on style, she rules
Where can I get some long black gloves for winter in Hong Kong?
Cold Hands, Warm Heart, Sai Kung
The Dictator rules: Has all that air-conditioning frozen your brain? We know gloves were seen at the autumn/winter fashion shows, but this is neither the time nor the place. This general rule of thumb might help you: if it's so hot and sticky outside that perspiration drips down your face, your back and behind your knees, gloves are not necessary. Remember that. It probably explains why most luxury brands don't have gloves in store - yet. Louis Vuitton (shop 351A, Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel: 2736 6100) sells black elbow-length gloves in a mix of pony skin and plain leather (HK$5,300). Or see the selection at Marni (shop 214, The Landmark, Central, tel: 2845 7632), where long black leather gloves go for HK$3,900. At Lane Crawford, Pacific Place (tel: 2118 3668), you can choose from mid-arm-length black leather gloves by Costume National (HK$2,350) to impossibly long and sexy black leather lace-up gloves by up-and-coming designer Gardem (HK$3,500). Or try a pair of cashmere-lined, to-the-elbow gloves by Gnerre (HK$1,550), sold in different colours. If they don't have to be leather, then Agnes b's offerings might appeal: cashmere-blend fingerless gloves that finish above the elbow in black or aqua (HK$490; shop 256, Pacific Place, tel: 2918 9830).
My husband's birthday is coming up and I really want to surprise him with a custom-made shirt. Where should I go?
Male Order, Aberdeen
The Dictator: Oh, the cheeky ways I could answer your last question. Hong Kong is one of the best places in the world for men's tailoring. One hitch: the tailor should measure your husband for the shirt. Either you present him with some sort of voucher on his birthday then take him to the tailor, or you have something made based on one of his favourite (best-fitting) shirts. Before you head out, consider the details he might want, such as types of cuff and collar, slim or traditional cut, etc. Here are a few reliable tailors whose prices run from reasonable to extravagant. Maxwell's Clothiers (suite A, 7/F, Han Hing Mansion, 38 Hankow Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2366 6658) is popular with expat businessmen and prices start at HK$250 for a dress shirt. On the other side of the harbour, equally popular Jantzen Tailor (shop 256, World Wide House, 19 Des Voeux Road, Central, tel: 2570 5901) makes shirts for HK$310 and up. At the top end, you could indulge him with a custom-made shirt by the famous Ascot Chang, which costs anywhere from HK$650 to HK$4,000 (shop 130, Prince's Building, Central, tel: 2523 3663; www.ascotchang.com). Since you live here, time isn't an issue. Avoid the 24-hour promise and let the craftsmen do their thing; it should take about a week. Ask for at least one fitting so minor adjustments can be made to make it a perfect fit. Once they have his measurements on the record books, re-ordering is easy. The only question is: why didn't you do this years ago?
I have some old high heels I'd like to revive by dyeing them black at home. Any advice?
Back to Black, Sheung Wan
The Dictator: Yes: don't. You live in a city where expert services are relatively cheap. The Groom (shop F, Melbourne Plaza, 33 Queen's Road Central, tel: 2524 0356) will dye your shoes black in about one week, from HK$250. In a similar time frame, the Top Shoe Repair & Lock Centre (rear shop B, G/F, 35 Queen's Road Central, tel: 2530 0978) dyes shoes for from HK$350. The guys at Top Shoe know a little about luxury products; brands such as Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo have been known to use them. The only caveat is both specialists only dye leather or suede. If you must do the DIY thing, get some Dylon dye from Sam & Company Stationery (38 Stanley Street, Central, tel: 2523 0338). It sells Dylon Leather Shoe Dye (HK$45) and Multi-Purpose Dye (HK$23), for use
on fabrics. And don't forget to wear gloves - we like the thin Vileda disposable gloves (HK$10.90 for a box of 10 at Wellcome; www.wellcome.com.hk).