One of the best features for the fall season is when the magazine industry publishes their double-sized September issues. Vogue is notorious for their September issue with even a documentary focusing on Editor-in-chief Anna Wintour’s creative input. As a fun exercise, I started examining and looking at the big three magazines of the gentleman’s lifestyle: GQ, Details, Esquire. Which one is more style driven? Who is the demographic? What’s their style motto? There’s much to like and some to cringe at.
Unlike GQ and Esquire, Details Magazine has more of a contemporary and edgy vibe. The magazine spotlighted the color burgundy as THE color of the season, skinny collars, briefcases, and indoor/outerwear attire. My personal favorites were its love for vintage music culture, Marc Jacob’s advice on style, furniture designed with the alphabet, and a beautiful photo shoot focusing on the classic prep-film, Love Story. Most magazines would focus on stylish men of the past, but they presented stylish characters of today from Mad Men to The Vampire Dairies to White Collar. Although, Details Magazine has an updated ambiance, their written articles lacked details and reporting. Reading “Smart TV,” the “gymoexercisa” article, and the cover story on Zac Efron felt bland and unconvincing in their initial sell. Still, Details Magazine has a lot to cover with presentation and sells to the younger and edgier demographic.
Esquire has the timeless classic style of yesteryear. They even present a comprehensive guide on the history of certain styles or fabrics. This issue gave the practical usages and the history of corduroy, tweed, and velvet, and flannel. And of course, the magazine is most notable for their detailed writing, focusing on details and reporting such as the award-winning “The Last Abortion Doctor.” Their sense of style, again, is old-fashion and it was a good choice to focus on certain fall picks appropriate for traveling and advice on suits from Dolce and Gabbana and Mark Ronson’s dark attire. Four Designers were also spotlighted focusing on either all American fall luxury, bold knitwear, paid shirts, or luxe simplicity while also narrowing the five choices for the contest of the “Well-dressed Real Man.” Angel Ramos, real estate agent, won the title for 2010. Its design isn’t memorable but its advice is great and grounded with history. For example, its advice on “10 Ways to Have Better Sex” was very classy, and not raunchy such as the rules focused on sensuality. Might be for the older generation, but there’s a lot to learn from.
GQ is definitely the in-betweener of Esquire and Details Magazine. Their articles are well-reported brimmed with creative details and a sense of a classic, yet edgy style (such is the case with the Style Guy’s advice and the photoshoot with stylistic traveling following athlete Fernando Verdasco). My favorite articles were the opinion pieces on the date night with the wife and the over-luxury of the ipad while fall picks focused on duffel coats, striped sweaters, denim jackets, corduroys, and wool vests. Project Upgrade never fails as it shows the common man upgraded to better style while the drinks section and the Guide to Los Angeles were fun to gloss at. A bonus goes to seamlessly incorporating the ads with style tips like Tommy Hilfiger’s guide to slim-fitting style and the fun 3-D Armani Exchange ad. But the best advice I heard while promoting cologne’s was that catching the spray in mid-air is stupid, as it will hit the ground. Classic!