Thursday, February 14, 2013

man essentials | with a kick of being pinoy

In life, there are certain staples - things that we certainly can’t live without, and make many things from. Its either we have them, or we are doomed. Take rice for us Filipinos as an example, right? We just can’t have a complete meal without it. But this isn’t a foodie blog so let me shift our thoughts back to staples. Staples, or basics – or standards (what have you) are a few items that we should have. 
I call them Man Essentials.

Our closets need not be filled with bulk of clothes - or brands, primarily. It’s the staples, no matter how many or how expensive they are that should be given the prime space. Prime space, my man by the way, is the part of your closet you reserve for items we REALLY HAVE TO USE. This part of your closet keeps your staples, your Man Essentials.

Aside from a good quality, tailored TUX, every guy should have…

Crispy White Top

Although the color has become debatable in the recent years, a crisp shirt is a staple! Alternatives for white include light washed shades of blue. Every man should have this item in a design that is ought to be worn tucked out. Pick one that also has no chest pocket.

White TEE Top 

Although I prefer a v-neck top, since it looks sleeker, a rounded white top also does the trick. Keep this one clean and crisp to get that smart look.

A colored, printed TEE top

Anything vintage, navy inspired or whatever genre you prefer you have to have a colored printed tee for party nights or chill coffee dates.

Colored/ Plaid shirt 

Something that looks classy on its own or when under a blazer. This is something that one can pull on for a chic nightout or a lounge time at the beach. Its a hard thing to find one that suits both, but local brands like Folded and Hung has some.


Your favorite jeans - in dark color, preferably black or navy to almost royal blue is a basic, it’s a modern basic. It’s the very paragon of smart casual look, a jeans and a crisp top under a blazer.

Trousers (we call them Slacks)

Pinoys call it slacks. And we usually prefer dark colored ones, that’s just right! Slacks in black never go out of style. Velvet ones are quite pricey, but they are the ones that look best. Own one!

Although the jeans are still the smartest casual looking pants, if you would like to look dapper and preppy, I personally recommend chinos. They look better on us Pinoys because we’re commonly medium built. Koreans and Tokyo fashion has long embraced this, like the high street fashion of the Brits. It’s time we go at par.


This isn’t your tux, but it should resemble a suave one. I prefer black since it goes perfectly well with any color. And we Pinoys commonly have mix of a Moreno and Chinito complexion, so it is safer than the preferred grey by the westerners. Also, stick with two-buttoned ones if not the conventional three button.

Varsity Jacket

It is a must have, although you may not look the part of an athlete, it’s better than a hoodie. Hoodies are for boys, we’re no longer boys are we not? It’s time to put on something more smart, yet still coy.

Leather Shoes 

Brogues are the best recommendations. Although some might prefer sleep on leather shoes, nothing beats brogues for looking classy. Invest on a good one and make memories with it.

Sneakers/ Loafers

Or add Vans on that. This daily trek shoes greatly depends on your preference. Whatever goes comfy on your toes should also be subtly edgy, so it can pair well with any pants. Stick with basic colors, dark ones or light washed ones for versatility.


Leathery and classy, something that never goes out of style. Pick one that has a silver head for a safer look. And yes, it still has to go with the color of your leather shoes!

Wrist Watch 

Yes, it’s a requirement. Forget about the ring, the necklace or the bracelets but never the watch. A man’s ensemble requires a watch. A classic looking, moderately priced wrist watch is a must have for all men. It is something that one should invest on.

Bows and Ties

These two are a must have. A tie in a crisp color like black, the conventional white, shades of blue or the trendy red should hang in our closets, always ready for wearing. Bowties on the other hand should come in preppy options. With bowties, its either you choose plain, classy ones or go bold and trendy. So it’s good to have both, so when needed, viola.

Good Undies 

I need not mention it, but guys, there are undies that are meant for chill hours at your pad and there are those meant for when you are out there busy and working your ass out. Also, it’s a must to keep a couple of undies that goes for special occasions. These are, ehem, what you wear when fun knocks.


While the Brits and the New Yorker requires trench coats, we Tropicanos should have scarves for the colder seasons. It is safe (you can remove and stash esily when weather dictates) and can easily be donned even when you only have a tee on. It adds character, and it looks good, trust me I know.


Yes, you ought to have a pair of tinted specs. I personally prefer Aviator glasses, but each facial shade has a specific design that compliments. See here. Thing is, it’s a must have. It’s a must have after a TGIF night out and you have to get to a Saturday afternoon meeting, it’s a must have when the sun is up, it’s a must have when a road trip calls, when, oh the list goes on.


CONFIDENCE and best foot forward, and we’re good to go!

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