Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mainstream "Style" Magazines for Men Really Suck

I recently received one of those frequent flyer offers in the mail where you can convert unused miles into freebie magazine subscriptions.  My miles were about to expire so I selected subscriptions for GQ and Esquire.  Now I'm confused.  Who is the target audience for these magazine?  It's obviously not me.  Most of the trendy clothes these magazines promote could only be worn by some young buck in his twenties.  But what college kid can afford a $2600 pea coat?  Who are these fashionable little fellows with the fifty thousand dollar clothing allowances?

GQ contains approximately two pages of worthwhile style advice.  Glenn O'Brien, known as The Style Guy, solves the "sartorial conundrums" of his readers.  His column provides the only reasonable style advice in the entire magazine.

Esquire was arguably the style bible of the early part of the twentieth century, a time when mens' style consciousness was at its peak.  You may have seen some of the old illustrations that once graced the pages of Esquire.  Those illustrations gave practical style advice on matters like coordinating different items of clothing, or which colors complement different complexions.  Many of those "old" illustrations still have relevance today.  Remember that style is timeless.  But oh how the great have fallen.  What passes for style advice in the current Esquire is a photo shoot of some famous person wearing the overpriced clothing of the magazine's advertisers.  The ticket price for one outfit pictured in the November 2009 issue:  $17,195.  Seriously?

Fortunately we live in an age where an unimaginable volume of information is readily available at our fingertips over the internet.  I hope that this blog is able to provide some helpful style advice.  Three other excellent blogs that I read daily are A Suitable Wardrobe, The Sartorialist, and Permanent Style.  I also enjoy reading the style forums at The London Lounge, Ask Andy About Clothes, and Style Forum.

If you prefer sitting on the couch flipping pages, I would recommend two excellent books on mens' style:  Alan Flusser's Dressing the Man, and Gentleman by Bernhard Roetzel.  I've read some positive reviews about a new magazine called The Rake.  Unfortunately it's published somewhere in Asia (I think maybe Singapore) so subscription rates are a little rough in the States.  There is always Christmas......

1 comment:

  1. Over the past several years I have subscribed to Esquire magazine. Obviously I do not read the magazine for the style advice. My profession as a high school teacher limits my ability to purchase $200 shirts or "$2600 pea coats". Like my previous subscription to Playboy, I read it for the articles!