Dandy & Dapper
My husband dropped a rare hint that he'd like some cufflinks with old coins in them for his birthday next month. The only problem is I have no idea where to purchase such an item! Help?
Mr Dandy: Old? Ew. Coins are gross enough as they are. Who knows where they've been or what's been done with them? That said, most Hong Kong jewellers will have something suitable. At Wai Kee, I saw sterling-silver cufflinks made to look like ancient Chinese coins (HK$1,600; Prince's Building, Central, tel: 2521 0471). Alexander McQueen is more my style, though maybe not your husband's; its last collection included witty replicas of old coins stamped with the signature skull motif on brass cufflinks (HK$2,000; www.alexandermcqueen.co.uk). I guess if he really wants ye olde style, you could go to the many coin sellers around the city (Hong Kong loves to start a collection, even if it's with a McDonald's Snoopy doll). Find a whole list of coin collector haunts through the online version of our Yellow Pages at www.yp.com.hk. Hint: type in 'coin dealers'. Then take them to your jeweller and have them converted into cufflinks.
Mr Dapper: Dandy, you're an embarrassment. A true connoisseur would blanch at the thought of destroying a collectible coin and converting it into a fashion accessory. Dear reader, my answer depends entirely on your husband's specific interest in coins. If Hong Kong history appeals, I recommend the 1997 commemorative coin cufflinks by Patinova, they are 18-carat-gold-plated and available in the form of 10 cents or 20 cents (HK$710 to HK$750; www.patinova.com). At the Metropolitan Museum of Art Store (www.metmuseum.org), the jewellery department offers exceptional reproductions of old artefacts. For example, it offers the fifth-century BC Athenian coin cufflinks in 24-carat gold overlay (HK$310) and the fourth-century BC Arethusa coin cufflinks in 22-carat gold plate (HK$270).
Can I wear a classic bandana as an alternative to expensive pocket squares? I've seen it on street style blogs and thought it would be fun for summer.
Mr Dapper: Not even if you're invited to a country and Western-themed party. Keep in mind that the average paisley bandana measures about 56cm by 56cm or more. That's too much fabric to stuff into a small breast pocket. In comparison, a classic pocket square measures 33cm to 44cm. You should also be aware of their cultural connotations. Street gangs, not gun-slinging cowboys of the old Wild West, have for decades worn different coloured bandanas to signify allegiance. For a dignified version worthy of your pocket, visit the rather strangely named Psycho Bunny founded in New York by Robert Goldman and Robert Godley in 2005. It offers quality silk/cotton bandana pocket squares with 44cm dimensions (HK$582 each; www.psycho-bunny.com).
Mr Dandy: You're being a pill, Dapper, when really you should take one and chill. Look at all the most photographed stylish men in the world and you're bound to find most wearing a bandana as a pocket square at some point. It's a great way to add a pop of colour, and it says, 'Hey, I'm wearing a suit but I'm not stuffy.' And why am I going to go through the expense and the long wait for one when they've got cotton bandanas in every colour in The Lanes for only HK$8 (Josephine Leung, stall 18, Li Yuen Street West, Central, tel: 2391 1063). I also love the Hav-A-Hank brand, which has shrunk them down to just under 36cm (HK$128; www.stagaustin.com).