November 28, 2013


26 more days! Yes, 26!  All the good intentions in the world mean nothing when Christmas ticks around and you realize you don’t have a gift for your best friend and parents who has everything, or your picky sister who thinks having 10 cable knit pullovers from J. Crew isn’t enough. Control those cold sweats and don’t panic – many shops now trade for longer hours at Christmas time (hello, you have 4 more additional hours until midnight!) and online sites like eBay, Net-A-Porter, Porter and One Kings Lane promise swift delivery for online purchases. But if you’ve left it too late and can’t wait for additional 3 days until delivery or 10 days (my case since I’m in the Philippines), then head to the nearest mall and start shopping.

I have compiled nine gifts you can buy, that won’t so much look as if they were an afterthought.
A gift with a conscience, the Clever Canvas Tote from Love Brand & Co. is perfect for those who want to give in more ways than one during the festive period.
Candles from W17 in fig, pear, cognac.
A finely crafted piece of furniture from E. Murio. Trust me, it’s perfect for a friend who’s nesting and looking for an accent piece for his/her home.
Ground rules - hand knotted, hand tufted rugs by Inigo Elizalde for Tai Ping
Get him fitted! Bespoke basics from Ascot Chang. Enough said.
One for the little one at little bean sprout. 
Holiday diffusers from Daphne - a divine scent is always appreciated.
And yes, basic matter – you can’t go wrong with classic nylite canvas in white from Tretorn

November 25, 2013


I have finally learned my lesson! Washing every day with branded shampoos from the US has done more harm than good to my hair. In fact, I sometimes end up looking like Angela Davis (think, frizzy big dry hair)!
Thank god I didn’t need to overhaul my entire routine – I still lather and rinse like most of us do, but of course, with Davines Purifying Shampoo. This bottle of wonder cleanses and purifies your scalp with a hint of dandelion – it’s perfect! Seriously, I don’t mind paying $28 for a small bottle that smells like heaven.

November 12, 2013


(Waxed cotton Barbour jackets and pique from Fred Perry are available at  Cockney Rebel Fashion, 43-45 Bridge Place, Worksop, Notts, S80 1DT)
REWIND: After spending 8 days in the south to visit my mom who is currently undergoing dialysis and a side trip to the family mango, durian and purple mangosteen orchard, I noticed I didn’t pack much, only bringing with me 3 trusty pique shirts out of almost 17, 3 pairs of shorts and a pair of khaki trousers in cotton twill.  People who know me well know I only wear my pique shirts to the beach, the farmers market or during casual weekends usually paired with shorts and loafers and never during cocktails. But again…

PAUSE:  Rummaging through my old closet

FAST FORWARD: A month before the year ends, I have come up with a few easy steps to increase (clueless guys) your closet’s productivity. Start with these smart multitaskers that easily create a slew of distinctive looks.
(Oxfords, knit tie and pullovers. Photos from Close up and Private)

Scratch the matchy-matchy. Yes, loosen up your rules and watch your wardrobe horizons expand. A knitted tie paired with an oxford shirt don’t seem like the typical office combo (as opposed to the silk ties you’re used to and wrinkle-free shirts), but with the right fiti and the right accessory (think tan leather belts), they look pulled together.

(A huge selection of waxed cotton Barbour jackets are available at  Cockney Rebel Fashion, 43-45 Bridge Place, Worksop, Notts, S80 1DT)
Hello November! Layer unexpectedly – bring out your cashmere pullovers. Invest – a black or gray pullover may go with everything in your closet, but it reads “dullsville.” Meanwhile, a red one (or lime, navy and purple) single-handedly adds pop to whatever you wear even if it doesn’t coordinate exactly. Keep it all cohesive with the right pair of brogues in either black or tan.
Just because it shields you from the elements doesn’t mean it has to be elemental!  Cleverly conceal your wrinkled (unironed haha) shirt sleeves with the best fitting waxed cotton barbour jacket. Paired with the right slim (not skinny – there’s a difference!) trousers and the right bag ( Filson, Jack Spade, etc.), the look doesn’t become cookie-cutter but still sleep and sophisticated.
(Pique from Fred Perry are available at  Cockney Rebel Fashion, 43-45 Bridge Place, Worksop, Notts, S80 1DT)
Finally, make your outfit last past 5 o’clock. Relax a little and pullout your trusty pique from Fred Perry. With shirts cut like a dream, whyi not? Perfectly-cut pique shirts from subculture brand, Fred Perry, paired with the right tailored blazer, a great pair of dark jeans, canvas sneaks or loafers = timeless!  A staple among the mods in the 60’s, the best thing about Fred Perry is the fabric - they do not stretch nor shrink. In fact, I still have a couple from my dad’s closet in navy, white and black.
Dressing well and looking good isn’t rocket science. Now, impress me.