Thursday, 6 November 2014

How shoelaces can add character to a pair of shoes

I just changed the shoelaces of this pair of shoes. Some Italian brand by the name of Bruno Cascinelli, one of the million or so Italian made and branded shoes sold.Typical affordable blake stitched pair that are reasonably comfy and fits my feet well.

Anyway, see what dark blue laces do to the shoe instead of the usual brown laces. Turns things up a notch in terms of 'dandiness'

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Happy Merdeka Day - Tales of motoring since '57 and some advice to all Malaysians

This was posted over at I have deciced to post it over here too!

Happy Merdeka Day. That's Happy Independence Day to those that do not understand Malay. Malaysia celebrates fifty seven years of independence today, well, with the small note that Sabah and Sarawak joined us a few years later in 1963. Anyway, the ride from 1957 to 2014 has been exciting hasn't it?

Friday, 29 August 2014

Boat Shoes - Flip-flops for the Gentleman

The thing about flip-flops, open toed sandals (slippers as most in Malaysia call 'em) is that they do not offer very good protection for one's feet with the exception of the sole. Flip-flops also offer almost no support and its soft sole could cause over-pronation or the overuse of tendons in the feet . Anyway, It isn't that I don't use flip-flops. I do use them in the bathroom, toilet and at the beach. I use them for really short distances. But if I am outdoors, in the garden or out to the neighbourhood sundry stores I wear either one of my moccassin loafers or my boat shoes. 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The pocket square dilemma. To use or not to use.

You do not use it actually. A pocket square is usually a fancy name for a silk, linen or cotton handkerchief that basically sits in the left breast pocket of your blazer, sports jacket or suit. I suppose that handkerchief's main purpose is to accessorize a blazer, jacket or suit jacket. Somewhat like a lapel pin or a  boutonniere which accessorizes  the lapel, this does it for the breast pocket. But this is actually more important than one that sits on the lapel. I'll get to explaining that later.

Anyway, the pocket square is a handkerchief that sits in that top pocket. Do you actually take it out and use it? You could. But then if you've folded it nicely and you like the way it sits it would be wise if you actually carried another hanky that you could use. Like I do.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Why do we dress up....

..or more specifically, why do I dress up these days?

I don't really need to as my work these days are rarely about corporate board meetings or trying to impress bankers or government servants. And one has to note that here in Malaysia the office attire is business casual. I.e. a long sleeved shirt and a pair of trousers with or without a necktie depending on how conservative your office is. Occasionally the senior management would be seen with a blazer or a suit jacket (that almost never is used with the suit). Aside from that, you could come in short sleeve shirts and khakis for all the management cares as long as you come to work.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Ultra warm weather formal day wear in Malaysia - the Batik Shirt

When the temperature outdoors reaches a sweltering 38degrees Celsius even an unlined blazer should be kept in the closet. Furthermore, this is Malaysia, a really humid tropical country where blazers and jackets are not even required in a formal or a business environment. What could be used when attending weddings and other formal functions is the simple long sleeved batik print shirt. Like other warm climate countries, such as Indonesia, South Africa and even a state like Hawaii, printed shirts are considered as formal wear.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Dress sneakers

Yes. There are such things. These are a pair that have been with me for a good number of years. They basically lasted as I've got so many pairs of shoes for most occasions.

A dress sneaker differs from the usual brands with swooshes or three stripes in that they are usually monotone and without any brand logo or markings. Quite useful on dress down days when you are away from work. It also suits those who do not want to be mistaken for a rap artiste or an over aged teenager.
Converse basketball canvas sneakers are fine too as they are classics. But the dress sneaker is for days where a bit more style is desired.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Woven loafers. The ultimate warm weather shoe.

The ultimate warm weather shoes are those lightweight moccasin loafers that utilise woven leather on the outside and either no lining on the inside or perforated leather lining inside.

Woven leather are usually hand woven which is why even lightweight loafers like these are slightly more expensive than the usual tubular constructed mocassin loafers.But they are bloody comfortable sockless as the air can circulate around your feet. Woven leather shoes with full leather lining somewhat defeats the purpose of the weave in the first place. Another option are linen lining for the insides as linen is not a tightly woven material, it allows air to circulate through the cloth and through the woven leather. You feet will love you for wearing this sockless.

These are by a company called Montemario. Italian of course.

Of shirt collars. Mine are definitely stiffer than yours - Collar inserts

Collar inserts or collar stays, tabs or even collar stiffeners are the same thing. Some shirts have built in collar stiffeners in them made out of plastic (these are usually found in dress or work shirts instead of button down shirts which are more casual in nature). I prefer those that have inserts which you can remove and use on other shirts.

The bad thing about those built in ones is that they only stiffen up the collars when the shirt is fairly new . After a about a year's of washing, whether by hand or by machine, these built in inserts would actually become flimsy or bent out of shape or even wear out the cotton in the collar. Or they could suffer if you use too much heat during ironing. With removable inserts you actually get the choice of removing them when washing the shirt (which prolongs the shirt's life as the insert does not rub against the cloth) or when ironing the shirt.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Today's pair of shoes

Another pair of Ferragamo Lav. originale. Today's pair is a pair of monkstraps with a fringe with a pair of purple coloured cotton socks. It's summer all year round and cotton socks wicks the sweat from one's feet better than most. Nice enough for a lunch appointment at the Tropicana mall earlier today.

Monday, 2 June 2014

What's with the shoes? Why are there more about shoes than anything else?

I suppose it's simply because I love patina, the shape and how it completes a look more than anything else.

Many do have nice suits, jackets or dress shirts, which is the staple business norm due to the Malaysian weather. Many have nice watches on their wrists too. Shirts with expensive cufflinks, silk ties from some designer house but when it comes to the feet they seldom indulge.

No. A pair of black leather slip ons with a squared toe upfront is unsuitable. The quality of leather of those shoes are plasticky and thin. They will never last more than a year even with rotation. And the shape. Notice that our natural feet are curved.

At the other end of the spectrum, shoes should not be too snouty or pointy too. There are some Italian shoes that are snouty too but don't get those that are over done. Some of these do suit the slim-fit look of trousers these days but dont get those pointy and up turned ones. Leave that to the genie in the lamp or some circus clowns.

So a nice classic looking pair of tassel loafers would do perfectly sometimes. These are by Ferragamo, the lav. Originale line. Surprisingly Very well made and can even go against any of the British brands in terms of construction and finishing even though is it made using the Blake method. Comfy too.

Saturday, 31 May 2014


...are shoe maintenance day. I usually work on about three pairs and air the rest. It needs to be done in our humid climate if not fungus or those white spots appear on some of them. It also ensures longivity of the shoes. Enough said.


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