Dandy & Dapper

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 December, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 December, 2010, 12:00am

I only pull out my tux for weddings and New Year's Eve. I tried it on the other day and it was, um, a bit snug around the waist. A bit of a blow to my ego, especially since I have just had a milestone birthday. My wife suggested I borrow her Spanx. Is there a guy's version?

Mr Dandy: Yeah, it's not like you're going to get in enough sit-ups between now and New Year's, is it? Although shapewear is still a source of embarrassment, it's pretty common now, so you'll have a lot of choice if you shop online. We have tried it and it really makes clothes sit better on the body. Spanx delivers its 'physique-improving, game-changing' undershirts (above) to Hong Kong and offers them in breathable white, black or grey tanks, crew-necks or V- necks (about HK$430 to HK$610; www.spanx.com). Another well-known men's shapewear brand that delivers to Hong Kong is Equmen, which makes not only waist-cinching Core Precision tanks and undershirts, but also long-sleeved versions (about HK$690 to HK$845; www.equmen.com). Or browse a selection of both brands plus others such as 2Xist and Andrew Christian at FreshPair.com, where you can also get waist-contouring briefs (HK$264 and up).

Mr Dapper: You'll be miserable in a tight-fitting, breath-restricting girdle. (Let's come right out and call it what it is.) Women are used to torturing themselves but most men aren't. Face it. You're getting older and you'll never get back that young man's body. Now, you have three choices: strap it in and suffer, accept the bulge, or contribute your girdle budget to a trainer fund. Don't know a trainer? Ask your wife.

I'd like a great quality garment bag but not with big branding everywhere. It should be pretty sturdy, too. I went to Samsonite but it didn't have any. What happened? How do other men pack their suits when they travel?

Mr Dapper: You can still find them. It may not have them in its stores but we found a Samsonite garment bag with wheels at a fantastic and affordable luggage source in The Lanes - Chiu Wah Handbag & Suitcase (HK$835; 27 Li Yuen Street East, Central, tel: 2526 3778). If you're looking for a bargain, try brands there such as Polo (HK$179 and up). Fewer business travellers are using them for quite a few logical reasons. First, Casual Friday has seeped into most days of the week. Second, we're all spoiled by the handiness of those wheeled bags. Third, tightened regulations have made any other form of carry-on luggage more of a hassle than it's worth. Fourth, the garment bags of old are pretty unwieldy.

Mr Dandy: That is, unless you travel first class, in which case, ignore all (or most) of the above. We're big fans of the amazing, discreet luxury in everything made by Bottega Veneta (The Landmark, Central, tel: 2973 0882) and think its garment bags in leather-trimmed nylon (HK$10,350) and all-over 'intrecciato' leather (HK$14,350) are worth every cent. Finally, there's only one reason why we hesitate to recommend the reliable, well-made luggage by Tumi: everyone knows how great they are, which has resulted in several cases of mistaken identity. Check out Tumi's Alpha and T-Tech lines for excellent garment bags (HK$3,230 and up; Tumi, Prince's Building, Central, tel: 2869 7488).