The following article is the second part of our new series Blogs You Should Know. From the extensive list we presented to you a while ago, we carefully select the men’s fashion and style blogs which are really worth following and introduce you to the gentlemen behind them. This week, please welcome Mr. Grant Harris from the blog Image Granted.
Name: Grant Harris
Location: Washington DC
Hi Grant! Please tell our readers more about yourself. What do you do and how did you become a fashion consultant and blogger?
Image Granted is a Washington, DC based image consulting company founded in 2009 dedicated to solving the complex image, style & fashion issues of today’s professional man. We provide local and international corporate branding and marketing, market research data, private style consultations, editorials, speaking engagements, event planning and other value-based services for men and organizations in need of practical & affordable style advice.
I was born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area, attended the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) on an athletic scholarship, earned an MBA while I was employed full-time, and I’ve owned several businesses in my entrepreneurial career. I’ve been blessed to have built a strong reputation through my local, national, and international business and community involvement and fortunately I have been highly influential in reaching individuals and corporations, both domestic and foreign, through constant outreach.
I’ve been lucky enough to have been featured in several international publications such as The Wall Street Journal, TIME Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, CNN, AOL, Men’s Health and others. I am also a regular contributor to several men’s lifestyle resources. Please feel free to follow Image Granted on Twitter and Facebook.
Tell us more about your blog. What defines it, what do you like to cover?
Image Granted is geared toward men who at one point in their style, in their business, in their life and they are looking for the information to get to the next step or the next level. They’re at point A and the want to get to point B in the most effective, efficient and affordable way possible. I pride myself on bringing these men Q&A’s, designer/brand profiles/interviews, product reviews, reports on events and happenings all from a global perspective while still being relatable to DC.
I have tried to be a stylish voice for men domestic and international who are looking to become the men who they desire to be and present themselves well in any situation with dignity, pride, and style. Dressing men is much more than just putting clothes on their back.
What are the most common mistakes men do while developing their personal style?
There are many but some of the most egregious are rushing, imitating, and over buying. First, many men move too fast in their wardrobe. They want a hand tailored suit before they even know how to tie a tie. Or they want the shoes with all the bells and whistles when they don’t know how to lace them. Moving too fast can end up causing slower growth. Style is achieved over time, not overnight.
Second, many men end up imitating what and who they see on TV or in the last issue of GQ. This is detrimental to a man’s growth in his own style. While one should take cues from those he thinks are stylish examples, he shouldn’t attempt to dress just like him. The model is a model for a reason. The TV star is in movies for a reason just like many men work in a cubicle for a reason. Rocking the latest and greatest isn’t always the greatest.
Lastly, many men over buy. They run to the mall and buy a bunch of stuff at once that fits neither their lifestyle nor their body and they end up feeling depressed because they didn’t achieve the goal they thought they would.
What is the worst atrocity men commit in terms of dressing up with style?
Not trying. Not trying to better yourself sartorially or otherwise is the greatest sin.
What 3 clothing items or accessories do you believe can elevate any man’s style?
Any man who wants to look good in any situation at any time of day or night in any city in the world in the company of any woman or man can do so with the following pieces:
- Navy blazer and/or suit
- White dress shirt
- Brown cap toe lace up shoes
Has running your consultancy business and style blog changed the way you dress? What are the key lessons you’ve learned?
I wouldn’t say my work has change the way I dress. However, the way I dress has matured over the years. I’ve always been conscious of my image and how I present myself to others, but being in the menswear industry has heightened my sense of detail and appreciation of fit, fabric, and function in my garments which naturally leads to a higher level of dress. I’ve learned many lessons in business and in menswear but one of the most important is to stay true to yourself. Whether that is with your style choices or the way you conduct business. Being yourself is the only way to succeed. Trying to dress like the guys in magazines and making business and life choices outside of yourself will only lead to negative results.
Do you have a favorite piece of clothing or accessory?
Outerwear and socks hands down. I’m always drawn to a great coat or a lovely pair of socks. Both of these items are sorely overlooked by most men and each could improve a man’s look simply by paying attention to detail. A great coat can cover a poor suit just like great socks can liven up an otherwise drab ensemble.
Where do you like to shop for clothes?
I enjoy vintage shopping both on and off line. It may be a symptom of being frugal but the majority of my wardrobe is second hand. Most of the fabrics and construction of older garments is far superior to modern pieces but overall I like to buy something new that’s already old. It makes it feel more worn in and the garments seem to have a story to tell.
Vintage clothing is also educational. Many vintage clothing manufacturers are now defunct so it takes some research to know what’s good and what isn’t. It’s also gratifying to be able to handle something that is over 10 years old and maybe more and it look as great as it did the day it was made for much less than something new that was made recently.
Do you have any personal style icon?
I don’t pay much attention to celebrities or people in the limelight. Of course, I’m aware of their presence and their impact on society, but I’m much more influenced by everyday people – people who are living regular lives in an extraordinary way through their style. I take cues from men and women in my inner circle whom I respect and look up to as well as those who I have no connection to other than the joy of dressing well. These are the people I look to and take inspiration from.
If you had a chance to design your own fashion line for men, what would it be like?
I’m not a designer, I’m a curator. I’m not the most creative person. I didn’t get the creative gene. I did however, get the collaborative gene. I’m much better at and actually prefer to work with something that’s already been created but find ways to enhance it to create something new and/or better. I’ve been fortunate to work with several established menswear brands to take a product already in production and put a different spin on it. I try not to recreate the wheel. I just help make the existing wheel better.
What is your key observation about the new trends for the Fall/Winter 2012 season?
I try not to follow trends because they come and go so easily but there certainly are some movements taking place right now. Some of the highlights are the use of Indigo in tailored garments and wovens, a return to luxury with the big three luxury conglomerates posting double digit gains this quarter, olive/green as the color for Fall, shearling outerwear, and the return to natural fibers over synthetics.
What blogs besides yours do you think our readers should definitely follow?
Any and/or all of the following are resources I consult myself on a regular basis and recommend to your readers as well.
A Continuous Lean
A Distinctive Taste
A Suitable Wardrobe
An Affordable Wardrobe
Art and Hustle
Close Up and Private
Off the Cuff
Put This On
The Effortless Gent
The Gentlemen’s Standard
The Shoe Snob
Thank you, Grant, for your answers! Have any questions for Grant? Go ahead and ask him in the comments below!