The other day I saw an article ranking the top websites in men's style.
To put it bluntly – it sucked.
The websites listed were for the most part offering impractical advice for the normal guy.
Most of the sites listed were the same site's listed on these “top 25” lists 5 years ago – recent up and comers were at a huge disadvantage.
Many were simply photo sites re-posting the same images with little if any unique content or perspective.
And not one ranking “quantified” the system they used – it could have been a chimp surfing the web choosing sites randomly.
So I decided to put out my own list.
I had my team assemble into a spreadsheet over 230 men's style and lifestyle websites. Using ten measuring points, we ranked them all and then I selected my top 10 along with another group of honorable mentions.
So Why Rank 230+ Men's Style & Lifestyle Websites?
Here are my 4 reasons:
- You have limited time – We all have 24 hours in a day and it helps to have some direction from a trusted source.
- Not all advice is solid – The democracy that is the open internet is great for equal access and diversity. However not all content creators are equally skilled and passionate. Also some websites are marketing arms for a business and too skewed towards selling you something you don't need vs. giving solid advice. It's a thin line (I know, I own a clothing company as well as blog) but one I feel can be walked with integrity. Not everyone understands this.
- What's popular isn't always what's best – Many of the most popular men's style websites are highly visited because they were the first on the scene. Although I do give some credibility to being a first mover, I tried to bring in some newer faces (at least 25 quality posts & 6 months of age).
- Give recognition to hard work & skill – Creating content, especially unique images, articles, and videos, requires hard work and dedication. Many of these bloggers do this for the love of the industry – I want to recognize them for their efforts.
The Top 10 Men's Style Websites
Equal parts fashion blog and Consumer Reports-style info site, Dappered has both style articles and the inside scoop on major clothiers' latest sales. They highlight good deals whenever they crop up on the net, and fill the time in between with useful Top 10 lists, product reviews, and more. If there's a piece of clothing you were thinking of buying, it's probably worth hanging around Dappered for a while and seeing if it'll crop up for sale anywhere good.
Dappered's community and the consistency with which Joe (the site's irrepressible editor) stays on top of the latest information put them in our top slot. Their e-mail list is worth adding to your inbox — it's very content-driven and not at all spammy, and it's a good way to make sure you don't miss an update about that piece of clothing that you've been wanting to buy but couldn't find a good deal on.
What made Dappered #1? The community and forum, the way the men on that website look out for each other and bring in sales and other bits of info to the attention of all to benefit from.
Another with almost daily updates, Gentleman's Gazette focuses on high-end menswear and all the other pleasures of a gentleman's life. They're very strong on fashion history and the evolution of men's styles, with an amazing collection of photographs and vintage images to back their articles up. The Editor-in-Chief, Sven Raphael Schneider, brings an incredible depth of knowledge to the table. It'd be hard to find a more thoroughly-researched men's style blog out there.
Run by Kino Image Consulting Company owner Jay Song, Kinowear updates sparingly but when they do it's solid. Many of the posts are guest posts from manufacturers in the featured industry — a discussion on casual suits by a suit maker, a look at polo shirts from a casual menswear company, and so on.
I really like the simplicity and clarity of the message – a great menswear blog that deserves more attention.
A wild mix of everything style-related, with an update schedule that'll make your pulse quicken. There's something new just about every day, sometimes multiple posts a day. A lot of them spotlight currently-available deals on good menswear, including regular “eBay roundups” pointing readers toward good online auctions. The Put This On video series is what really puts them in the top 4 – these are high-quality, instructive videos that cover a lot of information in short, accessible video clips.
Shop, style guide, and look-book all rolled into one started by Dan Trepanier. There's a ton of content here, including articles and original photos, but also giveaways, contests, links to sales, and more. It's one of the most professional style sites out there — and yes, one of the more commercial ones too, but in an entirely good way. You want these guys to be selling you clothes. They're good at it, and they're good at clothes.
I came very close to ranking TSB#2 – but they lost some points due to my conservative personal tastes. Dan and his team are a bit fashion forward and push some styles I would never wear. However – I'm 36, married with kids, and living in rural WI. If you're in a large city such as New York, Chicago, LA, etc – this is a website you must check out!
A blog aimed specifically at men who want to improve their appearance and attire. The author, Barron Cuadro, has a wardrobe improvement e-book out, and is also one of the co-owners of the Fifth & Brannan menswear store in San Francisco. There's a lot of focus on action steps here — simple stuff you can do to improve your style right away. Real Men Real Style has an interview with Barron Cuadro of Effortless Gent here.
Self-described as an “online magazine” rather than a humble blog, Men's Flair is pretty fancy stuff. The writers look closely at modern tailoring and design, with plenty of original photographs from stores and studios. A lot of the source material comes from London, but they draw on several contributors from around the world. The variety of perspectives and the frequency with which they all update makes this a powerful resource.
8. A Suitable Wardrobe
One of the greats. Will Boehlke's A Suitable Wardrobe updates almost every day, usually with a solid chunk of text and at least one accompanying photograph (specific to the post, not from stock art). The focus is on classic menswear, leaning heavily toward the dressier side of things (suits and ties, etc.), but topics can vary widely day-to-day. There's also now an A Suitable Wardrobe online store featuring some of the products Will has talked about on his blog, and many more besides.
Blogger Simon Crompton gets his information on tailored menswear in the simplest way possible: he goes and talks to tailors about it. There's quite a bit of reading involved too, of course, but the result is a blog that's very deeply informed on the intricacies of fabric, stitching, construction, and all the other minutiae of tailoring. It's also one of the better blogs out there for updates — there's a new post nearly every day, and they're quite detailed, with many paragraphs of writing and multiple original photographs.
10. (TIE) Image Granted
The blog and website of my friend Grant Harris, Image Granted takes a practical look at things like dress codes, event attire, and the latest looks from contemporary designers. Updates regularly with decent-sized entries and great images. I love following Grant on Twitter as his “Grantisms” – short witty sayings – are easily re-tweetable and fun. In the Washington DC area, he is available to speak or meet with in person. Just reach out to him!
Modern men's fashion and lifestyle, ranging across topics from bespoke suits to cruiser bikes to how we use the internet. Smart, savvy writing with a lot of weight to it — you get a good read out of each post. He's also one of the best bloggers out there for including audio and video as well as text and images, making this one of the strongest multimedia fashion and menswear resources out there.
A vital resource for the man on the budget — filled with tips and tricks on getting the top-tier menswear look without paying top-tier prices. Lots on thrifting, DIY-repairs and alterations, and more. It's always nice to see a style blog that doesn't assume you can buy new suits as often as you need to. They're definitely aiming for the everyday Joe audience, and they're providing lots of useful advice for it.
All of these websites are solid and many could easily have been in the top ten. A few are technically not blogs, therefore by definition they couldn't make the top 10. Bu that does not mean they shouldn't be one of your go to websites. If I were you I would give each of these a few minutes and add many to your RSS reader/join their email lists.
I have listed these in alphabetical order.
Alpha M Image Consulting – If this was a video blogger list, Aaron would be number one. He is an entertainer/educator/leader when it comes to men's style advice online. The only reason he wasn't in my top ten is almost everything he put's out is video based. Therefore he isn't technically a blogger – but a vlogger. That being said if you are not watching his channel you are missing a great show full of humor and sound style tips. Highly recommended.
Art of Manliness – A great collection of all things manly. I write a number of the clothing articles over there and only 5% of the 1000+ articles are on style – so I couldn't put it in our top 10 (some bias there!), but it's a great site. Lifestyle, clothing, practical skills, and more.
Ask Andy About Clothes – A venerable guide and web forum. Probably one of the largest communities for menswear fans out there. Your first stop for any obscure fashion questions you need a simple answer to.
Be Stylish – General fashion blog with a mix of product reviews, fashion history, and basic how-tos. Less frequent updates than some of our Top 10, but still good material here.
Black Tie Guide – The authority on all things formalwear. A vital guide for anyone planning on wearing a tuxedo. Don't let the name mislead you — the “Black Tie Guide” has sections to help you with white tie, morning coats, and other variants of formalwear as well.
Fashion Beans – For the runway fans out there. A sort of online glamor mag with all the latest looks from menswear designers. Lots of photospreads and catwalk shots — and, of course, an online store where you can buy many of the products they feature.
The Gentlemen's Standard – A style-and-perspective blog targeted specifically at men of color. Very classic style mixed with more thoughtful essays on the role and nature of a “gentleman.”
Le Vrai Winston – Photoblog presenting sample outfits for a wide range of circumstances, both professional and social. Every post creates a new outfit and runs through its elements one by one.
Made by Hand – A blog focused specifically on tailoring and bespoke construction. Infrequent updates, but good when they arrive.
Men's Style Pro – Sabir Peele has created a solid collection of men's style advice as he chronicles his style journey through photographs, outfit reviews, and style looks. Philadelphia based – he brings a young and fresh view. Need advice – contact him about style advice!
Modern Gentleman – Updates once or twice a month with solid, basic information articles. Also includes a useful glossary of style and fashion terms.
Off the Cuff – Off the Cuff has been around since 2006, making it a venerable oldster by the standards of the internet. They usually update once or twice a week, but the updates are long and full of substance, both written and visual. It's also a deeply-connected website, working frequently with greats of men's fashion like Alan Flusser. It brings a lot of content to the table, quite a bit of it both unique and exclusive.
Primer – “A Guy's Post-Graduate Guide to Growing Up,” targeted primarily at young men in their 20s and 30s. Has some useful advice for men who don't have the budget for lots of bespoke clothing. Covers lifestyle, housing, food and drink, etc., in addition to menswear.
Street Etiquette – Photoblog of outfits seen on the street all over the world. A great look at all different kinds of fashion.
Style Forum – Another of the original menswear forums on the internet. Many subforums for every kind of niche imaginable. A good place to go with fashion or style questions.
Style Girlfriend – A rare woman's perspective on men's style. Megan does a great job suggesting complete outfits, dispensing style tips, and is attentive to her growing community. She is also a Wisconsinite living in New York City – Midwest sensibilities with a big city perspective.
Transparency In My Rankings
I compiled a database of over 230 men's style websites and used a 10 part numbering system that ranges from a score of 0 to 100. This as only a guide and was not what I used to determine final rankings – it simply helped me find the top 50 and then I used other factors – such as how the website worked and served as a whole – to determine the final top 10.
You can view the over 230 blogs, and their scores, right here if you would like. Click here to see the Google Doc spreadsheet.
Limitations of this ranking:
One Man's View – I am a product of my upbringing, drawn to classic styles with an ethnic flair. I tried to be objective, but I am human and inherently biased towards websites I frequent.
Language – I speak English, write in English, and read in English. I am sure there are many deserving French, Russian, Spanish and other language sites I missed.
Words Count – Picture heavy websites that only re-post images are at a disadvantage here – I place value on the written word and original work. A few also did very well as they include audio and/or video components.
I did not include my website, Real Men Real Style. Although I feel my work here is deserving of a ranking – I can't rank myself.
Help Me Make This Ranking Better
I am sure I missed some amazing websites or didn't give a few of these sites high enough rankings – I would love to hear your opinion and reasoning as to how I can make this men's style blog ranking better. To send me your thoughts please drop me a message!
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