Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Leather Jacket Love

My recent discovery of the wonders of the leather jacket has driven me to the point of obsession. Living in the tropics all my life, I've never really had the chance to wear one, nor did I ever need to own one.

Trying the leather jacket thing on for size, I think I scored a jackpot. This very reasonably priced one from H&M is well-designed and minimal, and the matte distressed leather feels great to touch.

I mean, how awesome is a leather jacket? It keeps you warm when the temperatures drop, but you stay cool wearing it when it starts to get a little warmer again. Wearing it, you never look dressed too wintery or too summery for the occasion. Over time it stretches out and molds to the shape of your body, making it even more comfortable, and uniquely yours. It's immensely flattering, and somehow gives the wearer an air of rebellious confidence, believable or not.

leather jacket with a hint of architecture, by Rick Owens

The same fellow in the previous picture now sports one by Julius, a Japanese label which, in my opinion, creates nearly perfect leather jackets that exude just the right amount of dark coolness while being classic enough to be investment pieces you could practically live in for years.  (via Streetpeeper)

another Julius leather

The rule of thumb on leather jackets is to keep sizing down until you find one that would be impossible for you to zip closed, then get the one size bigger than that. However, this fellow raises a dirty finger at the rules by wearing a biker jacket that fits slightly loose on the torso, and that's a little too short.

He plays with proportion even more by wearing it with pleated trousers, but somehow it all seems to work. (photo by The Facehunter)

Benjamin Bruno of V Man creates a fresh new shape by layering his leather jacket over a long wool coat:

photo by Jak and Jil

Blossoming from this newfound leather jacket love, I intend to slowly build up my arsenal of leather jackets in different styles and colors. High up on my list is a good black motorcycle jacket, something like a men's version of the ubiquitous Balenciaga biker jacket for women. I'm also thinking leather jackets in navy and gray, or perhaps even in tan.

Apart from those planned purchases, I do intend to get this multipocketed beauty from the Jimmy Choo for H&M collection. I just hope the H&M near me carries the Jimmy Choo line.

Shopping savvy residents of the temperate countries, care to share tips on where I can score deals on some great-looking leather jackets? I'm on hoarding mode.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Topman LTD Fall/Winter 2009 Lookbook

The Topman LTD lookbook for fall/winter 09, styled by Robbie Spencer, exhibits an almost jarring saneness one wouldn't normally expect from the editor known for the conceptual-crazy editorials he does for Dazed and Confused. But it's a saneness I welcome with open arms, and one that I actually quite like.

Part one of the lookbook stars the modern dandy, in outfits peppered with fresh details that entice even those as fashion-fatigued as myself.

big square nerdy glasses!

The frill on the knit sweater softens an almost businesslike suit.

The bowler hat and that covetable velvet-trim overcoat serve to London-ify a look that would otherwise be too Lanvin Fall 2009.

The second character featured in the lookbook appears to be some sort of a modern-day skinhead. The subtle flourish in the details is impeccable.

The boat neck on this sweater is more modern than gimmicky.

I'm very much keen on the concept of a jumpsuit as outerwear. Good call on the sturdy fabric and the trim silhouette.

decorative zips by the neckline

The quilted leather gloves are just divine, and so is that velvet (?) hoodie underneath the trench.

One of my favorite looks in this lookbook, the insides of the hoodie lined in what looks like satin or leather fold over to resemble lapels. Brilliant.

Oh and that model's sick haircut is seriously making me consider getting a buzz.

Topman LTD A/W 09 collection available at

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Dandy Project on Click/Clash

Last night was the first time I ever ventured alone into a bar I've never set foot in, in an area I've never been to before. But the gorgeous Susie G of click/clash was gracious enough to introduce me to all her friends, a scintillating bunch, I'd say. Do check out her blog, she does a wonderful job at scouring the city of Boston for interesting snapshots of its street/scene style.

photo by Susie G, posted on click/clash (H&M leather jacket, chiffon shirt designed by me, DIY jersey scarf, Comme des Garcons belt, H&M jeans, Miu Miu laceups)

That chiffon shirt is such a conversation starter, it amuses me. I had a wonderful night, it was a very refreshing change of scene. To that fellow in the blue hoodie who shouted "Nice hair, man!" as I was walking back home, you could not have capped off my night any better, and for that, I thank you.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Restrained Weirdness

Dearest readers and friends, from the land of outlet malls and house wear as going-out-and-about-wear, I write to you now to let you know I'm alive and well. I know I've been quite the neglectful blogger recently, but I'm very hopeful this post will warrant The Dandy Project's return to regular programming.

my daily walk: Commonwealth Avenue in bloom (from

I won't make any excuses: I haven't been particularly busy, nor have I been having technical problems with my laptop or camera; I've just found myself painfully uninspired for the last month or so. What my new city has to offer in terms of intrinsic style is either really hard to dig for, or it just doesn't exist. Not to worry though, the most outstanding of bloggers seem to come from cities you won't necessarily call fashion meccas (Jane of Sea of Shoes and Pascal of Fashion Bits and Bobs, to name a couple), so I think I'll be just fine.

I've been spending the past few weeks getting orientated with the city and my school, meeting people and making friends, and, for the purpose of being more approachable I made a conscious effort not to go all out The Dandy Project on them, rather, sticking to blacks, whites, and grays, slim and sharp, highly flattering, mildly boring. But just recently, I think my newfound friends are starting to realize how much of a whack job I am, throwing me compliments that range from "Haven't you noticed Izzy's extreeemely fashionable?" to "You're a few inches of a pompadour short of being a full-on greaser." I'm taking those as a cue for me to let loose a bit and unleash my naturally weird self, albeit ever so restrainedly.

As you can see, the neon gloves serve as my little double-shot of weird. (Urban Outfitters oversize ombre cardigan, He by Mango shirt, Topman fingerless gloves, tailor-made pants, Bass fringe and tassel Weejuns)

It was a close fight between these granddad shoes I bought and the easier-to-pull-off penny loafer type Weejuns, but I decided to take a risk and go for the fringe and tassels.

I might have regretted the decision for a full two weeks after purchasing them, but I now find myself reaching for them every morning when I get dressed.

Delightfully Bostonian, don't you think?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Green Plaid Grasshopper + Zip-front Dr. Marten's

Thank goodness for the first-world and the retail opportunities it offers which have previously been unavailable to me back home.

1. fancy vintage stores
The treasure trove of thrift shops in Manila, more commonly known as ukay-ukays, is quite extensive, but I just never had mustered the courage to rummage through those authentically dingy clothing racks. But package the thrift shops a little more nicely, charge a premium if you must, and I'm all over it! I scored a delightful deal at the vintage store today:

a small navy, green and yellow tartan-plaid vintage suitcase by Grasshopper

It's in great condition, handle, zipper, and even the locking zipper pull all in tip-top shape.

close-up of the label

The monogrammed initials sealed the deal for me.

I plan on using it as a briefcase, much like my own re-creation of this extremely drool-worthy combo of vintage bag + Dr. Martens posted on Jak and Jil a few weeks back,

which brings me to the second reason why I'm thankful I'm in the United States now:

2. online shopping
No where is online shopping as convenient, diverse, and affordable (free shipping all around!) as it is in the US. I remember so vividly: April this year, on Oxford Street, London, I was complimenting this dapper Japanese fellow who worked sales at Uniqlo on his sublime pointed zip-front Dr. Martens boots:

the second half of my re-creation of the Jak and Jil look

I asked him where I could get them, he replied they had been in store a few seasons back, and were most likely out of stock now. He was right. Fast forward to today; after a few clicks around google, I tracked down one of the few last pairs, entered my card details, and voila, they're mine.

See you in three to five business days!

P.S. Oh and The Dandy Project just turned one year old last September 2. Thank you, readers, for all your love and support. Congratulate me!

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