Tanner Guzy of ‘Masculine Style’: A Conversation with The Peak Lapel
This conversation is just one installment in our new and ongoing interview series. Check out the other awesome interviews we've done by clicking here!
Who are you and what do you do? Where can people follow your work online?
My name is Tanner Guzy and I teach men how to take a deeper, more proactive approach to their appearance. There are a few different ways you can find me. The main site is Masculine Style and I’m most active in social media on Twitter and Instagram (@tannerguzy on both). In addition to those, I’ve published a book called The Appearance of Power that can be found on Amazon or through appearanceofpower.com, and finally I have a full catalogue of YouTube videos as well.
How did you first get into men’s style/clothing/fashion and when did you decide to turn it into something more than just a hobby?
I’ve always been aware of the impact appearance has on me — even as a little kid — but it didn’t really become something I intentionally started to pursue until around 2010. Masculine Style started out as one of many different blogs I was writing in order to fine tune my voice. It quickly became the most popular. I knew shortly thereafter that this was something I would not only love talking about for a long time into the future, but it was a way I could bring some unique, often overlooked value to the lives of the men I interact with.
What is your hair styling routine, if any? What products do you use and why?
Fairly basic. Being a friend of Aaron Marino (and actually loving their products) I’m a big fan of the cream from Pete & Pedro. All of my beard grooming products are from BeardBrand and I’m currently using their Old Money styling balm. I take a few minutes to blow dry my hair and beard each morning, apply some quick product, and then don’t think much about it after that.
What is your EDC (“Every Day Carry”), and why? Where do you keep which items? What do you never leave home without?
Fun question. The four things I always have on me are my cell phone (front left pocket if no jacket, inner breast pocket if I do have a jacket), Declan cleaning cloth (front left pant pocket), a pocket knife (current carry is from Spider and it’s always in my front right pocket), and my only wallets are from Chester Mox (rear right pocket). I’m also a concealed carry advocate and carry a Bersa Thunder (though I have my eye on the Glock 43).
As for what’s always in my bag, I carry a fairly trim briefcase and it has a metal pen and a multitool along with some gum and a pack of fashion anchors. Beyond that, it’s just the laptop, external hard drive, and all the plugs associated with those.
How would you describe your personal style? What is your go-to outfit?
My personal style varies a lot. But the underlying threads are that I prefer to focus on texture and fit instead of pattern and color. Most of my items are fairly neutral in color or pattern — although I do indulge in a few statement pieces — and it’s more about combining them in a way that’s expressive of who I am internally than following specific rules. That said, I know the rules and how to follow or break them. I’m happy to look for and even adopt some trends early, provided they’re congruent with who I am and what I want to project out into the world. I’m as comfortable in a custom suit as in a henley, jeans, and boots.
What is the biggest splurge style item you own and why?
I own somewhere in the vicinity of 20 custom suits and sport coats. Granted, I worked for four years for the brand that makes them, but even then, it’s a collection much larger than most men need. I only wear about six of them regularly now, but it sure is nice to have them all when I need something specific.
What is your favorite style purchase of the last year and why? Least favorite?
The most recent and one I’m most excited about is a brown leather jacket from a company called Straight to Hell. It wasn’t a huge investment, but did cost as much as a lot of guys are paying for suits. I hadn’t really done a deep dive with leather jackets before and now I want to wear this thing every day.
Least favorite was some cheap shirts I bought for the gym. They ended up getting real ratty real quick and reinforced the idea that it’s best to buy the highest quality I can afford — even in areas where my looks aren’t as important as others.
Walk us through your morning routine…
I don’t follow a set routine as much as I used to. I lift with a buddy three days a week, go do service on Tuesday mornings, and make sure I take the time to get in some study and breakfast with my wife and kids.
What is one style rule you think more guys should be breaking? On the flip side, what is one style mistake you see (even some otherwise well-dressed guys) commonly making?
My answer to both of these go hand-in-hand. More men should be either following or breaking rules out of an understanding of the principles the rules they are based on. It’s too easy to assume you should always wear a suit to an interview, or that fit is more important than anything else, or that it’s impossible to be either overdressed or overeducated. The reality is that different goals, people, and scenarios call for different ways to dress. And you may get better results out of following or breaking one particular rule or set of rules than you will by choosing another option. Stop with the simplistic thinking and start thinking about style strategically, rather than being a slave to the rules.
What book have you gifted most often?
Ha! My own. Does that count?
How often do you read, and what kind of books? What is your overall media consumption like? How do you balance all that while staying productive?
This is a personal struggle for me. It’s way too easy to get in the trap of consuming other people’s content and justifying it as “research.” I try to read at least one book a month and that’s typically done via audiobook while I’m driving. I watch YouTube a couple of times a week to see what’s going on in the world or to research better ways to run my business, but I don’t consume a lot of style content. The biggest areas of consumption for me are Twitter and Instagram. I can easily sink a few hours into both of those and yes, a lot of it is productive time for me, but I do my best to avoid all social media on Sundays just to make sure I’m capable of doing so.
How do you keep yourself productive? What advice would you give to someone who is looking to be more productive?
I try to balance out my usage of motivation and discipline. I don’t think you can be successful without both. If motivation is the only thing that gets you going, you’ll be flighty and bouncing all over the place. But, if discipline is all you have, then all the personality and passion in what you do is gone.
On days when I don’t feel like working, I tap into my discipline. On days when I really feel motivated to try something different, I allow myself to ride that wave and see what kind of results I can get.