of I Spy DIY or Gabi Gregg’s chronicles of a curvy girl in the fashion world on GabiFresh. Each site does a stellar job of getting their points across while tapping into a niche audience. The result: a legion of devoted followers and lucrative careers aside from their blogs.

But, if finding a niche and sticking to a targeted audience, as authentic as possible, is an easy solution to the question, why aren’t more menswear bloggers doing that?

Or are they?

In November of 2012, Complex Magazine published a detailed, albeit, short list of “under the radar menswear blogs”. The twelve blogs each had a specific slant, ranging from sites dedicated to showcasing independent bespoke menswear designers to nostalgia flashbacks of past sneaker and clothing lines (remember when Coca Cola had a fashion collection?). Those blogs and others show a new crop that is emerging, one that is more targeted and rooted in authenticity.

Thoreson, Tong and Saynt may be onto something. Really, how many times can a guy tie a tie on his blog?

[Image Credit: Shutterstock.com]

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14 Responses

  1. paige

    I would really love to get together with a blogger and do hair / makeup for their blog ! Please call email with any interest 8059159953

    Reply
  2. metropolitanboy

    A man can tie a tie as many times as he likes on his blog, it’s just a matter of how he angles it. Style bloggers that are successful are not one trick ponies. A niche can be stretched and angled infinitely.

    Reply
  3. Broderick Smylie

    GREAT post! Now I have a couple of blogs to check out. It’s great to see a menswear topic here on IFB.

    Reply
  4. Ashley

    Jared, thank you for writing this post. I can admit, as much as I champion diversity in fashion blogging, I am as guilty of forgetting about the men who make up this community. Thank you for that reminder.

    It’s especially important to note, I think, how many of the issues you all discuss are so universal: there are only so many ways to tie a tie. There needs to be more, strong, niche voices gaining in popularity. There needs to be more authenticity.

    As an engaged woman whose husband to be reads the Reddit men’s fashion forums, I felt encouraged to share this with him – to say, “Here. Here are men’s blogs for you to read and support.” Maybe as he gains more confidence in his style, I can encourage him to begin his own blog, too, and contribute to the diversity and voice in the community 😉

    Reply
  5. Sabir Peele

    Hi Jared,

    Thanks for the mention. The menswear game is a continually growing arena and I’m thrilled to be an active part of it.

    Best,

    Sabir

    Reply
  6. War Julian

    I hope there’s more male-blogger-specific articles/topics here on IFB like this one. Male bloggers exist too you know 😉

    Reply
  7. Ted Rheingold

    This is really great to hear. I’ve been reading more men’s style blogs lately because of it.

    What I feel like I am seeing too much of are guys styling tie and suits or blazers. While men overall definitely don’t wear ties and suits enough (outside of certain careers) there’s so much more to style between suits and t-shirts. I’d love to see more of. I’d love to see more of the lifestyle of the dapper man. Where do the clothes come from. What do you like to drink? How do you keep your car clean? How do you pack clothes w/o wrinkles? How do you get such great photo shoots? How to determine how you should alter items at home or at the dry clearer tailor. Some like Continuous Lean do a great job of it. I’d love to see more.

    Reply
  8. Matthew Pike

    I’m pleased to say I’ve never run a “how to tie a tie / how to wear this and how to wear that” post. I’m pretty chuffed at what my menswear (or what started off as menswear but grew into fashion, design and lifestyle blog has grown into.

    I’m in a pretty good position and it’s right, there really isn’t that many of us, especially ones doing it full time, on a none-magazine format with only one contributor. It’s lead me into quite a few opportunities and hopefully I can carry on growing. That’s the plan.

    Funny you mention the DIY thing, I have one very special set to go live next week! The Dandy Project is the kind of DIYs. Great to see menswear getting a post.

    Reply
  9. Tommy Lei

    Thanks so much for the mention, IFB and Jared! What a fantastic read — I am hopeful for the future of menswear that goes beyond the conventional trends!

    I am very proud to be part of the movement 🙂 – Tommy

    http://www.mybelonging.com

    Reply
  10. Hermano Silva

    As a menswear blogger myself (www.thegentleman.com.br), I’ve noticed there are very few men’s blogs publishing good content in my opinion. Either it is something too vintage-y or focused on their creators, the “look of the day” kind of blog. Perhaps it’s a field still evolving because the regular man is not so interested in fashion as the regular girl. In any case I think it’s important to find your own voice and hopefully your audience will find you. That’s what I hope for in my own case! 😉
    So if you like men’s style combined with good reportage and in-depth articles please check it out:

    http://www.thegentlemanblog.com
    http://www.facebook.com/thegentlemanblog

    Cheers,
    Hermano

    Reply
  11. Karlmond Tang

    Menswear blogging definitely needs a push and variety is the key. The mass of “guys in suits” just doesn’t do the menswear scene any justice.

    – Mr. Boy

    Reply
  12. Jason

    The fate of menswear blogging is the same fate as this blog. It will stay around as long as people are willing to read it. You can tie a tie in many ways, but there are various veins to this. What kind of tie is he tying? What fabric is the tie made of? What is he pairing it with.

    As far as I am concerned suits will never grow old. Menswear blogging gets quite a bit of energy from each other, so be careful in how you attempt to diminish this group because if they disappear so will you chance to profile them.

    Think job security.

    Reply
  13. roger

    Sooner or later the money boys want a piece of an organic movement. They don’t care about the same small thing the readers of such blogs care about: a tiny bit of a boost, a fix for the day to keep him feeling he’s not the only one wearing a tie and loving it. Perhaps making a few friends in the process.
    The marketers just see an avenue for making even more money out of the same old overpriced tat they help to shift (and the shill bloggers who assist them).

    Reply