Posts Tagged ‘personal style’

October 17, 2014

Vest

One thing that keeps me interested in dressing up is the idea of taking items of clothing that have fallen out of favor and finding new ways to make them work.  I love a good vest– it’s an easy way to add some structure to an outfit, and a low-commitment addition that keeps you a little warmer.  I guess I’ll always have a soft spot for waistcoats: they were a thing back when I had started blogging, and I wore them with American Apparel t-shirts and skinny jeans and bowler hats, and when the trend went sour, I was left with a sizeable number of vests in my closet, all without suits to match.  This linen halter waistcoat by Damir Doma is a remarkable piece because of the unusual cut and detailing.  I like to wear it over thin sweaters, almost like a puffy vest but for milder weather.

Oakley sunglasses, Damir Doma linen halter vest, Uniqlo heattech sweater, Damir Doma drop-crotch cropped pants, Nike shoes

Oakley sunglasses, Damir Doma linen halter vest, Uniqlo heattech sweater, Damir Doma drop-crotch cropped pants, Nike shoes

DSC_1005

one-button halter

one-button halter

grosgrain belt and sheer back

grosgrain belt and sheer back

Nike Frees and a chain-link ring

Nike Frees and a chain-link ring

DSC_1061

Oakley Frogskins (c/o Coastal)

Oakley Frogskins (c/o Coastal.com)

DSC_1046

October 7, 2014

Bright Blue Suit

As someone who tends to favor restraint and the subtlety of non-colors, getting so much wear out of my bright blue suit from Reiss comes as a surprise.  I’ve worn it three-piece with a crisp shirt buttoned all the way up to attend a few fashion week shows (thanks, Highsnobiety and Huffington Post!), two-piece with shirt unbuttoned to dinner, and with a long shirt and a silver hair piece to a friend’s dance party at Le Baron.  I felt invincible wearing it, and nodded fervently when a few days after, The Cut put out that piece on Italian men wearing bright blue suits as a symbol of power.  Powerful as it seems though, there is a gentle benevolence to the color blue that seems to work even when applied all over a suit in full saturation.  This time around, for the blog, I thought I’d wear the suit in the spirit of an archetype I always go back to: the young maharajah.

blue suit by Reiss, Karma Mantra necklace, vintage tunic, Guidi shoes

blue suit by Reiss, Karma Mantra necklace, vintage tunic, Guidi shoes

DSC_0009

Black onyx and coral Japa Mala by Karma Mantra

Black onyx and coral Japa Mala by Karma Mantra

AC+632 ring

AC+632 ring

DSC_1223

sidewalk sultan

September 17, 2014

Tuxedo

I once read somewhere that every man should own a tuxedo, but these days, I think a dark suit performs the same functions as a tux, with much more versatility.  But how many black suit iterations can a man own?  Indochino had offered to make me a suit and I decided to go for the tuxedo: a little shrunken, a little cropped, with a peculiar double-breasted scoop-neck vest, vests being a thing of mine as of late.  The folks at Indochino were very kind, and accommodating, and covered all the alterations that needed to be done when the suit arrived a little too large.  I’m looking at my calendar, planning out the next couple of formal affairs I’ll be attending and I will probably be wearing a smoking jacket and a black suit to those two, respectively, but this tuxedo I will wear as a surprise. Dinner perhaps?  Late Wednesday drinks?  Brunch.

Indochino tuxedo vest and pants, Title of Work organza bowtie, Prada shirt, Paul Evans shoes

Indochino tuxedo vest and pants, Title of Work organza bowtie, Prada shirt, Paul Evans shoes

the full look

the full suit

Title of Work organza bowtie

Title of Work organza bowtie, rings by And Other Stories and Lanero

Lanero ring

Lanero ring

Paul Evans cordovan lace-up shoes

Paul Evans cordovan lace-up shoes

August 11, 2014

Kimono

On somewhat chilly summer nights when most men would don a cardigan or a sweater to keep warm, I enjoy getting lost in a big, flowy kimono.  I like to wear mine clean and pared-down, like a summer samurai.  You all know I love a good dressing gown, but in warmer months, the combination of a shorter-loose-sleeve kimono and cropped bottoms strikes the perfect balance of breeziness and skin coverage.

vintage men's kimono, Alexander Wang t-shirt, Celine clutch, Y-3 shorts, Minelli shoes

vintage men’s kimono, Alexander Wang t-shirt, Celine clutch, Y-3 shorts, Minelli shoes

subtle vertical-striped pattern on the green-black silk

subtle vertical-striped pattern on the green-black silk

Celine clutch, diamond ring by Lanero, concrete ring by 22designstudio

Celine clutch, diamond ring by Lanero, concrete ring by 22designstudio

DSC_0219

easy suede loafers by French shoe brand Minelli

easy suede loafers by French shoe brand Minelli

DSC_0241

 

July 23, 2014

Black Suit

Screw the rules: if I could have only one suit, it will be black.  Black is timeless–it’s the ultimate neutral–and a black suit works just as well as an almost-tuxedo for formal affairs, as it does with a white shirt and knit tie for interviews, and equally well jacket-only, with jeans and a nice t-shirt for casual dinners.  It isn’t funereal if it fits well, and if you’re having it made (or if you could customize it yourself), little touches keep it from feeling cookie-cutter.  The fine folks at Reiss’ personal tailoring service let me go full-on dandy with the details: white-lipped horn buttons, bronze striped lining and vest backing, and a royal purple melton.  I could only say great things about their fine fabrics and finishes, the decidedly English nipped-waist fit of the suits, and their kind and patient staff.  This is how I wear my black suit.

Reiss bespoke three-piece suit, Marcella custom mandarin-collar shirt, Miharayasuhiro shoes

bespoke three-piece suit from Reiss, Marcella custom mandarin-collar shirt, Miharayasuhiro shoes

DSC_0071

white-lipped horn buttons on my Reiss tailor-made suit

white-lipped horn buttons on my Reiss tailor-made suit, rings by Stephen Webster

a green-bronze fine-striped silk for the lining and on the back of the vest

a green-bronze fine-striped silk for the lining and on the back of the waistcoat

purple undercollar melton

purple undercollar melton

Stephen Webster crab ring: blue opal under faceted rock crystal set in black gold with blue sapphires and black diamonds

Stephen Webster crab ring: blue opal under faceted rock crystal set in black gold with blue sapphires and black diamonds

Stephen Webster thorn full-finger ring: white diamonds on white gold

Stephen Webster thorn full-finger ring: white diamonds on white gold

initialed

initialed

DSC_0085

 

special thanks to Stephanie at Reiss, Maryanne at Marcella, and Alex at Stephen Webster 

July 21, 2014

Madrid

There’s something so easy about visiting Spain–maybe it’s the siesta culture, their generous hospitality, or the Spanish-Filipino language and culture connection–this country never really felt foreign to me.  I spent a few days in Madrid, a city that ironically feels decidedly more mature than Barcelona, its older sister by a thousand years.  The streets seemed to be filled with buildings that are either pre-war or built in the 70s, as if all construction was halted 40 years ago and everything had the lightest film of dust on them, the people are warm and punchy, and the food is rich and flavorful.  A quick car ride away is the old capital of Toledo, the most breathtaking scene in this little trip, a setting for a fairy tale.

the view from my room at Villa Magna in Madrid

the view from my room at Villa Magna in Madrid

E000008

langoustines and other sea creatures at Mercado de San Miguel

langoustines and other sea creatures at Mercado de San Miguel

burrata delights

burrata delights

gulas, spaghetti of the sea

gulas, spaghetti of the sea

candy shop in the old town

candy shop in the old town

E000026

Toledo, like a fairy tale

Toledo, like a fairy tale

cathedral ceiling

cathedral ceiling

DSC_0536

moat?

moat?

red suit of my own design, Bottega Veneta portfolio in dark gray, Cornelia Webb hand cuff

red suit of my own design, Bottega Veneta portfolio in dark gray, Cornelia Webb hand cuff

drainage covers by Fendi

drainage covers by Fendi

kitsch

kitsch

dinner at Casa Benigna begins with two bread dipping olive oils: España vs Italia

dinner at Casa Benigna begins with two bread dipping olive oils: España vs Italia

paella served in a skinny, heavy patella

paella served in a skinny, heavy patella

the perfect bite

the perfect bite

smoked rice paella Valenciana with rabbit

smoked rice paella Valenciana with rabbit

E000041

 

July 17, 2014

Red

I like color now.  I liked color back in high school, when color was all I had by means of freedom in the way I could dress, when shape, texture, and layers were just nowhere to be found within my reach.  Though I maintain that men look best in neutrals, happiness trumps all, and this flirtation I am having with color, a challenge to break away from the ease of all-black, makes me smile about fashion again.  I had this summer suit made by my tailor in a stiff Japanese linen, somewhat inspired by what elderly gentlemen wore while practicing Tai Chi around my school back in the late 90s.  It is a familiar silhouette: the top is the same collarless round-neck shirt I’ve had made in many fabrics, and the pants are shaped just like all my perfect slim trousers.  When I like something, I dive into it heart first, and though I swim with caution, I let it consume me, head-to-toe.

red linen summer suit of my own design, Lanvin sandals

red linen summer suit of my own design, Lanvin sandals

DSC_0286

Lanvin sandals

colorful soles on my Lanvin sandals

DSC_0317

hand cuffed

June 10, 2014

Smoking Jacket

A while back, I had commissioned the lovely gentlemen at Moustache Hong Kong to make me a smoking jacket out of this vintage deadstock brocade, but I am only recently getting to appreciate what a remarkable piece it is.  When it arrived, it was beautiful–don’t get me wrong–but I had first envisioned it as a high-low piece, something sparkly that I could wear with sneakers and a ratty t-shirt as a wear-anywhere jacket somewhere in between fall and spring.  But it was stiff, and the fabric a little too sharp for everyday; it didn’t work for my intended purpose and so in my closet, it slept.  Little did I know that all it needed was a little respect: I was going to attend an event with people in the menswear-y, tailor-y variety, and I needed a nice new sport jacket.  I put this baby on, double-belted, with a crisp white shirt, black trousers, and smoking slippers, and boy did it sing.

Moustache Hong Kong smoking jacket, Uniqlo shirt, tailor-made trousers, Minelli suede smoking slippers

Moustache Hong Kong smoking jacket, Uniqlo shirt, tailor-made trousers, Minelli suede smoking slippers

DSC_0531

DSC_0487

middle finger ring in mesh and brilliant-cut diamonds and pinky ring in tapered baguettes by Lanero, green resin ring by Norbu Bijoux

middle finger ring in mesh and brilliant-cut diamonds and pinky ring in tapered baguettes by Lanero, green resin ring by Norbu Bijoux

blog initials in collegiate letters

blog initials in collegiate letters

May 18, 2014

Spring Suiting

As in any love affair, my relationship with menswear goes through phases of smooth sailing, sparks of passion, and some dark times.  I will tell you this much: this winter, I didn’t really see anything in store that shook me up or caused me to think about the way in dress in a completely different way.  Call it disillusionment–a lover’s quarrel if you may–but the spring air has caused my mind to clear up now and it’s okay.  In times of uncertainty, I gaze at two things I’ve loved from the start: sleek, handsome tailoring, and subtly kooky pieces.  I’ve been wearing my suits everywhere from work, to cocktail hour, to Foodtown, and these clever pieces by one of my all time favorites Miharayasuhiro make me smile, and springtime, I feel fine.

lapel-less suit of my own design, Alexander Wang t-shirt

lapel-less suit of my own design, Alexander Wang t-shirt, Miharayasuhiro shoes

lapel-less suit of my own design, Alexander Wang t-shirt, Miharayasuhiro shoes

with Miharayasuhiro trompe l'oeil coat

with Miharayasuhiro trompe l’oeil coat

a spring coat statement by Miharayasuhiro

a spring coat statement by Miharayasuhiro

custom hammered thumb ring by Jake Andrew, watch c/o Daniel Wellington

custom hammered thumb ring by Jake Andrew, watch c/o Daniel Wellington

These heavier round-toe lace-ups are my shoe shape of choice to wear with suiting nowadays. The 8-balls on the heel are just the icing on this scrumptious leather cake.

These heavier round-toe lace-ups are my shoe shape of choice to wear with suiting nowadays. The 8-balls on the heel are just the icing on this scrumptious leather cake.

photographs by Alex Atkins

March 28, 2014

Hong Kong

I flew to Hong Kong for a weekend—my old stomping grounds, the style metropolis for Southeast Asian dwellers.  It no longer inspires me the way it used to; the days of aspiring to look like a Granvile Road kid with spiky brown hair, grunge-pop clothes, sneakers, and a monogram bag are a thing of my pre-dandy past.  But what has replaced that is a sense of wonder for the aggressively progressive China and how that and old Hong Kong influence us today.  On a side note, I highly urge you to visit the outlets in Ap Lei Chau (not pictured): Prada, Lane Crawford, Joyce Boutique, and I.T.  Trust that there will be something there for everyone.

"suit" of my own design in a pale blue palm-print fabric, COS t-shirt, Vans shoes

“suit” of my own design in a pale blue palm-print fabric, COS t-shirt, Vans shoes

pic28

pic31

pic29

art

art

PoHo, Hong Kong

PoHo, Hong Kong

she: Reformation, me: Oakley sunglasses, vintage shawl, Issey Miyake shirt, Cotton On pajama pants, Vans shoes

she: Reformation, me: Oakley sunglasses, vintage shawl, Issey Miyake shirt, Cotton On pajama pants, Vans shoes

pic47

pic45

Gee, dragons

Gee, dragons

tapestry shell top of my own design, Damir Doma pants, Birkenstocks

tapestry shell top of my own design, Damir Doma pants, Birkenstocks