While we obviously hope you like reading, since that is the medium of existence for this website, we can also acknowledge that it's not always practical to be looking at a screen when you're say, walking a dog or driving a car. Please don't read Rhododendrons while you're driving.
So what are you supposed to do to fill that void? Exist in silence while thoughts of unfulfilled potential drag you down in to a spiraling depression? Nah, throw in some earbuds - it's podcast time!
In what (may?) be a recurring topic, we're going to review a few menswear related podcasts. These run the gamut from serious to laugh out loud funny, from thoughtful to cringeworthy. First up are Failing Upwards, Corporate Lunch, and Blamo!
Lawrence Schlossman (@sartoriallyinc) and James Harris (@Dr_TacoMD). Lawrence and James have a long history of not being friends: beginning at a shared entry-level gig where Lawrence was James' boss, to working together at Complex and hosting the criminally underrated, gone too soon Fashion Bros, to now hosting Barstool Sports' newest podcast, Failing Upwards. Schlossman was the editor-in-chief of Four Pins and the co-author of Fuck Yeah Menswear, and is currently the Brand Director for Grailed. Harris once interviewed Kanye, and currently works for Snapchat as an "Editorial Development Specialist," although he goes far out of his way to avoid mentioning his day job on the podcast.
The current, Barstool iteration of the podcast has thus far followed the same template: James and Lawrence begin with 10-15 minutes of current events or of-the-moment menswear news (the closing of the Ralph Lauren Mansion, Carlyle Group's $500 million investment in Supreme), followed by an interview with a fashion-related or fashion-tangential guest, generally 40-60 minutes in length. Interviews are wide-ranging and often contain the path a guest took to his or her current level of success, brands/music/art he or she is or are not "fucking with," and stories of past escapades - most guests have previously crossed paths personally or professionally with the hosts . Episodes are closed by a segment with just Lawrence and James riffing on Barstool corporate happenings or Curb Your Enthusiasm rants on nothing at all. Earlier, pre-Barstool "seasons" of the podcast were more narratively based around James and Lawrence telling stories about growing up, college, making it in New York or discussing what was going on their current lives. Lawrence and James have honed their banter and are generally knowledgeable, but this is as much a comedy podcast as it is anything else. The hosts rip each other and their guests tirelessly and mercilessly, and treat pretty much all subject matter with irreverence and contempt.
Sean Evans, Emily Oberg, Noah Johnson, Noah Callahan-Bever, Chris Black
Number of Episodes & Frequency
28 Episodes; Weekly, though pre-Barstool averaged one per month
Who should listen to Failing Upwards?
If you're in to streetwear, have a Four Pins tattoo, a cool teen, a pop culture consumer, a reader of Hypebeast or Highsnobiety or Complex, or you own at least one piece of Supreme, Failing Upwards will be on point for your personal brand. Be warned though, the human ear can only take so much of Lawrence and James yelling at or over each other. Also recommended because they have the best ad reads in the podcast game.
James and Lawrence are the funny dudes you wish you were friends with in real life, even if Lawrence can come off as an adult frat bro. Both are accomplished and well known in the #menswear world, though they treat the podcast like they'd rather be anywhere else.
Will Welch (@willwelch) and Noah Johnson (@noahvjohnson). Welch is the Editor in Chief of GQ Style, and Johnson is a Senior Editor for the magazine. Welch's previous jobs include The Fader and Senior Editor at GQ magazine, while Johnson has written for Style.com, the New York Times, NYT Magazine and T Magazine, and was a founding editor of Four Pins. Johnson is affectionately referred to by his contemporaries as the Narc Dad.
Forty to fifty minutes long, the episodes often act as supplementary material to the quarterly, printed GQ Style magazine or find each host discussing personal takes on menswear-related themes like individual style histories, how you shop, or from where do you draw style influence. Johnson and Welch dive in to how GQ Style articles come to be, like their piece on German magazine 032c, and give insight in to the inner workings of a magazine, often referencing Fashion Editor Mobolaji Dawodu. Episodes are closed with "13 Vibes," a segment where the hosts list off 13 reference points, brands, or cultural touchstones influencing them that week.
No official guests, but Johnson has co-hosted with Garage Mag fashion editor Rachel Tashjian and GQ Style digital editor Lili Göksenin.
Number of Episodes & Frequency
9 Episodes; Weekly
Who should listen to Corporate Lunch?
Anyone who reads fashion or lifestyle magazines, or makes deliberate choices when it comes to getting dressed, whether that be in Thrasher or Massimo Alba. Even though they sit high on the masthead of a global publication, Johnson and Welch offer approachable menswear insights and discuss topics from perspectives you may have not considered yourself.
Corporate Lunch is very much still finding its footing, but with the backing of such a large publication it's hard to see it not expanding to include short guest interviews or voices from other GQ Style contributors. Johnson makes you wish you hadn't given up skateboarding back in fifth grade.
Jeremy Kirkland (@j_kirkland). Kirkland was the Marketing Director at New York's The Armoury, has written for Esquire and Hodinkee, and co-founded Run of The Mill, seminal #menswear brand with the aforementioned Lawrence Schlossman and Jon Moy.
After a brief introduction to the upcoming guest, Kirkland dives in to an approximately hourlong interview with heavy hitters from the menswear world, usually skewing more towards "classic" tailoring than streetwear, though he does count Jake Woolf and Schlossman amongst his guests. Kirkland is a fantastic interviewer and is adept at asking pointed questions that still allow his guests to expound, often uninterrupted for minutes at a time, on a variety of topics. By interviewing cross sections of people shaping the culture: designers, writers (including Will Welch), and multi-hyphenates, Blamo! gives listeners insights in to the minds of people steering the direction of menswear and culture.
Jesse Thorn, Nick Wooster, Sid Mashburn, Mister Mort, Tommy Ton, David Coggins, Robert Geller, JJ Redick
Number of Episodes & Frequency
45 Episodes; Weekly by season
Who should listen to Blamo!?
There are plenty of podcasts out there that purport to let you peek in to the mind of "geniuses" or "titans of industry," but rarely are those people imitable or relevant to your daily life. Blamo! listeners are people who, sure, care how they dress, but also want to know how someone like Sid Mashburn rose through the men's, and now women's, ranks, or how Jesse Thorn went from founding menswear blog Put This On to NPR to running his own podcast network.
Blamo! is by far the most polished of the podcasts included in this group and also the most serious, but not in a stuffy way. Kirkland treats his guests with respect and has well-researched questions that lead to great conversations that never feel too long.
Now, stop reading and start listening.