Dandy & Dapper
I want a great hat for the summer but I'm a bit sick of the straw panamas, trilbies and fedoras every hipster and his brother have been wearing. Could I get away with one of those hats that come down at the front and snap flat? Sorry, I'm not familiar with the terminology.
Mr Dapper: Yes, it's clear you are not a hatter, sir. I will direct you to a site (www.lockhatters.co.uk) that might set you on the right path. After all, London-based Lock & Co Hatters, established to serve the royal family, dates back to 1676.
The company simply calls this style a 'flat cap' and offers them in linen and cotton (about HK$980 each on its website; also sold at www.mrporter.com). Other terms include pageboy, newsboy, driving and Ascot (a harder version). I would avoid the fuller version known as the Gatsby, as it always calls to mind a silly, brimmed tam-o'-shanter. In Hong Kong, visit the specialist shop Hatwoman (Man Yee Arcade, 68 Des Voeux Road Central, tel: 2167 8337). Contrary to its name, the shop does carry hats for men (about HK$1,160 and up).
Mr Dandy: Way to take the fun out of another great question, Dapper. I get what the reader means. G-Star's Midnight Raw flat cap fits the, uh, bill (sorry), with an adjustable strap at the back and a snap button on the front (HK$699; Times Square, Causeway Bay, tel: 3101 0520; www.g-star.com). The only downside is that it's in black wool, which might not work till after the summer. Club Monaco's Waxed William driving cap has a similar price tag, and is available in tan or dark grey cotton (HK$690; Times Square, tel: 2118 3515; www.clubmonaco.com). The quirky Chocoolate (9 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2575 2109; www.chocoolate.hk) sells some in black or khaki beige cotton for only HK$219, although there are no adjustable straps for gargantuan craniums. Oh, and I saw a cute window-pane, chequered one in a recent Prada ad (the ones with Michael Pitt), but when I popped in, it wasn't in the store yet.
I want to buy my friend a new cologne for his birthday. He says he's bored of the old, green-bottled Hermes but hates the strong ones that are so 'in'. I guess I'm looking for something the same - but different.
Mr Dapper: Don't do it. Scent is intensely personal and the olfactory system is linked to a lifetime of memories. If you must, take him shopping so he can choose. Afterwards, reward him with a drink. Whatever you do, use paper testers. Only spray on your top three scents, as these do smell different on each person and change over time.
Mr Dandy: Why wallow in the past when the world's full of awesome new fragrance brands? I'll limit myself to the best within the same scent family as the citrusy but woodsy Eau d'Orange Verte by Hermes (The Galleria, 9 Queen's Road Central, tel: 2525 5900; www.hermes.com). Of course, since launching the green flacon in 1979, Hermes has unveiled variations of it (HK$755 to HK$910). I also love the unisex mixes by Jo Malone, such as the Lime Basil and Mandarin or Grapefruit and the Vetyver (HK$505 for 30ml, up to HK$980 for 100ml; Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel: 2918 4865; www.jomalone.com.hk). Joyce Grooming (The Landmark, Central, tel: 2522 2886) has edited the niche fragrances at Joyce Beauty for guys. Oh, and the Diptyque store sells really unique ones, too (HK$680 for 50ml; IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2521 6799). OK, I could go on but I'll stop there. For now.