How far is too far with the big, new “ugly” trainer trend? I’d have trouble making them look good. How did we get here from the super-easy, all-white ones?
Heavy Footed, Sheung Wan

The Dictator rules: Surprise! It’s called fashion. Ever heard of it? It cycles through seasons, banishing previous collections and hailing what’s new as the only thing you can wear to maintain your self-respect. Of course, that’s not true, but much as designers and fashion editors love to say that they don’t believe in trends any more, they do exist.

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In light of all that, one can only interpret the move towards supersized, multicoloured, bulky footwear as a direct response to the long run of safe white trainers. Vetements has a new collabor­ation, reimagining the popular, jagged-soled Reebok InstaPump Fury in black neoprene and mesh (HK$5,058; Net-a-Porter); or white mesh and leather in an all-over Vetement logo print with yellow emojis on the pumps (HK$6,169). Louis Vuitton’s LV Archlight offers exaggerated proportions in various colour combos, with a high wave-shaped arch, an extra large tongue and thick, white rubber soles (HK$8,950).

Our top pick would be the relatively stream­lined profile of Balenciaga’s colour-blocked Race Runners in combinations of leather, neoprene, knit, metallic or shiny materials (HK$5,400). Try to balance the chunkiness of the shoes with an ankle-baring, cropped hem or a slim-cut trouser. Other useful search terms include Dad or Grandpa sneakers, although I don’t know whose older male relatives would ever don such foot­wear. Send photo­graphic evidence to: [email protected].


Last summer, on Nantucket island, in the United States, we saw a man in a blazer made of towelling fabric. My husband thought it was genius! Any idea where we can get one?
Trail Blazer, South Side

The Dictator: Why? Because you want to look like a pretentious, uh, so-and-so, too? Don’t tell me you’re planning to buy matching terry cloth blazers. Well, of course, you could, thanks to Bask. As the story goes, New York-based web developer Marko Andrus was sipping rum by the pool with his wife and wondered what the Great Gatsby would have worn after a dip. No, not pretentious at all.

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He asked his tailor on the Upper East Side to make him the first prototype. Today, Bask offers a range of classic-cut, two-button blazers in a sheared terry cloth with a velour texture reminiscent of velvet dinner jackets. For men, they are available in navy or white with a contrast trim in Montauk Navy, Gin Fizz, Capri Blueor Cherry Bomb for HK$2,339 each. The women’s line features the same colours and prices, with the addi­tion of Southside Green or Rose trim options.

Goodlife, another US brand doing them, has almost sold out of its Reverso terry cardigan/blazer, with limited sizes still available in black or cream (HK$1,295; nordstrom.com). Don’t be fooled into thinking they are an innovation of the 21st century. Terry cloth jackets were seen on stylish gentlemen on the French Riviera in the 1930s.

Short-sleeved versions, called Cabana jackets, were popular in the 50s and 60s. Find them online in new, retro styles (HK$1,169; winwinbeachwear.com); or vintage finds (Etsy, eBay). Hey, even macho Sean Connery wore a baby blue terry cloth romper in the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger. But, please, do not try that at home.