The Reluctant Stylista

So we have our very first guest blogger for The Reluctant Stylista, talking about a topic that’s actually a bit timely given that it’s Father’s Day today.  Yes, ladies and gents, it’s my brother who wrote out this blog post after having a sudden revelation about the state of his dress.  I think plenty of people will be able to relate to this post, even women–at least those who fantasize about dressing up their boyfriends or husbands who aren’t always so receptive to the idea.

Enjoy, and I hope everyone had fun at their Father’s Day celebrations! Note that all comments in italics are from me. –Alex

***


You often never see it coming. You start to tell lame old jokes that people say “baduy” to while still inexplicably laughing at it. Have a finer appreciation for the taste of fish heads especially on Sinigang and lose it when you see the younger generation “not eating it properly”… (“Ano ba yan, di ka marunong, ang daming laman o, yung pisngi masarap yan… akin na nga!”). Wearing underwear or home wear that looks more akin to donations for flood victims than the Hanes brand they really represent except that these are so old and tattered, women in your lives secretly throw them away because YOU wouldn’t (well these are so comfortable. What do you want from us? ^_^).

Sooner or later it creeps up on most men: The “Dad” stage. I’m not just talking about those that have kids and have become dads. I’m referring to a stage in a guy’s life where he sees his “dad” in the mirror, even though, at some point of his young life, he may have promised himself that he will “never be that lame”. Guys rarely notice because it adds ever so slightly, and the progress is so subtle that it escapes us. You start to get higher up the corporate ladder or your business grows, you have a serious relationship or you’re about to get married, you start to feel “there are more important things I could do with my time” more and more. Either way, at this stage a guy will have less people he needs to gain approval from, which, although is good, can also have its downside.

Its 7:30am, I was in Toyota Service lounge for my car’s 1,000 km check up. There was a café inside where I bought my coffee. There were crisp news papers on the tables, and the morning news on the flat screen. I stood near a group of guys to watch the news. There were about a couple of middle aged guys, a few in their late 30s and me. I glanced at the guys watching with me and it hit me hard like Ben Gay to the nuts… we were all wearing “dad” wear!!!

 

Delaying the Dad

Polo shirt… check
Walking shorts with too many pockets… check
Big and dusty slippers/sandals… check
Cellphone on holster… on his belt… check
Keys on a link, and again… on his belt… check

How could this happen to me when I’m only 31 years old!? How far have I come? Odd as it may seem, when my sister (the blog’s owner) was still learning about fashion, waaaay back almost a decade ago, she would often ask my opinion. I went for fedoras, bowler hats, chucks, and plain white shirts before anyone did and simply because I think they look awesome and not because I read it somewhere or there’s a new bandwagon to jump into. At work and on casual Fridays, officemates would ask me where I got the coat type leather jacket, and straight cut jeans. And even though it was a big workplace, people knew who I was simply by describing the way I dressed. Fast forward to today, I realize all this while my coffee is still warm, and the sports section under my arm still yet remains unread…. Ugh! I am wearing the “dad” look. *hangs head in defeat*

It may seem inevitable since guys at this stage tend to go for comfort and practicality rather than fashion. Although, guys can do something to slow the transition, or stop the bleeding so to speak. Yes, we can dress up from time to time and maybe discuss more on how to stop evolving completely into the middle aged look:

The shirt: Polo shirts, practical, affordable and best of all comfortable.
Delaying the “Dad”: You may want to avoid totally looking like your dad by NOT wearing give away T-shirts with printed logos and information of a company or a business that you own.
The better alternative: Of course the main concern of guys like me is dressing not to look cool but to BE cool, cool in the sense that it was 35 degrees yesterday and I don’t want to be sweating all day. I can probably change it up and wear buttoned on shirts with lighter fabrics.

Walking Shorts: Yeah, nothing really beats having durable shorts with pockets for filing cabinets. All those storage space for receipts, change, and notepads. *winks at the ladies* sexsaaah!
Delaying the “Dad”: Not much to say except It would be nice to keep the length below knee at least. Also, I would opt not to tuck in the shirt in case overwhelming evidence of the Wife’s good cooking is showing.
The better alternative: Blog author’s note: Shorts are actually fine, it really just depends on what you pair it up with.  You can always wear pants instead of a pair of shorts.  If you don’t want to wear heavy denim, then you can wear pants with lighter fabric such as cotton or linen and pair it up with a cool white polo or shirt.  Pretty bohemian, but it works with our freakish weather.

Men's shorts
Men’s shorts

Obra ni Juan

From local brand Obra ni Juan. Great store, but they really have to work more on their photos and models/poses. They can definitely look better.


Footwear: Can’t hardly beat the flipflops and sandals.
Delaying the “Dad”: I was told it’s fashionable in Europe. I don’t give a rat’s ass if its fashionable in Eutopia. No way am I evolving into the “dad” fashion of wearing leather shoes without socks. Its always humid in the Philippines so to do so would be disgusting and unhygienic.
The better alternative: Author’s note: Sandals are still good so long as it’s a decent pair.  Especially if you’re living in the suburbs like we do and everything is really just a walk or a stroll away (if you ever get to Alabang Town Center or BF Homes, notice how the people are very casually dressed, like they just went outside of their homes. Because they really just did).  If not, you can always go for canvas shoes or some other type of walking shoes that can be worn without socks (not leather).

The Phone: Ironically, for an important work tool. Men like us hardly care for the brand or model. Just as long as it texts and calls.
Delaying the “Dad”: I’d probably be better served just ditching the notepads and use phones that incorporates planners.

The Keys: Most probably this will be a collection of warehouse, office, car, house keys, etc.
Delaying the “Dad”: Don’t keep adding them to your belt unless you’re going for the “custodian” or “manong guard” look.
Better Alternative: Author’s note: Keep your keys in your pocket or in a clutch bag.  I know some people think the hard leather clutch bag still has that daddy air, but really, it’s not so bad.  If you want to keep it simpler and lighter, you can go for a soft faux leather clutch.

This month, I’m hoping I can feature more of men’s fashion.  Sadly, we don’t have many local blogs writing about it and we have even less for straight men’s fashion.  I hate that many local male “fashionistas” here think that mugging the mannequins at Topman is the height of fashion.  If I had a peso for every Topman catalogue clone I see walking in Greenbelt, I’d be living like a queen by now (pun intended).

To help out with guys’ fashion options, you can take a cue from Spring/Summer 2011 collections of

GAP:


GAP

GAP

Light fabric for tops that can be layered with a hoodie or a vest when it gets cold, and comfy walking shoes

Lacoste:

Lacoste

Forever21
(maybe it’s a little teenager for guys in their 30s, but you can always opt for shirts that are less noisy and leave the vibrant colors to shoes or other accessories):

Forever 21

This could definitely work:

Forever 21

Locally, I love shopping at Oxygen.  I’ve bought a lot of stuff from Oxygen these past few months, even from their men’s collection.  They’re definitely leaps and bounds from where they were just a year ago.  I’m definitely impressed.  They also have a lot of basic white tees with nice graphic prints that are never overdone.  Below are some photos from their Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2011 collection:

Oxygen

Oxygen

Oxygen T-shirts

We were styling for the press kit of Philippine Fashion Week when I first saw denim designer Derick Hibaler stride into the room and it was hard not to look at him.  He reminded me immediately of Johnny Depp, and I wasn’t alone in that thought.  He had that sort of same aura and appeal, even though he wasn’t typically handsome, and I like how he puts his outfits together.  With the way he held himself, he looked even better than his model when it was time to pose for his designer profile.  Here are some photos from his recent Holiday 2011 collection:

PFW Holiday 2011: Derick Hibaler

PFW Holiday 2011: Derick Hibaler

PFW Holiday 2011: Derick Hibaler

PFW Holiday 2011: Derick Hibaler

PFW Holiday 2011: Derick Hibaler

PFW Holiday 2011: Derick Hibaler

The denim designer himself with fellow designer Yako Reyes:

PFW Holiday 2011: Derick Hibaler

Paparazzi shot! (was too tongue-tied to approach him for a decent, upfront photo). Straw hat, white-shirt, cool denims and dirty sneaks with an attitude (at one point, he made his model wear his shoes to avoid looking too polished for the photos).  Oh, and the tattoos help with the awesomeness factor, admit it.

PFW Holiday 2011: Derick Hibaler

And of course, the real Johnny Depp. I know, sorry guys, but if you looked like him there’s just not much room for error.

Johnny Depp - hottest dad

But don’t forget, he’s a dad, too, you know.

Johnny Depp - hottest dad

Have you ever thought about doing a delay-the-Dad-look trick with someone you know?  Do share.

Photos from Style.com, The Philippine Online Chronicles, Fashioning.com, and Nio.

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