Fashion

The Eternal Style of President Manuel Roxas is a Reminder of How Men Should Dress Now

Suits in white, sunglasses, boater hats, and made-for-dancing bow ties.
IMAGE Presidential Museum and Library
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The 15th of April marks the 70th death anniversary of President Manuel A. Roxas. 

Roxas served the nation for over three decades, starting as a member of his hometown’s municipal council in 1917 and finally rising to the country’s highest office as its President from 1946 to 1948. The last President of the Commonwealth and the first President of the Republic is best remembered as a nation builder, a leader who, after inheriting a country ravaged by World War II, restored normalcy and spurred growth. 

Apart from his prowess in government, the President also exemplified great style. As seen in the following archive photos, Roxas preferred a classic look that heavily featured suits in white, natty accessories such as canes, hats, and sunglasses, and an immaculate palette that conveys both grace and power.

The effect was that he looked worldy and worthy and also a bit like a movie star. Here are a few things you can learn from him.  

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1| This photo from Roxas' boyhood shows that the would-be President had an early start in the ways of dressing well. Note the straw boater hat in his hand.


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2| Aside from being a proponent of nation building, Roxas was a proponent of white suits. This is the first of many. 


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3| For a photo with wife Trinidad Roxas and children Gerry and Ruby Roxas, he employed cool tones, from white and grays to light-colored shoes, to great effect. The club collar shirt is a very nice touch.


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4| The lesson here is contrast. The President shows that there's nothing to fear about white or light-colored trousers, especially when it is paired with a dark double-breasted jacket. 


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5| His array of immaculately light clothing is not limited to suits. It also includes this soft vest, bow tie, and hat.  


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6| Veering away from white, this rig is in the flavor of tans, khakis, oatmeals, and sands—all good things. The safari jacket is a highlight.  


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7| This image presents the glory of the The Way Things Were. It also shows the confidence of knowing that you are properly attired for a formal affair. Roxas appears to be in full evening dress, the most formal of style codes, with his black tailcoat, waistcoat, and white tie.  


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8| Do these sunglasses make the President look cool? Or does the President make the sunglasses look cool? Either way, Roxas looking out the window of a vehicle (maybe a train) is a specimen of great travel style.   


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9| The only way to wear flowers.


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10| It must be noted that his jacket was fastened by the advanced style move of tying a belt nonchalantly.  


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About The Author
Clifford Olanday
Senior Fashion Editor, Esquire Philippines
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