A colleague told me the other day, “I don’t know whether what you’re wearing is formal or informal.” At that time I was wearing a pale blue shirt, navy blue pants, butterscotch belt and shoes. The look was very Italian. I pondered on his statement for some time and decided to write about it.Traditionally, when one says formal it meant the likes of black tie. In the Philippines, when you are in a dress shirt and dress pants you are considered fairly dressed up. Sometimes people describe me as wearing ‘formal’ attire even though I am not formally dressed. And I have noticed that most Filipinos consider all black waist down the most ‘formal’. I was wearing a butterscotch belt and shoes so I didn’t exactly look ‘formal’ hence the quip from my colleague. I believe business dress should not be conservative or boring. Black might be widely accepted but it is a color that looks drab in a country where there is sufficient amount of sunshine and is meant to be used in dressier, more formal occasions. One should not look too serious about his work that his colleagues and clients will regard him in such a manner. Being dressed up for work says you are serious about what you do. But when you wear other colors and express yourself it also says you’re not all work and no play.
My go-to color for dress pants has been black ever since I graduated from college and started working back in 2008. After three years of wearing the somber color I have finally stopped wearing black dress pants to the office.
I have replaced them with two pairs of navy blue and a pair of grey trousers. All three have a tailored fit and are flat front. For the grey one I opted to add 1⅝ inch cuffs. They all sit right on top of the shoe to avoid fabric bunching up and to show off the shoes I wear. And the butterscotch shoes I purchased a few weeks back look great with both colors.
That’s another new year’s resolution gladly accomplished.
I finally bought a domain for this blog (bespokemanblog.com) after months of procrastinating and deciding what to get. I didn’t exactly get the domain name I wanted but this will do. Now I can finally have my personal cards made. And don’t forget to update your bookmarks.
Not so long ago I went fabric shopping in Binondo and picked up some denim to make into a pair of jeans. In its raw state the fabric was quite stiff, very dark and thin compared to typical denim. Prior to purchasing the seller told me that the fabric would shrink and even showed me a sample of what it would look like after washing. I thought to myself that I do not plan to wash it for some time and that how it looked after washing was because they washed it too much.
I picked up my new pair of jeans last week. The fit was great after I had the width of the legs altered (starting above the knee all the way down). The alteration added about half an inch allowing my legs to move and my knees to bend. I wore them and noticed that the indigo bleeding was too much so I decided to have them washed. I purposely did not turn it inside out to allow the indigo to be washed away.
I got back my pair of jeans in a sad state. A lot of the indigo was removed making the fabric very soft. The look of the fabric became uneven as the indigo was not evenly washed away. It also shrunk in all areas shortening the overall length by about an inch, half an inch less in around the legs and the waist. I believe the shrinking was because of both the washing and drying process. At this point I can declare that this pair of jeans is no longer wearable.
I’m a little disappointed at the outcome of my first pair of bespoke jeans. I chose a fabric that was different from typical denim and took the risk without full knowledge of what it would be like if washed and dryed by commercial laundry services. Going bespoke is a learning process and I learned my lesson: follow the advice of fabric sellers. And I’ll be staying clear of other denim fabrics from now on.
Last year was quite eventful and full of change. The new year doesn’t look anywhere like last year from what I can foresee. But who knows what might happen. My resolutions for the new year.
1. Manage my personal finances better.This year I hope to save a little and reign in spending. 2. Eat healthy and less food. I need to cut down my consumption of red meat and introduce more healthy food into my diet. 3. Start exercising. I’ve put this off for so long. I’m thinking boxing. It’s a great all-around workout. 4. Go to a country I’ve never been to. Last year I traveled to Vietnam and stayed there for a month. New year, new country. 5. Read more books. I still have some books left to finish. It’s time I finish reading them and buy a couple of new ones. 6. Stop wearing black trousers to work. Planning to add some of that Boardwalk Empire-inspired gangster style into my work wardrobe. 7. Wear jeans less. I’m wearing my jeans less and I’ve started wearing shorts more but I feel I need to wear pants in other fabrics and colors. 8. Listen to other kinds of music. I listen to many different kinds of music but there’s so much more out there I haven’t been acquainted with. 9. Add artwork to the walls of my pad. The walls of my pad are bare. Time to jazz it up. 10. Watch movies I didn’t watch. I’ve missed watching so many movies.
11. Wear more different kinds of shoes.
Boat shoes. Chukka boots. Brogues. Penny loafers. Leather trainers. Suede loafers.