Dandy & Dapper

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 January, 2011, 12:00am

Is it me or are pea coats suddenly cool again? I usually avoid double-breasted jackets because they don't look good on me but wouldn't mind getting one for winter. What do you suggest?

Mr Dapper: I suspect you're actually looking for a pea jacket rather than the warmer pea coat, which was introduced to the winter uniforms of European navies in the 18th century. Traditionally made in navy-coloured heavy wool twill with wide lapels and metal or wooden buttons, pea coats are not named after the green legumes. The term 'pea' is derived from 'pij', the Dutch word for the type of cloth. It's also referred to as pilot cloth. Now, with that out of the way, we can confirm, yes, you're right, the pea coat and pea jacket are experiencing a renaissance. For a classic, we'd stick with Burberry (right, about HK$8,000 and up; Ocean Centre, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2377 3831). However, we were also rather taken with Raf Simons' modern interpretation of the coat - a slimmer, shorter version (HK$9,399; I.T, Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel: 2918 0667), with brushed-metal magnetic buttons.

Mr Dandy: Well, it took you a while to get there, Dapper, but you're right, pea coats, pea jackets, what- ever you call them, are looking more interesting than ever. We love the Maison Martin Margiela one with avant-garde slits at the shoulders (HK$9,399; Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, tel: 2736 0006). We love the ultra-soft merino wool version by Paolo Pecora (HK$3,580; Seibu, Pacific Place, tel: 2971 3888), as well as the cropped bomber/pea jacket by Gaudi, which features a ribbed band at the waist (HK$2,590; Seibu). Yeah, yeah, yeah, you cheapskates, you can find them for less than HK$1,000 at stores such as Zara. That said, if the cut doesn't look good on you, don't buy it.

I like the finer details in my admittedly traditional clothing, like French cuffs. I prefer to wear those fabric Chinese knot cufflinks instead of the more garish gimmicky ones you see. Are there any variations on this knotted cufflink? I could swear I saw something a bit more square-shaped on a guy in a meeting but I could hardly ask him about them.

Mr Dandy: Sorry but why couldn't you ask the man about his cufflinks? We're not saying you should interrupt a meeting or grab his arm from across the boardroom table, but a quick word afterwards would have done nothing but compliment the man. It's not like you're asking him about his underwear and there's little room for misinterpretation around the wrists. Or are you so paranoid you think a compliment would weaken your dominant position mid-deal? I just don't get it but I guess that's why we're here. We have seen woven cufflinks in three shapes at only one store: Thomas Pink (Pacific Place, tel: 2155 9021). In addition to the original round knot, it carries the rectangular 'basket' shape and the square 'flower' cufflink (both HK$135 a pair). Each pair is available in five colours, so go crazy.

Mr Dapper: Well done. We were rather excited to try these on ourselves. Now, reader, must your cufflinks absolutely be woven and not round? We ask because we've enjoyed mixing things up with the same round knots made in metal, such as the silver Knot Cufflinks at Links of London (HK$1,100; Pacific Place, tel: 2918 9727). Just a thought.