I know no one cares about decorum these days, but I still practise the habit of carrying a fabric handkerchief at all times. But now that I need to replace my last batch, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to source what used to be quite commonly available. Every time I inquire at a shop, I am led to pocket squares.
Mr Dandy: Hankies? Really? Aw, what are you going to do, cry? Sorry, my inner high school bully just reared his handsome head. I can’t believe people still use those things after the invention of tissues. Anyway, how much nose-blowing do you actually do? Ewww. Don’t answer that. It just seems wrong.
Mr Dapper: I confess, as much as I love tradition, I, too, have gone the way of tissue paper for hygiene reasons. Although, in this climate, something with which to dab one’s forehead that doesn’t leave bits of tissue stuck to your face would come in handy. Happily, Hong Kong’s old linen shops are still holding on for dear life and I am always thrilled to sustain them with my patronage. Tong’s (55 Stanley Main Street, Stanley, tel: 2813 0337) has classic white handkerchiefs embroidered with a single initial for only HK$75 for six. An internet search yielded a pack of wonderfully simple, plain white Nordstrom brand ones (HK$104.20 for seven; www.nordstrom.com). Mr Dandy somehow missed Tamielle’s white cotton hankies, each printed with a vintage-inspired motif and sold in boxes of three (HK$469 per box; Lab Concept, Queensway Plaza, Admiralty, tel: 2118 6008). Themes include but are not limited to guitars, golf and sailing.
Do you know of any optical shop that will know how to replace lenses in rimless, saddle bridge, fingerpiece pince-nez at a reasonable price?
Mr Dandy: What is this, April Fool’s Day? Before I even ask what that is, I have to question why you didn’t just ask them directly yourself? The way this sort of thing works, especially with an unusual item, is the workmen or service centre will always want to see the piece before they commit to doing the job. Without the thing in hand, it’s also close to impossible to get an accurate quote. What is that, anyway? Like a double monocle? Dude, get yourself some real glasses with arms, would you?
Mr Dapper: My goodness, I’ve never seen Dandy quite so riled, and I’m rather enjoying it. The pince-nez (“pinch nose” in French) is a type of spectacle that literally pinches the bridge of the nose to stay in place, rather than resting on one’s ears. Our reader is in good company with famous wearers such as Theodore Roosevelt and Anton Chekhov. Mr Dandy is, however, correct. Every optometrist I consulted requested to view the item before providing a quote. At Puyi Group’s Glasstique (IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2295 1688) they said it could be done as long as the frame itself does not have any complications or unusual features. Prices begin at HK$1,000 depending on the kind of lens you desire and the job could be done in as little as one working day. I also recommend visits to LensCrafters (tel: 2343 8223; www.lenscrafters.com.hk) and Mido (Select 18, 18 Bridges Street, Central, tel: 9121 3011).
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