1. #SGF05: Spring Senses

    Spring is not only a great time for your thermometer (especially after a winter like the last one). It’s also when your personal style can come back out of the closet. And in her latest box of menswear picks, Megan “Style Girlfriend” Collins featured items that are perfect for this bold style season.

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    You’re looking at 6 great additions to your getup (and your body):

    • Pocket Square by Fox & Brie
    • La Nui Lip Balm by Stewart & Claire
    • Shower Gel by Mancave
    • Flower Lapel Pin by Noble Breed
    • Bergamo Cologne by The Motley
    • Exclusive Poppy Notebook by Scout Books

    And there’s extra good news if you missed out on #SGF05——this one was such a hit, we added it to our Best of Quarterly collection! Buy the box now here. Then sign up for Megan’s next surprise package here.

    And then, go forth in high style.

     

  2. 'My Favorite Item' #2: Bittercube Bitters

    It’s Friday, and attentive blog readers know what that means. Before you hit happy hour, it’s time to check in with our gifting experts for the next installment in ‘My Favorite Item’, in which they recall a personal fave from a recent Quarterly box. 

    Actually, this week’s edition would be the perfect read to take with you to happy hour. Here’s Mark:

    Curator: Style Girlfriend

    Box: #SGF04

    Item: Bittercube Bitters

    Megan’s attire game is always on point and a huge reason a lot of us guys check her site religiously. When I heard that she was going to diverge a bit in this box and focus on a different aspect of style, cocktails, I was curious to see what would be SGF Approved for the home bar cart…  

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    Though I have found uses for each of the items Megan included in #SGF04, my hands down favorite is the bottle of Bittercube Bitters (above right). Crafted by the hand of the epically talented Ira Koplowitz (formerly of the Violet Hour; Chi-town shout out!) this little bottle of Jamaican #2 has added aroma and flavor for days to cocktails crafted at Chez De Avila. Though I tend to favor drinks neat, Bittercube is a brand I don’t hesitate to change things up with and frequently bring to friendly gatherings and dinner parties. If you haven’t had a chance to check them out, I highly recommend @bittercube for their huge variety. The only thing missing from their shelves is the smooth style of Mr. Draper…but that would be too much to ask. Cheers!

    Hop on Twitter and say hi to Curator Talent Manager and all-around stylish guy Mark De Avila. And for more great style, sign up for #SGF05 before it closes! 

     

  3. #SGF04: Shaken and Stirred

    Style. We all know it’s not just what you wear; it’s how you wear it. And sometimes, it’s how you mix what you drink while you’re wearing it. (Just ask Don Draper or James Bond.)

    So in her latest box full of men’s style, Megan 'Style Girlfriend' Collins——no relation to Tom, we don’t think——put together a kit for classy cocktail-making.

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    "The drink in your hand says as much about your style as the clothes on your back. Could you stir your drinks with a spoon? Sure. Should you? No."   –Style Girlfriend

    In addition to that sleek cocktail stirrer, Megan added a gleaming Bond-ian shaker, bitters from her home state of Wisconsin, ginger syrup from her adopted city of Brooklyn, chevron cocktail napkins, and a cocktail notebook for learning your way around the classics.

    It all added up to a smashing starter kit for mixology newbies, or a sweet set of upgrades for cocktail geeks. And you could have been mixing a drink with it right now, if you’d only signed up in time…

    Don’t make that mistake this round. Get style delivered to your door, starting with #SGF05

     

  4. #SGF03: Badger State of Mind

    Megan 'Style Girlfriend' Collins is currently one of the better dressed individuals in New York, but it wasn’t always that way. Megan’s always been stylish… she just used to be stylish in Wisconsin.

    In #SGF03, Megan offered a stylized love letter to her home state. Don’t think Madison can compete with Madison Avenue? Tell that to Mr. Florsheim (and his peer in classic shoes, Allen-Edmonds).

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    In addition to the Florsheim shoe kit, Megan packed up Milwaukee-based Colectivo coffee; summer sausage; a copy of Wisconsin’s (and America’s) best satirical paper, The Onion; and the “Packer Backer Mandle,” a candle so manly it emits the scents of Lambeau Field.

    What’s the state of your style? Upgrade now by signing up for Style Girlfriend, starting with #SGF04.

     

  5. 'My Hardest Person to Gift For'—#2

    Welcome to the second installment of our new mini-feature, in which our in-house Quarterly gifting experts share their own gifting sagas. Last week, we heard from Mark, who got his brother Florencio a great pair of boots (though he wished he could have sent him Poketo or Head Butler). Today we hear from Sarah P., our Lead Buyer (and a person who knows plenty about picking out great gifts).

    Trying to convey love and affection through gift giving is often difficult, especially when the person your are gifting to has impeccable taste, a critical eye and is not necessarily the sentimental type. Joe, my boyfriend at the time, was one of those oh-so-hard people to shop for! 

    Name: Joe

    Age: 33

    Location: New York, NY

    Profession: Fashion executive

    Occasion: Valentine’s Day 2002

    Joe is a well manicured, sharply dressed man who wears smart glasses and a big smile. He has an amazing eye for design and is extremely well traveled. He shops in Milan and New York regularly for work and loves things of the highest quality, but only purchases sparingly.

    What was a college student with a small income going to find for this man who had access to what seemed like everything luxurious in the world? I thought since he could buy anything fashion or furnishings related, and knew more about those genres than I did, I would stay away from the usual clothing, cologne and fancy pocket squares gift arena. Plus, those items were out of my budget.

    I wanted to get him something personal, but also something he needed, something that looked cool and that he’d hopefully keep. I decided to make him a piece of art and frame it. It was personal, thoughtful and one of a kind. Best of all, he couldn’t purchase it at a department store! 

    I took inspiration from the large Joan Miro print hanging in his apartment. He had recently refurbished his place but had almost nothing on the walls except the print. I figured he needed the art. I went to the stationery store, chose some beautiful textured white paper as a background, and put together a collection of some personal trinkets, concert tickets, dinner receipts, pictures and quotes I had collaged and photocopied for the black and white aesthetic. I found a black glass floating frame and sandwiched the collage, with a personal note transcribed on the back (only he and I would know it was there once it was hung).

    I wrapped the picture in old fashion magazines and some red ribbon I found in the apartment and made a Valentine for him. When Valentine’s Day came, we exchanged gifts at home. He LOVED it! He had never had anyone make him anything, and actually got a little teary eyed. He even claimed to be impressed. He hung it right up in the living room and often made mention of how much he enjoyed seeing in during daily life over the next few years. Success!! With attention to detail and personal interests, plus a little time, energy and sentiment, you can make even the most difficult of people happy with something simple.

    Quarterly curator I would have used: Uprise Art & Style Girlfriend

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    If only I had Quarterly to choose a gift from in 2002—I would have been set! Tze Chun’s curation of up-and-coming artists for the Uprise Art box is both a great concept and masterfully executed. Over the year, the pieces chosen for the subscription add up to the beginnings of a real art collection (#UAQ03 is shown above). Style Girlfriend would be another winner, as Megan Collins includes quality style-centric items perfect for a cosmopolitan businessman. 

    Sarah is the Lead Buyer at Quarterly where she collaborates with her fellow CTM’s——as well as a variety of artists and entrepreneurs——to develop gifts that tell a story. 

     

  6. 5 Questions for Megan ‘Style Girlfriend’ Collins

    Writing as 'Style Girlfriend', Megan Collins makes it her mandate to help guys out of style ruts. One classic rut? Resistance to bright colors. So in her latest mailing, Megan sent a fix-it kit.

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    "If you thought I was going to skip pink, you don’t know me very well," Megan wrote. "Apart from my goal of getting every guy in America to burn his bootcut jeans, I will be a happy girl if I can convince at least a few more guys that yes, you CAN wear pink.”

    We wanted to hear more from behind the scenes at hue HQ. And since Megan already quizzed Quarterly founder Zach Frechette on her blog, it seemed like time to turn the tables…

    1. Q: How did you come up with the idea for your latest Quarterly mailing? 

    MC: The theme for my second Quarterly mailing was “Go Bright or Go Home.” Summer took forev-v-v-v-e-r to roll around in NYC this year, and I found myself dressing in lots of fun, bright, fun colors as I waited for the temperature to rise. It was my own version of a rain dance, I suppose, trying to call in the sunshine and warm weather. I thought my subscribers could use pops of color in their own wardrobes, which is how the box of brightly-hued accessories came about.

    2. What’s the best thing you’ve ever received in the mail?

    What a great question! Nobody gets fun mail anymore, do they? That’s why Quarterly is so great; it’s like a present you send yourself every few months. I suppose the best thing I’ve ever received in the mail is the acceptance letter I got from the university I went on to attend. Followed closely by an autographed picture of Lark Voorhies (Lisa Turtle from Saved by the Bell!) after I sent her a fan letter in the fifth grade. I’m sure I still have it somewhere.

    3. What’s the worst thing?

    Easy. Anytime I’ve gotten a jury summons. Ugh.

    4. What’s your longest-running subscription?

    Probably to GQ or Glamour. As a woman writing about men’s style, I try to keep one foot in both worlds. I like to know what’s going on in women’s fashion, because, duh, I’m a girl, while the men’s mag keeps me grounded in the latest and greatest in guys’ clothing.

    5. Which other Quarterly contributor intrigues you the most?

    The man of the summer, Pharrell Williams! I can’t wait to see what the singer/producer/renaissance man has in store for his first Quarterly mailing. I’ve been inspired by Williams’ talent for so long and am always impressed by how many different things he has a hand in——from music to art to clothing. I know that whatever he sends out under the umbrella header of “curiosity” will be especially inspiring!

    Thanks, Megan! Be sure to grab #SGF03 (or grab it for the drab dude in your life) before it closes.

     

  7. #SGF01: Back to Basics

    If you’re Megan "Style Girlfriend" Collins, sending guys items to clean up their act, where do you begin? With literally cleaning up their act.

    In #SGF01, Megan wrote about the “grooming product cemetery” that is a typical lad’s shower. And she sent a whole bunch of upgrades, plus a fresh dopp kit to hold them. 

    But you know another great thing about Megan? She recapped all the good stuff herself. Head over to Style Girlfriend for more pictures and full details on the mailing. And once you’re done, sign up for #SGF02 before it closes.

     

  8. 'Style Girlfriend' Launches on Quarterly

    Megan Collins’ style blog has a simple but distinctive twist: It’s a guide to menswear from a women’s perspective. 'Style Girlfriend' is a great concept, not to mention a popular read in the Quarterly office. And it’s taken off this fall: Megan has recently been featured on GQ, the Huffington Post, and several other sites.

    With her wealth of practical (and affordable) tips, we thought Megan would be the perfect debut Quarterly style contributor. And today, that wish comes true. Style Girlfriend is now live on Quarterly!

    The great thing about an #SGF subscription is that anyone can sign up: not only men who want to look sharp, but the friends, family, and significant others who wish they’d stop wearing gym socks with dress shoes. Which makes it—ahem—a pretty great gift. It’s the holiday season, folks. Lend the bootcut boy in your life a hand.