I had an opportunity to do a little one-on-one with my man Dan Trepanier, also known as The Style Blogger and Esquire’s Best Dressed Real Man. This is a dude I align with closely when it comes to matters of style, and I felt that sharing this conversation would acquaint our readers with a man who understands what it means to personalize your style and make it your own.
8 Questions — Effortless Gent x The Style Blogger
EG: Appreciate you taking the time to do a little Q+A with us today. In case we have any readers who happened upon this conversation unaware of who you are, care to give us a little background?
SB: Long story short… born and raised on a small farm in an even smaller Canadian town, recruited to play basketball at Columbia University in Manhattan, fell in love with men’s fashion, started a men’s style blog, won Esquire’s Best Dressed competition, currently working on starting my own business, constantly enjoying every moment of it.
EG: You were crowned Esquire’s Best Dressed Real Man of 2009. What was most memorable out of the whole experience?
SB: It has certainly been a great experience with a lot of good memories. If I had to choose one, it would be giving my mother a shopping spree to Kenneth Cole for Christmas. Although, the day my girlfriend and I went to the Ralph Lauren mansion and spent $5,000 in one shot is a close runner up. We felt like celebrities.
EG: I hear the Best Dressed Real Man gets some sweet prizes. Out of all of them, what was your favorite?
SB: I would say the publicity that came along with winning. Money is money and clothing is clothing, but making a name for myself in the fashion industry has certainly put me on the path to achieving my future goals.
EG: You also run a website, http://www.thestyleblogger.com, which you update regularly with lots of great tips for men. Where do you ultimately see yourself taking the site? Any future aspirations for it, or for your potential role in the fashion world in general?
SB: I think the natural progression of the site, as its popularity grows, is to solidify some advertising and make it profitable. After that, I will be opening the store section. It will be a passionately edited collection of my favorite items of the season, along with the very first pieces from my own line which is currently in production. Coming soon!!
EG: When you’re walking the streets, what’s the one thing you see men wearing that you absolutely cannot stand?
SB: What I don’t like is guys who are cocky about being “well dressed”, who walk around like, “I’m the man, I’m killing it right now!” Most of the time these guys aren’t even well dressed. Clothes do not make the man. On the other hand, some guys just don’t care what they look like, and that’s okay, its what’s inside that counts. Clothes don’t UN-make the man either.
EG: Are there any current trends in menswear that you like, and hope to see more of?
SB: Without a doubt there is a growing European influence in American menswear. Men are embracing clothes that are more streamlined and tailored and paying more attention to the importance of fit. The term “slim fit” can be found in just about any store now. The funny thing is, the clothing isn’t slim, it just fits properly.
EG: You mentioned your mom as a big fashion influence in your life. Who, if anyone, do you find influential today, in terms of making an impact on your personal style?
SB: I get this question often and I find it difficult to answer because so many different people and things are constantly influencing me. I think one of my blog readers just about nailed it when he said, “If you take Gossip Girl’s ‘Chuck Bass’, White Collar’s ‘Neal Caffrey’ and Kanye West, and blend their styles, you’d be the result.”
EG: Before we let you go, one thing The Effortless Gent stresses to its readership is the necessity of finding one’s own personal style, independent of any current trends in fashion. What would you recommend to someone still searching for his or her own look and style?
SB: I think it’s important for people to be true to themselves and be comfortable in their own skin. It’s very obvious when someone is playing copy-cat or trying to be something they are not. Just because something is trending, or it looks good on someone else, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you. My number one piece of advice is to understand what works for you, and play to your strengths. If you are not very creative, take your favorite aspects of others’ style and combine them in your own way.
Make sure to check out Dan at his site, The Style Blogger.
Hope you enjoyed this conversation. Are there any other questions you would’ve asked Dan? Leave them in the comments below.