I’ve always loved corduroy but it’s never looked right. I spotted some corduroy leggings in a magazine recently. Could you steer me in the right direction?
Pulling the Cord, Parkview

The Dictator rules: The right direction? Let’s start with stepping away from the leggings. Haven’t we just got over the horror of jeggings? Now you want to add volume with ribs of corduroy fabric? The only potential upside is that they will inspire you to not overindulge during the holidays. Maybe you’ll even be inspired to start your New Year’s health kick early. If you’re going to do cord leggings, do them right with a reliable brand. Uniqlo’s Corduroy Easy Leggings Pants come in brown, camel, navy, red and burgundy (HK$199 each; 2/F, Lee Theatre Plaza, 99 Percival Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 2577 5811; www.uniqlo.com for more locations), but I’d go for slightly more structure with its Corduroy Skinny Fit Straight Stretch Pants (HK$249), which also come in lots of colours. 
Similarly, The Gap has its 1969 Legging Cords (HK$349; Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay, tel:  2907 8368). We first encountered the phenomenon via hosiery brand Hue’s Corduroy Leggings and, although  www.hue.com doesn’t ship internationally, you can buy them through websites such as www.nordstrom.com and www.amazon.com (HK$302 and up excluding shipping). Amazingly, other hipster outlets selling them include: Topshop, Anthropologie, Vince, AG Adriano Goldschmied and James Jeans.


I know heels with a toe cap are in but I only wear flats. What do you recommend?
Toe Cap It Off, MacDonnell Road

The Dictator: Is this another trick question? Uh, Chanel, who sparked the 80s trend and continually updates it (www.chanel.com)? Go with the flats. Learn to wear heels. What do I care? Everyone and their mother has been doing cap-toed shoes of every permutation for several seasons now – even a toddler could walk into a shoe shop and find a pair. Take Kate Spade, for example, whose Terry, Hailey, Emma and Francine styles come in patents, sparkles, bows, polka dots, colours and more (HK$2,000 and up; Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel: 2116 4998). If you 
only wear flat shoes, I’m sure you know Repetto ballerinas. Surprise! They come with cap toes, too, in combos such as beige with orange caps, and single-tone plain leather with patent toes (HK$2,600; Pacific Place, tel: 2918 1889). We also like the ballet shoes by Italian brand Anniel, which come in pink with black (HK$1,880; Harvey Nichols, Pacific Place, tel: 3968 2668). But what really gets us excited are edgier twists that separate the mumsy from the cool, such as the jewel-capped gunmetal grey flats by RAS (HK$2,990; Harvey Nichols). Or combine trends with metal-capped smoking slippers by Sam Edelman (HK$1,500; Lab Concept, Queensway, Admiralty, tel: 2118 6008), who also does cap-toed ballerinas (HK$1,350). Obviously, must-haves include: Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Christian Louboutin. 


Got a question for The Dictator? E-mail her with your name, or alias, and address at: dictator@scmp.com