Last week I had the pleasure of being invited by Ruffians the Barbers, to their flagship store in London’s Covent Garden, for them to tidy my face up and make me a bit more presentable. Since setting up in Edinburgh two years ago, they’ve won a plethora of awards and are setting the standard for Barber’s up and down the land so I knew I’d be in good hands.
Now here’s my admission – I haven’t set foot in a barbers since I was 16, because for the last 20 years I’ve cut my own hair. And I haven’t been clean shaven for at least the last decade either, so the whole experience was somewhat new. So with a small amount of trepidation I opted for a beard trim and tidy up, plus a wet shave.
From the moment I set foot in the place the experience was spot on, and throughout the visit everything was done to make sure I was as comfortable and relaxed as possible. The space itself is a good blend of tradition but set within a contemporary environment – it’s all too easy for a barbers to feel quite ‘throw back’ as they try to recreate a traditional masculine environment, whereas Ruffians has created something altogether more modern.
Sitting myself in the chair and getting down to business, I was left in the capable hands of Stephen, who began by giving me a full beard trim and tidy up, before a face/throat scrub, followed by a hot towel to prepare me for a cut-throat shave. It was the first time I’d had someone else take a blade to my face and although it was somewhat disconcerting, it took no time at all and was surprisingly comfortable. Then another hot towel followed, before a second pass with the blade, cold towel and finally a moisturiser to finish off.
The last thing Stephen did was to tidy up my hair, all of which left me feeling like a new, super-groomed man. The whole thing took just over an hour but felt much quicker and I’ve got to admit that I’m hooked! As they say, the difference is in the details and my newly groomed self was noticed immediately – my wife said how good I looked as did friends, so it must have made me look miles better than I normally do. So from now on I’m getting everything done properly, hell if I could afford it I’d get it done on a weekly basis, that’s how much difference I thought it made.
Because I’m too lazy to take my own photographs, the above images come courtesy of Jonathan Daniel Pryce. For more information, to see the full range of services and to get yourself booked in for an appointment, go to the website here: Ruffians.
Nottingham’s Campbell Cole have recently released some new products for Summer 2014. Named the ‘Simple Collection’, the range is a precursor to their Autumn/Winter 2014 ‘Annex’ collection and features two new items, in addition to their existing key wrap.
The collection is designed to carry your daily essentials and as the name suggests, perfectly balances a minimal aesthetic with perfectly considered detailing and effortless functionality. Each item is made from the finest Italian leather, with the natural process of vegetable tanning ensuring that each piece develops its own unique patina through use. As is always the case with the brand’s products, everything is designed and made in England.
For more information on the label or to buy from their online shop, go to the website here: Campbell Cole.
The idea for the latest product from Property Of… can be summed up like this: “Own only what you can always carry with you and what carries the necessities for the day. This is where the Wally Work bag comes in place: a bag that is designed to transport your belongings on a daily basis from your home base to your work place”.
It’s a simple premise that’s made for a simple bag, devoid of the superfluous and constructed from sturdy heavy canvas that’s been wax coated for water resistance and durability. Internally it’s lined in ripstop cotton and contains all the characteristics you’d want from a work bag – a padded compartment for your 15-inch laptop and all its cables, sections to place pens and smaller items and additional space to hold large documents.
On the outside, the bag is fastened with Heavy YKK metal zips and also features a large zip-fastening front storage pocket, leather trims with a fully adjustable shoulder strap made from cotton webbing. And finally it comes in a range of four colourways – coal, moss, khaki and navy. For more information and to buy l=online, go to the website here: Property Of…
I’m a sucker for a pair of longwing brogues, there’s just something about their simplicity over the full brogue that appeals to me. And British shoemaker Grenson has created a pair of tasty suede brogues for this Spring/Summer season, which have found their way to Sunderland’s Aphrodite 1994.
As the name suggest, this new shoe is an update of Grenson’s classic Sid Brogue, but has a slimmer, more contemporary shape and the simpler detailing found on a shoe of this ilk. It features a snuff suede upper for a more textured finish and marries this with contrasting pebble grain leather details.
This shoe is lined with natural leather, whilst the inner sole is Grenson’s trademark red leather with embossed logo. And finishing things off, this classic upper is mated to a full leather sole via a natural Goodyear welt. For more information, or to get yourself a pair, go to the website here: Aphrodite 1994.
More tasty outerwear and what the lads from Oi Polloi consider a ‘long lost classic’. During a trek around North America in the early 90s, Oi Polloi bossman, Nigel came across a jacket the likes of which he’d never seen before – part bomber jacket, part golf jacket, part something new entirely.
It was during a factory visit years later that the jacket’s true identity was revealed – it was a style called a Catalina, and it was popular during the 60s and 70s. Fast forward to present day and Oi Polloi now present their own version of this jacket, under their in-house Cottonopolis label.
Made in Bolton (with fabric from Rochdale) by the same people who make jackets for Nepenthes, it’s a lightweight, summer-friendly jacket. Features include a ribbed bomber collar, hem and cuffs, two-way zip fastening with three button storm flap and a pair of lower front pockets, with a further one inside.
For more information, or to buy online, go to the website here: Cottonopolis Catalina jacket.
I don’t feature ties that often on the blog, but when Amsterdam’s OntFront got in touch to say they’ve recently added a selection of handmade neckwear to their growing range of products, I thought it more than worthy of a feature.
Produced in Germany, the collection contains slim ties made of traditional Indonesian batik cotton fabrics, produced using a manual wax-resistant dying technique. These classic ikat fabrics have also been treated with a tie-dye technique before being woven into the cloth.
And elsewhere in the range you’ll also find Linen, bleached denim, digitally printed floral and leopard prints, plus a selection of bow ties and Dutch chokers. For more information on the range, or to buy online, go to the website here: OntFront.
If there’s one thing Italy’s Aspesi do well it’s outerwear. The brand continues to develop new styles that are both technically focused whilst maintaining a level of simplicity that marries perfectly with their soft tailored approach to Menswear.
First in the range is the ‘Rattler’ jacket – it takes its cues from the classic M69 and delivers a new take in waterproof and breathable technical fabric. The outer has the usual arrangement of four bellows pockets and the jacket also features an adjustable hood, matching zip fastening, adjustable, press-stud fastening cuffs and an inner drawstring at the waist. Also on the inside, you’ll find laminated lining with contrasting taping throughout.
Next is the Incrociato Leggero, a jacket with a touch of the mountain parka about it. Perfect in its bright orange exterior, it’s constructed from a Polyester/Nylon mix that’s been washed to give it a softer handle. Features include an adjustable peaked hood, concealed front zip with press-stud fastening storm placket and three front flap pockets. Inside you’ll find a further two pockets – one at the bottom fastened with a button and one on the chest fastened with a zip.
The Supertecnico II is a waterproof Nylon taffeta jacket that’s shorter in the bod. It too features a fixed hood that’s fully adjustable, plus raglan sleeves, front lower pockets, elasticated cuffs with press-stud fastening and concealed front zip. The interior features a laminate effect mesh and contrasting tape and the jackets hem features a drawstring for further fit adjustment.
All are available now, so for more information, to see the larger range and to buy online, go to the website here: Aspesi.