How To Know If You Dress Like A Tito

ILLUSTRATOR Jasrelle Serrano

Ah, titos. One minute you’re in your prime, drinking ice-cold San Miguel beer on the deck of Cable Car, feeling like a hotshot. The next thing you know, you’re in a traffic jam and a truck full of millennials pulls up beside you blaring EDM, and you wonder where the time has gone.

It’s easy to get stuck in the past. After all, the nostalgia for the good ol' days has been running high—just check out the hundreds of thousands of followers of the Classic Pare Titos and Titas of Manila group on Facebook for reference. But just because you’re proudly old-school, it doesn’t mean your style has to be. We’ve put together a checklist so you can figure out if you're in a style rut. 

1| You're Wearing Loose Denim Jeans

Plus tito points if you refer to them as maong. You know the type: the baggy, faded kind worn low on the hips and with hems frayed from being dragged across the floor. Sure, you look cool—if this were 2001 and you were Ja Rule. Get to your neighborhood tailor and have a proper pair of jeans fitted. 


2| You're Wearing Long White Socks

Long white socks look good on only two people: schoolboys and football athletes. If you’re neither of those, ditch them. Oh, and for the love of God, stop wearing them with Birkenstocks. 

3| You're Wearing Jorts That Fall Below The Knee

Jorts are exactly what it sounds like: a portmanteau of the words “jeans” and “shorts.” It’s a garment with an identity crisis, and probably an item that your wife has tried to secretly and repeatedly throw out of your closet. We get the appeal—how else can you step out of the house in shorts that don’t look like you just rolled out of bed?—but do your wife a favor and keep them in the back of your wardrobe…for now.

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4| You're Wearing Old-School Running Shoes

It’s one thing to wear your trusty Reeboks to the track or court; it’s another thing to pair your “rubber shoes” with everything that falls under not dressed up. We get it, they’re comfy, but they’re also one jump shot away from falling apart. If you must wear sneakers everywhere, we suggest going for a simple, classic, all-white shoe. 

5| You're Wearing Outdated Hawaiian Shirts

The great power Lito Atienza wields over us mortals is his ability to pull off Hawaiian shirts. While tropical shirts have certainly made a comeback, skip the garish touristy kind and leave it to the ex-mayor. 


6| You're Wearing Oversized Polo Shirts (With Huge Logos)

The ’90s was an explosion of everything branded. We wore logos on printed tees, sneakers, and yes, our favorite polo shirts. These days, we prefer a more low-key approach to logos, with brands as obscured as possible or only visible to those with an eye for style. What should you do? Stop getting shirts two sizes bigger than yours and don’t go for graphics that can be spotted from two streets over. 

7| You're Wearing A Fanny Pack

Back in the day, people wore a fanny pack to lug their brick-heavy cell phones around the city. Although the latest iPhone models have made a case against pocket-size mobiles, the idea of pulling out a smartphone from the notoriously dorky pouch still seems pretty ridiculous. However, designers and celebrities have been trying hard to bring back the fanny pack, so perhaps we’ll withhold judgment for now. 

8| You're Wearing Big Gold Chains

What is the most classic tito style element? Gold chains in the style of rapper bling. Today, however, please keep accessories to a minimum. Best to get a quality wristwatch.

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Sam Beltran
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