Dandy & Dapper

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 May, 2011, 12:00am


I need a white suit for a party next weekend, so I don't have time to see a tailor, only off the peg will do. Where can I get one?

Mr Dandy: Uh, details? What and where is the party? Are we talking formal? Is it strictly white or are you OK with cream? Even knowing who will be there can help you decide how to dress. Well, when in doubt, I always say it's better to be overdressed, so how about the fun and refined ideas I saw at Fendi, including a mixed material tuxedo-inspired jacket paired with matching waistcoat and cotton trousers (from HK$15,800; Ocean Centre, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2737 2306). It's funny how brands surprise you sometimes. I walked into a CK store expecting to find a slim-line white cotton summer suit for you and, instead, I found a fabulously flashy white jacket (HK$3,590; Ocean Centre, tel: 2317 7871), which looks cool with the more casual jeans-cut white trousers (HK$1,790).

Mr Dapper: Stop the presses! I agree with Mr Dandy on two counts. First, there is more than one kind of white suit, as there is more than one type of occasion, each with their appropriate modes of dress. Well, I sort of agree. I think you'll look ridiculous in a tuxedo if the event does not call for formal dress. Call me old fashioned. Second, I also agree that some labels can be unpredictable. I walked past the attention-grabbing riot of prints and colours at the Just Cavalli by Roberto Cavalli store when an understated white cotton suit caught my eye (HK$7,500; The Landmark, Central, tel: 2501 0308) hanging next to a much more Dandy-ish white pique and satin tuxedo (HK$10,650). It's actually not as easy as you would expect to find a good ready-made white suit at the moment, so I went back to the old stand-by. Yup, Ralph Lauren's Purple Label collection has a very nice off-white linen, two-button jacket (HK$18,000; The Landmark, tel: 2869 0388) and trousers (HK$4,450).

I wear jeans all the time and am pretty conservative, so I was thinking of mixing it up a bit with a pair in grey. Would you know which brands make them?

Mr Dapper: I thought we'd seen the back of that dull trend ages ago. In my opinion, it is very difficult to find grey denim that doesn't look grungy, I don't mean in a 1990s Seattle rock scene way. Or maybe I do. What I do see as positive, though, is that jeans have come a long way since then and there is more choice than ever before. That also means you need to try on a variety before you find the right ones for you and your build. (Hint: if you have a favourite pair of blue jeans, go see if they do them in grey - duh.) As I've said before, dedicate a few hours to a place that has many brands in a close vicinity, such as IFC Mall, where you can walk from 7 for All Mankind to Levi's, to Evisu, to True Religion, etc. One final tip: with increased denim demand, prices have also gone up and you'll easily be spending HK$2,000 on an average pair. Instead, start with a reasonably priced pair, say HK$700 to HK$1,500, and upgrade once you are certain that grey is right for you.

Mr Dandy: Woo hoo! Let's go crazy. Just kidding. Grey is hardly making a statement, guys. Regardless, my friend, I'll support you through this transition period in the hope that you'll eventually consider the tons of fun bold colours out this season. Following Mr Dapper's miserly advice, it is actually possible to find trendy jeans at low prices. Cheap Monday does a series of skinny grey jeans in either plain or interestingly embellished styles (HK$580 and up; Seibu, Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel: 2971 3888). And, yes, you can go to the usual denim brands for them, too. Diffusion and weekend lines of tailoring labels do denim, too, you know? Z Zegna has jeans that come in not one but two shades of grey (HK$3,500; 1 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 3417 3088). In general, I'd rather dress up the drab with more adornments. Maison Martin Margiela's deceptively straightforward grey jeans have unique hook closures, for example (HK$2,999; 10 Ice House Street, Central, tel: 2869 7707). I am obsessed with the selection at Joyce at the moment, including reworked and patched jeans by Mihara Yasuhiro (HK$8,100; Pacific Place, tel: 2523 5944) and metallic paint-splattered jeans by Dior Homme (HK$6,900).