The past five and a half years since The Fine Young Gentleman began has been a beautiful adventure. Before going further, I need to thank each of you for reading the blog. Without your readership, comments, emails and support this site would have folded long ago (do not worry, The Fine Young Gentleman is not going away anytime soon); I cannot thank you enough for all of your support. I would also be remiss if I did not thank the brands who have supported the development and growth of The Fine Young Gentleman; without them the clothing would be of far less quality.
It has been a while since I have spoken about the blog so I wanted to start off 2017 by looking back on the years past, but also looking forward into the years to come. Stick with me while I ‘wax poetic’ on the meaning of life and #menswear.
There were four main reasons I started The Fine Young Gentleman. It was to be a creative outlet, to help build my wardrobe, to help other gentlemen dress better and to learn more about the style and business of menswear.
What started out as a creative outlet from my painfully boring and unfulfiling day job as an auditor slowly grew into one of the most prominent websites on men’s style of the more tailored sort; roughly 100,000 of you visit the site each month. That is incredible. I remember when I was happy if 50 people a day visited the site, and then 100 people and then 500 people… You get the idea.
In addition to being a creative outlet it was also a plan to help build my wardrobe, I figured if the blog did well enough I may get free clothing. I wasn’t wrong about that, thankfully. Over the years, some beautiful clothing has come my way; some of which you all have seen on the blog and other items you have not. Then there is of course a bunch of not so beautiful clothing that has come my way, I filter most of that out so it does not make it onto the blog.
Knowing that my days in accounting were limited I wanted to use The Fine Young Gentleman to learn about about both the style and business sides of menswear. All three objectives were met. This is still a creative outlet, I’ve acquired a ton of great clothes and I ended up starting Jay Butler.
However, my motivations were not all selfish. A crucial motivator was to help other guys dress better; plain and simple. I knew there were other guys out there like me who wanted to dress well but had trouble finding tools to help them do so. Shopping at the local Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren, Jos Bank (barf) or department store would sometimes suffice; but there had to be a better way? Right? Sure, there are plenty of books out there on men’s style and tailored clothing; but most guys are not going to spend their free time reading a book on men’s style. A blog is more approachable, it is more easily digested. Plus you can get away with reading it at your desk, that’s harder to do with a book. I sympathize(d) with guys like me across the world who have (had) the desire to dress better but felt that there were not enough resources at our disposal. One of the greatest pleasures of writing this blog is when guys will write me or walk up to me and tell me they are readers. Sometimes they will thank me and tell me how reading the blog has helped them dress better and other times we will get into a full blown discussion on men’s style. It is a beautiful thing.
Although some things have changed, others have not. For instance, my grammar still lacks from time to time (I often do not edit my writing and write in a stream of consciousness-esque style in that I sit down and write, I don’t plan or outline). Conceptually, not much has changed with regard to the content of the blog. My initial goal was to write about moderately priced tailored clothing, to review and showcase new brands and styles in a manner that men could apply to their lives and personal styles. To actually create content and provide advice, stuff that is useful and that can be acted upon. Going forward I may try some new writing styles, but I am not going to lie to you and promise that the grammar will get any better. I also can’t promise you that I am going to cut my hair.
What has changed is the world around The Fine Young Gentleman (perhaps The Fine Young Gentleman is a constant in a world of change…). Countless new brands have popped up, which is usually a good thing for us men. I wish I had time to write about more of them. A number of new forms of media have come about, which has led to new forms of blogging and content creation. Perhaps the most notable is Instagram (which I do participate on, albeit begrudgingly at times), which has given rise to a whole new set of bloggers; for better or worse. It is a medium that is heavy on imagery and flash, but light on substance. God only knows where Snapchat will end up taking us, in my mind it is still young in its development. Rest assured, The Fine Young Gentleman will stay true to its roots as a website. At this point it would only be fitting of me to shamelessly plug both my Instagram and Snapchat accounts (but most importantly, sign up for the newsletter), FYGblog and JayButlerShoes, respectively. It’s what the kids these days do, right?
One great medium that has become more prevalent in menswear over the past few years is video. Video itself is not new, but video content in menswear is newer and utilized less than written content. Video content is a great way to present and absorb information. In 2017 you will start seeing some video content on the pages of The Fine Young Gentleman. In the meantime, as another shameless plug, please subscribe to my YouTube channel (which is very much a work in progress).
Another change that you will see this year is in the design of the site. The site has basically been running on a very similar layout for the past 4 years. It’s time for a bit of a refresh on that front.
The past two years, I must admit, I have let myself down. I know that I have let some of you down as well. The amount of content that has been put out is not what it needs to be. Nor is it what I would like it to be. At the blog’s peak, I was getting out 3-4 posts a week. So one post a month is not good enough. For 2017 I am going to aim for two posts per month. I do not believe in New Year’s resolutions so this is not that. This is a change in habits and allocation of time to allow The Fine Young Gentleman to get the attention from me that it deserves. That said, I encourage each of you to comment on this post or email me (Justin@TheFineYoungGentleman.com) with style related questions you would like discussed or brands you would like reviewed.
For your readership and support over the past five and a half years, I cannot thank you all enough. It has been both a pleasure and an honor to write this blog, thank you.
Justin L. Jeffers