Thursday, 31 March 2011

A Snip On Saturday . . . . . .

The week started last Saturday, I had no intention of drastically changing anything when I awoke & breezed in to the HQ of Love From Hetty & Dave looking forward to meeting lots of new customers that the day would bring. Come mid morning I cycled down to my barber & once sat in the chair & removing my hat I commenced to say, " do as you wish". Which surprised him as much as myself.

Though I am fortunate enough to have a barber, who is not only a barber, but also a Lord!

Lord Jason "The Barber" Bailey.

And so I have begun to trust him implicity. He has noted my sway from a '60's Mod back to a '40's/'50's Chap in the last couple of months & so accordingly gave me a trim to suit my new attire. The girl says he's making me into a clone of himself! Well that wouldn't be a bad thing. He is known fairly well as a Dandy & never hesistates to place style before substance! So of course he could do as he wished with my locks!

 It met to the Girl's approval, thank God!

So the Brylcreem has been bought for the Swing nights that lay ahead!

Also, arriving from America this week was my cut-throat razor, from the Department store J.C.Vickery.

Being a collector of all sorts of luxury items from this store, which opened on Regent Street in 1899, it still looks as polished as it must've been some 100 years ago. Not daring to use it quite yet, a few "lessons" are booked in with The Lord before it cuts over my epidermis!

Staying closed for a while yet.

Since my transition back a decade or two, it seems as if a whole new world lays in front of me & it is it would seem, fairly daunting. One harsh lesson I have already learnt was from The Barber a few weeks back when attending a the 1940's event Swing For Victory. "I would never be seen dead in clip on braces" he piped. To me, while wearing a pair myself.  Lesson learnt.

So certain "rules" must be adhered to, so it is in the Mod lifestyle & so it's the way of the earlier Vintage enthusiast also. Mostly tongue in cheek, but fairly informative nonetheless I obtained a copy of The Manifaesto. By The Chap.

Not 11 pages in & a marvellous introduction to " The Sacraments Of Grooming".
"While showers are an excellent way of getting to know your privates during Military Service, they are not appropriate for civilian life.  A daily bath, taken immediately after a hearty breakfast, is an excellent way to mull over the tasks  ahead. After an hour or two in the bath, your pores should be open & your follicles primed for pruning. By now bathroom visibilty will be at a minimum, and you won't be able to see anything at all in the mirror,  let alone enough to scrape a cut-throat razor across your face. A very surprising , and very useful, chemical reaction seems to occur between the smoke produced by pipe tobacco & bathroom steam. Have a puff or two on your Briar and watch the steam miraculously clear, like the dawn mist lifting off the Amazon."

A Vintage suit was also purchased this week, complete with button braces! So for tomorrow's Formal Friday it'll probably be worn for the first time in the last 50 or so years. If anyone fancies being included in Formal Friday, all you simply have to do, is not dress down. Dress Up! Find the group on FB "Formal Friday In Britain". Feel free to even post your photos on there!

Also looking forward to the opening of a new Vintage Boutique tomorrow close by is that of "What Alice Found".

I don't think there could possibly ever be enough Vintage shops on this Island of ours, so wishing them all the best of luck for the opening tomorrow & to a busy weekend ahead!

The shop is in the Pokesdown area of Bournemouth on the Christchurch Road, & you can follow them on

Good luck girls!

Pip pip.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Could Fridays Go Formal?

 A couple of us on the South Coast have been going formal on Fridays, as opposed to the norm, dress down Friday which has been with us now since the mid 90's.  Rather than slouching into the weekend, we've preferred to dress up, strach our shirts & ladies have nipped their waists in, beehived their hair up & gone into  work all the more glamourous.

A few friend's of mine in London have responded saying that their place of business is of the same opinion, and have in fact stopped "dress down Fridays" altogether complaining of lack of motivation & productivity from staff because of the relaxed rules on the dress code for that day.

 I'm a firm believer of when I put on a starched, white, collar pin shirt, 3 piece suit & polished brogues I feel ever so much more "ready for business" than in anything else I wear. I',m even pretty sure, clients I converse with on the telephone can tell, by my manner, that I am properly attired.

So far, our group on  FB, "Formal Friday in Britain", which had it's first one last Friday, consists of myself & two gentleman, and my girl. All of us with Vintage attire! Our view point is, it's actually a good enough reason to dress up, just a little bit more than we would from the Monday through to Thursday! To show some versatility, able to express ourselves more through individual accessories and show a touch of flair & also our love for Vintage Clothes & the lifestyle itself.

So I put this out there to all of you Vintage lovers! Could Fridays go Formal? And are we, as Vintage enthusiasts, more likely than normal folk to participate?

Friday, 25 March 2011

Thank Goodness it's Formal Friday

Our British inclusion in Formal Friday!

Sir Stuart Alexander, owner of Vintage shop Deco. Razor sharp as per usual!

Lord Jason "The Barber" Bailey in his 1940's Double Breasted short sleeve. We're promised Plus-Fours & the full works next week from The Lord!

And keeping an eye on passers by, myself. 

Fairly Formal.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

One March Week . . . . .

Tuesday was a glorious walk home in the sunshine with my handmade smokers tray, made by yours truly. To my amazing good luck even the Swan Vesta boxes fitted perfectly in place. Pipe & cigarette tobbacco tucked in nicely & Vesta strikers at the ready to be struck.

So upon the coffee table it awaits, to draw guests around to smoke in company.

With the wonder of Ebay how lucky I was to manage to win a perfect Geo F.Trumper Shaving Mug on Wednesday for next to nothing!

With the fanntastic illustration of "The Officer & A Gentleman" on.

A lifelong lasting inclusion to my shaving collection made by  probably the finest suppliers of Gentleman's fragrance & grooming products since 1875.

Also, a midweek call into the HQ of "Love From Hetty & Dave" for a gown to be poppered & adjusted so as to keep it in place whilst lounging!

And our Wednesday date night was a ride up the coast,  

Down past a couple of piers at no great speed, "I just like to potter along ain't it" the Girl quipped.

You can almost make out 4 days worth of moustacshe growth, a little did blow off, up the coast, when a stiff breeze picked up.

And here's to looking forward to tomorrow's "Formal Friday".  Of which the hosts Fine & Dandy go against the slouchiness of those who choose to dress down. We'll be including a few photos from Chaps of these shores on their site & the more the merrier! So please feel free to post yours if you so wish!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

The Dandy's Dandy Editorial.

"Being a Dandy is a condition rather than a profession. It is a defense against suffering & a celebration of life. It is not fashion. It is not wealth. And it is not learning. It is not beauty. It is a shield & a sword & a crown - all pulled out of the  dressing up box in the attic of the imagination. Dandyism is a lie which reveals the truth & the truth is that we are what we pretend to be."
S. Horsley.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

A Smoker's Spring

Thank the good lord for the Spring time! Cigarettes, cigars & pipes can now be smoked outside in the mild temperatures that are upon us! Rather annoyingly this week though I didn't manage to finish my smokers tray. Though getting all the spraying done the handles need much tinkering & precise drilling. I am happy at least that my Vesta "match strikers" are down & chrome match stand proudly sits in the centre. A few pictoral phases follow to the finishing stages I'm at.

From humble beginnings & a piece of measly MDF, the outline of the Tobacco boxes along with the smaller cigarette boxes for Rizla & tips.

Boxes down, sized correctly & covered with primer.

This was a tray that I'd decided to make around a month ago. My inspiration came from wanting to own some Art Deco Ronson Touch Tip table lighters to adorn my coffee table. However, I haven't been able to justify the $800 or so they regularly fetch! 

Still wanting  a central piece where I can roll, store & smoke my own roll up cigarettes it was along the theme of chrome with a black base that the idea of the tray was thought. Also I absolutely love the smell of matches & couldn't resist incorporating them aswell.

After 4 light layers of black gloss.

Vesta strikers in place, matches in their holder.

So hopefully by the end of  this week I shall have my meditative calm smokers tray to lazily roll, strike & smoke my way through some crisp morning & hazy dusks.

Other ups this week was coming across a most fabulous gentleman's accessory site which is named "Fine & Dandy".     The shop is run stateside & in our own true spirit also they partake in "Formal Fridays"! Any chaps who shun the dress down Friday norm that's been with us for far too long & which I'm sure effects productivity at work to say the least, will always be welcome on this site & the following photos tribute those Dandys who post in their photos on a weekly basis on the said day!





And from left to right, Kunle, Keith, Chibuike & Jason.

Though their site is well worth a look if you'r e after an accessory that will cut a dash, whether it be neckwear, hats or pocket squares. I don't think it'll be too long until I place an order myself!

And, possibly see if we, this side of the pond could join them in their quest that is Formal Fridays at Fine & Dandy.  I'm sure some regulars at Bar Italia Scooter Club in Soho, Central London wouldn't mind following the call. Take note El Presidente Nick The Bubbles!

The Bow Tie Friday could more than easily catch on!

Also I'd like to thank Miss Nicole Needles for awarding myself
the Stylish Blogger Award. I'd be pleased to pass on my nominees in the near future!


Friday, 4 March 2011

Backwards from Modernism

Within the last few weeks a noticeable change has begun within myself & so shown itself in the daily attire  I choose to wear also. Simple changes with braces & newsboy caps.

I believe it's been happening since taking up pipe smoking, as a hobby of course.
The past few years have been dedicated to Mod, with a heightened sense for aesthetics which had leanings toward clean, straight, sharp lines, tailored fits & carried out in a precise way.

After attending a few events here on the south coast, the most memorable being Batastini's Retro Revival, a love for Big Band, '40's Lindy hopping & '50's jiving have swept across me & taken hold. With the guys at these events dressing let's say more "Gentlemanly" & "Grown Up",

Myself with the start of a 1950's pot belly.

 I had to admit that being Mod is & always has been a youth cult. At 32 it felt like time for change and to skip back a decade to 1950's Dandy perhaps.

The pipe smoking has begun & offers indescribably wonderful "time outs" during the afternoon & late at night to reflect on the days work & looking forward to tomorrow's.

My local Pipe Shop in Southbourne Bournemouth is nothing short of a haven for the dedicated smoker & upon enetering am overwhelmed by the aromas of assorted flavoured tobaccos.

The staff were more than happy to guide me around & advise me on the different kinds of tobacco, actual tips on Pipe Smoking & the tools I'd need to get ahead!

It feels like a place I'd be happy to spend a good half hour in every visit & which of course harps back to the days when Gentleman knew there Tobacconist on a friendly first name basis.

Richard & Amanda were a pleasure to meet & more than welcoming this newbie to to an old traditional way of smoking!

 Cherry Vanilla smelt good enough to eat so 37.5grams was piled onto the scales for me and I was on my way.

Other days were being filled getting back to my old routine of writing my Journal most evenings and are more pleasurable now more than ever after I finished making my own writing slope come case!
There's nothing really on the market that accommodates exactly what I was after in a writing slope so it I gave it a bash myself in making my own.

Simply knocking bits of wood together isn't half as hard as I thought it would be!

Waiting for the lacquer to dry was probably the hardest part.

But soon enough ready to go!

Now onto making myself a smoking tray, something else which is not on the market!

Also looking forward to the start of summer bike rides now the girl & I have an ol' bike each.

 Mine being Chinese with the name "Golden Pigeon".

Zozo's being a Raleigh and lovingly being named the "Flying Rat"!

Here's to a sunny Spring time!

Dandy Lovings.