I've finally convinced my Russian bride that my American frame will never fit into any Chinese trousers, and, after a long weekend in Guangzhou to prove the point, I'm wondering where in Hong Kong it might be possible to buy "American"-sized slacks in a 36 or 38. Nothing fancy needed, just Dockers, or some sort of Eddie Bauer, something a bit beyond the local class of Bossini shops. I have to add that in the States I am not a big guy. Just average.
Mr Dandy: Ouch! I don't know what I'd do if stores told me I was too big. Actually, I do. For my health, and my vanity, I'd look into taking off a few inches with diet, exercise, even spa treatments. I have to ask: ever been inside a Hong Kong mall? Dude, there are now more casual American and European brands than I can count! Off the top of my head: Calvin Klein, Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters, Ralph Lauren and so on. Why not kill two birds with one stone by visiting a few of them - by foot?
Mr Dapper: Sir, I am always happy to help. However, I must concur that your message has left us with more questions than answers. I enquired at a few shops. You are at the larger end of the scale, but do have options. Brooks Brothers stocks up to a 36-inch waist (Prince's Building, Central, tel: 2523 3366). The largest-sized trousers by H&M have 38-inch waists (HK$149 to HK$599; 68 Queen's Road Central, tel: 2110 9546) and at sister label COS, sizing runs up to 52-54, which corresponds to a 36-38 waist (HK$790 to HK$890; 74 Queen's Road Central, tel: 3580 7938).
Your recent, um, shaving advice sparked a question I've been meaning to pose, although I must add that I do not plan to shave anything but my face any time soon. I always buy a good brush, shaving foam, razor, even a balm for afterwards. However, I've heard that a pre-treatment should be used, too. Is this necessary?
Mr Dandy: You're fussy about your shaving and are even getting into prep treatments … Man, if you're not already manscaping in secret, I'm willing to bet you will be pretty soon. Don't worry. Your closet metrosexualness is safe with us. There are different reasons for a pre-shave product, like exfoliating so you're getting the hair, not layers of flaky dead skin, for a closer shave with fewer nicks. Clinique's Face Scrub (HK$170; LAB Concept, Queensway Plaza, Admiralty, tel: 3101 0375) is a good basic exfoliator. Truefitt & Hill Pre-Shave Oil (HK$260; Joyce Grooming, The Landmark, Central, tel: 2522 2886) is made of natural conditioning oils, while The Art of Shaving's Pre-Shave Oil is scented with essential oils based on your skin's needs (HK$188; www.strawberrynet.com).
Mr Dapper: Metrosexualness is not a word, Dandy, but I don't have the time to explain it to you. And I really don't have the time or bathroom counter space for myriad pampering products. For the perfect shave, I like to turn to the experts, such as Gentlemen's Tonic (The Landmark, tel: 2525 2455). Wet shaves (HK$375 and up) involve hot towels and wonderful products such as the Babassu Bergamot Pre-shave Oil (HK$260).
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