I’m desperate for a fabulous sequinned skirt for Christmas. What to choose?
Desperately Sequinning Susan, Pok Fu Lam

The Dictator rules: You might as well have asked, “Where can I find clothes?” Sequin skirts are everywhere. Solid-coloured midis are available at every price point, from H&M (HK$299) to Sally LaPointe (HK$11,350; Net-a-Porter), as well as: J. Crew, Michael Kors, Ganni, Mango, and Warehouse. However, if you’re the kind of person who needs it to be a new thing to feel special, then go for a stand-out piece differentiated by its colour, pattern or cut.

Go KiraKira – how to wear metallics and sparkles

Christopher Kane has an especially Christmassy checked midi skirt in festive red, green, white and black sequins and tulle (HK$13,291; Net-a-Porter). Erdem’s long Sacha pencil skirt has pink sequins embroidered with beaded flowers (HK$12,124 on sale from HK$15,155; Farfetch). Miss Selfridge offers a budget-friendly, sparkly range that includes the nude-tone skirt embellished with fan-shaped sequins (HK$200 on clearance; missselfridge.com). MSGM has put details into solid-coloured mini to midi skirts, such as fringed hems, ruching or pleating in black, gold or pink (HK$3,215 to HK$9,580; 57 Paterson Street, Causeway Bay).

Partial to pleats? Needle & Thread has a knee-length skirt with a frilled hem in pink chiffon sewn with stripes of sequins (HK$2,250; Lane Crawford). We’d supersize our sequins to paillettes, as on skirts by Milly (HK$1,268 on sale; milly. com). Pankaj & Nidhi’s Penelope to-the-knee skirt goes further with red paillettes on a blue skirt (HK$1,565; anthropologie.com). And if you can still find the Paco Rabanne chain mail skirt in hinged, silver-tone squares in your size, do it (HK$27,415; Net-a-Porter).

So corset belts are in fashion, but I’m not sure I’ve seen one. Are they regular corsets worn outside your clothes?
Ripped Bodice, Central

The Dictator: No, silly! That would be too easy. No, no. They want you to buy something else that looks like a corset but is actually a belt. It probably costs more than a corset, has fewer slimming functions, and looks slightly more presentable. Sold? Despite our enduring cynicism, we are rather in love with the non-literal interpretations available.

Rock and romance: feminine silhouettes with an edgy attitude

Alexander McQueen’s is a sculptural masterpiece in panels of leather that cinch the waist then curve over the hips (HK$9,310 and up). Alaïa has been making spectacular corset belts from the brand’s distinc­tive, laser-cut leather for years (HK$8,419 to HK$9,523). And we are obsessed with Loewe’s leather obi belts (HK$6,013 and up), which were not designed as corsets but have a similar effect. Crafted from tan, bright blue or black napa calfskin, it ties high on the waist and then flares out over the hips like a peplum.

Zimmermann takes it more literally, but still tastefully, with its ultra-wide corset belt in rose, cognac or black snake-embossed calf leather with curved edges and matching leather ties at the waist (HK$3,871). You may have also seen the corset belts with lacing at the front, zip pockets and silver-tone hardware in deep red suede or black leather by Unravel Project (HK$6,708 to HK$7,417; Net-a-Porter).

OK. We know these are pricey. The cost-conscious you can strap themselves into perfectly attractive corset belts by Asos, BCBG and others for as little as HK$188. Alternatively, your favourite erotic brand will definitely have something for you. We’re not kidding. Try Kiki de Montparnasse, Fleur du Mal or Maze.