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The Semi-Gwapo's Guide to Dressing Well

If you don't feel handsome, you can always level up your style game
by Dyan Sheryl Carolino | Oct 14, 2016
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Let’s be honest, good-looking guys have it easy. With their symmetrical faces, ripped washboard abs, razor-sharp cheekbones, blindingly white teeth, and pecs you could bounce rocks off, they have an undeniable luck that works in their favor both in the corporate world and in the dating scene.

So what about the semi-gwapos? The “may itsura”, “sakto lang”, “pwede na” types like you? I.e., men who are not as lucky in the genetic lottery as John Lloyd Cruz, Jericho Rosales, or James Reid?

You really don’t have to go under the knife, workout for four hours a day, or take extreme measures to look attractive. The secret is in dressing up well. Upgrading your style choices can instantly boost your pogi factor.

So scrap the graphic T-shirts and too-long, untucked button downs. Pay attention to these guidelines that professional stylist Bela Vitug has prepared for you:

1) Dress according to your body type

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If you think the idea of dressing for your body type is just for women, think again. Sure, men have fewer curves than women do, but men’s bodies, which vary from beanpole to Johnny Bravo, need the same figure-specific approach to style.

If you’re an inverted V type, add bulk to your lower body and midriff, and slim down your upper torso slightly. Try V-necks to narrow your chest, and straight-leg jeans instead of skinny jeans or slim-fits to downplay your smaller lower half. If you’re a triangle, go for vertical stripes—this will slim down your silhouette.

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“Be honest in assessing your body shape,” Vitug said. “If you want to highlight an asset, choose light colors for that area. On the other hand, wearing dark colors conceals flaws.”

2) Find a style icon

There’s no shame in acknowledging that some full-fledged gwapos do have style. Whether it’s an actor, a blogger, or an athlete, find one you want to emulate, as this is an easy way to start feeling more confident about your style.

“Observe the outfits and the type of clothing he usually wears,” Bela suggests. Don’t pay attention to the brands, but the actual pieces like leather jackets, button-down shirts, and a pair of slim-fit jeans. “From there, recreate. Find your own style by tweaking the different looks, until you find something that’s comfortable, and something that suits your body type and personality.”

Try new things. Go out of your comfort zone. Chances are, you’ll end up liking something you never thought you would.

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3) Build a wardrobe with staple pieces

“Every man’s wardrobe needs basic pieces like denim jeans, crisp white button-downs, a denim jacket, and simple sneakers,” Bela said. These staples will match well with almost anything, and will serve as your training kit while you learn to get the basics right.

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These key pieces will also keep you from making embarrassing mistakes if you don’t know how to match clothes yet.

4) Make sure everything fits perfectly

Make sure everything you wear is almost hugging the shape of your body. Almost meaning it shouldn’t be tight. Find the happy medium that’s right for your body. T-shirts shouldn’t make you look like you’re wearing a tent, jeans shouldn’t be baggy, and tucked in polos shouldn’t be voluminous.

Get your shirts, pants, and suits tailored. Not only will this make you look more attractive, but it will also make your clothes look more expensive.

5) Embrace layering

Most semi-gwapos wear generic collared shirts and jeans or slacks. If you have anything else in your wardrobe, you’re already ahead of the game. Blazers and cardigans are your best friends; they’re classic pieces that will take your style up a notch, and will help you create more interesting outfits.

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Do layering properly, however. Choose the colors carefully, as layering means there’s more colors to think about. If you’re not confident about the combination, stick to neutral shades like black, grey, and white. Choose the patterns carefully as well; don’t wear matching patterns or pieces with too much patterns.

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A good watch and a pair of sensible shoes can make you look striking, too.

In reality, being gwapo is more than facial symmetry, height, and build. It’s a combination of factors, like confidence and a good taste in fashion, all coming together to build a holistic version of attractiveness.

And if you follow the tips outlined above, you’ll see some big changes. Slowly but surely, you’ll feel better about yourself, get more respect, and receive more attention from the ladies. And slowly but surely, you’ll transition from just pwede na (semi-gwapo) to pwedeng pwede (gwapo).

 For more professional styling advice, you may reach Bela Vitug via email at or Facebook page.

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