The size of the men's fashion media is dwarfed by that covering women's clothing, accessories, and cosmetics. That isn't likely to change, but, even with the demise of men's magazines such as Stuff and Cargo, there are plenty of outlets where men can get fashion news and advice.
Lance Buckley, senior account supervisor at Pierce Mattie PR, notes that GQ and Esquire are the top-tier outlets for men's fashion. Although many of the clothes they showcase are expensive by most standards, they do augment their choices with advice for men trying to fit high-end wardrobes into realistic budgets, he says.
“Esquire did a whole series last year on [what to do] if you have a $3,000 clothing budget,” Buckley explains. “These are the must-have items for your wardrobe, and they included things like two pairs of slacks, two blazers, and a pair of really nice jeans.”
However, other outlets are stealing some of the men's fashion spotlight by focusing more on everyday clothes that men can find at their local retail or department stores, says Mike Wood, editor-in-chief of the gay-lifestyle magazine Instinct.
“The feedback we've gotten from readers is [that] they want clothes they can actually wear, not clothes you'd only find on a runway,” he says. “So we try to include expensive items with clothes men can find and wear in real life.”
Along with the gay press, another major source of men's fashion coverage is urban influencer magazines such as Flaunt, says its editor, Elliot David.
“We see our age and style demographic as all over the board: street to eveningwear, tank tops to tuxedos,” he says. “As such, our price points are all over the place and sort of irrelevant: We support specific brands, yes, but we also hope that our readers will see what we enjoy and become inspired by it, interpret or adopt [it], or mutate it themselves.”
A challenge for placement in men's fashion media is that outside of lifestyle outlets, opportunities are few and far between. Even top-tier newspapers, like the LA Times, will do 10 stories on women's clothing and designers in its Image section for every one men's fashion piece, says Heather Witbeck, VP of fashion for aLine media PR.
The same is true online or on TV, where men's fashion tends to be covered only a few times each year, Buckley notes.
“Even TV shows like What Not to Wear usually only do about one male per season,” he says.
One way that PR pros get around that disadvantage is by using celebrity hooks, Witbeck adds.
“If Diddy or Chris Brown is wearing your jacket, that can fully sway that urban marketplace,” she says. “But in mainstream fashion, Sean Penn wearing a jacket in is not going to have near the same impact.”
The general interest press tends to cover men's clothing once a season, so time and theme your pitches to fit into trend stories, such as fall fashion
A strong sampling strategy is a must, but make sure to reach out in advance to find out what men's fashion themes are covered in which issues
Target women who guide their significant others' clothing choices by getting men's fashion items in photo shoots found in lifestyle and fashion outlets geared toward women