Class is back in style, and 'clean' is quick becoming a favourite Instagram hashtag.
We've covered a considerable amount of #menswear on WGB, and thought it about time that we got into the nitty-gritty of the routine that keeps a man fresh to death.
Two companies doing extremely well at that task are Auckland city-fringers Maloney's and Triumph & Disaster. Started respectively in 2003 and 2011, both from the humble beginnings of a dude peddling the services and wares he knew would improve the lives of his fellow man, the two have grown (from a two chairs to two floors; a personal grooming ritual to one of thousands of men around the world) to accommodate their loyal fanbases.
Why not put the two of them in the same room, positioning ourselves to sit back and watch the aesthetic stuff happen?
We don't live in black-and-white; despite modern dapper standards following the lead of the 1950's Mad Man, stepping up to the plate encompasses maintenance of clean, soft skin, sculpted hair, and a smell much more distinguished than that from an aluminium spray can which promises to have angels falling from the sky for you.
Archaeologists and historians for the most part agree that around 3000BC, along with the advent of copper tools, came the first straight-razor. It's theorised that beforehand, those with a want for smooth skin utilised two shells (much in the way we'd use novelty-sized tweezers) and yanked.
During Alexander the Great's reign around 400BC the practice of clean-shaving was popularised not only during a rise of aesthetic appreciation of grooming, but to minimise the threat of beard-grabbing - and decapitation - during combat.
Whilst any modern man's visit to the supermarket confronts him with dozens of options in equipment, we'd probably all have to agree that there's nothing slicker than a wet-shave in your lunch hour. 1950s tailoring included or not, there are some things that our grandfathers simply did right.
The old-school, single-blade shaving process is seemingly akin to guided transcendental meditation.
As Drake (or, you know, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz) would say, "We're not in Kansas anymore."
Keep reading for the expert's how-to.
First and foremost, wipe away all the grime of the day with a cleansing scrub.
Sans pore-bath, apply pre-shave oil to ensure adequate moisture and softening of the hairs. A steaming-hot towel, imbued with the essential oil of Sandalwood, provides a smooth canvas for lathering on the shaving cream.
It's then a matter of shaving with the grain.
Avoid cuts by taking it slow, and employing the use of a razor without knicks. Maloney's utilise Japan's Feather branded steel razor blades.
After the first round of shaving is complete, it's time for another hot-towel, and another lather.
To smooth it all out, shave against the grain.
Afterwards, clean off the excess shaving cream. Calm the skin with an after-shave balm.
If we could go so far as to recommend something else, it'd be to build a relationship with your barber. If you're putting one of your most immediately-recognisable features in the hands of somebody else, it's probably best you trust them to do a good job.
But wait - yeah, there's more. We've got a Maloney's x Triumph & Disaster pack for two slick mates to walk away with, including a shave, haircut, and an On The Road travel kit each. Enter here.
"If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same"
- Rudyard Kipling 'If'
Julian Maloney, Founder of Maloney's
Photograpy - Andre Kong // AndreKong Photography
Videography - Danny Waru // BLCK MRKT
Model - Lane Pedersen // 62 Models