Sartorial tips from young trail blazer

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 August, 2011, 12:00am


'My mother calls my style narcissistic, gay, peacock and sissy,' says Wallace Chan, the man in charge of the day-to-day operations at fine men's shoes store Tassels. Chan likes to wear sports jackets and dress trousers on a daily basis. He also likes to accessorise with his growing collection of shoes and pocket squares. His is a style that is out of place in Hong Kong, where people generally dress in black suits or opt for some form of Japanese deconstruction. 'I get stared at a lot,' he says, laughing. 'But I think people just stare at anyone with a pocket square.'

In his two-bedroom flat, Chan has converted the guest bedroom into a wardrobe sanctuary. There is a closet that houses his collection of blazers, most of which are bespoke with one or two pieces from Kiton and Ralph Lauren Purple Label, which he found at the Ralph Lauren outlet at the airport. 'I don't like to wear suits. I would rather wear sports coats,' he says. He also prefers bespoke clothing because he likes clothes that complement his build.

Below his jackets lies a drawer with small compartments for his collection of silk and linen pocket squares and ties. 'Sometimes I forget to put them back in there,' he says, fishing out several more from the pockets of his jackets.

Next to the blazer closet is a smaller space for his dress shirts, mostly from Ascot Chang, and trousers, a mix of bespoke and reworked Uniqlo. In another closet are his winter coats, including a voluminous shearling jacket from Avirex that seems to have inspired Burberry Prorsum's last autumn collection. There is also a delicious suede jacket from Tom Ford. 'I paid a lot of money for this one,' he confesses. 'I try not to get cheap clothes because I buy only timeless pieces. I am pretty generous with my clothing but I don't treat it as though it were too precious.'

Opposite the closets is the piece de resistance, a floor-to-ceiling cabinet of expensive and handsome shoes - more than 80 in all, some still waiting to be worn. Of course Chan would have an envy-inducing shoe collection given that he's in the trade. There are shoes that they carry at Tassels, like Crockett & Jones and Edward Green, and there are also pairs from Pierre Corthay, John Lobb, Gaziano & Girling, Barker Black and Tom Ford. 'Shoes are as important as a suit. There is no point spending so much on a suit then skimping on shoes because shoes can make or break an outfit.'