I was really happy when they started making puffer jackets with skinnier lines that actually showed a bit of a waist, but now I’m obsessed with Rihanna’s giant puffers! They’re not exactly sexy but I must have one. Where can I find them?
Puffer Fishing, SoHo

The Dictator rules: Who said you always need to be sexy? I don’t even need to belittle you on that score. Rihanna’s super­sized black puffer by Vetements, made from rework­ed North Face goose-down jackets, has sold out every­where. Fate has also obstructed your path to the singer’s gargan­tuan peachy pink puffer, with its innovative use of white fabric and neon stuffing. That jacket came from the graduate collection of Finnish designer Ella Boucht, who you can follow on Instagram (@ellabct). The young designer interned at Marques’Almeida, which (surprise!) this season has a gigantic long rust-coloured puffer with ties, a high collar and drop shoulders (HK$8,917). We prefer the cropped-jacket version in hot pink (HK$6,892) for the balance of absurdity with proportion you can (read: must) create by wearing only slim-fit pieces underneath.

So, how does Rihanna pull it off? She wears barely any­thing under­neath and makes sure the jacket is open and one or both shoulders have slipped off to reveal a contrast in volume. On you, however, that will probably look forced.

Acne Studios designed its quilted down outerwear options to do it for you, each sporting a multi­tude of snap buttons to hold them in place (jacket HK$9,000; coat HK$9,500). Uniqlo’s Volume Collar Coat in black, beige or navy lightweight down has some good puff to it, weighs almost nothing and costs just HK$799.

What’s with the black pants with red stripes down the sides that celebs like Olivia Palermo have been wearing lately? Is military back in fashion? If so, sign me up!

Turning Red, Working in Tsim Sha Tsui

The Dictator: What a strange way to ask a question. Are you asking why they are wearing them or where they come from? As to the why, I have no idea. Fashion loves a good military reference, however I doubt that is the inspiration for the spate of black trousers with red side stripes we’ve seen recently. Although some military and naval uniforms have historically had a scarlet “blood” stripe down the leg, the trousers have been blue or green, not black. Anyway, I doubt designers really delved that deep.

There could be an argument for the “athleisure” influence bringing the look to tailored trousers, but I think most labels just put pretty red tuxedo stripes down some trousers and called them fabulous. Which they are. Just look at Givenchy’s contrast-stripe relaxed trousers with an elasticated waistband in black and red silk satin (HK$11,500) and you’ll see what I mean. Dolce & Gabbana has a cropped pair in wool with a tapered leg in its current collection (HK$8,900).

The list goes on and includes McQ by Alexander McQueen, Y’s by Yohji Yamamoto, Thom Browne, Neil Barrett and Paul Smith. Palermo’s were from none other than Zara, where you’ll find trousers in several styles featuring what it calls “side band” stripes (HK$169 to HK$599). Hers had stripes in red gros­grain ribbon. If you’re handy with a needle, you could convert one of your existing pairs of black trousers.