I need to buy suitable attire for a prom. I don’t want to wear the standard black suit with a colourful shirt and tie that everyone else wears. I was thinking navy blazer with cream trousers for a more classic marine look. Do you have other suggestions on how to stand out? In the past, it’s never gone full formal: nobody comes in a tux. I think a full navy suit could be pretty interesting as well, especially with dark brown shoes and a belt. What do you think? I’m 17, so I don’t have a huge budget.

Mr Dapper: My dear boy, unless you are attending a party on a boat or at a country club, a sport coat and cream trousers are inappropriate. If the invitation reads “formal”, then correct form would be to wear a tuxedo. However, I do recognise that we are becoming more informal with every passing generation. Black suits with coloured shirts and ties? Heaven forbid. A well-made navy suit is an excellent compromise. Well done. I suggest you make a strong case for a custom-made suit to your parents. Ask your father to take you to his tailor. If it is coming out of your pocket money, then I recommend an affordable tailor such as Sam’s (Burlington Arcade, 92 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2721 8375), where you can expect to pay as little as HK$2,600 per suit. Ah, and black footwear is traditionally paired with navy suits, but brown seems to have become acceptable on trendier dressers.
Mr Dandy: Dude, you could totally rock a navy suit. At Massimo Dutti (50 Queen’s Road Central, tel: 2537 8832), you’ll find a few amazingly priced slim-fit suit jackets (HK$2,490 and up) and matching trousers (HK$890 and up). Zara has a whole bunch, too, including the Basic Slim Fashion Suit (blazer, HK$899; trousers, HK$399; IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2234 7305). Shop around at others such as H&M, G2000 and asos.com, too. Hey, over the years, I’ve seen quite a few guys turn up to semi-formal proms in khakis and button-downs with ties but no jacket. Woah. I think Dapper’s head just exploded.


 

I’ve used my cloth hat quite a lot this winter and it’s showing signs of overuse. What is the best way to care for it without causing damage or losing its form?

Mr Dandy: Toss it, man! Winter’s almost over and who knows what will be in next year. I guess you could go DIY with a Jiffy Hat Steamer (HK$1,150 and up; www.amazon.com). Or take it to your dry-cleaner to see what they can do. Jeeves (The Galleria, 9 Queen’s Road Central, tel: 2973 0101) handles everything from suits to antique garments, so a little hat should be well within its scope.
Mr Dapper: Elizabeth Bradley of Hatwoman (Man Yee Arcade, 68 Des Voeux Road Central, tel: 2167 8337) is a font of wisdom on the topic. She tells us to consider the hat material before proceeding. A felt hat, for example, would be best treated with a horsehair brush. Apparently, experts often use a soft eraser to clean a stained inner ribbon or band. In many cases, she recommends spot cleaning with a damp cloth and a little bit of soap. However, one must always take care not to wet the hat itself which would affect the shape.

 


 

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