Instagram is style manna, a carousel of well-dressed men from which to garner outfit tips and avocado recipes. But what if you want to get your looks among the #menswear elite? After all, what good is fashion if no-one can see it? If the ‘gram seems unfazed by your genius spring layering, never fear – we’ve tapped two of Instagram’s most stylish men for their secrets on structuring shots and cultivating followers. No fuss, no frills, #nofilter.
Nail Your Outfit Of The Day
One of the most basic phlogger (that’s photo blogger, keep up) staples, the #ootd shot is how people know you’re a) fashion forward and b) going to be sticking around. (The “of the day” part means you need to post them, you know, daily.) “You want to post as many OOTDs as you can,” says Moti Ankari, a New Yorker blogger and journalist who’s turned his own #ootd shots into a six-figure follower count. “Otherwise people are going to forget you.” But that means you can’t just pull out the first clean thing in your wardrobe. Especially if you want to stand out on a hashtag that features almost 100m posts. “When it comes to colours, bright ones are eye-catching and in my experience do tend to perform better,” says Matthew Zorpas, whose posts as The Gentleman Blogger command an equally impressive audience. “I shot an extraordinary yellow Berluti coat during Paris Fashion Week that had a tremendous impact online.” Tremendous being more than 2,000 double-taps.
Ankari prefers a utilitarian approach. “Shockingly, the simplest outfits have done the best. Black leather jacket, T-shirt, a pair of black denim and white sneakers. It’s because almost 99 per cent of the male population can relate to the outfit, and can make that outfit at home.” Though 68 per cent of instagram’s population are women, outfits men can recreate themselves targets that minority more effectively as they feel more engaged. Just follow Ankari’s one simple rule: “If the outfit fits, it’s going to come across even better on social. I’m always at the tailor making minor and major changes to my clothing.” Which also makes for excellent #BTS (translation: behind the scenes) shots.
Location, Location, Location
It might be easier to shoot in your garden, but it’s just as simple for everyone else. “A plain white wall can be located anywhere,” says Ankari. “When you visit major landmarks like a Duomo in Italy, those tend to perform well because so many people are familiar with it.” Repeat viewings will also have your followers hopping fences for greener pastures. “I like looking for interesting places that are aesthetically appealing,” says Zorpas. “It keeps my account diverse.” Maintain an eye for interesting locations and always bear your account in mind. Off hiking? Take your Ray-Bans and Barbour jacket, line up your top-of-the-hill wide-angle, and red hearts are almost guaranteed.
Learn Your Tools
It’s no shock that many of Instagram’s most popular accounts belong to people who shoot pictures for living. Even the best outfit dies if the shot’s flat or unfocused, so experiment with settings and make sure each image is bright and crystal clear. Shoot on a dedicated app like VSCO or Afterlight, which offer more powerful editing than Instagram’s built-in camera. And when everyone else just snaps then adds the Mayfair filter, your shots stand out. “There should be coherence in style, colour and filters among your feed,” says Zorpas. Match your filter to your fashion to create the best effects, but use sparingly. “After many years I have come to realise that natural shots are your biggest ally, but be aware that interests will change and remaining relevant is quite a task.” “Don’t abuse filters,” agrees Ankari. “Your photo will be oversaturated or might have too much contrast.” Instead just tweak the brightness and contrast functions until the image is as sharp as your look.
Since 83 per cent of Instagram posts are adorned with hashtags, the white noise means your own sartorial shouting is lost in the din. But it doesn’t have to be that way. “Getting seen with hashtags does not imply engagement,” says Zorpas. “But smart captions do tend to secure the right audience. One or two meaningful hashtags are acceptable, but more are quite disturbing.” The trend for whole paragraphs of tags reeks of the desperation normally reserved for Big Brother contestants. Stay classy and stick to three – at most. “You would rather have five people like that photo, and then follow you and check your page frequently, than 50 people like that photo, and never return to your page again,” says Ankari. “Create hashtags that make sense with the photo. If it’s an image of New York City, hashtagging #NewYorkCity, #NYC and the like will get you noticed.” Stay on topic and you won’t go far wrong.