Why Men Style?
As a woman, I love feminine style for myself but I have always had an interest in men’s fashion. My male friends would ask me to take them shopping for a style makeover and I have been always happy to do that. The thing about men’s style is that in a way… it’s kind of magical. It literally transforms an average looking man into a handsome gentleman. You don’t need to have abs of steel, be 6 feet tall or have a pretty boy face, just knowing how to dress and feeling good about how you look makes all the difference.
Well-Dressed vs. Trig & Polished
There is a difference. When I scour the streets for T&P men, I look for men that look like they have put serious consideration in what they are wearing. I look for signature touches. Something that makes them stand out. I don’t look for the man who looks like they stepped out of a department store catalog. I look for the man who is wearing the scarf that he got from a thrift store, the hat from his grandfather’s closet and the shoes that can only be bought in Europe. I look for the man that has pride in his style. The one that makes deliberate style decisions and then rethinks them at least twice before heading out the door. Style is a craft. People aren’t born with it. It’s learned through hit and misses. I look for the men who have honed their craft. When I see a man who has great style, it’s a treat. I created this blog to encourage the trig and polished style. To recognize those men that have it and perhaps to help those men who have yet to learn it.
What is trig and polished?
The name comes from the movie, Inventing the Abbotts. One of my favorite movies.
An episode of "Death Valley Days" with commercials for 29 Mule Team Borax AIRS on the deluxe console TV. Doug sits on the sofa smoking a cigarette. Pamela sits at the opposite end of the sofa. PAMELA You're not like Jacey. DOUG Why not? PAMELA He's so... so trig and polished. DOUG What's 'trig' mean? PAMELA You know... handsome, sexy, sophisticated. Pipe-smokers. DOUG Oh. I don't think Jacey smokes a pipe. PAMELA Well, you don't have to smoke a pipe to be trig.
The following is an excerpt from an interview by Sarah of Crossroads Trading Company.
When and why did you start Trig & Polished?
Trig & Polished was sort of a 2011 New Year’s resolution. I had a spark of inspiration and just went with it. I approached the first Trig and Polished man on January 13, 2011. It was one rainy day in San Francisco in the Apple Store. I saw a handsomely dressed man, approached him, told him what I was doing and he said he was flattered and let me take his picture. I love spotting men with great style and all of them take it as a compliment when I approach them and ask if I can feature them on my blog. I think people are pleasantly surprised that I’m not asking for something from them, but instead giving a genuine compliment.
What gave you the idea to do a men’s street style blog?
Looking back, I think the earliest thing I can think of that I can attribute to the formulation of the idea is when I was a teenager and my favorite section of Glamour magazine was the Do’s and Don’ts section. They went out and spotted women in the streets who they credited with putting together a great outfit. I fantasized that I’d one day be featured as a Do. It hasn’t happened…yet.
The idea behind focusing on men came about as a summary of many observations. One was my love of seeing well-dressed men, another is having male friends asking me to go shopping with them in order to improve their wardrobes and get a female opinion. Another was working in retail and realizing that there are a lot of men out there who really do want to dress well, but the world of fashion is heavily devoted to womenswear.
I was also influenced by my love of looking at old photographs of street scenes and seeing men in hats and polished shoes. I really appreciate the effort and pride that people took in dressing up and looking their best. There are fashion magazines and blogs devoted to bringing back old school fashion and grooming and conforming it to the modern man. I’m so glad that men are making an effort and what better way to encourage it than by complimenting it.
How do you spot well dressed guys? What’s it like asking them if you can take their pictures?
I just set aside a few hours where I go out with my camera, my business cards and a friend and literally keep my eyes peeled. It was really strange for me at first because it has really changed how I look at people. When I spot a stylish man, my eyes literally do a sweep from head to toe to make sure that the outfit is flawless before I approach them to take their picture. Bad shoes are a dealbreaker.
Approaching strangers is really easy when I have a goal in mind. I’m naturally pretty shy and of course suffer from a fear of rejection, but when I’m in assignment mode, it’s not about me. Rather the spotlight is on the stylish men and I’m most comfortable behind the camera.
If anything, the guys I approach are simply flattered and happy that their style efforts were not wasted. I think that as males, it’s not like they get as many compliments as women do. I’m always complimenting women when they are wearing something that I like, and it’s something that women do to each other all the time – but how often are men going to hear “I really like your jacket” from their friends?
Thanks for stopping by!