Crusading For Classic Fashion

MSNBC’s Style Patrol gets to know how Andy Gilchrist built his online style community, his thoughts on fashion and men, and has some style questions for Andy.


Are suspenders in style? Should dress socks match shoes or slacks? What’s the difference between chinos and khakis?

For the past five years, Andy Gilchrist — founder of Web site Ask Andy About Clothes — has fielded such questions from thousands of fashion-conscious readers.

All the advice he offered to customers eventually prompted him to produce a photocopied pamphlet, which three years later grew to become “The Encyclopedia of Men’s Clothes” ($19.95). The self-published CD-ROM volume — aptly named at approximately 800 printed pages and for sale on the site — includes a comprehensive approach to achieving the look.

Yet a main feature of Gilchrist’s advice is his emphasis on style and fit over price tags and designer labels. “You can buy at Marshall’s or Ross or J.C. Penney or department stores,” he says. “You don’t really have to have money to look good. A lot of it is knowing what to look for — knowledge is power.”