Dandy & Dapper

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 27 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 27 November, 2011, 12:00am


Following on from your compression tights piece, a friend recently told me my jeans were too tight. I thought skinny was 'in', so how can I wear them without exposing my considerable manhood to all and sundry?

Mr Dapper: Simple: don't wear skinny trousers of any kind. You don't have to adopt every single trend proposed by fashion brands and editors to look good. In fact, you shouldn't. In this case, you can achieve a similar effect with less revealing slim cuts. Take a denim brand such as Levi's as an example. It makes a wide variety of men's jeans, from embarrassingly skinny to absurdly baggy, with some great looking styles in between. Thank you, reader, for bringing up this burning issue in the world of menswear. It's been bothering me, too. Whether impressive or not, some men's trousers give too much away.

Mr Dandy: Isn't that the point? Dapper, you're a history buff. You should know that Napoleon displayed which side he preferred to 'dress'. And Prince Albert supposedly went so far as to get pierced with a 'dressing ring' to fit into the Beau Brummell-inspired super-skinny trousers without causing offence. And that was the 19th century! OK, that comment might have just sent a wave of cringes across Hong Kong and piercing is a little extreme, even for me. Instead, I usually diminish the bulge by wearing briefs instead of boxers. If you haven't worn tighty whities in a while, never fear; the usual suspects are still cranking them out, from Calvin Klein to old-school Jockey's. Anyway, the reader obviously just wanted us to publish his question with the mention of his alleged size.

I'd like to get some turtleneck jumpers for winter. Why are they so difficult to find in Hong Kong? Mr Dandy: Hello? Are you new here? Never seen a weather report before, or a map for that matter? Hong Kong is pretty far from the Arctic Circle, dude, and it never gets all that cold. Anyway, what are you, an old professor or something? I think turtlenecks look pretty boring and, ugh, so 90s, unless you style them right. I'd skip it altogether, but if you're going for it, make sure it's made with a modern, tighter fit, and not baggy on the sides, OK? Either that, or go nuts for novelty knits such as the ones Emporio Armani calls 'roll-neck pullovers' in wool blends with extra-wide ribbed necks in combos of navy, grey and burgundy (HK$2,990 to HK$3,200; Chater House, Central, tel: 2532 7711). Dolce & Gabbana has also done a pretty good job at spicing up boring old turtlenecks with chunky weaves, so stop by there, too (about HK$3,400; Alexandra House, Central, tel: 2877 5558). To make it look new, I strongly recommend bright colours of the dull old style. But leave the pipe and corduroy jacket at home.

Mr Dapper: Wrong again, Dandy. Your celebrity and GQ-style heroes have been photographed sporting this look recently and it's saying something if even a guy like me has noticed that. Rather than going the outlandish route, I'd stick to finer gauges. For decent quality cashmere in a large range of colours and at wonderful price points, visit Bypac (Bank of East Asia Building, Central, tel: 2526 6234) where cashmere turtleneck jumpers are sold for only HK$1,950 to HK$2,300. For basics, agnes b has done well with its thin wool varieties in black or navy blue, which are also climate-appropriate (HK$1,990; IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2805 0678). I hate to sound like a broken record, but for fine cashmere, I still like Loro Piana (HK$11,700 and up; Chater House, tel: 2868 9623).