I am on medication that requires me to have my face shaded from the sun at all times. I have searched for a reasonable Panama or Panama-style hat in stores and on the website and have been surprised at the lack of choice of such a basic item. Can you help?
Mr Dandy: Dude, you’re like those Darth Vader sun visor ladies. What about sunscreen? Any supermarket such as Wellcome can get you covered in SPF 50 (Banana Boat, HK$114.90; www.wellcome.com.hk). Straw hats have been trendy for years, so they’re everywhere. Zara’s got a great one with a ribbon and a feather on the band (HK$179; IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2234 7305). I’ve also seen great straw hats at the Pottinger Street costume store Partyland (HK$70 and up; Basement, 51Wellington Street, Central, tel: 2147 9283). But a hat’s not enough, which brings me back to … sunscreen!
Mr Dapper: As any moderately cultured person could tell you, Dandy, a Panama hat is not just any headwear made of straw. Educate yourself with Tom Miller’s The Panama Hat Trail (HK$108; www.amazon.com). Genuine Panama hats actually come from Ecuador, where they are handmade from the toquilla palm. The Armoury has sold out of its stock from British hatmaker Lock & Co (HK$1,800 to HK$2,000; The Landmark, Central, tel: 2810 4990), but it does expect new stock by October or November. Hatwoman (Man Yee Arcade, 68 Des Voeux Road Central, tel: 2167 8337) also carries quality men’s headwear, including Panama hats by Anthony Peto from France (HK$1,980), My Bob from Belgium (HK$1,730 to HK$2,200) and Sombreros Signes from Spain (HK$930 to HK$11,000).
I am of the mind that one should not wear a brown belt with black shoes (and vice versa) or mix metals such as yellow gold toggles on a shoe with a silver belt buckle. What are the rules?
Mr Dandy: I think matching is overrated and dumb. We all need to relax and express our personal style. Who made these rules, anyway? And why does it matter since they’re probably all dead now. Let’s change with the times, guys. I don’t always wear a belt, and when I do these days, it’s rarely boring black or brown. I like colour, but I’m not going to
wear red and green shoes to match my great interlocking “G” Gucci belt (HK$2,300; Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2199 7728).
Mr Dapper: Black and brown should never be worn together. Black shoes require a black belt. Brown is more problematic as one could be referring to anything from light tan to dark tobacco brown. Purists insist on an exact match. However, I have seen many stylish men mix browns well because they picked ones from the same tonal family. A medium brown belt could look fine with chocolate brown shoes, but never with burgundy leather. To ensure a good match, I purchase co-ordinating belts and shoes together. Shoemakers such as Church’s, John Lobb and JM Weston all have belt lines. Finally, I don’t like mixing metals, but it is sometimes unavoidable. I will continue to wear my gold wedding ring and my steel watch.
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