Gentleman’s Shoes – The Oxford, The Derby, The Brogue, and the Monk Strap…What They Are and Why You Should Know the Difference.

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Up until relatively recently, I was the sort of man who just had a few pairs of shoes that I had bought without much thought; based on their general look, comfort and, mainly, the price. Whilst loving nice clothes and spending a bit on suits, I usually assigned myself a relatively minimal budget for footwear.

Recently, however, I acquired a copy of ‘Gentleman‘* by Bernhard Roetzel. A mighty tome that has been translated into many different languages. Roetzel is a real authority on how to dress like a gentleman.

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Shaving…the Traditional Way

Prior to growing a beard for charity and never going back, shaving had become almost a hobby for me. In my youth I had used the common, three-blade razors without much thought. But then I discovered the world of traditional shaving. I became obsessed. Looking at all of the equipment, comparing razor blades…it felt so much more manly and involved than just grabbing whatever was on the shelves in the local supermarket. I would still recommend this method of shaving to you if you were to ask me, and I still use it now when maintaining the lines of my beard. In this post, I’m going to tell you why.

Okay…just to be clear, I’m not talking about the cut-throat, straight razor shaving. That’s something I leave to the barber and those far braver than I. I’m talking about something called a ‘safety razor‘ (see below) which is a T shaped, usually metal handle, that encases a ‘double-edge (or ‘DE’) blade’ . Part of the blade is exposed and goes directly against the skin.

Merkur safety razor with a ‘Feather’ DE blade.
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A Short History of The Waistcoat

Single-breasted waistcoat from Guide London* https://www.guidelondon.co.uk/viewproduct/24387

If there’s one piece of clothing that can alter a man’s appearence and make him look like a gentleman, it has to be the waistcoat. I love them…for their look and for their versatility

Whether it’s part of a three-piece suit or with a pair of jeans and shirt, the waistcoat just seems to give off an air of sophistication. But where did it come from? And…what’s with the tradition of leaving the bottom button undone? Read more

Growing a Beard?

About 6 years ago I took the plunge. I hung up my razor and decided to grow a beard. I remember it well because, although I’d attempted it before and failed (usually due to the itching that it caused or protests from my wife), this time I did it for charity. This came with a commitment not to shave for at least a month. People had sponsored me. There was no backing out.  

Fast-forward to now, I still have a beard and my wife prefers it! I’ve spent quite a bit of time learning about how to maintain it too. Sometimes people ask me questions about how I look after it so I thought I’d share a few tips I’ve picked up, just in case anyone’s interested in growing themselves some face fuzz.

It takes time. This is obvious, but I always say you have to set yourself a minimum Read more