The Happening: JRP Powersnet Launch!

Ever dreamt of a place where you can discuss your passions freely with like-minded folk? Well, stop it, visionary, because the hub you've been waiting for is finally here! Just recently, I was invited to become an ambassador for Powersnet, a social networking site launched by John Robert Powers where you can post pictures and ask questions about absolutely anything that tickles your fancy! Along with fellow ambassadors Carlos Concepcion, Patti Grandidge, Lissa Kahayon, and Laureen Uy, I'd like to invite everyone to sign-up and become part of the newest lifestyle compendium this side of the metro! I heard you get a chance to win an iPad, iPhone 4, or Blackberry too once you do. So go and be a Powersnet member now, stat!

Powersnet Ambassadors: Bobby x Carlos x Patti x Lissa x Laureen

The Item: Colored Ribbon Belts at Saizen

If you're like me, you can't get enough of ribbon belts. Every color, every stripe, I love these easily adjustable belts to bits. If you're like me too, you think that surely, there are cheaper options than those available in branded shops. They're just made of thin woven material and a little buckle after all! Well, here's Japanese bargain bin Saizen putting all those pricier ones to shame. For only P85 per piece, every single one's a winner. However, if you want to squeeze every penny out of that already small investment, go for that sweet military green number. Hell, get one or two or three or four or five, it's only P85 for crying out loud! (Oh, follow Styles I Love on Twitter!)

When choosing a buckle, choose the weathered ones for that perfect vintage feel.

The Happening: Classic Officer Swagger

My girlfriend and I recently went to our dear alma mater to claim our much-delayed yearbook. While that didn't pan out the way we wanted to (releasing was moved yet again!), it was a treat to roam around the campus again and reminisce about the fun times we had. Ultimately, our wandering led us to the school bookstore where I saw this photograph on the cover of Ateneo's 150th anniversary book. Boy, oh boy. Well-fitting double-breasted suits with contrast slim ties? I would've volunteered to be an officer back then if it entailed wearing this all but boyish ensemble!

How cold was it in Manila back then? Cold enough to throw a coat on, as it stands.

A short stop at the old Rizal Library converted into the new Ateneo Art Gallery

Awww, I missed sitting in those damn seats. My favorite classroom!

The Art: The "Influencers" Documentary

What makes an influencer? To me, an influencer is someone who has changed the way you and I live by doing things differently and seeing life in a different light. Here, several of them are featured - Billy Cunningham (the original street style photographer), Jay-Z, even brands that've changed an entire industry. Man, 13 minutes of pure inspiration that I just didn't want to end. Luckily, there'll be a sequel. For now though, stay tuned and stay inspired, y'all.

The Item: Nike Air Force 1 Premium Low

With the Steven Alan x Nike Sportswear collaboration coming out on Hypebeast, I guess there's no better time to tell you about the recent purchase I made. Man, you'll be surprised, folks. For the first time in so many years, I finally went ahead and bought some bad-ass streetwear kicks! These are not regular kicks too, mind you. When god said "let there be fine grown-up sneakers", he was referring to this very same pair. Two-tone rounded laces, gold eyelets and matte black leather upper? Whoever designed these AF1s definitely had me in mind. Thanks, Beaverton folk!

These'll pair well with my slim gray trousers. Perfect dress-down option!

Style I Love: My Wrist Accessory Lineup

While I preach minimalism when it comes to clothes, I go for the exact opposite when it comes to my accessories. This applies mostly to the ones I put on my wrist, which looks more and more crowded as the days go by. I guess it all started when I was in my hip-hop phase. I remember I used to wear a lot of Nike wristbands in different colors way back when and this eventual buildup - I suppose - is my grown-up interpretation of that. I love that I got different materials in there too: leather, steel, rope, and even wood. What can I say? Them wooden beads are back.

Watch (Tag Heuer), Leather + Rope Bracelet (Divisoria), Buddha Beads (Bazaar)

The Item: What's Up Work Boots at Carbon

Tommy Ton's contributions to GQ are always something to behold. In the few days he is tasked to cover street style at fashion weeks, he always manages to come up with an album that both envies and inspires. Intentionally or not, he also capsules the latest trends direct from the world's most stylish men. This time, he shows us how the work boot fever has caught on in Florence. Although by no means new (most all Hong Kong men were wearing them in August), it's a bulky look that I'm happy has sustained. However, the question is, can we get a piece of that here?

Work boots have taken over the what-goes-best-with-denim discussion

The thicker aesthetic is a fresh break from the slimmer numbers we've settled in

Fortunately, we can! I was walking around Greenbelt 3 earlier when I spotted these strikingly similar boots in Carbon. The local shop started carrying imported names lately and I, for one, can't help but laud their efforts. The boots are from a Hong Kong-based brand called What's Up and as you can see, they're pretty Florence, Italy ready. The mustard laces instantly pop against the chocolate brown and navy uppers and that chunk, oh that chunk will be the end of me. For about P4,600++, I actually don't mind. It's a fair price to pay to look like a dashing Pitti Uomo patron!

The seemingly obvious choice is the brown pair because of its classic color combo

However, this proud navy blue pair is putting up quite the fight!

The Item: Striped Timex Nylon Watches

Don't know if you've noticed, but Timex changed their billboard in Guadalupe just recently. They went from pimping their super techie running watches to a showcase of their more casual pieces. The new 'board's layout was far from perfect, but hey, at least the Timex people finally got the point. Classics are the way to go, baby. And releasing similar watches to the one I considered to be my 2010 favorite is really a fine start to the new year. The stripes on the nylon straps are a splendid tweak, as they add a sportier feel without being overly trendy. Just like my favorite timepiece of the moment, they're comfy as hell and a light dent on the wallet too!

These three are but a taste, they've plenty more sweet colors to offer!

The Item: Swatch Saddle Shoes and Brogues

While I've praised SM Department Store's improving clothing offerings before, I've yet to say any kind words about the shoes they carry. Kind of weird when you think about, with the store being call "Shoe Mart" and all. Anyhow, I'm glad to report that things are looking up. Yes, shockingly, I found these awesome saddle shoes and brogues amidst all the faux leather, square-toed footwear the store's known for. They're made by a Marikina-based brand called Swatch and although the branding could've been more distinctive, the designers' hearts are in the right place.

The shape's exactly what I'm looking for nowadays - not particularly slim, a bit chunky, and with the perfect rounded toe. The saddle shoes, in particular, got me excited. Lord knows how long I've been looking for a relatively cheaper pair since the Cole Haans in Hong Kong and Swatch was gracious enough to bring me several colors to choose from. The brogues aren't bad too, but if I were to recommend, the rubber soles need some more streamlining. As you can see, though, it's really not that big a problem and for P2,500 a pair, it's another step in the right direction for SM.

Ah, saddle shoes. If I were to choose, the caramel suede and chocolate brown are tops.

These trusty brogues are fine everyday office shoes. My loafers need rest, anyways.

The Icon: "The Sartorialist" Scott Schuman

"The Sartorialist" Scott Schuman is a man who has changed the world. Equipped with just his trusty camera and an eye for detail, he gave fashion back to the people, transforming streets into runways and regular people into walking mood boards. In this short documentary, we get a glimpse into the mind of the man who made "street style" a household concept. We are shown how he searches for inspiration on the streets of New York, walking for hours at times to get the perfect shot. That, to me, is not only a mark of a committed photographer, but also of a man who loves expression and searches for its perfect embodiment, every single day.

The Item: The 21Men Brown Tweed Blazer

There is little doubt in my mind that Forever 21 was the brand that made the most impact locally in 2010. Yeah, Muji has its followers, but shortly after its launch, the long lines and crowds were gone. Forever 21, however, remains strong. I recently went with my sisters and good lord, was there a lot of people! The fashion-for-less proposition has really struck a chord with Filipinos and the brand just keeps on giving. I saw this handsome tweed blazer on display and was quite impressed with its construction. Very professorial and smart, which is always a plus by me. It's quite heavy, though, so wear it with discretion. If you're somewhere cold, go ahead. As you can see below it goes nicely with a gray vest, shirt and tie. Well played, you talented stylist, you!

It also comes in gray, but this color is classic tweed. More tailored items please!

Style I Love: Practicing What I Preach

On the last day of plain + simple's first bazaar, I decided on an attire that perfectly embodies the minimalism that our brand promotes. Nothing fancy, but all pieces fit well and look good together. Pale oxford shirt, linen shorts, loafers, and charming bracelet - I could wear this combination everyday. Oh, what's that? Right, I actually did do that during the break. Anyhow, I should've thought twice before wearing those leather-soled shoes while hauling heavy stuff. I think I added a lot "character" (see "damage") to them that day. All's good, though, all's good.

Pale Green Oxford Shirt (Uniqlo), White Linen Shorts - Altered (Folded and Hung)
Maple Loafers (Opening Ceremony), Awesome Clothes Surrounding Me (plain + simple)

The Sale: The 5cm Post-Holiday Sale

Many of us are saddened with the passing of another holiday season. Vacation's over, work's back, early mornings are here again and with it, the increasingly dreadful traffic. Yeah, while I share everyone's sentiments, I also look forward to post-holidays as a time when stores madly slash prices off their wares. Case in point, 5cm's latest sale, which features an awesome selection of sneakers, blazers, and some mighty fine accessories. Head on over to their outlets at SM Megamall's Atrium and SM Mall of Asia to pick something up for yourself! Christmas may be over, but there's no better time than now to fulfill your resolution of dressing better in 2011!

Some handsome high-top sneakers for your consideration. You can't go wrong!

Blazers, cardigans, and coats perfect for the still chilly weather.

A clip-on bow tie's not that bad as long as it looks like this!

The Item: Lacoste Brown Leather "Scalas"

Starting this blog has opened many doors for me. I've been able to attend events which I only read about before, I got to meet amazing people with the same passions, and recently, I've been asked to write for a watch brand that I admire. Well, the fruit of that recent racket was a pair of kicks I'm really excited to wear. I'm not really a big fan of Lacoste Footwear, but dang it, these so-called "Scalas" are nice! It sports a charming mid-rise cut, a collapsible brown leather upper, and best yet, Lacoste branding that is as minimalistic as it'll ever get. A great alternative to the loafers I wore for the whole of 2010 and without a screaming green crocodile in sight too!

I can imagine wearing these with my red socks and folded khakis. Just perfect!

The Item: Daycraft "Deadly Ideas" Notebook

One of my top resolutions for 2011 is to write shit down. Coincidentally, I need a quality notebook to record that and other promises to better myself this year. I considered getting Moleskines, but I just can't stomach spending that much on a notebook. That's why I turned to Fully Booked to look for a relatively inexpensive alternative. That's where Hong Kong-based Daycraft notebooks come in. Hard-bound, perfectly small size, minimalistic designs, and a bookmark - I can hang with that! I chose this "Deadly Ideas" print mainly because it fit with all I have planned this year. For P235, it's not cheap, but it won't keep me up at night. I promised to sleep earlier in 2011, after all.

The Front Cover:The skull and pencil crossbones work for me!

My theme for 2011. Nothing but deadly ideas!

The Happening: The Facehunter Experience!

I have been following Yvan Rodic's Facehunter blog for quite some time, so when I heard that he was coming over to Manila for a book signing, there was no way I was going to miss it. From the time we arrived during the short Q&A, Mr. Rodic looked to be very accommodating. We were relatively at the front of the line of the signing, but it took about an hour before we got our chance to converse. No complaints here though, because I respected the fact that Mr. Facehunter made small talk with every single one of those in line, and there were a lot of us too, mind you.

When it was finally time for my girlfriend and I to speak to him, our observations rang true. It was like we were old friends having a discussion. We conversed about his inspirations and camera preferences. I mentioned that I have a blog too. I even voiced out my frustration about the Filipino man's lack of enthusiasm for clothing to which he said, "I've noticed". That sad point aside, it was a pleasant experience from a man who's been over the world, taking pictures of style in all its interpretations. As a token of appreciation, we gave him a pink oxford shirt from plain + simple, which he said he'll "wear all over the world". That guy, such a character!

The Facehunter and the plain + simple pair; taking a picture of our tag too!

Solo shots with Mr. Rodic. Hey, I think that's a little too close, sir!

Listening intently and personalizing his autographs for our copies.

Discussing with other fans. Come back and Facehunt anytime, sir!