Saturday, February 11, 2012

Style Conscious, not brand conscious

I first heard these words from my uncle, who was know to be the artist/stylish/hip guy in the family. When we were vacationing in Hongkong back when I was still in college. He took me to the TST and Mongkok factory outlets and taught me how to shop for clothes that fit and suited me (my wardrobe at that time was jeans, shorts and shirts), and then he said "Be style conscious and not brand conscious"

That's basically what guides me up to this day in buying clothes for me. Let's face it, clothing brands are not so easily obvious, cause if it were, there would be no need to ask celebrities what or who they are wearing during red carpet events. How it looks is what matters.

I was actually out shopping for a nice fitted shirt since I just realized I didn't have a lot, and this is the challenge for men. I like my shirts with a little design to them, plain shirts and polos are everywhere and there's nothing special about it. Maybe it had something to do with Valentine's because almost every store I went to had something on sale.

I then walked into the Memo store and started looking around and saw this short black shirt with an asymmetric gray stripe that looks like a false pocket. I grabbed the medium size and tried it on. I loved the fit and the shorter than usual sleeves, plus it was on sale as well.

I then did a little browsing in the Dept Store just seeing what they have. Besides a row of Angry Birds shirts, I saw these dark brown orangey jeans with copper colored stitching. I picked up a pair and read "Hibalder" Hmmm never heard of them, but I decided to try them on because I liked how it look especially the weird extra long belt loop on the side as well as the stitching on the back.

 The slim fit was perfect, I now wonder how in world did I thought baggy hip hoppish jeans looked cool before.

These Dragon Sea leather shoes I actually got a couple of years back from a mall in China, the orange stitching actually matches the one on the jeans.

Here's that weird cool looking extra long diagonal belt hook and the fancy stitch work on the back pocket.

Of course love you own! This my everyday wear EMO men's bracelet, incidentally this design comes in a matching pair for couples.

The "S" doesn't stand for Superman but Sydnee! Hahaha. Honestly, belts are one of the most under appreciated articles in a man's closet.

And here comes the fun part, how much does it cost? The Memo shirt I got it at 10% off which comes out to P990, and the Hibalder Jeans are a mere P799, Superman belt from Greenhills is P250 and my EMO bracelet is a mere P2,400.

Be style conscious, not brand conscious. And no I'm not wearing my Spanx underneath!


Yep you read that right! I bought myself SPANX compression garments. And yes I did think and research about it =P.

I was actually watching Lucky Magazine's Ten 10 Obsessions of the past decade on Velvet. I actually get a kick out of these countdown shows, especially the Top Ten Hottest Women Beach Bodies. Anyway, I caught it as they were at number 4, not exactly an obsession but rather, fashion disasters, and Crocs was damn smack top fashion disaster! I couldn't agree more! Them things are fucking ugly! And I'm proud to say I never owned one, not even the thought of owning one entered my mind.

So then comes No. 1 and it was SPANX! I've actually heard of Spanx before but paid no mind to it, actually the mental though bubble went something like "Geez mumbo jumbo magic garment that gives false hope to billions of fat ass people" I watched and listened and the mental image changed from "fat ass people" to "Holy shit! That might work for me!"

Well I'm not fat, flabby or overweight, duh obviously, but I wasn't as thin as I once was (damn miss those days) and that little lump below the belly button and a little on the side is really damn hard to work off.

So the googling began. had some sellers but all were Spanx for women (gee I wonder why) then I came across a blog entry that said Rustan's has them for sale. So I trekked my way to Shangri-La EDSA, went inside to the Rustan's Concierge section and asked the nice lady "Uh miss, do you have Spanx?" In which I got a very puzzled look. "Undergarments sir??" Yea that was it, undergarments! Off I then went to the lingerie section where all the bras and nighties were, and no I wasn't ashamed to be there, in fact I was fiddling with some of the bras while browsing around.

At first I thought "Oh crap its all for girls" but in the lower corner, there were boxes of Spanx for men. I picked one up and looked at the back, size 36-42 chest was the smallest. Then the lady offered to measure me. Cool exactly 36 inches. I then asked if I could try it on.

Holy shit, it was the tightest thing I have ever tried putting on in my life!

And after a few minutes of tugging, I got it on and DAMN! It works. While it doesn't give me and instant 6 pack, it did smooth away the unwanted lumps and buldges and slimmed down my already slim midsection.

The secret is pretty obvious when you lay it flat. The lower section is drastically smaller than the top section and that is what presses and flattens out imperfections. You can actually just drape over a shirt with all the buttons open and go out as is. And I did just that.

Yep that's me and I'm sucking my gut in. Although most likely, I will wear something over it because it does give you 1-2cm of wiggle room in your jeans.

So there you have it, I own a set of Spanx  and am not ashamed to say it. Oh and Spanx for men is actually cheaper than Spanx for ladies, and getting out of it is waaayyy harder than putting them on! Does this mean I'll be wearing them everyday from now on? Of course not, its for those special occasions when you really need to. Hell Octavia Spencer wore 3 of them to the SAG awards!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Work Clothes

I'm actually quite a boring and lazy dresser most of the time. My daily wardrobe/uniform is a rotation between 4-5 black shirts branded with car parts such as Cosworth, HKS, SpeedLab etc etc, and 3-4 pairs of loose cargo shorts, and work shoes. 

Cargo shorts are nice because of all the pockets where I can put my stuff: Keys, wallet, phone, money, and uh cargo.

This Oxygen printed tie shirt is one of the few non "car" shirts I wear to work. It's kinda funky with the gray necktie in the front that does seem to fool people, plus it's black so I can quickly wipe my hands on when I work on cars and people won't notice. Surplus Shop actually has lots of very affordable cargo shorts from P350-P495. I normally buy 3-4 at a time and keep wearing them until they basically disintegrate. 

I absolutely detest going out wearing slippers, yea I know telling Filipinos not to wear tsinelas is like telling them not to eat rice. Anyhow, These canvas sneakers from Bench have been through serious abuse in the shop like stepping on grease, gasoline, mud etc etc and they're still alive and in good wearable condition. They're also pretty easy to clean as well, 5 minutes with some laundry detergent and Scotch Brite, they're nice and white again.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


My day job is actually being an owner of one of the famous performance tuning shops in the city, doing set ups for people who want their cars to go faster or to go racing (eyes rolling or a collective huhwa??) Unbeknownst to most people, high fashion and high octane motorsports are inextricably joined at the hip. Just look the at proliferation of models during a car show. Alright, not exactly the best example, but if you have ever been to a luxury car launch such as the events done by Mercedes Benz, Audi or Lexus, attendees make an effort to come in their best attire, men and women.

Well most of us don't have Benzes or bimmers in our garages (we don't), that doesn't mean we let the fashion side of things fall aside.

This particular coat I picked up at 40% from the Penshoppe sale in Megamall, since they were renovating the main store at the ground floor Bldg A, hey I like a good deal as much as the next person. Good they had one last medium sized coat and i immediately bought it after trying it on. The cut and length was right, the shoulder was in the right place, and that all important mid curvature was there when you button it up.

The inner shirt is from Arrow, and I'm a firm believer that real men can wear and pull off pink quite nicely. If there are guys who read this, the wheels on our new Hyundai Sonata are 18" gunmetal Rota P1s shod with 225/40 R18 Kumho Ecsta tires, just in case your curious.

Like almost everyone who lives in Metro Manila, we have all visited our favorite tiange to buy bootleg DVDs, games, and the multitudes of stalls selling shoes is hard to miss. While I generally make it a rule to buy original stuff (they sure fit a lot better and last waaayyyyy longer) I picked these up for a mere P400. Ii won't recommend them as everyday wear since the sole isn't that comfy, but for the occasional night out, pwede na.

An oft neglected accessory for guys is the ubiquitous belt, especially now that having your shirt tucked in is tantamount to telling the whole world that your a dork. But in reality, having your shirt untucked is a cheap and easy way of concealing that big flabby tummy. While I do have my share of tummy issues, I can still wear my shirt tucked into my pants, and I especially love this T&M belt that's actually an eye searing red on the other side.

The Sonata is actually my dad's car. As for me I drive a mildly modified 2001 Honda Accord 2.3L, it maybe a 10 year old car but still looks damn good with the classic low and long body style. Plus its big, roomy and its an automatic! Yea I'm lazy that way.