Co-founder of men’s fashion haven The Armoury shares his top style tips


Photo: Courtesy of Alan See

In our brand new online series, we chat to some of Hong Kong's most sharply dressed gentlemen to gain inspiration and insight into what it takes to be a 'Man Of Style'.

Alan See lives and breathes men’s fashion; his passion for classic styling led to the creation of international men’s haberdasher The Armoury which he co-founded with Mark Cho in 2010. Through The Armoury he works with the world’s best artisans to deliver menswear made with quality, craftsmanship and timeless style.

Undoubtedly one of Hong Kong’s best-dressed men, we caught up with See to gain further insight and tips on what it takes to master and maintain the style of a classic gentleman.

See also: Sartorial Tips for Men

Describe your personal style:

I love the classics and have been lucky enough to be able to concentrate my wardrobe on a lot of tailoring from Italy.

Photo: Courtesy of Alan See

Any fashion faux-pas you'd rather forget?

 I'd rather remember all of them so that I won't make the same mistakes over again! Haha.

This summer, you're mainly wearing... 

A lot of linen because I find it takes the edge off a sharp suit or jacket, and seems so much easier to wear in today's more casual environment.  It's also a nice step away from the business suits of Central and an easy way to add texture to an outfit.

What are your sartorial pet peeves?

Loose collars with ties come to mind straight away—they're not flattering at all for the shirt and makes the tie flat.

Who are your favourite tailors? 

 Fortunately, I've been able to bring my favourite tailors to Hong Kong via The Armoury. Liverano, Dembech, Ciccio all top my list and we've been lucky enough to be able to work with them closely.

Photo: Courtesy of Alan See

Who are your style heroes?

The older gentlemen of Naples.

What's the most expensive thing you've ever bought, clothing-wise?

Must've been my tuxedo from Liverano. Although, that's one of the best pieces in my wardrobe and one of the things I'll pass on to my son when the right time comes.

Your favourite item of clothing?

 My Liverano overcoat is something special. It weighs a tonne, keeps me warm even in blizzard cold New York, and makes me feel like the most stylish guy in the room at the same time.  I have to chase the cold weather in order to get to wear this more often.

Photo: Courtesy of Alan See

What fragrance do you wear?

 I have quite a few fragrances —the ones I use the most are by Frederic Malle. I also have quite a few of these travel fragrances that fit neatly into my dopp kit that I pick up in small Italian pharmacies like Munstermann in Florence.

Do you accessorise?

 I keep it relatively simple. I have this very simple gold bangle that my whole family wears, as well as a few small watches that I tell the time off. They tend to be time only, small watches below 36mm like my Patek 96.

 Which is the best-dressed nation? 

 The one place I am always inspired by is Naples. The older gentlemen in Naples have such a tradition and panache for dressing up and using colours. Not many people get to experiment as much as these gentlemen, and they have really come to discover their own styles and find out what works for themselves.

Photo: Courtesy of Alan See

What are your bathroom cabinet essentials?

For a Hong Kong summer, you can't not have a few sticks of antiperspirant deodorants at the ready (how else to survive the heat and look cool)? I also have my dopp kit at the ready with travel essentials so that I can pack up for a travelling at the drop of a hat. I always have some facial moisturiser in every one of my bathrooms as my face seems to react terribly to the environment if it gets dry, especially in the heat.

Lastly, any tips on how to stay stylish?

Stay adventurous, find out what works for yourself and then dress for yourself and never anyone else. In the age of social media, I think most people's dress sense is based on the approval of others. Chuck that notion out the window and find a style that's truly yours. 

Keep up with Alan See on Instagram @seealan, and follow @hongkongtatler for more style inspiration.