I'm looking for surf shirts for my husband, who often works in hot countries. I am talking about casual short-sleeve shirts with the bottom cut straight across (as opposed to curved) that are meant to be worn untucked. The ones sold at surf shops are too flowery and beachwear-like. I want something that is more elegant. I know from having lived in Kuala Lumpur that Southeast Asia has them in thick linen or cotton, but I've been unsuccessful in Hong Kong. Can you help please?
Mr Dandy: Dude, are you kidding? Designers are always making natty, tailored, short-sleeved shirts for their spring-summer collections. And they don't have to be the Tommy Bahama-style resort wear either, although that store's got some great, plain linen ones you might like (HK$880 and up; 60 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, tel: 3543 0383). I'm thinking Jil Sander (HK$4,020 and up; Ocean Centre, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2118 2505); or Neil Barrett (HK$1,965 and up; The Landmark, Central, tel: 2526 0168).
Mr Dapper: I cannot believe you just called a lady "Dude", Dandy. Dear reader, my first suggestion is that your husband purchase said shirt in the country in which he is doing business to ensure he is culture-specific. We have many nuances in Southeast Asia. For example, the Filipino barong tagalog comes in varying degrees of elegance, fabric and decorative elements (depending on the occasion). Also known as wedding shirts, they are sold in traditional, off-white, embroidered pina fabric made from pineapple leaves at the Wedding Shop (HK$280; shop 247, World Wide Plaza, 19 Des Voeux Road, Central, tel: 6606 9103). The most famous incarnation is the guayabera, commonly worn in Latin America, and available via websites such as cubavera.com (HK$346 to HK$624).
Whenever I carry a bottle of wine, I always think I should have a good bag to carry it in, then I forget again until the next time. I'd like to buy one soon, definitely before that happens again. Do you know of anything that looks good and does the job?
Mr Dandy: Why? The wino-paper-bag look not doing it for you? Just kidding. I think the bags wine stores give out are pretty good-looking. Yeah, yeah I know older guys and sticklers think store bags are tacky. Last time I was in the United States, I saw the hilarious Fred & Friends knitted sock monkey bottle caddy. I found it at City'super (HK$95; IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2234 7128). The colourful neoprene bags by Built are also awesome (HK$128 and up; Great, Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel: 2918 9986).
Mr Dapper: Isn't it interesting that two people could visit the same shop and notice completely different merchandise? The absurd monkey escaped my attention. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find the City'super brand insulated wine tote (only HK$65), made with two removable bottle sleeves. A true oenophile might indulge in a more sophisticated transportation device, such as the three-bottle Mackenzie-Hill wine carrier (HK$1,764; www.mackenzie-hill.com).
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