Grooming

Get to Know the Coolest Men’s Hangout that Combines Cuts, Suits, and Shopping

At Spectre Manila, come for the haircut, stay for the suits.
IMAGE Spectre Manila
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If you haven’t heard of Spectre Manila, we don’t blame you. It’s kind of out the way. Found along the tiny road of Luna Mencias, it’s tucked away at the back end of a lot, on the second floor of a converted old house. On a weekday afternoon, your navigation system will lead you through the labyrinthine streets of the city before spitting you out onto Spectre’s two-lane street. And even then, you might miss the place. Look for the sign.

How Did Spectre Manila Come About?

Spectre is not a barbershop nor a suit shop nor a boutique. It’s all of that combined. It’s really a gentleman’s lifestyle lounge or, as its president Hans Fernandez describes, “a place of incubation” where guys are transformed into men. The essentials that a man—a man who has the balls to care enough about grooming and style—are found here: haircuts and suits, watches and shoes, and, of course, drinks. All that, including a space that looks like the love child of a gentleman’s private club and the romantic house of your lola, make the trip to this sort-of-secret hangout totally worth it—despite the location. In fact, Hans reports, its remoteness has become a positive. He says, “Men find that coming here is a form of escape: to relax and just have some personal time away.” 

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Here, all you need to know about the coolest hangout for men.

1. The name is a shoutout to James Bond and Harvey Specter.

When Hans was making his pitch for Spectre, he found it easier to describe the concept as place for Bond or Harvey Specter—hence the name, Spectre, which keen observers will note is the title of 24th Bond film and the last name of the badass attorney from Suits. It helps that Harvey Specter also has a terrific haircut that many men have copped. 

2. Of course, when you think of Bond, there are slick suits.

Specifically from Tiño, the local suitmaker that creates some of the finest suits in Manila. “Tiño is led by the master tailor Napoleon Arienza, who was trained by master tailors from Italy and has more than 20 years of unparalleled experience in suiting up gentlemen,” says Hans. “Everything is done by hand and, as demonstrated by the word Tiño, with a sureness of touch.” Of note, all the suits feature full canvas construction (no fused nonsense here) and are made from natural fabrics sourced from England and Italy. Good stuff.

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3. So what’s it like to get a made-to-measure suit at Spectre?

First, your suit is tailored to your body with a fitting form. But never worry that you’re getting something generic, because there are 33 fitting forms, representing different body types (including your very special physique) available. “We don’t just measure you as small, medium, or large,” Hans explains. Next, the details are considered, including “the length of the arm, the padding on the shoulders, and the break on the pants, to name a few.” Finally, the fun part: the materials. Choose from an extensive fabric selection that covers wool count, patterns, and colors. Then, after seven to 10 days, come back for a fitting. “If the client is already satisfied, the process is complete. Otherwise minor adjustments are done. The client can expect his finished suit in about four to five days after that,” he says.


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You can create a more daring rig here.

Know what men are ordering from Spectre? Suits in olive, purple, or a pattern of blue and gray. Pro tip: Ask for the Huddersfield fabric, their most popular textile. “This English fabric has a wide array of colors in varying shades,” says Hans.

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You can drop by just for the shopping.

“As in the suits, we look for items that meets the requirements of a modern gentleman. These are products that they will actually use, feel comfortable with, and be proud to carry,” says Hans. Some of the standout pieces include the Voicer rolling luggage, whose packing system protects suits from any and all wrinkles; the nattiest black cap-toe lace-ups from Loake, the British shoemakers that has been granted a Royal Warrant of Appointment by Queen Elizabeth; and beastly timekeepers from SevenFriday or retro-styled watches from Undone. The selection, including barber-made grooming products from Reuzel (dibs on the medium-hold pomade), is really top-notch


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And, oh yeah, you can get a haircut here.

A private space away from suits and shopping is dedicated to the barbershop. Men usually get slicked-back styles or side-part cuts here. Which just shows the kind of clientele that Spectre attracts. Another service that you may (or may not) want to try is ear candling. This involves a flaming taper that cleans out gunk from your ears.

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What else?

“Whiskey and other alcohol of course!” says Hans. “We serve Macallan and other brands as well as vodka and gin.” On their drinks menu, the whiskey is called Harvey Specter and the vodka and gin is James Bond, so have a cold Bond (or two) while getting a cut or fitting a suit. And, if you’re really feeling the vibe, close down Spectre for the most stylish private party ever (this is possible). That way you don’t have to leave.


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916 Luna Mencias, Mandaluyong; +632 725 3066

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Clifford Olanday
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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