“I will not rush that which affects my visual appeal” -The Brotherhood of Shaving
Over the Holiday break my ladyfriend and I decided to meet up with her sister in Denver and head to Park Meadows mall. I am not gonna lie to you. Being overly sartorially eccentric I love going to the mall. I am a fan of looking at clothes and finding what perks my personal interest. I also love going to look at the stores layouts. For some reason when I enter a store like Apothecary I just imagine what my rustic life would look like. All the tweeds and flannels and man made wooden and metal interior designs. So much fun.
But on this trip there was one shop that just made my day. I mean it’s been three days since we were there and I am still ranting and raving about it. The shop is called The Art of Shaving. Imagine for a second that you, a very well dressed man, realize that even though you have a fantastic outfit you have a scraggly pre-pubescent beard and look like you haven’t showered in weeks. When you finally realize that personal grooming is just as important if not more important than your wardrobe you need to find a place that will help lead you into the clean shaven future.
The Art of Shaving is just that place. An American based high end specialty shaving store started in New York is extremely impressive. With it’s classic 1920’s minimalist style the shop specializes and focuses on improving men’s grooming habits but at the same time celebrating the tradition of shaving. Walking inside the first thing that I noticed was the beautiful layout of razors, badger brushes, and straight edge razors. Not only that, they have a huge line up of shaving soaps, foams, and essential oils to keep your face clean and smelling good. All of it is laid out in the open and even spaced so you are not extremely overwhelmed by a billion different options. But the creme de la creme of the shop is that in the back there is a bona fide Barber Spa. What is that? I don’t know but all I know is is that I wanted to have a shave in there. And feel like a dapper gentleman.
I think what really impressed me about the shop is that it understands the need of a man versus a woman when shopping. The space is small and intimate and very quiet. The music was a background accompnament to the knowledgeable and friendly employees. The selection they have is very small, there are only five different aromatics in the shaving liquids (Lavender, sandalwood, lemon, lavender and unscented). The shop has a very limited amount of products but all are of high quality. For me I like going into a shop that I can really look at a few pieces laid out rather than having to push through racks and racks of crap for that one diamond in the ruff. I also want to know that everything from the low end to the high end of equipment will still have a decent quality to it that won’t feel like a cheap purchase. I like my stuff to be good and long lasting. Not only that, the staff is ready to offer you demonstrations, advice, and really cater your purchase to your personal shaving needs and preferences.
I really like this type of shopping atmosphere. Instead of feeling like you are going in blindly, the staff is passionate about their products and want to give you a breakdown and understanding of what each service is. They are building passion through education and knowledge. I was recently reading an article about well dressed men and that to learn about being well dressed you should go into a gentlemen fashion store or tailor and be upfront about wanting to learn and not purchase. If they are willing to cooperate and teach you, than you should spend your money there because they treat you like a person who wants to share their appreciation of a craft. When I went into The Art of Shaving this teenage was being treated like he was royalty and the employee was taking great care about teaching him all the tricks and tools of shaving and not feeling like it was a waste of her time. To put that much sincere attention into a teenager who really doesn’t even know what shaving is shows me the respect that they give to their craft. A great store to check out if it is in your area.
*My personal favorite is the unscented line because it smells most like man. Nice deep earthy wood notes with a very simple floral finish.