Hey Kevin Paul,

Good day… Wassup man?!

I am browsing the internet for some tips on how to have a
total make over.. or at least to be “fashionable acceptable”
when I bump into your site: www.bespokemanblog.com.

I was just hoping if you could help me with my dilemma:

I am a medium built tan-skinned man of late 20’s to early
30’s who dresses poorly (i.e. so “baduy” that I often mix
and match clothes inappropriately.) Although I regularly
change my whole wardrobe to keep up with fashion, still I
ended up dressing ‘out of style’. Maybe one of the main
reasons is I settle for less most of the time – e.g. sale
items, “tiangge fashion” etc. I am not really a rich dude
who can afford to buy a pair of Levi’s even at a sale price
of PHP1500.

I am actually interested in improving my informal,
semi-formal and business-casual look. I am not really keen
on wearing what I regarded as “call centre fashion” (vests,
fitted shirts/long sleeves, layered jackets, etc.) because I
think they are not practical considering our weather. Plus,
those who wear these type of style are normally stereotyped
as gays or bi-sexuals!

My questions now are:
1. what color schemes can you suggest for my skin type?
2. what fashionable yet affordable brands can you recommend
for me to buy?
3. what are some trends nowadays for men’s fashion (that
can be applied in our tropical weather)?

Hope I may be able to get some response from you soon.
Thank you and more power to your site!

Yours,
Funky D.

Hi Funky D.,

I’d be glad to help you with your dilemma. Let me start by giving some general advice.

First of all, you don’t need to change your whole wardrobe on a regular basis. You can start by adding pieces that are not too trendy and will still look good after 10 years. “Tiangge fashion” is generally not the best stuff to buy as they are usually done in poor taste (e.g. sleeve straps on dress shirts). I would like to elaborate but I’ll save that for another day. As for sale items, they are put on sale because, more often than not, these are the items people don’t want to buy. Once in a while I find good sale items at Linea Italia for dress shirts at around 800 pesos.

Second, you need to think about your wardrobe as an investment. Investing in good quality clothes with classic styles will allow you to wear them for a long time. If you spread the cost of a 3,000 peso shirt over 5 years (or more) then it becomes a very reasonable purchase. This goes hand in hand with my first point.

I think the reason why you frown on “call centre fashion” is because the people who wear them, based on observation, are probably not the ones you want to emulate. I wear long-sleeved shirts whenever I’m at the office and will never see me in short sleeved shirts even on Fridays. I’m am not slim but all my shirts fit close to the body. Many offices are quite cold so I recommend wearing sweaters or cardigans over jackets if you find the latter a bit dressed up. There is a right way to dress up in cold environments without looking ‘gay’.

Let’s get down to your questions.

All men look good in hues of blue and white so I would suggest starting with those. They can be plain or have patterns. Usually the finer the pattern the more dressy the shirt is. When you’re ready add some purple or pink.

Affordability is subjective. Look around and see what fits your budget. I don’t recommend starting with local brands. And if money is really an issue go to a tailor.

The only trend I follow nowadays is dressing up even if I don’t have to even on weekends. Wear linen shirts in short or long sleeves. Linen wears cool but it’s not for cold environments. Throw some khaki shorts into the mix. Shoes are really your call – sneakers or loafers, preferably sockless or invisible socks.

Best of luck on your makeover.

Kevin