Weekly Roundup | Five Japanese Brands To Know, Three Ways To Wear Leather Jackets

Five Japanese Brands You Should Know (Mr. Porter)
“There are moments when one city will punch above its weight when it comes to style. Recall the buzz around the “Antwerp Six” in the mid-1980s, or those two Bronx upstarts with the surnames Klein and Lauren who emerged from New York a decade earlier. Right now, though, it’s Tokyo turn – and what’s inspiring is that there isn’t just one trend. Look to the achingly hip streetwear of Neighborhood, whose Americana with attitude is so well crafted it would look at home in an Indian Motorcycle poster from the 1950s; the beautifully indigo-dyed farm wear of Blue Blue Japan, whose shirts, jackets and jeans are re-engineered for city life and will look better every day you wear them; or the surf-inspired classics of Remi Relief, whose hoodies and washed-out tees, updated with modern fits, have a vintage feel so authentic you’d think they were dug out of a Malibu attic. Today, Tokyo’s designers are reinventing multiple menswear archetypes (the outdoorsmen, the Ivy Leaguer, the surfer dude) – and their near-fetishistic attention to detail reminds us why we loved them the first time around.”

The Great British Sewing Bee’s Patrick Grant: ‘The BBC considers fashion frivolous. It’s not’ (The Telegraph)
“He certainly believes that British men are smartening up. “Guys across the UK are dressing in a more considered way than they were five years ago. It probably kicked off with the success of, I hate to say it, Mad Men. That was a good catalyst into smart men’s dressing, that lovely tailored aesthetic. Jeans and T-shirts don’t make you look good.””

The Suit Is the Greatest British Invention (New Republic)
“We have to thank the members of the Romantic movement for the sober colors of suits. It was their love of the Gothic that put us in grey and black but the suit stuck. It said something and it meant something to men around the world; it said and meant so much that they would discard their local dress, the costumes of millennia, their culture and their link to their ancestors, to dress up like English insurance brokers. There is not a corner of the world where the suit is not the default clobber of power, authority, knowledge, judgement, trust and, most importantly, continuity. The curtained changing rooms of Savile Row welcome the naked knees of the most despotic and murderous, immoral and venal dictators and kleptocrats, who are turned out looking benignly conservative, their sins carefully and expertly hidden, like the little hangman’s loops under their lapels.”

International Fashion Editor Sarah Ann Murray’s Key Style Essentials For Every Man (Forbes)
TA: What, in your opinion is a marker of good clothes?

SAM: Fit. An ill-fitting suit could ruin even the highest quality fabric. Knowing how a suit ought to fit, knowing and understanding your own body type and proportions are paramount to this process. After that, questions of style would then be enhanced by the fit of a garment.”

Three Ways to Wear Leather Jackets (Put This On)
“Purchasing a leather jacket for the first time can feel intimidating. They’re expensive, for one, and there’s always that nagging feeling that you might not be a “leather jacket kind of guy.” The process can be made easier, however, if you start by imagining what else you might like to wear with your jacket. Some look better with beat-up jeans and rugged boots, while others are more at home with tailored trousers. The type of jacket you’ll want to get depends on how you plan to wear it.”

On The Spread Of Custom Part II: Low (A Suitable Wardrobe)
“Because the fundamentals of what make a good custom suit (good individualized fit and good construction) are neither easy to get right nor flamboyant enough to get the attention of new potential customers, the new breed of cheaper custom tailors often advertise the availability of things like colorful linings, customized labels with the wearer’s name on them, cuff buttons that undo (sometimes with contrast-colored buttonholes), and other details that will stand out. This is part of the phenomenon of mass customization, the creation of a perception on the customer’s part that he is getting something individual, even if such individualism is superficial (or the important but boring stuff, fit and construction, mediocre).”

Start: Munch Manila 30-Day Challenge


Spinach and squash frittatas, chicken carnitas with pico de gallo, pollo en chimichurri

A few years ago I met Mark Dee at the first meetup I organised and have since become really good friends. Earlier this year I saw him at another meetup and saw that he lost a lot of weight by eating healthy and doing minimal exercise. I couldn’t believe his transformation and we all asked him plenty of questions on his journey to becoming fit and healthy. He told us that he stopped consuming carbohydrates, fast food and alcohol then replaced them with healthy food. He soon discovered that many of his friends also wanted the same thing: lose weight, eat healthy and become more fit. That’s when he decided to get into the business of delivering healthy food with Munch Manila. Continue Reading

I Washed My Jeans In The Ocean

Raw Denim Ocean Wash-045

Ever since I got into raw denim I’ve always wanted to try washing my jeans in the ocean. It was popularised by a French clothing brand and involves wading in seawater with the jeans on then rubbing the jeans with sand. They say the salt water acts as a kind of natural bleach giving denim a subtle fade while sand “beats up” the denim softening it and giving it more character. Raw denim enthusiasts discourage washing jeans in sea water because it can leave a bad smell. However, the smell can be removed by washing the jeans in fresh water and detergent. Continue Reading

Weekly Roundup | Tailoring cost, margin and value; New tie textures and weaves

Bespoke tailoring: cost, margin and value (Permanent Style)
“So the total is £1420 to £1710, average £1565. If an average Savile Row suit costs £4800, then the production cost is 33% of the retail price you pay.

Compare that to the average production cost in retail, which is 13% to 20%, and you can see the basic value of bespoke tailoring. (Numbers based on three different retail sources). A lot more of your money – twice as much in fact – goes into making the goods than with most things you buy elsewhere.”

On The Spread Of Custom Part I: High (A Suitable Wardrobe)
“I suggest that, fundamentally, custom be understood with its lay definition, something made to the customer’s order. The same should be true for the word bespoke as well, noting that culturally we’ve come to understand custom (clothing) to mean a whole lot more – because the concept had become so abstract (good custom clothing being generally hard to find and expensive). Until the last several decades, however, the terms custom, made to order, bespoke, tailored and made to measure were often used interchangeably to describe clothing made specifically to fit an individual customer. In recent decades, the spread of various alternative or shortcut forms of customization has meant that true custom or bespoke tailors, shirtmakers and shoemakers have, in defending their unique crafts, asserted that custom/bespoke involves various other steps, in particular the creation of an individual pattern (or last, in the case of a shoe) for a customer. That is the appropriate definition of custom/bespoke in current #menswear usage, although there’s no binding standard definition or legal definition, so that a recent arrival on Savile Row that sold suits made from altered stock patterns successfully defended its use of the term “bespoke” from challenges from real Savile Row tailors. (For completeness, I note that “made to measure” today is often used to mean customized clothing made by altering a stock pattern to a customer’s measurements, while “made to order” typically denotes clothing made to a particular stock size at the customer’s order, although many still use the terms “custom” or “bespoke” interchangeably with them, whether in bad faith or not.)”

New tie textures and weaves (How to Spend It)
“Much has been written in the past decade about the demise of the neck-tie. Dress-down Fridays, internet start-ups and a general relaxation of dress codes have certainly eroded the role of the tie as essential kit for the successful man. Personally, I’ve never stopped wearing ties and now I detect a small but discernible revival of interest from a young, cool demographic with a very specific taste in tie style. Gone are the lustrous silken numbers, the witty motifs and neat knots. In their place is an innovative approach to materials, weaves and textures and a certain nonchalance in the way ties are worn.”

New Standards (Die! Workwear)
“Chester Mox’s new line is almost completely different from their old. They still make things from Horween leathers, but they also have some new materials from French and Italian tanneries – including those used by luxury houses such as Hermes and Louis Vuitton. Perhaps most importantly, the entire line is now saddle stitched by hand (including any internal components), and Bellanie’s technique is very, very good.”

Order An Off-the-Menu Cocktail

Kingston Negroni Cocktail

A Kingston Negroni at EDSA Beverage Design Studio

Pete Wells wrote about restaurants that aim too high with their cocktails for the New York Times. This is his advice on ordering cocktails at fancy restaurants:

Don’t order from a list that looks seriously out of season; a bar that’s paying close attention won’t serve rhubarb bellinis in January. And don’t order from the list at all if what you really want is a Sazerac, a French 75 or another standard. Restaurants rarely list them, but ordering an off-the-menu classic is not like asking for a bowl of chili at Le Bernardin. You won’t get any dirty looks, but you will probably get a good drink.

Don’t Be A Dandy On Your Wedding Day


Running a blog on men’s style means I get my fair share of questions on having a suit made for weddings. The questions usually fall into two categories: tailoring and styling. The questions pertaining to the former are straight forward such as which tailors I recommend or where to buy cloth. On the other hand, the questions in the latter category reveal men’s struggle to dress appropriately for a wedding. Here’s one story. Continue Reading

Uber – My Private Driver

Those who know me personally will notice that I don’t drive a car. I don’t believe in owning and driving my own car for two reasons: 1) driving in Metro Manila can quickly become a nightmare, and 2) the total cost of ownership for a vehicle is not cost-effective. I am all too familiar with the heavy traffic and flooding that make driving in Manila a pain and paying for a taxi including tips is still far lower compared to owning and maintaining a vehicle. If I add a driver into the mix it only makes the case for owning a car even worse than it already is.

I take taxis a lot because there’s a lot of them available and they are relatively cheap in the Philippines. However, they do have their own set of drawbacks such as dirty vehicles and problematic drivers. These problems are as temporary as the journey but I’m pretty sure the situation could be better for people like me who don’t want to own and drive a car. With the introduction of Uber in Manila last February things are looking up.

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Whiskey Deconstructed

tumblr_ncu0adDY701sjurmwo1_1280 Distiller is an app for whiskey enthusiasts. It helps you discover, rate and connect with whiskey lovers around the world. The people behind it love whiskey so much they made visuals illustrating how whiskey comes to life. Step one is about the mash which looks at the grains that go into whiskeys. Step two is the process of fermentation and distillation. Step three is all about barrelling and aging. Click on the thumbnails below to see the visuals.

whiskey_deconstructed_part_1_the_mash_infographic          whiskey_deconstructed_part_2_distillation_infographic          whiskey_deconstructed_part_3_barrel_aging

Source: Whiskey Deconstructed Step One Step Two Step Three

Weekly Roundup | Common Types of Denim Damage, Aramis’ Secret to Success

Common Types of Denim Damage and How To Avoid Them (Put This On)
“I thought I’d do a post on the most common types of denim damage and how they can be repaired, as well as avoided altogether.”

In The Hands of Marc Lauwers (A Suitable Wardrobe)
“The finishing work on a Lanvin bespoke shirt is also incredible. Even if it’s only in keeping with the precisely cut fit of Marc’s pattern, finishing work is certainly easier to remark and describe: hand-stitched buttonholes that are so precisely stitched as to baffle the eye (as opposed to the ostentatiously clumsy work of many Neapolitan names), as well as hand-stitched armholes, when Marc deems it necessary for a better fit. Hand stitching, no matter what an ill-informed writer may tell you, is principally a cosmetic touch on most clothing, but on Lanvin bespoke it’s carried out at its most finest and precise, and that’s something Charvet will not try to do, instead offering very cleanly machine-stitched finishing.”

Look After Your Suit (Mr. Porter)
“Your suit is one of your biggest sartorial investments, and should provide you with many years of enjoyment – assuming that A) you remain able to fit into it, and B) you take good care of it.”

How to improve your knowledge of whisky (The Telegraph)
“Adding water to whisky also helps to reveal its flavours. The best analogy I can think of is that when there’s been a long spell of hot weather and then it rains, there’s a release of aromas from the leaves, plants and trees. That’s what happens when you add water to whisky – the flavours that were trapped during the distillation process are then released.”

Aramis: The smell that just won’t go away (The Telegraph)
“So what is the secret of its success? To me, at the heart of its appeal is the simple fact that it smells so straightforwardly masculine. As someone who writes about fragrance for a living I often get lambasted for using such crude descriptors (it’s far cooler to say fragrances should be genderless), but the truth is it just does. Or at least, it smells how you might expect a classic masculine fragrance to smell. It’s not fizzy, fruity or overloaded with so much vanilla that it smells like a cake shop; it’s leathery, woody and earthy. It’s solid, punchy, muscular and reliable, but gentlemanly and refined too.”

A Gentleman’s Guide to Dress Shirts (Forbes)
“Cary Grant knew a thing about presentation. Mr. Grant calculated his clothing choices to create an unbroken line, an arrow, which pointed straight to his face. Mr. Grant knew about the magic of proportion in dressing well. And nowhere is it more important to practice that magic than in your choice of collars and the width of the shoulders on your jacket.”

Casa Noble Night at A’Toda Madre Tequila Bar

Casa Noble Night-015

Casa Noble Night-006

Everyone has a bad story or two when it comes to tequila. People remember the times they got smashed after taking one too many shots of the cheap variety. But times are changing and people are discovering that tequila can be enjoyed like any fine wine or single-malt whisky. And to appreciate tequila better I joined the Casa Noble Night at A’Toda Madre tequila bar.

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