Classic Lines, Old Manila


By Thaddeus C. Hinunangan, MD
Photos By Yoel Uy

Adulting can be quite a daunting task, and none of us men usually have the luxury of being taught the language of style. Luckily, men’s fashion is quite straightforward, and they are all founded on the basic principles of clean lines and solid colors. Like it or not, first impressions last. In nailing the interview or presentation, going on a date, or even attending the usual social occasion- great style gives one that extra “oomph” that takes us from good to great. Most of all, personal style allows one to speak volumes even before opening his mouth. Here are some basic tips in looking as effortlessly sharp as possible:

Charcoal grey suit paired with a black printed T-shirt
Neutral colors like grey and black make a good basic wardrobe

1. Fit is king. This is the most basic style principle, because the moment you wear something too large for you, even if it is a Versace, it ruins the look. Make sure that the shoulders are the right width, and the sleeves the right length. When a shirt is perfectly fitted, it drapes effortlessly on your torso. Some brands like Calvin Klein, have the slim fit variety for those who desire a slimmer silhouette, but the basic rule applies. Some “regular fit” shirts are more forgiving if you have a slight bulge around your belly.

The same applies for pants, they should fit your waistline (regardless of type of fabric or style) to the point that you can wear the pants even without a belt, and it does not fall off. The pants should not be too tight that it causes unsightly bulges. A perfectly fitted pair of pants falls nicely and the length ideally tailored to your perfect leg length.

2. Pay attention to details! Wearing quality accessories raises the bar in your fashion game. Own at least two pairs of watch—a rugged one for everyday use and a dress watch for more formal events. Everyday watches that withstand wear and tear can be your G-shock or Seiko automatic watches. Dress watches are usually sleek and fit comfortably under long sleeves.

Belts should match the color of your shoes. Wear socks that match the color of your pants. Paying attention to these tiny details will make a stronger overall fashion impact for you.

3. Invest in classic styles, and then move into trendier styles later. Ever had those days when you open a closet full of clothes but absolutely had nothing to wear? It is because most of us buy trendy clothes that only look good for a certain limited time. Neon t-shirts, fringed tops, tie-dyed shirts- they may look cool for a day, but they will not withstand time.

A bold red tie with a classic navy suit

A basic charcoal gray or navy suit is a classic staple that looks great with almost any occasion, and will always look stylish because it is a classic. Like old movie stars with iconic looks, like James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, or Marlon Brando in Godfather. You will always look sharp whether its 1990 or 2019, a classic never gets old.

You can of course add the printed t-shirts under a jacket as you get more comfortable, with a well-established sense of style. But always start with the basic style essentials.

4. Solid colors and fine prints match seamlessly with classic clothes. You can always vary what you wear with your suits. Try pastel colored shirts with a bold tie, or dark colored shirts with your navy suit. The possibilities are endless, but as a rule, stay clear from loud graphic prints and novelty shirts because they are difficult to pull off when combined with other clothes. Clean and classic shirt styles go very well with jackets and pants with solid neutral colors.

5. Wear the clothes, don’t let the clothes wear you! A man’s wardrobe should not overpower him. Again, stick with neutral colors like black, navy, grey, brown, khaki and white. They provide a great backdrop for you, and you may wear an accent like a silk tie or a statement wristwatch as a finishing touch.

At the end of the day, it is how confident you feel in your clothes that count. Style and confidence is something that it learned after years of trial and error. The rule is, have fun while doing it.

Dec 2018 Health and Lifestyle

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