The Style Perspective: Jenna Lyons

Our monthly dose of sartorial wisdom (via Details) comes by way of Ms. Jenna Lyons, creative director of one of my favorite brands, J. Crew. Here she gives us her thoughts on mixing and matching, overdone men, and updating one's wardrobe. While all fine points, pay extra attention to number 6. One of the golden guidelines I follow for sure!

J. Crew's Jenna Lyons getting her foxy on

There's nothing sexier than a blazer, a tie, and jeans. And yet most men can't put it together; they either end up with a suit and tie or jeans and T-shirt. Try taking half from one look and half from the other. Chances are you'll get something a little bit cooler.

Men don't shop enough. Being current has everything to do with finding the place you want to shop, whether it's J. Crew or Tom Ford. You have to get off your duff and get out there, because styles evolve. Certain things are classics and they do stay, but men need to keep updating their wardrobe, because change is subtle. For example, denim is getting slimmer. If you're wearing jeans from two years ago, they probably don't look current. Get a new pair of jeans.

Overplucked, overdone men are frightening to me. Women want a man who looks like he takes care of himself but doesn't look like he thinks about it more than she does.

A pressed shirt signals work mode. But a washed-cotton shirt automatically makes you feel more touchable, more approachable. It's effortless. However, if everything is washed—that's not interesting. When washed is paired with a blazer and a tie, it looks amazing.

Most men don't have a clue about tailoring. They hate to ask for directions and they hate to ask if something looks good on them. Learn to ask the salesperson. Ask a woman. Great tailoring always makes guys look better.

Get dressed, then change one element. With a suit, wear a pair of Converse, or take off your dress shirt and put on a chambray button-down instead. You can also do the reverse. Try khakis rolled up with wingtips. Tweaking one thing is an easy way for guys to modernize an outfit, even if they don't know what the hell they're doing.

Three subjects are off-limits to my husband: my mother, my ass, and my age. The worst thing you can do to a woman is to make her feel like she's not beautiful anymore. The best thing is to pay her a compliment.

What women notice are the shoes and the watch. Go for understated elegance, whether it's a vintage Rolex or a classic Timex or a watch that was your grandfather's. It's the same with shoes. I love a pair that look like they've been resoled 10 times.

A giant shirt is not cute. If it feels overly comfortable, it probably doesn't look so good. A simple fit test is to check your shoulder seam. It's designed to be on your shoulder line—not somewhere near it.

We don't need you to be perfect. What we do need is for you to look a little bit more pulled-together. And no pleats, please, not ever, ever, in your life. Ever.

Article and photo courtesy of Details' "The Rules of Style."

Styles I Love: Fashion Week Edition

Fashion week is the time when designers showcase their latest creations and unveil them to the world. Off the runways, however, a different show is going on too, one that is conjured up by those who came to be spectators but ended up leaving with everyone's attention, well at least mine. This is an ode to those people. I say congratulations for a great show, and I look forward to attending again soon!

An off-duty male model looking bad ass in a leather jacket

Designer Odelon Simpao: Sweet two-tone shirt

Stylist Sidney Yap: Love the understated marching band jacket!

Viktor loving his own and pairing it with a black blazer

Sonny showing you how the shirt + (Viktor) jeans look is done

Rodney Picar's embroidered pants are a prepster's dream, so chic!

Joey Samson's sweatpants are a must-have, looks so comfy!

Wasn't able to catch up, but their oversized blazers were a nice touch

I'm a sucker for basics which fit perfectly, just like Don's execution here

CJ looks like the British punk

Andrei invokes a bit of the Japanese style

And David, the glam rocker

Robbie Carmona's cropped pants and blue belt make the outfit pop

The sheen of the trousers and the fit of the clothes take center stage

The Blog Squad: Style-Anywhere, Beautiful Things, Styles I Love all in red

Teresa Herrera looking fierce after her show in a black jumpsuit

The beautiful Sarah Meier (love that skirt on her!)

The sisters Herrera: Different styles but both very sweet

Style I Love: Spike Acosta

I ran into my friend Spike recently in High Street and I just had to take his picture. If anything, his outfit shows you how to look cool in the most basic of clothes. I mean, how basic can you get? White V-neck, gray jeans, and some slip-ons and yet he manages to look put together.

I say blame it on the fit, the added touch of accessories, and the man's good looks. That combination is always foolproof. But wait, there's more to this cool casual look than meets the eye. It's quite easy on the wallet too. Spike told me that he got his probinsyano banig fedora at a friggin' farming expo(!) and his sweet striped shoes at SM for 200 bucks! Dope right?

In the end, he actually apologized for not having any high-end stuff on, but I say for what, my friend? True style is all about resiliency, knowing where to shop, and having an eye for combinations that pop. Really now, you don't need to have boatloads of cash for that, do you?

Straw Fedora from a farming Expo, Carter v-neck shirt
Tim's Guarantee Jeans from Switch, Advan slip-ons from SM

The Item: Puma 917 Mid Factory

I made a promise to myself recently that I won't buy sneakers anymore. It's not that I no longer like them, it's just that I've noticed that I end up not wearing quite a few pairs, which generally means I already have too much. That said, I still have a hard time looking away from this pair right 'ere from Puma.

Even if you're not a fan of the brand in particular, you just have to admire the concept and craftsmanship behind these shoes. The 917 Mid Factory, as it's called, draws inspiration from a racing heritage and took its name from the Porsche 917, the same car Steve McQueen drove in "Le Mans."

What I love most about it though is the paint job. With all the beautiful sketch detailing, it presents this 2D illusion, as if you tore the shoes right out of an artist's drawing book.
So lovely yes, but I keep on telling myself I don't need it, so y'all better run to select Shoe Salon branches now and buy them out before I do!

Pay attention to the imperfect finish of the paint, even the laces have it!

Just like wearing a painting on your foot, ain't it?

The Guide: Fashion Week Outfit

Today marks the first day of Philippine Fashion Week, and as luck would have it, I was able to get on the guest list for tonight's main event thanks to designer Raoul Ramirez. The problem I have now is deciding what to wear to the big shindig. Oh, what to wear indeed?

You see, this is my first time to attend a show and the invites I've gotten list "fashionably chic" as the attire, which really, means nothing to me. I mean, in my opinion, you can be fashionably chic in jeans, a plain shirt, and some cool shoes. Should I go like that then?

Still a bit clueless, I decided to go to the experts - the denizens of the most stylish places on earth: New York, Paris and Milan. I wanted to see what the common practice is when it comes to dressing up (or down) during their much celebrated versions of this week-long parade of style.

So via the Sartorialist, I've narrowed down my favorite looks and have taken each apart to highlight the elements I love most. Hopefully by the end of the list, I will have made up my damn mind on what I'll be wearing in about 5 hours from now at the much awaited show. Wish me luck!

Love the colored socks from Yeezy, but man, lighten up will 'ya!

Bowties are awesome. Don't know about the suspenders though. Too literal.

If only it wasn't a friggin' sauna in this country, Mr. Bentley...

A casual look that cares from GQ Style Guy Glenn O' Brien

I'm considering wearing the shorts I got made after seeing this

Not a fan of the ripped jeans, but the color combo wins

The t-shirt under blazers look, haven't tried it, but it works here

I've picked up a lot of ideas from looking at these. Definitely have contenders now for items I will likely use and put together. I'll let y'all know how it goes. See you guys and gals at the show later!

Update: In the end, I came up with this little number. Like I said, I wanted to wear the shorts I had made, but felt like I had to dress up a bit up top due to the lack of fabric below. So I went with the trusty sweater over polo combo. Love how the red and blue came together. As I've mentioned before: Best color combo ever. Thanks to Dhon of Runway 2 Reality for the snap.

Why so serious still?

Thanks to Ian Villar for this wide-angle picture!

Photos courtesy of the Sartorialist, Men.Style, Runway 2 Reality, and Ian Villar

The Store: Superga

Italy is renowned all over the world for making the finest handmade dress shoes. However, an Italian classic of a different sort has come to our shores to show that their skills are not just limited to that. Some months ago, Superga finally opened its doors to the Philippine market, allowing us to experience the wonderful world that is casual Milano style.
Hailed as the People's Shoes of Italy, Superga was born way back in 1913 and has remained on the soles of "the people" ever since. With timeless designs and a comfortable fit thanks to the lack of lining, there's no wonder why these kicks have become classics. And yes, with two branches already open in Eastwood Mall and Greenbelt 5, it's only a matter of time before we all become believers.

Superga has landed: A view of the Eastwood Mall branch

My top pick among the pack would have to be the Torinos. Made of super breathable canvas and with a classic look that rivals Chucks, it's the perfect shoe to have with you on those days when you know you'll do a lot of walking. I tried it out for myself and boy, do they feel good. The fact that they come in a lot of colors is a major plus too, but if you're like me, there's really nothing better than a pristine white pair dirtied by time.

The Torinos: A lil' dirt and this baby will be perfect...

The Sardegna is a fine model too, falling into the category of hybrid shoes I mentioned some posts ago. Sporting a more sophisticated feel with the loafer design and leather upper, these are the grown-up alternatives to the Vans checkerboard slip-ons you've been sporting since high school. With a cool upgrade like this, growing up is not that bad, is it son?

The Sardegna: The best of both worlds

While the size and interiors of the stores leave much to be desired, I can't complain about the products Superga offers. Cool casual classics that you'll probably be wearing even when you have kids? Now that's value right there. And lets be real, "The People's Shoe" is probably the best chance us common folk have at getting a taste of fine Italian craftsmanship without going to someone named, say, Salvatore.

Photos courtesy of Superga

Style I Love: Dr. Gerard Henson

True men of style do it every single day, whether on a night out or just a casual stroll to the mall with the family. Dr. Gerard Henson falls into that category.

I ran into him during the Fred Perry sale and while his look may be as casual as can be, it's the details that make it interesting (notice the button-down collar, odd glasses, leather sneaks). Love the fact that he got most of them in Japan during their yearly trip there. Well played, sir. Looking forward to running into you and your equally stylish partner again soon.

Viktor and Rolf glasses, Fred Perry button-down collar shirt,
Neil Barrett cargo pants, Lanvin sneakers

The Sale: Fred Perry!

Ah, Fred Perry does it again. Boys and girls, my favorite brand of the moment is on SALE! Drop by their Greenbelt 5 store and get their awesome items at big discounts! Hurry before your size runs out!

Long live the Laurel!

Update: Dropped by the Laurel store last Friday to finally get the olive Coxsons I've been looking at for quite some time now! Quite the steal at P1,000 off the original price, I must say. The items are going fast so you damn well better pay them a visit today!

Finally! The olive Coxsons!

Why so serious?

As you'd have it, the new shoes fit the outfit perfectly. It's destiny!

My girlfriend went with me and sported her Fred Perry suede Dice mocs!

Fred Perry - The Laurel Shop
G/F Greenbelt 5, Legazpi St.
Makati City, Metro Manila
T (+632) 7290949

Photo courtesy of Fred Perry

The Editorial: A Style that's All Grown Up

While the young streetwear revolution is alive and well here in Manila, I can't help but notice that more and more are sporting clothes which were once considered (gasp) "daddy wear." Y'know, the uniform that consisted of such staples as loafers, trousers, and long-sleeved shirts, which were once associated with people over 35? Strangely, I find myself gravitating towards them a lot these days. And no, I don't feel old at all!

I remember a time when I was shopping in Zara when I bumped into a friend of mine. I was eyeing this pair of driving mocs and I thought of asking her opinion about it. "Hindi ba masyadong pang daddy?" she quipped. And that's when it hit me. She was right, but the shoes looked so damn handsome that I
got 'em no matter what she said. This was two years ago, and since then, I've slowly built up my "old man" wardrobe not just for work, but even for days-off.

Moccasins by Tod's: For daddies only? Of course not!

I don't know when the tipping point was for this movement, but I believe that doors were opened when people like Kanye West and Pharrell Williams started suiting up. To me, seeing these hip-hop icons in more refined clothing signaled that it was okay to wear such garb, cool even. Being as influential as they are, droves of people started following suit (pun intended) all over the world and began dressing a little more grown and sexy.

Pharrell looking dapper in classic grown up gear

Seeing the growing demand for the look, clothing stores began adapting too. Brands began releasing fitted polos which flattered torsos. Stores began reinterpreting classic shoes in slimmed down, more colorful versions. And retailers brought back chinos and khakis to a market that was dominated by jeans. The whole industry seemed to be changing with the times, with even massive brands like Bench putting attention to their dressed up lines.

A repost, but the best example of daddy shoes turned awesome (Fred Perry x Raf)

As you would have it, all these elements came together at just the right time, making the transition easier for boys to start dressing like men. No longer is it laughable for an 18-year old to wear boat shoes (a daddy favorite) nor is it unusual for a youngin' to wear cardigans (a grandpa favorite). With the youthful exuberance of this new generation, such classics are given a fresh interpretation, a new life, as it were.

A look that's old and new at the same time

And so I came to a realization that I never would have had way back in high school: The daddies who've been styling the way they have aren't lame at all; they might even be on to something. They had the right idea of investing in classic, more sophisticated pieces, and if anything, this should be a lesson that all of us young ones should learn and pass on to generations after us.

Speaking of pass on, please excuse me while I check out my dad's old tassled loafers. Once on my ugly list, it has now become quite the object of desire. Imagine that.

Photos courtesy of Tod's, GQ, Hign Snobiety and Rugby

The Item: Burberry Prorsum FW 09 Pants

Never mind the coats, never mind the scarves, ignore everything else you will see below and fix your eyes entirely on the bottoms. If nothing else, the pants from the Burberry Prorsum Fall Winter collection are all about showing you how it's done.

An absolute clinic in my view, as to how your jeans and slacks should fit and fall. While skinny jeans still have their followers, I believe that these slim-straight incarnations from the London fashion house should be the true style staple. A shame though, that you need to spend boatloads to get 'em, but if you got the dough, why the hell not? Definitely a must buy on behalf of us who can't.

You ask me how jeans should fit? Well, here's Exhibit A.

Notice the ever so tiny fold? That denotes the perfect length.

I'm not a fan faded jeans, but the transition here is just so natural!

The slight bootcut and the single break? Signs of amazing slacks to be sure.

Photos courtesy of Selectism

The Sale: Theodore's Shoe Price Cut

I already wrote about the utter awesomeness of Theodore's in a separate post. But damn, this mega shoe sale that they're throwing out there is crazeeee. Including personal favorites like Opening Ceremony and Common Projects for only P1,495 to 4,995, I'm definitely dropping by later today to try and get some. Take one look at the shoes and I'm sure you will too.

Thank you, Theodore's!

Common Projects for ONLY p3,495!

Opening Ceremony for ONLY 3,495!

Swear for ONLY P2,995!

G/F Quadrant 4, Bonifacio High Street
7th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City
Taguig City, Philippines

Photos courtesy of Theodore's Multiply