Saturday, January 26, 2008

what he wears

So right, I am supposed to be working on my research work now---about 5000 words to hand up to a certain person this friday---but instead, while checking my emails, I came across a picture of a male model in a cool black tee, and suddenly, I have decided to dress up (mentally of course) that certain person.

What can I say.

The image that started it all... For some reason, this picture emailed to me from Revolve Clothing ( sparked off a thought in my head: what if that certain person wore something like this. You see, he likes wearing tees off duty (at least on both counts when I met him outside work), and both times his tees were white, and, erm, a bit boring. To be fair, he can compose his clothes rather nicely---no awful colour clashes, everything's pretty neat etc---but I just wondered how he would look if he decided just to spice things up a bit fashionwise. Afterall, he's maintained himself rather well---no beer bellys, saggy or dry skin. And cos he's really fair, I figured that he would look nice in black, or at least darker colours, which he seems to eschew in favour of whites and khakis. Again nothing wrong, but why not something different right?

So he could wear this Project E tee (! I love the "reuse" wording cos in his particular line of work, erm, reusing certain things without permission is extremely forbidden.

Also nice is this (from Gap,

The dark colour, as mentioned above, would look great on his nice fair skin. Plus since he's slim, the tee would drape nicely without any offending beer belly's spoiling the silhouette. And cos he's pretty conservative and I'm guessing, doesn't like to attract attention to what he wears, the subtle graphics on this tee would fit him to...a T.

This striped tee (from CNC Costume National, is nice too especially cos I think the nautica look would look nice on him. Especially when paired with his beloved khaki though I would suggest khaki bermudas rather than khaki pants.

But if he MUST stick to white (some men, not saying him, can be very stubborn---girls, if you're using this post for ideas on how to dress up your guy, especially if he's a slob, take this piece of advice: change things slowly. For instance, he only wears boring white tees, but you want him to wear a graphic black tee, and he absolutely refuses, start with a graphic white tee, then compliment him (very important!), then after he has gotten used to the graphic white tee, then push on from there to graphic cream tee--> graphic blue tee---> and finally graphic black tee, showering lots and lots of compliments at the same time. That should work. If not, call your relationship therapist.)

So yar, er, back to white tees.

This is nice (from Energie, Very melancholic yet poignant graphics. Would suit his taste in artistic finery.

And then there's this (from Banana Republic,

Nice and erm white, and aptly describes his job in a rather cool way. Would work for those casual saturdays where he has to go to his office.

And of course, since casual (I almost typed causal...freudian slip heh) tees look best with bermudas, I thoughtfully added some here.

These two Abercrombie ( shorts go nicely with the aforementioned tees.

For guys who don't like the button fly and ribbon combination, there are these more conservative zipper and bottom berms from Topman ( and Jcrew ( respectively.

Ok, I didn't add any cargo bermudas cos I don't particularly like them. I find them a bit sloppy, especially when the pockets haven't been properly starched or have been filled with huge wallets that just cause the pockets to bulge out at the sides, which just spoils the crisp and streamlined, but still casual look. So yeah, in my book, cargo bermudas are usually a no. Especially when they are of army fatigue prints.

For a slightly more formal take on the casual look (yes, fashion oxymoron, but you know what I mean), there is of course, the ubiquitous polo shirt, which I personally believe have been manufactured and marketed to save satorically lazy men from themselves. I mean like, how wrong can you go with a polo tee (actually you'd be surprised, some people can still falter at this very basic stage), but generally, it's a fail-safe option.

Anyway, back to that certain person. So I've picked these polo tees for him:

from Jcrew,

(also from Jcrew,

(from Massimo Dutti,

Horizontal striped tees are usually a good bet. They broaden the chest and shoulders (according to Time Magazine, women are usually attracted to men with broader shoulders...something to do with evolutionary psychology. Go figure, or read the article for yourself), and the nautica look, in my opinion, is always classicaly chic.

Thicker rugby stripes, such as this tee from Polo Ralph Lauren (

are also a good alternative, and give a very, what else, sporty vibe.

And then we have the plain polos tees...

(both from Abercrombie,

Because he's fair skinned and slim, he would look nice in almost every colour, but I especially like these baby blue and pastel pink shades as they give a very soft look, which I feel would suit his gentle demeanor quite nicely.

But of course, darker shades would do just as well, and while the black polo will always be an easy option, I think this dusky blue colour is a far more interesting choice (from Gap,, particularly when paried with a darker shade of khaki or even brown bermudas.

Erm, since he usually wears short sleeved shirts to work everyday, I tried not to include too many of such options here cos the point of this post is to about him moving away from his usual pieces right? But anyway, here's one (from Banana Republic,

The grey colour is a fresher option than black, and would look nice with cream coloured berms. I tried to find pictures of such short sleeved shirts in pastels---but I couldn't and was too lazy to search summore---cos I think they would also complement this skin tone and to some extent, his personality. Oxford blue, baby blue and light pink would look nice I think.

There is also the long-sleeved option (from Gap,

which can be dressed down with berms, though given his slim physique, I think he should roll up the sleeves to prevent him from looking skinnier. White tee worn inside is optional. This oxford blue shade is beautiful and espouses quiet elegance, the latter being always chic in my book.

Finally if he gets cold (like my friend said..."you think of everything"), there are these jackets/sweaters.

This jacket (from Massimo Dutti, is nice and sporty, while remaining quite classy (usually the two don't go together) and the hood is useful for those rainy days.

On the other hand, if he just wants something nice to snuggle into (don't we all sometimes?), there is this cosy looking option from Gap.


And finally, shoes and accessories.

Besides its utilitarian fuctions, shoes are very crucial in making or breaking a person's, whether male or female, outside. I can't count the number of times I have shuddered at seeing a guy pairing his jeans or khakis with track shoes. Now I'm not talking about those cool sneakers you see at Hogan, Louis Vuitton or Onisuka Tigers, but rather, those trainers that should only be worn for exercise and on no other occassion. But of course, unless it's my boyfriend or brother commiting such a fashion faux pas, I'm usually too polite to point it out.

If trainers are banned, and dress shoes are out, what does a guy wear off duty? I usually recommend moccasins or sandals. And no, not those camping or trekking sandals (actually you shouldn't wear sandals for trekking...might get bitten by a horrible ... (insert your chosen insect) ), but the nice leather ones.

But I digress.

For moccasins, I think these two brown pairs from Jcrew ( fit the casual but not sloppy bill.

Usually I would not recommend suede (for those not in the know, suede is the velvety type of leather e.g. Jcrew pair no. 2) because it has a tendency to get dirty and soggy easily, but this pair is too pretty to exclude.

As for sandals, I like these

(from Gap,

(also from Gap,

(from Jeffrey Fitzhugh,

(from Jcrew,

Personally, I prefer the tong sandal, sometimes known as the slipper, to other forms of sandals as they tend to elongate the leg, thus giving a sleeker look. Flip flops are totally out in this case, as he is of a certain age and shouldn't be seen running around in them, though a well-chosen pair of Havaianas would be excusable.

As for accessories, I have here the belt, sunglasses, watch and bracelet.

For the belt, given that it is for casual wear, he should stay away from boring work-ish black ones and go for one in nice brown leather. A man of his age should stay far far away from canvas belts in of all permutations.

These two are from Jcrew ( and I chose them because I like their rich brown colours---classy as opposed to dirty looking.

As for sunglasses, they add a nice touch of pizzazz to an casual outfit. Aviators are best because they are perenially chic, elegant and fit a variety of face shapes. I like these ones best:

(from Banana Republic,

(from Jcrew,

(from Massimo Dutti,

Then there is the watch.

Since last year, I have noticed that he has a very nice watch. It's a leather camel-coloured one and I've been secretly wanting one ever since, even more so now that my current brown leather one is a bit spoilt and I haven't gone and fixed it yet. Perhaps I should ask him where he got his.

Anyhow, if he wants a change of wrist wear, this Massimo Dutti piece ( would be a good option. Come to think of it, I should get it for myself if it's available. Or just go fix my current one.

And last but not least, this is a long short, but if he ever finds wearing a watch too boring, there is always the bracelet.

This is from Massimo Dutti ( and I like the double strands, and the brown, rope and metal combination.

A final note: While this post was created with him in mind, I think it can be easily adopted by many other guys out there, especially those in search of a casual look that doesn't look a) slobby b) overly funky c) boring.

And now back to women's wear. I mean, my research. Phew.

Photographs from:,,,,,,

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Topshop 2

Spring clothes are gradually hitting the stores. My favourite fashion boutique, Massimo Dutti, finally had their Spring stuff arriving in the droves (at last!). Sadly, Massimo's website has not yet been upgraded to showcase these new changes. And Banana Republic, French Connection, and Gap---the stores, together with Massimo, I frequent the most in Singapore---have only showed little or none of their new wares online. The only store that I often patronise that has kept things fresh is Topshop. And fortunately, this season's wares are much improved from last year's.

Furthermore, a friend who reads my blog has mentioned how my previous post on Topshop has got her all excited about Topshop again (yes, the previous season was that bad) and since she has started being more creative fashionwise, this blog post on Topshop's new (and nicer) wares is dedicated to her. Unless stated otherwise, all the clothes featured here are from Here's to you Jen!

So let's start with dresses. While last year was definitely the year of the dress, and this year supposedly the year of the skirt, I'd hate to see the dress regulated to a lesser role, especially with such pretty ones around like these...

Such gorgeous tea dresses! They might not be 100% cotton or silk (which are usually my prefer choices of material) but, ahem, unless one has a grumpy "boss" that makes you work day in day out and would blast you if your work falls short of expecations, how can one resist trooping down to a Topshop boutique to try on these lovely things.

If these are too feminine, there are these two options.

I particularly love the swing dress on the right. I have a similar one at home from Massimo Dutti which has embellishments around the collar, but this plainer option is sweet too. Particularly when paired with a cool jacket like this one (by Free People at

The white and blue combination is nice, classic but still very gamine and would look great either with heels or ballet flats. This jacket would also fit nicely with the aforementioned tea dresses to create a nice 1940s inspired look---polished but not staid, just the way I like it.

As for the grey dress on the left of the blue swing dress, I can imagine wearing it to school paired with pointy toe kitten heels or ballet flats. It's especially good for those days where there's lots of errands to be done, but one does not want to sacrifice style in the process. Heh.

As for tops, I am partial to these:

Feminine without being overly girly or diabetically sweet, these can be easily paired with jeans (bootcut, flared, skinny, straight), shorts or crops, or slim fitting trousers. I especially like the details such as the pleats and tiers---makes things more interesting. Do note that due to the rather flow-y shape, i think they'll look better with something more fitting at the bottom as compared to wide-legged trousers.

I think these two grey pants would go great with the first two tops, while the white jeans would look great with the second and third.

As for these crops, I think they would pair nicely with all three tops.

This pair of shorts would also fit well, especially when paired with sandals for something casual but still classy.

Then there are these two sleeved tops...

The one on the left is nice and vintage-y, while the one on the right has that cool sporty vibe. This time, I'd rather pair them with crops or shorts, as opposed to full length jeans or pants to keep the look young and fresh.

And since it's supposed to be the year of the skirt, I thought I'd throw this in for good measure.

Very Luella---the floral prints, ruffles and tiers. For something as girly as this, to prevent oestrogen overload, I suggest pairing it with a plain white or black tee or tank for a nice juxtaposition. Come to think of it, a rocker/band tee would provide a great contrast to the sweetness below. Girly punk. Hurhur.

And finally I couldn't help but add this...

Gorgeous capped-toe ballet flat. Love the patent detail and the bow. Somehow I find ballet flats without some form of embellishment on the top, be it bow, jewel etc a bit too plain. I love ballet flats, especially black patent ones---got two of these at home---but am now thinking of diversifying my collection and I've got three new pairs in mind. This would make the fourth.

Hope you like this Jen. God bless.

Photographs from:,