As part of our ongoing quest to champion any individual who’s as passionate as we are about men’s style, we have set up a series of interviews to inspire more of you gents to start blogging.
Next up is male blogger and owner of Hawkins & Shepherd, Carl Thompson.
What inspired you to start blogging?
I would say there are two inspirations that I can attribute my love for blogging to.
Firstly the business aspect; it was when I launched Hawkins & Shepherd shirt makers back in August 2013 when I first understood the power of regular, unique content for SEO reasons. It was then that I starting writing blogs on men’s style and realised how much I enjoyed it. That’s when carlthompson.co.uk was launched, initially to drive traffic to my business but it soon expanded to become a broader men’s style, grooming and lifestyle reference featuring many other labels.
Secondly, I admired how far ahead the woman’s blogging scene was compared to the men’s and it was a female blogger named Sophie Milner (aka Fashion Slave) who opened my eyes to what could be achieved. She gave me the confidence in my writing, styling and especially getting over the embarrassment that all bloggers feel when getting outfits shot on the streets of London!
I also felt there was a big gap in Men’s Style blogging for someone who can cater for the 30 something, image conscious male. I love helping men gain confidence in their appearance whilst utilising what they already have in their wardrobe – its not always about spending a fortune, it can equally be about making the most of what you have already and just style it differently.
Who is your style icon?
It is impossible to choose just one! I’m inspired by many menswear bloggers and street style, if I’m chilling out in the evenings I often browse Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration. I think the British men have their own edgy style combined with classic tailoring.
Celebrity wise, I would probably go with the obvious David Beckham, Tinie Tempah and David Gandy.
Then there is Clarke Gabel and Rudolph Valentino who are two style icons from Hollywood’s golden era. When I go retro, this tends to be where I go back to
Where do you see mens fashion going in the next 5-10 years?
For sure you’ll see menswear clothing sales continuing to grow at a fast rate and closing the retail turnover gap between men’s and woman’s fashion. I can see men’s grooming slowing down due to the current beard trend stalling and a saturation of products on the market right now. Luxury designers could be the real winners as currently we are in a period of fast fashion, which I can see changing with men becoming more savvy to what they are buying.
Finally I think there will be a greater shift in shopping habits away from large department stores and to smaller boutique shops who offer exceptional customer care and more of a shopping experience.
What are your favourite designers and places to shop right now?
Its Autumn/Winter so Richard James by a mile is my favourite designer label, their double-breasted suits and knitwear are incredible.
On the high-street I tend to do a lot of shopping in Topman especially for their new THISISDENIM jean collection. Online, its hard to look beyond ASOS.
Shirts, well there is only one really and that’s the handmade shirts by Hawkins & Shepherd…but then again I am a little biased!
Whats your best perk of being a blogger?
Is this the part where I’m supposed to say I do it for the love? Yeah right! It is great to get free clothes obviously. I’m also ‘that guy’ who makes the most of free drinks during events. I think the blogging/fashion world would be much more interesting if more people took advantage of the free bars rather than sipping fizzy water with a slice of lemon whilst taking selfies for their instagram page.
If you could travel back to any fashion decade, which would it be?
Easy, the 1920s. I’m always amazed how dapper everyone looked from the poor to the rich, it really was a great era. My only issue would be the dancing, I have two left feet and would struggle to perfect the lindy hop.
What would you say to any aspiring fashion blogger?
The most important thing would be to try and find your own niche, be yourself and be confident. Engage with your audience with quality written content as well as imagery.
Blogging can be slow and unrewarding at times, so be prepared for incredible ups and downs so just enjoy it.
How do you communicate & how can people follow you?