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As you may have noticed, we’re hoping to find a few bright spots in the downturn. And by our lights, getting your suit mended is only the beginning.

Remember Barbasol? You probably saw a can or two on your grandfather’s dresser at some point, but we bet you can’t remember the last time you saw it in a store, much less picked up a can. These days the can is more common as a hollowed-out hideaway than an actual source for shaving cream.

But barbershops never stopped using it—it’s classic for a reason, after all—and you probably didn’t realize it was going for $1.30 a can these days…

This is one more example of a fact that vintage store proprietors have known for years: retro style is the perfect path to good, cheap stuff. Some of it is better than what’s out now, and the rest of it is easily ignored. You don’t want to get too ironic or you’ll end up in hipster territory, but Barbasol lands in the sweet spot of iconic, nostalgic, and just plain useful stuff.

Of course, if you’re really committed you’ll use a mortar and brush, along with a straight razor. Trust us: you’ll never miss the gel.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom