Friday, April 8, 2016

Life and Style Advice For The Guys From ‘The Style Guy’ Glenn O’Brien


This interview first appeared on The Makeup Examiner February 27, 2015

Despite having taken a backseat and focusing more on the behind the screens tasks at TME, when I was offered the opportunity to do a Q&A with a men’s style expert, I was pretty stoked. When I found out it was Glenn O’Brien … I was rather intimidated. Yes, you read that correctly. This woman, who is afraid of nothing, was actually scared at the thought of interviewing that esteemed gentleman. Glenn’s bio reads like a “How-To” on living life to the fullest, but hey … anything for the guys. Right? So without further ado, here is the interview with Glenn that gives stellar advice on how to do life … with style! 

Yvonne P. Mazzulo: I recently watched a brief interview that you gave about “How To Be A Man”. In the interview you’d stated that “fashion is doing what everyone else is doing and style is what you are doing”. Do you believe that everyone should develop an individualistic approach rather than following what’s trendy? 

Glenn O’Brien: I think that following one’s own instincts builds personality and confidence. Showing genuine individual style is part of what distinguishes a person from the crowd. It shows you’re not afraid to think for yourself.  But I’m not saying all fashion is bad. Over the last ten years men’s clothing has changed its shape, becoming slimmer, with shorter jackets and flat front trousers. That’s not a trend, it’s a direction. I think men should pay attention to directional shifts because they aren’t just novelties, they are real cultural markers. 

Again referencing the interview, you stated that if you approach everything like an art project it would turn out all right. What advice do you have for the guys that aren’t so artistic?

Glenn: There’s a difference between being artistic and being creative and problem solving. I think the key factor in being effective in your work is really applying intelligence, logic and even instinct to the job at hand. Simply doing things the way they’re usually done isn’t going to lead to distinguishing yourself. 

What advice do you have for the guy who is afraid to try anything new because he may make a mistake?

Glenn: Life is really a matter of learning by trial and error. Even if you’ve done your homework and prepared for something new, you still have to experience it and get a feel for it. A lot of the satisfaction we get in life comes from overcoming fear and facing challenges. And challenges are inevitable. You can try to hide from them, but they’ll find you eventually.

I have a housemate that’s just graduated from university. What advice can you offer for transitioning from “college-style” into the work force?

Glenn: You’re not going to follow the herd to the top. At the same time you don’t want to come off as a show off or a freak.  In college we tend to blend in with our peers and maybe we try to display character in a sort of juvenile, rebellious way. What works in Animal House or The Hangover isn’t going to work in Wall Street or Up In the Air.  Career is a whole new movie. Think big pond, not small pond.

You’ve spoken about dressing with a sense of occasion, which I completely agree with. Can you elaborate on that for my readers?

Glenn: I often see young couples where the girl looks really put together in a nice dress and shoes, with well-styled hair and makeup, and the guy is wearing an un-tucked t-shirt and Seinfeld jeans and sneakers. Evolution is all about life adapting to the conditions around it. If you’re not learning and adapting you’re not evolving.

How do you find your own style? Do you have a muse?

Glenn: My grandfather was a Naval officer and then a businessman and he was always well groomed and paid attention to detail.  I think I picked up a lot of ideas about style from Hollywood movies. Certain stars always looked good no matter what part they played -- Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, James Coburn … today we have Clooney. I see a lot of men doing interesting things, but they are usually subtle.  People think of dandies as show offs but the greatest dandy of all, Beau Brummell, said “If people turn to look at you on the street, you are not well dressed.”

What advice do you have for the ladies to help the guys achieve their best self?

Glenn: Ladies shouldn’t hesitate to recommend or gift products to their guys. Women often understand the difference the right products can make. I recommend the new Dove Men+Care face and hair ranges -- including the Deep Clean+ Face Scrub, Hydrate+ Pro Moisture Shave Cream, Sensitive+ Pro Moisture Shave Cream, Ultra Hydrating Cream, Thickening Spray Gel, Fortifying Styling Gel and Fortifying Styling Paste. The brand is helping men shine in their everyday “red carpet” moments (i.e. meetings, presentations, date night, etc.) with their collection of new grooming and styling products.

ABOUT GLENN O’BRIEN
Glenn O'Brien graduated from Georgetown, where he edited The Georgetown Journal. He was editor of Andy Warhol's Interview, then New York bureau chief of Rolling Stone. After a year growing a beard at Playboy he became the first Editor-at-Large in magazine history at High Times, a title which he intended to mean that his whereabouts were unknown. For 12 years he wrote the column “Glenn O'Brien's Beat” for Interview, and was the magazine's Tri-State Editor. He produced and starred in Glenn O'Brien's TV Party, which David Letterman called “the greatest TV show ever,” and he wrote and produced the film Downtown 81, starring Jean-Michel Basquiat. He has also worked as a stand-up comedian, an advertising creative director, and copywriter. He is a Pisces with Aquarius rising, is married, and has two children. He currently resides in New York.

You can catch the ultimate style advice in Glenn’s “The Style Guy” column at GQ and grab a copy of his book “How To Be A Man”! Dove Men+Care products are available online at Dove Men and retailers nationwide.

Note: A very special thank to Mr. O’Brien for taking time from his schedule to share his expert advice with TME readers (and me)! If you’re ever in our neck of the woods, stop by. You’ll always be welcome.


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