The Philippines has a tropical climate that only becomes hotter and hotter as time passes by, and sometimes it becomes downright unpractical to try and dress up nicely. But sometimes, all you need is a quirky addition or a pleasant combination of colors even with just a T-shirt and jeans to stand out and be stylish. It’s a matter of strategically, efficiently using what’s in your wardrobe already.
That’s what was in my mind today as I attended the second day of Lean Startup Machine Manila as a social media correspondent on behalf of BCYF. The previous night (day 1), I had worn a business casual ensemble of a cream UNIQLO coat over a powder blue checked long-sleeved button-down, midnight blue jeans, and black plain toe Derbies (lace-ups) – shame I forgot to have a picture of it taken! I would have worn a business casual outfit again this day – but since the team of organizers, mentors, and social media correspondents had LSM T-shirts for free, I decided casual was the best approach.For some reason, the LOOKBOOK widget embed code doesn’t work. 😦 Here’s the link to the look’s page. 😉 (Visit and hype if you like it!)
My original plan was to pair the black shirt with my army green UNIQLO leggings jeans and my red-brown, white-soled Timberland Earthkeepers boots, then wear the gray Bench hoodie in the picture above over it. But I felt that it might be too military-looking, so I reverted to wearing jeans with a similar color to the previous night’s outfit (I love that color so much that I have three pairs of the same color). And a black shirt, dark blue jeans, and a gray jacket meant only one thing: my Timberland Yellow Boots.
As I had brought so many things – my laptop, tablet, some notebooks, and my usual “Boy Scout” things (chargers, Swiss army knife, pens, hair wax, interdental brush, sanitizer, hand soap, cutlery set…) – I decided to use the backpack I used throughout my senior year in university, an artichoke Victorinox knapsack that is really meant for laptops. It added to the rugged look I had in mind, to make me look as if I was some lost techie who stumbles upon a life-changing event. To cap it off nicely, and as a necessity that day (I had to bring my breakfast to the Microsoft Offices in Ayala, where the event was being held throughout its duration), I brought along with me the first spill-proof, grande-sized tumbler I could find in the cupboard, a red Starbucks Year of the Dragon flask. It doesn’t have a dragon motif and is mostly plain, so I find it very nice in a classic yet chic manner.
Lately, I’ve been seeing images of people wearing their Yellow Boots with the “Guaranteed Waterproof” diamond-shaped leather keychain the boots come with. Upon purchase, the tag, which is on a ball chain, is attached around one of the eyes of the boot, normally the top right eye of the right boot. After reading on a styling site (the identity of which slips my memory) that Timbs must never be worn under the pants, but with the latter tucked into them (I used to do either), I decided to permanently follow that advice and now wear my Timberland classics with my jeans always tucked into it. Then, I re-attached the Guaranteed Waterproof tag on the top right eye, which I barely use anyway as I usually lace up to the sixth eye only – it’s actually pretty helpful when you’re driving in these big boys, which I often do.
While I admit I’ve been scouring the likes of Pinterest and LOOKBOOK to stock up on tips and ways on how to style professionally yet coolly, I do sometimes like to go back to basics and add my own personal touch to it. You’ll never catch me wearing sneakers, athletic shoes, or Converse shoes, as I simply do not like wearing them, stylish though some of them may be. At the same time, boat shoes and loafers are not my everyday cup of tea, though I own a casual pair of the latter and use them sparingly. I’m trying to rid myself of the habit of slipping on a pair of sandals whenever I go out, as it’s very lazy and sloppy of me to do so. No, I want these lace-ups and boots; I love the feeling of timeless chicness from the black lace-ups – which, I’ve read over and over again, is supposedly the one shoe every man must have (I agree) – and the mightiness I get from the boots – especially the bigger-looking ones like the Timberland classics.
Now that’sanother must-have for every man.