Andrew Holleran / Photo editor
If you’ve ever heard of Reddit, you probably know the forum-based website as a place for computer nerds and meme enthusiasts to talk and banter anonymously about a lot of stuff the general population doesn’t really understand. What you might not know, and might be surprised to hear, is that one of the largest up-and-coming online forums for men’s fashion and style is located right inside of Reddit’s digital walls.
For a little background, Reddit is a social news website composed of countless subforums called subreddits.
Each reddit is designated to a different theme, topic or idea, and members can subscribe to different reddits of their choice. President Barack Obama, Zach Braff, Neil deGrasse Tyson and other notables have even taken to Reddit to answer questions submitted by users.
This certain menswear-centered reddit, simply named Male Fashion Advice and commonly referred to by users as MFA, gives its nearly 140,000 subscribers an outlet to discuss men’s fashion in a casual, low-key setting. Rather than focusing on high-end labels and designer shows, MFA sticks to doing what it was intended to do from the very start: teaching men how to dress stylishly and affordably for everyday life.
The MFA style is a pretty traditional one. It’s comfortable, yet professional; fashionable, but reserved. It sets a basic, simple wardrobe of classic staples, which men can expand on and make their own. The forum sets a fashion-forward style for the common man.
While browsing through the long list of user-submitted posts on MFA’s main page, you’ll find anything from the fashion-clueless asking general questions about matching T-shirts to pants, to style-savvy “experts” giving advice and posting photos to inspire others.
Another common element of the MFA community is self-posts, where guys post pictures of themselves, often from the neck down to preserve anonymity, in an effort of looking for advice, criticism or praise of the outfits they assembled.
For many, myself included, it might sound a little intimidating, excessive and weird for guys to post pictures of their daily outfits for anonymous contributors to comment on and, sometimes, tear apart. The thing is, for a lot of people, it works.
Success stories, where men show photos of themselves before and after their dive into MFA, line the wall of users’ posts everyday.
While an Internet forum might not seem like the most conventional avenue for men to learn to dress, the high level of interactivity the website allows is exactly what makes MFA such a success. Rather than just being told what to wear, subscribers can converse with others to find out specifically what will work best for them. Through discussion with complete strangers, they can bring themselves from style-confused meme enthusiasts to sharply-dressed gentlemen in a matter of weeks.