Fit of the Day: Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala’s Market Look
ILLUSTRATOR Bianca Papa
The habits of the one-percenters, specifically their choice of food and clothes, were made a little clearer when Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, chairman and CEO of the Ayala Corporation, was spotted surveying organic vegetables while wearing the unassailable combination of a trim polo shirt with (tricky) white pants in Glorietta.
JAZA, as he’s called, was at the market or, more specifically, the launch of Ayala Malls’ fresh produce market initiative, BuyANI (get it?), a weekly pop-up of farm-fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, and dairy products, as well as wines and coffee. The idea is to help farmers sell their goods and also help cityfolk get their hands on these good goods.
Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, with wife Lizzie, wears the ultimate weekend look, a trim polo shirt plus white trousers.
That’s the noble goal, but we’re here to examine why JAZA’s weekend look works. A big part of its success is in the combination of blue and white, a classic match that creates visual interest by presenting contrast (the darkness of blue versus the lightness of white) and conveys a level of leisure reserved for vacations in coastal idylls or the old-school ease of Steve McQueen.
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Of the pieces: This is a strong case for wearing a polo shirt on the weekend. While a T-shirt would be comfortable (we’re not denying that), a polo shirt with its collar and in this subdued color is more put-together. It signals care as even on trips to the market, the man in a polo shirt still puts his best foot forward. One important thing to note is how the CEO nails the fit, which, here, is the right level of trimness—not big and billowy as to consume him nor skin-tight, which is uncomfortable to behold.
As for his white pants, well, they are a flex. You can say the wearer of white pants is someone who has a high degree of control (no spills here), a light-hearted fella who takes things in stride (spills don’t matter), or a man who has a team of professional cleaners at his employ (someone will take care of the spills).
All the small details take this look from safe to excellent and perfect for the weekend: the bracelets of yarn, the large-faced watch with a leather band, and what looks like suede or nubuck lace-ups in a dusty tan. JAZA also includes the ultimate accessory: a cloth face mask with a blue foliage print under a full-face shield. No halfsies here.
In contrast to his brother's relaxed look, Fernando Zobel de Ayala, with wife Kit, wears a classic suit (no tie) for the launch of Ayala Mall's market pop-up.
Our old eyes can’t determine where each piece comes from, but there is a high probability they’re from premium labels. Or maybe they are from casual wear brands or even a high-low mix? After all, the richest become richer by being spendthrifts. To that point, if you don’t have the coin for a bespoke pair of white trousers, you can get one from, say, Uniqlo and have your neighborhood tailor make adjustments. It will do.
This weekend, the Zobel’s produce market makes its way to the beautiful South at Alabang Town Center, a venue where the dress code, as worn by expats, expat wives, expat children, and assorted well-to-dos, are in line with the cool, casualness that JAZA espouses (instead of pants, they do tidy shorts though). If you’re heading out the door and to the market, emulate the CEO and put on his rich fit.