A Passion For Eyewear

Layers of Style – Sabir M. Peele of Men’s Style Pro
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Layers of Style – Sabir M. Peele of Men’s Style Pro

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Layers of Style – Sabir M. Peele of Men’s Style Pro

Not just anyone gets chosen to be a GQ insider. Not everyone gets selected by Esquire magazine as one of the 5 Best Dressed Real Men in America.  It’s not luck that makes you a Men’s Health MVP. It takes an eye for trends, some classic inspiration, a touch of flair and a lot of style. Sabir M. Peele fits that description and more, so it is hardly surprising that the North Philadelphia native is one of the hottest bloggers operating at the moment.

Men’s Style Pro

The channel for Sabir’s expertise, Men’s Style Pro, came to life in 2010 and has rapidly grown into a fount of information relating to style, menswear and lifestyle. Far more than just a fashion blog, Sabir provides his guide to style by sharing his wisdom and secrets, but also offers personalized guidance, with consultations available and special advice adapted to your needs.

Luckily for us, the style guru found time in his schedule to catch up for a quick chat, enlightening us with some tips and a little insight into the man inside the (beautifully tailored) suit.

Welcome Sabir! So before getting into full-time blogging, you worked in education. Can you talk us through how you made the jump?

I worked as a college admission counselor at a local university in Philadelphia, while simultaneously running Men’s Style Pro full-time. You can call it burning the candle at both ends for 4 years, but I was biding my time until the right opportunities came along. This journey started in 2010, but after building a pretty solid resumé working with some of the top brands in menswear & style, I had a huge opportunity come my way with GQ Magazine to host/style a few events. The reception was great and I was given the opportunity to co-host their national tour called Lookbook Live with Glamour Magazine & Simon Malls. This assignment took me all over the country to bring the fall & spring lookbooks to life for GQ Magazine. The opportunity to use my skills, gained with Men’s Style Pro, and apply them to working with the menswear mega brand was a dream come true. Knowing that working in higher education and managing my new ambassadorship schedule would not work, I took the leap in 2014 and never looked back.

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What has been the most challenging moment in your blogging journey so far? 

Because running Men’s Style Pro is now my full-time job, I would say my most challenging moment has been finding the right format for the site, that can meet the needs of my growing content base & be pleasing to my readers. I’ve gone through six iterations of the Men’s Style Pro site and I think I’ve finally found the one for now.

Also, one of the greatest challenges of running a blog is diversifying what you do. Creating original content is key, but the goal of many bloggers is to create their own products. I’ve been fortunate enough to team up with some majors brands to collaborate on shirt & shoe collections.

How would you describe your blogging style? 

My blogging style can be described as informative. With regard to copy, my goal is to have any reader walk away with some knowledge of the how-to of men’s style & lifestyle. From an imagery standpoint, I almost exclusively shoot on the street. Visually the images are more eye-catching and I want any reader to imagine themselves as they look through each image set.

Blogging is basically your personal brand, how do you manage time to run your blog efficiently? You must be under a lot of pressure… 

Time management should be a job in itself. Coming up with a content calendar that allows for putting out a long-form editorial piece, style round-up and random piece is the best way to manage the direct blogging end of the game, but as someone working in this space, the job doesn’t end there. I spend a fair amount of time consulting for brands (behind the scenes), creating a social media calendar and making showroom and brand visits. The best way to look at this is to not overload yourself with unmanageable ideas.

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What do you think is the best strategy that worked well for you to get more traffic to your blog/strengths that have really helped you in blogging?

The best strategy that has helped Men’s Style Pro grow its traffic has been to:

  1. Diversify the way I use different social media platforms. By doing this, you can create different levels of engagement traffic back to the blog
  2. Figure out what type of post really resonates with my readers. If you’re constantly putting out information that isn’t useful, there’s no reason for your readers to stick around.
  3. Use an authentic voice. Even if some posts are sponsored, the ability to write truthfully about a product builds a level of trust that is unmatched. People come to your blog because they trust what you say, so keeping it real is the best way to go.

Tell us about your proudest achievement/ the ‘I’ve made it’ moment in your blogging career. 

My “I’ve Made It’ moment happened in 2013. I was sitting at a bar with a friend in Brooklyn after a work event on Saturday and I received a Google alert linking Men’s Style Pro back to Complex Magazine’s website. Without haste, I clicked the link and it had Men’s Style Pro listed as one of the Top 10 Blogs in America (#2 to be exact). That was the moment that I knew major things were on the horizon.

Who has had the greatest impact on your blogging and how? 

My blogging is most impacted by my readers & myself. From the reader’s perspective, if they’re getting bored with the content or there’s something new that they’d like to see introduced, it can change what I’m featuring. From a personal perspective, I like having a blog that I’m pleased with as well.

There have been times that I’ve been was satisfied with my content, site aesthetic and overall direction – it spurred many changes. Not to mention, I always stay abreast of what the big boys like GQ, Esquire, Vogue, Refinery29 and others are doing too. You have to know what the best are doing to make yourself better.

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Greatest achievement outside of blogging?

Being a father to my newborn might be my greatest personal achievement outside of blogging. His name is Hendrix and you can follow his cute antics on Instagram via @lilstylepro.

What do you do in your spare time?

During my spare time I like to get outside and eat at as many outdoor restaurants in Philly as I can. When food isn’t at the top of my mind, I’m listening to all the music that I can get my hands on. On top of that, I like to stay fit – so you can find me at the gym or running some hills like a madman (I was a track & field athlete for 12 years).

Weirdest interest? 

My weirdest interest – I love cows. It’s random, but, I love them.

Fair enough… Greatest satisfaction from being a fashion blogger? (invitations to fashion events, gifts, etc.)

Aside from the general perks of being a menswear blogger – invitations to fashion shows, special events and sneak-peek previews of products, I would say that my greatest satisfaction from working in the space is having my input valued by brands.

Who was your first style icon? 

My first style icon was my older brother Malcolm. He could rock track suit & high-top sneakers with the best of them.

Who takes the majority of your photos?

From the beginning of Men’s Style Pro, my wife Marina took all of my images – it allowed for some great bonding experiences (plus amazing trips… Florence Italy for Pitti Uomo.) This past spring when she was two months away from giving birth to our son, I had to sideline her and starting shooting with Lauren McGrath & Austin Horton.

Biggest challenge of fashion blogging? 

The biggest challenge of fashion blogging is finding the time to get everything done. Creating, styling and shooting original content, as well as managing the social media campaigns takes a lot more effort than one would assume.

Describe your personal style/is there a person who is a fashion inspiration to you?

My style can best described as tailored sportswear. At any moment, you can find me in a suit & tie or a leather jacket and jeans. The key to all my looks is that they are well-tailored.

Most recently, my fashion inspirations are designers Michael Bastian & Angel Ramos.

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You’re on quite a few platforms (blog, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram). Which platform has been most important for you?

My blog will continue to be the most important platform for me. Men’s Style Pro allows me to create a variety of post styles that wouldn’t be possible on just one social media platform.

Any fun plans for this year that we should look out for on social media/your blog?

In the coming weeks, I’ll be launching a shoe collection with the Miami-based brand Caballero Wear. The collection will feature all 3 suede Chelsea boots and 2 suede tassel loafers.

Also, Men’s Style Pro will be launching a podcast before the end of the year. It will delve into the depths of style, menswear, design, art, food, and everything stylishly interesting.

We saw that you really like the Gucci Sunglasses that we sent you. What made you choose them?

There’s nothing better than a pair of Havana tortoise shell wayfarer style sunglasses and this pair by Gucci are a standout. The coloring is right and can complement any suited look or make a jeans & t-shirt outfit more refined.

What makes eyewear an important accessory for you?

The old adage is to “put your best face forward” and the right eyewear adds to making that impression.

The right pair of glasses can frame your face perfectly and add the finishing touch of refinement or edge to any look.

What trends do you think we’ll see for eyewear this year?

For guys, the biggest trend I see is the return of the chunkier frame. Think 70’s vibe without crossing into costume territory. Also, the gradient lens is king – especially in new colors like deep purple, yellow & brown.

And finally, what are some of your favorite eyewear styles?

For Sunglasses:

  1. Tom Ford Rick
  2. Gucci GG 1099/s
  3. Etnia Barcelona Wla Africa

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For Eyeglasses:

  1. Burberry BE2196
  2. Tom Ford FT5296

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You can keep up to date on the latest trends and Sabir’s style tips on his blog MSP. You can also find him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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