Fast fashion fixes

I throughly enjoyed this article on D’Marge—I kept nodding while reading it because I absolutely agreed on pretty much everything it said: Smart Shopping – Making the most of fast fashion retailers. (Also, it’s such a reminder of how globalized industries have become: what holds true for Sydney is the same for Manila.)

Head over to their blog for details, but below I’d like to add my own tips:


This brand is my go-to for cardigans, sweaters, and knitwear mostly because of the quality and material. They don’t sag or ‘bacon’ after several washes, although that also has a lot to do with how you launder them. The sweaters in particular stay snug and the color does not fade easily. I have several of them and while they languish in my closet for most of the year, they’re great for rainy-day emergencies, buildings with ruthless air conditioning, or overseas trips.

I find though that their shirts could be unforgiving, especially for those with heftier waistlines. They’re great on guys who have broad shoulders and tiny waists as their shirts’ cut have a marvelous way of showing that inverted ‘V’ silhouette.

Jomer recommends the pants, though I realized I haven’t tried them on ever, strangely enough. One thing’s for sure, though: the shoes don’t last a year as I learned the hard way with two pairs I previously bought with them.



If I need a plain t-shirt, it’s Topman by default. They have the softest material that only gets better as they age. They’re also great to give away as emergency gifts for when you’re really hard pressed for time or ideas. And I won’t consider them thoughtless—I’d be happy to receive them even from close friends!

They also stock some great accessories too, though they lean toward the younger market. The shirts are expensive by local (and my) standards. I never buy them at full price, or actually, even if they’re on sale. Oh, and they make some of the happiest socks designs!



I used to be head over heels in love with H&M. However, during my Hong Kong trip in February, the clothes were so uninspiring and felt no different from those in Forever 21. (There were no collections from the collab when I went there.) I actually came out of the store empty-handed! They make good bags though, and you may also want to pick up some accessories. The casual suits also fit me nicely.

H&M will open in Manila in August.



Uniqlo 1


Here’s where you can buy everything: t-shirts, polo and casual shirts, pants, and my favorite, underwear! I’d highly recommend the Airism collection, but I like their regular boxers, too. They’re long-lasting—all my Uniqlo underwear still look good as new, and some are now almost two years old! If only I can show you the photos, haha.

Another favorite are their linen shirts—good value for money and so perfect for our weather.

I agree with D’Marge’s warning though: the arm length falls short, especially for tall people like myself. I’ve been unsuccessful in buying any blazer or cardigans from them. The pants, though, have the perfect length.

* * * *

I thought I’d also add a couple of local brands:

Bench 1


It’s been a long time since I returned, but some of my favorite long-sleeve shirts are from Bench. And they’re some of my most complimented clothes too, even more than the foreign brands.

I haven’t bought Bench underwear in more than 5 years since they were really poor quality—I’d like to hear how they are now.

Oh, and you also go to Bench for the toiletries. I like their cologne, wipes, and of course, the body oils which I’ve previously blogged about.


Folded Hung

Folded & Hung

I have a trusted denim from this store, one that I’ve had for a decade. I also like those ubiquitous t-shirts with collars, though the material hasn’t been consistent through the years. I actually like the thicker variety—I don’t want my nipples getting all the attention.



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