The Rundown: The Item's Best of 2010

  • I'm with the Band: After years of Band of Outsiders oggling, I not only touched, but also took home a piece of my favorite brand's critically-acclaimed collection. Wow.
  • It's Play Time: My girlfriend wasn't there during my birthday, but boy did she make up for it in the best way. A Comme Des Garcons Play Shirt? All is forgiven, love!
  • From the Bargain Bin: In the year of fine footwear finds, these Opening Ceremony loafers are right up there . I did get them for 90% off the original price after all!
  • Look at the Time: My favorite timepiece of 2010 is this simple Timex Nylon Camper from Robinson's Department Store. GQ wrote about it too, months after I did. Haha!
  • The New Fit: I gained weight this year, so it is but natural for me to migrate from skinny jeans to something less constricting. These Zara light jeans are a fine start.

The Rundown: The Happening's Best of 2010

  • One Week, Four Ties: My first serious attempt at a weekly style diary featuring my love affair with ties. Of course, work had to get in the way. Sigh.
  • Hong Kong Hangover: Our trip to Hong Kong simply left us wanting more. We only scratched the surface of the shopping possibilities, so we're planning on going again!
  • The Grand Giveaway: To show my love for all those who've supported the blog, I went all generous and gave away some serious prizes for the lucky 100,000th viewer.
  • The Wait is Over: One of my favorite brands - Muji - finally made it to the Philippines. Here's to hoping more favorite brands will follow suit! Yes, Uniqlo, I am looking at you, sir.

The Item: The Most Used Shirt of 2010

Ah, 2010's almost over and what better way to commemorate the year that was than by awarding, you guessed it, the Filipino man's most used shirt of 2010. While I would have preferred to award it to the white oxford shirt or even a fine pique polo, my girlfriend and I agree that the one piece we've seen most this year was the colored Henley. Take a look at those bad boys and tell us you don't agree. From Divisoria to the deep corners of Rockwell, this shirt was there, trying its darn best. While we don't necessarily endorse it, you just can't run away from the truth. That's 2010, though. How about we try something else for 2011? Okay? Okay. Thanks!

These shirts made a killing this year. Up to you how to interpret that.

Style I Love: Awesome Wooden Watch!

My girlfriend and I were at the Facehunter book signing last night and while lining up to meet with Mr. Yvan Rodic, I spotted this gentleman's sweet timepiece that I couldn't stop staring at. This one was different, you guys. We've all had our fill of steel watches, but this one was made entirely of wood - of wood! I just had to have a picture. I was so intrigued that I googled "wooden watches" and found the site of the brand which crafts similar ones. It's a Canadian brand called Tense and aside from creating these unique timepieces, they sell them quite cheap too! At least it's a reason to visit Canadia. On second thought though, I think I'll just have it shipped.

Update: Dear reader Mr. Joel Trudel pointed me to the website of WeWOOD, the actual brand of the fine wooden timepiece I saw. While WeWOOD generally sports better design and website aesthetic, it needs to be said, however, that Tense may very well be the original (they've been making them since 1971!). Whatever brand you choose though, you can't go wrong. The world has enough steel watches, it's time to go back to nature and get you some wooden ones!

I'm really feeling the alternative wooden wristwatch aesthetic!

These Tense watches are real conversation starters. Loving the one on the left!

I slightly prefer the WeWOOD pieces though. Cleaner look and more contemporary.

Photos courtesy of Tense

The Happening: plain + simple's First Bazaar!

In case you weren't able to join us, here's some sights from plain + simple's first selling foray at Rockwell Urban Bazaar some weeks back. My girlfriend and I had a blast hanging out the whole time and meeting everyone who bought and offered kind words about our little labor of love. Honestly, the long hours flew by and by the end of the third day, we left fulfilled and excited for what lies ahead. Like plain + simple on Facebook by clicking here!

plain + simple shirts led by our chambray long-sleeved number

From another angle. You can see the lineup from here!

Our beautiful bottoms: straight cut chinos and tailored shorts

Our merchandise laid out in the vintage Samsonite I bought

Some fine lookbook pictures on display

My partner-in-crime wearing a plain + simple shirt. Looks great!

The Happening: Manong's Sweet Moccasins

I awoke one Saturday morning and saw some vintage-looking moc loafers on top of our dog's cage. I thought my mom was throwing out some old stuff again and was bewildered that they would dispose of this pair without asking me. Were they holding out more goodies from our baul? Agitated and yet excited, I was about to try on the old weathered pair, but then my mom asked me what the hell I was doing? Turns out, the shoes were that of our hired carpenter. I must give it to you, manong, you have fine taste in footwear. I was actually this close to robbing you too.

Man, if I saw this at a thrift shop, there'd be no hesitation!

The Beat: Linkin Park's "Waiting for the End"

I've always loved Linkin Park. From the rebellious tone of "One Step Closer" to the masa appeal of "In the End" to the hip-hop collabs with Jay-Z to the Transformers' epic ending thanks to "What I've Done", I've always felt that their music talked to me in a way that others' can't. Awesome lyrics, catchy beats, beautiful videos - what more can you ask for? It's been a while though, so it was really a treat for me to see their latest music video for "Waiting for the End". Man, the song's good, but the visual effects are nothing short of mind-blowing. Click the play button, I beg you!

The Happening: Look Who Dropped By!

It's encouraging when people you admire support a project that you've started. That's why we were thrilled when esteemed menswear designer Joey Samson and renowned style blogger Christine Dychiao (with chic daughter Berry!) of Manila Fashion Observer dropped by plain + simple's stall at Rockwell's Moonlit Bazaar last week. Joey and Tin picked up short-sleeved check shirts while Tin also got a pair of navy blue tailored shorts. We are truly humbled with all the love, though more is definitely welcome! Like plain + simple on Facebook by clicking here!

Designer Joey Samson sporting a plain + simple shirt
Tin with daughter Berry - a mother-daughter style pairing

The Item: Fred Perry Christmas Giveaways

As if you needed more reasons to drop by the Fred Perry shops this December, the fine folks from their Greenbelt 5, PowerPlant, and Atrium Megamall branches are now giving away some sweet pins for your holiday enjoyment. Man, if I remember correctly, they used to sell those exact same pins, but now you get them by just visiting? Generosity at its finest, fellas. Joan of Fred's PowerPlant branch was kind enough to give me a boxed set with all the colors included. Now, my shirts and bags can always have a hint of the Laurel just as I've always wanted!

The box I got was a gift in itself. Now that's how you do packaging!

The black pin's my favorite. Although everything is on point!

The Item: Colored Monobloc Chairs

I'm guessing no other country in the world loves monobloc chairs as much as we Filipinos do. And why not? They're sturdy, stackable, and less of an eye sore than the aging wooden chairs that the Philippines has in abundance. Only problem I have though is their off-white blandness. That's why I was pleasantly delighted when I saw these brightly colored numbers at SM some weeks back. Those will definitely work as accents to the minimalistic house I plan on living in in the future. I'm liking the red most, but if you read this blog often, you already know that.

Another shining example of dopeness created by simply freshening up the colors

The Happening: He Wore, She Wore

Sometimes when you've been together so long, you and your significant other just coordinate outfits without even talking about it. Same colored shirts, same folded pants, same overall aesthetic - my girlfriend and I have done it all without discussion. So today, allow me to share with you another his-and-her interpretation of ours, this time of the classic folded khakis and dirtied off-white loafers. Ah, feels so good having someone who you can connect with both emotionally and stylistically. I'm a very lucky man; nothing more I could ask for, really.

On him: Khakis (Banana Republic), Loafers (Band of Outsiders)
On her: Khakis (Zara), Loafers (Fred Perry Laurel)

The Brand: The plain + simple Lookbook!

After months of working and years of dreaming, our menswear project, plain + simple, has finally come to fruition. All those long nights spent editing every detail have paid off. I'm proud to say that our line is everything we wanted it to be - a chock-full of basics that look good together no matter what combination you throw on. In many ways, it's as much a tribute to the past as it is a nod to the present; based on 60s classics, but updated to meet the fit standards of the now.

Our first ever lookbook, shot by the analog lenses of Your Evil Twin, is raw, unpretentious, and timeless: traits we believe plain + simple exactly embodies. Our clothes don't want to draw attention. We don't want to turn you into blazing fashionistas. We just want to make dressing easy. Oxford shirt here, tailored shorts there, check shirts everywhere, chinos too if you care - all day, baby, all day. Same basic formula as those well-dressed gents from my favorite style era, same dashing results. plain + simple, just as menswear was always supposed to be.

For the full lookbook, visit plain + simple's official Facebook page here! Our flash lookbook's also up after the set. All items will be available at Rockwell's Moonlit Bazaar from December 10-12, so hope to see you all there, folks! Just in case, do confirm attendance here!

White oxford shirt + Navy Blue Tailored Shorts

Blue Gingham Shirt + White Tailored Shorts

Blue Gingham Shirt + White Tailored Shorts

Blue Oxford Shirt

Pink Oxford Shirt + Tailored Khaki Shorts

Navy Blue Tailored Shorts + Red Checkered Shirt

Yellow Oxford Shirt

Maroon Checkered Shirt

Khaki Chinos + Blue Chambray Shirt

Blue Checkered Shirt + Khaki Chinos
Blue Chambray Shirt + Khaki Chinos

Pink Oxford Shirt

Pink Checkered Shirt + Gray Chinos

White Oxford Shirt + Navy Blue Tailored Shorts

The Item: Timex Colored Digital Watches

I was in SM Makati last Friday to get some stuff for the bazaar my girlfriend and I are planning to join, but just before some official business went down, I went on a short window shopping detour to let some steam off. I've been in love with Timex ever since I got the black Camper that was featured on GQ and now I get these, the same Timex Digitals we've all grown up with, but now in mud brown and military green. Simple shift, fresh-as-hell results. Keep at it, SM. And while you're at it, please get rid of all those square-toed shoes too. Okay? Okay, thanks.

I love the simple aesthetic and that perpetual green light on the face!

The Beat: Kanye West's "All of the Lights"

Kanye West recently claimed that his work will be his saving grace. Well, the man certainly knew what he was talking about. His new album "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" has been getting perfect reviews all over the interwebs (most notably, here, here and here) and the praise just keeps on coming. Why not? With tracks like his latest release called "All of the Lights", this comeback/love-me-for-my-music LP promises to be one for the ages.

Featuring an all-star team that includes personal favorite Kid Cudi, Rihanna, Fergie, John Legend, Alicia Keys, The Dream, Ryan Leslie, Tony Williams, Charlie Wilson, La Roux's Elly Jackson, and (get this) Elton John, the track is a non-stop audible attack that delights with sick beats and a blending of talents that can only be led by an ego as big as West. If you should know, Sir Elton's gangsta, yo. Song of the year? Hmm, verdict's pending, but it sure sounds like it to me.

The Sale: Mulberry Man Bags for Less!

I don't endorse men's bags often in these parts (at least not as much as shoes or shirts), but when an acquaintance told me he was selling Mulberry and other quality bags at a discount, I was all ears. If you don't know, Mulberry has been one of my most admired bag brands because of its classic designs and luxurious make. How about soft natural buffalo leather exteriors, lovely suede interiors, and, just for fun, a friendlier price tag too? Count me in, sir!

Aside from these, they're also selling some exquisite ladies bags and wallets from brands like Michael Kors, Burberry, and Chloe that are sure to make your lady friend shriek when she opens this year's Christmas presents. They're from Prima Seleccione and all 100% authentic. Visit their albums here and holla at them (
+639178220103). I don't talk about bags often, but it's good news like this that would make me consider doing bag posts more regularly!

That camel colored Mulberry messenger is killing me. So beautiful.

A deep chocolate brown number is as classic as it gets.

A look inside featuring the lovely suede interiors.

The Happening: plain + simple Teaser!

Here's a little taste of the awesomeness that is to come! White oxford shirt + navy tailored shorts look great together, all day, every day, every damn day. Stay tuned for the full lookbook by Your Evil Twin soon! plain + simple, just as menswear was supposed to be.

The Happening: What We've Been Up To!

If you will notice, my posting rate has steadily declined in recent months. No, I'm not holding out some good finds from you, boys. Rather, my girlfriend and I have been busy working on giving you more. You see, we've been burning the midnight oil these past few months to accomplish a dream of ours - own our very own clothing line. And we're oh so close. Just recently, we had a shoot with the ultra talented ladies of Your Evil Twin and here's some behind-the-scenes shots. plain + simple is coming so very soon, sirs, so do keep a look out!

The Item: Vintage Samsonite Awesomeness

My girlfriend and I were on our way home after strolling around Glorietta when we stumbled onto this second-hand bazaar in the mall's activity center. It was mostly filled with uninteresting clothes, but what it lacked in style options, it sure made up for it with awesome vintage suitcases. My eyes were instantly drawn to this old Samsonite number because of its flesh tone and old-world (I'm thinking 70s) charm. Everything was still in order; the locks were easy to open and the key was still there too. Yeah, it's a bit dirty and damaged, but if I'm going to be honest, that's precisely why I wanted it. Sturdy, stylish, Samsonite. Consider it sold, sir!

What a bargain for only P50! Man, it's just like I ate a value meal!

It'll much easier to spot my suitcase in those conveyors now too!

The Item: Baleno Chambray Shirt Redux

Baleno did it again, y'all. At this point, we should start calling them the masters of cheap chambray because after releasing their long-sleeved offerings some months back (all gone now), they went ahead and cut the sleeves shorter along with offering it in a lighter shade. Same winning formula with the quality construction, button-down collar, and perfect fit, only cooler and now much more convenient to wear. At P600, it's a steal. Quite puzzling that plenty are still available at SM Makati. I have a feeling though that that's all about to change right

Now, time to master other fabrics Baleno. More of this, please!

The Item: The Forever 21 Gift Card

The best gift to give anyone this Christmas is the gift of freedom. Believe me, this comes from a man who has given so many gifts that ended up unappreciated because it's not really what the addressee wanted. A hint of bitterness in my tone there? You bet! That's why this year, I'm smarting up. I'm getting my stylish loved ones the Forever 21 Gift Card so that they can finally get exactly what they want without the harsh finger-pointing. With all the fine goods the store has to offer, there's no way you won't be considered the family's most gracious gift giver this year!

P5,000 worth of cards gets you invited to Forever 21's party at Members Only this Saturday!

Invites are super limited, so do get your Forever 21 gift cards today!

The Happening: Old-New Watch Discovery!

I believe that someone's garbage is always another man's treasure. All the garage sales I've had, for one, have made me quite the pretty penny. Mostly, I've sold clothes, shoes, and bags, but not watches. Matter of fact, I'm the one who's been hunting for some sweet second-hand timepieces. After searching far and wide, though, it turns out that the store I was looking for was under my nose all along. Somewhere near the entrance of the Rustan's Supermarket in Shangri La Mall was this quaint little watch repair stall that also sold pre-loved timepieces.

Now don't be fooled by its shabby appearance. One look and you'll see that its vintage selection is really the shiz. They have Seiko's, Casio's, Timex's, Swatch's - you name it, they have that not-so expensive brand you're looking for. Never mind that the watches are not in mint condition. Every scratch, every flaw reveals a story and makes every piece more interesting. Just like the mother of all G-Shocks I spotted which I am now seriously considering getting. Man, at just P800, you really can't go wrong too. Just like I said: One man's garbage, another man's treasure.

One of the many piles where you can salvage a vintage timepiece

For the old world lovers, they have these pocket watches for sale too

My other favorite. Awesome that you can see the mechanism inside this Swatch!

Talk to this guy. He'll give you a good price and your old-new watch a great shine!