Dandy & Dapper

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 January, 2012, 12:00am


I bought a shirt from Slowear in Hong Kong before it closed last year. I love it - it's my favourite shirt ever. I have tried to find one on the internet and I can't believe they don't make them anymore. I've posted it to you for reference.

Mr Dandy: I'm glad I'm not the only one who obsesses over the perfect T-shirt! Isn't it ridiculous that so few labels get them right? Unfortunately, you're right. Slowear moved out of Hong Kong some time ago. But it still has stores in Tokyo, Paris and across Italy (see www.slowear.com for locations). Slowear and its family of brands are sold online through sites such as MrPorter.com and Yoox.com. That's right, dude, if you can't find it in Hong Kong, go elsewhere. First, though, let me give you more intel. Slowear, the Italian group founded in the 1950s, includes brands such as the one that made your magical shirt, Zanone. How could I know that? Well, when your package arrived, I, um, looked at the label and there it was. I can't make too much fun of you for missing that, though, since quite a few online retailers can be confusing in the way they use Slowear, Zanone and Incotex as interchangeable brand names. For example, I found a few Zanone tees on sale for about HK$510 to HK$765 at Yoox.com the other day. MrPorter. com also sells the brand as Incotex.

Mr Dapper:It's a T-shirt. Get over it. That doesn't mean you need to give up your search for a high quality shirt. I was surprised to find that your T-shirt was made from cotton so supple, light and luxurious, that I thought it might be a silk fibre. It's rare, but there are a few others to consider in this city. You do not need to waste time and wait for deliveries. You should see the incredible T-shirts created by Ascot Chang for The Armoury (about HK$4,000; 3/F, Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central, tel: 2804 6991). Kiton also has several T-shirts of comparable fabric quality and weight in solid or mixed colour combinations (HK$3,580; IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2234 7882).

I've been kicking myself for not buying a Burberry jacket I saw when I was back home (the shop here doesn't stock it). It was called something like moleskin. It was smooth like velvet but not so flashy, and not as nerdy as corduroy. Where else should I look?

Mr Dandy: Corduroy is not nerdy, my friend; it's actually pretty trendy right now. Your biggest hurdle to finding a moleskin jacket is the name. Shop assistants won't know what you're talking about. For the record, it's made from cotton, not actually the skin of a mole. You might like the Holland Esquire black moleskin blazer (HK$5,290; Harvey Nichols; The Landmark, Central, tel: 3695 3388). It's made with amazing attention to detail, like black and white fabric on the buttons, and elbow patches, and it has the brand's signature colourful lining. Givenchy has used moleskin this season, too, although the inside label just says cotton. Check out the brand's navy zip jacket, with a removable black shearling collar (HK$14,900; Harvey Nichols). I was also taken with the black jacket from Black & White's Sport line, which looks like a love child of velvet and corduroy (HK$7,195; The Swank; The Landmark, tel: 2810 0769). While you're out, see if anything by Paul Smith, Moncler, Bally and Ermenegildo Zegna fits the bill. Or order online. Boden's doing them (about HK$2,400; www.boden.co.uk).

Mr Dapper: Simple. Ralph Lauren has a good moleskin blazer (HK$11,600; The Landmark, tel: 2869 0388). Or ditch the jacket and go for the classic moleskin trouser instead. I saw some at Harmont & Blaine (HK$2,580 and up; The Landmark, tel: 2722 9671). For the record, though, peach skin textured moleskin is a rather hearty and sturdy low-pile, dense twill. It was created by British cotton mills as a durable fabric to be worn for outdoor activities. So is it really a surprise that Hong Kong shops are stocking less moleskin than countries with cooler climates and true winters?