I love the texture and feeling of wearing a sweatshirt but, obviously, can’t wear my softest, favourite one everywhere. Where can I get the fashion ones with the special sleeves?
Breaking A Sweat, Happy Valley

The Dictator rules: Oh, ath­leisure has so much to answer for. What was that about mutton and lamb? No matter how you dress it up, it will always be a sweatshirt.

Fancy is not a word we favour, but it might be how you would describe 3.1 Phillip Lim’s navy cotton sweat­shirt (HK$2,600); it looks like the original sleeves were lopped off at the shoulder and replaced by black lace. Tu Es Mon Trésor spiffs up a basic grey sweatshirt by attaching little black bows on the sleeves (HK$3,500; Lane Crawford). Vetements’ collabo­ration with Champion features oversized, cut sleeves and other novel details (HK$6,370 and up; netaporter.com).

If you fell in love with the recent trend for shirts with exaggerated cuffs, you’ll get a kick out of Kiwi designer Maggie Marilyn’s grey organic cotton hoodie with similarly flared sleeves (HK$2,240; netaporter.com). You know who else added ruffles? Stella McCartney. Well, hers is a single frill that runs from one cuff, up the sleeve, across the back and all the way down the other sleeve on her off-white sweatshirt (HK$4,100). So did actress Lauren Conrad for her afford­able collection, available in grey or blue with floral appliques, and ruffled cuffs and hem (HK$256; kohls.com). Current/Elliott placed its ruffles just below the shoulders of a grey sweatshirt (HK$1,700; Lane Crawford). H&M, too, plays with standard sweatshirts by exaggerating proportions, cropping and widening sleeves, and/or adding embellish­ments (HK$199 to HK$399).

My beloved pair of patent black lace-ups are starting to crack, but I cannot for the life of me find a good replacement. All shoes these days seem to have all sorts of extra bits, colours and spikey soles. Is it really so unfashionable to go simple?
Coming Unlaced, The Peak

The Dictator: No one cares. Not in Fashion with a capital F, at least. When not redesigning the trainer, again, designers are focused on making their mark with platforms, over-the-top treads and white rubber. But you already knew that. So why are you still wasting your time? There are plenty of shoemakers who aren’t slaves to trends. Church’s, for example, has several, beautifully made pairs of oxfords and derbys that meet your criteria. (If you’re picky, you might want to familiarise yourself with the distinctions between oxfords, derbys, bluchers and so on.) The Shannon 2, a replica of their men’s derby, comes in various colours including black patent leather, and is made with a simple, black leather sole (HK$4,250).

Classic ballet atelier Repetto makes its Zizi Oxford shoe in soft black patent (HK$2,950; Pacific Place, Admiralty), among other colours, with a leather sole and white sheepskin insole sewn from the inside out with dancers and, ultimately, comfort in mind.

Naturally, some designers have been smart enough to add elegant basics to their outlandish creations, Saint Laurent being one of them. Its Montaigne 25 Derby shoe is available for pre-order (HK$6,950).

Here’s another thought: you’re looking for a men’s shoe style. Think about it. You might be able to find what you are looking for in the men’s department.

Got a question for the Dictator? Email her with your name, or alias, and address at: [email protected]