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  1. #1
    McCoy's Avatar

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    New blog / insta:

    Minimaldrobe – Minimalist men's fashion and lifestyle blog. A decluttered capsule wardrobe is the opposite of a floordrobe.

    https://www.instagram.com/minimaldrobe/


    Made a new start on this. When I began I didn't have a focus, and I think the whole game had really confused me. Now I have a minimalist outlook, which actually speaks to beliefs I've had for a long time. The minimalist / capsule wardrobe blogging scene is really good atm, but it's mostly women. This is my gap - writing about curating a wardrobe, but not trying to sell the reader something (cough, fashionbeans main site).

    I already have 2 main posts and a bunch of instagram posts. Would really like some feedback on this. Took me ages to come up with a name that wasn't taken, pretty proud of it as it ticks loads of boxes for me.

    The site will cover 2-3 things: 1) guides, i.e. rules and ideas I follow/ find which help with the whole process.
    2) outfits and the process of putting them together / the virtues of the pieces involved.
    3) potential off-topic stuff which is minimalist related; debating spinning that off into another site, but think minimaldrobe would be easier as a one-stop shop.


    Last edited by McCoy; 08-04-2017 at 04:00 PM. Reason: made a new start

  2. #2
    Benvolio's Avatar

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    Hello!
    I actually think what's missing, is the emotional side of 'dressing well'- it's about feelings, so a place that traditionally men don't tread, but actually quite interesting and important.

    I know I found my 'getting ready for the wedding' outfit process that I went through on here very emotional. It was a big thing for me as it hit on so many issues: wanting to be 'just right', my own body image - it's flaws (I have quite bad kyphosis, rounded shoulders, giving me a bit of a notable 'hunch'), changing my attitude from someone who didn't care about it - to someone who did (and what does caring mean? That I have to make an effort, that I might make an effort and it fail - that I might still be seen as 'ugly' or 'deformed', even when I dress my best?)...

    There is also about the social side of things - or taking and accepting constructive criticism - and taking it constructively! How even just that has made me more open and accepting of my body and how I feel about it. And improved my trust and interactions with people, even.

    I mean, you may not be at the stage where your emotions are 'there' when you think about dressing well and trying a whole new outfit and putting it out there 'to see'... But I am at the moment - I've been looking going through the posts and the lookbooks and the 'what am I wearing today' thread and the articles to decide what outfit I want to wear - in effect 'who do I want to be' and in doing this, I am having lots of very interesting (and scary) thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations (so like anxiety, I suppose) - And at some point I am going to have to take the plunge and buy the outfit - theeen put it on here! Scary! But it's good-scary. What will 'come up' for me when I do that?

    I think it would be a very interesting area...though probably quite challenging!

    Ultimately, a blog is just a 'throwing up' of your thoughts and ideas - people will take it whichever way they take it and it's just about taking that plunge.

    I think what 'dressing well' means, on an emotional level, to men (you?) - why men do it and what processes are going on for you, as you do, would be interesting.

    Gotta get my breakfast now.

  3. #3

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    What's up McCoy.

    I've actually got a blog - LUKE SVARC | Fashion | Design | Lifestyle, I haven't posted in a while (not due to a lack of content but that I'm too busy with other stuff).

    Within the menswear industry what we are missing is normal people providing their personal opinion and a bit of inspiration from themselves so I definitely think you should bridge the gap of providing info but then posting some of your own stuff too. There's no need for another Fashion Beans/Menswear Style as good as these blogs are.

    Once you get rolling with it, you should find that the content comes in naturally. I used to feature lots of 'get the look' posts and outfit posts etc. I then started getting picked up by brands and they are happy to supply you with stuff to talk about. My blog now features fashion, grooming, books, lifestyle posts but all based around a normal guys life. One of my most recent posts is where I got to interview the owner of Liquor Store Clothing in Birmingham which is pretty rad.

    I even managed to pick up paid work as an editor for Mens Fashion Mag off the back of my blog so it's a good time to get involved still as there's plenty to do but yeah it's all about being yourself man, don't throw it out there because people have asked you to do something from day 1, obviously take into account what posts people view more or engage with and start tailoring it but it should always be about what works for you for sure. As already said people will either read it or they won't, same as me, I don't watch the big YouTube vloggers because it all seems so fake but some love them so on the flip side some people won't give a toss what a small time blogger says but to some it means loads more.

  4. #4
    JLG

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    A good guide on budget clothing , As a student i can almost never afford the stuff being put on the most popular blogs because of the prices , Even though i care about my clothes , I wouldn't go spend 100 on a item (Jeans , Shoes , Might for a jacket/coat) not only because i rarely have that sort of money but other things are more important , So ive found uniqlo , H&M , Asos etc but it takes alot of time to go through all that , A few of the best pieces from the cheaper website would be great , Maybe take inspiration from one of the stickies here (Deals and steals i think?) and have a spot dedicated for the best deal you find each week , Each day or every few days depending on how much time you have.

    Something that appeals to me is when a website is aimed at everything and not just fashion or style , Generally someone who is going to have pride in their wardrobe / what they wear will also want to know about hairstyles , How to get rid of acne (Or anything else) , How to lose weight or gain muscle.A vlog called "Alpha M" om youtube is good at this because it does videos on ANYTHING a man might be insecure about , As well as doing videos on your attitude too.

  5. #5
    Antonymism's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by McCoy View Post
    Sad thing is, I'm slightly... scared/nervous as to what it's going to be like if/when I go 'public' with my interest - people who know me understand that I care about how I dress, but this seems next level. Totally pathetic tho.
    Don't be! You should never be afraid to express who you are. If you are not willing to commit wholly then I think your blog might suffer. And there's nothing pathetic about being passionate about a topic.

    That being said, there might be a way to sort of get your feet wet while you decide if you really want to blog. I use my Instagram account to post my fashionable looks as well as whatever else I want to share of my personal life. I also write for my University's fashion magazine. Eventually I would like to blog, but this is a great first step for me. I think it's a good way to get started posting content, and seeing what people respond to best. As others have said, you're going to need to make it personal if you want to stand out from the sea of menswear blogs out there.

    My target audience would be men who are relatively new to fashion and looking to up their game, so to speak. They want to look good but still "normal." It's a position I can identify with. I've found most men are not interested in learning about the color wheel or looking too avant garde, so I tend to like seeing and posting simple example outfits the best. It's the easiest way to get someone started with style.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
    McCoy's Avatar

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    Thanks for all your responses, this is exactly what I was looking for. You've all taken a lot of time and thought so I will respond to you all individually here:



    Quote Originally Posted by Naboo View Post
    What's up McCoy.

    I've actually got a blog - LUKE SVARC | Fashion | Design | Lifestyle, I haven't posted in a while (not due to a lack of content but that I'm too busy with other stuff).

    Within the menswear industry what we are missing is normal people providing their personal opinion and a bit of inspiration from themselves so I definitely think you should bridge the gap of providing info but then posting some of your own stuff too. There's no need for another Fashion Beans/Menswear Style as good as these blogs are.

    Once you get rolling with it, you should find that the content comes in naturally. I used to feature lots of 'get the look' posts and outfit posts etc. I then started getting picked up by brands and they are happy to supply you with stuff to talk about. My blog now features fashion, grooming, books, lifestyle posts but all based around a normal guys life. One of my most recent posts is where I got to interview the owner of Liquor Store Clothing in Birmingham which is pretty rad.

    I even managed to pick up paid work as an editor for Mens Fashion Mag off the back of my blog so it's a good time to get involved still as there's plenty to do but yeah it's all about being yourself man, don't throw it out there because people have asked you to do something from day 1, obviously take into account what posts people view more or engage with and start tailoring it but it should always be about what works for you for sure. As already said people will either read it or they won't, same as me, I don't watch the big YouTube vloggers because it all seems so fake but some love them so on the flip side some people won't give a toss what a small time blogger says but to some it means loads more.
    Thanks Naboo - I looked at your blog, definitely the kind of thing I had in mind. I can see what you mean about differentiating yourself. I think of really good blogs like Grey Fox, and they do that job of 'providing their personal opinion and a bit of inspiration' on the whole. Like you say, no point in just becoming a new, one-man FashionBeans.

    I'd love for my blogging to head in a similar way as yourself, with your extra work etc.. That progression from a reader looking at your personal opinions as trusted ones is important, and reviews form a part of that.

    I'm also looking to simply practice writing. I write all the time, but that's for my PhD. This is an opportunity to practice a more inviting, accessible and journalistic style. That's the thing though - my personal standpoint is largely academic, so my take will probably be...well, academic. But then it's a balancing act, making it informative. I think things like Mr Porter's The Journal do this really well - informative and 'high-brow' (loaded term!) but accessible and all about fashion/style/design/life.

    I doubt vlogging will be for me but I'd like to make some video content maybe if my blog went that way. What I really think is lacking is a menswear podcast - I looked for one a while ago and it was slim pickings. If I was able to get this from just being an occasional thing to being a more commited thing, I could look to do one (I have [student] radio experience so I wouldn't be too patchy). That's all future stuff, though.


    Quote Originally Posted by JLG View Post

    A good guide on budget clothing , As a student i can almost never afford the stuff being put on the most popular blogs because of the prices , Even though i care about my clothes , I wouldn't go spend 100 on a item (Jeans , Shoes , Might for a jacket/coat) not only because i rarely have that sort of money but other things are more important , So ive found uniqlo , H&M , Asos etc but it takes alot of time to go through all that , A few of the best pieces from the cheaper website would be great , Maybe take inspiration from one of the stickies here (Deals and steals i think?) and have a spot dedicated for the best deal you find each week , Each day or every few days depending on how much time you have.

    Something that appeals to me is when a website is aimed at everything and not just fashion or style , Generally someone who is going to have pride in their wardrobe / what they wear will also want to know about hairstyles , How to get rid of acne (Or anything else) , How to lose weight or gain muscle.A vlog called "Alpha M" om youtube is good at this because it does videos on ANYTHING a man might be insecure about , As well as doing videos on your attitude too.
    JLG, I am very familiar with what it's like to buy budget clothing. It's only in the past year and a half that I've begun to really spend on clothes. I broke a lot of price 'barriers' last year - spending more than a hundred on shoes for instance.

    A more total approach definitely appeals to me, and that'd have to really come from me promoting my own P.O.V. I couldn't offer advice beyond my own experience, after-all, but that could be just what I need. When I was starting out I really wanted that voice of experience which is level-headed, not a site that was pitched like a GQ magazine. Fashionbeans was that website for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonymism View Post
    Don't be! You should never be afraid to express who you are. If you are not willing to commit wholly then I think your blog might suffer. And there's nothing pathetic about being passionate about a topic.

    That being said, there might be a way to sort of get your feet wet while you decide if you really want to blog. I use my Instagram account to post my fashionable looks as well as whatever else I want to share of my personal life. I also write for my University's fashion magazine. Eventually I would like to blog, but this is a great first step for me. I think it's a good way to get started posting content, and seeing what people respond to best. As others have said, you're going to need to make it personal if you want to stand out from the sea of menswear blogs out there.

    My target audience would be men who are relatively new to fashion and looking to up their game, so to speak. They want to look good but still "normal." It's a position I can identify with. I've found most men are not interested in learning about the color wheel or looking too avant garde, so I tend to like seeing and posting simple example outfits the best. It's the easiest way to get someone started with style.

    Good luck!
    I have got an Instagram account, and that would be a good starting point. People don't expect glossy shots on Instagram, as people tend to post from smartphones, so I wouldn't have to worry so much about my presentation. I agree that I shouldn't be afraid to present who I am. I'm more than ready to offer my opinion on nearly any subject, so really I shouldn't approach this any differently.

    That's a good target audience and something I'd look to target at as well. Reaching that audience isn't easy, as they're like the 'silent majority' I suppose. That's where blogs should have a proper role, though. If i wanted to up my game and bought GQ or esquire it'd scare me away. Those are magazines for either the rich, or for enthusiasts. Enter, blogs and websites like FB, I guess.

    Student experience is really good, full-stop. People don't expect perfection, and you have an immediately recognisable target audience (i.e. mainly 18-21 year olds).

  7. #7
    McCoy's Avatar

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    [had to split up my post as it was too long for the forum software]

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    Hello!
    I actually think what's missing, is the emotional side of 'dressing well'- it's about feelings, so a place that traditionally men don't tread, but actually quite interesting and important.

    I know I found my 'getting ready for the wedding' outfit process that I went through on here very emotional. It was a big thing for me as it hit on so many issues: wanting to be 'just right', my own body image - it's flaws (I have quite bad kyphosis, rounded shoulders, giving me a bit of a notable 'hunch'), changing my attitude from someone who didn't care about it - to someone who did (and what does caring mean? That I have to make an effort, that I might make an effort and it fail - that I might still be seen as 'ugly' or 'deformed', even when I dress my best?)...

    There is also about the social side of things - or taking and accepting constructive criticism - and taking it constructively! How even just that has made me more open and accepting of my body and how I feel about it. And improved my trust and interactions with people, even.

    I mean, you may not be at the stage where your emotions are 'there' when you think about dressing well and trying a whole new outfit and putting it out there 'to see'... But I am at the moment - I've been looking going through the posts and the lookbooks and the 'what am I wearing today' thread and the articles to decide what outfit I want to wear - in effect 'who do I want to be' and in doing this, I am having lots of very interesting (and scary) thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations (so like anxiety, I suppose) - And at some point I am going to have to take the plunge and buy the outfit - theeen put it on here! Scary! But it's good-scary. What will 'come up' for me when I do that?

    I think it would be a very interesting area...though probably quite challenging!

    Ultimately, a blog is just a 'throwing up' of your thoughts and ideas - people will take it whichever way they take it and it's just about taking that plunge.

    I think what 'dressing well' means, on an emotional level, to men (you?) - why men do it and what processes are going on for you, as you do, would be interesting.

    Gotta get my breakfast now.
    This is a great reply Benvolio. That wedding thread was really great, and showed how - when applied properly, and advice is sincere and constructive - thinking about how you dress can pay off emotionally. You clearly are insecure in your body image, so it's good that you are finding ways of working around that, and not obsessing. You're right: fashion and style is an emotional subject.

    While I'm a little past the emotional stage now, I definitely recall what it was like at the start. When I bought my first pairs of chinos for instance. I was with my girlfriend, and she was just profoundly unhelpful. I'd decided I wanted a couple of pairs, one in brown and one in black. I remember her being really stand-offish and unhelpful. At that point (and this speaks to Antonymism above) I knew so little about colours and how to combine them. In-fact, I think I may have first found FB when looking to learn about that. I'm partially colourblind so I am quite insecure about these things - or, I used to be. I got over it through practice, thought and time. Now it doesn't bother me that I see most purples and dark blues as the same, or that I have a slightly poor perception of reds. But when I was starting out, that was an extra hurdle.

    With the chinos I got my girlfriend to advise what t-shirts to buy that would go with them - I definitely got a charcoal one, and maybe another. I even remember the experience of first going out in them, I walked to the Halls where my gf lived across campus. They were slim but had a slightly twisted seam - so not 'classic' and a bit gimmicky but not garish. Of course, at the time chinos were having their resurgence. I was in the same boat as a lot of blokes and I doubt it was an isolated experience. I remember my frustration that I'd be happy to help out my gf in a shop to choose clothes, and on this one she was really cagey. I wanted her to dive in and help me, so it wasn't like I was picking things up and going 'do you like these?' or 'what would go with this?' That was definitely an emotional experience for me. Overcoming my self-image as a vaguely well-dressed person to improving my self-image was a psychological journey. If I blogged that now, it'd be as the voice of experience, and it's something i will definitely consider. I was thinking of doing some 'starting out' posts - the emotional aspect is something I should totally remember having experienced.
    Hell, I remember a time when I didn't remember my measurements, and had to write them down every time I went shopping. I think it's only really recently that I've come to understand how clothes are sized, how they fall on my body. And that's after, what, 2-3 years of serious interest in how I dress? I think this may resonate with you, having gone through the journey in the wedding outfit thread. Like everyone said: you looked great at the end of it.

  8. #8
    JLG

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    Quote Originally Posted by McCoy View Post
    [had to split up my post as it was too long for the forum software]



    This is a great reply Benvolio. That wedding thread was really great, and showed how - when applied properly, and advice is sincere and constructive - thinking about how you dress can pay off emotionally. You clearly are insecure in your body image, so it's good that you are finding ways of working around that, and not obsessing. You're right: fashion and style is an emotional subject.

    While I'm a little past the emotional stage now, I definitely recall what it was like at the start. When I bought my first pairs of chinos for instance. I was with my girlfriend, and she was just profoundly unhelpful. I'd decided I wanted a couple of pairs, one in brown and one in black. I remember her being really stand-offish and unhelpful. At that point (and this speaks to Antonymism above) I knew so little about colours and how to combine them. In-fact, I think I may have first found FB when looking to learn about that. I'm partially colourblind so I am quite insecure about these things - or, I used to be. I got over it through practice, thought and time. Now it doesn't bother me that I see most purples and dark blues as the same, or that I have a slightly poor perception of reds. But when I was starting out, that was an extra hurdle.

    With the chinos I got my girlfriend to advise what t-shirts to buy that would go with them - I definitely got a charcoal one, and maybe another. I even remember the experience of first going out in them, I walked to the Halls where my gf lived across campus. They were slim but had a slightly twisted seam - so not 'classic' and a bit gimmicky but not garish. Of course, at the time chinos were having their resurgence. I was in the same boat as a lot of blokes and I doubt it was an isolated experience. I remember my frustration that I'd be happy to help out my gf in a shop to choose clothes, and on this one she was really cagey. I wanted her to dive in and help me, so it wasn't like I was picking things up and going 'do you like these?' or 'what would go with this?' That was definitely an emotional experience for me. Overcoming my self-image as a vaguely well-dressed person to improving my self-image was a psychological journey. If I blogged that now, it'd be as the voice of experience, and it's something i will definitely consider. I was thinking of doing some 'starting out' posts - the emotional aspect is something I should totally remember having experienced.
    Hell, I remember a time when I didn't remember my measurements, and had to write them down every time I went shopping. I think it's only really recently that I've come to understand how clothes are sized, how they fall on my body. And that's after, what, 2-3 years of serious interest in how I dress? I think this may resonate with you, having gone through the journey in the wedding outfit thread. Like everyone said: you looked great at the end of it.

    Sounds like you would make a great blog , I think as long as its something your interested in and alot of the topics would come naturally , As it is something you are interested in you could have a problem with a certain piece of clothing or as you mentioned above with buying your first chinos and so that would be something you could write about and that way you should always get new topics coming naturally instead of specifically looking for topics.

    Btw i just seen your instagram and the first picture (Assuming its you) , Do you mind explaining how you got that haircut/how you style it please? , I can never find a good hairstyle that i think will work with my hair but wouldent mind giving that hairstyle a go if you dont mind explaining how you got it.

  9. #9
    McCoy's Avatar

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    Thanks for the support, JLG!

    Yeah that's me on Instagram. I'd be happy to help with the haircut, mate. I've had it for a couple of years now so I've got the full regimen worked out:

    Firstly, my hair is wiry and dry so I need to deal with that. Secondly, because of my growth patterns, it has to be longer on top than most - otherwise it just springs upwards. It even springs upwards after I get up in the morning for a few weeks after I get it cut.


    For the hairstyle, I ask for a sideparting and explain the above - i.e. a bit longer on top. I tend to ask for the sides to not be too extreme so they're just neat. I think I ask for it cut over my ears, but not too sure about that.

    For styling, straight out the shower I use a comb like this Kent CoarseFine Comb 9T - Boots

    Because it's cut into the style, it kind of naturally helps my combing. I find my side part, and comb in the direction. I then use the comb to do the sides back, basically in a motion so that you go towards the back of your head over the ears. I then perfect the side part, giving it a little bit of lift/quiff at the front by lifting the comb slightly at the start.

    I tend to leave it like that for a bit before I use a hairdryer, which usually helps to set the style. I don't always use the hairdryer but it helps. I basically use the hairdryer to point in the direction of my sidepart (i.e. reinforcing the parting), and same on the sides. There's an attachment that helps direct that, but it's not always necessary if you've lost it - it just helps. I often use my comb again to help guide where I am drying my hair - i.e. combing with one hand slowly and using the hairdryer in the other to follow it.

    For products I either use American Crew Grooming Cream for a more formal finish, or American Crew Pomade which has a less noticeable (but still with a nice shine, applying it to my hair. You will perfect the technique over time. At the moment I'm after a more natural looking style so I use a product called Wella Bold Move. If you want to stick to American Crew (they are brilliant products from my experience) I think their Fibre would do the same trick. I apply it in the same way, but after I have dried my hair. Those products work well with my hair and my haircut, but you might find it differs with your hair type. I'd also recommend a good hairspray, as that can really help hold your hair.

    Be prepared to be patient with the amount of product you use - start off with a small amount and add more if you think the hair needs it. Same goes for any time you use a product.

    Also be prepared for comments - I've had random women saying 'I love your hair', to people I know saying how cool it is, to more veiled comments like 'it looks like you Brylcreemed it'. I.e. it looks like something out of Mad Men, which is no bad thing as it's a haircut of that era. If you want the more natural finish look for a fibre type product rather than a shiny one. Shiny ones tend to have a conditioning product in them that helps your hair though, and the original Brylcreem (which I've never owned but may try one day) is a product which has such a conditioner in.

    Styling with your fingers is a good idea too - once you perfect the technique of moving your parting with your one hand, and then using the two hands to pull back the sides you will be golden.

    Whether you apply the product before or after you dry your hair is your choice, but I'd usually say after. Don't always dry your hair with the hairdryer though, as that can dry you hair out a lot - but if you use a towel, do not be rough with it, as hair is very weak when wet.


    I also always keep a pocket comb on me (or just the one I use normally if I'm wearing a blazer) to keep it neat.

    This is a good video too for a similar sort of style:

    Do Stuff With Your Hair: Side Parting - YouTube



    Interestingly though I have been tempted to go for a fringe like in these: 2014s Key Men

    Which is a kind of a step back towards how I used to have my hair before, when I frankly had very little idea of what hairstyles worked and what didn't. I just know I'd do it a lot better, now I have a better working knowledge of how to achieve certain styles. But even then, I'm very rarely one of those people who has PERFECT hair 24/7 - I frankly don't know how those people do it. Doing things like carrying the comb, perfecting the finger styling helps there.
    Last edited by McCoy; 27-11-2014 at 05:40 PM.

  10. #10
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    For me, a good blog should be focused on the subject much more so than the person writing it.

    Obviously, it's going to come from one person's perspective - which is why in general, websites are better than blogs (due to them having more contributors), but if they focus more on the subject, it's a lot more interesting than seeing a lot of photos and posts from and about the same person.

    That to me, is just self-indulgent and I steer clear of blogs like that as frankly, I'm really not that interested in reading about someone else's life or care what their favourite underpants are.

    The exception to this might be something along the lines of what Benvolio is writing about - which is almost like a self-discovery / journey type thing, which I think a lot of people would read as a lot of people can relate to that. Definitely, that is writing very much from one person's perspective, but it's not in the same "look at me, don't I look cool in my new boat shoes" type blogs (think Dan "smug git" Trepanier).

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