eco-friendly sandals

ever heard of eco-friendly sandals made of recycled materials? 

come to think of footwear made of old car tires, bicycle inner tubes, post consumer paper pulp, used textile, plastic and metal.  i was able to get one of these sandals out of curiosity from a store back in al-khobar which is handmade from bali, indonesia.

the footbed is made out of rattan, the straps are recycled fabric and i’m just not sure what the midsole is made of.  the best part of this eco-friendly sandal is the outsole:

.. made of used motorcycle tires!

bargain confusion

one thing i love in al-khobar, saudi arabia is when the big stores like mall of dhahran and rashid mall go on sale.  the only chance i get to visit the malls is when i am to go for days off, a day before my flight going home to manila whilst coming from my remote area assignment where i work.

so after arriving in town from the heliport and checking in at the hotel, i went straight to the mall to hunt for my bargains.  i had good finds of shirts and denims from topman, zara, next and shoes and accessories from aldo.  there were a number of security guards that i noticed roaming around so i was not able to take photos and i didn’t want to risk myself ending up in saudi jail for snapping a picture (you know how paranoid they seem to be sometimes).

i had a bad encounter though at zara wherein a denim pants (which took me half an hour to choose!) was tagged with a deducted amount but when i paid for it (including the shirts i got), i noticed that they charged me for the original price!  i told the cashier that the item is on sale and i showed him the tag – then he said it is a new collection and not included as a sale item as he removed the sticker on the tag that says 120 riyals!  WTF!  i knew i turned red and told him i no longer want it and asked for a refund for the pants!  he then printed another receipt, let me sign in my name and mobile number and was trying to explain to me the receipt that just made me confused.  he then proceeded on the next customer and noticed i was still at the counter and told me, “you don’t understand?”  i told him as calmly as i could (the last thing i would want is to create a scene inside the store), “you still have my shirts.”  this time he was the one who looked confused as i pointed out at the black zara plastic bag beside him at the counter and said, “i paid for those shirts.”  he hurriedly handed me the bag and i exited the store feeling shitty.

anyway, i got good deals from topman like a 40 riyal pants and 20 riyal cotton shirts, which was not really that bad.  shopping for bargains is supposed to be a fun thing to do for me and i did not let that moment be ruined by that incident at zara’s.

mall of dhahran

 just recently, i was able to visit mall of dhahran, a 1,000,000 sq. feet single storey shopping mall.  i considered it as a ‘paradise’ to shoppers for it offers a range of retail international stores.  almost all the stores were on sale the day i was there, offering up to 70% off on some items.  armed with a few riyals (haha!) i started my “bargain hunting” . .

i never realized until i checked my watch that i have walked for about four hours already and i have not even finished checking the other stores.  one thing i noticed was some of the stores have no fitting rooms (like the gap) and all the sales people were all men (even on lingerie stores!), the shops also closes during prayer time so you just have to patiently wait till it gets done.

dean & trent

“dean & trent is a manila based men’s clothing line born out of our necessity and desire to find great layered looks and indelibly lasting garments.  more than a product it is an attitude of reserved modernisms with an appreciation for things that are classic as well as new.”

– from dean & trent, fan page company overview on facebook

i have been buying clothes from dean & trent since 2008 and i usually visit their branch at crossings, shangri-la mall whenever i’m on days off to check out their new stuff but it was only last night that i tried searching on the net if they have a website.  lo, and behold they did have one and i was the last to know!  lol.  they even have a fan page at facebook and a multiply site.

when i was on vacation last month they had discounted items at shangri-la.  i bought a gray cotton cardigan and a pink v-necked shirt for me to wear when i travel back for work.  i also got my best friend a cream colored blazer and brown polo shirt as a christmas gift.

the thing that i love about dean & trent is that their style is uniquely theirs and they are into details of the clothing (notice the coconut shell buttons?).  it is also affordable which means quality fashionable menswear need not to be expensive.

men in heels

a suggested fashion trend for men a few years ago:


say, very un-manly?  well i read that around 1500’s, high heels originated from france as a male footwear, then some cowboy boots have a two-inch heel, and musician prince is known to wear stilletto’s (including bolero jackets, high-waisted pants and full makeup – his own style) but i can’t imagine myself wearing one.   i’ll probably wobble and trip over after a few steps!