Dandy & Dapper
Mr Dapper: I suspect a search for a "boutonnière" rather than "lapel pin" might have yielded more satisfactory results. The term comes from the French word for a buttonhole and refers to its more specific placement on a jacket (thus minimising any damage to the garment). It is placed on the left, the same side as the pocket square. I am hesitant to trace the history of such decorative accoutrements as their origins are murky at best. Instead, I encourage you to add the following informative title to your library: The Boutonniere: Style in One's Lapel by Umberto Angeloni of Brioni (HK$163; www.amazon.com) They have been famously worn by style icons such as Cary Grant, who graces the cover of the book, to contemporary fashion designers including Tom Ford. Do keep in mind that if you want to sport a flower, they have a language of their own that held great significance well into the Victorian age. A visit to Wikipedia should help avoid embarrassment on that front. Suffice to say that flowers worn on the lapel are now reserved for special occasions, such as weddings. They should be fresh, and sourced from one's own garden, or a florist such as Boris & Matthew (HK$70 to HK$100; 25 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan, tel: 2854 2834). In daily life, proceed with caution or stand out like a sore thumb.
Mr Dandy: If, ahem, some of us would get our heads out of the books, we'd realise that today's style is all about standing out and making personal style statements. It's cool to be, well, a dandy again. And it's not a cheap thrill either. Just look at famous old brands such as Etro, whose autumn-winter jackets come with flower pins on the lapels (HK$11,100 to HK$14,200; The Landmark, Central, tel: 2530 3063). My absolute faves have to be the Lanvin buttonhole flower pins in different choices of tattered dress shirt fabrics or more formal wools (HK$1,400 to HK$1,600; IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2234 7686). More adventurous types might like to know that I've also found some amazingly creative ones at Etsy.com for as little as HK$80 (type in "boutonniere"). Also, if you like your arts and crafts, go to MarthaStewartWeddings.com; search for "the best boutonnieres" to find fantastic DIY ideas, such as the easy-to-make ribbon medallion or fabric flower pins. And, guys, don't be afraid to sport the look this summer with a blazer and khakis or even Bermuda shorts!
A couple of weeks ago, you listed some great swimwear brands, but failed to mention one of my favourites called Medwinds that I first bought when I was living in Spain. Just thought I'd drop you a line in case you've never heard of it.
Mr Dandy: Seriously? Dude, we do this for a living. Of course I've heard of the Barcelona-based label. I've also heard it only sells through its website, www.medwinds.com and that it doesn't deliver to Hong Kong. It's glitchy, but I filled in the Contact Us form and got help within an hour. The message started with: "There would be no problem to send you the products, although the costs of customs will be your responsibility." First, you list the Medwinds office in the shipping address field. Next, they will forward the delivery to you in Hong Kong for a shipping fee of €6 (HK$57), or get free shipping with orders totalling €100 or more. Sorted!
Mr Dapper: I sometimes wonder if technology is helping or hindering you young people. You could have simply picked up the telephone and called Medwinds at 34 936 190 180. Now that we've established that it is possible to order the products from Hong Kong, let us discuss why it is worth all the trouble, shall we? The online-only retail concept was set up to provide the highest-quality products in the most direct and affordable way possible. The relatively new label, launched by Camper shoes owners, Fluxa, does make wonderful beachwear. I recommend the Neptuno swimming trunks with fixed waistband (HK$560 to HK$760), but those who like elastic waists might prefer the Aboran style (HK$332 to HK$665). Both come in ultra-light, quick-dry, anti-pilling, sun and chlorine-resistant fabric, and are a short, mid-thigh length.
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