I recently bought a short-sleeve check shirt by Victorinox for my mature boyfriend. I like the cheerful, summery look. However, I read an article that said real men didn't wear short sleeves unless they were Homer Simpson or wanted to appear nerdy. Do you think I should change it to a long-sleeve blue shirt or a short-sleeve polo? He wears dark cotton tees. It is for his birthday.
Mr Dapper: I am honoured that you thought to seek my advice on such a personal matter. However, it is as absurd as if I were to ask you, a stranger, what to buy for my wife of many years. I am what you would call "mature" and I know few men who see the appeal of short-sleeved button-down shirts, with the exception of old maths teachers. Furthermore, if your boyfriend doesn't own a blue button-down by now, as most men do, it's intentional. I would pick a high-quality collared T-shirt by Lacoste or Polo Ralph Lauren. You're clearly thoughtful, but you have neglected an equally essential consideration: the unique recipient. One would not present an ivory ashtray to a non-smoking member of Peta, for example. I urge you to reconsider your gift. Buy something that relates to his pastimes, such as sport, music, fine wines or reading.
Mr Dandy: Ooh, I love buying pressies! How old is this guy, anyway? That'll definitely be a game-changer. What you've got sounds fine. Everyone from Givenchy to Alexander McQueen, Diesel to Dsquared2 have been doing short sleeves. That's Dapper's prejudice blown out of the water! I agree, though, that it has to be based on what your boyfriend likes. How can you find out? Look in his wardrobe. You could get something similar to what he usually wears but in a slightly lighter or brighter colour. Just be warned, though, most older guys are set in their ways and might resist change.
Gents, I don't know about the face mask, but that coat worn by the baddy on the poster for the new Batman movie is very cool indeed. (The one with the belt, not the lamb fur coat he also wears.) Any idea if it was made by the costume department or if it was a clever product placement? I'm on a mission to buy one.
Mr Dandy: Ha! You and whose army? Spoiler warning (don't worry, I won't give away the ending): the closest thing to Bane's waxed jacket has been selling like hotcakes since The Dark Knight Rises hit cinemas worldwide. According to costume designer Lindy Hemming, the jacket was inspired by a waxed Barbour, made by Belstaff, then customised by her team. What you're looking for is the Belstaff Roadmaster field jacket, which is available in black or olive waxed cotton at jcrew.com (about HK$6,450 excluding delivery fees).
Mr Dapper: Mr Dandy is correct, but what you should really take away from his comments are the keywords he used. The terms "field jacket" and "waxed cotton" will lead you to equally stylish outerwear should you prefer to find something you can try on in Hong Kong prior to purchase. One such example is the Burberry Prorsum waxed-cotton field jacket (HK$20,500; Ocean Centre, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2377 3831). For younger men who favour modern military clothing, G-Star is the ideal place to shop for its field jackets in various materials and cuts (HK$1,795 to HK$3,595; Leighton Centre, 77 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 3104 9099). Cole Haan's autumn-winter collection includes a number of waxed cotton trenches and jackets (HK$4,800 to HK$7,300; Festival Walk, Kowloon Tong, tel: 2265 8386).
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