I made the big middle-aged step of buying my first tankini (a Trina Turk, from Century 21 in New York): straight-across, all in black with fab gold buckles. I wore it once then left it in a hotel room sink – and when I called them up it had “vanished”. Now it’s sold out everywhere. Help!
The Shallow End, South Side

The Dictator rules:Well, that was dumb. Unfortunately, possessions can disappear even in the best hotels. Have you checked on eBay?
I’m only half joking. A quick search there yielded two Trina Turk black bandeau tankini tops in sizes 4 (starting bid HK$77.50) and size 12 (HK$271.40); pretty good considering they usually sell for about HK$780 and up, with bikini bottoms going for HK$400 and up. If your heart’s set on that brand, then just pick another tankini at www.trinaturk.com and be done with it. Or ask if they have any old stock by contacting them through the website. Did you try brands of similar quality, such as Melissa Odabash, Tomas Maier, La Perla and Eres? Don’t bother – tankinis aren’t really their thing. Key words if you’re searching online should include “bandeau” or “bandini”. Our top picks for black bandinis include the Calvin Klein solid bandeau bikini top (HK$644) with matching bottom (HK$310), and the Lauren by Ralph Lauren Shirred Tubini top (HK$783) and Shirred Tab Hipster bottom (HK$279). You’ll also like the BCBG Max Azria Femme Fatale Bandeau Tankini and Hipster (HK$776 and HK$510, respectively, from www.amazon.com), but note it won’t show up unless you type “BCBGMAZRIA”. And of course, Ozzie Cozzie is stocked with all kinds of tankinis, by Seafolly, Moontide, Sunseeker, Baku and Ginja (HK$880 to HK$1,580; 5/F, 1Wo On Lane, Central, tel: 2810 1356; www.ozziecozzieco.com).


Believe it or not, I only just watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s for the first time! Where can I find sunglasses like the ladylike Holly Golightly’s? They’re sort of like Wayfarers but on closer inspection not really. How can I get my hands on a pair?
Lula Mae, Central

The Dictator: Why wouldn’t I believe you? Don’t worry, I’ve seen much more ridiculous questions. (Just read the one above.) What I can’t believe is that you couldn’t work it out for yourself: a search online reveals in seconds that Audrey Hepburn’s famous eyewear was made by London-based Oliver Goldsmith. The exact model is called The Manhattan and was first released in 1960, a year before the film. “Where oh where do they sell them in Hong Kong?” I hear you whisper with baited breath. Easy. Visual Culture has The Manhattan in the original dark tortoiseshell frames, and in black or brown (HK$3,680; 2/F, 26 Wellington Street, Central, tel: 2525 3911). Need a prescription lens? No problem: they’ll do it in a matter of days for an extra HK$700 and up. Finally, I hate to break this to you, but the “ladylike” character from Truman Capote’s novella, so elegantly dressed in Givenchy by Edith Head, was an escort, if not a call girl.



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