We spoke with all the legends—Lawrence Schlossman, Fuck Yeah Menswear, Jesse Thorn, Michael Williams, Scott Schuman, Mister Mort, Josh Peskowitz, the Wooster, and many, many more—to discover how this whole menswear blogging thing really went down. Read the full-on history here, but first, an excerpt:
A mere half-decade ago, menswear web sites were about as hard to find as a rap album called I’m Gay. Yes, it’s a brave new world: fire up your Tumblr dashboard right now and tell us you’re not looking at Nick Wooster’s mustache. In recent years, hundreds of menswear bloggers have helped teach a generation of sons with dad-jeans fathers how to dress along the way. Or at least, which American-made shoe brands to buy on eBay.
In the early days of the menswear Internet, the conversation was born on Style.com, message boards such as Ask Andy About Clothes, and on streetwear and sneaker-centric sites such as Hypebeast—not to mention a little blog by a future GQ photographer you may have heard about. To celebrate approximately ten years of obsessive cataloging, we strapped on our double monks, rolled up our raw denim, and hit the blogosphere to track down the men who have made #menswear our favorite trending topic.
Michael Williams (blogger, A Continuous Lean): I remember not having anywhere good to go. I remember when Style.com got their updated URL to include “men,” and that was like a big thing. I don’t think, until 2008, [men’s style] was taken seriously.
Jesse Thorn (blogger, Put This On): The one that I most enjoyed reading was A Suitable Wardrobe. In the early years of his blog, in 2006, what he was doing was taking the canon of basic classic menswear information that you might find in an Alan Flusser book or a G. Bruce Boyer book and putting it into blog form.
Will Boehlke (blogger, A Suitable Wardrobe): The Sartorialist was around. Styleforum wasn’t very popular then and Ask Andy was the leading board. I was a, gosh, I don’t remember the term—one of the guys who was keeping order on Ask Andy, and it was pretty obvious that there wasn’t a source for men to get information about classic men’s clothing. I just started writing about it.
Michael Williams: I knew Scott when he first started The Sartorialist. He did a little interview with me in 2006 on there. I went back and re-read it, I was talking about made in America then. I had that obsession.
Michael Bastian (Designer): We were lucky in a way because we were new when that whole phenomenon was new. So we’ve known nothing else. The Sartorialist, he became a buddy of ours. He actually shot one of our lookbooks really early on, that kind of started the whole thing.
Mordechai Rubinstein (blogger, Mister Mort): My Google, my everything was eBay, so I never really went online that much until I heard [of] The Sartorialist.
Scott Schuman (blogger, The Sartorialist): There was a blog called English Cut, by an English Savile Row tailor [Thomas Mahon] who was talking about his experience. What I thought would be great with blogs was this ability to live vicariously through other people.
Lawrence Schlossman (blogger, Sartorially Inclined, How to Talk to Girls at Parties): Men.Style.com was probably the first thing that I knew of and was exposed to. That was the first thing I saw on the Internet that spoke to me as a straight guy looking for information about menswear on the Internet. The main minds behind that were Tyler Thoreson and Josh Peskowitz—you had two guys who were speaking to an audience directly that seemed to have been neglected.