Emerson College's student newspaper

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College's student newspaper

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College's student newspaper

The Berkeley Beacon

A gentleman’s lifestyle blog wrapped with a bow

In a cozy, well-dressed corner of the internet, you can now find a dapper diary of advice for all your east coast city queries. It’s called The Next Gentleman, and it’s a new lifestyle blog that focuses on the greater area of Boston.

Emerson alum Anthony John Mastracci, ‘16, started The Next Gentleman. The blog is an engaging guide for young men, from college students to young professionals. Mastracci, a journalism major, said many people from the age of 20 to 30 have no one to show them the ranks of fashion or the ropes of their city.

Mastracci said he had the idea to start the blog in college, but did not execute it until after he took a creative business course his senior year and wrote out a business plan for the site. The Next Gentleman launched during his final semester at Emerson and has steadily gained 2,792 followers on Instagram and 593 on Facebook. Oh, and it’s got a Snapchat account, too.

The Next Gentleman covers everything from diet tips, to product guidance, to dating advice. The website has a slick design, with a white, black, and red color scheme with a bow tie on the banner title, hinting at the theme of the blog.

Much of it is filled with funny and relatable references, like an article titled, “A Watch That’ll Give You ‘Wood’” with quotes from Austin Powers, and an article titled, “A Wicked Sweet Breakfast with Truvia Nectar” that says, “Having a sweet tooth isn’t easy when trying to watch your sugar intake. This is especially difficult when you consider cookies and chocolate their own food groups.”

Mastracci didn’t always consider himself a writer. In fact, he didn’t realize he enjoyed the craft until very recently, when he enrolled in a few classes at a community college and loved  it. He wanted to be a storyteller, he said, and in the spring of 2014 he transferred to Emerson College to pursue journalism.

After transferring, Mastracci picked up a part time job at Nordstrom. While working in the racks of the massive retail store, he realized he liked fashion. He liked the rows of clothing, plush fabrics, and beautifully crafted shoes that lined the store—he was entirely charmed by the world of fashion and all its artful and glamorous constructions. He got hired for a second job at Saks Fifth Avenue in Somerville, and, while working at these two stores, he said, he felt motivated to enhance his own style.

What Mastracci liked most about working retail was helping customers find their style. He said he loves offering advice to shoppers, and helping people dress to make themselves feel their very best. With The Next Gentleman, he’s taking this skill and packaging it on the internet.

“I wanted to create a resource where a man could go, ‘Hey, I need a suit, but I don’t have that kind of money. What are my options?’ or, ‘Hey, I have a thing to go to, how can I wear what I have already?’ or ,‘If I need to go get something, where can I go look where [it will] A: fit me, and B: not make me poor,” Mastracci said. College budgets generally can’t afford $1,000,—or even $100—suits, hence the need for his guidance.

Anthony Biancanello, a freshman visual and media arts major, said he felt many websites constrict men to only one kind of style or don’t provide the male perspective on clothing. But this site is different, he said.

“I liked how it showed the variety of what you could wear,” Biancanello said. “And it gave a full view of the opportunities men awarded in their style.”

Ladies, don’t think that The Next Gentleman isn’t for you. It actually has a ratio of about 60 to 40 male-to-female followers.

“I write a lot about events in Boston, and those include females,” Mastracci said. “At the same time, I know a lot of women who love to wear men’s clothing.” He acknowledges and encourages all genders to visit the site.

Isabelle Braun, a freshman writing, literature, and publishing major, said she would have loved to find this blog sooner. She thought she could reference it when searching for gifts for significant others, siblings, or even her dad. She said she loved all the pieces, and found his style of writing to be relatable.

“I have two younger brothers and one is very good at fashion, but the other youngest one is not,” Braun said. “I would probably get him to read it or I would read it for him and instill those styles on him.”

Another way that Mastracci makes his blog stand out is by incorporating multimedia components to his articles, like quirky videos. “Papa John’s + Football= Love” and “Putting the Lumber in ‘Lumbersexual’” are videos that put a face and flair to the blog’s writing.

Currently, Mastracci is working on video content and coordination for Publishers Clearing House, a sweepstakes company. Mastracci said he hopes one day he can focus solely on The Next Gentleman and build enough of a following to turn it into a full blown magazine, like Men’s Health or GQ. He is only in the beginning steps now, but Mastracci said he has a plan to reach his goals for the blog.

“[It’s] the larva of a magazine,” Mastracci said.

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