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The Dictator: on style, she rules

 

Every morning before work, I pick up a tall soy cappuccino at Holly Brown to kickstart the day. I thought about reusing the cup but that would become a messy nightmare. Are there any nice coffee thermos mugs or tumblers available that do not make me look like a Greenpeace nutter? Starbucks is for boring people. What is the use of walking around with a mug mentioning where you've been? And yes, I do recycling, waste separation, etc, at home and in the office. How cool would I be if I walked in with a thermos mug by a fashion label?
Getting Mugged, Happy Valley

The Dictator rules: No mug on Earth could ever make you cool. Exhibit A: your question (in which you sound like a "Greenpeace nutter"). The most fashionable coffee connoisseur brand, Bodum, makes a wonderful 12-ounce travel mug in vacuum-sealed, double-wall stainless steel with a spill-resistant lid and a non-slip silicone grip, in various colours (HK$420; Sogo, 555 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2833 8338), and a travel press for French press coffee, or tea (HK$460). Top fashion houses wouldn't lower themselves. Fun exceptions by contemporary brands include agnès b's understated plastic tumbler in black or burnt gold (HK$198; IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2805 0678). Starbucks has an array of styles and colours with subtle branding (HK$130 and up; www.starbucks.com.hk) and the internet overflows with every imaginable design. The majority of coffee shops do allow outside containers, but many will still waste one of their own cups to measure the portion, rather defeating the purpose.

 

I couldn't quite believe my eyes when I saw that overalls were back in fashion! How am I going to wear them and still look good? Should I go for the down-the-farm look or something else?
Wearing the Pants, Sha Tin

The Dictator: Who said you looked good in the first place? And why must you have them just because someone decided they're now "in"? To wear overalls without looking like an extra from the video of 1982 hit Come On Eileen, think tailored. Too bad 3.1 Phillip Lim's brilliant slim-cut overalls in paper-thin leather seem to have sold out everywhere. Givenchy's spaghetti-strap leather top cut longer at the back is the perfect way to reference overalls (HK$19,900; Lane Crawford, IFC Mall, tel: 2118 7777). Maison Martin Margiela has done a super-tight cotton/elastane overall (HK$1,436; 10 Ice House Street, Central, tel: 2869 7707). But River Island's gone bigger on the trend, with more than 20 styles to choose from, including black smart dungarees (HK$470; www.riverisland.com) and pinafore dresses (HK$259 to HK$329). These days, it seems "overalls" is the new word for jumpsuits. The British term, dungarees, yields more precise results. Topshop.com has cute elephant-print tailored dungarees (HK$646). This look is all about the irony of work wear as fashion, so glam it up with a great pair of heels.

 


 

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

 

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