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