Tuesday 8 November 2011

Men's personal stylist at Singapore's Ninos Felices boutique

Are you fed up with your boyfriend or husband plumping for jeans and t-shirt for practically every occasion?

If so, you might want to drag him (bribed, or kicking and screaming if necessary) to Ninos Felices boutique, where they are warring against the boring.

The boutique is designed to look like a 'bachelor's pad'
with stylish mannequins sitting on a pool table...

The General in this battle of the bland is Sam, the creative director of Ninos Felices who also doubles as an in-store stylist.

That’s right, personal stylists are no longer the preserve of the swanky upmarket set. In fact, Sam sees it as a natural extension of customer service to give a helping eye over less confident customers.

... And others playing cards in the corner

Last time we were in the store they claimed they could create effortless looks for my husband, focusing on cuts that flatter and colours that complement him.

Looks familiar? Adam
channeling the 'lazy' look
before the make over
Well now it’s money where the mouth is time.

I took my husband – who hammed it up by donning an Algeria football shirt and skater style shorts to make life just a tad more difficult – to see what they could recommend for him.

The first look which Sam put together was inspired by one of our favourite weekly activities – going to the cinema. As it is the case in almost all warm countries, the temperature differential between pre and actual cinema time is marked.

Luckily Sam is all about versatile layering, and while the outfit of grey shorts, bright red fitted polo and a white and blue lightweight hooded shirt/jacket didn’t look as if it would match when brought out, the individual elements merged effortlessly to make a casual but colourful look.

The key to the look was the sleeve detail on the shirt, which was designed to give a little bit of zip to the pristine white of the material, while the plain black shoes ensured the attention remained focused on the clothes. In other words – balance. Something guys get horrifically wrong so often.

But his work was not done. Sam then brought out a funkier look – in the form of a spectacular pair of duck egg blue three quarter length trousers with red check detail at the bottoms (my husband spotted these trousers as soon as he walked in the store and was thrilled to find that not only were they picked out for him, but that you could pretty much rock three different looks with them too).

This was coupled with a plain white t-shirt that – thanks to its interesting diagonal cut – was edgy without being over the top and a polka dot shirt with jersey knit sleeves.

In an outfit that’s more subtle in the colour department you can go to town on the shoes, and that’s exactly what he did. Green and yellow loafers were the finishing touch.

Adam looking stylish in the outfits chosen for him by Sam at Ninos Felices 

Sam’s philosophy is simple. The devil is in the detail. In his words, he wants to create looks that make customers stand out from the crowd, but not make them look like a clown (Versace are you listening?­)

He says they are all about paying attention to what works best for each person. So if (as in the case of Adam) you have large calves and big thighs, you need trousers which will accentuate the muscle in the lower half and not look like you’ve squeezed into a sardine can at the top.

Love the little details in these shirts: Interesting pseudo cowel neck
and knit pattern (which reminds me of Peru!)

A nice lightweight jacket suitable for the rainy days

Beyond the details, his bigger mission is to try and persuade Singapore’s guys to move away from the big brand mentality and indeed away from jeans as a default option.

As he said: “Most men in town buy clothes (especially jeans) because of their brand name and pay no attention to whether they actually fit them properly or not.”

Sam's collection of colourful pants and shorts
He’s got a point, and a solution. One of the best parts about Ninos Felices is that it brings designer exclusivity with high street prices. That is, each piece has a limited run, but prices range from S$49 for t-shirts, while shirts and trousers/shorts start at S$69.

That’s pretty much on a par with the Topmans of this world, except you won’t find 25 other people wearing the same shirt as you next time you strut down Orchard Road.

So if Sam wants to wage war on Singapore’s workaday denim-clad masses, then I say good luck to him.

The pants he designs are really worth shouting about, and his styling cues were spot on. And let’s face it, fewer jeans and more colour will never be a bad thing.

Ninos Felices has two stores in Singapore at the Cathay Centre and Haji LaneYou can like their Facebook page by visiting http://www.facebook.com/NinosSingapore