Long an international beacon for the Far East, Hong Kong is hotter than ever. The city is as great for first-timers (think signs in English) as it is for business people who stay the weekend after their meetings and jetsetters who've dined and danced in the city many times before. Its built on several islands including Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and surrounding islands that total 236 in number. Whether you visit Hong Kong as a gateway for a long term itinerary in Asia or you end your trip there, indulging in fine hotels and services, here are our picks for staying chic on this cosmopolitan island.
Under the Sun
Women here often dress up for day in a more feminine manner than, say, New York or London. Especially for the hot and humid climate, go with a sweet dress, nipped in at the waist with a swishy skirt ($52.99). (Beauty tip: to blot away midday shine, a pack of blotting papers is a wise addition for steamy Asian cities. Shiseido ($18) makes an effective product with just enough translucent powder to keep you matte.) You can pretty much go with sandals any time of the year, but beware of strong air-conditioning in malls and restaurants. Suede ankle booties ($69) do the trick paired with this blue cardigan ($79.50) with a quirky librarian charm (see: elbow patches and horn-style buttons), which you can stuff in this handy backpack ($68) when you get too warm. (Especially if you plan on riding on scooters around town, a backpack or cross-body bag is a smart idea.) Last tidings: it being the year of the rabbit on the Chinese zodiac, try this rabbit gold necklace with pearl accents for a bit of good luck ($248).
Under the Stars
Many nighttime spots lean toward the fancy side—Hong Kong is a financial powerhouse, after all, and restaurants, bars, and clubs are often full of dressed-up investment bankers and the like. Slip on this lucky red halter dress by Rachel Zoe ($295) for some tried-and-true glamour. In-line with the city's metropolitan feel, accessorize with chic black pieces with a touch of drama like these sky-high black boots with silver cap toe ($139 by Jessica Simpson), black calf hair clutch ($228 by Vince Camuto) and raw-edge lightweight black jacket ($178 by BCBGMaxAzria). Add a few pieces of silver jewelry to pick up the metallic cap toe, like this dark silver feather ring ($28) and studded compact mirror ($28) for lipstick re-applications.
Though Hong Kong is largely built on finance, there also exists a vibrant illustrator and graphic design community. As such, this Kid Robot tee ($34) with a hand-drawn feel is a nice touch, especially paired with simple blue jeans with slightly shorter cut ($105). For the rest of the look, find subtle details like the faint stripe on this hoodie ($145) or these cool Keds by Mark McNairy ($60). Onto the extras: in this hyper-connected metropolis, a bright red iPad cover in textured wool ($75) stands out, as does this baseball cap in suede ($80). Toss everything in this handsome waxed weekender bag by Peg and Awl ($320).
Go city-smart for after dark with a few added accents and new textures. Olive trousers, for example, feel more luxurious when cut in fabric with a slight sheen ($200). Wear with this charcoal gray shirt with chest pockets ($125) and black monk-strap shoes ($345) for a polished urban effect. Looking to amp up your usual outfits? Try this reversible black and brown belt ($75), which saves on suitcase space, or better yet, trade in your old wallet for this designer one by Comme des Garcons ($101) in glossy embossed black.
What to Do
For clotheshorses, Hong Kong is a shopper's delight. International designers and the hottest young labels like Paris darling Anthony Vaccarello can be found at Joyce or Lane Crawford. Deal hunters would do better in the narrow streets of Causeway Bay where boutiques are chockfull of stylish day dresses at around $100 a pop. Hunting for vintage eyeglasses? Woo Ping Optical Company with a varied assortment and good prices is a must-stop.
The guys also have it good, when it comes to suiting at least. Hong Kong tailors are renowned for making a top-notch suit to measure. Some favorites are in Kowloon including Empire International Tailors and Sam's Tailor.
Photo credits: Women Daytime: dress courtesy of Modcloth; Ankle Boots courtesy of Urban Outfitters; Cardigan courtesy of Madewell; Backpack courtesy of Free People; Necklace courtesy of Anthropologie; Women Night: Black boots courtesy of Jessica Simpson; Red dress courtesy of Rachel Zoe/Nordstrom; Black clutch courtesy of Vince Camuto; Black jacket courtesy of BCBG; Feather ring courtesy of BCBG; Studded compact mirror courtesy of BCBG; Men Daytime: iPad cover courtesy of Creatures of Comfort; Blue jeans courtesy of Opening Ceremony; T-shirt courtesy of Kid Robot; Cap courtesy of Bodega Store; Hoodie courtesy of Stag; Tennis shoes courtesy of Keds; Weekender bag courtesy of Peg and Awl; Men Night: Pants courtesy of Farfetch/Acne; Shirt courtesy of Saturdays NYC; Loafers courtest of Allen Edmonds; Wallet courtesy of Oak NYC/Comme des Garcons; Belt courtesy of Nordstrom/Ted Baker