ASK DAN: Business of Blogging, Gay Vibes, Our Playlist

May 15th, 2014


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1. The Business of Blogging


I think many of us readers would like to know more about the business side of Articles of Style; what projects you’re working on behind-the-scenes, your vision for the growing brand, etc. Personally, I’m as fascinating by the entrepreneurial spirit as I am with all the fashion & style stuff. Would love if you could share some insights!


Funny you should ask this Marcel, as we’re currently dealing with a server crash due to an unexpected spike in traffic that set us back a couple months on website development… It’s been a very frustrating couple of days.

It’s a good question, but a long one to answer since we have so many irons in the fire right now. Here are some of the projects we’re currently working on, at different stages of development:

  • Bringing on a business development team so Alex and I can focus on producing more, higher quality, content (2-3 posts/day)
  • The Style Guide development continues to be a focus for us, even with recent set-backs
  • We’re currently negotiating a production and distribution contract with an LA-based media house to develop a new web video series
  • Our new e-commerce Shop will soon house limited edition products designed in collaboration with some of our favorite brands/designers (and eventually the shop will hold my own namesake line)
  • An updated commenting system that will make user interaction more fluid, and easier to slide between the elements of our website (Articles, Style Guide, E-Commerce Shop, etc)
  • A weekly newsletter with exclusive content and discounts only for Articles of Style readers
  • We’ve been slowly developing a concept for a Articles of Style hardcover book
  • “Articles of Style Premium”, a subscription based service with exclusive content and “insider perks” including private sales and event invites
  • Articles of Style is hitting the road! We’ll be traveling from city to city to document the style and culture, set-up profiles with local style enthusiasts, and throw private men’s style events for our local readers

That said, as we continue to develop Articles of Style into the premier destination for men’s style advice and inspiration, the website also continues to serve as a vehicle for my personal career as a menswear influencer and relatable personality in the industry. Many readers think that this “job” is all about organizing photoshoots and publishing new articles. I wish it were that simple. The reality is that I spend 80% of my workday on non-content related tasks such as web development, negotiating advertising contracts, editing sponsorship offers from brands, consulting for menswear brands, etc. I’m a businessman building a brand more than an artist creating content…at least for the time being.

Blogging as a business is all about diverse revenue streams, and developing a valuable niche to deliver a premium full-service experience. It’s still just the beginning for us, and I look forward to bringing some of these newer projects to life.


2. Giving Off “Gay” Vibes

Hi Articles of Style Team,

I live in a small town where t-shirts and Wranglers are the norm. I enjoy clothes and dressing well, but sometimes I find that being over-dressed in a non-fashion town can be off-putting to some people. Also, some ignorant folks here call me “gay” because of the way I dress. Is this something you’ve dealt with? Any advice? I know you’re a small town guy. Thx, love the site. 

– Tim L. 

Good question. And yes, I have dealt with this. When I first started getting into style and fashion, I was probably forcing it and overdoing it. Partly to prove a point, but also partly because it takes experience to appreciate subtlety. Early on my slim fits were a little too slim, accessories were a little too too dandy, face was a little too clean shaven… 

I also think that some of the people calling you “gay” are using the term in an ignorant sense for meaning “weird” or “out of the ordinary”. They don’t necessarily think you prefer men. 

Regardless, though, the more comfortable I got with style, the more natural it came to me and the more comfortable I felt with it (which people can notice immediately). Over time I’ve also developed a more masculine look, with simpler outfits based around classic menswear pieces, clothing with more worn-in character, and of course, now I prefer the scruffy beard.

It’s also very important to consider context for style. For example, I don’t wear slim three-piece suits back on the farm. I keep it simple in some casual workwear  that still looks well “put together”, but not out of place.

Ultimately; consider scaling it back a little but don’t let others bother you. Keep doing you. Guys called me gay for years…then I started dating their girlfriends…haha. Stay with it, you will build confidence and find your niche. It takes time but it will eventually be working for you.


3. Articles of Style Music List

Dan, I always love the music you guys use in your videos (or those coming back, by the way?) as well as the music you’ve linked to in past articles. I guess this is not related to fashion, but definitely style…What’s on your playlist? Put us on to some tracks that inspire you!

– Alejandro C. 

Great question my man. Music is a huge passion of mine, perhaps even beyond clothing. And you’re right: a gentleman’s soundtrack is a big part of his personal style. I almost always have some type of music playing – life is better with a soundtrack – but the style of music varies greatly depending on the occasion, mood, time of day, etc.

To answer your question directly, I pulled up some of my most played tracks this month, in no particular order. Maybe it speaks to where I’m at in life… Hopefully I can put you on to some new artists, because music can be very transformative…

Make sure to use some proper audio!


Thanks, as always, for reading.

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier & Articles of Style


Special thanks to @louisnicolasdarbon for the artwork

  • Henry Ho

    I’m a young kid who came to the States with absolutely nothing in my mind about fashions or styles. For the first two years, school took my time, I fitted the “typical Asian nerd” perfectly. When I started my first year in college, I also started to change and develop my own style. Of course, I made some mistakes and I think everybody make a few mistake when we set up outfits. As we all know that the majority of Asian male tend to be hairless (not all of them.) I am not lucky to have facial hairs and I have a baby face. So that’s being said, even I put up a very simple classic men outfit like t-shirt, flannel and jean (of course they are well fit,) people usually say “gay” style. And to be worst, I used to asked a female co-worker out for a lunch (holla at Japanese girls,) she said yes without thinking. We talked for an hour, about everything and just randomly she told me she went out with me because I am a “nicest and stylish gay” ever. I mean WTF, it shocked me but also made me laugh because how the hell she came up with the theory ” well dress = gay.” But now when I think about, I take it as a credit because at least she knew and admitted that I dressed well. So long story short, just let them think what they want, and when they see you mack on chicks with those styles, they will be “enlightened.” Last words, I have agrees and disagrees with Dan’s styles sometimes because we all have different tastes, but I respect you because you are on the right track to be successful. God bless!!!!

  • josh

    Regarding the gay vibe…I often have friends ask me to take them shopping. I did this with a buddy of mine yesterday (I’m straight and married) but I was shocked that the stores staff and onlookers presumed we were gay. I honestly couldn’t believe that that’s the first thought people have if they see two guys shopping together. Just thought I’d share, seemed relevant.

  • Chris

    Dan, start a TSBMen playlist on Spotify and share it on the site. You and the crew can update it monthly.

  • Ranbir

    great article, especially the unfounded and frankly unwarranted “gay vibes” I’m sure most of the sites readers get. This is the first time i have ever posted a comment on here but have been following you since the esquire days. I am 20 now and thanks to you my style has evolved to the point whereby I feel totally comfortable in everything I wear. If I am ever stuck on putting a fit together I come to TSB for a bit of inspiration.

    Great job mate and ps. come to London you would be loved/love it here.

    • Dan Trepanier

      Thanks for the support Ranbir.

      Will be in London this summer!

  • Andrew

    The dudes over at Putthison just used the above photo of Dan in a post titled ‘Sexual Dichromatism: Don’t Pity the Peahen.’ Are they saying something about Dan and TSB with that or is it just because the cartoon presents Dan as a “flashy” guy?

    • Dan Trepanier

      Hah! Thanks for the heads up on this Andrew, I got a kick out of it. Although I agree with their overall point, I wouldn’t consider myself “flashy” or “peacocky”…even in that photo I’m wearing a blue suit and a white shirt.

      Nevertheless, PTO is a good resource for well written/researched articles on traditional menswear, history, and culture. We have a potential shoot coming up with their founder Jesse Thorn – I look forward to meeting him and sharing his story with you guys.

      • Brian

        I noticed the photo use as well, pretty funny. A shoot with Jesse would be great – a combination of my two most frequented style sites!


      • Andrew

        I was thinking the same thing about your outfit; it’s quite classic, but with more-or-less modern details.

        I’d be pretty amped to see a feature with Jesse Thorn. He seems like an all-around pretty legit guy.

  • Elliot Anthony

    For the record, you should probably consider that both homosexual and heterosexual men have varying tastes in style, music, movies, sports, the arts, and even menswear blogs. Imagine that.

    You’d be surprised how many gay men have lacking personal style and how many straight guys can potentially get dressed in the dark and walk out of the house looking like Steve McQueen. The world we live in is a spectrum and, in modern times, there’s something to be said for self-expression, self-esteem and plain ol’ self worth.

    The next time somebody asks (or states) whether or not you’re “gay” look a little deeper, and consider that it says a lot more about that person than it does about you.

    Respect to everyone trying to get through this thing called life.

    Let’s remember that words are important. One man’s opinion, but I felt it was (and is) warranted here. Peace.

    • Dan Trepanier

      Elliot: Thank you for sharing.

      Of course, I don’t think anyone here is fighting you on that. I’m certainly not saying “all gay men have style”…there are ALL types of people in this world, coming from ALL types of perspectives. But, from my experience, I can safely say that in small towns there still exists a sort of stigma with “fashion” (or “standing out”) and “sexuality” (or perceived sexuality).

      The main goal of our editorial profiles is to display the variety of the human experience…even within the subset of menswear.


  • Dan Trepanier

    Haha nice reference. And ABSOLUTELY.

  • Eric

    Bahamas! Ontario/Canadian music representin’

    • Dan Trepanier

      Of course. There’s three Canadian artists on that list!

      • TO

        Here’s a few popular Canadian radio tunes from the past year (from Toronto artists) that I dig, which you may have missed being down south:

        Magic- Rude
        Glenn Morrison ft. Islove- Goodbye
        Hedley- Crazy for You
        Serena Ryder- Fall

  • Todd Ruhnau

    Tallest Man On Earth oh yes! I can’t wait for some more video content from you guys. As for the gay statements, it happens to every guy who puts effort into his appearance. Ignorant people will always find a way to incorrectly label what they don’t understand. Keep doing what you’re doing. The menswear landscape is changing wherein just as many straight guys are interested and working in fashion as gay men. We have macho hollywood heart-throbs such Gosling killing it and NBA players dressing dandy as fuck. At the end of the day who cares! Wear what you wanna wear and own it.

  • JoeFromTexas

    Gotta throw my two cents in on the “gay vibes” question. Living in a smallish Texas town, I know exactly what you mean. One, I second everything Dan said. Being confident and comfortable with who you are is key and comes from within through maturity. And you can’t fix ignorance in an instant.

    One thing that I do if I’m wearing something that might be pushing the envelope (which in small town Texas is a low bar) is to add something masculine to the mix. For example, I have a linen DB sports coat that wasn’t getting worn enough, so I threw it over a white t-shirt and dark jeans, but paired it with some broken-in calf skin cowboy boots. It seems like in Texas, having nice boots brings with it a little street cred (red dirt cred?). Funny enough, in the Mexican-American neighborhoods I grew up in, spectators (I have a pair of the brown/linen AE Strawfuts) also have the same effect, being more associated with the pachuco/zoot suit movement than with Southern dandyism.

    That being said, if one prefers a more effeminate or androgynous aesthetic (which is not the same thing as being homosexual obviously, see Steven Tyler, Prince, …) there’s nothing wrong with that. Own it and rock it with confidence. But it’s certainly true that one can be dressed well, thoughtfully and masculinely.

    • Dan Trepanier

      Haha #RedDirtCred

      Thanks for sharing JoefromTexas!

  • Tom

    This is an entertaining blog, but when you read “a vehicle for my personal career as a menswear influencer” – bit too self-righteous in my opinion

    • Dan Trepanier

      Thanks for your opinion Tom, I’m just being honest.

      Cheers to comments that keep the conversation moving forward.

    • josh

      If you don’t think this site has an influence on thousands of guys style aka “menswear influenceer”, you’re sadly mistaken.

  • Miguel

    Dan, here’s my two cents which I think you already address in the first question…

    1- I think you guys need to do more youtube videos featuring or putting together outfits that you individually like, just the same way you do on the website, this will bring a lot of traffic not only to the youtube channel but to the website since people now prefer videos of what being shown and it would make it easy for us to refer the youtube channel and website once we show them some of the youtube content.

    2- You can also do videos that show how to use the same jacket, sweater, shirt, etc in different outfits depending on what occasion you’re going.

    What I’m trying to say is that everything you guys bring to the blog should also most of it be feature in a video, I know videos take longer to edit but I think in the long run it’ll be worth it both from a greater audience and financial side.

  • Jake

    “Guys called me gay for years…then I started dating their girlfriends…haha.”

    I bet.

  • Tom

    ….so you’re in the empire business

  • Herbert Morrison

    The next time anybody calls you gay, you turn and say:
    She don’t know I’m, cool as a fan
    Gat in hand, I don’t wanna blast her man
    But I can and I will though, I probably chill though
    Even though situation lookin’ kinda ill yo.

    The Notorious Biggie Smalls, the greatest rapper of all time, rocked Versace when I was wearing Bugle Boy.

    • Dan Trepanier

      Hahaha Word!

      Biggie was up on Versace and Gucci. Ahead of his time in many ways.

  • Stuart

    Tallest Man and Boombox are killer. I knew you were a good man.

  • WideEyesTWBlog

    Also, in regards to the gay vibe – my attitude has always been
    a) Nothing wrong with that. haha – especially if it’s other dudes. Either you *are* gay, in which case it can’t hurt for other guys to know that, or you *aren’t*, and then they are just letting their guard down so that, like you said, you can steal their girls. Really though, I don’t get offended if anyone things I am gay, though I am not. I just kindly correct them, or even just let it be.
    b) When they realize I’m *not* gay, and maybe break the stereotype of the male ‘fashion’ guy, people actually seem to be more interested and more impressed, so it can be a benefit in the end.
    c) Keep perspective – a lot of the more flamboyant vibe gets tempered when you show interest in other things beyond fashion – I love music, biking, whiskey – and as long as I don’t hide those other interests and *only* talk about and focus on fashion and style, the other people don’t focus as much on that aspect either. Makes it a lot easier to be just an interesting guy who happens to have good taste in clothes.
    d) confidence is key – do you, and do it proudly, and people tend to get past whatever preconceptions they have of you and stylish men in general.

  • WideEyesTightWallets

    Not that you needed it, but you just got a huge boost in my book for having ‘Pusherman’ on that list. My favorite from Mayfield for as long as I can remember!

    Great post, all around. Your insights on blogging as a business especially rang true, specifically your emphasis on the time dedicated to development as opposed to content – I have a blog myself (, I know you guys don’t have time to check everything out, but if any other readers do), and lately have been struggling with growth as I just don’t have the time to put into the business development side of things as I need to. It’s on my list of goals, though!

    Keep it real.

  • Kyle

    Great topics! Looking forward to everything in the works, and definitely have dealt with the “gay” vibe in more working class environments so I appreciated your input, Dan. Come to Baltimore (Hampden, Station North, Mt. Vernon neighborhoods) for some local style.

  • Steve O

    Make sure you hit up Little Rock, Arkansas on your TSB Road Trip