Posts Tagged ‘pinoy style’

Style Substitute: Jackets

April 18, 2013 Leave a comment

Style Substitute is a series that will show you how replacing just one item in your outfit can have such a large impact on the rest of your appearance. I know that most won’t have the time or resources to go out and buy an entirely new wardrobe, so I’m going to start off one piece at a time.

A weird trend I’ve been noticing everywhere is topping off an office attire with a casual, sporty jacket (I am differentiating this from a”sports jacket” AKA “sports coat”, which is perfectly fine and will be discussed later) . This looks strange and has no place in a proper workplace. It’s like people are thinking “Oh I’m going to look uptight looking formal so I have to spice it up and look hip with a Nike windbreaker!”

What the hell?

I don’t even have to explain in-depth why this is a terrible look. It’s a walking contradiction. It’s akin to wearing sweatpants with a shirt and tie (I hope I’m not giving you any ideas) or wearing dress shoes while going to the gym.


1) Cardigan

The cardigan has a rich and illustrious history. Unfairly labelled as clothing your grandpa would wear, a proper fitting cardigan can be an excellent business casual outfit: A step-up from a casual jacket, but not as intimidating as a blazer.

A cardigan can be dressed up with a shirt and tie or dressed down with a t-shirt. It’s one of the more versatile jackets one can find.

2) Blazer / Sports Coat

There are many who think that the difference between a blazer and a sports coat is worth arguing. I’m not one of those guys. A blazer/sports coat is a jacket similar to a suit jacket. The difference is that they aren’t meant to be worn as part of a suit, and thus have no matching trousers. Most will have different colored buttons or casually styled pockets, a dead giveaway that it isn’t meant to be part of a suit.

A blazer or a sports coat is an excellent way to look more professional, especially here in the Philippines where these are reserved for weddings, proms, and CEOs. If you don’t want to look too intimidating, you can opt to forgo the traditional navy blue or black and go for light blue or medium gray.

The key thing about wearing a blazer or a sports coat is that there should be contrast between the pants and the jacket. Keeping them too close to each other in terms of color makes it seem like you’re trying to make it look like a suit — which you’re not supposed to do.

In terms of material, I’d lean towards a cotton / linen blend, as opposed to a mostly polyester jacket. This is because of cotton and linen’s breath-ability compared to polyester. Cotton and linen are also low maintenance. They’re meant to look a little wrinkled, and they still look damn good. If your workplace allows track jackets, it’ll allow wrinkled cotton jackets.

Three blazers / sports coats. Note the contrasting buttons which characterize a blazer, not a suit jacket. Also note the clear contrast between the jacket and pants. Also look at the guy in the middle. He still looks extremely casual while looking neat and put together. That’s what a blazer will do for you.

“Can I also wear a suit jacket as a make-shift blazer?” Yes you may, as long as — again — you don’t try to match the colors of your pants to your jacket. Unless of course, you’ve decided to wear the matching pants. The most classic combos are a navy suit jacket and grey / khaki pants.



Do you have any other substitutes for the track jackets people wear on top of dress shirts? Hit the comments below!


Style Substitute: Shoes

March 24, 2013 Leave a comment

Style Substitute is a series that will show you how replacing just one item in your outfit can have such a large impact on the rest of your appearance. I know that most won’t have the time or resources to go out and buy an entirely new wardrobe, so I’m going to start off one piece at a time. Your transformation to a dapper gentleman will be a gradual one, also ensuring you won’t be the butt of your office’s jokes if you suddenly show up one day looking very different. Yes, it happens a lot here in our country, which should be the topic of another article entirely.

Your typical Filipino office worker probably goes to work in black, pleated “dress” pants, a billowy dress shirt, square-toed, synthetic loafers, and a too-wide necktie. While I can write an entire article on the entirety of this outfit, let’s take a moment to focus on shoes. Shoes make the man, as some say.

More after the jump!

Read more…

Wearing shorts

September 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Shorts are part of everyday Filipino wear because it’s so damn hot all the time. However, so many people do it all wrong. Whether it’s wearing boardshorts to the mall or basketball shorts to class, it’s as if shorts are like a white flag that you wave. It’s a way of admitting you didn’t put forth any effort in presenting yourself on that particular day.

The folks over at Primer Magazine perfectly illustrate how to wear shorts with pride and dignity. All bases are covered, from the fit, the appropriate length, and what to wear with them. I was originally supposed to make a full post about shorts but since Primer already wrote about it so well, I might as well just share it with all of you.

Now make sure you save your basketball shorts for the gym and your boardshorts for the beach. You don’t even have to spend for a great looking pair of shorts, either, as I mentioned in my previous post. Buy two or three pairs of shorts in navy, khaki and grey. Boom, you suddenly have three pairs that can go with absolutely anything.

My top 5 most visited style websites, and why I think they’re awesome

September 18, 2012 Leave a comment

I would not have made this personal journey to being a better dressed man without these style websites I am about to share with all of you. Each of them has their own unique twist in sending their message across, but they do it so effectively I can only hope I can compare to them in the future.

  1. – Easily my most visited style website. Joe, who runs the website, manages to post over two to three times a day, five days a week. It’s incredible how much he posts and how rich his content is. There are posts about sales, style debates, and they even have Beth come in every now and then to talk about things from that confusing woman’s perspective. Dappered mostly focuses on finding affordable, timeless style. Their style philosophies are ones I’ve picked up over the past few years.
  2. Primer Magazine – One of the best looking style websites out there. What I love about Primer is its “The Getup” posts. All of their posts are pleasing to the eye and they have some serious graphic design skill. It’s literally an online magazine. They also never go overboard with the prices of their suggestions. Their non-style articles are also worth reading. There are articles on fitness, attending job interviews, and other matters that appeal to guys like me, guys out of college.
  3. Effortless Gent – Has a ton of great content, even though Barron’s rate of posting has gone down — and understandably so, he’s got a clothing business to run now. I love this site because its approach on fashion and style greatly influence how I do as well. One of my favorite articles is his guide to Business Casual. He put together 7 different looks with just 9 versatile pieces. An versatile wardrobe with interchangeable pieces is something I definitely recommend and that post illustrates exactly why.

  4. Real Men Real Style – The great thing about this site is that its owner, Antonio, also creates videos that discuss his posts. His YouTube channel already has hundreds of videos, and you could spend hours or even days just watching them. They’re simple and never flashy — just Antonio talking about style with a black or white background.
  5. Men’s Style Pro – Another great website, Sabir Peele is just plain stylish. His looks are colorful yet never over the top. He effortlessly toes that fine line between classic and trendy. He also has an athletic-lean build, which I soon hope to achieve, but will probably never do so.

There are always too many to mention, but these are those that have had the most impact on my “personal style”. They don’t promote trends, overly expensive brands, and items that will just go out of fashion a few years from now. They go for affordable quality pieces that will never go out of style. That’s why these blogs are my favorites.

The highly popular polo shirt and how to wear one

September 17, 2012 Leave a comment

In this terribly hot, humid, Filipino climate, polo shirts — or collared t-shirts — are seen as the easiest way to dress up. They go well with jeans, khakis, and even shorts. Growing up, polo shirts were the staple when mom asked me to “wear something nice”, and I bet it’s the same for a ton of you out there.

Note: I don’t really know how it happened, but in other countries, the term polo is exclusively used to refer to a t-shaped shirt with a collar and placket. Here in the Philippines, however, button-up shirts, both long and short sleeved, are called polos as well. I’m not going to question this anymore as it’s just a matter of Philippine culture — similar to how sneakers are called rubber shoes.

I’m never a proponent of going for expensive brands. Most of my polo shirts are well under 1000 pesos each. Going the ukay-ukay route is always an option — just check for any stains or foul odors that may not go away so easily. The key here is to go for something that FITS, the right FABRIC, and in a CLASSIC DESIGN.


Let’s start with the fit. As with any shirt, you want something that flatters your body type. No, sleeves that end at the elbows do not flatter your body type. You want the shoulder seams to end precisely at your shoulders. Trimmer guys will want to opt for the slim fit, while larger men may want to consider a standard cut. Still, the shoulders are the most important aspect of any shirt’s fit.

This is definitely not a look you want to go for. We’ll talk about the pleats some other time.

Lacoste Pique Polo

This is how a standard cut polo should fit. Shoulder seams end at the shoulders. Larger men will appreciate this cut, while slimmer men should opt for a more modern fit which tapers at the sides.

Now, there will always be people who don’t like clothes that actually FIT. Here are two of the arguments I usually hear:

1) I want to be comfortable

An issue some people might raise is that a loose-fitting polo equates to comfort. Well, they couldn’t be more wrong. A loose fit will leave one with more fabric hanging from their body. The looser the fit, the harder it is to move around, as well, due to the unnatural drape of the shirt not permitting the body to move as freely as it should. The unnecessary extra fabric also traps heat and sweat, adding more discomfort for the wearer.

2) Loose fitting shirts hide my large belly 

Just to clarify, I am by no means endorsing skinny polos that are worn by anorexic models. I am simply an advocate of wearing clothes that fit. Polo shirts that are too loose add unnecessary bulk to the wearer. To support my case, the man in the first picture above is probably a model with an above-average physique. However, the polo shirt which is probably two sizes too large makes him look two sizes heavier. Buying shirts too large will just hang past your elbows and go past your crotch.

For more tips on how to dress as an overweight man, this blog post is a solid read


In terms of fabric for everyday polo shirts, cotton is always the way to go. Polyester — especially when not used in the moisture-wicking weave commonly seen in athletic gear — tends to trap heat as well as body odor. In the unlikely event that you get caught in a fire, polyester will also melt into your skin. Cotton is much more breathable as well, a major factor to consider in our climate.

There are a lot of performance polo shirts going around. I’m seeing some people wear them as part of smart-casual wear, which is akin to wearing basketball shorts instead of real shorts, or a jersey instead of a t-shirt. While some of them truly are superior to cotton in terms of breathability, moisture-wicking, and other factors I don’t fully comprehend, it is recommended to leave them to their original purposes e.g. Tennis, Golf, or other sports.



Brash and loud as opposed to neat and classic

Avoid overly loud logos and designs. I do not recommend the Big Pony Ralph Lauren polo shirt seen everywhere lately. It’s just too tacky. Professional athletes get paid millions for adspace on their trunks / shirts. You are not a professional athlete. If you’re wearing polo shirts, keep the logos simple. Logos the size of the Lacoste Crocodile, or even the originally smaller Ralph Lauren logo may be considered.


Polos with strange designs have also been popping up as of late. Tribal-inspired designs, loud checks or stripes, and other tacky looks are being sold everywhere. If you want to go for a pattern, neat horizontal stripes are always classic, whether thick or thin. Solid colors are highly recommended.

Basically, you want something you can wear as part of several outfits: shorts, jeans, chinos, under a blazer, or under a sweater. The key here is to buy something versatile. If you can wear an item of clothing with practically anything, it almost pays for itself.


Lavish spending is out of the question for a lot of us. Brands like Lacoste and Ralph Lauren are mostly out of our reach. In times like these, going for any brand that satisfies the conditions outlined above is the smartest option. Even Lacoste can have tacky designs. The most expensive polo shirt can look terrible if it fits the wearer poorly.

Even generic department store brands carry solid colored, unbranded polo shirts, which in my opinion look the best anyway. Just make sure the fabric is free of any synthetic material. I’ve purchased polo shirts from the supermarket that fit great and cost less than 250 pesos.


A staple of the Filipino man’s wardrobe, a polo shirt successfully bridges the gap between casual and formal. Depending on the man’s nature of work, polo shirts can even be considered as everyday work wear or part of his daily dress code. However, done poorly, it can accentuate the wearer’s flaws and make the wearer uncomfortable.

Done well, however, a polo shirt can make a teenager look like a man. A shirt with a collar is always more flattering on any man. Do not be afraid of the polo shirt. Wear it with gusto and snicker at how well-dressed you are compared to the rest of the t-shirt wearing world.

Oh, and please DO NOT POP THE COLLAR.

Thanks for reading!