I just did a big clearout of my ties. There were a lot of repeats: that basic silk stripe bought over and over again every time I forgot to pack one for a business trip. But there was also one I liked. I think it's cotton because it's not shiny. I want to get more like this. Any idea what I'm looking for?

Mr Dapper: I recommend you inspect the true fabric content of your neckwear, easily found on the label. The most popular material for men's neckties is silk, and those high-texture, low-sheen variants are often another application of silk. E. Marinella offers a range of solid-coloured, natural slub, raw silk ties (HK$1,600 each). Further, you are more likely to find a necktie made of wool, linen, cashmere or, heaven forbid, cheap polyester, than pure cotton. Distinguish yourself from the crowd in a linen tie available from numerous labels at MrPorter.com (HK$857 and up). Many are blends, such as the silk-linen and silk-cotton versions by Isaia in check or paisley patterns (HK$2,100 each). Alarm bells do ring when you use the word "shiny". Perhaps you are referring to the subtle sheen of the classic silk tie, but it is also possible that poor, repetitive dry cleaning or ironing have damaged the fine fibre.

Mr Dandy: You've missed the point, Dapper. Cotton ties are hot. Isaia has an open-weave cotton tie in a grey floral pattern (HK$2,100). Armani Collezioni and Hardy Amies have got them in stripes, modern patterns, or plain cotton, too (HK$1,300 to HK$1,800; Lane Crawford). J.Crew did tons of great, different patterned ones, which are on sale right now (HK$180 and up).

 

I'm looking for a khaki (?) summer suit I can wear casually (one that doesn't look too businessy). Any thoughts?

Mr Dandy: Ooh, good thinking, Batman. Look for semi-lined or unlined jackets for comfort, but also because less structure will look less stiff. COS is a good place to start for smart Scandinavian simplicity. Its lightweight cotton two-button blazer (HK$1,250) and tapered chinos (HK$690) in a stone beige cotton poplin are the perfect solution. Scotch & Soda also does slim-cut chinos (HK$1,400) and casual jackets (HK$4,000) in various beiges. Treat yourself to Salvatore Ferragamo's medium beige double-breasted summer suit (HK$18,900). Or check out the linen or cotton seasonal suits at Hermès, pure luxury in various tones (HK$26,900 to HK$28,500). Which brings me to the next consideration: colour. Pick one. It could be anything from light beige to dark khaki. Get the right suit and you'll be able to take it from weekend to wedding to work with just a change of shirt and accessories. On weekends, I like to wear mine with a tee and cool trainers.

Mr Dapper: While beige cotton, linen or silk suiting is acceptable between May and September, I must point out that wool is not your enemy. Indeed, it has been proven to be extremely helpful in regulating body temperature for not only colder climes, but also sweltering summers. White fabrics or seersucker are also classic alternatives to khaki. I suggest you visit various retail stores to discern your preferred fabric, then visit your tailor with clear instructions.

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