Dandy & Dapper
I'm looking for a nice traditional wet shaving kit. I've been on the Taylor of Old Bond Street website and the razor, badger-hair brush, stand and bowl set in nickel finish (GBP189) would be perfect. I know I can order online but it's out of stock and I can't find anything else similar or as nice. Do you think I can find anything for less than HK$1,500?
Mr Dapper: Your first shaving set, obviously. You have a lot to learn. Let's start with a maths lesson, shall we? (Have you even thought to check the exchange rate?) Sorry to tell you this but GBP189 does not equal HK$1,500. It's closer to HK$2,400. Now for some vital terminology. You're looking for a 'shaving set' not a kit. If you want quality, you're going to have to pay for it. You can't beat the traditional dependable luxury of the Mandarin Barber (Mandarin Oriental, Central, tel: 2825 4088; www.mandarinoriental.com/hongkong). We headed straight over to peruse its selection of Hommage shaving accessories. Razors (HK$1,970 and up) are sold separately with additional extravagances such as leather cases (HK$2,210) and even a humidor (HK$4,900); or as part of a set with a stand and brush (HK$3,950). While there, don't miss the full range of Geo F Trumper products, including a pampering kit containing its Skin Food, shaving cream, badger-hair brush, plus an aftershave or cologne, for just HK$1,255.
Mr Dandy: Since it's your first shaving set purchase, let's break it down. What you saw online has a stand, razor, shaving brush and bowl. In addition to the ones mentioned by hair-splitting Mr Dapper, there are some great ones at Bed & Bath (Prince's Building, Central, tel: 2522 5151). Also take a look at D.R. Harris & Co's shaving accessories, including matching badger-hair brushes (HK$1,500 to HK$1,800) and razors (HK$1,500) in an ivory or ebony finish, stands (HK$400) and accompanying shaving products, such as a shaving soap in a wooden bowl (HK$490). There's also a Samuel Heath golden-hued set (HK$4,500; including a stand, a razor, a brush and a bowl). For a more affordable mixed-bristle brush, look no further than Kent's Wet Is Best (HK$280; Fanda, 19 Des Voeux Road, Central, tel: 2311 6168).
Where can I get one of those red and black (only) lumberjack shirt-jacket things? I'm about to go back to the United States, so if you can't recommend one in Hong Kong, forget it. I'll just look there.
Mr Dandy: There's no need to be rude. Are you trying to get in touch with your inner gruff mountain man or something? If you want a straight answer, you'll have to decide whether you want the flannel shirt or wool jacket. Giordano's got flannel shirts in spades (well, in checks, but you know what we mean), including two red and black designs (HK$250; see www.giordano.com.hk if you don't know where the nearest shop is). Quiksilver has funked up the traditional check on cotton hoodies (HK$750; 9 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2895 5948), sleeveless hoodies (HK$1,180) and sleeveless jackets (above; HK$1,480), which are reversible, with black on the opposite side. Chevignon, too, has done abstract patterns based on the basic red and black check, on flannel shirts (HK$545 to HK$575; Sogo, Causeway Bay, tel: 2833 8338). Hey, you could even get the matching backpack by Columbia (HK$590; Sogo).
Mr Dapper: Uh, don't get the matching backpack or any other co-ordinating accessory. If we were you, we'd wait to find a basic, original lumberjack shirt or jacket in a quaint US town. Failing that, many of the all-American brands have something for you right here, right now, including: Brooks Brothers (HK$2,700; Prince's Building, tel: 2523 3366); Tommy Hilfiger (HK$1,990; The Landmark, Central, tel: 2525 8848); and, surprise, surprise Polo Ralph Lauren (HK$6,200; Lane Crawford, IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2118 7777).