I've heard that painted nails are in fashion for straight guys and I'd like to try it. My barber shop was bewildered by my request. Is there anywhere to get a nail polish for men?

Mr Dandy: Straight, gay, who cares? Dude, I'm wearing a killer Deep Ocean blue by the men's specialist Alpha Nail (www.alphanail.com). They do these cool, easy-to-use click pens (HK$92.80 each), specifically for guys, in matte colours (greys, white and green) or metallic (blues, silver, greys and orangey gold), with ginseng in the mix, too. If you don't think it's a macho look, go to the website and you'll see tough guys such as mixed martial arts fighters Nick Gonzales and Roger Huerta packing punches with coloured nails. Add some of the no-fuss Clean Slate acetone-free remover wipes to your order while you're at it (HK$31). Other brands such as Evolution Man (www.evolution-man.com) do men's lacquers, too, but they're not technically all that different to your girlfriend/wife's China Glaze, Essie or O.P.I. Some of the better Hong Kong nail salons tell me that men have for a while been asking for polish instead of the basic buffing at the end of their manicures. Popular colours right now are dark blue, dark purple and dark grey, according to Sense of Touch spas, where men's manicures cost HK$210 and up (go to www.senseoftouch.com.hk) for locations in Central, Repulse Bay, Discovery Bay, Tseung Kwan O and Sai Kung). The Feel Good Factor offers manicures for HK$200, and polishing only for HK$80 (2/F, 73 Wyndham Street, Central, tel: 2530 0610; www.feelgoodfactor.com.hk).
Mr Dapper: I am not acquainted with any men who would do such a thing except, perhaps, rock musicians (of which we do not have many in Hong Kong). I shudder to think how one would be received wearing fingernail polish in the office or at a meeting. I completely understand the pleasure and necessity of a Shanghainese pedicure (HK$700; The Mandarin Barber, Mandarin Oriental, 5 Connaught Road, Central, tel: 2825 4088). However, the increasingly popular "men's manicures" are a bit beyond my own grooming repertoire and those of my immediate circle. Sorry. It's a no from me.

 

I saw one of those street-style photographs of a guy with a backpack, which took me back; but this one was quite cool, in nice leather. I'm thinking it'd be a great carry-on for my summer travelling. Where can I get a good one?

Mr Dapper: First, a word of warning regarding leather bags. I do find leather tends to be heavier than other materials, so it would be wise to quite literally weigh your options. Consider how the bag feels not just empty in the shop, but filled with all the items you'll be taking on your trip. When it comes to simple, fine leather goods, my go-to brand is Coach, where you'll find a variety of styles and sizes, starting with modestly sized ones in solid colours (HK$5,450 and up; 36 Queen's Road Central, tel: 2868 9676; www.coach.com).
Mr Dandy: Really? Neil Barrett's iridescent purple and green backpack, which kind of looks like a beetle, is more up my street (HK$16,000; The Landmark, Central, tel: 2526 0168). He also does one in dark olive green suede with an awesome plasticised light blue accent stripe (HK$12,200). Have you been to Aland, the amazing Korean store, yet (Lee Theatre, 99 Percival Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 2873 6773; www.a-land.co.kr)? I love it! They've got some fantastic bags, including very lightweight, faux-leather backpacks in neutral navy, neon yellow or pink, by 3.3 Field Trip (HK$550); in green or blue camouflage by Luccica (HK$2,180); or in basics such as black, beige and brown by Rio Kairyu (HK$3,800 to HK$4,300). And, before you ask, I still think one shoulder looks better than the over-eager two-strap look.

 


 

Got a question for Dandy & Dapper? E-mail them at: dandyndapper@scmp.com