It’s okay, guys. There’s no shame in admitting that you know who Cole Sprouse is. You saw him as a kid on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, right? Right! You may not have seen him as Jughead on Riverdale, because you obviously didn’t binge-watch the first season of that show. Or rather, you did—but only because your wife told you to, and not because you have a secret teen drama obsession. So yeah, you recognize him from there too. Big deal. Plus, he’s a Bench brand ambassador, so Metro Manila is festooned with his boyish good looks. How can you not know who he is?
You may have also heard that those very same boyish good looks arrived in the flesh in Metro Manila last Wednesday, April 18, for what Bench wholesomely referred to as a “Fun Meet” with his fans. And while you may not have been able to catch Cole Sprouse’s Fun Meet (a lot of people wanted to!), you might have seen the extended coverage of his time here, which included a trip to Poblacion and the obligatory I’m-just-a-regular-guy jeepney ride.
A lot of that coverage also fixated on Sprouse’s choice of attire as he explored our city: the indefatigable white sando, which he was spotted in while walking around Binondo:
Of course, it’s nice to see a big international celebrity making an effort to experience Manila for what it is. But the problem is that there is a great lie in his choice of attire, which is that it’s an appropriate choice of attire at all. Sprouse seems to be trying to channel an old-timey, working-class bad-ass, West Coast Americana aesthetic with the tank-top-tucked-into-jeans look. He even topped it off with aviator sunglasses and a cigarette. And because he’s Cole Sprouse, it almost looks valid. We live in a warm climate, after all, and it’s summer. Why not put on a white sando with jeans and nothing else but an I-don’t-give-a-fuck, sun’s-out-guns-out attitude? The heat, and this Riverdale star's Binondo trip, just might make you consider it for yourself.
But don’t let Cole Sprouse fool you. The sando just isn’t a valid choice of attire for going out in the city. At least it shouldn’t be. Not unless you’re working out, or are within exactly one kilometer of a beach (Manila Bay doesn’t count!). And even then, there are some hard-and-fast rules: No bright colors, no obnoxious prints, no thin straps (three inches is the absolute limit), and definitely no possibilities of nip-slippage. Still, regardless of the situation, you’re always better off when the sando is strictly underwear or pambahay.
So don’t even think about trying to riff on this teen star style maneuver. You will only fail miserably.