Dandy & Dapper
I've had a rather frustrating experience looking for quality tree horns in Hong Kong (none of that online business works as I need to see and size them in person). I'm, of course, looking for wood not nasty plastic. I was sent all over town, from Wing On to Sogo, which I don't have to tell you is rather Dante-esque on a weekend afternoon. Please don't send me back there, but do steer me in the right direction.
Mr Dandy: Wow. Do people even use those things any more? My dad used to have some, but I don't see the point. Don't the good shoe brands have them?
Mr Dapper: Yes, they do. Church's, for example, has both the standard (HK$720; sized S, M or L) and the full heel forms (HK$1,130; size eight and up; recommended). They all come in the preferred cedar wood, which helps to absorb unwanted moisture while the shoe trees do their job of preserving the shape of your shoes. Yes, Dandy, it is important. Alfred Dunhill has beautiful full-form shoe trees for just HK$990, but it only carries a limited stock, so call first (Home of Alfred Dunhill, Prince's Building, Central, tel: 2524 3663). Fine custom shoemaker Mayer imports its Nico-brand versions from Germany (only HK$300; Mandarin Oriental hotel, 5 Connaught Road, Central, tel: 2524 3317). And, although I tend to eschew the allure of brands in favour of quality and value, I must admit Louis Vuitton has the ultimate; the LV wooden shoe trees are beautifully made, with an added tan leather strap to facilitate removal from the shoe (HK$1,850; Ocean Centre, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui or Pacific Place, Admiralty, or The Landmark, Central; call the hotline for more locations: 8100 1182).
Where can I get some of those summery striped trousers?
Mr Dapper: You mean seersucker trousers, right? Easy. (And by that, I mean, duh. It should be obvious.) Just head to Brooks Brothers, which usually stocks the summer-essential, light cotton fabric at this time of year (HK$890; Prince's Building, tel: 2523 3366). You might be interested to know that 'seersucker' is a colonial term from India, which originated in Persia. It means 'milk and sugar' and describes the material's textured surface. Are we done?
Mr Dandy: Done? Not by a long shot. There are far too many great trousers out there to stop so soon. Our reader said 'striped', and I like the very thick awning-worthy stripes, as seen on the chic Jean Paul Gaultier versions (Pacific Place, tel: 2918 0374). The genius blue and white ones by Opening Ceremony have wide bands that go horizontally instead of the usual vertical (HK$2,400; Lane Crawford, Pacific Place, tel: 2118 3668). It has them in beige and white, too. I also love Dries Van Noten's trousers in pencil-thin blue and white stripes (HK$6,600; Lane Crawford), with a beige tape along the waistband. Or check out Comme des Garcons' selection, from cool thicker stripes (HK$5,000; I.T, Pacific Place, tel: 2918 0667), to trendy cuts of more casual striped denim (HK$2,600). Last but not least, I have tell you, if you were thinking of seersucker all along, then forget the predictable old blue and white and see what Hermes has in store. You'll find awesome variations on the theme in green and grey, or brown and grey (HK$4,500; The Galleria, Central, tel: 2525 5900).
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