Dandy & Dapper

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 01 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 01 July, 2012, 12:00am


I was going through old family photos and was reminded of my Dad's old safari suits. I'm thinking this would be perfect for the Hong Kong summer. What do you recommend?

Mr Dapper: No, sir, unless you are going on safari, I cannot condone said attire. Well, I did think of one more suitable location: South Korea's un-air-conditioned government offices. Instead of the permitted sloppy Hawaiian shirts and jeans, I'd choose the neater, tailored look of a safari suit. They are a throwback to the 1970s, a time when expats were still clinging on to the idea of colonialism, so it might simply be too offensive to consider. However, that also means Hong Kong's veteran tailors are experienced in making them. For example, Sam's Tailor can whip one up in about three days for HK$2,400 and up (92 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2721 8375).

Mr Dandy: South Korea? Whenever I think of safari suits, I think of Paris high fashion in the 60s and 70s, especially the genius designs of Ted Lapidus and Yves Saint Laurent. I'd kill for a vintage piece, but would be happy with YSL's khaki bush jacket (HK$17,250; Alexandra House, Central, tel: 2868 0092), with matching cargos (HK$7,950). If you've looked at a magazine in the past six months, guys, you should have spotted the awesome short-sleeved Sahariana jacket (HK$18,500) and trousers (HK$7,800) in caramel beige with leather details; or the all-leather version of the jacket in army green (HK$34,500). But those are all disappearing fast because they were, duh, from the spring-sum-mer collections. You might score big if you find them in your size and on sale. If not, you still have some great options. Local brand Moustache (31 Aberdeen Street, Central, tel: 2541 1955), for example, did its take on the safari suit a few seasons ago. The store can make a bespoke suit (price depends on fabric, etc) in three to four weeks.

I love the white shirts with the perfectly cut collars worn by princes Charles, William and Harry during the queen's diamond jubilee celebrations. Can you please tell me where they get their shirts?

Mr Dandy: Like you can tell the difference between one plain white shirt and another from your couch! I love a great shirt, but come on, dude, turn off the television, walk outside and you'll see Hong Kong's practically got a tailor on every corner, and they're not all old school, either. Ever been to Cuffs (3/F, 27 Lee Garden Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2413 6033)? Its cool showroom and specialists make it easy to choose the collar, cuff, placket, fabric, trim and buttons. Shirts go for only HK$400 to HK$600. It's not that hard!

Mr Dapper: My dear reader, you have a keen eye for detail. There are about 850 royal warrant holders, which you might recognise by the words 'By appointment to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II'. I believe the tailor you're looking for is Turnbull & Asser, shirtmakers 'By Appointment to HRH the Prince of Wales' since 1980. However, you will need to travel to the British capital for fittings (HK$2,400 and up; 71 Jermyn Street, London, tel: 44 20 7808 3000). If necessary, the store will post clothes to Hong Kong. There was a lot of fuss about Prince William wearing Angelo Inglese shirts (www.inglese-abbigliamento.com) at the time of his wedding, too. In Hong Kong, your best choice is Gieves & Hawkes, warrant holders since 1955. Call in advance to be measured in-store. Your shirt will be delivered to Hong Kong in four to six weeks (HK$4,500 and up; IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2234 7220).