Q&A With Megan Collins
Most of my favorite style blogs for men are written by, well, other men. This is why Style Girlfriend is so cool. Its founder, Megan Collins, writes about guy's style from a women's perspective. She helps us out with stuff like what to get your girlfriend for Christmas and whether or not women care about our watch.
The Modest Man (TMM): For those who haven't yet met their new Style Girlfriend, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Megan Collins (MC): I write Style Girlfriend, a site that's all about men's style from a female perspective. I give guys the insider info on what us ladies want to see you wearing, and what we definitely don't (hint: bootcut jeans and ratty old hoodies).
TMM: Let's get this out of the way – do women prefer taller men? If so, is there hope for men under 5'8″?
MC: I mean, I think women like tall men the same way guys like women with Barbie doll proportions – thousands of years of evolutionary conditioning. We think a taller man can carry us to safety if a wooly mammoth starts chasing us, and you think a woman with a tiny waist and wide hips will easily pop out children to carry on your tribe.
That said, yes, obviously there's hope for shorter guys! There's plenty that goes into attracting a woman to a man, like his level of confidence, sense of style, and – sure, it's a cliche, but it's true – his sense of humor. None of those things have anything to do with height.
TMM: In your opinion, what is the most important aspect of style for men?
MC: Fit. That's number two, three, four and five as well. Us ladies aren't looking at the tag in the back of your clothes, and you shouldn't care about it either. It's much more important for clothes to hug your body in the right ways than it is to be wearing the hip cool brand of the moment.
TMM: A lot of style bloggers talk about trends versus “timeless” style. What do you think about incorporating trends (like skinny jeans or Thom Browne type suits) into one's wardrobe?
MC: Trends are fun to try, but I would just say, don't invest too much in them till you know they really suit you. Maybe you buy a pair of skinny jeans at Forever 21 to make sure you feel comfortable in them; if you do, then you upgrade to a higher quality (and yes, more expensive) brand that will really go the distance in your wardrobe. And on the other end of it, don't feel like you have to try a trend. If you see every guy you know starting to rock fedoras, but you think they look ridiculous, skip 'em.
TMM: A lot of people equate better, or more sophisticated, style with dressing sharper. I would argue that it's more about achieving perfect fit. As someone who likes to see guys tuck their shirts in every now and then, what are your thoughts on this?
MC: I mean, dressing “sharp” is one of the bigger compliments I can pay a guy. Do I love it when a guy throws on a suit that fits him just so? Sure, but it doesn't mean you need to dress up like that all the time.
TMM: You love guys in plaid (especially buffalo plaid). Shorter men are often told to stick with vertical stripes and solid colors. Can we pull off plaid?
MC: Sure, I mean, there's some rules that are probably good to keep in mind – no huge horizontal stripes, no billowing fabrics – but those really apply to all guys. I think it's more about finding the right fit for you, and wearing clothes closer to the body, rather than loose so guys of smaller stature don't swim in their clothes.
You don't want to look like you're wearing your dad's old stuff – but, again, that's true for all guys, not just shorter ones.
MC: I really like guys layering sport coats or blazers. Sweaters are obviously a great option, but I've also been digging when guys wear really thinly quilted puffer vests under their jackets. It's a stylish alternative to just throwing on a jacket, especially when the weather has been so weirdly inconsistent this winter.
TMM: We know that the first thing women notice about a guy's outfit is his shoes. You've explained that our watch doesn't matter. So what IS the second thing you notice about our getup?
MC: I'm much more interested in a guy's demeanor than what he's wearing, at least at first. Do you look me in the eye? Smile? Shake my hand? Those things are way more important than if your jeans are frayed or your button down collar is unbuttoned.
MC: Ask, and you shall receive! Who should I explain how to dress next?
[Editor's Note: I'd love to see more articles, in general, about specific body types. Every style blog has a post or two on hefty guys or short guys, but men need more info about their exact body types. Short and skinny, tall with a wide chest, hefty with long legs, etc.]
TMM: Finally, any inspirational words of wisdom for the shorter gents who are frustrated by clothes that don't fit and want to step up their style?
MC: I've said before – finding clothes that fit is more important than the tag. Some of my favorite jackets come from Crewcuts, J.Crew's kids' line. My shoulders are really narrow, so it can be hard to find things that don't look super boxy on me. If you need to shop the kids' section to find something that fits, go for it!
And lastly, become best friends with your tailor. A good tailor can take off the rack clothes that don't fit you right and turn them into a custom creation that feels like it was designed just for you!
I'd like to thank Megan for her time, and I highly recommend that you check out her blog – Style Girlfriend – sometime soon.
Got thoughts? Leave a comment below!