Masculine Style | Tanner Guzy

1/4/2013 | Amy Tibbals
Stacey Jo Rabiger

Tanner Guzy comes from the same humble fashion beginnings as most of us do [cargo shorts, punk shirts, other unthinkables], but the Tanner of today is acutely aware of the importance in reflecting who you are in how you dress. So he made the decision to share his passion and offer his services to fellas wanting a change, a new look, or simply an event-worthy get-up. He's plenty dapper, and there's some well-thought-out reasoning to back it up why men should dress to overawe. Put simply, every loving day on earth, our clothing showcases our strengths or weaknesses, our confidence, our moods; no simpler form of self expression, really.

Wise Tanner started Masculine Style, a fashion consulting company where he imparts his services and knowledge to those men flailing on their own or simply needing a touch of help. I met Tanner at a party, and after a bit of conversation, I was intrigued and curious, so we started the consultation process. I completed a page of basic info, and Tanner responded with a detailed Style Profile page created on his website. I was [happily] shocked by the detail and time spent in showing me specifics in the many facets of men's clothing. Impressed, I met Tanner at City Creek to find a few things I needed to add to my wardrobe. Well worth my time, and likely worth yours, too. Sign up for Tanner's services here. And read on for more on this sharp, local gent...

What piece in your closet means the most to you? I have a pair of my grandpa's old cuff links. He passed away more than ten years ago and they're a great way to be reminded of him. A man's wardrobe should have timeless elements to it; the best way to do that is with pieces that have personal or family history.

What book[s] are you reading right now? The most interesting thing I'm reading right now is a book called The Way of Men. The author writes about how masculinity is rooted in tribalism and the core tenets of what we use to define a man are based on what made him useful to his tribe. He also explains that there is a difference between being a good man and being good at being a man. It's controversial and certainly not for the PC crowd, but it's a great analysis of what makes men function the way we do.

Do you follow any blogs? Tell us your 3 favorite: The last time I checked, my Google Reader feed has about a hundred different blogs I've subscribed to. A lot are style based, some are geared specifically to men reviving masculinity, and others are geared towards motorcycle rebuilds. Of all that I read, the three best are the Style Blogger, the Art of Manliness, and Bike EXIF.

Who or what inspires you? Meeting and building friendships with other local enterpreneurs is probably the most inspiring thing for me. In the last year I've had the opportunity to meet quite a few movers and shakers in Salt Lake. There's a contagious attitude that seems to be inherent to the men and women who are making a name for themselves. The more I experience it, the more I realize that a man is the average of the people he hangs out with - so if you spend your time with people who's only ambition is a quick commute and a company-matched 401(k) that's who you're going to end up being. But if you surround yourself with people who are creative and ambitious, you'll end up making things happen for yourself.

If you owned Salt Lake you would… There's actually not anything I would decree from on high. I grew up in Sandy and Salt Lake has always been a part of my life. I got out for a few years but don't think I'll ever permanently leave. Besides, Salt Lake has done so much on her own as far as growth and development in the last couple of years...she's become a great little oasis from the rest of the world. I'm constantly surprised by the number of local businesses that are expanding nationally, but still want to keep their headquarters in SLC.

Who is your style icon? Paul Newman. Every time I find a new picture of Newman I'm amazed by how timeless his look is. He was able to look good without being pretty. He was stylish without being trendy and masculine without being sloppy. I have yet to see a picture of Newman that looks bad.

How do you view success, and how do you work to get it? It's tough to come up with a real rubric for that. I could argue that success is when I don't have to worry about whether or not I have the funds to make it through the month, or knowing that I've established enough of a reputation that I no longer have to seek out business - it comes to me. What I've come to realize though is that real success is learning to be happy with where I am while still striving to accomplish more. If I meet all my life goals in the next five years it will be very easy to say I'm successful, but I'll also be directionless because I won't have anything pushing me to grow. I have a brand new daughter, we make enough that my wife gets to be home with her full time, I'm building my own business and moving away from having someone else lord over how I use my hours each day - success is just expanding on that and finding new ways to do so throughout the years.

If you could design anything, what would it be? The perfect cafe racer. I grew up fairly white-collar suburban and had a neighbor who was the guy everyone within five miles would come to if they needed any mechanical help. As a result, I never really needed to learn how to work on a car or do much beyond basic household maintenance. About two years ago I realized how much of a problem that was and bought a '74 Honda CB360 to start learning how to work on it. She's left me high and dry in the middle of nowhere a couple of times but I've learned a lot and love the thrill of leaning in to the perfect turn or getting the sweet acceleration spot. Part of working on the bike is changing her aesthetically and if I had infinite time and resources, that's what I'd be investing all my design energy into. Once I get the first bike finished, I'll pick up another off of KSL and start over again.

Talk about your "creative energy"...where do you get yours? What does it feel/look like? It's funny, but I don't really use a lot of creative energy for Masculine Style or for my consultations. The business, its goals, and the processes are all much more linear and logical than they are creative. Men have different appearance goals than women do. Most women dress to accentuate what makes them attractive (and I'm grateful for that), whereas men dress to accentuate what makes them respectable. Unfortunately, most men aren't consciously aware of that end goal, so they either pretend not to care what they look like or they get caught up trying to be attractive instead of respected. My job is to help them accomplish that goal of respect and do it from a nearly-scientific standpoint. Yes, there's plenty of room for creativity and personality, but only after we've laid the foundation of what is good style and how that applies to each individual client. My job is to give them that, and then let them use their own creative energy to build on it from there.

Describe, in a sentence, your perfect life. Self-employed, old house, lots of land, couple of dogs, a few kids, walking to church, a shed for working on bikes and leather, children are good and happy, wife is healthy and a teammate, neighbors are best friends - basically what Norman Rockwell would have painted half a century ago.

What could you not live without? My family. Part of it is the family I grew up with and part of it is the family I'm building now. I know that without the core structure of a family I'd be prone to nihilism like a lot of guys my age. Having people depend on me is what keeps me pushing to be successful, otherwise it would be too easy to play Halo and chase tail all day.

What attracts you? Sincerity. I don't care if a person is sincere about something I ardently believe to be wrong...as long as they're sincere. We live in a time where the default mentality is either cynicism or irony; it makes sense because we've seen everything we've believed in start to crumble around us. Churches and their members can be corrupt, businesses exploit, the government is a giant leech on productive people - I get it. But cynicism is the coward's way to deal with it. It takes real courage to be sincere in a cynical world - whether you're Tim Tebow or a Mormon girl who wears pants to church.

What catches your eye on the street? A well-dressed, masculine man. I'm always scanning for stylish men and Salt Lake has a lot of them. But, we don't have a whole lot that are both stylish and masculine. When I do see men like that I immediately approach them and introduce myself. I want there to be enough men like that in Salt Lake that it's commonplace for me to see them.

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