I am more of a traditionalist when I look at clothing. It’s always a matter of style, tempered with a bit of fashion. I guess you can call me a dandy. I took after my father, who had no qualms about wearing pink pants or ascots during an age when men wore white suits. Ah, the dichotomy of taste.
Fashion fades and style is eternal, and yet we all walk into that dressing room stall with something from the rack, inspired by a movie, a stylist’s IG, or just something cool. I myself went through the big-Gucci-on-everything look, when it was all about the logo. We all have our own moments when we succumb to fashion.
And the moment has set us up for another seduction. The 70s—that disco induced maelstrom of abuse, doused with Donna Summer ditties, equipped with bell bottoms and platforms—have come back into the fashion spotlight. This leaves us now with a decision to make: should we, like Tony Manero (John Travolta’s iconic character in Saturday Night Fever), bravely put our collar over our lapels? Because for years we have been told not to. And yet here is the new gang of Meteor Garden boys boldly breaking that rule.
Is the collar over the lapel doable again? My take: why not? There is a sense of rakishness to it. It’s about how you carry yourself. A semi-fit dude with pecs can always pull it off—but sadly, those of us with dadbods will always find ways to cover our bodies in shame.
But yes, I do like the I-woke-up-like-this feel of the popped collar over a nice jacket.
How do you pull it off? I took notice of the recent posts of the annual peacock fest in Florence called Pitti Uomo, and have arrived at these conclusions:
The new collar-over-lapel aesthetic won’t work with a tailored button down or a starched shirt. The feel should be tropical, casual, and very Siargao. There are a lot of one-piece collar shirts going around. You know, those very Mayor Atienza print numbers. Rayon, that soft-to-the-touch fabric preferred by our lolos, provides the perfect material. Cotton floral, however, is always a safe choice.
Slim-fit or loose? It’s highly debatable, so it’s up to you if you are more at ease with a fitted jacket or the Armani looseness that was so much a part of 80s-style comfort. Wearing the Hawaiian style shirt seen from designer boutiques to local pop-ups is just perfect. It’s trendy, yes, but it’s been on the radar for the past five years, which makes it practically a staple.
With a shirt like that, tucked in jeans or sleek trousers, a nice structured jacket looks good. No to thin lapels though, unless you want to look like one of the Jonas Brothers. Think Brad Pitt in Oceans 11, or Mick Jagger, or yes, those K Pop heartthrobs that have that really translucent skin.
The verdict: Go ahead, take on this whole LU vibe. Wear the shirts with jackets, or even safaris! Pair with shorts and white sneakers. My only advice: dress for your body type. But then again, if you are confident, do as you please.
The collar over the lapel is not only back—it’s here to stay.