Fashion blogger and stylist Megan Collins is the kind of girl who likes to watch a football game with the guys (even if she, admittedly, only knows who the quarterback is) and then share her sartorial insights with them on Style Girlfriend, the popular site she started in 2011 to offer advice on menswear, grooming, and dating—straight from a woman.
At Details' upcoming TxT Tech + Tastemakers Summit on Wednesday, September 4 in New York (just before Fashion Week), you can catch Collins on the Beyond the Blog panel, where she'll lend her perspective on men's fashion. But first, we wanted to find out more about her.
DETAILS: You mention on your blog that you fell in love with men's fashion at a young age, when your brother passed along a Milwaukee Bucks starter jacket to you, but we're still guessing that as a little girl, you didn't dream of writing about men's style. How did a love of men's clothes evolve into your blog, Style Girlfriend?
MEGAN COLLINS: I really just fell ass-backwards into it. A few years ago, I was looking to get out of advertising, and around the same time, a friend of mine was starting a clothing company and asked me to write content for his blog. But it was a men's clothing company, and I'm not an expert. He said, "Just write about what you like and don't like to see guys wear as a woman."
That was easy enough. I have plenty of opinions on that, which I think every woman does. As time has gone on, Style Girlfriend has really taken off. I know how lucky I am to have readers that are so engaged and positive. As I grow, I hope that's who I continue to keep as a reader.
DETAILS: What role have blogs and technology played in transforming the way men consume fashion?
MEGAN COLLINS: It's really revolutionized the way that men relate to fashion and to each other. The rise of menswear blogs has given them that outlet to bond over fashion the way other guys bond over sports. I think it's allowed these pockets of guys to rise up to the surface and say, "Hey, this is something I'm passionate about, and this is something I geek out over, too."
DETAILS: Do you think the connection between consumers and brands or retailers has strengthened or weakened as e-commerce has grown?
MEGAN COLLINS: Personally, I think brands are still figuring it out. The male online shopper is so different from the female online shopper. As guys are going online more to do their shopping, brands are getting up to speed on how to be more savvy about how to speak to the guy, how to showcase clothes, whether or not they provide outfit inspiration, and how often to update their blog.
DETAILS: Do you see the growing online menswear community playing a bigger role in men's fashion?
MEGAN COLLINS: Just as with female fashion bloggers having their voices heard editorially more and more, it's going to happen with guys. I think it's already started to happen. Look at [fellow panelist] Lawrence Schlossman. He had a menswear blog, and now he works at Complex. That wouldn't have happened had he not gained notoriety and status as a resource and style expert. Because there are fewer voices in menswear, it's easier for brands to find the bloggers that have something to say and start having a conversation. I think that's great.
DETAILS: What does a digital platform provide to men that other forms of fashion consumption just can't?
MEGAN COLLINS: My reader really wants his edited selection. He trusts me—he knows I want him to look his best. So if I say that brand X is what I think guys look great in, chances are he's going to click that link and buy it. He's not going to say, "Well, I should keep shopping around for a while just to be sure." He's like, "Great, done. Checking that off my list."
Being online and reaching the consumer at the point of purchase is really attractive to brands. It makes guys' lives easier, and it's just one more thing we can do online that print can't.
DETAILS: As a female style blogger, has it been challenging to make a name for yourself in the menswear industry, or has the void of a female presence made it easier than you expected?
MEGAN COLLINS: It's easier in that I'm unique. There are certainly other females out there talking about menswear, but not so much in terms of blogging. That's certainly been my niche. For a lot of guys, their primary "audience" when they get dressed in the morning is a pretty woman; it's their wife, girlfriend, or that girl at the end of the bar that they're trying to impress. For the guys who are interested in looking good but aren't necessarily interested in fashion, Style Girlfriend is perfect. It gives those shortcuts, tips, and tricks guys are looking for.
DETAILS: Without giving too much away, can you tell us a bit about what you'll talk about at TxT and what you think about the current state of menswear in general?
MEGAN COLLINS: At TxT, I'm excited to draw parallels between my conversations with a boyfriend and my conversation with thousands of readers. In general, I think menswear is moving to a really positive place. The more voices, the better. I'm 100 percent in favor of guys looking great. That's what I want. At the end of the day, I want every guy on the street to look really good, because I know how important it is to feeling good. I don't think enough guys have had the experience of putting on a suit that fits them just right and how it makes them feel like a million freaking dollars.
DETAILS: What are some of the biggest style mistakes you see guys make?
MEGAN COLLINS: The thing that drives me nuts is when guys leave the stitch on a jacket vent. A lot of guys, I guess, don't know that you're supposed to cut that stitch. It's a constant struggle for me to not walk up to men on the street and take a clipper to it. I think that's indicative of a larger problem, in that guys don't know how to be intentional with their clothes. If no one told you that you were supposed to take that stitch out, why would you know to do that?
DETAILS: What are a few timeless staples every guy should have in his closet?
1. A navy or gray suit.
2. A good sport coat.
3. A dark-rinse, straight-leg pair of jeans.
4. A pair of clean, white sneakers and a pair of desert boots.
5. Black and brown dress shoes.
6. A solid oxford cotton button-down in a color that makes you feel really good.
7. A nice beat-up baseball cap—I love the idea of telegraphing what you're about in that way.
8. A good amount of undershirts, which you get rid of when they get disgusting.
DETAILS: What items should a guy splurge on?
MEGAN COLLINS: When buying shoes, a winter coat, or a leather jacket, it's important to spend as much as you feasibly can. The last thing is jeans. A lot of guys don't necessarily understand why it's important to spend a lot on jeans. You want something that's really going to last.
DETAILS: On Style Girlfriend, you include your female audience by sharing style and beauty rituals—like getting ready for a date—then you ask guys their take on it. What are some of the funniest answers you've received from male readers?
MEGAN COLLINS: I had the funniest response to "How do you prepare for a date?" This guy said something that killed me: "Shave the sack and clean the crack." That was probably the craziest thing I've heard.
Join Details and Megan Collins at the TxT Tech + Tastemakers summit on Wednesday, September 4. Buy tickets here.
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