Dandy & Dapper

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 July, 2012, 12:00am


Just realised I haven't bought a swimsuit since a Vilebrequin purchase circa 2007. What should I buy for my first European summer vacation? I don't want to be the only chump in Speedos.

Mr Dandy: Unless you're competing in the London Olympics, you should avoid swim briefs such as Speedos (HK$199; Marathon Sports, Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel: 2524 6992). But Europe is a big place, so whether it's Ibiza or Monte Carlo you should pack according to the destination. Let's break it down. Board shorts (think surfers, loud prints, longer in the leg) have been the global standard since the 1980s - try, for example, Quiksilver (HK$498; 13 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2895 5608). Mid-length shorts with elastic waistbands are popular because they 'give' around the gut, but fitted waistbands are, counterintuitively, more flattering. Try both at Nautica (HK$390 and up; Elements, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, tel: 2196 8550) or Paul & Shark (HK$2,290 and up; Elements, tel: 2196 8241). Vilebrequins are still cool, too (HK$1,900; Pacific Place, tel: 2918 0263).

Mr Dapper: I was fortunate enough recently to receive a copy of photographic book Poolside with Slim Aarons. It's filled with nostalgic images of beautiful jet-set types in their sunny playgrounds from Cap Ferrat to Palm Springs - and not a 'banana hammock' in sight. In fact, the most stylish men wore proper swim trunks even in the 70s heyday of wacky wear, and dressed (in clothes) for cocktail hour by the pool. I suggest all gentlemen take a page from their book. In this day and age, translate that as tailored, mid-thigh with a fixed waistband. My favourite label continues to be Orlebar Brown (www.orlebarbrown.co.uk), which makes trunks in quick-dry polyamide with net lining, zip fly, hip pockets and side tabs, in a broad range of colours (about HK$1,800; Sidewalk, 4 Gough Street, Central, tel: 2850 7199).

I've been reading a lot about a brand called Franklin + Marshall. Where can I buy it here?

Mr Dandy: I wish! I'm a huge fan of this label and collegiate wear in general. Unless some smart little boutiques are sneaking them in, I don't think the Italian fashion brand is sold in Hong Kong yet. There's a college by that name in Pennsylvania, in the United States, but it's different. Sort of. In the 90s, two Italian dudes called Andrea Pensiero and Giuseppe Albarelli found a second-hand Franklin & Marshall sweatshirt in New York. They went home and started producing and selling 'Franklin & Marshall' tees, tracksuits and other merchandise back in Europe, without even thinking to ask the school for permission. Here's the kicker: these geniuses slithered their way out of a law suit by striking a licensing deal with the school and it's now a global brand. Get yours through the official website, www.franklinandmarshall.com (tees start at HK$528), or other sites such as www.asos.com. Or just hit varsity-style brands such as Jack Wills (Leighton Centre, Causeway Bay, tel: 3105 1798), Gap (31 Queen's Road Central, tel: 2885 0789), American Eagle Outfitters (Langham Place, Mong Kok, tel: 3514 9138) and Abercrombie & Fitch (opening 11am on August 11 at Pedder Building, Central).

Mr Dapper: This is incomprehensible to me. As far as I'm concerned, it's only appropriate to don the sportswear of your alma mater. Anything else would be akin to turning up at an alumni networking event of a school you never attended. More than a few have done so simply to hobnob with high-fliers, but most are found out, especially in this digital age.