Dandy & Dapper

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 May, 2012, 12:00am


I had jacket envy on my last business trip. The man across the aisle had a fantastic travel jacket (like a blazer, not anorak) and kept all his stuff in secret pockets. It didn't wrinkle even though he didn't ask the stewardess to hang it up. Where can I get such a thing?

Mr Dandy: Pack the jacket so you don't have to worry about it at all. Seriously, how many times have you lugged your blazer with you from the start to the finish of a flight without even needing to use it? Bring a jumper instead. If it's got to be a jacket, then check out: Mark McNairy's cool three-button travel jacket in cotton with five hidden zip-up pockets inside (HK$3,012; www.needsupply.com).

Mr Dapper: Where would one source a customised jacket to suit all of one's needs and fit like it was made for you? Oh, I know! A tailor! How many times do I have to repeat myself? Hong Kong has many wonderful tailors at all price points, so there is no reason why you should not make good use of them. Ah, except if you, like many other men, would not know where to begin in choosing fabrics, identifying where the pockets should go, etc. In that case, I will send you back to our friends at Moustache (31 Aberdeen Street, Central, tel: 2541 1955; www. moustachehongkong.com). Fully canvassed and sewn in the same way as classic tailored pieces, the Moustache travel jacket (HK$5,500) is made in a navy cotton/nylon blend fabric sourced from Japan that is usually used for rainproofing or sportswear. It is non-wrinkling, waterproof and lined with custom-designed interior pockets for your passport and gadgets. You'll have your choice of lapel style, external pockets, single or double-breasted, and so on, and the jacket takes about three to four weeks to construct.

I just moved here from New York and have received an invitation that says, 'Dress Code: Lounge Suit'. Are they talking lounge lizard costumes? What should I wear so as not to make a misstep on my first social outing?

Mr Dapper: For goodness sake, no. It's a British term. The next time you walk into an important meeting, take a look around at what other men are wearing: business suits (I hope). The lounge suit evolved from more formal and elaborate modes of dress from the 17th century. It was firmly established as the businessman's uniform by the late 19th century, having been tweaked, nipped and tucked along the way by such visionaries as Beau Brummel. Technically, it is a casual suit in contrast to the more formal tuxedo, and is reserved for informal occasions. Play it safe in a dark business suit, with a tie, naturally.

Mr Dandy: Yeah, do what Dapper says if you want to blend in with the crowd and be totally forgettable. Or, you could play with it and dress with flair. I was stumped, too, when I got my first lounge suit invite, so you're not alone, but it's a good thing you asked. (I almost went in pyjamas thinking it meant 'lounge wear'.) Anyway, what they're getting at here is that you can't wear jeans, but you also shouldn't break out the tux. If you're like me, though, you will hate being told what to wear, especially if it involves tying a noose around your neck. I'd push it a bit without being disrespectful. Forget the tie and just wear an awesome suit by, say, Tom Ford or Brioni, with a coloured shirt and an outstanding patterned pocket square (try Etro or Paul Smith). Can you rock a cravat? Do it! Or play with proportions with shorter trouser hems and slim-cut jackets as designer Thom Browne loves to do.