Let’s call it the @JuliusBabao Effect, after one of its most famous and recent victims. It’s the prognosis of streetwear’s increasing accessibility; and also the contemporary manifestation of the Filipino male midlife crisis: The #HypeTito.
Looking back, perhaps the blame for the rise of the #HypeTito falls on Instagram, where the appropriation of streetwear culture has ran rampant. Or maybe it falls on all the fast-fashion brands that have churned out tall-tees and jogger pants every season for easy prices. Or maybe it had always been inevitable—just the natural evolution of a phase that all men are bound to go through. But what’s certain is that the end result is a guy who dresses like he raided his millennial son’s closet for hoodies and jogger pants with which to build #lit ‘fits.
The #HypeTito is 48 years old or thereabouts, but he’s decked out (yes, decked out—not dressed) in Supreme. He’s the kind of guy who would skip an important business meeting to line up for the new Yeezys, or call his son in the middle of a workday to rave about how comfortable his new NMDs are. Right now, he’s probably thinking about taking up a new hobby, like skateboarding or fixed-gear cycling; and is likely hiding vape paraphernalia from his wife of 25 years. But the worst part is that he recently learned to take selfies, so his existential struggle is up on the Internet, for his own unwitting shame.
He may very well be your own tito—or even your father—making a fool of himself, and there’s almost nothing you can do about it.
Almost nothing. If you’re a genuinely concerned #HypePamangkin, you’re going to want to steer your #HypeTito in the right direction. There’s nothing wrong with a man wanting to dress well, after all, no matter his age. What’s important is that he doesn’t look like he’s trying way too hard to dress himself 30 years younger, which is far too often the case.
So the next time he asks you for advice on which sneakers to buy (and you can expect him to, because he’s always in pursuit of the millennial seal of approval), here are a few recommendations that might start him back on the path of dressing like a grown-ass man.
HE WANTS: adidas Ultra Boost 3.0
BUT SHOULD INSTEAD GET: New Balance 993
Save for the NMDs, no shoe is a better epitome of trendy, pricey, and youthful than the adidas Ultra Boost. The same might have been said about these NBs when they were introduced two-and-a-half decades ago.
HE WANTS: adidas Yeezy Boost 350
BUT SHOULD INSTEAD GET: Porsche Design Travel Tourer
Boost sole? Check. Sleek upper? Check. Unsightly ridges? Nope. Weird knitted pattern? None of that. Endorsement from a rapper he probably doesn’t listen to? Definitely not.
HE WANTS: Nike Kyrie 3
BUT SHOULD INSTEAD GET: Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star 70s
Instead of trying to keep up with the yearly releases of all his favorite basketball stars, get your #HypeTito to switch back to the first great pro baller signature shoes: Chucks. The 1970s versions would be especially familiar.
HE WANTS: adidas Stan Smith
BUT SHOULD INSTEAD GET: Sapatero Tala
Stans are actually pretty clean and grown-up already, but their sheer trendiness has made them feel a little inappropriate for older men. Opt for a dressy sneaker like the Sapatero Tala instead: it’s cleaner, more low-key, not to mention locally-made.
HE WANTS: adidas EQT ADV
BUT SHOULD INSTEAD GET: adidas EQT Support
This year, adidas reincarnated the EQT, but as an ultra-modern sneaker with bold lines and curves. If your #HypeTito is into them, refer him to the original EQTs from the 90s. There are plenty of cool new colorways, so it’s a fair compromise.
HE WANTS: Vans Authentics
BUT SHOULD INSTEAD GET: Doek Oxford
Light canvas sneakers are a must for men of all ages. But instead of something skateboard-y like Vans, go for something more upscale like the Doek Oxford.
HE WANTS: adidas NMD
BUT SHOULD INSTEAD GET: New Balance 247
The NMDs seem to be the go-to sneakers for anyone (of any age) who wants to get with the times. Unfortunately, they’re far too bold and actually much more difficult to pull off than people think. Get your #HypeTito to opt for something cleaner and more simple but still modern, like the New Balance 247.