Wednesday, June 20, 2018

FRAGRANCE | Vial trial: L'Eau de Tarocco by Diptyque

halfwhiteboy - diptyque l'eau de tarocco edt

Vial Trials are my reviews of sample fragrances given out by sales people from various store purchases. Compared to my posts about full bottles--which are mostly positive because I already like them in the first place, that's why I bought them--Vial Trials are hopefully less one-sided since they were just given to me; I didn't pick them.

In this installment is L'Eau de Tarocco by Diptyque. Although I love Diptyque, the last one I reviewed--Tam Dao--didn't impress me that much, so let's see about this one.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

LOOKBOOK | Spicing up your vacation wardrobe with matching prints

halfwhiteboy - matching satin printed shirt and shorts 01

Have you ever experienced seeing something on display, falling in love with it, then buying it but have no idea when or where you're going to wear it? So I saw this printed long-sleeve shirt with matching shorts on a mannequin and felt exactly just that.

The print, though dominantly floral, felt quite different from the usual summer prints I see. So I got both pieces even if I really didn't know whether the right occasion to wear them would come soon. Or at all. It didn't help that they're in a satin fabric, which makes the set even "harder" to wear. I mean, cotton or linen wouldn't be much of a problem, but shiny o'l satin?

Saturday, June 9, 2018

LOOKBOOK | Lightweight layering

halfwhiteboy - army green, white, khaki and brown combo 03

With the rainy season kicking in, we're expecting jackets, sweaters, and hoodies to find their way out of people's closets once again. But since it never really gets too cold in this country, perhaps we could go for some lightweight layering.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

LOOKBOOK | Happiness with Uniqlo's Doraemon x Takashi Murakami collection

halfwhiteboy - uniqlo doraemon x takashi murakami collection 01

Yes, this is happiness! Doraemon fans--or practically anyone who likes cute stuff--are sure to love Uniqlo's Doraemon x Takashi Murakami collection. Minions, Marvel, now this. Oh, Uniqlo.

Although the t-shirts are for men and women (but in men's sizes), Murakami's characteristic flowers may not appeal to every guy. I myself shied away from some designs, considering I'm no stranger to wearing floral prints. But there's still a bunch of different options sans the flowers, or too much of them.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

FRAGRANCE | The pleasantly light and fresh Castile by Penhaligon's

halfwhiteboy - penhaligon's castile edt

It is light and fresh, a fragrance that only reinforces my fondness for the Penhaligon's brand. Although I tend to gravitate towards warm and woody scents, every now and then I try on something on the lighter side and fall in love with it. Such was the case with Penhaligon's English Fern, an old-school scent some liken to an aftershave or something that reminds them of barbershops of yore.

While both exude freshness, Penhaligon's Castile is different. English Fern, being a fougére, is more "green" and earthy while Castile is a little more vibrant with its pleasant combination of citrus (petitgrain and bergamot) and floral (orange blossom and rose), with a little bit of wood and musk thrown in.

LOOKBOOK | Cuban feels

halfwhiteboy - cuban-inspired summer outfit 01
Where's my coffee?

The Cuban collar shirt--or sometimes referred to simply as Cuban shirt--definitely exudes tropicana cool. That said, it's a sure bet when putting together that perfect summer outfit.

Whether plain or printed, this shirt is characterized by its open, lapel-like collar and short sleeves. It usually has a boxy fit although some modern iterations are trimming the silhouette just a notch. This relaxed vibe clearly speaks of summer and the tropics.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

DINING | A chance encounter with West Town's Coffee

halfwhiteboy - west town's coffee 01
Inside West Town's Coffee.

It was one of those afternoons when I had to go find a place to while away time. Being a weekend, the usual suspects at Century City Mall were expectedly packed. As I stood by the mall exit thinking of where to go, I saw that there was a regular flow of people crossing the street and then disappearing into a corner lined by construction sites. I always thought it was just ongoing construction work there but clearly something must already be finished.

So I followed their lead and after a short walk The Milano Residences came into view. Its front was lined with shops and restaurants, one of which was West Town's Coffee. I went inside.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

LOOKBOOK | Faux summer suiting

halfwhiteboy - matching lightweight pants and blazer 01

Nope, it ain't a suit but just matching pants and blazer. The blazer, in fact, is unlined, which, together with the lightweight fabric and loose fit, make for a great casual summer outfit. Could it even pass for a summer wedding outfit?

Sunday, May 27, 2018

LOOKBOOK | Guardian of the galaxy

halfwhiteboy - uniqlo marvel guardians of the galaxy tee 01

Uniqlo always has the best tie-ins with other brands, and their latest collection of Marvel t-shirts is no exception. I had to control myself and I ended up with this Guardians of the Galaxy piece, with Baby Groot in the back trying to unplug the lights.

Wore it with my years-old camo jeans--also from Uniqlo--and a pair of sneakers. Mind you, these camo pants can also go well with an office shirt.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

LOOKBOOK | Surviving summer with a batik motif shirt

halfwhiteboy - uniqlo batik collection shirt 01

Rooted in Southeast Asian tradition, most prominently Indonesian, the beauty and diversity of batik patterns are worth celebrating. I'm happy Uniqlo adapted it into easy-to-wear lightweight shirts as part of their 2018 Spring/Summer Batik Motif Collection.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

LOOKBOOK | Suited down in plaid

halfwhiteboy - plaid suit 01

I love plaid, which is obvious since I own plaid shirts, plaid pants, and plaid blazers. I think it's because the pattern alone already speaks volumes, more so if it's a full-on suit or some other matching clothing set. This affords you ease in putting an outfit together because you only need to find something in a plain and solid color that matches or complements your plaid piece.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

DINING | The Coffee Library in San Juan, La Union

halfwhiteboy - the coffee library san juan la union 01
The 2nd floor of Surf Town's The Coffee Library.

Everyone seems to be flocking to La Union these days, San Juan in particular. Now where do you get your coffee fix there? El Union probably? But there's another coffee shop in the area, located right along the highway--The Coffee Library.

LOOKBOOK | Not a bathrobe, it's a jinbei

halfwhiteboy - jinbei traditional japanese clothing 01

I recently wrote about a traditional Japanese summer clothing called jinbei after wearing the top half of it with jeans. This time I wore the whole set--blousy top with matching shorts while on a short weekend trip down south.

Friday, May 11, 2018

FRAGRANCE | masculin Pluriel by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

halfwhiteboy - maison francis kurkdjian masculin pluriel 01
masculin Pluriel.

Having been the "nose" (fragrance-speak for perfumer) behind a long list of fragrances for brands like Acqua di ParmaBurberryElizabeth ArdenJean Paul GaultierGuerlain, and many more, Francis Kurkdjian is an established name in the fragrance industry. But he never had his own line until Maison Francis Kurkdjian opened in 2009.

masculin Pluriel is my first MFK purchase (there's also a feminin Pluriel for the ladies, by the way), and here's my little review.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

LOOKBOOK | A very casual date night

halfwhiteboy - distressed white shirt with patch and denim shorts 01

You're on a quick out-of-town getaway with your love and you're going out for dinner. What do you wear?

While the restaurant isn't your fancy fine-dining spot and is in fact very informal, it would still be a shame wearing shorts and a t-shirt next to your lady who's in a casual but lovely dress, now wouldn't it? I still kept it very casual with shorts, though, but I picked a white shirt with patches to dress it up just a wee bit. Because of the patches's positioning, I guess the shirt's meant to be kept untucked.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

LOOKBOOK | Poolside

halfwhiteboy - guppy surfboard print swim shorts 01

It's a shame I still haven't been to the beach this summer. But no matter, no matter, at least I've been to one of our happy places recently, Sitio de Amor in San Pablo, Laguna. They have a manmade lagoon and a pool, so I guess we're good.

Besides I brought with me some beach spirit--my surfboard print swim shorts from Guppy, a local brand I first discovered through Instagram.

[See also: 5 local swim shorts finds on Instagram]

Friday, May 4, 2018

LOOKBOOK | Buck the trend and go small with micro florals

halfwhiteboy - micro floral shirt and pink shoes 01

Cliché as they are, floral prints are all the rage once again because it's summer. And people never seem to get tired of them--me included.

[Check out: 9 Instagram accounts for your buttoned shirts this summer]

Still, florals are not for everybody. If you find such prints too loud for your comfort, or you simply want to go against the tide, try micro floral prints instead. They're still florals, of course, but much more subtle.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

DINING | Dessert time at Kiss the Tiramisu

halfwhiteboy - kiss the tiramisu 01
Kiss the Tiramisu's "Midas Touch."

Trying to cope with the punishing heat of summer? That's what led me to finally try Kiss the Tiramisu. I've passed by it several times already and found the name quite weird, absolutely clueless that it's a popular dessert cafe chain from South Korea.

Now here's a rundown of my solo experience.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

DINING | Olas Banditos: Decent Mexican fare in San Juan, La Union

halfwhiteboy - olas banditos, san juan, la union 01
The writings on the wall.

After some disappointing dining experiences at San Juan, La Union, it was such a relief to stumble upon something relatively good. Here's a rundown of our experience at Mexican restaurant Olas Banditos.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

LOOKBOOK | Because it's summer, go Japanese with a jinbei

halfwhiteboy - jinbei top 01

Me sharpening my kendo skills. Or at least that's what I think I'm doing. But my form betrays me. Such a poser, I know. Yet nothing betrays me more than this un-cropped photo below.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

LOOKBOOK | Loud and louder: going for more color

halfwhiteboy - striped uniqlo minions t-shirt and colored jeans 01

I really love my stash from Uniqlo's Minions Bello Summer t-shirt collection. After dressing up one with matching lightweight seersucker blazer and pants, I'm letting it loose this time with this striped piece.

LOOKBOOK | Summer sweater

halfwhiteboy - green yellow and brown combo 01

Wearing a sweater at this time of year in this part of the world would probably sound ludicrous. But if you work in an office, that most likely is alright. The key here is to wear one in a lightweight and breathable fabric. Having it in colorful and cheerful-looking patterns to match summer is an option.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

DINING: Surf Shack (San Juan, La Union): Where almost nothing is available

halfwhiteboy - surf shack, san juan, la union 01
Disappointing experience at Surf Shack.

I don't know if San Juan, La Union is just taking the laid-back vibe very, very seriously but here I am again with another disappointing restaurant. After a not-so-pleasant time at Flotsam & Jetsam's restaurant, we were met with a similar--if not worse--experience at Surf Shack.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

TRAVEL | Flotsam & Jetsam Artist Beach Hostel: Nice and hip place to stay in San Juan, La Union, BUT...

halfwhiteboy - flotsam and jetsam la union 01
All sorts of touches along one of the hallways of Flotsam & Jetsam.

Surfing or not, La Union has been steadily figuring out as a go-to destination for quick vacations, particularly the town of San Juan. Several establishments have of course mushroomed in the wake of this boom. Now where to stay in San Juan?

We've tried Flotsam & Jetsam Artist Beach Hostel, which, by all accounts is no longer just a humble hostel because it now has a dozen accommodation options. Business must be good.

Now here's a rundown of our experience.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

LOOKBOOK | Bello, summer: Dressing up a t-shirt for work

halfwhiteboy - dressing up a t-shirt (uniqlo minions bello summer) 01

So serious there. I guess the expression goes with trying to look dignified in some way. Because I chose to wear a t-shirt to work when it's not a Friday, I had to dress it up somehow; hence, the matching seersucker pants and blazer.

Monday, April 9, 2018

FASHION | 9 Instagram accounts for your buttoned shirts this summer

halfwhiteboy - tropical print shirt

Recently I featured 5 local indie brands on Instagram where you can score swim shorts this summer. Now your OOTD wouldn't be complete without a nice summer-themed shirt, right? I know you can go shirtless on the beach and all but you can't be a total showoff all the time, now would you?

So here are 9 local indie brands on Instagram where you can get a new batch of buttoned shirts for summer. Because we also need to cover up sometimes.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

LOOKBOOK | A splattering of black

halfwhiteboy - paint splatter boots 01

That's Teacup, one of our six--yes, six!--cats (cue: that "I have six cats" song). Both he and my shoes are splattered with black paint.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

FASHION | 5 local swim shorts finds on Instagram

halfwhiteboy - swim shorts 01

Nothing more screams summer than a trip to the beach. White sand, black sand, gray sand, pink sand, or brown sand beach, it doesn't matter. But are you ready with your OOTDs? You'll need a new set of beachwear, right? I'm thinking tropical print shirts, tank tops, some linen pieces, and of course, swim shorts.

While they're everywhere to be found, Instagram can be a source of some great finds, too. Here's but a few local brands on Instagram where you can get your next set of swim shorts.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

LOOKBOOK | Adapting to summer's delayed arrival

halfwhiteboy - plaid shirt blue pants blue leather jacket 01

It's peculiar enough that summer hasn't seem to arrive just yet. Holy Week has come and gone and it's been the "coldest" that I've experienced so far. Cold here, of course, is relative because we're a tropical country. Not that I'm complaining (because who wants to be dripping in sweat all the time?) but by this time of year we should already be suffering from temperatures of 30+ degrees.

But no. Thankfully.

FRAGRANCE | Vial trial: Diptyque Tam Dao

halfwhiteboy - diptyque tam dao

Last year I started reviewing sample fragrances given out by sales people from various department store purchases. I playfully called it Vial Trials, and the first one I wrote about was a review of Boss Bottled Night by Hugo Boss. Although it took a while, I'm following it up here with a review of Diptyque Tam Dao.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

LOOKBOOK | Summer layering with a kimono

halfwhiteboy - printed kimono 01

It's tough to go layering in a tropical country like the Philippines because unless you're in an air-conditioned space all day, chances are you'll end up soaked in sweat. Kimonos, however, offer a rather stylish alternative so you can still layer in summer. Think of an oversize lightweight cardigan.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

LOOKBOOK | Because joggers are also pants

halfwhiteboy - office wear and joggers 01

Yes, joggers are pants, so who says I can't pair them with a proper office shirt and go to work? The black sneakers are just a bonus. 😉

Friday, March 9, 2018

LOOKBOOK | Wearing my house's colors

halfwhiteboy - slytherin green, white, silver 01

While every Potterhead would probably love to be in Gryffindor, I'm more than happy to be in Slytherin. That's where the Sorting Hat put me. He knows. I was born in the Year of the Snake after all.

And here I am proudly wearing my house's colors of green and silver. When they said we had to wear either white or green for a group photo, I was of course very much willing to oblige. So here goes a white shirt, green pants, silver shoes, and a Slytherin tie.

Friday, February 16, 2018

LOOKBOOK | Just another plaid shirt

halfwhiteboy - plaid shirt and colored pants 01

Yes, it's another plaid shirt, something I'm easily drawn to. This one comes in a woven fabric, however. I like that it's a tad thick and for some reason it gives me the cowboy feels. Quite surprisingly, too, this one's a small (I'm usually a medium). I think it's the American sizing.

Monday, February 12, 2018

FRAGRANCE | The Tragedy of Lord George (from the Penhaligon's Portraits Collection)

halfwhiteboy - penhaligon's portraits - the tragedy of lord george 01

What a gorgeous-looking bottle, don't you agree? Admittedly it's part of the reason why I bought The Tragedy of Lord George, a 2016 release from Penhaligon's for its Portraits Collection. Yes, it is such a lengthy name for a fragrance but then again this collection has entries like The Revenge of Lady Blanche, Much Ado about the Duke, and The Coveted Duchess Rose, to name a few. They all come in identical bottles but are differentiated by their dedicated animal head cap.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

LIFESTYLE | Get romantic and lucky: A back-to-back celebration at Manila Pavilion Hotel

Valentines

The Manila Pavilion Hotel is giving us reasons to celebrate with them, with back-to-back offers for Valentine's and Chinese New Year.

Celebrate V-Day by treating your special someone to a romantic dinner buffet with an acoustic live serenade and a special giveaway for the ladies for only Php 1,200 per person. You might also want to gift her with this month's featured cake, Strawberry L'Opera, available at Patisserie.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

LOOKBOOK | Creamy camo

halfwhiteboy - camo sweatshirt and joggers 01

Hello, weekend! How about letting loose in joggers, a creamy brown camo top, and matching shoes? I could imagine this in green camo, too. Or gray.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

LOOKBOOK | 'Tis the season for flannel

halfwhiteboy - flannel shirt and rust colored pants 01

Flannel shirts have a special place during the colder months. They're warm and comfy, and their usually plaid patterns allow for versatility in terms of putting together an outfit.

TRAVEL | La Beaute de Hanoi Hotel: Great value for money

halfwhiteboy - la beaute de hanoi hotel vietnam 01
La Beaute de Hanoi's deluxe room.

So we're already halfway through the first month of the new year. Got any travel plans yet? While I'm already looking forward to summer, wouldn't it be nice to go someplace while the weather's cold?

In that regard, Hanoi in Vietnam would be great since they have winter there--sans all the discomfort that snow brings. Despite all the perceived chaos brought by swarms of motorbikes, Hanoi is a nice city, especially its Old Quarter area.

When we were there last year we stayed at this lovely and inexpensive little hotel called La Beaute de Hanoi. Here's a rundown of our experience.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

LOOKBOOK | Pink stripes in candy land

halfwhiteboy - pink stripes 01
Can I eat it?

Speaking of holding on to the holidays, here's another one. In another mall the decor was candy-themed, so there were lots of pink and blue. I just thought the polo with pink stripes I was wearing fit right into the background.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

LOOKBOOK | Black and khaki

halfwhiteboy - black and khaki 01

Nothing much really, just khaki pants, a plain black V-neck tee, and a pair of black sneakers for a rather plain and easygoing look. And yeah, holding on to the holidays perhaps.
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