Who does the best Christmas sweaters this year? I’m running out of time to get a really good one!
Merry and Bright, Kennedy Town

The Dictator rules: By best, I think you mean worst. Follow Forever 21’s lead. It’s come right out and said it with an Ugly Sweaters category. You name the holiday motif and it’s probably got it, from snowman to reindeer, Santa Claus, elf, gingerbread man and random pets in Christmas costumes (HK$169 to HK$219).

In the same spirit, Target’s selection of hideous designs is labelled Ugly Christmas Sweaters. As in, its Ugly Christmas Fairisle Cat Pullover (HK$334), Reindeer Pom Poms Ugly Christmas Sweater (HK$234) and Ugly Christmas Lightup Story Pullover (HK$375) to name a few. Naturally, or not, the fabric includes a lot of polyester and acrylic depending on the taste­less item. Stay away from those sickly sweet Christmas candles, and definitely no canoodling by the fire for you. And yes, every­one’s got at least a few pun-ny wordplay jumpers too painful to repeat here. Ten Sixty Sherman has sewn-on tinsel and pom poms on its Christmas tree-themed acrylic, crewneck jumpers and snow­man motifs with appliques for the scarf and carrot nose (HK$350; nordstrom.com).

If you really want to go for it, ditch the traditional retailers and head to uglychristmassweater.com. There, you’ll find not only more holiday jumpers than you could ever want, they also encourage you to transform any pullover with Light-Up LED Sweater Ornaments (HK$155 for a set of eight). Our favourites are the 3D fair isle jumpers with half a stuffed toy moose sticking out at the front and the other half at the back (HK$527).

I saw the wildest pair of shoes the other day with funky pearls on them! I’m probably way more excited than you think I should be, but please tell me I can get them in HK.

Mother of Pearl, The Peak

The Dictator: Way. What consti­tutes a “funky” pearl anyway? We think Nicholas Kirkwood’s Maeva series of shoes is tremen­dous. They feature a large faux pearl nestled under the crook of a curved, comma heel on pumps (HK$5,990 to HK$6,300), booties (HK$8,900) and over-the-knee boots (HK$12,990) at On Pedder. Just don’t climb any ladders if you want to keep those pearls. Kirkwood has also embedded pearls around the low heels of his Casati range, including booties (HK$9,200), patent loafers (HK$7,300), biker boots (HK$9,500) and tall boots (HK$16,500).

Suecomma Bonnie uses smaller pearls like piping, creating a bejewelled line between the upper and the sole of its ballerinas (HK$2,990; On Pedder), Chelsea boots (HK$3,300) and block-heel sandals with sequins and fur (HK$3,800). Gucci’s eccentric designs include the Marlene flat sandal in black leather, which is studded all over in pearls (HK$19,500). But if you really want over-the-top, you won’t do much better than Anouki’s Ivory Pearl Embellished Brogues (HK$3,816; www.runway2street.com). Imagine leather brogues completely covered in faux pearls of different sizes.

If you’re more into ladylike, black tie-worth footwear, have a look at the pearl-embellished designs by Rene Caovilla, such as his suede sandals with crystals and pearls (HK$8,250; Lane Crawford), coil ankle strap sandals (HK$8,300), and the slightly more casual pearl T-strap flat sandals (HK$6,200).