Image description: Various items from a man’s wardrobe, shoes, a jacket and tie, a scarf, a watch and trousers placed together
If you are not familiar with Reddit, this is an online forum platform where users can make posts and share images and articles from across the web. The platform is divided in terms of ‘subreddits’, smaller enclaves dedicated to specific genres. One such subreddit is r/malefashionadvice. From its about section, r/malefashionadvice is “Reddit’s largest men’s fashion community” with a goal of “making clothes less intimidating and helping you develop your own style.” This community numbers over 2.2 million users, far above the closest women’s equivalent which has only 65’000.
Perhaps this speaks more of the internet as a whole for men and men’s style, since fashion and fashion advice has largely been a women’s game. From my personal experience working in my grandad’s menswear shop, to try and offer advice to a man alone is a difficult task, and often they will resort to the opinions of their wife or girlfriend, or even mother over our own, regardless of how much experience we have styling the stock. Indeed the differences between how men and women broadly think about clothing and dressing themselves is evident whenever an event requires a little more effort in getting ready.
For most men, choosing what to wear is a solitary affair, while women tend to get ready in groups,
lending items of clothing amongst themselves and offering advice to one another. Of course, these
are generalisations, but one can’t help wonder if this is due to a stereotype, and not a male preference to dress themselves without help, that an online forum such as male fashion advice is so popular. It offers the chance for men, both young and old, to seek advice, often anonymously, about the clothing they wish to buy, like to wear, or want help styling. A common post one may see is a ‘top-down’ or ‘aerial’ shot whereby uses take a photo looking down from head height of their outfit, to be critiqued or praised by members of the forum.
It offers the chance for men, both young and old, to seek advice… about the clothing they wish to buy, like to wear, or want help styling.
R/malefashionadvice advice is filling a gap in the world of menswear. While high end designers are
busy being experimental, challenging gender roles or ‘liberating’ menswear from its traditions, they
are forgetting the everyman. In browsing the most popular posts of this forum, one will not find
posts from men fashioning themselves in designer labels or the unique styles. Instead, you will find
basic guides to colour matching, advice on how to tailor clothes to fit well, minimalist guides, suit
styling guides and more. The average guy is not focussed on being the standout fashionista on campus, instead, they are focussing on the basics – how to style themselves in a way that looks good and feels good, for an affordable price. As with anything on the internet, it’s not perfect, and some colourful characters do exist, but mostly it’s a place for shy guys to talk about the clothes they wear in a friendly setting.
The average guy is not focussed on being the standout fashionista on campus
From easy to understand infographics, to ‘steal the look’ guides on how to dress like film characters or celebrities, r/malefashionadvice is a place where men can, judgement free, explore their own style and get advice, find clothing deals, and stay current with trends all in a more comfortable environment than high street stores where the pressure is on to buy there and then. While some are fortunate enough to have fashion-conscious friends to turn to when they have to dress up for an occasion, for some guys this is not the case. I would highly recommend it to any guy that wants to learn how to get out of the cycle of wearing jeans and sweatshirts everyday, and instead learn how to properly style both things they already have, or the things they might need to buy in order to enhance their outfit.
Image credit: David Lezcano via Unsplash