Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2013 W.A.R. List (Part 2 -- Acquire)

If 2012 was the year of excessive behavior and extremes, 2013 is looking like the year of the return of elegance.  I guess it’s not really surprising because with the Philippines’ economic resurgence comes a little extra money to spend on life’s finer things.  So here goes the must-Acquires for 2013:

1. Culture comeback – 2013 will see the return of the appreciation for the Arts, even on mainstream media; starting off with the screen adaptation of Les Miserables. Modern classical singers, the likes of Andrea Bocceli and Josh Groban, are due to make their comebacks. As elegance makes it return, so too will events that will allow us to dress up a little – plays, art exhibits, orchestra concerts and possibly even operas. The Ayala Museum has a great line-up of activities for the year. Check them out!

2. Pocket Squares – Male elegance translates to being dapper. And, nothing says dapper more than a well-tailored suit accentuated by a pocket square. Sadly, a proper pocket square is hard to find in Manila. But, really, a pocket square is just a slightly bigger and fancier (in terms of fabric) handkerchief. So a good, well-ironed hanky, folded properly can do the trick. Make sure you tell your tailor that you intend on using pocket squares so he can construct your suit jacket’s breast pocket appropriately.

Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter of "Suits"
3. Peak lapel
– The notch lapel will still be the classic, fail-safe default for most suits. However, I think we will see the return of the more elegant peak lapel on suits for 2013. Suits with peak lapels are best paired with medium-width ties, which will also be making a comeback this year.

4. Stripes and Solids – Checks ruled 2012.  This year we will see more stripes and solids on dress shirts. Color-wise, 2013 moves from bright and strong hues to pastel and cool tones. On fabric, linen and other light fabrics will also make a big return.

5. French cuffs – Here’s another dapper staple. French cuffs no longer connote stiff and formal; and certainly does not mean you have to wear a tie. A well-tailored shirt with French cuffs says cultured, sophisticated and confident. The bonus is you get to wear cufflinks!

6. Color on shoes – A great way to make a subtle statement is to put a splash of color on your otherwise plain brown or black footwear.  Sebago’s line of colored boat shoes brings the iconic boat shoe to whole new level -- you can't just have one pair!  They can even personalize your laces for you.  I'm also a fan of Cole Haan’s LunarGrand line, which quickly went out of stock the minute it landed in Manila.  This must-have allows you to easily go from office to party without changing your footwear.

7. Lace ups --- Loafers ruled in 2012. This year, lace ups take center stage. Does this mean we can’t go sockless anymore? Not really. In fact, wearing lace-ups with no socks together with slim (not skinny) jeans or slacks with a 1-inch break gives the right stylish finish to your casual look.

8. Gold old fashioned books – Yes, the iPad and the Kindle make e-books more accessible and handy, but it really does not compare to a real book. When you use your tablet in public people will always think you’re just bored and playing games; even if you’re not. If anything, when you read a real book in public it always makes you look a little brighter than you really are. Just don’t be a poser and really read.

9. “Suits” the series -- This new legal drama series, with the remaining 6 episodes of season 2 resuming this January 2013, is not only addictingly entertaining it’s also a good reference for bespoke dressing. This is “The Practice” meets “Mad Men” meets “House”.

10.  Productive Optimism – This is an attitude we should all acquire for 2013, especially now that our   economy seems to be on an upswing.  Let’s cut the ball and chains of the past and focus our energies on moving forward and making it truly more fun in the Philippines!

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