Five Years of Style Blogging

June 22nd, 2014

I’ve been doing a lot of interviews lately and one gentleman I spoke with, who has been reading Articles of Style since day one, had some great questions that got me thinking.

I thought I would share some snippets, to give you a better idea of life behind the scenes here at Articles of Style…


So you’re a fellow Canadian?

Yup. You, me, and Drizzy Drake.

How do you feel about being dubbed a style icon?

I’d rather be a rockstar, but I’ll take it.

Being from Canada many people believe that style isn’t as relevant in Canada as it is in the states, are their any inspirations that you draw from being raised in Canada or is there somewhere you get inspiration from?

I think it’s “fashion” that isn’t as relevant in Canada. We have 1% the number the designers, or brands, or “fashion weeks”. But “style” is everywhere. Rich, broke, Canadian, Mauritian…we all wear clothes and we all make decisions about how we present ourselves to the world… Sure, I still take a lot of inspiration from my roots in Canada and life on the farm in St. Joachim Ontario.

You’ve lived in several cities and traveled all over. Which city would you say consistently has the most stylish men?

That’s a tough one since every city has it’s own identity and style. For me, it’s between NYC, Paris and Tokyo.

When I first discovered your blog I was very intrigued by the different proportions and textures you used while dancing in between the classic and modern aesthetic, what do you do to make sure each one of your blog posts are just as interesting as the last?

It all comes back to story telling. That’s what sticks with people, ultimately. Most of what I write is not so much about “fashion”, but about people. People and their relationships with clothing. Through that lens we discuss the effect of personal style on an individual’s interpretation from the outside world.

My favorite stories on Articles of Style are profiles of creative men who have used fashion to better their lives, and by doing so, have inspired others to discover their own identities. The overarching theme of Articles of Style, I think, is that anything is possible and style is a tool that can help make it happen for you. I’m living proof. I’m a kid from a farm in the middle of nowhere, and now I sit front row at fashion shows and consult for major menswear brands… Storytelling, my man.

As your site has matured over the years there has been a subtle shift in the subject of some of your posts. Where originally the focus of articles was exclusively on “style tips” and creatively utilizing the basics of menswear, the recent topics have been geared more towards probing the limits of men’s fashion, and featuring individuals that are doing the same. Can you speak to this shift?

We’re always growing and learning, but from early on it’s been about balancing the informational/instructional content with the inspirational/aspirational stuff. When I first started blogging, it was all about my personal style. But that got boring for me, and it was such a narrow way to think. Style is subjective and there are so many forms out there to appreciate… Lately we’ve probably been a little too heavy on the forward-thinking style profiles. We’re bringing back some content that is more true to our origins…but ultimately I’d rather lean a little too “out there” than a little too vanilla. I like to keep people on their toes, they look better that way.

Many people assume that being a blogger is essentially very easy, just get a bunch a free clothes put them on an people will comment. What would you say to them?

Being a blogger is easy, anyone can do it. Making a living off your blog and turning it into a business, that’s a whole different story. There are thousands of menswear bloggers in the world. You show me one who is getting real money and living well off his website, and I will buy him lunch. People think it’s easy because it’s advantageous for us to make it look easy. Story telling, my man. Welcome to show business.

What are the challenges you have that most people aren’t aware of and how do you stray away for the typical “blog” stereotype?

The word “blog” has a very casual and colloquial connotation. I wanted to get away from it. It’s part of the reason we re-branded from “The Style Blogger” to “Articles of Style”. The biggest challenge is getting paid what you’re worth, given the size of your audience and it’s level of engagement. The blogging world is still very new, and internet advertising is the absolute Wild West with virtually no universal market standards. For example, there are traditional paper magazines out there with smaller readerships than us, but they sell 30 pages of ads to major brands at $15-$20K/page every month… But for a “blog”? Those same brands expect to send us a free jacket in exchange for feature in a post. Sometimes we just have to keep it really honest with brands, and stand up for our place in the market.

Would you suggest the blogging business for style enthusiasts like myself and the many other men and women out there?

Blogging is the best business in the world. We have virtually no overhead. My office is my laptop/iphone and our only fixed cost is our dedicated host server, which is a few hundred bucks a month. That said, given the current landscape, it’s virtually impossible to make a good living as an independent style blogger, especially on the men’s side. You’ll need a variety of skills and diverse revenue streams to support yourself. If you’re treating it as a full-time job you’re essentiality creating your own brand – which is one of the most difficult things to do in business.

Author and Creative Manager, Senior Advisor, Brand Ambassador, Freelance Consultant, Art Director, Photographer. You and the Articles of Style Team members wear many hats (all presumably stylish ones). How do you balance your various roles as entrepreneurs, independents, and advocate for men’s fashion?

Time management is always an issue for us. We’re a small team, so everybody has multiple roles. It’s a great way to learn and grow, I think. Lately we’ve been saying “NO” to a lot of offers and new projects, which has been one of the most productive things we’ve done.

From the “Average Joe” to the “Fashionisto”, what would you say is the biggest challenge facing men’s fashion and style today?

The discipline, research and patience to invest in quality over quantity.

Name 3 items/pieces of clothing/accessories no man should be without.

1. A tailored dark suit (preferably in a textured cloth)
2. A lightweight black leather jacket
3. A pair of sunglasses that flatters your face

For men, name one thing pertaining to fashion that they should ALWAYS do, and what they should NEVER do.

ALWAYS plan your purchases to build a versatile wardrobe.
NEVER buy something in the wrong size just because it’s on sale.

What are your intangible style weapons of choice?

1. A good relationship with my barber
2. A great relationship with my tailor
3. A healthy dose of self confidence

What is the biggest mistake that a woman can make when shopping for a man?

Buying something that cannot be returned or exchanged.

What’s next for Articles of Style?

Travel, videos and products.

  • David Tepper

    Dan, what kind of revenue figures are you pulling in? You can give a general figure if you like.

    • Dan Trepanier

      Some things have to remain private my man.

      • David

        I might have a financial interest in TSB. But, also, this is the central question that many people interested in the style/fashion business have. What are your revenues? Over 500k?

  • Gazman

    I sometimes wonder what is the make-up of your readership; for example, age group, occupation, country…etc.

    • Dan Trepanier

      It’s a variety for sure, but I think our core demographic is chaps like you Gazman.

  • B. Collins


  • Logan

    Keep up the great work!! Loved this post! I’ve grown a lot with blogs like yours and PutThisOn! Thank you very much!

    • Dan Trepanier

      Thank you Logan!

  • Matt Hall

    Question, what hair product do you use? Envious of the not rigid but still held look you got going on.

    • tommyjohn_45

      He’s got a post on here about hair style and products, give it a search. (One on his East vs. West hair style, and one going through the whole crew)

    • Dan Trepanier

      I was using hard cream by Baxter, but just moved to the cream pomade from my friends at The Blind Barber. Cheers.

  • Miguel

    I’m a little late to this article but a great interview and lots of information, I’ve seen the evolution of the blog…website over time and I like where it’s going, keep up the good work and I hope you make it bigger.

    • Dan Trepanier

      Thanks Miguel! We have some exciting new elements in the works… Looking fwd to your feedback as we expand.

  • Stuart

    I dig the new post, boys. I think that it was a healthy interjection for the site. Keep it classy.

  • Livestrongcmc

    As I’ve picked up on this site just within the last 6 months, I can say it’s one of my favorite sites to visit and I look forward to what the future has on store here! Good stuff!

    • Dan Trepanier

      Thanks mate!

  • JBells

    Since reading so many profiles on featured guests it is always nice to learn a little bit about you. Perhaps we can even have some insight on the minds of the other crew members.
    Just want to say that I’ve looked forward to your posts on the daily for years now and am very thankful for the work you guys do.

    • Dan Trepanier

      Thank you good sir. We all really appreciate your continued support!! All the best JBells

  • cam

    Hey Dan hope all is well. As another reader who has been following you since you posted about using women’s underwear as a pocket square (how ya like that one), it’s nice to see these personal posts which I feel has been missing lately. Hopefully, the videos will be back soon and all will be right in the world again.

    • The Other TO

      I still do the paper towel as a pocket square trick more often than I should admit. It starts a conversation EVERY time.

      • Dan Trepanier

        Haha another throwback. It’s the simple things in life we forget. Cheers TOTO

    • Dan Trepanier

      Hahaha that’s a real throwback!! Man, what a blessing readers like you have been, Cam. Thank you. The new video series is going to be off the meat hooks. Cheers.

    • TO

      Dam Cam! I’ve been reading since “gym shoes v. sneakers”. Life has never been the same. Haha!

  • Juan

    Interesting peak behind the scenes, Dan. I am very much looking forward to the new video series, as I really enjoyed what you’ve done in the past, and I hope Italy is included in your list of places to travel to, as we have some stylish gents here in Milan!

    • Dan Trepanier

      Thank you Juan. Videos coming soon!