It’s crazy to think that I’ve been in New York for 12 years now. And one of my favorite things about NYC is that in a city of 8.5 million people, you can run into people you know.
Take for example last week when I was at my go-to spot The Ace Hotel to catch up with a friend. As I was walking her out and heading to grab another cup a coffee, who do I run into but Megan of Style Girlfriend doing a photoshoot!
I’ve mentioned Megan before in a few of my emails but never told our origin story.
When I was first thinking of transitioning from the design world to personal styling, I reached out to Megan for advice. You could say without her encouragement, The Essential Man wouldn’t exist.
Where did we meet up? At The Ace Hotel of course.
To you Essential Man readers who aren’t familiar with her, I got a fun post for you today. I convinced Megan to do a Q&A with me, and weaseled my way into a giveaway she’s doing over on Instagram for The Essential Man readers. (More on this at the end of this post.)
Get to know Megan, win some awesome free stylish shit. No better way to spend a Friday.
25 26 QUESTIONS WITH MEGAN OF STYLE GIRLFRIEND
Your (alcoholic) drink of choice?
Whiskey Sour with Four Roses and an egg white.
What’s your hometown?
I was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. All my family still lives there, and my plan is to one day have a house on the lake there so I don’t have to stay in my childhood bedroom at my parents’ house when I visit (which is often).
How did Style GF start?
Completely by accident!
Style Girlfriend was born while I was in the midst of leaving a career in advertising. I was taking on any freelance writing gigs I could get, and at the time, a friend was starting a custom suiting business. He asked me to write a weekly column just to help him get more content on his site, and I said yes. Actually, I said, “Totally! But I don’t know anything about men’s fashion…is that okay?”
“Sure, just write about what women like to see guys wearing. And hey, maybe tell them to buy suits more often,” he replied.
Just like that, I realized that, yep, I could do that.
It was a huge light bulb moment for me, and really informed the Style Girlfriend perspective – that of a girl who just wants to see the guys around her – her boyfriend, yes, but also her brother, her best guy friend, her co-worker – dress well. She didn’t necessarily have to be a “fashion expert” to dole out simple advice about fit and fabric and the importance of investment pieces.
I don’t think most guys care about “fashion” anyway. They simply want to leave the house each morning dressed in a way that makes them feel confident and like the best version of themselves. Which is perfect, because that’s how I view my own wardrobe choices, too.
Of course, now I feel more comfortable identifying myself as a style resource (if not “expert”) but that’s how a chick with zero experience in the fashion industry was able to start a site about men’s fashion.
From those humble beginnings, SG really took off – the column became syndicated nationally, and I eventually spun it off into its own website, stylegirlfriend.com, which is where it still lives today.
Thing you’re most excited for this year related to Style GF?
This past year we launched on-demand text (pic: left), which continues to grow in 2017 with new users signing up every day. It’s great to be able to provide even more personalized advice for guys when they’re trying on a new pair of jeans at the mall, or getting dressed for a big date.
We can help right when they need it. And best of all, it’s free!
Next vacation you’re going on?
Ha, I keep getting asked this…I don’t have any good vacation plans coming up! Not even for Memorial Day weekend, which is right around the corner. I need to get on that!
Song you play way too much on Spotify?
“Shining” by DJ Khaled. It came out earlier this spring and I really thought it had a shot at grabbing that “song of the summer” title, but I don’t think it ever really broke through. It’s a banger, though. I play it when I need to boost my mood or psych myself up for something. Definitely puts you in a “We the best!” state of mind.
One thing people would be surprised about you?
I’m a lot more sarcastic in person.
Not that I’m not myself on Style Girlfriend, but I definitely make a point to put out positive energy and a good attitude to our readers. After all, they’re putting themselves out there by making an effort with their style and trying new things; I’m not going to tease or make fun of anyone for trying. So sometimes people are caught off-guard when they meet me and I’m a little…sassy, I guess?
Style trend guys need to stop doing?
We’re not really ones to say guys “should” or “shouldn’t” wear something they really love and feel good in, but I would be happy to never see a square-toe shoe again in my life.
One thing you want to see more guys try?
Hair product. It’s amazing how just a little bit of goop or paste or whatever can really elevate your overall look to something more polished and mature.
Who is the most stylish man on earth? (Celeb, musician, etc)
Ooh, how can I pick just one? I’ll say this, I approved every single guy that was in this year’s SG Madness, our annual best-dressed tourney that coincides with the NCAA tournament. Jeff Goldblum (pic: right) emerged victorious, joining Ryan Reynolds and Daniel Craig in the illustrious winner’s circle.
But you’ll see guys with such different styles in that list; it’s not about one particular look or aesthetic being the best; it’s about how a guy wears his clothes. Confidence is key.
Pick one: Guy in a leather jacket, or guy in a tailored suit?
Suit, but it’s close!
Favorite thing a guy can wear?
Probably a suit! There’s nothing better than a guy in a suit that fits him perfectly (and knows it). That kind of self-assured swagger is very sexy.
Favorite scent on a man?
I wear men’s fragrances all the time. Tom Ford Neroli Portofino is never a miss. It’s not cheap, but sometimes a splurge is the right thing to do…
Is there ever an appropriate time for a man to wear sandals?
Sure, on the beach, for sure.
Honestly, I’m not such a “Eww, women don’t want to see your gnarly feet” kind of gal; it’s more about being appropriate for the occasion, and honestly, there’s not that many situations beyond when you’re in high school and don’t know any better that flip flops are the right answer to any question.
That said, sure there are “nicer” sandals out there a guy could wear, but that starts to get into territory that’s a little precious. Just wear an espadrille or boat shoe and call it a day.
Describe the perfect first date outfit for a guy
Depends on the date! If you’re meeting for drinks, a great pair of dark rinse, slim-fit denim with a sport coat and casual button-up underneath looks really good. Go for something a little unexpected with the footwear if you want her to really sit up and take notice.
One thing every man should have in his closet?
A great, two-button, notch lapel suit in grey or navy.
Favorite article of all time on Style GF?
We talk all the time on Style Girlfriend about achieving those “million bucks moments” where you look in the mirror and just can’t help but give yourself finger guns and wink. The article where I explain that concept (and share my own first “MBM”) is probably my favorite of all time. Would love for TEM readers to go check it out and share their own!
Who’s your dream feature/who would you love to feature in your “Real Guy Style” series?
Ooh, that’s a good question! Everyone we feature in this series is just a pal of mine who I think has great style, so I feel like I’ve gotten a lot of the guys I want in there. I’ve gotta get Pablo Torre from ESPN in soon, and my bud Jeff Carvalho from High Snobiety. Hmm, I should email them…
(Editor: Check out Megan’s awesome Real Guy Style series here)
Pineapple on Pizza: Yes or Gross?
Not for me, but hey, you do you.
(Editor: The Essential Man is officially team Pineapple Pizza)
Best meal in NYC?
The squid ink spaghetti at Bacaro (pic: left) with a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape to split.
Drinks after dinner at Clandestino.
Craziest thing you’ve seen in NYC?
I’ve literally been to The Box once and their show…changed me.
Perfect place for a first date in NYC?
See [the answer for best meal] 🙂
Best thing about living in NYC?
How did you get so funny and beautiful? (Editor: Question added by Megan)
Why, I don’t know! Just lucky, I guess??
Best advice you’ve ever got?
Back when I was still working in advertising and complaining about how I could “never” become a writer because I hadn’t gone to school for it, didn’t know anyone in publishing, etc. My boyfriend at the time told me, “There are a lot of people out there doing more with less.” Meaning: less talent, less connections, less of a work ethic…to this day, I don’t let myself make excuses about why I can’t do something if I just set my mind to it.
Any advice for me now that I’m about to be a married man?
Keep making an effort even after you’ve locked it down! She’ll appreciate it, and will (hopefully) do the same for you.
Want to Win Some Free Stylish Gear Courtesy of Style Girlfriend?
With my charm and good looks, I managed to convince Megan to let The Essential Man readers in on a giveaway she was doing over on Instagram. (Reality: She was cool enough to offer it to The Essential Man readers)
Here’s all you need to do: Head over to Megan’s Instagram and follow the instructions!