Style Q+A is a new feature we have started at Well Built Style where we interview men’s style aficionados, popular bloggers, and other experts for their opinions on all things related to menswear.
We started this interview feature because we wanted to give our readers a multitude of different perspectives on men’s style aside from our own. We feel this is important because not only will it enrich your sartorial knowledge, but it will also better help you develop your own personal sense of style.
With that said, for our first feature interview we are pleased to have Tanner Guzy – the creator and editor of Masculine-Style, a popular men’s style blog. So without any further ado, here is Tanner’s interview:
1. Tanner, you’re an extremely popular men’s style blogger, but for our readers who don’t know who you are, could you please give us a brief introduction about yourself, your website and how it all came about?
My name is Tanner and I’m a born-and-bred Salt Lake City native. I write the website Masculine Style in an attempt to help men both dress better and gain a better understanding of how their appearance affects and is affected by their masculinity.
This is actually the fourth or fifth blog I’ve written. All my previous sites were more political blogs and the content got exhausting. I started Masculine Style as more of a hobby site and it’s become my most popular venture.
2. How did you get into men’s style and how has your sense of style evolved since the beginning? E.g. Have you always been a sharp dresser or is it something that you’ve developed over time?
If 19-year-old me could have looked into the future and realized I would have been writing a blog about how to dress better, he would have wanted to kick my ass. My whole life I’ve been conscious of my appearance and the message it communicates, but I was always much more into dressing like a skate punk than anything else.
My attitude shifted when I was about 22 or 23 and my little brother showed up at my place with a GQ in hand. I was working as a teller at the time and had to wear a shirt and tie to work every day. When I saw that there was a way to do that and make it look good (as opposed to just appropriate) I got hooked.
3. Each man has a particular item of clothing in his closet that he feels is absolutely indispensable. What is your favorite article of clothing – something that you can’t live without?
For me it’s a navy suit. When paired with other things I can dress it up or dress it down. I’m not one to advocate wearing a suit in each and every situation, but if I lost all of my clothes in a fire and had to start over from scratch, the first thing I’d buy would be a navy three-piece.
4. On our website, we are huge proponents of the notion that style is timeless whereas fashion is fleeting. What current men’s fashion trend(s) do you wish to see disappear forever?
I’m glad you’re making the distinction between style and fashion. They are miles apart and I don’t think their is a very strong correlation between masculinity and fashion. Style however, can be used by a man as well as any other tool in his kit.
But, back to your question, the biggest trend I’m irritated with has nothing to do with clothes I see on websites as much as the models. I’m sick of seeing guys who look testosterone deficient as the go-to models for men’s clothing. Men don’t aspire to be soft and scrawny, so we’re not as inclined to make purchases when that’s what models are.
5. For those men who are just getting their feet wet with improving their style, what’s one thing that you think they can do that can immediately to elevate their look?
Find the best tailor in your immediate area and then become friends with him. Fit is the most important aspect of dressing well and it’s often cheaper and easier for a lot of guys to have existing clothing altered than it is to build an entirely new wardrobe. Even when you are buying new stuff, unless you’re having it custom made, you’re still going to want to take advantage of your tailor and his services.
6. On the same note, what do you think is the biggest style blunder that most men commit today?
Apathy. Too many men suffer from aesthetic inertia. They establish an identity for themselves when they’re in high school or college and adopt the corresponding uniform. From there they always dress the same. Skate shoes are great when you’re at the skate park, but not so much when you’re going to work, on a date, or out with friends.
Even when these guys do need to buy clothes that are a bit outside of their comfort zone, they don’t take the time to learn what’s going to look the best, last the longest, and cost them the least amount of money. Instead they just make an arbitrary decision based on budget, convenience, or someone else’s opinion and move on.
7. On our website, we go to great lengths to impress upon men why they should care about style. Why do you think men should care about improving their style?
As much as our modern culture preaches the doctrine of non-judgmentalism, no one practices it. Every person you come in contact with is making decisions and judgments based on what information you provide them. A man’s clothing is often the very first impression he makes on the people around him and can either be used to his advantage or to his disadvantage.
8. When it comes to men’s style, there are certainly a number of different rules and guidelines that men are often urged to adhere to. These rules exist to help men put together an aesthetically pleasing package. However, if all men follow the same style guidelines, they might run the risk of losing their sense individuality. We believe that style should be personal – how do you think a man can develop his own personal sense of style?
The rules and science behind dressing well are great. However, they were not written in stone tablets by the finger of God himself. Just like with any other medium of art, there is real beauty and progress that can be accomplished by bending or breaking the rules. But, 99 out of 100 times this desirable goal of rule-breaking beauty is only accomplished by those who know the rules well enough to know how to effectively break them. As a man gets better and better at understanding the fundamentals of a good wardrobe, what fits him, and what colors are best on him, he can start to intentionally tweak with these elements. He’ll be much more successful than the guy who just throws on some hodge-podge outfit of things he thinks look cool.
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, Tanner. Your sartorial knowledge will most certainly benefit our readers.
For those of you who want to read more about Tanner’s perspective on men’s style, be sure to check out his blog over at Masculine-Style.