The Guide: Of Jeans and Leather Shoes

I remember some years back how a friend of mine criticized another friend for wearing leather shoes with denim. He said it was baduy; he even dropped the dreaded j-bomb (jologs). While the comments were probably well deserved then, I believe that the look can be pulled off with flair quite easily, especially with all the options available these days.

I, for one, paired my Theodore-purchased brown Swear Jimmy 1's with my favorite Levi's jeans for my casual Friday outfit last week, and the combination looked pretty good by me. I just tweaked the look by folding the jeans and sporting my air socks to bring the formal feel of the oxfords down.

Brown leather with dark denim works most of the time!

It's worth mentioning that jeans would look good with penny loafers too. And some classic wingtips. Just make sure to go for slim jeans (not necessarily skinny) and you instantly have another weapon in your ever-expanding style arsenal. (Oh, and you'll avoid my friend's j-bomb too. That's always important.)

The Happening: Really, Urban Bazaar, Really?

I know a buck's hard to come by these days, but really? People from Urban Bazaar, it catches attention, yes, but there must (I repeat, there must) be a better way...

You just gotta feel for the guy in that bag...

The Item: Author's Distressed Leather Cardholders

Going to the Rockwell Urban Bazaar's always a treat. Despite most of the stuff just being for girls, there's always that little something for guys that makes the P100 entrance fee well worth it. Yesterday, when I went with my girlfriend, it was these beautiful distressed leather cardholders from Author's.

Made from genuine leather that the makers got from an overseas trader, one look and one touch was all I needed before I busted out the P350 payment for it. I must say, with the distressed details of the leather that looks as if it has gone through hell and back, it looks a lot more expensive than that! Absolutely perfect for my newly made Styles I Love calling cards, which needed the most stylish home it can have!

If you have time (and why the hell not?), go ahead and catch the Author's girls (look familiar?) and all their other products at the Rockwell Urban Bazaar up to today only!

So many options, but all very deliciously distressed!

My calling cards have finally found the perfect home!

T (+632) 533.9905
C (+63) 922.883.4966

The Item: The Vic Barba Eco-Tote

Before my girlfriend and I watched Up in 3D last night (a delightful movie, go watch), we checked out the previously unavailable and much hyped Ayala Mall Eco-Totes designed by some of Manila's best. Before anything, I must say, a fine job by the folks at Ayala for this eco-friendly collab. Such hard workers definitely need to be supported!

Seriously, though, It came at the right time too. I've been itching to get a new tote bag and what better than these 400-buck beautes, yes? (Cheap and Mother Nature approved!) I initially fancied Jun Escario's design from pictures I saw, but in person, nothing came close to the quality of Vic Barba's.

The Last-Second Winner: Vic Barba

I ended up buying the one which looked to be made of light grayish denim. A fine choice, I believe, for those casual days when I'm thinking of how much I wished Captain Planet was real, sans mullet of course, to save us from all this goddamn mothereffin' pollution.

Barba Option 1: Okay, but the material's just a bit too flimsy

Barba Option 2: The victor thanks to my girlfriend's great eye

The Item: Byrd and Belle Felt Laptop Sleeves

Laptop sleeves are a dime a dozen nowadays, with most everyone having their take on these new techie essentials. The problem is, with all these offerings on the market, I've yet to see one that has really captured me. And I've seen a lot mind you. It's just that they're too boring, tacky, or just downright atrocious for my taste.

That's where Byrd and Belle's felt laptop sleeves comes in. A perfect antithesis to the cold aesthetic of laptops with its raw and fuzzy exterior, these babies are really what I've been looking for all along! Minimalistic, modern, yet traditional all at the same time, it'll make you think of excuses to bring your laptop around everywhere, regardless of how heavy it may be!

I love the pop of the colored zipper on this 13 incher!

The brown leather straps and the snap button closure on this is just beautiful!

Photo courtesy of Etsy

The Guide: Tuck It In or Pull It Out?

One of the things that bothers me most is the fact that a lot of men just don't know when to tuck their shirts in. For years now, it seems as though there has been this great confusion as to when a guy should put it in his pants or just pull 'em right out (yes, you read that right). After some thorough research, though, the answer is none but simple.

If it's too damn long; if it in any way resembles a tunic, then tuck that bad boy in, son! That's the reason they were made that long in the first place; to hold your shirt down and keep them in place. Long untucked shirts ruin the body's proportions too. And you know me, I'm all for clothes making you look better. Oh, by the way, untucked shirts under suits and/or with a tie? Avoid those, please, for me?

"Dude, we so look like tools."

Now if you really insist on wearing your shirts out, go for ones that are cut shorter than those dress shirts you drape. You'll know what I'm talking about when you try them on. It should just be a bit below your belt line, showing all them parts that the ladies secretly check out (we wish). Heck, if anything, it'll simply achieve your primary objective of "dressing up" when you chose that shirt to wear that day. What'd I tell 'ya? Simple as can be!

Look at the difference a shorter and leaner shirt makes! Magic, I'd say!

Photos courtesy of Details and GQ

The Art: Jay-Z's Death of Autotune

The track's been blaring on my car speakers for a minute now, and while the video may not be all that ground-breaking, at least there's now a visual to complement that addicting blend of electric guitar, trumpet, and aggressive drums that Jay-Z has so graciously provided us. Thanks, Hov. Head thumping at its finest!

The Item: Rogues Gallery x J. Crew Tote Bag

My girlfriend and I went to check out the Ayala Malls Eco-Totes on their supposed release dates last Friday, but when we got there, we were told that not all the stocks were delivered. A bit disappointed, I searched the internet for nice totes while we wait for Ayala Malls to get their act together.

Aside from the sweet Uniqlo totes that I saw on Alphabetical, I happened to fancy this collaborative effort from Rogues Gallery and J.Crew as well, if not a bit more. Made of vintage Dacron sails and topped with hand-spliced, marine-grade rope handles, you can't get any more authentically nautical than this. By all accounts, definitely a good thing!

Hard evidence that totes are for men too!

Photos courtesy of J.Crew

The Rundown

  • I Tote You So: Tote bags from Uniqlo and APC that should finally convert all you tote bag doubters out there. {Alphabetical}
  • Back to Basics: Finally, Penshoppe got it. Their "Recut" billboards featured great jeans, sexy models, and not much else. The result? A smashing success. {The CityLifeStylist}
  • Genuine Article: Espadrilles are popping up everywhere, but Mr. Celestial's new pair proves that authentics really are the way to go. {El Bosquejo}
  • Bleach Catastrophe: A truly atrocious Basement Salon horror story that just needs to be retold. {Chuvaness}

Styles I Love: Kiko Escora

For me, there is no better mark of stylish man than when he is in his casual garb. It's when he's in his essence. And I believe if you can look good in the simplest of outfits, then you definitely have my respect. Just like this gentleman.

I ran into him in Greenbelt 5 and there was just something that stood out about his look. I would say it was a combination of the attitude, the hair, the sweet Rick Owens high top sneaks, and the I-would-not-recommend deep v-neck shirt that for some reason, suits him perfectly. A perfect illustration of how you can pull anything off when done with confidence.

Topman v-neck shirt, Dior Homme jeans,
Rick Owens sneakers, toothpick (Kiko's own)

The Item: Leicas Just How You Want 'Em!

I've already talked about how awesome Leica cameras are. Well, my friends, they just found a way to make them just a tad more desirable.

Enter the Leica a la carte, a feature that allows you to customize the look of the M7s and the MPs as well as their viewfinder magnification. From the surface finish to the engraving to the leather cladding of the body, my fave camera makers definitely gave you enough options to make your photographic instrument truly your own!

Check out the link here and wipe that drool of your face, man!

The Leica a la carte process: Just magnificent!

Photo courtesy of

The Item: Fred Perry Fall Kicks

Judging from the sheer quantity of posts on the blog, it's no secret that I love me some Fred Perry. And when they I got their text about the new fall drops at the Laurel Store in Greenbelt 5, I just had to go and see 'em for myself.

As expected, they did not disappoint. I especially loved the shoes. They had that same Fred trademark of being classics with a twist, tweaking the color, the fabric, and sometimes both! Damn, now how can I save money for the Kanye x LVs with cheap(er) yet beautiful kicks like these?

Monochrome Coxsons will never get old!

Love the two-tone colors and the turquiose Laurel!

These are my girlfriend's faves. Awesome details on these suede captoe sneaks!

My favorite of the lot. Sweet two-tone red shoes!

Altogether now!

The Happening: A Shoe Dream Come True!

For a moment, at least! My girlfriend and I went to the Louis Vuitton store in Greenbelt 4 to see the Kanye West collabs up close, and I must say, they're every bit as awesome as I thought they'd be!

Unreal: These Jaspers were quite the sight to behold!

While they didn't have the whole collection available, it was still a treat to see and try on(!) the shoes I've been drooling over since January. A bit heavy on the wallet at 45K a pop, it may take me quite a bit of time before I go beyond just trying them on. Till then, I will just revel in the fact that they're here and available, you know, just in case I find a bag of unmarked bills somewhere. The search is on!

I tried on the red Don's and sadly, they didn't have my size anymore!

Well, a man can dream, can't he?

The Happening: Setting Them White Ones Loose!

For years now, I've been obsessed with buying white shoes. It all started with Adidas Superstars, then Chucks, then Nike Prestos, then...oh, you get the drift. The thing is, with all these pristine white kicks from the past being ruined by dirt and never getting back to their fresh-from-the-box glory, I've sort of built up this phobia of wearing white shoes in fear that they may be contaminated.

Enter my "latest" white kick purchases: a pair of Vans Slip-ons and Vans Sk8 Hi's both in washout white. The Slip-ons I've had since '07 and the Sk8 Hi's I bought last year during my trip to the US. And while you may find this pathetic or hard to believe, I will confess to having used each pair just twice since having them. Yes, my problem's that shitty.

What a Waste: These Slip-ons are two years owned and yet used only twice!

My Baby: The All-White Sk8 Hi

And then some days back, as I was cleaning my closet, it suddenly dawned on me: It's better that they get dirty than just letting them stay pearly white in their guarded boxes! I mean, how can I share the appeal they had on me to the world if I'm not going to wear them? Most importantly, though, why the hell did I buy them if I wasn't going to use them (a stupid question, I know)?

And so, on this day, I set the Sk8 Hi's loose. I let them roam the mean streets of Greenbelt 5, unafraid of a random douche who might just step on them by accident. I said to hell with it, the more I'm cautious with shoes, the more they get dirty anyways.

After surviving the day with the kicks still intact, I must say, it felt real good. I rediscovered why I bought the Sk8 Hi's in the first place and today, I promised myself I would wear them as much as I could. In all honesty, one year in the closet is an eternity for such a great pair, so there is really much catching up to do!

Finally! It took me some time, but they're finally loose!

The Guide: The Proper Tie Length

You may have already mastered how to tie a tie from the instructional post I wrote the other day (I hope), but really, tying the tie is half the story, gents. To get the most out of your efforts, you have to learn the proper length at which to wear it. Yup, even for something that particular, there are best practices too!

An absolute no-no in my book are ties that are too long. If anything, it defeats the whole purpose of wearing a tie to look sharp, exposing you as a man who doesn't edit. There is just something off about it, maybe the disproportion of it all, the fact that the long tie creates this illusion of your torso being too short. I don't know about you, but I don't want to wear anything that leaves me lacking.

I actually like the tie pattern, it's the length that bothers me!

On the flip side, ties that are too short are just juvenile. I mean, I've seen girls rock the short tie and look good in 'em but when it comes to guys, it just looks silly. Especially when it comes to wider ties. Man, you'll look like a gangster from the 50s with that ish!

A practice I wouldn't mind keeping in the past

The ideal tie position for me (as with many others) is that your tie should touch just the very tip of your belt buckle or waistband when standing up. At this length, you will look neither sloppy or childish. At this length, you'll be seen as a grown-up who is well-put together, ready for whatever job that required him to put on that tie. And yes, at this length, you will have maximized the benefits of what may very well be one of the most powerful pieces of clothing you will ever own. No bullshit.

Now that is how you do it, my friends!

The Guide: Tying Your Own Damn Tie

I already wrote a post about the importance of knowing how to tie bow ties. But now, let's get to something a little more basic. While thinking of what to wear today to work, I thought of sporting a tie just because I haven't in quite some time. And as I was tying it, I randomly remembered how a lot of people have already asked me to tie it for them.

Initially feeling good about myself as I possessed this supposedly necessary skill, I find myself somewhat annoyed nowadays when grown men ask me to do it for them. I mean, for god's sake, knowing how to do it is a part of growing up! I know how empowered I felt when my dad taught me how to do it. You may say it's just a tie, but it's really a sign of a authority, of a man who knows what the hell he's doing.

So please, let this mean the end of those requests. I've scoured the "internets" for the best tutorials for the most basic knots for different occasions, so you better not be coming to me with that shiz ever again, you grown up man, you!

The Four in Hand: The easiest to learn and is suited for just about any occasion.

The Half-Windsor: My favorite. Slightly more dressed up without much bulk to boot.

The Windsor: The ultimate power knot that only so few can pull off
(See Ari Gold).

The Item: Create Your Own Cons!

With only one company owning the Swoosh and the Star, it was only a matter of time before something very Nike-iD-ish came Converse's way. And yes, just in case you're still having many sleepless nights in anticipation of the big day, I'm here to tell you that it is here, it is now. (Wow!)

Converse has made a name for itself in the shoe game for their classics, but with their "Converse One" online customization program, continuing their legacy is now in your hands. Okay, okay, maybe nothing that epic. But for the first time, you do have the freedom to customize your Chucks and Purcells the way you've always envisioned them!

With virtually the whole lineup to choose from, getting your dream pair is but a click (or ten) away from being a reality.
Intrigued? Have plenty of time to burn? Feeling just a lil' creative? Then check out the site here!

A good first try for customized Cons, but it could be better
I've always wanted all white chucks with neon green lining!

Photos courtesy of Converse

The Item: Keds x Opening Ceremony Kicks

For years, Keds has been the choice of moms everywhere when it comes to casual footwear. (At one point or another, your mom probably rocked the hell out of 'em!) In recent years, though, the brand has revitalized itself, rehashing its image to appeal not only to younger women, but also to the manliest of men. I mean, with plimsolls all the rage these days, why the hell should they miss out, right?

In competitive times like these, though, differentiation truly is a must. And Keds knows this. Their classics won't just cut it anymore and thus these awesome kicks in collaboration with the geniuses at Opening Ceremony. For this collection, they utilized American trademarks such as denim, chambray, and bandana prints to give the Keds some swagger. As you can see from the end product, they definitely didn't have your moms in mind when they designed these ones, bruh.

I'm a bit unsure about the bandanas, but the denim I totally love

That chambray number is definitely a looker too

Photos courtesy of Hypebeast

The Item: Robert Geller Collection for Levi's

In case you didn't know, Levi's is on sale this weekend, up to 50% off on select items actually. The reason I did not dedicate a post to it though is while I may endorse their awesome jeans as a whole, the local offerings just seemed to bore me, unlike their overseas counterparts. Too much distressed and faded for my liking, I suppose.

Which brings me to this Robert Geller Collection for Levi's. With the brand granting access to its rich archive to Mr. Geller, the designer has given his own take on Levi's classics, putting together what looks to be a very promising 11-piece effort. Heck, just bring that chambray shirt below here and I might start getting excited again every time I visit the local shops. Yes, it's that easy!

I just love the color of the chambray shirt

That denim parka ain't half bad too!

Photos courtesy of Selectism

The Rundown

  • Where are You, Yeezy?: The Kanye West x LV kicks have finally landed on Philippine soil. Sadly, still very much unavailable at P45K a pop. {Beautiful Things}
  • Art Attack: The Ateneo Art Awards 2009 entitled 'The Next Wave" shines the spotlight on promising young artists who'll keep us in awe for years to come. {Style Anywhere}
  • Eye Candy: Pictures from the kickoff to what would be (and I exaggerate not) one of the most visually stimulating weeks in Philippine history. Can't wait for next year's edition! {Project Manila}
  • A Parting Gift: Buddha Banana's Ram expands his shoe lineup with sweet suede Opening Ceremony slip ons from the soon-to-be-moving-out Theodore's. {Buddha Banana}

The Item: Collezione C2 Knitted Belts

Collezione has been enjoying quite the resurgence these past few months with the insanely massive success of their Philippine Map collections (Thanks Rhett Eala!). Now, in an attempt to offer something new, they've released these sweet knitted belts with a brass ring buckle to re-nab those who've already had their patriotic fix.

I for one was actually very excited to have found these, as I've been looking for belts just like this for quite some time now. The ones in friggin' Ralph Lauren were so goddamn overpriced, it was so refreshing to see the price tag of these babies clock in at just P785.Yeah, a bit expensive for a fabric belt, but considering its versatility and quality, it won't take you a long time to see that it's damn sure well worth it.

I'd definitely go for that off-white number right there

The Icon: Kid Cudi

"They define my lifestyle as a wildlife with style." -- Kid Cudi

Relatively new on the scene, Cudi made an impression on me not just with his sick beats, but also his fly style. Distancing himself from the oversized garb of his peers, Cudi opts for a more streamlined look by wearing clothes that actually fit. But what makes his style truly memorable, though, is his ability to combine casual classics and make them look oh so damn cool.

His trademark look includes specs, leather jackets, hoodies, slim jeans, and his favorite, Air Jordans. He was actually even arrested once for causing a ruckus after being forced to wear Reeboks at a Reebok event. (Talk about a man who fights for his passion!) Seriously, though, his knowledge of fits and what looks good together must've come from his years of working retail at American Apparel and Dean & Deluca. Of course, having Kanye as a mentor doesn't hurt too.

Ultimately, what makes his style pop is his attitude and swagger. I've seen many pictures of him just wearing a basic crewneck shirt with jeans and nice kicks and yet he still looks very put together. Some people just have that something in them I suppose. Well, to me, there is no better mark of being a true style icon than doing that in regularity, just like Kid Cudi.

A shining example of Cudi's sick accessory game

Cudi effortlessly manages to just make classic pieces look fresh

A love for layering that is something to behold

Cudi in his trademark specs

Proof that a white shirt accentuated by sweet necklaces always looks good

The red hoodie was a fine touch

Dope shades, Kid

For your viewing pleasure, a video of Kid Cudi's smash, Day N Nite.

Photos courtesy of Complex, GQ, and Vibe

The Item: Rachel Comey and Common Projects Oxford Shoes

Still quite obsessed about reinterpreted oxfords, I would now like to bring up Rachel Comey's and Common Project's updated versions.

Ms. Comey's seems to be made out of a canvas material like the Grenson Fosters I featured last month, but in white and with a beautiful green sole. Common Project's take, on the other hand, utilized gray nylon for its material sans laces.

Both beautiful options if you ask me. I just wonder why no one has yet to have the same design epiphany locally with regard to these classics. Still keeping my fingers crossed, though, just in case that fateful day comes.

A fresh and sportier take by Rachel Comey

I love the gray on these kicks from Common Projects

A closer look for greater appreciation of the nylon upper

Photos courtesy of Selectism

The Happening: Marisa Tomei's Photoset for Boy

Band of Outsider's Scott Sternberg is a genius in selecting personalities for his "Boy" line for women. First there was comedienne Sarah Silverman and now, the getting-oh-so-mind-blowingly-hotter-with-age Marisa Tomei. Finally, someone with an eye for perfect celebrity endorsers! Man, I think he and I should definitely hang.

Absolutely stunning, Ms. Tomei

For more snaps, click here.

Photos courtesy of Boy

The Guide: Cleaning Out Your Closet

I don't care what you'll say. "Queer Eye for a Straight Guy" was one of my favorite shows in its heyday. I learned quite a lot from watching and while I don't agree with everything Carson Kressley preached (see awkward layering and combinations), there's one tip he always gave to the unwilling participants that I still follow even to this day.

I'm talking about cleaning out my closet, gents! Yes, decluttering and letting your closets breathe is yet another skill that only so few of us have mastered. I mean, look at your closet now. Stand up and open it. Notice the shirts you supposedly love and yet have not used in god knows how long? Those ain't yours anymore!

Looks familiar doesn't it? Well, except for the girly bags...

Well, my rule of thumb is that if I haven't used it in 3 months, it's time say goodbye (except for seasonal items). Much like in a basketball team where some players just get booted out of the rotation and become benchwarmers, you just have to know how to let all that dead weight go. No renewing of contracts whatsoever.

My suggestion: Sell them! Heck, if you liked them so much, someone will too, provided that the quality is still nice. If no one wants to snatch them up, give them away to charities, to your local
taong grasa; hell, giving it to anybody is better than rotting at the back of your overstuffed closet.

With awesome fall collections already coming out, there really is no better time for you to clean out your closets and make more room than now!

A little cleaning and your closet can look like this!

Photo courtesy of GQ