The Rise Of The Well-Dressed Singapore Man

Call it bias or tunnel vision, but I’m in the opinion that a fashionably dressed man will leave a better impression than a lady with good fashion sense, at least in Singapore. This is unfortunately (or fortunately, if you’re a man into Darwinism) due to the severe disregard of fashion among the male population in the land of the Merlion, as compared to their lovely counterparts.

I’d like to take this opportunity to raise my imaginary Lychee martini glass to all the Office Ladies (OLs) in Singapore. On behalf of all the men having lunch at Raffles Place, I would like to thank you for making the world a better and more beautiful place with your dresses and pencil skirts. I’d thank all of you personally, but you know what Singaporean women are like. Rejecting men in clubs is the national pastime here.

And let’s not forget the short shorts (nope, it’s not a typo) that is so prevalent everywhere as well. Now, that’s one thing we can be thankful of the weather here for.

Turning our attention back to my fellow brethen, I can almost peer into all your minds now: an image of the proverbial Singapore man, wearing an A|X T-shirt (loosely, I must add), decked out in loose cargo shorts and fitted with Tat Seng slippers.

No? Not the man you’re thinking of? How about the man wearing a polo shirt which might date back to when Sir Stamford Raffles first landed in Temasek, combined with the typical loose pair of jeans with <nsfw, viewer discretion advised> a pair of CROCS. (Ugh, the horrors).


Not until recently.

You can start to tell, that a culture has been slowly, but surely, seeping into the hearts and minds of the guys here. Call it a vanity complex, if you wish. It started innocently with a prevalence of male colognes. Then, it was the increased attention on men’s skincare.

That was just the tip of the vanity iceberg.

Shorts and pants were getting tapered, shirts are hugging more bodies and men were exchanging tailor contacts. You can count more loafers and skinny jeans worn at Orchard Road than Filipinos at Lucky Plaza on a Sunday afternoon. Did you notice the rising trend of “hitting the gym”? And the results are showing. I used to quite the beast at Yio Chu Kang gym, now I am but an average guy amongst protein-guzzling nineteen year olds.

Photo credit: image was shared on the most male oriented website in Singapore, barring the dirty ones. Heh.

Photo credit:
This image was promoted on the most male-oriented website in Singapore, barring the dirty ones. Heh.

So now lads, it’s a sink-or-swim situation all of us are facing. No one’s going to put a gun to your head and threaten that you dress properly, but I urge that you hear me out.

Why every man should dress well:

  1. Boosting your self-confidence, which helps you in every aspect of your life. If you don’t like what you see in the mirror, then who will?
  2. There’s no need to explain if you’re single. If you’re attached/married, what better feeling than to make your woman feel insecure cos you’re so handsomely groomed? Perfect payback for the times she went clubbing and told you “she’s just going with her girlfriends.” HA!
  3. Bumping into those obscure “hi-bye” friends and leaving them with a good impression.
  4. Instead of “How come no girlfriend?”, the aunties will be saying, “How come so handsome no girlfriend?”
  5. Motivation to lose weight/sculpturing your body to look great into those mustard shorts and short sleeve shirts.
  6. The biggest reason is your career. Want to get an edge at work? Dress smartly. No upper management wants to see a slob at a managerial position. Your clients will treat you with slightly more respect and so will your colleagues. As superficial as this may sound, your image may affect your perceived performance at work.

If I’ve managed to motivate some of you, it’s only right that I leave some tips to get you started. Now I’m aware I’m no fashionista myself (as some of my friends can attest to) but I make the conscious effort to always try to look better.

Unfortunately, I’ve exceeded my word count (and need for a social life, I have friends you know) for this post. Stay tuned for my next blog post on “Fashion Tips for Men“.

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