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Basic Fashion Rules for Men

by Chris

While every style is unique to each person, there are just some specific fashion rules which are revised every season depending on what’s in and what’s out. In this article, Jessie tells us some of these fashion rules that every guy ought to follow.

I was at the mall the other day with my wife and kid. We were strolling around, minding our own business. Then all of a sudden a guy passed by wearing these: Baggy jeans, oversized t-shirt, purple chucks and a white framed shades. My wife and I looked at each other in horror. What was he thinking? He obviously wanted to impress people with his ‘savvy’ style, but even with his decked out head-to-toe outfit – he looked more like a clown simply because he

failed to follow some basic fashion rules. Which leads me to shell out some of the most basic fashion rules every guy needs to be aware of.

Rule #1

Never wear pants without a belt.

When you’re wearing your shirt tucked into your pants, wearing a belt is a commandment to follow. A belt serves as the knot that ties your outfit together. It completes the whole package. It’s ok to not wear one if your shirt extends below your waist, but when you’re dressing up for a special occasion, belts are a must even if your pants don’t really need any help staying put. Aside from that, not wearing a belt makes your outfit look less elegant and chicks don’t dig that.

Rule #2
Get rid of waistline and belt accessories

Okay, so you got the gadgets, you got the fine cars, you’re with the classiest girl and you got a date. Do yourself a favor: Leave your cellphone clipper at home. Cellphone clippers are those things that you clip or strap to your waist that serve as your cellphone holder. They are a total distraction and people will tend to look at your waistline everytime and you don’t want that, especially if you have a beer belly that’s waiting to explode. Aside from that, piling up accessories on your waist only makes you look shorter and heavier. So get rid of those clippers, chains and what everything that would make you look like an undercover cop.

Rule #3
Basketball shoes + Jeans = Disaster

If you’re wearing jeans that has a narrow or slim bottoms, never EVER wear your favorite basketball shoes. Jeans and basketball sneakers are like oil and water. They don’t go well together. Only fifth-graders wear basketball shoes with their jeans because they don’t have a choice. But you do. Get yourself a sneaker that would make your feet look slim and sleek. If the bottom of your pants crumples on your ankles – you got it all wrong. Getting another pair of kicks for to match with your daily casual wear might cost you a little more, but you’ll definitely gain ‘pogi’ points for them in the long run.

Rule #4

Pant length commandments

I have an officemate who seriously needs to read this article. Picture this: He’s short, he wears tight shirts and an elephant bottom pants. I mean, this dude really has some serious time travelling to do. Elephant pants and bell bottoms for men are OUT. Pants that literally cover your shoes and reach the ground are a thing of the past. Different kinds of pants look best at different lengths. Jeans should not reach the ground and should be perpendicular with your ankles. Nothing more, nothing less. For dress pants or office pants, it should cut off at the top of your heel and your socks should not show when you’re walking. If you’re buying new pants but the length is not quite right but you love them, have them altered. Never fold them inwards. You’re an adult for crying out loud.

Note from Chris: I can relate with Jessie. I thought that I was the only one who noticed some people still wearing oversized shirts and elephant pants. These styles were great sometime in late 90s but now it’s considered old school.

Jessie is a full-time employee in Makati as a Technical and Billing Support Supervisor and also works as a Freelance Event Organizer. He has a strong passion in sports and urban lifestyle. In his spare time, he reads books and magazines, surfs the Internet and plays video games.

Know more about men’s fashion by Subscribing to Pinoy Guy Guide or signing-up at the forums

Image credit: Mukluk | Creative Commons

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Mikko October 30, 2008 - 10:26 am

Woah, I never knew I was violating one until I read this. I’ve always violated #3. πŸ˜€

doc October 30, 2008 - 5:44 pm

being “safe tips”
1. for casual malling, dates, movie or concert, sunday getaway wear your shoes with a black casual socks, it safe and blends well even with white sneakers or shoes.

2. keep your wallets free from unnecessary papers, clip the separately and leave them at your office table or at your car, the less bulky your wallet is, the more comfortable it is.

3. always have a handkerchief ready, i usually put it at my left rear pocket, the right rear is for my wallet. i keep my front pocket free of any stuff especially when i wore shirts tucked in.

4. dont wear loud jewelries, a nice watch is enough for a man.

5. wear a scent that suits the occasion, dont wear something woody or musky on an informal or daily wear, reserved them for formal gatherings.

6. when wearing a barong tagalog, tucked in your undershirt, be it a plain white camisa de chino or a lining of silk material, a black undershirt is also good to pair with a black pants with a neutral color barong.

7. clean your nails, you dont have to visit a manicurist, just clip them well and scrub them throughly, stay away from the pink hues.

8. long or short hair, keep it neat.

9. for jeans, wear a cut that will flatter you, to be safe dont wear it too high nor too low, 2 inches below the navel is ok, above it is a no-no so is 6 inches below, unless you have a great body to show off. the length should fall just 3/4 of an inch above the heel of you shoe, never too high nor too low. this applies to trousers men wears.

10. take a bath, put on a good deodorant if you perspire a lot especially when wearing black shirt.

doc October 30, 2008 - 5:49 pm

and oh yes for the cellphone, i keep them along with my handkerchief at my rear left pocket, this also gives an illusion that you have a good behind.

Patricio October 30, 2008 - 8:40 pm

It’s been a long time I haven’t visited this blog of yours Kuya Chris.

Anyways, nainis ako sa article na ito dahil naunahan mo ako. I’m on the process of writing an article about men’s fashion 101; obviously, a very similar article to this one. However, I’ll be posting it very soon.

I have one point to argue on the article above, though.

I’m not saying that I totally negate this rule. Pero we have to take in consideration the occasion or event a lad is going to.
I for one. I have a petty bling-bling that hangs from my belt and inches bove my left knee. I know blings-blings are considerably “thing of the past”; but hey, if it matches one’s outfit, then it should be considered.

On the contrary, if you’re going to a very decent event, well of course, it’s A MUST-NOT.


I definitely agree on this one. I see a lot of people roaming around the mall wearing average jeans matched with basketball shoes like ‘Ol Jordan, AND IT SUCKS.

They look like Tweety for me, haha. No offense meant po. If you know what I mean.

Well anyways yun lang naman po.

From a lad who’s very vain about himself and who’s very much concerned on what to wear, and very keen on men’s clothing and fashion.

Hope I am of help to the readers.


Pao October 31, 2008 - 8:01 am

Wow… Good for me, I haven’t violated any rules.. Cheers!

boris October 31, 2008 - 10:03 pm

wahahah!!! actually ganun din ako pag may nakikita akong O.A. na magsuot ng damit, pagkalampas nila sa akin, sabay tawa ako ROFLMAO!!! it’s like WTF??!!! πŸ™‚

Rule #1 is obvious
Rule #2 is a big no-no!, quite obvious also
Rule #3, you’ll definitely look like a clown! just wear the proper attire if you want to wear the basketball shoes, the shorts! duh! πŸ™‚
Rule #4 length is everything πŸ™‚

to doc: only old people put their cp’s on their rear pockets… i mean their asses πŸ™‚

anyway, whatever you’re wearing… just be sure you know what the basic rules are and always have common sense πŸ™‚

nice post! might do my own version of this. thanks! πŸ™‚

bugITs November 1, 2008 - 12:04 am

hahah! natawa ako sa rules kasi i always violated all the rules.. huhuhu.. pasensya na chris… fashionisto ka talaga! aheheh

Going Straight November 1, 2008 - 9:22 am

I’ve got a question. How about wearing caps on let’s say malling and other informal lakads besides sports, do you think it’s fine?

Chris November 1, 2008 - 10:10 am

^^^ If it is an informal occasion, I don’t think there is anything wrong with it.

boris November 1, 2008 - 12:50 pm

nope, caps depend also to what you’re wearing…

vin November 1, 2008 - 7:50 pm

just a thought, how do you define basketball shoes? πŸ™‚

boris November 1, 2008 - 11:09 pm

to vin: something big and doesn’t match anything except if you really wear it for sports πŸ™‚

vin November 3, 2008 - 9:24 am

so those af1’s and plain white rubber shoes are fine? hehe

boris November 3, 2008 - 10:50 pm

to vin: yup okay naman siya eh. basta alam mo naman na hindi siya pang payaso.basta yung madaming kulay hehehe πŸ™‚

here’s a tip, some of you might know this too… white rubber shoes or sneakers matches any kind of clothes you wear πŸ™‚

Jessie November 8, 2008 - 10:47 pm


AF1’s are fine if you dont pair them up with slim jeans.

Slim jeans = Slim shoes!

Paul November 9, 2008 - 12:27 pm

Fashion-forward people need to take all these rules with a HUGE grain of salt. These rules are only safe to follow if you are stuck in the nineties, or are just plain clueless about style, especially in the Philippines where people are closed-minded to fashion until they see their favorite American pop stars wearing it.

Here are my responses to each of the rules:

1. Slim fitting jeans and slacks need no belt, and look better without one if worn with a suit jacket. (geez, could they have picked a worse picture for this rule?)

2. Cellphone clip-on cases are ugly, but urban photographers can pull of waist-packs.

3. Vin was on the money when he asked how you define basketball shoes. There is more than one style, and just saying basketball shoes is way too vague. Old school basketball shoes actually look good with slim jeans.

4. Pant length AND fit really depends on how it will go with the overall outfit. You can’t say this is how your pants should be no matter what.

Personal style is more important than “safe” fashion. Don’t be a cookie cutter look-alike.

Chris November 9, 2008 - 12:36 pm

Hi Paul,

Yes I understand that the photo here is not that good. Well we were looking for a good one that is free of copyright and that’s the only one we found. We will try to improve on that.

About your views? Though you disagree to some of the points mentioned by Jessie, I appreciate reading them. I’ll probably discuss my thoughts regarding that on another post.


toplatsi November 20, 2008 - 1:44 pm

i agree with paul.

nagtaka nga ako bigla bakit ganon ang kinalabasan ng post na ito… parang nag-curtail ka na rin ng freedom ng iba para mag-stand out.

oo, maari ring ma-shock ako sa same person na nakita ng author pero kung iisiping mabuti, dapat ay unawain natin na iyon ang kanyang fashion statement. ang tanong naman kasi dyan, saan mo ba sya nakita? nasa tamang lugar ba sya to dress like that?

Pinoy Guy Guide » Blog Archive » Best of Pinoy Guy Guide in 2008 December 30, 2008 - 12:54 pm

[…] Basic Fashion Rules for Men – Every man’s guide to […]

jP January 22, 2009 - 6:38 am

thanks for the tips lads

ill remembah always belts and no access


markleovin March 19, 2009 - 2:58 pm

thanks a lot! now i learned!

Ramillav March 29, 2009 - 10:55 am

I read this a long time ago, sort of practice it. Ha ha ha very helpful, although it’s quie obvious.

Jessie March 29, 2009 - 10:13 pm

@ Ramillav

Nice! Hope you like some of our other fashion tips here. check out the archives if you have time πŸ™‚

fred bennett July 17, 2009 - 10:58 am

Great post! Men’s fashion is really taking off lately.

Marky November 18, 2009 - 1:05 pm

@ doc;
keep your front-pocket free. how can I? I always bring with me my 2 phones and I place them on my front pockets. 1 on the left and on the right.

To all:
I agree that the length of the pants should consider the overall outfit you are wearing.
And no-no also for a loud jewelries.

RJ December 30, 2009 - 1:35 am

Nice entry! =) more please.

Dhon January 15, 2010 - 2:33 am

Thank GOd.. i haven’t violated any rules! hehehe..

Mark Martinez February 10, 2010 - 1:12 am

I like this tip: “Jeans and basketball sneakers are like oil and water.” gott’a admint it, I’m a fan of adidas sneakers. It drivers my wife nuts when I wear ’em with jeans, now the picture’s clear ‘-)
Mark Martinez,
Testing out hypergain like the energizer bunny

MB February 14, 2010 - 7:46 pm

I really hate black socks, they’re stinky pieces of crap that soak up all the heat and smell f$%ing awful.

Dave May 1, 2010 - 5:38 pm

Well, not all people are so skinny and short like back in PI. Im a big Filipino man-6’1, 252 lbs (of pure bulk and muscle) residing in the U.S. well, speaking of “baggy” clothes, not all people are born super handsome/pretty. Plus, If you’re a big hip-hop/rap music fan, some of them rappers still rock baggy stuff, although now there is a switch in trends where now they wear fitted stuff. baggy pants/shorts (in my opinion, still kinda relevant) despite the big switch over. I know in the Philippines, people dress differently than ppl in the U.S. so it’s kinda understandable.

I don’t mind dressing like a rapper/baller but at every occasion, like a formal party, I dress for the part. besides, nobody wants to look like a sore thumb. lol.

Zhian November 11, 2010 - 5:06 pm

Good day guys. I have a little problem about my height. I stand 5’4″ and my waistline is 27 inches. I am a typical slim bodied guy (thin). What would be the right fashion (clothes) for me to increased my height in view of others. I mean those clothes that will give a little emphasis about my height. Thank you very much.

Jieroque November 12, 2010 - 2:26 am


Many would suggest wearing a lot of vertical lines and patterns on your tops. I find this quite useless, unless you wear them perfectly matched with everything else. For the regular-dressed small guy, it’s quite simple. I stand even smaller than you at 5’2″ and I’m proud to say that I’ve been mistaken for being 3 – 4 inches taller.

1. Wear fit. Not -tight- but slim-fit. It streamlines you, even better because you’re slim.

2. Show of your arms. That’s right – try to get one of the shorter, vintage type of shirts. My rule when checking out shirts, is if the underarm sleeve seam is longer than 3 inches, it will make you look lousy. The longer the sleeves, the lower you are visually pulled down. Except for tight sleeves which also emphasize your upper arm.

3. Wear V-necked shirts. They create the illusion of a longer neck, thus elongating your torso. Combined with short vintage sleeves, this in itself creates a sleek, sexy look that shows of more ‘elongated’ skin.

4. Be careful about Shirt Length. The longer it is, untucked, the shorter and the more hiphoppy you become(unless it’s meant to be really long and narrow). A good rule is if you stretch both arms up, the edge should at least show the waistline of your pants. Or some torso skin, to be a little more sexier.

5. Slim-fit pants. Not skinny (which I hate, and obviously not fantastic on short people). Low-rise, slim-fit pants are your best bet.

6. Shoes are tricky, since you have to find the right ‘drop’ on your pants. I recommend the trusty Chuck Tailors for everyday sneakers, they go well with slim-fits since they hug your ankle and not bulk them up like sports shoes. Vans and skatershoes are good too, since they solidify your base, making your figure a good ‘I’ than a short ‘V’. When wearing leathers, go for narrow and long, with again, SLIM-FIT Slacks.

7. A recent trick I discovered: Get those button shirts with button straps on the shoulders, military style. They angle UP your shoulder creating a sharper look.

8. Generally a darker top and a lighter bottom will elongate your legs. Also a basic, simple line on the upper chest can also pull the eyes up. People say never wear horizontal lines when your short, but I say otherwise. You can and should wear them, especially if they fit snug, and tuck them in πŸ™‚

9. Simplify accessories. I wear one wide leather wristband at a time since it ‘breaks up’ my arm, further emphasizing skin. I realized that when you wear V-neck vintages, being bare-armed is actually good and sexy looking. But I love wristbands so much that I had a large forearm tattoo done πŸ˜› Now I don’t wear accessories anymore.

10. Heels are ok for leathers, but try not to go overboard (eh, high heels?). Ankle boots are great and very classy, they also create a nice drop for the pants, make them more streamlined.

11. You may also try tight-fitting quarter sleeved shirts that show of your forearm while your upper arm is snugly covered. Combined with a V-neck, it not only makes you look more lithe and taller, it also makes you look smarter πŸ™‚

The basic rule is keep it nice and fit… Streamline, streamline, streamline. BUT do not go overboard by making everything too tight that you seem to be popping out of the clothes. Just simple, and fit. And, -Less- is more.

(Hm, think I overwrote)

Good Luck!

Zhian November 12, 2010 - 10:22 am


Thank you very much for that well said advices. Much appreciation. Now, I have a whole bunch of information.

One more thing, Is it okey to wear polo shirts instead of v neck shirts in my case?

Jieroque November 12, 2010 - 1:57 pm

You’re welcome! (well, I only speak from personal experience, and visual satisfaction)

Polo shirts, you mean the ones with two-three buttons and are short-sleeved? Yes, they are great! Personally, I buy the bulk of my polo shirts from F&H, which has a really WIDE variety of colors. Pick a nice, snug fit, that’s not too loose that it creates a dangling space in your arms and belly.

For button-down shirts (from collar to bottom buttons), please pick the ones with a round edge bottom. Why? Because a rounded edge is usually higher on the sides, elongating your legs, and creating the illusion of a perfect butt. Try not to get the square-bottom shirts, they make you WIDER – unless you tuck them in.

Also, try not to go with too much print on a polo shirt. You want to create an illusion of height, not a distraction. Simple, one color muted hues are perfect, especially if they have a nice fit. When you’re small and you wear too bright colors, it will make you look like a flower on the road πŸ™‚

Zhian November 13, 2010 - 8:45 pm

Thank you very much… (^_^)

lORENS February 24, 2011 - 11:13 am

nowadays talaga there’s so many teenager boys na wala sa fashion. they feel na fashionable sila because uso yung damit or whatever accessories na meron sila. hindi nila tine-take into consideration kung babagay ba sa kanila or hindi.

Anyway Im a new fan of this site guys. ang dami kong nakuhang advice. Im hoping pa na sana malaman ng ilang guys yung site na toh. =)

relson March 4, 2011 - 11:28 pm

nice info. now im a new follower of this site. the stuff here are pretty sweet. i have a question though. what’s the best casual attire for tall, but really slim guys? thanks!

edward the vampire May 27, 2011 - 11:08 pm

matangkad n b ang 5’7 sa lalaki?

KEN October 11, 2011 - 5:44 pm

Here are my top 3 RULES:
1. Dont pair Skinny Jeans with “Fubu sized clothes”
2. In Mixing Colors, 2 or 3 colors are enough or else you might look a CHRISTMAS TREE πŸ™‚ example is wear a fit polo color black with a skinny white jeans and havaianas πŸ™‚
3. Plain shirt combine with skinny jeans with slippers is simple pero may dating πŸ˜€ E.G. Black V neck shirt with skinny Denim and white slippers πŸ™‚

IM PROUD to say that:

GTR June 2, 2012 - 6:09 pm

Uhhh… Some of it I can relate but not your so called rule num.3. First and foremost the trend as of late is you can wear b.ball shoes on skinny jeans just ask Kanye and P. Williams, Usher, etc. The basic is just put out the shoe tongue out of the bottom of the jeans so it will not cover it. And those who are wearing this isn’t like your concept of a grade 5 kid having no other pair of shoes leaving them with no choice… WRONG mate. These b.ball shoes are like some kind of signature fahion wear also, the more limited your Jordans or Lebron the better. And these shoes especially the Js, Lebrons, Kobes, are… I tell you, more than a Grade 5 kid can afford. xD

Bottom line to each their own, and as much as possible let us not descriminate other fashion sense, just like they did on Lady Gaga, but now since she is popular she is now one of the “Fashionable” artists. Lol. And next time before we post a rule let us check current facts first so it will be a more credible article.

macky July 12, 2012 - 4:38 am

i dont agree with number 1,.it should be eliminated,.

hush_11 November 20, 2012 - 2:25 pm

nice blog. thanks for the tips!

Mark December 15, 2012 - 2:53 pm

Thank you very much for all tips.

Chris December 20, 2012 - 10:40 am

You’re welcome Mark

The Wander Dan January 7, 2013 - 9:38 pm

Couldn’t agree more about this post. Men should know that we have rules too, and the crazy thing is, these rules are often neglected although very basic. Nice one chris!

Michael March 16, 2013 - 11:14 pm

Kinda disagree with rule no. 3 . Currently, many people right now are wearing basketball shoes due to its beautiful design, bright colors, and innovative other than the standard all black or white shoes or usual “chucks”. if you do not believe me, check out celebrities or go to the mall in the afternoon, check the shoes the people are wearing…..hahaha. Peace!

Bizkit May 2, 2013 - 10:49 pm

As agreed with other guys here num. 3 is FALSE dude. Celebs do it, hip fashion icons do it. The Jordans, Barkleys (especially the new release ones), Lebrons, Kobes, J.Scott Adidas, etc. They all rock with jeans IF worn right. Downside is these sneakers are expensive especially the limited ones.

uno May 13, 2013 - 2:58 pm

you know what! i don’t have any rules when it comes dressing up, i just wear what i feel right depending on the occasion and as long as i feel nice & comfortable on what i wear, i’m all good!

John Michael Rili December 17, 2014 - 3:28 pm

Nice. I’m happy that I’m not violating any of the basic rules.

Arsharip Taup September 17, 2015 - 4:42 am

I always violate rule no. 2. Whenever out, I wear belt bags i bought from Bench and strap them to me, with the bag behind, and clothes tucked out covering it. I have low bottom so i am just trying to hide the flaw, though my belly’s in right shape. Is there an alternative to this? most chicks dig in for butts they can squeeze sa gigil. I’ve tried different exercise to raise it a bit, but droppy behinds are in the family.

Bill June 17, 2016 - 9:29 am


I am traveling to the Philippines for the first time in august 2016. I am an older white male mid-fifties. While I am traveling as a tourist, I don’t want to look like a tourist. I want to have a professional look, without standing out as a potential target.

What would you suggest? Chino’s and a linen shirt? Or better put. what would be appropriate for Mass?

Mark September 4, 2017 - 7:45 pm

This article helped me a lot, especially for a young dad like me, It still helps me to atleast not to look male version “losyang”. I hope there’s also a fashion tip for this rainy season πŸ™‚


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