Help! My foot's been really hurting from running. I read I have something called plantar fasciitis. I thought it was my high heels, but the websites I've seen all say the ballet flats I walk around in might be the problem and I need a more "structured" shoe. Now what? I can't wear trainers with my dresses and suits!
Foot Loose and Fancy, Central

The Dictator rules: Seriously? You're trying to self-medicate via a style advice columnist and the internet? See a doctor already. It might be a good idea to visit a specialist centre such as Sports Performance (8/F, Aon China Building, 29 Queen's Road Central, tel: 2521 6380), where you can have a gait analysis and a consultation with a sports podiatrist. Do you have a serious foot injury? I'm not going to med school to figure it out for you. I can tell you where to find "comfort" shoes in Hong Kong, though. Aerosoles has one of the widest ranges of colours and styles that will help to hide the fact that you're wearing orthopaedic shoes, such as its cap-toed ballerinas (HK$699 and up; Wing On, 211 Des Voeux Road, Sheung Wan, tel: 2852 1888). On Wing On's second floor, you'll be spoiled for choice with brands including Rockport (HK$799 and up), Josef Seibel (HK$739 and up) and Scholl (HK$699). Ecco does a great, classic bow flat in black, red, navy or gold (HK$1,399; IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2234 7007). At Geox, there's the Respira ballerina, available in a variety of colours, quilted patent and suede, and even faux snakeskin (from HK$1,499 to HK$1,799; IFC Mall, tel: 2295 3988). FitFlop has integrated Masai Barefoot Technology into closed shoes, too (HK$1,290; D2r, Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel: 2524 6992).


I've been looking for the perfect red bag for more than a year. So, when I found one that was the right shade and size, I bought it on the spot. There's just one thing, though: the metal bits on it are a gaudy gold colour and I only wear silver jewellery. I didn't think it would be a big deal, but it's bothering me now. Is there a way to change the metal fittings to silver?
Gold Digger, Happy Valley

The Dictator: You waited all that time and still got it wrong? The best way would have been to return or exchange the bag, but we assume you had to use it several times in order to understand your rookie mistake. Much as we find gratification in sourcing intelligent solutions to silly problems, we cannot help but think that you would save time, frustration and funds if you simply bought a different bag. Which brand is it? Luxury labels such as Hermès do provide refurbishing services (The Galleria, 9 Queen's Road Central, tel: 2525 5900). If it's not branded, then I'd consider painting or drawing over the existing hardware with a Krylon Leafing Pen (HK$54; Available in a variety of colours, including silver, gold and pale gold, these pens write on wood, plastic, glass and all sorts of things. Be warned, too, that local cobblers grunted a grumpy "no" when I asked if they could change bag hardware.



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