The English are far more formal than I had suspected. Sure a great deal of them aren’t (I’m looking at you Slough) but the ones I see most often are. I certainly don’t stand out when I’m in shirt and tie in our village. Just getting dressed for a walk along the Thames has me puzzling over various pieces in my wardrobe trying to get the right look. Hell, I even own multiple scarves now.

I now find myself taking a much more planned and possibly gentlemanly approach to my personal grooming. WWDoWD? (What Would the Duke of Windsor Do?) Honestly, I have no idea why I would even care. But I’m guessing that since he never had any real job, he probably had time to do everyday things with style. With that in mind, over Christmas I splashed out on some shaving kit in the hope of turning a chore into something a little more pleasurable.

I’d love to have the confidence to use a straight razor, but I’ve never had a steady hand. At my calmest, my extremities merely resonate with a mild hum. Hoping to avoid unintentional exsanguination, I opted for the next coolest option, a double edged safety razor ( A Merkur Heavy Duty Long Handle with Feather brand blades.) It’s a safety razor, but that doesn’t mean care is not required. (Have a block of Alum on hand just in case.) Thankfully, I’ve had little trouble with it so far. I have found the little bit of fear in the morning is possibly better than coffee. On the downside, although the shave is nicer, the results are not really any smoother than a Gillette Fusion Mach 5 Power. (If you shave against the grain, the Fusion can do a little better but that can be a bit tough on the face. Trying them side by side this morning Deb picked the DE razor, but I couldn’t honestly tell the difference.) On the plus side, blades for a DE razor are dirt cheap. I can however wholeheartedly recommend a nice badger hair brush and some good shaving soap. Again I went a bit overboard on the brush (silvertip badger) but just about any brush when combined with the right soap (Taylor of Old Bond Street is nice) will produce a great lather and an enjoyable (well… as enjoyable as it’s going to get) shave. The soap seems to last forever and the whole process just seems right. Finish things of with a little moisturizing after-shave lotion.

Now to go crush a beer can on my forehead in an attempt to reaffirm my masculinity… before I next blog about organizing my wardrobe.