Archive | February, 2010

Original Scott Saw Artwork

Tags:

Original Scott Saw Artwork

Posted on 27 February 2010 by Marc

Scott Saw's painting 'Alien Erika'

If you want to spruce up your home hanging some artworks is never a bad thing.  We don’t mean that poster from Athena you have kept as a teenager, you know the one we mean. Yes, that one of the tennis player with the itchy posterior!

So scrap the posters and invest in some original art, it’s not as expensive as you might think and with the advent of the internet, finding gifted artists at knockdown prices is easier than you might think.

Scott Saw is a Californian artist with a strong internet presence who finds demand for his prints and original art increasing year on year.  You only need to take a look at his work to understand why.

As well as being a thing of beauty, art is also an investment which is why we think it’s a sensible idea to forget the prints and look at Scott’s original art, of which there is plenty.  Unfortunately his piece, Alien Erika has been sold, to someone in the UK no less, but Scott is passionate about painting so you can be sure there will always be something available to buy.

Comments (1)

The Man Bag

Tags:

The Man Bag

Posted on 26 February 2010 by Chris Ford

The ‘man bag’ is always a bone of contention, but knock them all you like, in this modern age the number of items the modern man carries around with him has grown and will continue to grow; think camera, phones, wallets, books, netbook, etc. etc.

Here I have assembled a few of my current favourite man bags for your consideration:

Paul Smith Flight Bag

As always, you can trust Paul Smith to do things in style and this flight bag is no exception. With smooth black leather trims, multi-coloured stripes, an adjustable shoulder strap and a zip opening, the bag is lined with purple canvas and has an internal zipped pocket and a padded compartment ideal for your laptop. On the outside it features a concealed zip pocket and a leather luggage tag.  Priced at £195.00 from Paul Smith

Hackett British Traveller Series Fisherman Bag

From a collection inspired by the travelling British gentry from decades past but with very modern credentials. This fisherman bag utilises finest quality 18oz bonded cotton, vegetable tan leather trim from North American hides, solid brass fittings and Swiss made hand polished zips. The British Traveller Series fisherman bag has a distinctive British feel, designed and made in England.  Priced at £180.00 from Hackett

Mandarina Duck Stitch Leather Messenger Bag

This beautiful leather messenger bag features top-stitch and gunmetal detailing and a contrasting lining but as well as looking great it has plenty of room to fit in all your essentials.  So whether you’re just popping into the office or heading out to a club and don’t trust your valuables with the cloakroom attendant this light and roomy bag won’t look out of place.  Priced at £205.00 from John Lewis

Polo Ralph Lauren Waxed Canvas Messenger Bag

You can always rely on Ralph Lauren to come out with a classic and so I wasn’t disappointed to find this waxed canvas bag while perusing ASOS.  It features a fold over fastening with twin buckled straps, contrast leather trim and an adjustable shoulder strap.  Priced at £590.00 from ASOS

mr.black@gentlemensgoods.com

Comments (1)

Clean Brass and Silverware in Minutes

Tags:

Clean Brass and Silverware in Minutes

Posted on 25 February 2010 by Marc

If there is one thing Mr Fotheringham hates, it’s cleaning and if there’s one thing I hate more than cleaning it’s cleaning brass, chrome and silverware!

Let’s face it, it’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it and assuming you are like me and you don’t have a man-servant called Jeeves to do it for you, you’ll want to polish those candlesticks that belonged to Great Aunt Ethel quickly and easily before your date comes over for some microwaved lasagne and a bottle (or two) of Lambrini.  That’s where the Miracle All Purpose Polish Cloth comes in handy.

To say I was sceptical of it’s claims is an understatement.  If the site and the packaging are to be believed this cloth can clean just about anything and what’s more they claim that it will clean it effort free.  I decided to put it to the test with a chrome shaving mirror that has a few water marks from lack of proper cleaning after a shower and shave in teh bathroom.  If I didn’t detest cleaning so much it wouldn’t be in the state it’s in but then again, if I was an efficient cleaner I would have no need for the Miracle Cloth! In just a few minutes I managed to shift those water stains that had been doggedly refusing to budge with umpteen cleaning products for at least 3 years, seeing how easy that was I decided on a tougher challenge, the brass letterbox!

Since installing the letterbox over 6 years ago I have never given it more than an occasional wipe with a damp cloth and we’re talking very occasional here.  Would the Miracle Cloth live up to it’s name? 15 minutes later I was amazed to see it shine like the day I bought it.

I’ve no idea what is impregnated in the cloth but it seems that it’s a formula that’s has been around since 1922 and I can tell you, it works, just don’t ask me how.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to pop some lasagne in the microwave and buff up Ethel’s candlesticks before my date arrives in 20 minutes!

Comments Off on Clean Brass and Silverware in Minutes

Lavazza’s Retro Mio Modo Coffee Maker

Tags:

Lavazza’s Retro Mio Modo Coffee Maker

Posted on 24 February 2010 by Chris Ford

We certainly don’t think coffee is dull and it seems that the good people over at Lavazza are in agreement if their new range of fabulously funky coffee makers are anything to go by.

Take your pick from traditional black or  add some brightness to your kitchen with one of these six bold limited edition colours.   It should make a tasty coffee too as it’s made by Seaco (who acquired Gaggia in 1999), who know a thing or two about making coffee, and uses pressed coffee capsules and cutting edge extraction technology to produce a full-bodied and creamy espresso.  It also boasts a steam arm for cappuccinos and lattes and a hot water function for the tea drinkers.

I hope to have some money left over at pay day to treat myself to one of these beauties which are a comparative steal at only £119 from the Lavazza site and if you’re quick they will throw in an exclusive gift set to make your Modo Mio complete which includes espresso cups, cappuccino cups, spoons and a sneak preview of two new blends.

mr.black@gentlemensgoods.com

Comments (4)

How to Tie a Four in Hand Knot

Tags: ,

How to Tie a Four in Hand Knot

Posted on 23 February 2010 by Chris Ford

Yesterday I mentioned where to find a shirt but unless you’re aiming for the casual look, you’ll want to pair it with a tie and it’s surprising how many modern men seem to have lost the art of tying a tie! So if you learn just one knot, make it the Four in Hand which is the perfect tie knot for the novice tie wearer. The knot is easy to tie, holds a good shape and will go well with most shirt collars and neck-tie styles.

The Four In Hand Knot

The Four in Hand knot was invented by us Brits during the end of the 19th century.  It originated from gentlemen who tied their scarves with one hand while holding the reins of their four horses drawing the carriage in the other – hence the name four in hand. Although the four in hand is one of the oldest knots it is still a popular and fashionable knot that is a popular choice and my favourite. Although this knot is easy enough to be tied with one hand no one will object if your use two!  Just click on the picture above for a larger image and you are a few wraps and a tuck away from the perfect knot!

Among the many retailers of ties we do like the current selection from Austin Reed who also happen to be offering a discount of £10 off an order of £100 if you quote ar100 at checkout until 31 December 2010.  We do however advise you to check their site as they offer promotions during the year and as is typical, you can rarely combine offers so make sure you get the best deal!

mr.black@gentlemensgoods.com

Comments Off on How to Tie a Four in Hand Knot

Jermyn Street Shirt Makers

Tags: ,

Jermyn Street Shirt Makers

Posted on 22 February 2010 by Chris Ford

If you live in London or intend visiting, Jermyn Street just off Piccadilly is the place to go if you are looking for some new shirts. It is well known as a street where the shops are almost exclusively aimed at the gentleman’s market and is famous for its resident shirt makers.

Much as Savile Row is associated with fine suits, Jermyn Street is where a gentleman goes to purchase his shirts. Now, these shirt makers vary in quality and price so here I have assembled a quick guide to the main players, who all have online stores in case you can’t get to Jermyn Street:

Turnbull & Asser: Top of it all. Most expensive of them all and in my opinion the best off the rack shirts money can buy. Collectibles, as eBay prices show. Worn by aristocrats and show-biz people; by people who don’t care what others think or who DO.  Turnbull & Asser are famous for being both Winston Churchill’s and Prince Charles’ shirt maker of choice, during the Second World War they even made custom overalls for Mr Churchill to wear on his visits to the front line. Why not visit the Turnbull & Asser website and see what we mean.

Harvie & Hudson: A true 1960’s feeling, with neon-lit shops and prescription-glasses salesmen. Worn by older gentlemen who would not be seen dead in “trendy” clothing. Thus they offer cream shirts, pleated denim trousers, washed cotton sports jackets and the like. Ahhh and let’s not forget terry towelling robes.  Think retro in an inherited from your uncle kind of way. The Harvie and Hudson website.

Hilditch & Key: Understated, Italianesque elegance. No fancy kaleidoscope patterns here. Very Continental European style.  If you are looking for the traditional English cut look elsewhere. Why not peruse the Hilditch & Key website?

T.M. Lewin: We are entering middle-class territory here, not that that’s a bad thing! No, Lewin’s  good quality shirts can be picked up for a very reasonable price in one of their ongoing sales, I guess you could consider them the DFS of the shirt game!  You can also shop from the T.M.Lewin Website

Charles Tyrwhitt: Very similar to T.M Lewin except, in my opinion, slightly better quality and a little bit more expensive too! Again, their shirts and accessories can also bought online from the Charles Tyrwhitt website.

 

 



Comments (1)

Wet Shaving: The Brush

Tags:

Wet Shaving: The Brush

Posted on 20 February 2010 by Marc

One of the things that the modern man no longer seems to make time for is a traditional wet shave.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of you reading own an electric razor and it’s probably safe to say that those of you who do wet shave use foam from a can and razor with multi-blades that cost as much as large gin & tonic!

Over the next few weeks I’ll be introducing both the tools and techniques to help you discover the art of a traditional wet shave. Don’t worry, you won’t have to switch to a Sweeney Todd style cut-throat razor in order to get that smooth as a baby’s bottom feeling but you will need to sacrifice a little time.  Like all good things in life, a good shave cannot and should not be rushed.  Ideally you should allow around 20 minutes but that said, with a little practise you can shave that down to a mere ten minutes, please don’t tell me your face is not worth ten minutes in the morning!  So, the first thing to consider is the shaving brush.

Traditional Badger Shaving Brushes

Badger Hair has been used for more than two centuries to make the best shaving brushes; in the past it was the preserve of the wealthy, now it is available to all. Badger hair is quality graded according to the appearance and softness of the hairs; the ascending classifications are Best, Super and Silver-tip. The price of a brush will depend on the quality of the hair and the amount of it used in the brush.  You can expect to pay anything from £15 to £100 for a quality brush that should last a minimum of 10-15 years – it is an expensive resource and the highest standards of quality control are used when the hair is sourced. The hair is cleansed and sterilised to ensure that it is not only clean but performs to meet user expectations.

Why Use Badger Hair?

Badger hair is different to many types of fur – like human hair it absorbs water and it is this characteristic that makes it perfect for shaving brushes. The lathering process whips hot water, soap and air into a warm foam that cleanses the skin and lubricates the path of the razor. Water is the key element in a good shave and the more a brush can hold, the better the lather and shave will be. The fine tips of the hairs help to make a smooth and creamy lather and the exceptional softness of badger-hair cleanses the face gently, giving a comfortable and reliable shave.  As mentioned, there are three main types of Badger Hair, let’s have a closer look at them:

Best Badger Shaving Brush – this is an excellent quality of pure badger hair. It is normally regarded as the benchmark standard. The hair is harvested from the majority of the pelt, including the belly. It is generally darker in colour although the colours of individual hairs vary from grey and brown to black. This quality helps creates a lather far superior to that resulting from a synthetic bristle brush.

Super Badger Shaving Brush – this is the finer hair from the back of the badger, it is longer and softer than ‘best’ badger and because it is finer, requires more hairs to fill a brush. This high quality grade of badger hair is reserved for hand filled brushes. Visually, Super badger displays a distinctive black band capped with pure white tips and is presented in a natural fan shape, using the natural hair ends to create the shape and softness.

Silver Tip Badger Shaving Brush – this is the highest quality of all. The finely graded and sorted pure badger hair is the softest, rarest and most expensive badger hair; with natural untrimmed silver tips, it is the highest quality available worldwide. The pure colouring of this hair is enhanced by careful hand grading and filling. Using long hair from the neck of the animal, it is ultra soft, flexible and will provide years of luxurious shaving.

Looking after your shaving brush

A badger hair brush is a natural product that, with loving care, should last ten to fifteen years. When you get a new brush it is quite natural for a few loose hairs to come away from the brush in the first few weeks; these are shorter hairs that did not quite reach to the glue in the base and this should not be a cause for concern.

Wet your brush thoroughly before each use, dip the tip of the brush into the shaving cream or soap and lather gently using a light circular or up and down motion; when applying the shaving cream or soap do not apply too much pressure, causing the badger hair to splay.  The longevity of a quality badger hair shaving brush is directly related to the care and respect it is given. The lifespan of the hair may also be affected by using some of the commercial branded shaving products of which many contain alcohol and shaving oils.

After shaving, rinse the brush gently but thoroughly in clean water, flick the excess water away and place the brush in a stand with the hair pointing down. If you do not have a stand, leave the brush pointing up rather than horizontal, so that air can get to all the hairs and dry the brush naturally.

Natural hair that is left wet can develop mildew; try to avoid enclosing a wet brush in too small an enclosed space. If you keep it in the bathroom cabinet ensure that it has sufficient space to dry. If you shave away from home and keep your shaving brush in a travel tube or kit bag, give it an opportunity to dry as soon as you can.

No matter how carefully you look after your shaving brush it may, from time to time, require more thorough cleaning.  For this you will need to purchase some household Borax Powder from an ironmongers or chemist.

  • Mix some Borax in a small container with enough water to make a thick paste
  • Rub the paste into the hair of the brush gently and work it down to the base of the hairs. Leave it overnight
  • Rinse thoroughly with warm water

Comments (4)

Vintage Shopping: Easy Peasy

Tags: ,

Vintage Shopping: Easy Peasy

Posted on 19 February 2010 by Marc

Mint Vintage is a vintage shop which makes shopping for old clothes easy.  Why? Because unlike most vintage shops who buy their stock by weight, dedicated buyers at Mint hand select each item to make sure that what they’re buying is more age distressed denim jacket than urine stained blazer. Mint have a delightful store in Covent Garden’s Seven Dials that is a tranquil haven from the West End’s usual hustle and bustle but they also sell what they’ve found on ASOS which means that no matter where you are in the world, you can get your hands on some fantastic vintage gear with the minimum of bother.

What’s good about Mint Vintage?
Because the buyers know exactly what they’re getting, they can choose the best brands and stuff that’s relevant now. That means that if you want some old school Woolrich Woolen Mills, pre-loved Levis, retro sunglasses, or a denim shirt that isn’t from Topman, you’ll be able to find it at Mint.

What’s bad about Mint Vintage?
The one slight downside is the clothes are not cheap but then, the reason most vintage stuff is cheap is because it’s bought in bulk and smells of the dead. Mint Vintage’s stuff is chosen with care and doesn’t smell. So just remember that you’re buying quality, not quantity, as you punch in your credit card PIN.

Comments (1)

Cigar Tasting Event

Tags: ,

Cigar Tasting Event

Posted on 18 February 2010 by Chris Ford

I recently attended the first of this year’s Cigar evenings hosted by the UK Cuban Cigar supplier Hunters and Frankau.  It was held on the wonderful new heated smoking terrace at 10 Manchester street in London’s Marylebone.

First of all the hotel is stunning, very high end, the sort of place I would love to stay but seldom do when on holiday, often opting for the cheaper option with the logic that I’m only looking for somewhere to sleep… a nice hotel is fun sometimes though!

Anyway the cigar terrace has been expertly put together, it seems like you are indoors with gas heaters blasting out warm air so there is no danger of getting cold, comfy leather sofas to sink into and everything you could possibly need to get your cigar going. The service while we were there was excellent, coats were taken, and drinks were poured. All those present seemed to agree this is the best place in London to smoke a cigar!

The night usually cost £25.00 which includes a limited edition cigar, refreshments and a talk from cigar expert Simon Chase and are held on a monthly basis with different cigars and drinks every month.

The Cigar Terrence is open everyday from 11.00am to 11.00pm and free to use, you can find out much more by visiting the Ten Manchester Street Hotel website

mr.black@gentlemensgoods.com

Comments Off on Cigar Tasting Event

Advertise Here
Advertise Here