A Gentleman’s Guide To Prepping For The Black and White Ball
The Black and White Ball is an event that embraces an eclectic style, well-curated live performances and most importantly, the essence of dance. The event encourages its patrons to slip into a time machine and experience a night set in the famous jazz era of the 1920’s.
The 1920’s was the era that set the stage for men’s fashion as we know it today. They played around with fun patterns, textures and colors, a style that did not exist in previous decades. There was a high level of sophistication and emphasis in men’s personal presentation, as it was rare to see a man unshaven and not in a suit, even for a casual affair.
We took a trip down to the Kent of Inglewood, a local men’s boutique specializing in grooming supplies, bow ties and shaving tools, to find out how they did back then. We spoke with the store manager, Nathan Gareau and he took us through the process of a classic shave, how to tie a bow tie and what is required when styling or conditioning your beard + moustache, all true to the era of the Black and White Ball.
The essence of a classic shave is to enjoy yourself, taking the time to find pleasure in the process and take the extra steps required to ensure success. Not only can you get a far better shave, but there is an enrichment that you receive from the moment of providing yourself with a good shave, leading you to a better quality of life.
To give yourself a good shave there are a few important things that Nathan pointed out that you should consider:
• Razor: “We suggest a traditional single blade razor in the form of a Safety Razor, or for the more adventurous, a straight razor. Both are sharper blades that will allow for a closer cut, while reducing ingrown hairs and other irritation.”
• Good quality brush + soap: “Using soaps and creams made from quality ingredients will result in healthier skin and will make you smell like a gentleman. Beyond lathering the soap, a brush is also used to clean the skin and lift the hairs into the lather. This benefits the skin in a similar way that ties benefit a car.”
• Proper preparation + aftercare: “Starting the shave off with warm hair after and shower, or steam allows them to be cut much more easily and comfortably. After the shave it’s important to moisturize and soothe your skin, helping it to heal and relax sooner. The more time you spend on every step of the process will help you enjoy yourself more and ensure that your skin is happy and comfortable for the rest of the day.
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Beard + Moustache Grooming
Gentlemen, don’t forget the importance of caring for your face! Whether you shave or grow a luscious beard, maintain it with pride. Having a happy beard means keeping your skin healthy and the hair well conditioned.
- Skin: “Be sure to wash semi regularly with a natural soap or beard shampoo. This will cleanse the skin and hair, without causing dryness or breakouts the way regular shampoo will. We suggest a charcoal soap to be used at least twice a week.”
- Hair: “Beard oils and balms are an excellent way to improve your presentation. Oils give a regal shine, while balms tame the stray hairs and create a more impressive shape. Both will leave you smelling rugged and manly, with a splash of class!”
- Moustache: “For those who sport a styled moustache, or simply don’t like to chew on it, we recommend using a nice stiff wax. This allows you pull off that RAF pilot look that helped your grandfather win the ladies over in his day. It also prevents whiskey dripping from the moustache, it’s terribly rude to have a wet moustache!”
Tying a Bowtie
A bowtie stands out and is iconic, representing a true look of class and every man should know how to tie his own. Personal presentation is, and always has been important and doors will open for you if you dress well – the 20’s provided this wholeheartedly.
“The only way to learn how to tie a bowtie is to do it – words will do you no good! So practice with the confidence and patience of a true gentleman. With that, we leave you with the words of one such man:
‘The only thing you owe the public is a good performance’ – Humphrey Bogart”