I’m a single guy, new to Hong Kong. Between work, socialising and travel, I don’t spend much time at home and I definitely don’t waste it on cleaning! This may sound crazy, but I saw some funny looking slippers on my last trip to Japan that clean while you walk. Do they have them here, too?
Mr Dapper: Don’t be ridiculous. Hire a helper. Merry Maids, for example, provides regular cleaning services for HK$355 to HK$380 per hour depending on which package you choose (see www.merrymaids.com.hk ; or call 2857 4038).
Mr Dandy: Dapper’s kind of right, but I do love those “chindogu” nonsensical Japanese products. In fact, one of my favourite books is The Big Bento Box of Unuseless Japanese Inventions by Kenji Kawakami (about HK$120; www.amazon.com ), which features floor duster clothes for crawling babies and even cleaning booties for cats. After seeing those, the kind you are talking about seems slightly less silly and definitely not as exploitative. In which case, I decided to head out in search of some. Surprisingly, my go-to sources for Japanese products, Sogo and Japan Home Centre, didn’t have any. Then I remembered the cleaning section at City’super – on the supermarket side, not the lifestyle area (Times Square, Causeway Bay, tel: 2506 2888). Ta-da! It has two types, including the Slipper Genie Microfiber Cleaning Slippers in green or pink and the Japanese Slipper Mop in brown (about HK$95 per pair). Just one thing: hide them before you bring anyone home with romance in mind. They might be effective and funny, but they’re not exactly sexy.
I’ve been toying with the idea of a black shirt with black tie combination for some time. Should I go for it?
Mr Dandy: Ever heard of a guy called Calvin Klein? He’s only made, like, gazillions of dollars modernising menswear. Black on black (or grey on grey) is perfect for that minimalist aesthetic. Head to the CK Calvin Klein store in Central (35 Queen’s Road Central, tel: 2537 3363) and ask for Christine. She’ll sort you out with black shirts (HK$1,390 to HK$1,490 each) and a thin-to-normal-width black tie (HK$790). Avoid the cheesy lounge lizard look with razor-sharp, slimcut trousers and jackets. Hugo Boss has a bunch of cool black shirts that mix formal with casual, such as a tux-pleated version (HK$2,650; Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel: 2918 1802), or a nice pique cotton dress shirt (HK$2,150), and some black ties (HK$1,000 and up). Check out designers such as Lanvin, YSL and Givenchy, too. For younger guys with smaller budgets, G2000 (24 East Point Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2972 2576) has come to the rescue with slim or regular fit dress shirts for only HK$219 to HK$269, as well as various ties (HK$250 and up).
Mr Dapper: I’ve always associated this look with the SS or Mafia hit men who shop at suit warehouses. Unless you’re partial to ultra-nationalist militia uniforms, or busting kneecaps, I suggest you avoid it. However, should you go to the dark side, please ensure both items truly are the same tone.
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