Reader Question

    Reader Mailbag: Style Girlfriend Answers Your Questions

    19th February 2013

    It’s been awhile since I gave you guys a peek into the ol’ Style Girlfriend Reader Mailbag. There’s been some good ones lately, so I thought I’d share a roundup here. Remember, you can always ask a question here, or just email me at megan (at) style girlfriend dot com.

    Ryan asks:

    This may be a taboo subject, as I realize most of the style-minded out there avoid them, but I was wondering if I could get some advice on sweat pants.

    I go to the gym 5-6 days a week and like to wear them to and from, especially in the winter.  My problem is all the sweats I find from major athletic brands don’t fit me too well. I’m about 6’4, so to buy XL sweats means the length is right but they’re way too wide.

    Are there any sweats out there that are made a little more tapered or trim?

    {Sweatpants: Target, $20}

    A taboo subject? Are you kidding? I love sweatpants!

    But I hear you about wanting to avoid those that are uber-wide. No one wants to look like a backup dancer in Step Up 3D. For me, I also try not to spend too much on the activewear that just gets me to and from the gym. I’m happy to invest in really great workout gear, but sweats I’m just going to pull off when I jump on the treadmill? I want those as cheap as possible.

    As such, I’d suggest you check out Old Navy and Target. Old Navy has a surprisingly comprehensive activewear section, and Target’s C9 line is one of my go-to’s for inexpensive yet stylish activewear.

    David says:

    Hi Megan,

    I saw your recent post with Function which was awesome (I loved the dressed up date look) and I noticed that most of the shoes on that site were suede or canvas material.  When it comes to shoe material, does it really matter?  Or is the color and style equally or more important?

    What an interesting question with maybe a less-than-compelling answer: the clothing options I had to pull from for the Function shoot were all winter items, and since suede factors in as a material in more shoes during the cold weather season, there were more suede pairs to pick from.

    As for what to look for in a pair of shoes, I always encourage guys to spend as much as they can on their shoes, as a quality pair of shoes looks AND feels so much better than a cheaply-made pair. There are other areas you can scrimp on – like undershirts, socks, and casual wear, but a solid pair of shoes is always a good investment.

    Mike asks:


    The Quarterly subscription appears to be sold out (no surprise there) but I’ve tried to be added to the ‘wait list’ and it seems to be a dead link.  I also tried to contact Quarterly Co via their contact link, but that is dead as well.

    First of all, I wish I could thank every single person who let me know my first Quarterly subscription sold out; what a great problem to have! I mean, for me really…not so much the guys who wanted a Style Girlfriend package but didn’t pull the trigger fast enough…

    Thankfully, while my first package is going out soon (so soon!), the link to sign up for my second package is now live, and I hope that you and anyone else who didn’t get in on the first one will jump on for the second! The first package did so well that Quarterly is opening up the subscription to even more guys for round #2. So get on it!

    Betty* asks:

    Hi Megan!

    I found you through the Style Blogger. I’ve always loved men’s fashion and can always appreciate a well dressed man.  That being said though, my man isn’t…as conscious of well-fitted clothing.

    In the last couple of years, he’s lost at least 25lbs but still dresses as though he still has the weight.  I know for a fact he is now a 33, maybe even a 32 waist.  However, he is very content with his relaxed fit 34-inch True Religions.

    So, my question is: How do I suggest better fitting clothes (more specifically, jeans) when he insists his current clothing is “fine”?  It should be noted that have I shown him your article “The SG Guide to Denim“. He argued the tips do not apply to him as “his legs are thicker than the model’s”. He feels he will have to forfeit comfort with well-fitted jeans.

    I’m hoping you can help!

    Thanks for reaching out! It was great working with Dan, and I’m so glad we’re both finding some cool new readers out of the collaboration.

    As for your situation – oof, I feel for you :/

    Trying to convince a guy to size down in his clothing is NOT easy; it’s basically what I do day in, day out on Style Girlfriend, telling guys that fit is everything.

    It’s great you showed your bf my denim article, because that’s definitely a good place to start. I’d say, from there, just start complimenting him when he does wear things that fit a little closer to the body. Even if it’s khakis and not jeans, or a sweater, or even a t-shirt that fits him a little trimmer. He’ll start to get the point that you’re more attracted to him when you can SEE more of him! If that doesn’t move the needle on his dressing habits, I’d be pretty surprised!

    *Name has been changed because, duh, what if her boyfriend reads SG too??

    Tell me:

    Anything to add to my mailbag responses? Got questions of your own? Email me, or use the contact form here!

    • Jessy

      I tried Old Navy sweatpants. I didn’t like them. They were way too long (maybe I’m just way too small) and very baggy. For a slim pants-wearing guy, it was not a pleasant experience. Target won’t open in Canada untill this Fall, so I don’t know where else to look for cheap, slimmer sweatpants.

      • Style Girlfriend

        I can’t believe you still don’t have Target. You Canadians haven’t li-i-i-i-i-i-v-e-d!!

        • Jessy

          Soon, soon! There’s a huge sign where our Zellers was with a big Target logo on it.

    • VB

      ( RE: Sweatpants)
      The best sweatpants I have from me are (and g-d help me for writing this) Holister. Yeah, I know, but before you dismiss me as some pimple faced highschool kid let me first tell you I am 41.

      I got a pair simple grey slim cut sweats without a garish label all over the ass and legs. Best part on sale for $26 (Canadian). So if you can stand the blaring music and bring a flash light you might find what you are looking for.

    • VB

      sorry for the bad grammar in my last post

      • Style Girlfriend

        totally got what you were going for VB :)

    • Derric

      Target’s also great for cheap socks. $2-5 a pair whether you’re looking for solids, subtle patterns, loud patterns, or novelty pairs.

      • Style Girlfriend

        ummm, i LOVE target for socks. so cheap! so colorful!

    • Jeff

      Slimmer sweatpants are in right now! I own a pair from Rebel Yell in blue, they’re really comfortable, and best of all, I can wear them out of the house without looking like a fool. They’re on the first slide of the link below:

      • Style Girlfriend

        Ooh ooh! Those are slick, thanks for the heads up! I might need to do a “cool sweatpants” post soon..

    • average joe

      Megan the 2 brands to avoid if you’re over 5’10 are Old Navy and Target. They don’t make garments long enough in the arms or legs. The only way to get Target and Old Navy clothes (especially sweatpants and pajama’s) to fit is to buy XXL – which drops the crotch about 4 or 5 inches lower than you want, making for a terrible fit. Even then, you’ll still end up at square one because they’ll shrink in the wash. I’m on the look out for good sweats that won’t break the back too. The RL Sport line has them, but they’re kind of pricey.

      • Style Girlfriend

        Good to know Joe! I hadn’t heard that before. Any other brands you avoid as a tall guy?

        • average joe

          Good question. Now that I think about it, my list of “where to go” is longer than “where to avoid”. But generally speaking, the higher the quality of the brand and/or store usually pays off for someone with my build. That said, SG, has done wonders for me suggesting quality brands eg. Charles Tyrwhitt which make good product and really competitive prices.

          On the issue of sweats, Nike Dry Fit works pretty well, but it’s not the comfy, fluffy material that get’s shrunk in the dryer either.

        • average joe

          INC brand usually found at Macy’s. The arms are too short.

        • average joe

          One more just came to mind (sorry for the late post on this). Billy Reid. Sad, I know. There aren’t any issues with the dress pants since you buy those unhemmed, but I wanted to buy a pair of chinos and went in about 2 weeks ago since I had seen they were on sale. The salesperson said the length was 34′, which is a pretty standard length for chinos and jeans, but the were about an 1 1/2 inches too short for me. To put this into perspective, I went across the street and tried on chinos at both Banana Republic and Brooks Brothers, all with a 34′ length. Banana Republic’s chinos were about still a hair too short whereas Brooks Brother’s had about an inch or so of break.

          • Style Girlfriend

            No, this is great! Keep ‘em coming!

    • Fred

      For Betty*: Wash his jeans one day when he’s out… select the “extra hot” everything option. What’s that dear? Your jeans shrunk in the laundry. Oh, I’m so sorry. Let me make it up to you.What say we go out this afternoon and see if we can’t find you a new pair? Problem solved.

    • Ryan

      Megan, great advice re getting Betty(!) to compliment her man in a positive way when he wears something that fits. Driving the point home about how much better he looks I imagine will make him feel good about himself for dropping the weight. It may very well encourage him to take further steps to wear clothes that fit.
      Sometimes though, things don’t change until you hear it a hundred times from people who are experts.

      May I also suggest that “Betty” drag her man by the ear into a store (not necessarily with the intent to purchase), get him to try on jeans that fit, and photograph him wearing them. Then compare with his current jeans…fingers crossed an epiphany follows!

      • Style Girlfriend

        Yes! The side-by-side comparison is always good; thank goodness for picframe :)

    • Zed

      Could anyone sate the curious and share what Megan got you in her first Quarterly box?

      • Style Girlfriend

        It’s not out yet! Will be sure to share on the site once everyone gets theirs though!

    • LV

      RE: Sweatpants: You might find more success in getting better trims on longer sweats by paying a bit more for slightly more designer types, or niche wear. Lulumon works, as would something like James Pearse or other “fashionable” brands, since they have less forgiving cuts, unlike widespread brands which try to fit the masses.

      I would even recommend looking at gear designed for hiking or walking or running. They don’t have to be stretchy base layer tights, but often actual pants sold at athletic stores for runners are also not cut for the masses.

    • Adam

      At 6′ and living in Canada I can echo the sweatpants concern. I seldom ever where sweats to the gym (Jeans to the gym, and then usually work clothes leaving after a shower in the morning). That said the best workout pants/sweatpants for tall guys that I’ve seen are from Lululemon, yes to pay a bit more, but they are hella comfortable and they have various inseam options for tall guys and will hem to order as needed if there’s any extra length free of charge. They also had pants (I think they still do) that have more office appropriate prints (Mine are in light brown in a prince of wales check – ish pattern), that are still made out of the same material as their yoga pants. Working in an office, and doing some personal training on the side, they make for speedy transitions, and are great for family dinners where you need to dress up a bit but want to be comfortable (gotten plenty of compliments on them, and have worn them to work, and noone was the wiser that I was wearing lulus).