I've come to a point in my life where I can afford the finer things, and one thing I've always wanted is a pair of custom-made jeans. My tailor said yes, yes, yes, then made me normal trousers in denim. Are there jeans specialists I don't know about?


Mr Dapper: Yes. They go by names such as Levi's. Please do not mistake denim for anything but casual work wear for which one must pay reasonable sums.
Mr Dandy: Wow, Dapper, you don't know what you're missing! At least, I know you'll appreciate my warning: Readers, beware that custom-made is regularly confused with customised. That's the super-cool service that allows you to add details to your off-the-rack jeans. Take the G-Star Raw Tailored Atelier, for example, which lets you customise a pair of its five-pocket 3301 Red Listing jeans with your choice of rivets, buttons, stitching and a personalised inner label (HK$2,595; Leighton Centre, 77 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 3104 9099). Call in advance to make sure the pop-up service hasn't gone by the time you get around to it. Now, for truly bespoke jeans, custom-tailored to your specifics, you could try online sources, but why? Moustache (31 Aberdeen Street, Central, tel: 2541 1955) collaborates with Yasuhiro Oshima, the third-generation owner of Betty Smith, Japan's oldest jeans makers. Choose from more than 100 Japanese pure indigo selvedge denims, different top stitch colours, hardware and embroidered monograms, and work with them on style and cut (from HK$2,750 to HK$3,500).


I was quite taken with a photo of umbrellas with the animal head on the handle. I don't remember which magazine it was in, but when I went to the shop, they said they didn't have any left. I've found some walking sticks but not the umbrellas. Any advice?


Mr Dandy: Man, you're way too late on that one. You're talking, like, Burberry autumn-winter 2012, not to mention from a limited-edition collection! The umbrellas came with wood or resin animal-head handles, such as a duck, dog, owl, ram or pheasant, and would have cost you about HK$6,600 and up. They were amazing, in an old fashioned sort of way. The good news is you can find a modern take on the whole look. My No 1 choice is Alexander McQueen's signature skull on the handle of a black folding or full-length umbrella (HK$4,850 to HK$5,200; Lane Crawford, IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2118 7777). I also love the Westminster Gothic Umbrella Collection by Archer Adams, which does silver-plated handles with a horse, owl, snake, skull, eagle, bulldog, labrador, lion, frog, or toucan head (about HK$2,200; call Initial at 3402 4499 to check stock; or order online at www.archeradams.com
Mr Dapper: Hogwash. Look no further than Fox Umbrellas www.foxumbrellas.co.uk Its 25-inch Fox Steel Tube Frame, with either the nickel finish animal head crook handle in fox, bulldog, greyhound or rabbit; or the brown finish animal head crook handle in horse, elephant, wolfhound or doberman, is available at The Armoury (HK$1,600 to HK$1,700; The Landmark, Central, tel: 2810 4990).



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