This FREE Offer Will Change the Way You Save for Travel
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Hong Kong's Most Stylish Steal: A Custom Tuxedo
Tucked behind an arcade of busy stores, Sam’s Tailor in Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui doesn’t look like much from the outside—a small shop crammed with customers—but photographs lining the walls belie its reputation. As I waited for my appointment, I perused photos of the shop’s most notable clients, spanning royalty (Prince Charles) to politics (the Clintons and the Bushes) to fashion (Kate Moss) to movies (Kevin Spacey) to music (David Bowie). Hong Kong is renowned for the 24-hour suit—a marvel of British-style tailoring and Asian efficiency. Luckily, I had a few days in Hong Kong and could schedule more than one fitting. I came to Sam’s armed with ripped-out magazine pages of my ultimate fashion fantasy: a slim-cut, Le Smoking tuxedo made famous by Yves Saint Laurent in 1966. Roshan Melwani, the original Sam’s grandson and fellow tailor, immediately knew what I was gunning for, and pulled down books of fabrics for me page through. After viewing and touching every iteration, I selected an all-weather, wrinkle-resistant black fabric and a rich burgundy paisley lining. I also ordered a tuxedo shirt with a pleated front and French cuffs. The price? $450, a steal compared to an off-the-rack designer suit, which average about $2,000. In the middle of the shop, Melwani took my measurements and told me to come back the next day for a fitting. On my second visit, I tried on pants with an unfinished waistband and a jacket with only one full sleeve. Chalk lines indicated where darts, a silk lapel or pockets would go. Already, the fit was better and more flattering than anything I’d ever worn. As I changed back into my slouchy sundress in the dressing room, a signed photograph of Hillary Clinton seemed to be looking down at me approvingly. The next day, I picked up the finished product. The shirt was crisp; the jacket and pants were sharp but comfortable. To my surprise and delight, the shirt had my initials discreetly embroidered using white thread at the cuff, and a tag inside the jacket stated my full name and the date the suit was made. Melwani kept my measurements so I could order other items when I returned home. But I know I’ll be back in person for more. Where to go: Sam’s Tailor, K1 Burlington Arcade, 90-94C Nathan Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong (samstailor.com). Where to stay: Bishop Lei International House in the swanky Mid-Levels neighborhood is a short walk to the SoHo escalators and overlooks the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens (from $133 per night, bishopleihtl.com.hk). It operates a free shuttle to and from Central, Admiralty and the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. Ask for a room with views of Victoria Harbor.
You Need This New Passport App Now!
One of the questions I get asked most often is: “How can I get through customs faster?” Up until now, the answer has always involved tips on packing neatly and politely and accurately answering questions. But the Mobile Passport app is poised to change the way you pass through (or make that “breeze through”) customs. How does it work? Download the app to your mobile phone, and when you are about to land back in the U.S. after overseas travel, complete the app’s “New Trip” section (including the airport you're arriving at and the airline you’re flying), snap a selfie, and answer common customs questions right on the app. You’ll receive a bar-coded e-receipt, which you’ll present to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer to re-enter the U.S. How can you get Mobile Passport? If you’re a U.S. or Canadian citizen with a valid passport, you are eligible to use the Mobile Passport app at five U.S. airports that are part of the Mobile Passport program: Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, and Seattle, with 20 airports expected to be available in the next 12 months. To learn more, visit the Mobile Passport page of the CBP’s website. TALK TO US! We want to know: Have you tried Mobile Passport?
Best Credit Cards for Travel Insurance
Each year, the "running of the bulls" in Pamplona, Spain, gets me seriously focused on... wait for it... travel insurance. Yep, with the running happening next week (July 6 through 14), we'll see thousands of locals and visitors participate in the madre of all mosh pits, with the least lucky getting gored or stepped on. Coincidentally, our friends at CardHub just published its 2015 Travel Insurance Report, taking a look at what kind of insurance the most popular credit cards offer for travel mishaps ("mishaps" include interruptions, misplaced baggage, illness, natural disasters, and accidents and have nothing whatsoever to do with running with bulls, by the way). CardHub's main findings include: Accident coverage is offered by 88 percent of the rewards credit cards examined; luggage is covered by 63 percent. More than 20 percent of credit cards that offer travel accident insurance provide amounts over $300,000. Among cards that cover luggage, 73 percent cover lost luggage, 45 percent cover delayed luggage, and 18 percent cover both. When it comes to travel insurance, CardHub found the following cards to be especially helpful: Chase Sapphire Preferred, Discover It, Wells Fargo Propel 365, Citi Prestige, Wells Fargo Propel World, Chase Freedom, and U.S. Bank FlexPerks.
Flight Attendant Fashion Gets an Upgrade
Fly with style! Delta Air Lines has partnered with fashion designer Zac Posen, who will design uniforms for flight attendants and airport customer service agents, and advise on uniforms for Delta’s ramp and ground support agents. His structured mermaid-style ball gowns are popular on the red carpet, but we non-celebs can shop the more affordable ZAC Zac Posen line (from $195, shopbop.com) and Truly Zac Posen wedding dresses for David's Bridal (from $500). The new Delta looks will hit jet bridges in early 2018. What will the uniforms look like? It's up in the air. First, Posen and his team will interview Delta employees about what they want and need in a uniform. Then comes the design process. Says Delta: "Posen's brand of modern American glamour pairs well with Delta's brand attributes, and he will be personally engaged throughout the multi-year project." Airlines are no stranger to collaborations with fashion designers: Emilio Pucci put his famous prints on Braniff International Airways stewardesses in 1966, complete with an astronaut-like plastic bubble helmet to protect their hairstyles from inclement weather. Just last year, Vivienne Westwood unveiled her vibrant red collection for Virgin Atlantic. Other partnerships didn't quite get off the ground, like Cynthia Rowley for United Airlines, nixed in 2011, post–Continental merger. Delta hasn't paired with a designer since mid-2006, when Richard Tyler released the uniform that the airline's flight attendants wear now. Geek out with us over our favorite pics of Delta's uniforms from the 1940s to now, below. Things get really good around 1968...