October 10, 2012


You don’t have to wear purple head-to-toe and look like an anorexic Barney or desperately cling to anything trendy.

Today, it's no secret everyone is turning to street style blogs like The Sartorialist, Altamira NYC and the Face Hunter for inspiration.

It is always fun and interesting to see how styles and trends change over the years make a comeback. What felt less like a new fashion season now feels more like a contest on who spends more time in front of the mirror - trust me!

(Clothing every man should own - a crisp white dress shirt and a well-cut suit in navy! Photo from Shentonista)

A few years back, anyone wearing a plain white tee, fake ungraded thick framed glasses, would never be accused of being a trend follower but recently, such things have become shameless clichés.

Take a stroll in any of Manila’s spots from the malls to the newly converted warehouses cum indie establishments  and you will be sure to see a spectacle of fashion-conscious tweens to twenty something hanging about and sporting a number of predictable stylistic trademarks; ultra skinny jeans, spandex leggings, vintage red lumberjack flannel, fake ungraded thick framed eyeglasses and a yes, a keffiyeh ( that huge scarf initially sported by the Palestinians and field reporters) – a completely meaningless cliché fashion accessory.

No, they don’t represent the end of civilization!

Ok, so maybe ordinary denim trousers does get a bit boring sometimes, but was there ever really an excuse for wearing these excessively rinsed-out, high-waisted monstrosities? Although they were soft and comfortable that you could comfortably doze off in them, they did inevitably look as though you did your clothes shopping at the nearby thrift shop (Ukay-Ukay).
While there is the rare sighting of someone effortlessly stylish (this is Manila after all and not Hong-Kong or New York), real fashionistas don’t show up wearing “look at me” outfits – leave it to the fashion victims & wannabes.

(Here's a rare case of me posting a photo of myself - Pale blue dress shirt from Ascot Chang and Navy Blazer from Brooks Brothers.)
I know life can be difficult, but your clothes don’t have to be. Just like me, always stick to your updated basics.

This isn’t the Hamptons but who cares!

Pale, wimpsy and mumsy just like Pewee Herman; banish these words from your mind and incorporate pastel in your regular wardrobe to add insouciant splash of flavor. Think clubhouse style with a dose of Windsor dandyism and here’s the important bit: girls love a hard man in soft colors. 

(Red isn't dead - wear it loud and proud! Photo from Unabashedly Prep)

With the appropriate wardrobe, a triumphant comeback is always assured - fitted military inspired jackets in twill and corduroy, pea and toggle coats, seersucker shorts, skinny and selvage jeans and blazers in navy, khaki, black and splashes of plaid. And who are we to argue?

Basic Matter

Girls always make a point of attacking us guys for our lack of individuality, but it is our stubborn obfuscation that distinguishes us from our predecessors, while allowing ourselves to easily blend in and mutate. It is rare, if not impossible, to find an individual who proclaim himself a fashionista unless desperate for status that proclaims it.

(Roll it up! Trust me, you wont look dowdy! Photo from Shentonista)

Wear them from head to toe unless you are a rock star. Wear just one or two pieces during the day time. For big guys like me, some of the slim-line jackets can actually make you look like you have dropped a few pounds. Be careful with low-rise skinny jeans, which can accentuate a belly. You could try a narrow accessory like a belt or a shoe to update your existing outfit.
How the right clothes can shrink your gut, boost your height, build your chest, broaden your shoulders and give you a better butt. Not perfect? No big deal! Style tricks for every guy shape. Fire your trainer today! Everybody has shortcomings, but not everybody knows what to do with them. Here are tips and techniques you need to take what you have got and make it rock.
See the white, resist the dark side of denim once in a while and go towards the light. This summer, try khaki trousers as stylish basic alternative to blues. They are just as versatile, but look slightly dressier, so slip then on whatever you want to go from laid-back cool to polished-up casual.


Here is how the new silhouettes will measure up to more standard styles, and what to look for when you are slimming it - fitted proportions and fine lines. Trousers are tapered down to the ankle and hug your legs like your insane clingy ex when you walk out of the door. Shoes has gone longer, more rounded if you are in the high double-digit sizes (and please, no square-toe loafers) unless you want to end up looking like bozo the clown. For shirts, definitely a fitted torso. Anyone who has ever had to get darts put in the back of his shirt due to a slim body type is going to want to stock up on these. Appreciate the proportionate fit.

What you should have in your closet:

  • Tapered, updated, slightly shrunken and more fitted single breasted button suit in navy, black or charcoal is a no-brainer. Blazer is half to an inch shorter, body tapered ¾, lapel’s narrower and of course, tie should be slimmer. 
  • The dark-rinse, semi slim / straight cut blue jeans. When your brain is fried by all the denim options, simplify with an old-school pair that has no special treatment or rips.

  • The black pique polo from Lacoste. Never underestimate the star power of a preppy staple that is casual enough for day but stylish enough for night.

(Who said only Dorothy can wear gingham? Photo from Shentonista)

Now is your chance to take the straight-and-narrow path; everything from jeans and jackets to shirts and shoes are showing up in more slender, fitted shapes. It is a style that works especially well for – big surprise – thinner, shorter guys, but as long as the clothes are sized properly, they will flatter average, taller and carrying-a-little-extra body types, too (thank God!).

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