The Item: Bass Leather Buck Shoes

My girlfriend and I were trying to kill time before watching I Miss You Like Crazy last week (yeah, I watched, so what?) when I spotted these snazzy new arrivals from Bass. They were the best black leather bucks I've seen in a minute and, I believe, my new top pick in my never-ending search of the perfect pair.

You've probably heard it repeatedly from me before, so it's no surprise that the shape won me over first. A bit chunkier than my previous loves, yes, but how can you not like the contours? Perfectly rounded for that classic schoolboy look! See that added brown detailing at the top of the sole? A nice touch too! As you can see, it looks pretty good sockless as well and at P3,950, about what you'd expect from what's soon to be another Bass staple.

Reserved 'em, and may not stop at that!

I reckon they'd look awesome with shorts too!

The Guide: One Thing, Two (or More) Colors

It has always been a rule of mine to not buy one thing I already have in another color. It's a wee bit too indulgent for me, so I just get one color despite having an eye for another. However, as it is will rules, I broke this long-standing mindset of mine when I bought a Gap shirt in two colors not so long ago.

If you have to ask, I had my reasons. The second color I bought was on sale at a ridiculously low price and the versatility it offered was just too good to pass up. Had it been at a regular price, I'm not sure if I would've gotten it. Which brings me to this: when is it right to buy something in two or more colors? Of course, if you're loaded, this is never a problem, but for the regular Juans like me who work hard for the money, when is it merited?

I say, if there's a distinct difference in the color-matching potential of the item, go for it. Using my Gap shirts as an example, I bought another color of the same item because the first one I got doesn't go well with some key items in my wardrobe. Having this new color allows me to have the same design aesthetic I love, but now with the chance to pair with my other clothes which have been ignored due to the off pairing with my first.

Just make sure to practice discretion when using this approach, though. Do it only for things which you absolutely love, things that will be part of the foundation of your wardrobe (collared shirts, button-down shirts, et al). A bit more, and you may just be in a little bit of a financial jam. Don't want to be responsible for any of that shiz, okay, so take it easy, you big spender you!

My first bi-color purchase item!

The Item: Puma's Urban 2010 Urban Mobility

If you haven't noticed, Puma's really been stepping up as of late. It wasn't just the innovative collab with McQueen (R.I.P.) or the charming printed sneaks, they also recently released their Urban Mobility collection for 2010. Helmed my Hussein Chalayan, the kicks are a great addition to the brand due to their timely mix of minimalism and functionality. With competitors beefing up their lifestyle subbrands, this is exactly what Puma needs to stay ahead of the pack, pun intended.

Some fine gray suede chukka boots with minimalistic branding

Fancy that, it comes in cream and black too!

Low-cut and high-cut lace-ups abound

The low cut with an interesting slip-on feature. Clever!

Photos courtesy of High Snobiety

The Art: "Whatever Happened To" Edition

My iPod was on shuffle mode on the way home from the Backstreet Boys concert (yes, I went!) and it happened to play two awesome songs back to back which I haven't heard in a long time: Lauryn Hill's Doo Wop (That Thing) and Amy Winehouse's Rehab.

While absolutely delighted to hear these tunes again, I can't help but be saddened by the tragic lives these two artists have now. They had so much talent and I had hoped that they would give us awesome album upon awesome album for years, but alas, one's a looney and another's a crack head. Can't have too much of a good thing, I suppose, but still, I am holding out hope!

The Guide: Cherishing Hand-Me-Downs

I come from a family that's as middle class as can be. We don't have it all, but the little things that we've worked hard for, we care for a lot. I particularly admire my father. From humble beginnings, he worked so hard to get us into great schools and provided for us as good as anybody can. Along the way, he was able to get a few special things for himself to let him know he's made it; stuff he damn sure well deserved.

One of his first big purchases was the Tag Heuer wristwatch you see below. Why all the hullabaloo you ask? Well, he just so happened to pass it on to me very recently. Extremely cheesy, yes, but it meant a lot for him to give me sole ownership of it. It was one of those father and son things which you can't help but look back on. Come to think of it, some of the best stuff a young man can receive are those vintage heirlooms from his dear 'ole dad.

They're accessories more often than not, but the occasional beat up loafer, vintage blazer, and bold specs could also do the trick. As for me, I have this sweet watch with a timeless feel, which I will pass on to my lucky kid. As it is with our family, it may not be the most extravagant, but what we've worked hard for, we will surely cherish for generations to come!

Thanks dad! The gold face works well with the black leather strap

The Guide: Sporting a Highlight Piece

I was wearing my all-red canvas plimsolls last Friday and as expected, it garnered a lot of comments (good and, well, weird) from my officemates. One thing we could agree on, however, was that every outfit needed a highlight piece just like it. Yes, if you want to make your mark without going overboard, you really only need one item with the volume up while keeping the others muted.

Whether it be your shoes, your shirt, your trousers, or an accessory, it's just a little bit better when you have that one piece which shows the world you're there. It can be a color thing (like my plims), a showy pattern (think tartan, et al), or a size variation (slim ties, chunky shoes); whatever it is, though, it should be the one thing people notice first.

Aside from my red shoes, I love wearing red socks, bow ties, and the Weejuns my girlfriend gave me, you know, uncommon pieces which make simple outfits a little bit less boring. Try it out for yourself and it won't take long 'till you get those remarks too. Good or bad, at least you will have made your mark!

The blue straps make those boots the shiz

The scarf breaks the monotony of dark hues

Don't know about the metallic shoes, but those socks are bangin'

The gray jacket balances the stiffness of the suit and tie

A herringbone blazer in that yummy color surely does the trick!

Photos courtesy of GQ

The Rundown

  • Does it Come in Men's?: Vans releases the women's only, saddle shoe-inspired Sophie shoes, making me envious of the ladies yet again. {Manila Fashion Observer}
  • Threesome's are Welcome!: Theodore's is on another one of their generous giveaway streaks, giving you a free pair of denim for every two you buy. {Style Kit}
  • A Lovely Getaway: M and K spent their anniversary/Valentine's in a fine beach with a bottle of Moet. Ah, the finer things in life. {Urbanity}
  • Style Spotlight: Fred Perry's Joan Cantemprate is highlighted and rightfully so. The pretty lady's personal style is one of the most charming in the Metro. {Buddha Banana}

The Item: Fred Perry x Stussy Blank Canvas

Oh me, oh my. Here's Fred Perry with yet another wonderful collab with one of the most notable streetwear brands from the US. This year, the Laurel partners with Stussy Deluxe for its Blank Canvas capsule collection, effectively combining American cultural references with the charming London style.

"The historical link between the two brands goes back decades. The Fred Perry Shirt was an important part of the US West Coast surf/punk/ska scene’s uniform in the late 1970’s – some of the same community that influenced Shawn Stussy’s grassroots brand in the 1980’s and later the development of the global Stussy Tribe."

In case you're wondering, it's coming soon to the Laurel Shop! Yes, exactly great news like this which makes me love the brand that much more. Stay tuned for the exact date of the much awaited availability! If all goes as planned, they could be yours by month's end!

A pleasant surprise, this mash-up is!

The slim-fit button-down in muted plaid

A not-so-basic basic shirt done well

Look at the brotha's swagger!

The classic Fred Perry shirt in classic Stussy plaid

Photos courtesy of Fred Perry

The Icon: Kid Cudi Redux

I already wrote about one of my style idols Kid Cudi in a previous post, but Time Out New York has just released this short-but-sweet interview profiling the musician's style choices. Actually my first time to hear from Cudi and judging from what I've read, I see a lot of similarities between our beliefs on style. Thing is, he just looks a lot more fly doing it. Now, a sneak peek!

Favorite Designers: “I love what Nigo does with BAPE, and what KAWS is doing for Original Fake. I hated suits until I wore a Calvin Klein; they just fit me. But I don’t know high-end designers and shit; that’s not my world. I dabble though. I like Louis Vuitton accessories, but I’d never wear their clothes. No offense, it’s just not my steeze.” (Take a gander at the whole interview and video here!)

Cudi making a denim Levi's shirt look fresh

Photo courtesy of Time Out New York

The Art: Nike's Human Chain

Nothing peculiar 'ere. Just Nike releasing yet another advertising gem with great effects and a star-studded cast. The multiple shots of the people in motion were quite the sight to behold and the accompanying soundtrack, in my view, was a perfect choice. It's what we've...Wait a sec, is that Quinton "Rampage" Jackson of UFC fame in a Nike commercial? Man, MMA's really is going mainstream now!

The Item: Fred Perry SS 10 Collection

I've been giving my slim jeans a rest lately and opting for trousers even on casual days. Not only do they set me apart, but truth be told, they actually are way more comfortable than denim. So lightweight and so so charming. Which brings me to this new collection of Fred Perry.

What jumps out to me more than anything are those wonderful trousers. Not slim? No problem! The seeming straight cut gives you that much needed room after all those years of skinny jean lovin'. That, and they pair well with slim shirts too due to the nice contrast they make. As with everything Fred, the new drops are timeless pieces which you'll probably be wearing years from now. Try 'em for yourself at the Laurel Shop in Greenbelt 5!

Those trousers look great folded up, wouldn't you agree?

If ever, I'm definitely getting this color!

Photos courtesy of Fred Perry

The Item: Gap Dual Collar Jacket

Just to make things clear, I'm not a fan of detachable dual purpose clothing. I just think they try a little too hard to be versatile to the point of being annoying. Remember those pants with zippers around the knees which you can turn into shorts? Dark days, man, dark days. Which is why I find this dual collar jacket from Gap confusing. Despite my hatred for two-in-ones, I can't help but be attracted to it.

After thinking long and hard about it, I think it boils down to the fact that jacket combines the collar types of my two favorite kinds of outerwear: the harrington and the baseball jacket. The execution of the tacky details are kept to a minimum in my opinion, with the zipper just slightly peeking out. The color's not bad too and because I'm into all things khaki nowadays, it's really a no-brainer. The only struggle is with the price. At P6,000+ a pop, it has me thinking if I should buy two jackets instead. Either way, another good job by Gap.

It's a harrington now...

But it turns into a baseball jacket, just like that!

The Happening: The Look of Lurve

Yeah, that's me, smiling and having a ball, mostly because of the person across me who took this picture and a wee bit thanks to the layering combo I have on. It seems as though I bought the safari/utility shirt from Gap just in time as the trend's just kicking in. To tell you the truth, trend or not, it really doesn't matter. It's one timeless purchase and the way it matches a plethora of undershirt colors has made it my go-to overshirt for every casual occasion imaginable.

Foolin' around after dinner. Quaint little house ain't it?

On her: Zara all over (basic shirt, pleated jersey skirt, strap-on flats), Longchamp Le Pliage
On me: Gap safari shirt, Topman polka dot shirt and slim trousers, Sperry Top-siders

The Happening: The Good 'Ole Days

To celebrate Valentine's Day, my girlfriend and I went to ancestral-house-turned-fancy-schmancy-restraurant La Cocina de Tita Moning for dinner. Before our meal, there was a brief tour of the old home, which was conveniently adorned by all things vintage. It looked like a museum if anything, but among all the awesome stuff, it was the picture albums which caught my attention the most.

This picture of groomsmen delighted me in particular. Just look at those dashing gray suits! My girlfriend pointed out how great the fit of the suits were for every single one of them and I totally agree. The skinny ties and the little flower on the lapel of their suits were great touches as well. It actually inspired me to consider the same outfits for my bros at my own wedding. No rush, though, no rush! There are still many great bachelor years left to be had!

I can only hope to have a wedding this stylish!

The glasses, the hair, the sleeve length = perfection!

What I like about this picture are grandpa's glasses. Why? Because they're exactly like my own girlfriend-given Ray-Ban browlines! It's just so funny how some stuff from the past come back in a big way. Actually makes you wonder why they even left in the first place. Hey, what's important anyways is that style sensibilities of glory days gone by is back. It's up to all of us now to make sure it's here to stay.

Will I look like this in 50 years? I'm bald now anyways...

The Item: Suede Sperry Top-siders

Among all materials, suede is definitely one of the hardest to maintain. That said, it may just also be the most awesome. What I love about 'em is how they are so different from the rough and tough materials we're all used to. Touch them and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Now why all this love for suede, you ask? Well, the fine folks from Rugged Sole sent over some pictures of Sperry's wonderful Spring 2010 collection. My top picks: the classic Top-siders done in yummy sand and navy blue suede. Unsurprisingly, the boat shoe masters did what they do best, taking something so classic and freshening them up. Not available yet here in Manila, but hey, you can always order them online if need be!

Love how the navy suede and tan sole come together!

This'll get dirty in a hurry, but damn it, it's totally worth it!

Photos courtesy of Rugged Sole

The Item: Adidas Philippine Range

If you're like me, you've probably grown sick of the knockoff Adidas Philippine flag jackets practically every stall in Greenhills sells. Adidas stopped making them years ago, people, so get over it! To tell you the truth, I wasn't really fond of the flag design to begin with. A flag on the jacket just seemed to...literal. If you were to ask me what a wonderful patriotic jacket looked like, it would be minimalistic with a play on the flag's trademark colors.

Redeeming themselves quite well, Adidas did exactly that. With a bevy of celebrities supporting the campaign (even more to follow after the post), Adidas launches the all new Philippine range, with a design aesthetic that I can all but wholeheartedly get behind. The diagonal stripes on the jacket offer a fresher, more modern take without taking away the essence of the flag. And the simplicity of the horizontal stripes is a wonderful alternative too to those tired Collezione flag shirts.

Finally, a patriotic effort I can rock without hesitation. As for you, go get your jackets and shirts now as they go on sale today at all Adidas outlets nationwide. Hurry! Babies as hot as these typically don't last long, so don't you dare get left behind! You don't want to end up getting yours in Greenhills stalls now, do you?

Lia Cruz making the shirt look very flattering indeed

Drei Felix proving that the jacket's lightyears better than its predecessor

Well, well, well. JLC returns on the pages of ze blog!

Photos courtesy of Adidas

The Happening: Band of Outsiders SS 10

New quirky polaroid shots? This can only mean one thing: Mr. Sternberg's back with yet another collection from the much celebrated Band of Outsiders brand. As it is with his work, nothing really pops out (aside from the dip dyed oxford shirts), but why change a winning formula? Yes, we've seen it all before: the bow ties, the double-breasted coats, the folded up trousers, and yet somehow, Band changes it up just enough to have me convinced it's still fresh. Ah, Scott, you have fooled us all once again.

Aforementioned dip dyeds and an unsuspecting short shorts victim

Yeah, I'd wear that to go boating too

Honestly, nobody does double-breasteds better

The chambray shirt sure blends well with white

Photos courtesy of Band of Outsiders

The Art: Lebron and Dwight for McDonald's

This year's edition of the Superbowl was the most watched show ever, yes, ever in the US. It really doesn't surprise me all that much, though, because year in and year out, its ratings seem to be very high anyways. Which leads us to this: Because of the massive viewership, companies look at the event as an advertising gold mine, churning out their best stuff for this one night of grid iron glory.

This year's best comes from McDonald's, featuring two of the NBA's best young studs, Lebron James and Dwight Howard, duking it out in quite possibly the sickest dunk contest I've ever witnessed in my life. Yeah, a lot of you will argue that the dunks are doctored by special effects, but damn it, have you seen Lebron sky? He can do that crossover between the legs dunk his sleep. Too bad he won't be entering the official contest. What a pansy.

The Art: Bench Pinoy Lab Exhibit

It's a rarity for people to really consider clothes as art. Maybe the fact that they're too common gives the impression that there's nothing else to marvel at. A shame, because in fact, what we wear is really our own artwork, our own masterpiece to the world. Anyhow, the point I'm driving at is that much like paintings, sculptures, and installations, clothes should have, even every once in a while, a showcase it can call its own.

That's why I was excited to hear about the exhibit put together by the Bench group called "Objects, Garments, Ornaments" held at the 3rd floor of the Dimensione Building in Bonifacio High Street. It houses Bench, Human, and Kashieca's collaborations with several celebrated local designers, including my hands-down favorite, Joey Samson. The best thing about it for me is that if you like what you see, you can get to bring it home!

While I didn't find anything of interest, the idea was great and we could really always use a lot more events like this that rightfully romanticize clothing. Kudos to Bench for the initiative, now if we can only talk about minimizing the use of your brand name in your clothes.

A new take on the Spanish elistista look

Highlighting the immortal khaki + white combination

A nice jacket alongside my favorites from the exhibit

Joey Samson's modern terno looks so damn fresh!

Charming printed tops to cap the night

The Happening: Lazy Saturday Out

It's been super stressful at work lately (thus the recent lack of posts), so yesterday, I made myself a promise that it will be nothing but a day of relaxation. Woke up after 12, had a haircut, and went out with my girlfriend for dinner - a laid back day in the truest sense of the word.

I felt that it translated in my outfit too. I like wearing shorts for carefree days and the colorful button-down muted by the gray cardi combo worked out well. The chunky Common Projects -esque Stan Smiths worn "sockless" sealed the outfit. Considering how relieved I felt after, this Saturday was definitely the break I needed and deserved!

Topman Gray Cardigan, American Eagle Button-down
Old Navy Shorts (folded), Adidas Stan Smiths

The Sale: Fred Perry End of Season Sale!

They're at it again, folks! Fred Perry's slashing some ridiculous amounts off their past collections and you'd be delighted to know that Laurel brand's not taking it easy! A lot of their fine stuff are going for 40% to 50% off, making checking their stores out a definite no-brainer in my estimation. My favorite shoes are actually on sale too along with other goodies, so drop on by, Freds, and spend some of that hard-earned moolah!

Charming Raf Simon x Fred Perry button down pique shirts!

Gee, the one in the middle sure looks good!

The Happening: A New Perspective!

I've had my dSLR for almost 10 months now, and for the longest time, I wanted to upgrade to a new lens. It was just that the money was hard to come by, with all the beautiful stuff around distracting my limited wallet and all. Well, last week, I decided that there should be no more delay. I finally convinced myself it was time to upgrade, and level up I did!

I got the 35mm f1.8 lens for my Nikon D60 - a fast lens which lets me take sharper pictures without breaking a sweat. Just so you know, that's heaven for a guy like me who has such twichy pasmado arms! I've actually been testing it out endlessly the past week and I must say, zero regrets from this buyer. I may be P13K down, but what the hell? Memories, being as precious as they are, need the perfect tool to capture them. Oh, and did I mention it's perfect for street style shots too? Watch out, world!

Just days ago, I thought of selling my D60..well, not anymore!

The Happening: Jack Bauer's Dope Specs

Forgive me for exaggerating, but I do believe that 24 is the most awesome TV show of all time...of all time! It has been for 8 seasons now, with Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) taking and dishing out all sorts of god-awful torture. Not only are the plots about government conspiracies and terrorism so riveting, but the show's innovative format of offering events as they happen "in real time" makes for such fast paced television (though it made me wonder at times why Bauer doesn't pee or even yawn).

Anyhow, this mention of the show on ze blog is not without merit. While I was watching the latest episode online, I just happened to notice the awesome glasses that Mr. Bauer wore while undercover (as if glasses would help, right?) Come to think of it, though, in this particular case, they do. The thick rounded specs are flat-out awesome and made even the toughest of SOBs look slightly intellectual. Of course, after having said that, he proceeded to pull out his gun and threaten a thug, but that's just how Jack Bauer is. Still, props to the wardrobe guy.

The best style choice Jack's ever made

Look at the intensity!

The Item: Adidas TS Supernatural

The annual All-Star Game holds a special place in the calendars of NBA fans as the one night where the game's best come together and put on a heck of a show. To those who've been paying attention, though, the yearly East vs. West showdowns is really the time when dope new shoes are revealed, and yeah, the 2010 version's no different.

This year, the All-Stars of East and West will be sporting the dope-as-hell Adidas TS Supernaturals. Not only do they look great from all angles (especially the bottom); they'll also make you lighter, faster, and more stable once you put 'em on. Featuring Puremotion tech in both body and sole, the shoe's practically like an extension of your foot, allowing you ultimate flexibility and putting another hop in your step when you need to sky for that rejection or elevate for that dunk (you wish!).

As if the shoes aren't enough, Adidas is giving you a chance to win an exclusive East or West basketball with every purchase or even better, a chance to watch Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose duke it out LIVE in an all expenses paid trip to the US with $1,000 in shopping money! Damn, when Adidas says the TS Supernaturals can make you fly, they definitely deliver the goods!

The Adidas TS Supernatural Commander and Creator

The big horizontal stripes are always a good look

I just love that gold pilot wing on the heel! Time to fly, baby!

Photos courtesy of Adidas