The Rundown: The Return of the Comeback!

  • The Bare Essentials: Can't stress these must-have shirts enough, so Ant continues to do so for those who still won't listen. {Alphabetical}
  • An Old Favorite: Christine talks about her love of Muji, one that riles me up even more for the store's can't-it-be-today-instead opening. {Manila Fashion Observer}
  • California Dreaming: M and K living the good life - countryside driving, wine-tasting, and outlet shopping in the U.S. of A. {Urbanity}
  • Mutual Admiration: Renowned photographer Juergen Teller's love letter to EWS' Ryan and Garovs is just utterly awesome. {Everywhere We Shoot}
  • Charmed Bracelet: Izzy can now say his Giles and Brother by Phillip Crangi Railroad Spike bracelet is truly his own. {The Dandy Project}
Photo courtesy of Alphabetical

Style I Love: Bow Tie + Windbreaker Combo

For some reason, I love tying bow ties. I own several with clip-on options at the back, but I never use them. There's just something about nailing that perfect knot every time that gets me. Aside from that achievement, though, another challenge I love facing is knowing what to pair with that neatly tied bow. Wearing it dictates so much formality on the outfit, so I do the opposite: I dress it down. Here, I paired it with a windbreaker partly because it's been raining, but mostly because of it's sporty feel. It's sort of like how those stereotype professors or grandpas wear cardigans with their bow ties, but way more fresher, as the very fly Jay-Z would say.

Browline glasses (Ray-Ban), Striped Bow Tie (Joey Samson), Oxford Shirt (Uniqlo)
Windbreaker (Giordano), Khaki Pants (Banana Republic), Weird Hair (My Own)

Photos courtesy of Justine Ferrer

The Item: Sueno De Espadrilles "Boat Shoe"

I love boat shoes as much as you do, but all this love is getting out of hand. A lot of shoe brands not named Sperry and Sebago have been releasing them and now, even those not making 'em are trying to make it appear as they are. Don't know how I feel about these yet, but these printed espadrilles from Sueno de Espadrilles caught my eye. It reminded me a lot of the Band of Outsiders rubber boat shoes I saw recently and I thought, it could work in a very tongue-in-cheek kind of way. Not rushing to get it, though, but you? Your call. You do love boat shoes, don't you?

I actually think these are easier to pull off than the Band of Outsider pair

But you know me, I've always been a sucker for Sternberg

Photo courtesy of Band of Outsiders

The Item: Zara Suede Desert Boots

That's it, Clarks Originals. I've waited long enough. I gave you ample time to arrive here, but all signs point to your standing me up, so I'm going to go with a brand that actually cares about me and my desert boot needs. Thank you, Zara, these look really wonderful. In delicious caramel brown and gray suede too? Aw, you shouldn't have. But then again, you could have cut me a bit more slack in the price department. At P4,790, it's costs a pretty penny but come to think of it, you did price it less than those snobbish Clarks' (P7,000+ in Hong Kong!).

Both options are tasty, but I'm going for this caramel brown number

The gray's harder to match, but damn, it sure is a looker too!

The Happening: "Take Ivy" is Here!

Ask and you shall receive. That, I think, has been the theme of this year's great finds. From the Band of Outsiders Sperries to the arrival of this "Take Ivy" book which I've salivated over and reserved at Fully Booked for weeks now, it seems everything is falling right into place. Never mind that I've seen the pictures inside a million times, this is still a great literary piece that I just have to have in my shelves. Man, it's been what, 40 years, yet these Ivy Leaguers are still taking us to school with their stylish nonchalance. If that right there doesn't say collector's issue, I don't know what the hell will! (If you plan to cop it, heads up, Fully Booked Fort is all out.)

Unopened just yet. I'm still savoring the moment!

The Happening: The Countdown Begins

Last July, I came up with this list of stores that I was excited to visit in Hong Kong. If you will recall, Muji was part of that list, owing primarily to their lovely minimalistic pieces. Albeit impressed by the offerings, I didn't end up buying anything there, though, because I heard from a little birdie that we were soon going to have our own helping of the awesome Japanese brand. True enough, the signs have come up above the Gap store in Bonifacio High Street. This is particularly exciting because ever since Theodore's left, I haven't had a store around these parts that I was excited to visit every single time. I have a strong feeling all that's going to change come October.

After all those years of hoping and praying, it's finally here!

Judging from the size of the Make Room space before, it's going to be pretty big

Can't wait to see what Muji Manila is going to look like!

The Happening: The Week of the Tie (Day 5)

Whoops, skipped a day. Sorry about that folks. It was quite the busy Thursday at the office so taking photos was pretty much out of the question. But we're back, baby, and on casual Friday no less! To have a quirky close to what has been the blog's most decent attempt at a style diary to date, I decided to go with something different for Day 5. I busted out my favorite bow tie, you guys, the one my girlfriend gave me exactly two years ago this day!

It's as awesome now as it was back then and the fact that it's made of knitted cotton makes it the perfect match to any casual outfit. Key here is to dress down the bow tie, so I went with plaid on the button-down to attract attention away from it and I wore jeans to dress down the look even
further. I must admit, I'm pretty happy with how it all turned out. Ultimately, it shows you that rocking a bow tie can be done even without an occasion. You just have to live a little, bruh!

Bow Tie (Joey Samson), Plaid Button-down (Uniqlo), Watch (Timex)
Bracelet (Topman), Belt (Nautica), Jeans (Zara), Moccasins (Zara)

Photos courtesy of Justine Ferrer and Ivy Tan

The Happening: The Week of the Tie (Day 3)

Midway through Tie Week, dear sirs! Today, I decided to try something I've never done before: Go old school military and tuck my tie into my shirt. I've seen many an officer do it in all those war movies my dad loves to watch and thought, why the hell not? They looked handsome in uniform and there's no reason it won't have the same effect on me too! (Yeah, so humble, I know.)

To keep with the theme, I chose a military shirt as base instead of the usual button-down. I tucked my tie between the second and third/third and fourth buttons and voila: An authoritative yet sophisticated look all at the same time. The scarf-like aesthetic of the tucked tie is unusual and refreshing, but be warned: it requires confidence and the patience to point out that yes, the tie really is supposed to be like that. That little hurdle notwithstanding, it's another great reason to go the extra mile and rock a tie just for the heck of it!

Military Shirt (Gap), Tie (Original Penguin), Belt (Nautica), Trousers (Topman)

Photos courtesy of Justine Ferrer

The Happening: The Week of the Tie (Day 2)

For Day 2 of the blog's Tie Week, I opted to go for the opposite of Day 1's approach. Instead of donning a black and white outfit and making it interesting, I went with a pastel colored ensemble and muted it with this lovely new navy knit number I found at Forever 21. The pink of the oxford and the blue of the chinos were a match made in heaven. And I figured that the new tie was a perfect complement as the little dots on it were of the same color as my pants.

If anything, though,
today's lesson is all about how awesome knit ties are. I'm glad more and more stores are adding them to their lineup because no tie could really merge the casual and the formal as well as these do. I already have three in the closet (from Bench, Uniqlo, and Forever 21) and I'm sure it won't stop there. Not if they're as cheap as this Forever 21 bargain which I got for only P615. There's one in white too, but as always, you can never go wrong with navy!

Oxford Shirt (Uniqlo), Navy Polka Dot Knit Tie (21 Men), Belt (Nautica)
Chinos (Uniqlo), Deconstructed Loafers (Band of Outsiders x Sperry)

Photos courtesy of Justine Ferrer

The Happening: The Week of the Tie (Day 1)

So we're going to do something a little different around here. I haven't worn ties to work lately (partly because of the casual nature of our dress code and partly due to people asking if I have an interview somewhere - I don't...yet), but this week, I'm bringing the sexy back. I've decided to wear a tie everyday for fun and really, to prove that you don't have to end up looking like a square when you have one on. Actually, if you're the only one wearing it when you don't have to, that's pretty darn cool and rebellious in my book.

For Day 1, I started things simply: White oxford shirt, black trousers, black belt, and black tasseled loafers. So easy to do yet so foolproof every time. I topped it off with this lovely club tie I found at Crazy Eddie's at The Collective last Saturday. I must say, very Ralph Lauren-like, somewhat Bands of Outsiders-ish and for only P750? I think it was the steal of the month. I tied it up with a four-in-hand to keep the knot minimal and for an added style trick, I twisted the back part to the side and showed it off a little bit. Those little tweaks, they go a long long way.

Browline Glasses (Ray-Ban), Oxford Shirt (Uniqlo), Club Tie (from Crazy Eddie's)
Belt (SM Deparment Store), Slim Trousers (Topman), Tasseled Loafers (Bass)

Photo courtesy of Justine Ferrer

The Item: Keep Multi-colored Sneakers

After weeks of hearing about The Collective in Makati, my girlfriend and I finally decided to check it out and see what all the fuss was about. A lot of people have said that the space had the Cubao X vibe to it and judging from the lineup of alternative shops and restaurants, I can't help but agree. I especially like this store called Hmrm. It was there where I discovered this fun pair of sneakers from a brand called Keep from Los Angeles.

Hmrm had a lot of great finds to offer, from Ralph Lauren and Brooks Brothers shirts to New Era caps and some sweet unbranded glasses. Among all these though, I loved this pair of kicks the most. I haven't written about sneakers for quite some time now, but the refreshing colors of these shoes is just too charming to pass up. It's quite cheap too at P2,095 and it's exactly pieces like this which will keep us coming back to The Collective for even more great finds!

I can imagine putting these on with an understated outfit. The perfect color pop!

The Happening: Zee Magazine Feature

Every so often, I get reminders about why I'm so gosh darn happy I started this little blog project. Yes, there are the event invites, gift vouchers, and discounts, but no features just yet. Thanks to Kryz Uy, though, all that has changed. Styles I Love was mentioned on this month's Zee Lifestyle Magazine feature on young fashion bloggers alongside Tricia Gosingtian, Rosanna Aranaz, and Karl Leuterio. Fine, fine company and another proud moment for my wittle baby. Grab your copy now and share in the happiness! Our article aside, the fashion issue's truly a great read!

That's me right there on the bottom right!

Photo courtesy of Kryz Uy

The Item: Fred Perry Authentics Socks

Leave it to Fred Perry Authentics to make yet another article of clothing more interesting. You all know how much I love quirky hosiery, and these new releases fit the bill perfectly. Polka dots and squared pattern combos in different colors? Nice, very nice. I can almost imagine 'em giving my ankles the spotlight they don't normally get. Pretty pricey, though, but you know, if that's not a problem for you, go ahead and make the investment. C'mon, they're polka dot socks!

Lovely polka dot socks which will bring the fun to every outfit

The varying square shapes gives a new take on the colored sock movement

The Item: Seiko Canvas and Nylon Watches

Remember that Timex Camper I copped at the Robinson's Galleria Department Store? Well, GQ just did a feature with the exact same one in their newly released Fall Trend Report. (A little late, Mr. Moore?) Gloating aside, though, this just proves that you can find some quality timepieces in said department store if you have the patience. I browsed the wares recently, and matta fact, I have another hot one for you here, you guys. This time, from Japanese watchmakers Seiko.

I find myself in this military watch stage right now, and seeing these relatively inexpensive watches was quite the treat. Aside from the vintage face, these babies come in tough canvas and nylon straps too, completing the quintessential casual look. There are quite a number of colors to choose from, but if you're like me, you'll go for that fresh khaki strap. It's the most uncommon one, but really, you can't go wrong with the others. Now, write about that, GQ!

Another grand find at the Robinson's Department Store!

The one I would've gotten if ever. (The olive strap comes next)

The Guide: Going to the Club in Style

I'd like to think of myself as a pretty laid back guy. My idea of a good time is simple: watching a movie with my girlfriend, eating out, strolling around the mall, and drinking a little bit with my friends. Occasionally, though, I fancy going out into the clubs, taking a few shots, and dancing the night away (yeah, dancing, what of it?). Just this past Friday, we found ourselves in Republiq - a fine place, but what some of the guys wore, sheesh. It wasn't pretty.

When it comes to what to wear on night outs, girls have it easy. Short skirts, heels, playful top - okay. But what about the guys? While by no means a regular, I observed that this was the current men's uniform: jeans, crisp long-sleeve shirts, pointy loafers/sneakers, and even sometimes, formal blazers. I'm sorry, but is this what guys wear to meet some nice girl and nothing but innocent fun? I don't know about you, but it all shouts "trying too hard" to me.

On these nights, a cardigan or thin pullover sweater can be your best friend. Whether it be over a short-sleeved polo or just a plain buttondown, these versatile pieces can bring your look to a higher level of cool without going overboard. Pair them with some nice slim denims or khakis and throw those pointy shoes in the trash bin. Simple sneakers and basic loafers will do. Just make sure they're the low-maintenance type. Believe you me, they will get stepped on. I, my friends, learned that the hard way.

Cardigans dress you up without trying too hard.

Ditto for a pullover sweater. Comes across as smart and totally harmless.

Pictures courtesy of J.Crew

The Happening: That Marvelous Mercedes

I know nothing about cars other than how to drive them. I'm clueless about the different engines, the various parts, the multitude of enhancements that can be made; I really got nothing. But I do appreciate fine designs, though. Hell, if it were up to me, I wouldn't mind having the worst engine possible as long as the outside looks like this Mercedes number. Who cares if I go at a grandma's pace? At least people will see this sweetness and drop their jaws in ultra slow motion.

Ah, those doors. Like an angel flapping its wings.

The Item: Brian Lichtenberg x Forever 21

I love designer collaborations. It gives us common folk a chance to rock the designs of highly regarded names without paying for the hefty price tag. Best of both worlds, really, and today, Forever 21 brings us another edition of their now signature steals. They teamed up with celebrated L.A. designer Brian Lichtenberg to give us some awesome shirts for guys and gals, which as you can see, looks good with just about anything.

Designing since his freshman year in high school, Brian Lichtenberg's work boasts of a stylish clientele consisting of Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and M.I.A. - all pretty stylish ladies in my book. His menswear line is equally as in demand with the always interesting Lil Wayne and Daft Punk as regulars. That said, it's pretty sweet that we guys get to cop the BL shirt for only P795. While you're at it, go get something for your lady friend too. I'm sure she'll appreciate the thought.

Awesome collection with shirts that'll surely break the everyday outfit monotony

The white T looks great paired with the awesome and jeans

Looks familiar? Mr. Lichtenberg designed Gaga's police tape outfit in "Telephone"

Now, a word from the man himself about his vision for "his most exciting collaboration ever". (P.S. Props for the choice of the female model. She is quite the looker!)

Note: In-store pictures were taken as of Friday. Availability may vary.

Photos courtesy of Forever 21