Our love of old-school shaving cream got a boost today, with trad king Will Boehlke unveiling a new crop of British-style shaving soaps at his in-house shop. The scents are all old-man perfumes like cedar and sandalwood, but it’s really about the ritual of the wooden bowl and the badger hair brush, something Boehlke calls, “the second best experience a man can have with his pajamas on.”
Folk is a bit of a curiosity on this side of the Atlantic, but if you’re passing through London any time soon, you’ll find them just about everywhere. This snap is from their newly opened Shepherd Market shop, their fourth in London. It’s a good example of why they’re worth caring about to begin with: clever, colorful twists on some of the most basic items in your wardrobe. And if you don’t have an Atlantic crossing in your near future, you can get a local taste of the goods here.
We’re particularly taken with the elegant rumple in the arms of the jackets, or the generous break in the pants—touches you don’t see much in the cropped and pressed stateside styles. It’s a more restrained, raffish kind of style, and there aren’t too many places you can find it in the U.S. just yet. But there’s always London…or the internet.
We’ve got nothing against the fresh-out-of-the-box crispiness of the streetwear set…but we’re usually after a slightly more lived-in look. We’re thinking of the pair you’ve taken out for a jog every other day for a year, picking up mud, grit and an aura of indestructibility along the way. It’s the object equivalent of a family dog.
New Balance’s Lake District Series nails the look just about perfectly, adding earthier colorways to the classic 576 shape. They made their way into stores a couple weeks back, just in time for mud season.
The bright blue means it’s a good deal more eye-catching than the standard gray and brown versions—and you’ll have an extra reason to pair it with heavy denim. But most importantly, it’s got the homegrown British tweediness that made the look worthwhile to begin with, and it’s important to get your tweediness straight from the source.
In the wake of the World Cup, soccer had all but fallen off our radar—but all it takes to bring it back is a good 'stache. For instance, this amazing Howard Hughes-esque piece of mustachioed brilliance from Newcastle soccer player/scoundrel Joey Barton.
He’s promised to keep it on until Newcastle wins a game…which, judging by their opening 3-0 loss to Manchester United, might be quite a while.
Heritage can mean a lot of different things, but leave it to the chaps at Hill-Side to work Medieval England into the equation. Starting this Friday, they’ll be offering their classic stable of goods—that’s square-end tie, pocket square, handkerchief and scarf—in dip-dyed woad blue, with the help of the British artisan dyers at Tender Co..
About that heritage: Woad is one of the oldest dyes in the world, a staple of English clothing dating back to the Viking era, so it’s got a good millennium on most of what passes for heritage stateside. And as it turns out, the result is a pretty handsome shade of blue. It’s not that different from the chambray-assisted hues Hill-Side started out with—just with a new color and a richer dye pattern, and a whole lot more history to it.
The Royal Ascot is the closest Britain gets to a Kentucky Derby, and while it tends to slip by unnoticed for most Americans, for connoisseurs of dandyism it might as well be the Olympics.
Take for example, Mr. Charlie Watts, who in recent years has blossomed into quite the trad. (There were some speed bumps along the way, but nobody’s perfect.) This past Thursday, he broke out a classic morning dress complete with topcoat, top hat and buttonhole carnation. The shades let you know he’s still a rocker, but otherwise he’s dressing the part just about perfectly.
When you’re sharing a stadium with the queen, we’d expect nothing less.
With January taking a brief vacation, the east coast has been looking surprising English. Fortunately, we’re the adaptable type.
This Trapper Hat from Heritage Research takes after hats that have sheltering North English heads since the industrial revolution. It’s waxed cotton—with just enough waterproofing to withstand the winter rain—and a Stormy Kromer-style flap to fend off any gusts you might encounter. The design was taken from classic northwestern hunters caps, with fabric lifted from a factory north of Manchester and stitched together without leaving the country.
As for the Heritage Research itself—you guessed it—it’s Japanese.
London may be seeing more snow than rain these days, but it’s still nice to have a brolly on hand.
This one from London Undercover (hat tip) caught our eye for its bright black-and-white houndstooth—a trad move, despite what Alexander McQueen would have you believe. It doesn’t pack quite the aristocratic punch of the more expensive models, but for 50 pounds ($80), we doubt you’ll do much better.
The goretex school of outerwear makes its name on gadgety extras like foldaway hoods and Velcro fasteners, but the older gentleman-hunter style has a few tricks of its own. And if you don’t mind a little adornment, you might even prefer them…
This Nigel Cabourn Rucksack Parka packs in gadgetry like a built-in leather belt, a contrast-colored throat tab and a something called a “storm flap” that acts as both a hood and an impromptu cape in case you need some sudden waterproofing. It’s refreshing to see in a bit of old-world outerwear, but it’s also just plain fun to play with. And since the gold standard of parkas is still whether they’ll keep you warm and/or dry, a little extra functionality is always appreciated.
The Mancunian boutique Oi Polloi has been a solid outlet for our anglophilic urges for a while now, but it looks like they’re getting into the publishing business.
This is a page from Rig Out, the new biannual “fanzine” assembled by Manchester’s finest. Naturally, there’s a lot of Barbour involved, along with a few well-chosen words, but you’ll have to cross the ocean to get your hands on it. So far, it’s only available in-store—but if you’re in the vicinity of Manchester, it should be worth a stop.
If you were looking for a new bike, you’ve probably already found it by now. But we’re guessing it could use a few accessories…
These saddlebags from Brooks come via the UK, where bike culture has been in bloom for a bit longer, so they’ve got a few tricks you might not expect. For one, they can fold into inconspicuous rolls when you’re not using them, only to unfurl the minute you’ve got groceries to haul.
And of course, it’s always good to have a bit more waxed cotton around.