Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I Love This Cake!

It's one of those rare times I'm writing about something that's not related to Style and Grooming and I'm only really doing this to share my latest find with y'all.
It was my Mom's birthday yesterday, December 1, 2008 and I was looking for an extra special cake to give her. She's very picky with food so I was careful to choose something I'm sure she would love and not be able to say, "I can make a better one."
I saw a print ad of red Ribbon's new cake, their Coffee Walnut Bavarian, and the way it was described seemed to fit the bill of what I was looking for. And, I was not disappointed... and more importantly, neither was my Mom.
She loved how it was creamy but light at the same time; and the trace of Kahlua blending delightfully with the walnuts and chocolate chips was just perfect.
I learned from the people at Red Ribbon that this is only available for the month of December, so you cake lovers better hurry or it'll be another year before you taste this masterpiece.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Can You Smell Me?

Q: My carpoolmates think I wear too much perfume. They’ve actually requested if I can put on my perfume when I get to the office already. But I like wearing my perfume after I take a bath because I like to smell good and it makes me feel clean. Should I change my scent or look for other carpoolmates?

-- Andrew, Caloocan

A: I think you’re missing the message of your carpoolmates, amigo. They’re not complaining about the scent of your cologne per se, but rather how much you put on.

As a general rule, the best way to apply cologne is to keep it subtle – think appetizer portions vs. main course.

It’s easier to control your application when you use a spray-on cologne vs. one that comes in a regular bottle because the cologne is dispensed in less concentration and is regulated by the spray nozzle.

For spray-ons, position the spray nozzle one (1) foot away from your body and spray only twice; one on each side of your neck.

If you have a regular cologne bottle do not splash the cologne the way they do it in baby cologne TV commercials. Do not pour cologne out on your palm and apply from there. Use one finger over the bottle opening, tip the bottle over and evenly apply cologne on each side of your neck, just below your jaw line.

Too much cologne tells people you either didn’t take a bath or are overcompensating to hide body odor. So, in this case, less is more!

Loosen Up My Buttons, Baby!

Q: What do you think about shirts with button-down collars as an officewear or with a suit?
-- Stan, Greenhills

A: It’s perfectly fine for officewear with a tie and even for business casual. I’m not too hot about using button-downs for suits though unless the buttons are neatly hidden under the collars the way G2000 does it or using a snap on automatic button popularized by Giorgio Armani. Button-down shirts with visible buttons on the collars, for me, distract from the overall neat and polished look that you would like to exude when you’re wearing a suit.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Revenge of the Nerds

I’m four-eyed and proud.

The anti-nerd movement in the 80’s gave glasses a bad image which caused most of the visually challenged to promptly trade theirs for contact lenses.

But now, with technology driving the Information Age, we are experiencing the real revenge of the nerd. We’ve all seen the triumphant return of Peter Parker and Clark Kent. Geek is now chic!

Personally, I really prefer glasses over contacts. Apart from the relief from all the discomforts from wearing contacts, like dry eyes, I find that glasses gives me more flexibility and options when it comes to the overall look I want to project.

If I need to look all serious and professional, I wear my silver, conservative frames, which go well with any business attire. For more casual or social functions, I go with the rectangular, horn-rimmed glasses my wife gave me for Christmas.

This pair matches most of my casual or night-out clothes, which tend to be dark-colored.

The face of your shape primarily dictates the frame that suits you best. The rule of thumb is to pick frames that provide a complimentary contrast to the shape and create balance for your face. See what comes closest to your own face with the following common shapes:

If you have a round face, you’d like your glasses to give you a thinner and longer appearance. Angular narrow eyeglass frames that are wider than they are deep, such as a rectangular shape, can achieve this for this facial type.

Because of its balanced proportions, the oval face is considered as the ideal shape. This is also the easiest and most flexible shape to pair with because most frames will tend to work. Frames that are as wide as the broadest part of the face (e.g. walnut-shaped) that are not too deep or too narrow work best.

Oblong shaped faces are longer than they are wide so the objective is to minimize the length to achieve the right balance and proportion. Choose frames that cover as much of the center of the face as possible in order to minimize the length.

If you have a square face, you’d like frames that can make your face look longer and your jaw lines. Frames that have more width than depth and narrow ovals complement this facial type.

This is also sometimes referred to as a base-up triangle shape. If this is your face, your objective should be to minimize the width of the top of the face. Frames that are wider at the bottom and use very light colors and materials can achieve this for you. Rimless frame styles also work best on this face type.

The Base-Down Shape is the opposite of the heart-shaped face, where the face has a narrow forehead that widens at the cheek and chin areas. To balance out the broader lower part of the face, favor frames that are heavily accented on the top region like those that are semi-rimless (heavy top, and no frame at the bottom).

In choosing the color of your frames, eyewear experts say to consider eye color; but, since Pinoy eyes generally just come in either black or brown, what’s important to consider is for the color of your frames to reflect your personality and what will match 80% of your wardrobe.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Beach

The beach used to be a place you could escape from everything – where you can wear anything you like, be who you really are and no one will care. Nowadays, that’s just not the case anymore.

Summer is the time when finding parking in Manila’s usually full clubs and bars is a little easier. Why? Well, it’s the time of the year when the city’s beautiful people and bonafide partyfiles trade concrete for sand – it’s one big soiree! So, if you’re one of those who will make this annual pilgrimage to Boracay, Bohol or Palawan you wouldn’t want to be caught dead looking like a castaway. Following then are some things you may want to consider to be a beach DUDE instead of a beach dud.


In this age of abs worship and healthy living, guys need to prepare for the beach the way women lose weight for their wedding. This is your chance to show people the results of those long and hard hours at the gym. Consider that you will be half-naked for a good 70% of the time. No one wears t-shirts while swimming anymore; okay, maybe I know two…

Preparing your body is not about getting 6-pack abs or being runway model fit; though, that wouldn’t hurt. It’s just about looking overall healthy. Those love handles that most of us have are okay. You know you’ve got a bit more work to do if people mistake you for the Michelin Man.

It would also save you the stares if you would shave, trim or wax off lush body hair growing on your chest, back and treasure trail. I hate to be the one to break the news to some of you, but the Austin Powers look is not mojoreffic, baby.


Let’s get this out of the way… no matter how much of a swimmer’s body you have (or even if you’re a real swimmer) skimpy Speedos™ have no place in the beach.

Ask yourself, would you walk around in public in your briefs?

Okay, so you’re being smart and you ask back, well, how come it’s okay for women to wear a two-piece bikini? And the answer -- it’s because they look hot in them, duh! A short survey also showed that men want to see women in skimpy bikinis, while majority of women don’t even want to or are even embarrassed to look at men wearing Speedos™. So if the girls ain’t looking, who’s checking you out (wink)?

All’s not lost though for this water-proof brief… we’ll get to that in a minute.

So what to wear in the beach? Stick to the trusty board shorts; now made more contemporary with a slimmer cut and comes in 4” or 8” length. If you’re vertically challenged, favor the 4” length shorts if you don’t want to look like you’re wearing cut-offs.

One of the hippest, but sadly not locally available, swim wear brands right now is Parke & Ronen. Check out their website (http://www.parkeandronen.com/) to get an idea of the different board shorts styles that suit you and just get the closest local equivalent.


Very few, and we’re talking 1 out of the 35 guys I asked, go commando (i.e. wear no form or type of underwear) under their board shorts. And, the main reason, to “keep from flopping around” and letting other people know just exactly what size you are; don’t forget the water can get cold.

By now, you should have figured out that when you get out of the water, your shorts will cling on you like Glad Wrap™. So, if you’re not wearing anything under, you might as well not be wearing anything at all.

This is where Speedos™ actually come in handy. Instead of wearing ordinary briefs, which are not tight enough and can also fall off, using Speedos™ as your swim underwear not only keeps your manhood from prying eyes, they also give your crown jewels better protection against jellyfish or other curious sea creatures looking for new habitat.
The beach is the human species’ watering hole, where all gather to congregate and cool off from the scorching sun. And, much like what happens with our animal counterparts, this seasonal gathering also becomes the venue for displaying our natural attributes that allow us to attract and/or keep our mate. So as you pack your bag for your white sand getaway make sure you, well, “BRING IT”.

Face Your Problem

Q: My girlfriend has been telling me to get a facial. She says it will improve my complexion and make me look younger. I haven’t done it because I think it’s a total waste of money and I think it’s so gay. Am I right?
-- Richie, Quezon City

A: I’ve never been a fan of facials myself. Not for the reasons you site though, but I just don’t like my face being touched by a stranger; most especially if they are not a certified dermatologist. That said, though, I am an advocate of men taking care of their face and skin.
If you think about it, we need to be more conscious of facial care because of the tremendous stress we subject our faces to by shaving everyday and generally being more exposed to the sun, the elements (e.g. dust) and pollution vs. our lady loves.

Read between the lines, mister. It’s not about having a facial. What your girlfriend is really telling you is that you’re beginning to look old and weary. Since us men like the D.I.Y. (Do-It-Yourself) concept when it comes to fixing things, let me give you a simple D.I.Y. routine to rejuvenate your skin -- cleanse and moisturize at least twice a day. And, when you’re ready for the next level, you can throw in “exfoliate” in the process. I’m not there yet.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tailored Bulge?

Q: I am now a convert to flat front pants, thanks to you. However, I noticed that my front pockets bulge more noticeably vs. when I wore pleated pants. Was this my tailor’s mistake or is this really how flat front pants are?

-- Jacob, Marikina City

A: Flat front pants, if tailored well, should give you a slim silhouette. Yes, they are less forgiving than pleated pants when it comes to hiding bulges. While the tailoring of your pants could be one reason, the more likely cause is that you’re just putting way too many things in your pockets to begin with. If I were to venture a guess, you’re probably stuffing your front pockets with a whole bunch of keys, coins and your cellphone; or worse, your Blackberry. You didn’t notice this when you were wearing pleated pants because pleats expand and cause your pants to balloon to accommodate the extra weight (including your own). But, since the MC Hammer look is so over, your decision to wear unpleated pants need to be coupled with a small change in old habits as well. Pockets are not built-in bags. You only really need to bring maybe 2 keys with you – your car’s and the key to your office or house. The other pocket should just have a hanky and a money clip. As for your your cellphone, well they’re are getting slimmer and slimmer now, so maybe it’s time to harass your carrier to change your handset.

I can’t imagine you would need to put anything more in your pockets. But, if you’re the type that must carry a lot of “essentials then maybe it’s time to think like Batman – ditch the pants and trade it for a kick-ass belt.

Anchors Away!

Q: I need your help. My friends have been telling me that I should make an extra effort to dress up. I’m a t-shirt and jeans kinda guy… only because I don’t know how to pair and match my clothes. Jeans seem to be the safest thing to wear for someone like me. What do I need to know so I can start wearing other things?

-- Andrew, Caloocan

A: I have a lot of friends who are just like you; some of whom have 3 or 4 jeans of exactly the same color and style. The lack of knowledge in pairing or matching clothes is, more often than not, really a deep rooted fear of not knowing how to wear colors outside blue, white and black.

Let me then share with you the concept of “anchoring”. Simply, what this means is that you choose a particular piece of clothing or accessory that will serve as the anchor or base that dictates the color combination of your entire outfit.

Personally, I find that choosing your pants as the anchor is the easiest. Since you’re a slacks neophyte, I would suggest you choose gray pants. For me, gray is the most versatile when it comes to being paired with different colors. It pairs well with white, blue, lavender, green. Most guys think black is the fail safe option. But, what you don’t realize is that black does not really pair well with pastel or light color hues. That limits your options right there.

So remember, when your jeans are making you blue, dress gray.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Gray Wedding

Q: Can I wear a gray suit for an evening wedding? -- Vince, Quezon City

A: It depends on the shade of gray. Light or ash gray (like the one pictured on the left) is normally a daytime, business suit and not usually worn for formal evening occasions like weddings. It would look like you came straight from work and didn’t have time to change. Charcoal gray is the way to go for dressier events. It’s also very versatile color which can be worn for day or night.
The “formality” of your suit also depends on the tie you will use. For dressy occasions, stay away from striped “power” ties. They’re more appropriate for business and work-related daytime functions. Solid, dark colored ties work best for a dapper evening look.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Bringing It to the Beach

I still remember the first time I went to Boracay back in 1998; before the calming sound of the sea was drowned by house music and the palm trees outnumbered by advertising banners.

Ask anyone who knows me well and they will tell you that I’m a bonafide city dweller. I enjoy (and depend a lot on) the conveniences that modern urban life offers. Yes, I was looking forward to seeing the famed white sand beaches of Boracay (no one called it “Bora” then) but, I was admittedly more troubled that I may not have clean running water and electricity to take frequent showers and have the option to turn on the air condition if it got too hot.

Boracay then already had a pretty good night life reputation. And, since I’m not really a beach person (the last time I was in a beach before this was back in 1992 because it was a P.E. requirement) I was clueless as to what people wore when they partied on an island.
So, with all this going on in my head the night before my flight, I struggled to finish packing. And, when I finally finished at around 2 a.m., here’s what I thought I needed for 3 days in this tropical paradise:

- 2 pairs of swimming/board shorts – I figured I could wash and dry the first one I wore and wear it again on the third day

- 4 round neck t-shirts – one for each day plus a spare in case I got too sweaty and needed to change

- 3 collared sport shirts – one for each day

- 2 short sleeved polo shirts – for partying at night

- 3 pairs of walking shorts – one for each day. I didn’t think I needed a spare because I thought I could repeat wearing a used one in case I needed to change more than once for some reason. I couldn’t do this with a shirt because used shirts normally stink and get too wrinkled to be re-worn

- 2 pairs of boxers – for sleeping, and as spare underwear

- 2 white undershirts – for sleeping

- 1 pair of jeans – for partying at night

- 1 pair of khaki chinos – in case the place we would go to did not allow jeans (I told you I was clueless)

- 2 pairs of socks – for my rubber shoes

- 1 pair of rubber shoes – for long walks or outdoor activities

- rubber slip-ons – flip flops were really just pambahay then

- leather sandals – to wear after changing from swimming and for walking around outside the sandy areas

- 6 pairs of underwear – 3 for swimming, 3 for daily use

- 1 beach towel plus 1 regular bath towel

- my toiletry bag which had
> sun block
> a small bottle of shampoo and a bar of soap
> sachets of conditioner (my wife, who was then my girlfriend, told me this was indispensable so that your hair wouldn’t dry up and look nasty after swimming)
> razor and deodorant
> lip balm (your lips can get sunburned too, you know)
> toothbrush and a giant tube of toothpaste
> a nail clipper

- A first-aid kit for basic medicines and first-aid items (e.g. paracetamol, anti-diarrhea, anti-allergy, band-aid, iodine, cotton, cotton buds and alcohol)

- a flashlight and a Swiss knife

- my Discman – no iPods back then

- some junkfood – okay, it was A LOT of junkfood

and finally, my shades.

I had to stop myself from bringing a sleeping bag, just in case the beds weren’t clean. I put this beside my giant backpack (think Mt. Everest expedition) just in case I changed my mind in the morning.

Much to my surprise, though, Boracay was pretty civilized. The resort we stayed in had cable!
How much of the above did I really use -- maybe just 30%. The rest served as a (heavy) lesson in overpacking. I could have avoided bringing my house if I bothered to find out more about Boracay.

So, when planning for what to pack for your trip just remember the two Es of packing:

a) ENVIRONMENT – Check the weather. Where are you staying (e.g. hotel, resort, etc.)? Would they have the basic amenities (e.g. clean linen, towels, toiletries, etc.) so you can spare yourself from bringing these bulky items.

b) EVENT – What will you be doing? Who will you be with? How many days and nights will you be staying for? Are you going to do any outdoor activities? Will you be doing a lot of partying?
Now that I’ve cured myself from overpacking, there’s more space in my luggage to go overbuying.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Outing the Metrosexual

Is the Metrosexual the modern man?

Commonly defined as “a straight, sensitive, well-educated, urban dweller who is in touch with his feminine side, has a standing appointment for a weekly manicure, and most likely has his hair cared for by a stylist rather than a barber, frequents the gym and is very fashion conscious” the Metrosexual has emerged as one of modern marketing’s newest demographic.

The term “metrosexual”, while tracing its roots as far back as the early 80’s, really caught on sometime 2002-2003; inspiring shows like “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and elevating spas to "lechon-manok" ubiquity.

While I agree that the modern man has definitely evolved from the rugged and macho Marlboro Man, I still don’t buy the idea that what has emerged as the man of the new millennium is the “metrosexual” as defined above.

For me, “metrosexual” is more accurately the new “bisexual”. In other words, it more accurately defines the I’m-gay-but-I’m-not-ready-to-come-yet gender. The word itself seems more similarly coined to words that describe sexual preferences (e.g. heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual and transsexual).

This is why I think a lot of modern (straight) men who are called a “metrosexual” cringe and are even quick to deny that they are part of this demographic. Sure, the new breed of men are a little more conscious of how they look and are more refined, but there are just too many dodgy characteristics of the metrosexual that makes us, who are referred to as one, feel more uncomfortable, even insulted, than flattered. So, for the record, the modern man is not the likes of Ryan Seacrest.

The modern man is not fashionable. He is stylish. He is not interested in couture. He has a tailor. He takes extra effort to look good and be well groomed because he is discriminating and demands no less from his girl. He knows what clothes are right for him and how to be the perfect accessory to his date. Think Leonardo DiCaprio and Ashton Kutcher.

The modern man does not wear any form of make-up but recognizes that, as women continue to work on delaying aging, they will want a mate that does not look like a prune. So, he takes care of his skin. Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves and Johnny Depp have all made 40 the new 30.

The modern man does not carry a man bag. The concept of a “man bag” is as ridiculous as lady condoms. It’s simply naïve to think that a man bag-totting guy won’t try to take a quick peek to check you out if you happen to be side-by-side in a public toilet.

The modern man shouldn’t need a manicure or a pedicure. For one, there’s really just one way to wear our nails – short. How hard can it be to cut your own nails? And what could move anyone to color their nails? There’s nothing modern about pink, freshly manicured or pedicured nails. In fact, they’re often seen on men that are dirty and old.

The modern man does not wear jewelry, but knows enough about them to buy only the best for his girl. Birthdays, your engagement, anniversaries, Christmas and please-forgive-me moments are just among the many occasions where you will find that this skill is just as important as studying her menstrual cycle.

The modern man does not spend an inordinate amount of time in the gym. Why? Well, because that’s not where all the hot girls are. However, he is conscious enough to get the right amount of exercise and watches what he eats because he knows that women want a man who can live to see their children grow up.

There is a new breed of men now being called “ubermen”. Ubermen are defined as a heterosexual man who is masculine, confident, compassionate, and stylish. The marketing community has realized that Ricky Martin is just not in the same league as Bono, George Clooney or our very own Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.

So is the uberman the modern man? Maybe, but all I know is he most probably lives in the valley between Marlboro Country and Brokeback Mountain.

Friday, April 18, 2008

What to Acquire & What to Retire

Acquire: Slim, pointed leather dress shoes. Whether cap-toe or wing tip, slim shoes complete the trim, contemporary cuts of you shirt and pants.

Retire: Square-toed dress shoes. The paddle foot look is (thankfully) over.

Acquire: Money clip – A good way of helping you bring only the cash you really need and making sure your pants don’t lose their form.

Retire: Thick, bulky wallets - Apart from causing butt shiners on your pants, they’re not good for the lower back if you habitually place them in your back pocket.

Acquire: Checkered and pencil-striped polo shirts – 2008 celebrates European style. Checks and pencil-stripes are in the boardrooms of Milan, London and Paris.

Retire: Diagonal-striped polo shirts – They never really looked good anyway.

Acquire: Low-waist straight cut jeans – Jeans are supposed to be comfortable and to allow you to move more freely. This cut also never goes out of style.

Retire: Skinny jeans – There can only be one Gino Padilla. Plus, you can’t wear them with boxers.

Acquire: Tailored, flat front pants – The overall objective is to look trim. And, since we come in all shapes and sizes, your tailor will give your pants the nips and tucks it needs.

Retire: Loose, pleated pants – Do you really need me to explain? Okay, one word – Daddy.

Acquire: Sneakers & Loafers – The right way to be (or look) sockless. In case you haven’t noticed yet, yes, preppy is back.
Retire: Flip-flops – A good percentage of male feet look just plain nasty! This was a painful realization after 2006 started the pambahay look. Thankfully, people are coming back to their senses.

Acquire: A leather briefcase – This is the only acceptable “man bag” as far as I’m concerned. This fits your work stuff and basic toiletry kit (see November’s issue for what this should minimally contain).

Retire: Clutch bags – Three letters – D.O.M. Okay, so you have a gun, but honestly, do you really think you can open your precious clutch bag and get your gun out in time when you’re under attack?

Acquire: A kick-ass dress watch – When choosing a dress watch look for elegance and style; not too flashy and sparkly. I know big, chunky watches are what’s happening right now, but since this will be an investment, choose something more classic and timeless (no pun there).

Retire: All other jewelry – Unless you’re a hip hop singer/rapper, then maybe. Remember, all that glitters is for your girlfriend.

Acquire: A leather planner – I don’t know about you, but the conventional planner still works best for me in organizing my schedule and for taking notes in meetings. Plus, you can’t stuff business cards and receipts in your PDA, can you?

Retire: PDAs – How many guys who have PDAs actually use them as planners? Most PDAs end up as glorified calculators. To those that do use them as organizers, then good for you. But to the majority that don’t, trade your PDA for a slim cellphone that can do e-mail and has a decent camera and you’re pretty much set.

Acquire: A Facebook Account – Developed by Harvard Alumni, this relatively new social networking site is loads better than its predecessors. Aside from a better layout, it has cool applications that can get addicting. The other nice thing about Facebook is that every update is relatively transparent to everyone, so there’s not a lot of crap going around.

Retire: Your Friendster Account – Friendster is what ICQ was for instant messaging. Leave this to the kids.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Rubber Suit

Q: “I see a lot of magazines showing guys wearing sneakers with their suits. Is this acceptable?”
-- Richard, Pasay City

A: If you’re commuting to work in, say, New York City, then maybe you could pull this off without getting a lot of stares. Even then, you would have to change your shoes when you get to your workplace. But, if you’re in Manila, you will likely be wearing a suit because the occasion calls for something more dressy or business-appropriate. So, no, this is not acceptable. Stick to what we know works – a nice pair of Italian leather shoes.

Justin Timberlake can get away with it, yes, but this is the guy that dumped Cameron Diaz, he can’t always be right…

Monday, March 17, 2008

Who Pays?

Q: “I’m getting married this year and would like to know if there is a rule about footing the bill for my entire male entourage’s outfit.”
- Patrick, San Juan

A: No real rule for this. It all boils down to your budget. Ideally, so you can have control over what your entourage uniformly wears and how you can set yourself apart from them, you pay for everything. In which case, the more economical but still elegant option is to go with barongs. Now, if Daddy ain’t helping with the bill, just provide the fabric and have them pay for the labor cost. It would be good to insist for them to all go to your tailor, though, so you still maintain control over the styles; ensuring that your suit or barong stands out vis-à-vis your entourage’s.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Comfortably Flat

“I finally had my first flat front pants made. While they do look nicer, they’re not as comfortable as my pleated pants. Should I just accept this or was there something wrong with the way it was made?”
- Carlos, Alabang

A: I bet you sucked-in your stomach when you were being measured by your tailor, tsk, tsk… While flat front pants are not as roomy as pleated pants, they should not be uncomfortable. The thing with flat front pants is that the measurements need to be exact. There is very little room to accommodate unwanted and unexpected bulges; whether from gaining weight or as a result of arousal. So what you want to do is go back to your tailor to get yourself re-measured. This time wear boxer shorts and make sure that your shirt is tucked in while you are being measured. This will ensure your tailor captures the additional layers that can contribute to the snug fit of your pants. It’s also best to go after a full meal so he can consider the allowance he needs for when you have a full stomach.

Wrinkle-free Barong

Q: “Do you have any tips for how not to wrinkle the back of my barong when I sit? It just looks awful when I walk around and the back is wrinkled and bunched up after sitting for a long time. ”
- Gerry, Manila

A: Finally! I thought I was the only one bothered by this. Yes, as a matter of fact, I have what seems to be a working solution to this problem. And, believe it or not, the idea came from what women have been doing for a long time. You know how women slide their hands on the backside of their skirts before sitting down? That’s to make sure their skirts down wrinkle and bunch up while sitting; retaining their shape when they stand. If you do the same thing with the backside of your barong before you sit you will find out that it works just as well. So now, you can even wear your barong when you drive! Next, we deal with how to prevent wrinkling your shirt from wearing a seatbelt.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bloody Red

No, this is not a paid post by Clear Dandruff Shampoo. It's just me venting on why everythning must be bloody red on Feb. 14.

1. Please, please, please fight the urge to wear red today. I mean, give the color a rest already; we already saw a lot of red last February 7, Chinese New Year.

2. Roses come in many different colors. Peach is probably the most romantic of them.

3. Stay away from restaurants decorated with red cut outs of hearts and boy-and-girl-leaning-forward-in-a-kissing-action. They will likely not have wine.

Men - I hope you made reservations. No decent restaurant will have an empty table for walk-ins.

Ladies - Be nice to your men. They skipped a lot of lunches to make this day a little special.

The Toilet Sink

Q: “Please help me, wherever I go, I always make sure that I have my vanity kit with me, whether I go to the mall, to the beach, at work, or even when hanging out with my friends and co-workers. With this kit, I have my cologne, alcohol, baby powder, hair cream, tissue and face mirror. I also have in it some coins, my keys, a ball pen, extra tank top and sometimes, my umbrella. All of these things make my hand carry too bulky to be "hand" carried. Is there really the acceptable vanity kit for men? If yes, what should we have in it? Please advice. Thanks!”
- Lester, Amadeo, Cavite

A: Sounds more like you carry your bathroom around than just a vanity kit. I’m all for proper grooming and hygiene, but unless you’re thinking of becoming a barber that does house calls, I don’t suggest you tote around your man bag wherever you go. I’m also not a big fan of clutch bags. There’s something very D.O.M.ish about it. Stick to the standard travel toiletry bag and leave this in your work desk drawer. Your essentials include a toothbrush, a small tube of toothpaste, face wash, lip balm, alcohol and some paracetamol. I can’t see why you would need anything more than that.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Under a-Tuck

Q: “I often see men (especially those who are wearing semi-fitted shirts) expose their belt buckle. Sometimes, they tuck in the front portion of their shirt to pop out their belts. Is this really necessary? I often see this "style" even from the male models of Manual. I thought they were just promoting the belts so they expose it. But I don't have any idea why others do that too.
-Lester, Amadeo, Cavite

A: I've been asked this question so many times I've forgotten if I've already answered it. Anyway, I guess one more time wouldn't hurt ...

This style is the modern take on the out-of-bed look and normally goes with wearing either big buckle belts or military belts on low-rise jeans. So, if your belt is forgettable (e.g. ordinary office leather belts) and (if) you are on the heavy side, save yourself the trouble -- either tuck or untuck. Besides, if you look at the label of this look, you will realize that it expired in 2007. Over and out!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

It's a Date!

Q: “It’s been a while since I’ve gone out on a real date. I finally had the guts to ask this girl that I like out. Any advice on what to wear that can help make a good impression?”
- Anthony, Marikina City

A: You failed to give me two critical information – (1) how old are you and (2) where are you going?

Always dress age-appropriate. The two extremes are young people trying to look older men (aka D.O.M.) trying their darndest to look hip and cool.
Where you’re planning to take her will obviously play an important part in your decision on what to wear. Some (but few) fancy shmancy restaurants have dress codes, which you will need to follow at a minimum.

If you’re in your 20’s and 30’s and are looking to go on a romantic dinner, say, iL Ponticello, capped with casual drink at, maybe, Fiamma, a slim, body cut long-sleeved polo shirt, with sleeves folded up just below your elbows, worn with a pair of low-rise, boot cut jeans, big buckle belt and leather shoes should do the trick.
In your 40’s? Go with a long-sleeved polo paired with dark grey, flat front slacks, silver buckle leather belt and your Bally or Florsheims.

Oh, and please, make sure you foot the bill.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Okay, I know this has nothing to do with clothes and style, but I just have to share this with y'all. I got this flier from a new (and very no-frills) restaurant near our shop, wittingly called "Anyhow" (inihaw, get it?) so I tried it.

I didn't expect much so I was pleasantly surprised. I tried the tenderlion steak, you can't choose the doneness (i.e. it's only done one way), but it was tender enough. And, the gravy was very good! It can be "ulam" in itself. Yum! You have to try it to believe me.

What surprised me the most though was the sizzling litid. I do not normally eat "litid" or tendons, so I initially was not attracted to order it. But, the server said it was their specialty and insisted I gave it a try. My initial spoonful "tikim" was followed by another, and another, and another... there goes my cholesterol level. I still wouldn't eat litid -- EXCEPT if it's from Anyhow.

Now, just to stay in theme to what my blog is all about. What to wear when you go there? It's basically come-as-you-please. I'm still wondering though why their waiters wear cut-off jeans! I checked... they weren't on skates.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Waterproof Shoes

Q: “My pair of shoes became faded after it got wet from the rain. Is there still hope for me to revive them? How do I prevent this from happening to my other leather shoes?”
- Michael, Makati City

A: For your question, I asked my friends at Hush Puppies for their expert advice. According to them shoes that have been soaked wet lose their shine because the natural moisture in the leather has evaporated with the water. To bring back the luster of leather, apply good leather moisturizer. Check that the moisturizer has natural oils like coconut and jojoba because synthetic ones are not absorbed into the leather and just accumulate at the surface. To prevent this problem from happening again, apply water and dirt repellent on your shoes before you go out and expose them to the elements. This coats your shoes with an invisible and breathable layer to protect it against moisture and dirt, preventing them from seeping into the leather.

Better yet, get yourself a pair of waterproof shoes, like the ones pictured from Hush Puppies. These have been pre-treated with water-repellent ingredients in the tanning process, which makes the leather repel moisture. They also have their seams sealed to avoid water from getting inside the shoes.