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April 28, 2011 | 12:00 a.m. CST
Gym shorts, tennis shoes and a T-shirt are staples of the stereotypical guy attire, which is usually known as boring. In late January, two MU grads and an undergrad created an online how-to guide for affordable style, and it is bursting at the seams. The Midwestyle, a menswear blog, shows stylish guys how to mix thrift store treasures with designer obsessions because not everyone has a Karl Lagerfeld-sized budget.
The Midwestyle started in late January and has already attracted the attention of bloggers around the web. With recommendations and mentions on top fashion-lover sites such as Refinery 29 and What I Wore, these three guys are staking their claim to a trend-worthy name.
“The first couple times, when someone would feature us on their blog, we would get all excited and call each other on the phone,” says Cameron Niederhauser, the 20-year-old assistant to the editor.
A desire to showcase Midwest attire drove 23-year-old Creative Director Jeff Kieslich to recruit Niederhauser and 22-year-old Editor Seth Putnam. Their mix of one-of-a-kind thrift finds and gush-worthy designer pieces makes their site stand out. “You can look just as good pairing $200 designer jeans with a $4 thrifted shirt,” Niederhauser says.
Kieslich and Putnam say being recommended by What I Wore, whose creator, Jessica Quirk, is a full-time blogger and a fellow Midwestern, was particularly flattering. The day after her mention, The Midwestyle received several thousand page views. Apart from the occasional flood of views, the blog consistently draws waves of attention on its own. From March 17 to April 16, page views totaled 37,148. The site’s 23,548 page visits that month came from 87 countries and territories.
Putnam and Kieslich want to show real guys with their real clothes, not exorbitantly priced blazers they’ve only seen in magazines. “Here in the Midwest, we’re not devoid of culture,” Kieslich says. “Our blog shows that Midwest men do have style.”