Thursday, February 26, 2009

Is it a sleep shirt? A XXXL men's t-shirt? Or *gasp* a dress?

Whatever it is, boy is it very comfortable.  I got this top from the sale bin at Eairth a couple of months ago and haven't really gotten to wear it out until today.  The curved hem and the unusual stitching done on the edges (which you really can't see, can you) keeps it from looking like I just wore a regular t-shirt in the largest size possible, I think.

Eairth big t-shirt, tailor-made black skinnies, Zara shoes

I've definitely gone a complete 180 since my days of wearing fitted shirts with elephant pants in the 90's.  This shirt goes down my list of comfy things to wear on a plane.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

While most of you are waking up to foggy-breath mornings,

we over here are waking up with sweaty necks.  Summer just came in full force a couple of days ago and walking on the street feels like walking on the beach.

vintage madras shirt, Zara shorts, Opening Ceremony desert boots

Don't you just hate having to overhaul your wardrobe when the seasons change?  I was just warming up to cooler-weather clothes.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Next Project: The Maître d' Jacket, and Poll

Leafing through the looks at 3.1 Phillip Lim Fall 2009, I spotted this double-breasted beige jacket with contrasting lapels that reminded me so much of the old jacket worn by the maitre d' at my favorite restaurant L'Opera; I had to have it.  I knew I had found my next project: the maitre d' jacket.  However, to make it my own, I intend to have the jacket made in my color of the moment, dark green.  What shade, what texture, what pattern of this dark green though has yet to be decided.  

The jacket from 3.1 Phillip Lim Fall 2009: contrasting black lapels, and black fabric buttons.  On a side note, the studded satin velvet slippers are sublime.

Now you all know I highly value your feedback, so for this project I would like to ask for your help in deciding what fabric to use.  I brought home some swatches from the tailor's and here are the choices:

Solid emerald green: the boldest and most costume-y of the choices, the jacket could look really cool in this fabric, or really cheap...

Textured olive green: It's got stretch in it so that's a plus.  Not a huge fan of the shade of green though.

Fine plaid forest green: the frontrunner so far, it's the perfect shade of green.  I'm just a tiny bit skeptical as to how the pattern would work with the contrasting black lapels.  

Bluish gray: Okay so this isn't green, but it does seem like a viable, spring-summer color.

And here is the poll:
So cast your votes, everyone!  I'm really looking forward to your feedback; it shall be highly appreciated!

EDIT:  Thanks for all the votes guys, I've got 41 as of now!!  Maitre d' jacket in fine plaid forest green with black contrast lapels and matching covered buttons coming up real soon!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Everyday Suit

Style Salvage Steve, in response to the seventh rule of style declared by Tom Ford,
"Just like girls need to learn to be comfortable in heels before they go out in them for the first time, a man should try wearing a suit throughout a normal day.  I do most things in a suit - and sometimes even in a tuxedo - and so I'm really comfortable in one."
just recently made a resolution to wear suits more often so as to be comfortable in them as much as in jeans and a t-shirt.  I decided to take him up on his challenge.

Just as high heels are highly flattering on women bordering on being body-altering, a well-fitting suit enhances the male figure strategically: it broadens the shoulders and slightly lifts them up, it showcases (or makes the illusion of) a V-shape by tapering at the waist, and it creates a long lean line with the same fabric running down the body from shoulder to ankle.  But just like wearing heels, donning a suit does have its sacrifices: movement is impaired, especially in the shoulder area, and even the best-fitting of tailor-made suits (well, mine tend to be tighter than retail) would not ever provide the same range of motion as, say, a cardigan and sweat pants.  

my tailor-made everyday suit in navy semi-stretch cotton twill

That sharp suit I wore to a wedding recently wasn't so much made with the intention of wearing it to a formal gathering as it was for everyday.  Crafted in a navy semi-stretch cotton twill for more give, it was designed to be casual, comfortable and versatile.  I insisted on the placement of mother-of-pearl buttons as my subtle touch of dandy.  

detail shot of a mother-of-pearl button

So here it is worn, on an ordinary day, doing everyday things.  What is a suit after all, but a pair of trousers and a jacket?

clear wayfarers, tailor-made everyday suit, Dean & Trent v-neck, Margiela sneakers

Monday, February 16, 2009

Y-3 Fall 2009: A Review of the Only Other NY Collection that Mattered

Okay, so that might have been a little harsh.  Band of Outsiders and Patrik Ervell may have come up with decent collections but both, in my opinion, failed to bring forth absolute must-have pieces much less ultra-directional solid looks that would change the face of fashion forever.

Ervell did minimalist tweaks here and there on classic American sportswear, and, keeping the proportions relatively classic, came up with looks that were wearable and sharp.

Patrik Ervell Fall 09

There were a couple of covetable bottoms at Band of Outsiders: heather gray dress sweatpants and flood-length pants with a slight flare, but in terms of the overall look and styling, it wasn't something that couldn't be seen on the pages of Men's Non-no months ago.  
two looks from Band of Outsiders Fall 2009

Y-3, on the other hand, I very much enjoyed.  In perhaps the most complex look in the show, Phillip Huang wears an entire slew of highly covetable pieces:

(1) fleece jersey long coat, (2) what appears to be the men's version(!!) of Michelle's Y-3 jacket which I adore, and (3) a wrap (?) or wrap shorts, I'm not really sure what it is but I want it.

Yamamoto offers a more wearable take on the shorts-over-long-johns silhouette that has been flooding the blogosphere recently.  Alternatively, he pairs stacked-up pants with shorts that are so long and voluminous they appear almost like the bottom part of a long coat.  

Speaking of volume, it was nice to see these cargo pants with loose, drapey pockets sewn on which reminded me a lot of my Eairth jammies I posted a while back.  

A few more noteworthy pieces:

extra-long parka, great for rainy and cold days

the perfect anthracite leather bomber

zip-up sweater with exaggerated sailor collar which I would love to wear open

and these sunglasses that bring into fashion the cheesy athletic-style sunglasses of the 90's.

And for the ladies:
a seriously chic cropped baseball jacket

and cropped lace-up polka dot pants!

I can't wait till 2010 to snatch a couple of the above items on sale!
(photo credits:

Edit: Victor Glemaud deserves special mention for his sexy (unforgiving) knits and his use of Doc Martens to style the entire show.

Check out the gold buttons on the gray cardigan

and the gold mirror docs!

Cherry Red 10-hole Doc Martens, I need you right now.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I'm warming up to color, in tiny jolts.

Perhaps partly affected by the somber worldwide mood brought about by the recession, I find myself donning nothing but neutrals lately: grays, whites, beiges and blacks, with emphasis on the blacks.  Navy is the closest I get to wearing color.  

Nevertheless, yesterday, in need of a quick shopping fix, I decided to pick up these two pairs of knit fingerless gloves from Topman to wear on an upcoming trip to Europe.  One in forest green, the green knit fingerless gloves seen on The Sartorialist and Jak and Jil (the store assistant had to rummage through the stock room to find the last pair!)

and another in a blindingly bright fluorescent yellow-green, just for kicks.  

Putting on the the neon pair, my heart literally skipped a beat, my eyes not anymore used to seeing something with such saturated color against my skin.  It was a happy heartbeat-skipping feeling; does this spell more color to come?  Here they are worn:

vintage bowler hat, Zara military jacket in heavy jersey, Topman fluo fingerless gloves, Cheap Monday 45 min stonewash skinnies, custom-made Solimann boots

Tiny jolts of color, I believe, are also what breathed life and uniqueness into Robert Geller's Fall 2009 collection, which to me is really the only relevant collection in the whole of NY fashion week so far.  I'm a fan of the plums and teals,

the amish-style hats,

and this look, which makes ombre and hot pink look fresh again.  It amazes me how he worked a shirt that was so Miami-sunset-on-crack into a look that still had an air of darkness and mystery, but which was livened up by that jolt of pink. 

Plus points for the side-swept pompadour in ash gray.  

P.S. Yesterday, it came as a nice surprise to see on my Blogger Dashboard that Robbie Spencer, Menswear Fashion Editor of Dazed and Confused, via this blogger URL, just started publicly following The Dandy Project.  

If it really is you, Robbie, know that I admire your work, doubly admire your sense of style, and immensely covet your job!  I hope you don't mind having a fingerless glove doppelganger.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Shades of Greige

This shirt from Filipino designer Nins Evangelista has been lying unworn in my closet for months.  Somehow, every time I attempt to wear it, it comes out as too earth-motherly, if you know what I mean.  I decided to try out the combination of gray and beige (which I had previously thought of as rather "off"), wearing the shirt with a pair of stone wash gray Cheap Mondays I just got.  I think the combination of gray and beige made it look fresher and more urban.  

shirt by Nins Evangelista, Casio Calculator watch, cuffed Cheap Monday jeans, Miu Miu laceups

close-up of the hand-painting, stitching, and applique detail on the shirt

Thanks to Brook and Lyn for her sweet mention of this blog as her new obsession.  I swear she's the hottest new fashion blog of the moment.  My use of the combination of gray and beige might just have been inspired by her.

gray and beige by Brook and Lyn: she epitomizes ultrachic experimental asian New York style!

And on a side note, allow me to share my new toy: the Panasonic Lumix LX3, which was used to take the pictures just posted.  

I don't know much about photography, but if you're looking for a camera that takes clear, crisp photos but aren't too keen on the bulkiness of a DSLR, you might want to try this one out.  It boasts a ton of customizable functions and an intelligent automatic function that takes stunning photographs without you having to tinker with levels at all.  Case in point: 

A photo of a flower in our backyard, taken with the automatic function.  No tinkering, and no photoshop enhancing done.

All you fashion bloggers out there, what camera do you use to take your pictures?  I'd like to know!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

the commitment-free jodphurs

Having worn them three days in a row, I would like to present to you my favorite pants of the moment.  These Y-3 jodphurs, or ninja pants as it says on the tag, are the perfect way of wearing that "carrot" shape of trousers that the fashion world is crazy about right now without having to fully commit to them.  With zippers on the legs that allow you to play with the volume, Mr. Yamamoto gives the wearer much-needed options!

Zipped, they are jodphurs; and the structured fabric helps create volume up top.

Y-3 ninja pants worn zipped with vintage bowler hat, Zara cardigan, Casio watch and studded cuff from Japan, Margiela sneakers

Unzip the legs, and they become looser-fitting flood-length pants.  Perfect for days when you want to be comfortable without looking too conventional.

Y-3 ninja pants worn unzipped with tailor-made jacket, Dean & Trent v-neck, vintage Rolex, ring from Anthology, straw fedora and Don Quijote loafers

The Dandy Project Guide to Getting Things Tailor-Made

My fascination with tailoring is practically as old as this blog, which has pretty much stood witness to the whole process I take conceptualizing "projects", taking them to the tailor to have made, and finally wearing them out.  For great-fitting basics such as simple suits and slim trousers, and for hit-or-miss, set-yourself-apart-from-the-crowd pieces such as my contrast-trim blazer or jumpsuit, having a trusted tailor is invaluable.  

the widely-coveted, overexposed, tailor-made jumpsuit

The practice of having clothes created by a tailor is one lost amongst gentlemen of our generation; our grandfathers used to go to their tailors to have even their underpants made. In an act of recovering knowledge lost, allow me to share what I've learned from experience with my guide to getting things tailor-made: 

1.  Find a tailor who is impeccable at making clothes fit.  
The fabrics you can choose and buy yourself, styling and details you can specify, but you can't teach a tailor how to fit clothes on you.  You might go through a couple or three tailors before you find the one that's right for you, and when you do, don't ever let him go!

2.  Visual pegs of any kind always help.  

This photograph (from Jak and Jil)

led to these.

A pair of pants that you'd like to have re-done in a different fabric, photos of a jacket from an e-shop (plus points for views on all sides), or even street style photos.  Chances are, your tailor wouldn't know exactly what style you want and you won't be able to accurately communicate to him in words how you want it.  

3.  Know your Tailoring Terms 101.
The lapel is the part on each side of a jacket that is folded back on either side of the front opening (it's not a collar).  
The vent is the opening on the lower edge of the back of the coat along the seam (it's not a slit).  
Cuffs are the end part of a pair of pants, where the material is turned back.  

4.  Details, details, details.  
If you aren't having your jacket made by Gieves and Hawkes on Savile Row, you probably won't want it to look like all the other jackets your budget tailor makes.  Know the details that go into higher-end clothing and when unsure, go for simplicity.  In general, slit back pockets look more refined than those with button-flaps, and vented jackets drape better than vent-less ones.  

with vent vs. without vent: makes a whole lot of difference

And don't hesitate to go down and dirty with your tailor and work with him with the exact measurements for optimal fit.  On that note,

5.  When it comes to matters of styling, trust your instinct.
From experience, whenever I listen to the tailor's advice instead of my own judgment, it usually doesn't turn out the way I want it to be.  But no matter who's fault it is and your "project" doesn't come out the way you please,

6.  Never stop until you're happy with it.
A good tailor would never charge you for repairs to be made on pieces of clothing he makes: alterations on fit, or minor tweaks in style.  Ask nicely, and be specific.  Once you're chummy with your tailor, he might even do alterations on your retail pieces for free!

In Manila, I come to Toppers for all my tailoring needs:

(photo from Philosophical Style)
2277-D Katipunan Rd., Loyola Heights, Quezon City
tel. no. +6324367938
Look for Mang Jun, and I'd appreciate it if you tell him it was Izzy who referred you. :)

*Credits to Brook and Lyn for giving me the idea for this post.

Monday, February 2, 2009

project accomplished: full shorts

Here they are, the full shorts I blogged about a few weeks ago: loose, pleated, knee length tailored shorts in a fine navy plaid.  Though I may not be a hundred percent happy with the way they look, boy are they airy and comfortable!  Dare I say they're almost like a kilt with legs?

vintage bowler hat, Kaiser long-sleeved tee, Comme des Garcons belt, tailor-made shorts, penny loafers from Don Quijote

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