Alexander Ingram, cofounder of art-bedecked menswear blog A Boston Blazer, has appeared in this column before. The 26-year-old’s unwavering faith in the men’s style sense in this city hasn’t changed, but his reach through Instagram (@abostonblazer) and Boston’s own fashion landscape has. We caught up with the Londoner-turned-South-Bostonian for a quick update on the scene.
Q. What have you been up to?
A. I’ve been building a freelance photography gig on the side, mostly with a half dozen small to medium men’s fashion brands. There was a real need for photographers who knew men’s fashion and how to style men, and then also knew the city’s landscape.
So much of what I do is for brands, which are looking for lifestyle lookbooks and want to use the city for the backdrop. I’ve worked with Tucker Blair, who makes needlepoint belts and 9tailors, a custom clothing start-up downtown. And Blank Label, who makes custom suiting for men, North River Outfitters on Charles Street, and then some national brands as well.
Q. Do you think there’s more of a need for menswear specialists in Boston? I don’t see as many women’s fashion focused start-ups, but there’s certainly a hub of men’s.
A. In my opinion, men have been much more willing to embrace a new means of commerce direct to consumer. Men are more likely to purchase online if it’s for high quality or a lower price.
I read a Quartz article the other day that said that men’s fashion is the fastest growing sector in e-commerce, only groceries is second. And I just think that men’s custom clothing, particular suits and shirts, lends itself well to e-commerce.
Q. So are you shopping primarily online?
A.I think I shop in two ways. One way, I do men’s basics at Uniqlo or the Gap, like any other guy. But if I want a really nice pair of boots or something, I’ll do research and then I’ll go toward a small brand.
Q. Were you always a savvy shopping?
A. I wasn’t into clothes in high school. I had long hair and ripped jeans. But in college, I started reading some of those really early men’s fashion blogs, and became interested in seeing what people were interested in other major cities. It was then that I started spending what little money I could on clothes. It wasn’t until after college that I c-founded A Boston Blazer and started seeking out style here myself.
Q. Do you remember your first big purchase?
A. It was a pea coat from Polo Ralph Lauren. I still have it and wear it every season. It’s traditional and had cost a couple hundred bucks, which is more than I ever spent on clothing at that point.
Q. What would you tell a guy who doesn’t know how to begin defining his wardrobe?
A. I’m a big believer that it’s really not hard for guys to dress well. You can pick out a few nice button-downs and dark rinse jeans and nice shoes, get a good haircut, and that’s a good start.
For women, there’s a lot more options, so it’s trickier. For men, it’s fit and a couple quality pieces and you’re on your way.
Rachel Raczka can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.