Megan Collins is not your ordinary girl. Known to most of the world as The Style Girlfriend (awesome nickname), she is a successful style blogger who gives fashion tips for men from a woman’s point of view.
This unique approach to men’s fashion is a game changer. Admit it guys, as much as we think we know what women want, we don’t. They are complex creatures and Megan gives us a free look inside their minds when it comes to how we look.
I was lucky enough to get in contact with Megan and get an interview with her, covering some of her background, how she built her business and most importantly, some fashion questions of my own and some that I have received via email.
So sit back, watch, read or listen to the Megan Collins interview. And don’t forget to check out her blog at StyleGirlfriend.com for more awesome fashion advice for guys.
If you’re at work, or you can’t listen/watch the interview, I have transcribed 75% of it below. I skipped most of the business stuff that you can find in the video and skipped right to the fashion tips for men & questions that I ask Megan. Enjoy.
Sean: Hey guys, welcome to MenProvement.com’s interview series. This is actually my first interview with the very special and beautiful guest Megan Collins … aka, the Style Girlfriend. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and why the world knows you as the Style Girlfriend.
Megan: Absolutely. I started Style Girlfriend a little over three years ago. First, actually, as a favor to a friend who was starting up a custom suiting business. I was doing a bunch of freelance writing at the time. He said, “Why don’t you write something for the site. Why don’t you write an article a week, a column a week, on what women like to see guys wearing.” Which was great because I definitely do not have a fashion background. I don’t come from the fashion world at all. I certainly have opinions on what guys are wearing. Whether it’s good or bad. I always came at things as a fan, not an expert. It was just me trying to help out the guy on the street look a little better for his wife or his girlfriend, or that girls he’s trying to impress at work or at the end of the bar. It was always something where I wanted to help guys get over that fear of, “Am I doing this wrong?” Maybe not wanting to ask their friends that. They can come to Style Girlfriend and put that out there and feel like they’re in a safe space.
Sean: Absolutely. They’re friends probably don’t know much about it either. Most of my friends are- Were you always interested in men’s fashion?
Megan: I tell the story that when I was a little kid … I was the youngest of three. My brother was in the middle so I would get his hand-me-downs instead of my sisters. I loved it. I was a huge tomboy until I was 11. Except that I was in gymnastics and a diver. I wasn’t full tomboy like football or anything like that. I definitely wore a lot of my brothers old clothes. Made my mom take me to get a bowl cut. I was like, “I don’t want my hair in my face when I’m playing.” I definitely have that tomboy background. My brother had this amazing starter jacket when we were younger. I was like, “I can’t wait until he outgrows that. I’m going to get that starter jacket.” I’ve definitely always had an affinity for it. Even now, today, I still dress in a lot of sports wear. I love a good sneaker. I definitely identify with the guys in that way. . <Skipping to questions and fashion tips for men from Megan. See audio/video for full interview> .
Sean: (Question #1) What do you think are the most common style mistakes that you see guys making today?
Guys wear their clothes either too big or too small. Most guys would benefit from taking nearly everything in their closet to a tailor and having pants taken up, or in, or out. Whatever it might be. For the most part, guys are wearing clothes too big. Obviously, there’s always going to be those muscle heads that are walking around in tee’s that are this tight.
For the most part, guys don’t think to take clothing that they buy off the rack to a tailor. It’s not that expensive. It makes such a big difference in how your clothes look. If you start to budget in … I’m going to buy these $70.00 pants. Just assume that I’m going to pay $20.00 in tailoring. Just start thinking, “I’m going to buy $90.00 pants.”
Just think of it that way and then it’s … you don’t even have to have it in your head, “Oh, and I have to pay that additional … that price.” Nearly everything in your closet, including polo shirts, jeans, so many things will look better on a guy, or a guy will look better wearing, if they’re more tailored to his body.
Sean: That’s really interesting, and really good. I don’t do that. I probably should. I actually bought a $225.00 pair of Burberry jeans when I first started working. I was stupid. I bought so many shoes, so many clothes. I never had money before. They don’t even fit. I never wear them. I wore them one time. They’re too wide. I need to get them tailored.
Megan: There you go. That’s the thing. So many guys have stuff in their closet where they’re like, “Oh, I bought it because it was on clearance, or I bought it but it just doesn’t fit right.” It just sits in your closet. That’s a shame. Instead of going and buying a new pair of jeans, you could take that pair of jeans to the tailor, pay a fraction of what you would for new jeans and feel like you have new jeans.
It’s really this idea of shopping your closet.
Sean: Exactly. That’s great.
(Question #2) First date … say a guy takes you to a nice restaurant. Nothing crazy. What’s a perfect look for him to impress you but not look like he’s trying way too hard?
Megan: Suit separates is always a great move. A sports coat and either jeans or dress pants is perfect. You can wear a dress shirt, unbuttoned. Have it be a little bit contrasting. Like you said, it’s a nice restaurant, but it’s not uber fancy. You’re not wearing a full suit. You’re not wearing a tie. It’s about staying put together.
Tucking that shirt in. Wearing dress shoes instead of sneakers. It’s those small things that elevate your look from every day to special occasion.
Sean: Looking clean, right?
Megan: Yeah. Looking like you put some effort in. That’s the thing that a lot of guys don’t realize. It’s OK to look like you care about your appearance. Women appreciate that. It’s not like, “Oh, geez. What a diva? … metro-sexual? Which I don’t even think is a term. I don’t think anyone sees it that way.
You’re taking a woman out on a first date, you want her to think you look nice. There’s nothing wrong with that. Whatever feels a little extra special for you is what’s important. If you’re going bowling then yeah, wear jeans. But maybe put some product in your hair or wear a more [inaudible 00:17:15] a tee shirt. It’s just that little bit of a bump up.
Sean: I agree. That’s great.
(Question #3) How about matching? I had a trainer in college who, every day he would match his shoes with his shirt. I thought it looked ridiculous. I never got to that point, but I went through a little phase where my socks always matched whatever color shirt I was wearing.
I thought it looked good. What do you think about that? What’s your take on matching? What’s over matching and what’s a happy medium?
Megan: You’re tie and your pocket square should never match. You should never get that … I’ve seen sets at department stores where you get the pocket square and the tie and the da, da, da. You don’t want to match that. You don’t want the red tie and the red pocket square. That’s too much.
As far as matching your socks, I’m all about complimentary colors. Not necessarily matching. Maybe if you’re wearing a pink shirt, maybe it’s almost red socks. It’s staying in the color family. Not necessarily-
Sean: Pink stripes with some other colors or something?
Sean: That’s what I went through.
Megan: Guys that wear things that are matching feel like it’s a safe way to go. “It matches so it looks good.” The more fun things to do is to wear … just try things out. If you can find a color in a tie … maybe it’s a pattern tie and there’s orange and blue and green. Pick one color and wear socks in that color. Or socks in that color with another color.
You shouldn’t be afraid to … not clash but you shouldn’t be afraid to mix colors together, and patterns, and fabrics and see what happens. The more interesting an outfit looks, the better.
Sean: That’s good. That’s true. Sometimes I feel like you look like you’re trying too hard if you match everything perfectly.
Megan: And it just makes you look a little nervous that you can’t … If you stick to one color all over, it makes you look like you don’t know what you’re doing. You’re just playing it safe.
Sean: Next question is a little different. It goes beyond just “fashion tips.”
(Question #4) How do you feel about facial hair?
Megan: I’m all for it. As long is it doesn’t scratch the girl when you kiss her I think it’s totally fine. If you’re going to have facial hair, just make sure that you’re moisturizing. If you have a full beard, or a goatee, or a mustache, make sure that it’s soft. Nobody wants to be rubbed the wrong way by facial hair.
It’s a particular preference. Some women might not like it at all. Some women might want you to grow a big bushy woodsman beard. It’s up to the individual. If you’re going to have it, just keep it neat. Keep it clean. Get rid of the neck beard stuff. Make it look intentional and not, “Oh, I haven’t bought new razors in a month.”
Sean: (Question #5) How about a nice mane of chest hair?
Megan: That’s what men look like. That’s fine.
Obviously, I don’t love back hair. If you can get rid of that I think that’s for the best. I don’t think any guys feels comfortable with back hair even. I’m not here saying, “Ugh. You look disgusting.” I don’t think probably a man feels very confident at a beach or at a pool if he pulls his shirt off and has a lot of back hair.
If it’s something where you are going to feel better about yourself if you get rid of that body hair, go for it. Women do the same thing all the time. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s about what makes you feel the most confident.
Sean: Absolutely. (Question #6) So you think waxing is fair game?
Megan: Waxing is fair game. Now there’s laser hair treatment that is becoming more affordable and easier to do. That’s a really great option because it’s permanent. I think that’s a totally acceptable option. I have a friend that works at a laser hair spa. She said she sees more and more male clients every single day.
I can’t blame them. I have to shave my legs and it’s a hassle. I would see how that would be a hassle for a guy to continually have his back waxed or just have to deal with it at all … feel bad about himself if he feels self conscious. There’s no need for that.
Sean: (Question #7) I know this is a preference, but what’s your preference … pea coats or leather jackets? What do you like?
Megan: Oh, that’s a good question. I think every man needs a leather jacket. Because there’s so many, I’m going to go pea coat because it looks good on every guy. There’s no guy that doesn’t look good in a pea coat. You might buy a leather jacket and it’s a biker jacket and you’re not a biker guy. You look like there’s some sort of dissonance there. I think every guy looks good in a pea coat.
It’s a lot more affordable. You can find a good pea coat for not that much money. If you want a really nice leather jacket that you’re going to have forever, it’s an investment.
Sean: That’s true. I find I look a little odd in leather jackets. I’m very preppy.
Megan: Exactly. You have to really find the right one for you. That can take a lot of searching. If it’s not something you feel comfortable in then it’s not going to look good. I’ve never met a guy who didn’t … guys look really handsome in pea coats. That’s just a fact of life.
Sean: (Question #8) How about skinny jeans?
Megan: That’s what I was saying earlier. That’s a mistake that guys make is wearing things too tight. A lot of guys think that a slim, straight leg is a skinny jean. It’s not. There’s a huge difference between a jean that looks like it belongs on a singer jumping around and a jean that goes up and down. More guys need to get on the slim, straight band wagon. I think skinny jeans … that’s a bit much.
Sean: (Question #9) I lot of the things I seen in magazines lately is these guys dressed in a suit, nice dress pants and nice dress shoes, no socks and the ankle showing.
Megan: That’s a thing now.
Sean: I could never see myself rolling out of the house like that. You like that? Girls like that?
Megan: I’m in New York City. People are a bit more fashion forward here. I don’t say that as a good or bad thing. I just mean people embrace trends a little bit more and are willing to try something. If it doesn’t work, they don’t do it again. I like it. I think it shows a lot of confidence. I can see how it also not is appropriate for a lot of work environments.
If you’re going to a beach wedding, I think that could be really nice looking. I like it, but I acknowledge that it’s not right in a lot of instances, and for a lot of guys. I do like for a little bit of ankle to show. When guys have all of this extra fabric at the bottom of their pants and it’s pooling around their ankles, that doesn’t look good. There should be barely a break in your dress pants … barely. If you cross your legs, I should be able to see your socks.
Sean: That’s what I was going for. When I cross my legs, I’ll have a nice little checkered blue sock with the blue button down.
Megan: Sounds good.
Sean: Not too bad, right?
Megan: No. Sounds like you’re doing great.
Sean: OK. I saw you on your Google plus with Gant Rugger.
Megan: Yeah. The new Gant Rugger women’s collection. It’s great, right?
Sean: I actually love their clothes.
Megan: They’re the best.
Sean: (Question #10) Any other brands that you really recommend … that you really love.
Megan: You can’t go wrong with J. Crew. It’s a really good price point for the quality that you’re getting. Everything from their Ludlow suit to their tissue tees … their pocket t-shirts. It’s got really good, have them forever basics that won’t go out of style. I like that about them.
Who else? I think every man should own a pair of Clarke’s desert boots … like a chukka boot in a brown leather. It’s really affordable. It dresses up your outfit in a way that you’re still just as comfortable as if you were wearing sneakers.
Sean: Trying to find my boots. They’re laying around here somewhere. That’s exactly what I was wearing today. I don’t’ have them on me, but-
Megan: Don’t’ you think it’s a great way to up your look without being any less comfortable? I think a lot of guys think to dress up means to be uncomfortable. It really doesn’t have to be. A desert boot … you could go for a run in desert boots once you’ve broken them in.
Sean: Have you heard of the brand of shoes, Clae?
Sean: Clae. C-l-a-e. (Check them out guys)
Megan: No. I’ll have to write it down.
Sean: That’s what I … I’m in love with their shoes. They’re all that way. They’re really nice. You should definitely check them out.
Megan: OK. Thanks for the reco. I’m always on the lookout for new brands to recommend to my readers. It’s always helpful when people are like, “You have to try this.”
Sean: I have the one boot. I think it’s the Hamilton. The longer I wear it, the better it looks.
Megan: Totally. That’s how good footwear should work. As long as you take care of it … moisturize and all that.
Sean: I really love those shoes. I get compliments all the time. No one knows about it. I think it’s on line only.
Sean: I can’t get more compliments than I do. They look awesome.
Megan: That’s great. Doesn’t that make you feel amazing when people are like, “You look really great.” If more guys started to up their style game, that would give them the encouragement to keep going. Once someone stops you and is like, “You look really nice.” You’re like, “Why, thank you.”
Megan: It feels really good. It’s encouraging. It makes you want to keep trying and try new things … investing in yourself in that way.
Sean: Exactly. I feel like I have my own personal brand. No one knows about them … so exclusive. I shouldn’t have told you, maybe. I might have to cut that from the interview.
Megan: Yeah. There you go. [inaudible 00:28:01] is another one that does really great things for guys. They’re on line only. So is Beckett Simonon. They have shoes. There’s a lot where you feel like you’ve found something special.
Sean: (Question #11) I’ll check them out. Any last little tips that you have for any guys out there?
Megan: Other than come to Style Girlfriend every day after they come to your site?
Sean: Haha. Absolutely.
Megan: Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. People really enjoy putting in their two cents. For me, I have a lot of readers that do have wifes and girlfriends at home. Which, at first, surprised me. I was like, “Why aren’t you just talking to her about this?” Unfortunately, some women can be … their feedback more comes in a negative way. It’s, “Oh my god. Are you really going to wear those jeans again?” Or, “Oh my gosh. Have you not taken that suit to the tailor yet?”
If a guy is getting that kind of feedback, speak up. Be like, “Hey. That doesn’t really make me want to try harder.” Let’s have a positive conversation about this. I’m coming to you and I’m feeling a little bit vulnerable, or whatever it is. Please be nice.
Even with your guy friends. Maybe your guy friends with hassle you a little bit if you start to invest in your personal style. I bet you saw this when you [inaudible 00:29:25].
Sean: Actually, yeah.
Megan: “Oh, you think you’re too good for us now.” Really, they’re just jealous. Don’t pay them any mind.
Sean: That’s great. That’s a good segue. What are your plans for the future? Where are we going to see you in a couple of years? TV show, maybe?
Megan: That would be fun. I certainly want to keep expanding the site. I’m bring on more contributors now. Which is great. It alleviates the day to day stuff for me and lets me focus on bigger projects. Video is something I definitely want to be doing more of.
Sean: Your videos are awesome, by the way. Great fashion tips for men and even better quality.
Megan: Oh, thank you. That’s so nice to say.
Sean: You have 7. The progression from the first two to now is like night and day. It’s incredible.
Megan: I know. It makes me cringe when I think about the early ones. But that’s what you have to do. It’s the same in style. You just have to jump in. You probably are going to screw up a little bit in the beginning and feel a little bit like an idiot. You just keep going. You can only get better. You can never get worse.
Sean: This is my first interview, so I’m kind of jumping in right now.
Megan: I love it. Glad to be inaugural, christening conversation.
Sean: Happy to have you. Where can everyone find you?
Megan: StyleGirlfriend.com. I’m on twitter and instagram at @stylegf. Find me there. I’m on youtube, too. I’m around.
Sean: You’re everywhere.
Megan: I’m everywhere.
Sean: Check her out. Her stuff is incredible.
Awesome interview with Megan, I am really glad I got her on to share some real world fashion advice for you guys. For more fashion tips for men, make sure you check Megan out at StyleGirlfriend.com and check out her Youtube channel.
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