As a magazine editor myself, I have always felt frustrated that there is no newsstand magazine catering to me or anyone with a similar interest in men’s style.
Magazines that claim to do so either stray too far into lad’s mag territory (filled with sex columns and guff about cars or lifestyle – GQ, Arena, Esquire) or focus on the seasonal rotation of men’s fashion (GQ Style, Arena Homme Plus. But how many men do you know that change their clothes every six months?).
What is needed is a men’s magazine with features like a women’s magazine. It needs information on the history and traditions of menswear, together with tips on combinations and shops, and a little on fashion trends thrown in.
Until a year ago, I thought nothing came close to filling this gap in the market. Then I discovered blogs.
The more blogs I find on men’s style, the more there seem to be. Each mentions a few of his favourites as recommended links, and so you are sent off on another two or three forks of discovery.
Blogs have disadvantages. Without the editors or quality control that you would have on a magazine, some are poorly written or poorly researched. At their worst, they are empty musings by bored students, and each sentence is so long it gives you a headache.
But many show greater knowledge and greater clarity. My first discovery was The Sartorialist, which has become extremely popular and features the photos of Scott Schuman. His real talent as a photographer and real passion for men’s clothes – particularly as regards colour – is clear in almost every photo. Others with real knowledge include Andy, at askandyaboutclothes.com, and Will at A Suitable Wardrobe. I would also include the blogs featured on this website as among the best.
Discussion forums are very popular – and this proves to me the size of the audience for writing on men’s style. Among the biggest are styleforum.net and thelondonlounge.net. Andy also features forums on his site. But forums too have their disadvantages: without any quality control, you can find yourself reading page after page of comments that do not provide anything original.
In my opinion, the future of men’s style blogs will be in collections of columns and features, much like a magazine. This could happen through new sites, like mensflair.com, or through the extension of existing magazines.
By collating writers onto one site, Men’s Flair enables you to read different viewpoints and different types of writers in one place. Magazine sites such as men.style.com (which publishes GQ and Details in the US) have begun to collate blogs (such as The Sartorialist and In Her Eyes) as well as trying to start their own style forums.
This is the future. Blogs have filled a gap in the market, but there are so many that people find themselves reading the few that show real talent – as both writers and stylists. Those few will consolidate leaving the reader, hopefully, with the men’s style read they need.