How are you not a top contributor?

- Asked by stylepoints

I think I was once, but it wasn’t something I sought out — merely was fortunately enough to have some editors giving me the #menswear tag, which was nice of them.

Generally speaking, I don’t tag every single post I do here with the #menswear tag like some people do. I try to only use it for things that I feel fit the visual interest of those browsing it — namely pretty photos of cool products that some people might want brought to their attention.

Once in a while I might tag my longer essays with it, but sometimes I forget. So, I guess I’m not actively seeking out a place on the #menswear leaderboard. I’m more than happy to benchwarm for the blogger B-team.


Per your recommendation, I grabbed a pair of those Cerbero tassel loafers and couldn't be happier with my purchase. I think your blog really hits the sweet spot between aspirational and practical advice, and I wish more people followed your lead instead of re-blogging other people's photos or whatever.

- Asked by hyvaslide

Thanks for the kind words. Glad the loafers worked out for you.

As for more people doing original content versus reblogging stuff constantly, I don’t disagree, but I also think people use their Tumblr blogs in different ways. Some use it to put out their original stuff, others use it to document their own style journey, and then you have people who use it as a reference board for themselves to go back to for styling inspiration. I think there’s enough blogs out there filling enough niches that everyone can find something to follow.

Tumblr blogs tend to fill the “entertainment” side of the equation moreso than the “information” side, which I think the platform encourages and promotes (and I think the demographic data behind Tumblr’s users will support this). But with that lowered barrier to entry, you encourage a lot more people who might’ve avoided blogging otherwise to perhaps start up something and keep it going.

I remember making websites in HTML code on GeoCities (Area51 webrings represent!) and you had to be a real nerd to actually find a place online to call your own. Now you just type a few things and click a few buttons. I think this has led to the rise of a more casual, passive blogging atmosphere than in the early days of blogging.

I think five years ago most people would never even have considered “starting a website” of any sort. But you had blogging growing alongside social media and now the two have converged alongside smartphone apps and mobile content generation. So, the result’s going to be very “non-traditional” from what we saw just a handful of years ago.

I guess that’s a long way of saying that this is all great, but we need better filters and self-editing in where we put our time and attention.


I've been wondering...what's it like to not have a face?

- Asked by homolosine

Well, a lot of people confuse me with Vic Sage, which isn’t exactly a bad thing.

In all seriousness though, I decided to crop my face out on 99% of these photos because I tend to make stupid faces and it’s hard enough to photography my body not looking completely dumb in the WIWT pictures.

Plus, this menswear stuff is already a bit self-centered and I think going faceless helps make me appear slightly less egotistical. Not saying that people who do choose to show their face have a big ego or anything, but I would just feel that way personally having to see my face on my blog each day.


The State of Blogging According to Ryan Plett


I know Ryan hates on the reblogs in this, but it deserves to reblogged… It inspires me to put together more original content for my own blog.  Sometimes it’s tough to come up with original things, and I fall into the habit of just highlighting shit I like (although I try to at least check out a lot of it in person, even if I’m not buying it).    Good call CB, posting it here.


Admittedly, Good Ol’ Pletty can be a bit polarizing with his tone and this piece is rife with backhanded compliments and subliminals.  There are, however, some good points especially for new/young bloggers.

So, this is getting quite the reaction today (see here and here, surely more to come). I’ve already kind of said my piece about blogging and made it known about my preference for original content (among other things). I think Plett struck a nerve by asking for more originality, but I get that some people just like to reblog stuff for the sake of keeping a “cool shit” archive for their own purposes (for me, that’s what I use the like button 50% of the time for on Tumblr). I think his points he laid out were generally good observations — if your intent is “to go pro” in any blogging field, not just menswear.

But I also don’t think that most of us are trying “to go pro” — I’m not, I have a day gig. I kind of see the Tumblr community as sort of a forum without a centralized location and a backchannel of sorts. Really, its’ something to kill my work day during the slow times.


On blogging (better)

I received a relatively simple question from intelligenceismywealth:

Any tips or ideas on how I can improve my blog?

Originally, I started to just type out a few quick pointers, but the more I thought about how I’d answer, I realized it’s actually a much longer and involved answer that deserves some exploration.

A lot of people write about writing (and by extension, blogging, too), and it’s one of those super-meta topics that can be annoying (“TEN TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR BLOG!” listicles come to mind from “pro-bloggers”) without any sort of depth.

And the topic of writing, generally, is intensely personal. Add to it the platform of blogging and you’re confronted a form of social writing that is also dynamic and aided by visuals and links.

Generally speaking, I think the best blogs all have a few shared elements — in no particular order of importance — that make them stand out above the rest:

  1. Original content
  2. Great writing
  3. Distinctive personality
  4. Continual persistence
  5. Simple design
  6. Be nice

Some expanded thoughts, beyond the jump.

Read More

About The Silentist

A menswear blog on finding your personal style, written by Kiyoshi Martinez.

I work at Khaki's of Carmel and live in the Monterey Bay area. Formerly from Chicago.

E-mail me, I'm fairly nice: thesilentist@gmail.com

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