Podcasts, about menswear and interesting matters

Reading Time: 9 minutes

The podcast is a strange phenomenon. While the world has moved on from pure radio, adding pictures and dimensions, the whole idea of podcasts is straight back to start. Only, you get to listen to what you want, when you want., clearly an advantage over most of today’s radio channels. From a production side, it’s also very easy to make a podcast, in the most basic form you just need to record something and you publish it to the various channels. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage, as we’ll get back to shortly.

I came to podcasts quite late, as, like audio-books, I could really never see when I’d want to listen to them. My work is of a thinking nature, so I don’t want to be disturbed by listening to something interesting, so it comes down to listening while driving alone, or walking the dogs. Not many hours of listening in a typical week, and I also appreciate silence!

To me, a good podcast has a clear topic, tight production and no messing about. Not to say there isn’t room for interesting diversions or good humour, but there has to be a level of respect for whoever might be trying to listen to it. That means cutting out the chummy asides, the off-topic meanderings and keeping it tight and short. Some podcasts get this, others see a podcast as a way to unload whatever they have on their mind and publish it for the world to endure. Given that there is no scheduled length for a podcast, this means that there are some very long ego-dumps to be found.

Topic wise podcasts are all over the place and may be either a long series about various topics, which means they can go on forever, or have a much narrower scope, sticking to a single topic. From my experience, the former tend to be the more professionally produced, the latter more enthusiast work.

Here are some of the ones I have listened to:

Blamo!

Blamo! has just completed its fifth season and host Jeremy Kirkland has become pretty adept at producing a listenable and tight production. Each podcast features a new guest, and while not everyone ends up being interesting, a surprising number of them are. I often start listening with small hopes of it being a good one, yet most often find that most people do have something interesting to be divulged. The poorest guests are usually those heavily invested in the business side of menswear. More info here, or search for “Blamo” in your favourite podcast app.

Denim & Boots

Denim & Boots is the brainchild of Thomas from Denimhunters and Jake from Almostvintagestyle. Thomas is notable as one of the authors behind arguably the best book about denim, Blueblooded, and Jake is a keen collector of boots and leather jackets. Together they’ve made around a dozen episodes so far, covering various topics within the denim and boots scope. Pretty nerdy and occasionally a little too chummy, but for those with an above average interest in the subject, a decent listen. More info here, or search for “Denim & Boots” in your favourite podcast app.

Handcut Radio

Handcut radio is the new boy on the block and hosted by Aleks, a London-based freelance fashion journalist and editor. The first 8 episodes indicate that this is a serious endeavour, with notable guests from the fashion industry. I think over time the quality of the guests may improve, as so far being a notable fashion industry person doesn’t guarantee that they have anything really interesting to impart. Worth keeping an eye on though! More info here, or search for “Handcut Radio” in your favourite podcast app.

Clobbercast

The Clobbercast podcast started as an offshoot of the Clobbercalm denim shop in Sheffield. Notable as an innovative shop, the podcast has gained some popularity and has continued after the shop was closed down. A wide array of guests in the denim and boots community ensures each episode is different. Not technically well produced and can be unbearably chummy and off topic at times, it’s a good example of the DIY ethos of homebrew podcasts and the hosts are clearly enthusiastic about the topic. Search for “Clobbercast” in your favourite podcast app.

Style and Direction

Style and Direction is an occasional podcast hosted by two young LA residents, Ethan and Spencer. I’m not entirely sure how serious the effort is, but they have the undoubtable talent of being able to rattle on for ages and ages, with endless diversions and off-topic asides, while tenuously staying within the vague topic selected. My favourite episode starts something like this: “It almost never rains in LA, and if it does it’s barely a drizzle, so today we’re going to share our knowledge about the best rainwear for men!”. Search for “Style and Direction” in your favourite podcast app.

Other podcasts I enjoy:

I’ll admit that if all I had to listen to were podcasts relating to menswear, I’d probably go a little nuts. So I thought I’d share some other ones that provide me with fine entertainment when I need something to listen to.

Reply-All

Reply-All is a legend among those with a nerdy view on life. Most often mentioned is the laughter shared by the hosts, but they’re at their best when describing obscure and arcane Internet phenomena in their Yes-Yes-No segments. My favourite is episode # where they try to find out what seemingly random phone calls made to certain numbers are all about. Pretty much every show is a joy to hear and Reply-All is always my first listen when updated. More info here, or find them and subscribe in your favourite podcast app.

Car Talk

Car Talk is both the best podcast ever, the grand-daddy of podcasts and also no longer being made. The result of Click and Clack, two mechanically minded brothers from Massachusets and their phone-in agony aunt style show for car owners with problems, be they related to cars or otherwise. This was my favourite driving companion for year and years, as the level of knowledge, the breadth of competence and the sheer variety were just astonishing. And the laughter, the jabs and the great, warm humour. Never to be replicated. Read the story behind Car Talk here, subscribe in your favourite podcast app or download.

Art of Manliness

Art of Manliness is one of the more professionally made podcasts, with a solid host and a never-ending line of new topics. I’ve not listened to a huge number, but if stuck I’ll always find a topic that holds interest and the guests invited are generally top notch. The title might be a little misleading, as the topics are far more general than for manly men only. More info here, or search for “Art of Manliness” in your favourite podcast app.

99% invisible

99% invisible is another professionally made podcast where they explore the thoughts that go into the things we don’t think about, i.e. what is mostly invisible. It’s been going a while and the backlog of interesting topics is immense. It’s most definitely one to look through when in need of some aural diversion. More info here, or search for “99% invisible” in your favourite podcast app.

In closing

Do you have a suggestion for a podcast I might like? Share it in the comment field!

10 Comments

  • Roland Novak 14/06/2019 at 16:31

    Great reviews and some inspiring sources for my next drives! Thank you Nick!

    Reply
    • nick 14/06/2019 at 17:18

      Thanks, Roland! Do you have any other suggestions?

      Reply
      • Roland Novak 14/06/2019 at 17:34

        Podcasts are rather new to me too, so i will stick to the one you mentioned.

        Reply
  • kenny strain 14/06/2019 at 18:30

    Thanks for the suggestions. A few of my personal favourites are:
    Akimbo by Seth Godin
    Radio-lab: has been going for years and has covered a huge range of topics
    Against the rules by Michael Lewis has been really good
    More or less: behind the stats is great on what is going on behind the numbers you hear in the news
    Revisionist history by Malcolm gladwell is also very interesting
    I could go on and on but they are great places to start

    Reply
    • nick 14/06/2019 at 19:01

      Thanks, Kenny, I’ll check them out! They sound interesting!

      Reply
    • Magnus Holm 14/06/2019 at 21:00

      Radiolab is excellent! This American Life is quite similar, and also rather good.

      Reply
  • Rick 20/06/2019 at 08:44

    Thanks for some new suggestions,

    99% Invisible is great, and they had people from the Reveal podcast on once, which is where I discovered that one.

    My favourite however is the Irish writer, comedian, TV presenter Blindboy, with his Blindboy Podcast. It covers whatever he is thinking of at the point in time, with things as diverse as the history of hip hop, his short stories, social media, innocent swastikas in 1920s Dublin laundry vans (a great one, worth googling if you miss the podcast), mental health, how a volcano changed the course of art….

    Reply
    • nick 20/06/2019 at 08:50

      Thanks Rick, I’ve subscribed to both!

      Reply
  • David 10/07/2019 at 17:42

    The Menswear Shift was a great menswear podcast–their most recent episode was released in December 2018. Unbuttoned is an interview series with Bruce Boyer from I believe the same team behind Handcut. Hodinkee Radio is from the watch website of the same name. I don’t listen to every episode, but they do get some interesting guests and usually the first half of each episode is just talking to the guest about non-watch-related topics.

    Reply
  • Mats Larssen 21/07/2019 at 23:05

    Two Swedish podcasts that are worth it if you understand Swedish: Stiljournalen og Gentlemanualen. Stiljournalen has become more of a “two friends talking about style” in the later episodes, but still worth it. Gentlemanualen is Andreas Weinås and Per Nilssons podcast about style, menswear, watches and everything in between.

    Articles of Interest is a sort of sidekick from the people behind 99% Invisible and is a really interesting take on, among other things, jeans, plaid and pockets.

    The Memory Palace is, at it’s best, a wonderful, almost magical podcast about history, culture and what it’s like being human. Or something like that.

    And I’ve fallen in love with “The Anthropocene Reviewed” by author John Green. Here he reviews two different things every episode (from Super Mario Kart to cholera to teddy bears) and rate them on a scale from 1 to 5 stars. Quite strange and very wonderful if you’re into something off the beaten track.

    Reply

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