The magazines have been showing rainbow-coloured stripes, which I love. They would make a nice change from my uniform of blue and white or red and white clothes. Before I make a fool of myself, tell me, are they for models only or can I wear them?

Changing Stripes, Po Shan Road

The Dictator rules: Are you currently incarcerated? Well, unless you want people to think so, you might like to introduce more than stripes into your wardrobe. Multicoloured stripes are definitely hot for spring-summer 2016. Actually, they're one of those trends that seem to pop up around the same time every year. Sonia Rykiel never goes without her metallic stripe boxy jacket in cotton terry (HK$11,700). The collection also includes a matching shift dress (HK$10,800) and a va-va-voom sequinned knit mini dress (HK$22,500). Did you see Gucci's ad campaign? Well, lots of others did because its striped, shiny viscose knit pieces are almost sold out. You can still find the odd size of the top with ruffle along the placket and cuffs (HK$11,000) and the skirt (HK$6,800). I rarely recommend going bold from head to toe, but I say go for it with these coordinated pieces. At least for the next five minutes. It's fashion, darlings. Also shimmering, ex-Fendi designer Marco de Vincenzo's delightful line includes a gorgeous sleeveless V-neck dress in a striped metallic fabric (HK$10,300; Joyce). Prada has multi stripes in various permutations, so definitely worth a look, too, on pullovers to dresses (HK$5,400 to HK$19,800).

 

I'm trying to avoid getting sick in flu season but I find the smell of those drug-store hand sanitiser gels repulsive. Since you know about fancy things, could you tell me if there are any high-end, great-smelling alternatives?

Hands Free, Tsim Sha Tsui

The Dictator: Picky, picky. Without scientific qualifications, we won't even begin to discuss the pros and cons of said modern contrivance, but let's acknowledge there is some debate. Anyway, you're not going to find hand sanitisers by niche parfumeurs. Get "fancy" (a word I would never use) with natural, organic and aromatherapy brands. Aesop has the Resurrection Rinse-Free Hand Wash formulated to kill bacteria and moisturise at the same time (HK$70 for 50ml). The alcohol-based hand cleaner is made with essential oils such as lavender and citrus peel for that recognisable fresh scent. Neal's Yard Remedies has an Organic Defence Spray (HK$100 for 50ml) whose ingredients not only smell good - they include organic thyme, cinnamon leaf and lavender oils - but also promise to kill 99.9 per cent of bacteria. Intelligent Nutrients offers its own Sanitizer (HK$118 for 60ml; Harvey Nichols) composed of chemical-free, organic ingredients such as peppermint, vanilla, cranberry seed and tea tree oils, as well as alcohol. Alternatively, skip the sanitisers altogether with Lanolips Antibacterial Hand Cream using medical-strength ingredients to kill germs and lanolin to moisturise (HK$160 for 50ml; Joyce Beauty).

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