August 31, 2011


Just like well tailored suits, tapered shirts and trousers – dressed up or down make you look good. Trust me, even the sartorially challenged can make an impact.

Here's what I wore today at work:

(Plaid Hackett Brompton tailored fit in red, bespoke denim trousers and tan cap toe lace-ups)


It does feel like the end of times – earthquake and hurricane Irene in the east coast of the United States, the tsunami in Japan a few months ago, local Filipino designers retagging suits out of boredom, and a huge number of the population replacing actual books to e-books on Kindle or iPad. Horrible!

Just like exposing an awful mangina in public, seeing it again is like anticipating the apocalypse, hoping for a second chance in the world of slim trousers and bespoke shirts.

Anyhoo, my canceled two day sojourn to sandy and sunny south (thanks to an unexpected typhoon) yearned me for simpler times in bed, wrapped in my white sheet with a number of unread books purchased a few months ago.


Just like my obsession with anything classic and vintage, I prefer reading books and sniffing each page than owning an iPad.

I have been alcohol free since Saturday and I just recently finished four books from my nightstand - Bare Blass: Bill Blass’ biography, Cotton by Christopher Wilson, Snark by David Denby and First in his class: Bill Clinton’s biography.

(Sag Harbor by Colton Whitehead)

Currently, I am on my first chapter of Sag Harbor, a story about a black student at an elite prep school in Manhattan who every summer, spends it at the Hamptons.

I understand I have to get out of bed, trim my bush (beard) and change into my blue seersucker short trousers but again, I cannot stop sniffing every page of this book – I must stop!

August 27, 2011


Sure, I love looking clean, crisp and well pressed in my usual white dress shirt and dark denim trousers but guess what, I cannot seem to pull off tailored chino shorts paired with a nice blazer.

(Paul McGregor, online retailer and Owner of Brighterman)

I recently got the chance to squeeze in my already hectic schedule with Paul McGregor’s for a quick chat on looking good, staying stylish even off the clock and why having the perfect summer bag is all that matters.

What do you do?
I'm the owner of the online retailer Brighterman, who specialize in men’s accessories. I established Brighterman about 2 years ago and from that have been heavily interested in the fashion industry. I'm also a freelance fashion journalist, writing for online publications such as FashionBeans, Styloko, TheStyleKing, Pinstripe Magazine plus a few more... I like to keep busy! I'm also a huge football (soccer) fan and produce music when I get the time.


Describe your personal style.
Currently its quite elegant, I am a huge fan of the smart/casual preppy look and that's what I have been rocking for a while now, especially summer. I've had an obsession with pairing tailored chino shorts with a decent shirt and linen blazer and brogues or loafers, accessorizing with a pocket square, a decent watch and maybe a tie or bow tie depending on how formal I want to push it. I'm also a fan of retro casual, graphic t-shirts and cardigans hit home with me. This being said, I don't like to categorize my style, if I like something I wear it.

If we go through your closet, what would we find a lot of?
Secrets... On a serious note, linen blazers and shirts. There both timeless garments which go with most looks.

Who or what inspires your personal style? Can you briefly talk about it?
I take inspiration from a lot of sources, whether its just random street style photographs or people I see down the high street. I've always been a fan of JFK (John F Kennedy) and the way he dressed effortlessly. Although i'm not a fan of imitating trends, I do like to take inspiration from them.

What is the one item of clothing in your wardrobe that best represents you?
A light grey, Ralph Lauren blazer. The neutral color makes it go with anything, and its tailored for a perfect fit.

What are the things in your bag? Would you mind sharing?
As a lot of my trousers are slim fit, I don't like stuffing my pockets. So your normal necessities such as a phone, wallet and mints. Then depending on where I am heading, maybe my Macbook, notepad or a book, I am a big reader!

What do you love most about London?
It's never quiet. The busyness gets my adrenalin pumping, and the culture is great. I love places like Brick Lane and Shoreditch, they have some great little cafes and vintage stores. I live just outside of London though, as I do like a quiet retreat.

And the least?
The prices.

Here is a peek into this stylish retailer’s summer bag.


WHAT IS IN IT? I have been using this red and white striped A&F bag for the last few weeks, perfect for summer. The items I have included are a pocket square ready to wear if I am looking to formalize a look on the spot, reading material, a notepad, my wayfarers and normally my phone (blackberry) - Although its currently broke so I could not include it! The bags pretty roomy, so if I wanted to take my blazer off I use the bag to store that also.

August 24, 2011


I believe clothing and appearance really speak about a persons taste. The clothing you wear reflects that taste level and understanding.

I have always been simple and very traditional with the things I pick. I like solid colors hence having more than 5 white dress shirts in my closet and a number of classic patterns like gingham and plaids - things that can’t necessarily be dated or go out of style for long like my recent purchase online.


Yes, I finally got my pair of black cap toe Alden dress shoes – pretty classic and perfect for dressier launches, client meetings and formal affairs.

Like my trusty tan brogues, black cap toe dress shoes are the most formal shoe you can own. It works with every gray, blue, black trousers and tapered denim jeans.

And oh, make sure they have a rounded toe with leather or wooden soles and are made from real leather. Paying a little bit more is always worth the money!

August 22, 2011


I have long been a fan of seersucker and red short trousers.

Being the official fabric of summer (Lucky it feels like summer all year round in the tropics), these short trousers, when worn with a classic solid pique shirt or button down brings oomph to any outfit.
I recently got myself a pair of extremely lightweight red and seersucker short trousers from Ralph Lauren and guess what, they are definitely one of the best hot weather options - think country club chic.

I have always believed that being sloppy is never an option. Beat the heat by cutting it short (just right above the knees).

Of course, no summer look would be complete without a pair of espadrilles, plimsolls and loafers.

August 10, 2011


I have been raving about Michael Bastian ever since he launched his collection in 2006 and winning CFDA for menswear designer of the year wasn’t a surprise.

Bastian continues to expand his wildly successful collaboration with Gant, a heritage brand world-famous for its take on classic American style.

(Photos from Park & Bond)

How do you describe your style?
"I can’t run away from the fact that I am pretty classic American preppy. But I think spending the last six or seven years basically living in Italy, a lot of that has crept in.

Here’s the big difference between how Italian guys dress and American guys dress: Italian guys’ goal is perfection, and when you see it, it can be intimidating. I mean, you feel the work that went into that rig—the hair and the nails and the shoes. Americans can spend just as much time getting ready and thinking about it, but the effect when you hit the street should be that you spent no time. All of the intimidation needs to be scraped off to make the American look work.


But the best looks come on those days when your mind is disengaged and pulling what you love and you’re just doing your thing."

August 09, 2011


Growing up, the pique polo shirt was my uniform. Made from 100% breathable cotton, my mom got me a couple in pink, white, blue and yellow from brands like Lacoste, J. Crew, Le Tigre, Collezione and yes, Regatta. I would usually pair it with my trusty khakis and madras shorts, chinos, plimsolls and Sperry Topsiders – think US East Coast preppy.

(stacked old pique shirts from Lacoste)

Regatta, the local go-to brand for preppy leisure apparel in the country draws inspiration from this season’s exciting University Athletic Association of the Philippines games (UAAP), our country’s version of the National University Athletic Association in the US, to launch its Wear Your Color collection – a new line of shirts from its Varsity Collection that features a play on colors, as well as patterns and layering highlights.

(Regatta's "Wear Your Color" Ambassadors – Kirk Long of the Ateneo and Andrew Wilson of De La Salle University.)

Its varsity collection transported me back to my weekends spent either at the driving range with my cousins, Sundays at our farm down South and school pep rallies during my 8 years in the Ateneo.
“Our Wear Your Color collection is perfect for students who want to express their school pride in a stylish, comfortable and classic way. Whether you’re cheering proudly for your school teams or just want something classy to wear to school, you will surely find something that suits your taste and mood from our Wear Your Color collection,” says Carlo Rufino, Regatta’s Brand Manager.

Giving the campaign a major dose of school spirit are four ambassadors from the Ateneo, De La Salle University, University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas, who embody sports excellence as well as a fun, free-spirited vibe.

With Regatta’s Wear Your Color collection, it is possible for today’s students to express their school spirit garbed in clothes that are casual and comfortable.


August 04, 2011


I find it to be a true blessing to have the opportunity to have enjoyed yet another awesome year.

(I just thank God I don’t live in a trailer. -Jimmy Buffet)

I have always believed that there is a gift in everything. Recently, I took the opportunity to reflect on my short 29 years and I find myself in deep gratitude for all the surprises life has given me and continues to give me. Anywhere from blessing me with supportive parents, a successful career to being able to look at life from an optimistic view (which I tell you, irritates mom big time).

(This year was a year of mixed blessings.)

Yes, I did manage putting 29 pairs of red socks and a couple of gingham shirts in purple, red and blue up, turning a year older wasn’t difficult - It actually seems to be pretty ok.

Life is truly a blessing especially when you choose to consciously enjoy it.

This year, I’m spending it with good friends and family over paella , cojonudos, chorizo, tapas and sangria. Definitely not at El Bulli but just as good with the right company.

Grazie così tanto. Chinchin!

August 01, 2011


I have never considered myself a fashionista nor want to be called one.

No, I am not the man responsible for the proliferation of plaid shirts throughout the metro and, increasingly, around my circle.

Actually, I recently took a break from wearing plaid and got myself four new white dress shirts in cotton, linen and more cotton. In fact, to soak up from Manila’s damp weather, I just got myself a new one.

With all five new dress shirts (yes, I am a happy shopper!), I thought of getting myself a new bag to pair them with.

Last night while trying to score something online, I came across this nice bright green cotton canvas backpack with contrasting light brown leather trims from Seil Marschall.
Truly perfect, this backpack comes with drawstring and adjustable strap closure, adjustable shoulder straps, and zipped internal and external pockets. Need I go on?