give three piece a chance pt.2

27 Apr

Now if you subscribe to the Bertie Wooster school of sartorial styling (technically, I think you can probably only aspire to the Wooster school of style, as actually reaching those dizzy heights is beyond even the most sophisticated gents capabilities), you’ll probably be aware that along with a pair of brogues on your feet and a stiff G&T in hand, the must have accompaniment for any gentleman’s suit is a close clean shave and a quality haircut.

Amongst my more follically challenged friends, I have what they might describe as a very positive problem – lots of very thick, gravitationally opposed hair (sods law says that this post will kick start the onset of my male pattern baldness).

So a good barber that can help with the only element on my head I can easily change for the better is an imperative, which makes Gentlemen’s Tonic hidden away on Saville Row such a find.

I think because it’s nestled within Gieves & Hawkes at No.1 Saville Row, people don’t necessarily know it’s there. So for me who leaves booking appointments to the very last minute it’s one of those rare as hen’s teeth barbers, one where you can call up in the morning and get an appointment for 1pm that lunchtime.

If it wasn’t blatantly obvious from the name of the establishment, Gentlemen’s Tonic caters male grooming needs, and a wide variety at that. From barbershop classics such as traditional wet shaves, complimentary shoe shines to sports massages in a dedicated therapy room, pretty much the only thing they don’t have on site is a quartet.

Apart from cutting hair very well (ask for Mark) it pulls off the male grooming experience with aplomb. Neither too metro-sexual or too “laddie”, its traditional chairs, tiling, pots of barbicide and cut throat razors give the interior a really sharp edge (bad pun I know).

On my last visit I was quizzing Mark about wet shaves and how to shave properly. Given the average man will spend 5 months of his life shaving, I’ve never been taught the proper approach, and after reading Mark’s top tips (given to everyone who has a wet shave) I’ve realised that even if I have umpteen blades on my Gillette razor, I won’t get a closer shave without a few basic skills.

If you’re a lady reading this (firstly thanks for showing interest in this very male focused post), I’d 100% recommend buying a male companion the experience of a traditional barbers wet shave for a present.

I imagine it’s equivalent of us buying you ladies a massage/facial.. it’s pampering, but with an unequivocally masculine edge (there’s really dangerous blades involved.. grrr.). Also for us men it has an added bonus – a perfect excuse not to shave for three days beforehand…

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