Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Safety Razor review

Although I'm sure we all enjoy spending $30 on a 8 pack of razor cartridge refills, there are less expensive options. My friend suggested I use a safety razor; she used one on her legs, and it was truly orgasmic (not really, but I thought I'd punch it up a bit). Now I'm sure we've all heard horror stories from our parents and their first times using a safety razor. I was afraid. I mean, it looks kind of scary because it's a razor blade screwed onto the end of a metal stick (of course why one blade looks scary and three, four, or even five blades coming at you doesn't, I'll never know). But in the end, I decided to give it a try.

Now, this post isn't going to be about how to shave with a safety razor, because there are many tutorials out there for that, my favorite being art of manliness . This is just my review of safety razor use, how I shave (before and after the safety razor), and a few pointers.

To start off with the big question: How much does it cost? A hell of alot less than you'd think. Art of Manliness says a new razor would be about $40. Not so. I bought mine at Sally Beauty Supply for $8, and my friend bought hers off of Amazon for about the same price. Then the razor blades themselves? Again at Sally's I got 20 for $4. I was using a Mach 3 razor before, and to get those cartridges, you have to give them your first born baby. I will also check on Amazon, because apparently you can get 100 for $5, but since I was already at Sally's, I just got what they had.

And now, the shave. It wasn't orgasmic. It wasn't irritation free like it was for my friend. It didn't shave any closer than my Mach 3. But it wasn't any worse either. So less money for the same results spells a winner for me. I did find it easier than shaving with the Mach 3, though. For one, there's only one blade, so it's not constantly getting clogged with hair and stuff because there's nothing for it to get clogged between. So the shave actually goes faster. The article I linked above may make some things seem tricky. It's not too difficult to not apply pressure, for one. If you play a violin (or similar), hold it as you would a bow. Just kind of hold it in the middle rather lightly, and let gravity shave you. As for the angle thing, when you see the razor and have on in your hand, getting the whole correct angle just kind of makes sense. It's not too difficult. I did have some trouble around my chin, but that's always the most difficult part.

So the products I use and how I shave. Well, besides the razor and technique, the rest stayed the same. I use a shaving soap... and I believe it's just called shaving soap. I get it at Walmart for about $1.50. One thing lasts forever. I keep it in a tiny pyrex with a rubber lid that seals tight. It came in a set I bought, and I was like, what am I going to do with this tiny pyrex dish, and it ended up being perfect for shaving soap. If you live in the deep south like me, you need a container that seals because roaches will eat the shit out of your shaving soap, and that is super gross when you see all the little holes in your soap and... detritus. I use a badger hair shaving brush with my soap. For me, this was free because it was a gift. A friend of mine bought it used off of ebay, just make sure you wash it first. As someone who used to sell shaving brushes, I highly recommend badger hair. One, never use synthetic. You will get frustrated with shaving and wonder why people say shaving brushes are so awesome. Seriously, I tried it. It's so tempting because a synthetic brush is less than $5. Boar hair brushes are the next price level up. They're not too bad, but ones I've had in the past are a bit rough, and hairs fall out, and they don't dry as quickly. Badger hair brushes are so nice. They create great lather, glide over the face, dry quickly, and last for-fucking-ever. seriously. They're more expensive, but you'll have them forever, so they're totally worth it.

I break some rules when it comes to shaving. One, I don't shave after a shower. The reason I don't do this is because I like to shower after I shave. Because I shave not only my face but my whole head, it's the easiest way to clean off, and it's so very soothing. I will rub a little tea tree oil in my hands to warm it up then rub that onto my face. Then I lather up with soap and shave. I shave first with the grain, then I break the rules by shaving against the grain. It just gives me a much closer shave. Then I feel around and shave where I feel bristles. My hair goes in every which direction, so it takes me a while. When rinsing my razor (and also to make the lather) I use cold water. You're supposed to use warm/hot water, but I find cold much more soothing. Then shower. Then I finish off with some witch hazel which I keep in a spray bottle. I spritz it all over and pat it in. I then go over it again with tea tree oil. Now for my #1 secret to stop razor bumps. When the witch hazel and oil dries, using a big brush (like what women would use for blush; I bought one at the Dollar Tree) brush on a bunch of corn starch. Now, go to bed. I realise some of you shave in the morning. I cannot. My neck gets so irritated that I need to give it a long rest after shaving or it looks like I have some disease.

Well, that's that. Looks like the safety razor is a keeper.

That is all,

The Notorious Dr. Dietrich.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

I look like a fucking old Ken doll, y'all!

So I saw this add for some stuff called caboki. It's this powder that bonds to the tiniest hairs and fills in gaps and is supposed to make you not look like you have thinning hair. I DID NOT THINK IT WOULD WORK, but since you can try it for free, and shipping is only $6, why not. I figured it'd be an evening of fun, and I pay more than that to do stuff that isn't even that fun. Well, it arrived today, so I took some before and after pictures for you. The stuff is basically flocking. It looks... like flocking. Also, it doesn't match my hair color, which is fantastic! It's easy enough to use, but it doesn't stick, and it looks like crap. seriously, how are people getting this to stick to their heads? Like, I lightly pat it down (per directions), and it comes right off, yet it's supposed to somehow resist combing and even showers (as long as you don't shampoo)? No. So I'm definitely not going to be purchasing the full product, but I did have fun and a good laugh at at silly it looks, so it was totally worth the $6.

If you want a cheap evening of laughs, you can get your own caboki sample at caboki.com href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Myp1rnFIHcM/USmB3paPodI/AAAAAAAAAC0/F-7JVUA81nk/s1600/DSCF4070.JPG" imageanchor="1" >

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Shoes

Oh my god. shoes.

I will admit that I used to not be a shoe guy. I used to have one maybe two pairs of shoes at a time, usually brown or blue (All my life I've had an inexplicable love for blue shoes). I was not a big fan of sneakers, though, especially white ones. Usually my shoes were simple slip-ons, and I've owned more than one pair of potato shoes in my life (You have one guess as to what they look like).

Then, I started working in shoe stores. I went from having two pairs of shoes to 8. I was an uncontrollable madman. Eight is far too many. You can only wear one pair at a time, right?

Eventually my pairs dwindled down as I started to realise I made a few bad shoe decisions... mostly from being surrounded by shoes all day. There's this odd effect that happens when you're around things every day... no matter how you may have originally felt for them, you will grow to love them. And it's usually not until you lose that job that you realise that you made a mistake. Oh well, live and learn.

My shoe collection has dwindled down to about 4 or 5 pairs, and I actually only wear one pair on a regular basis. But I've learned quite a bit about shoes in the process, and I now know a few things.

Don't get mid-ground shoes. Seriously. You're playing it safe. Do one of two things: get really simple shoes, or get more artsy shoes (but still try to keep simple in mind). I'm sure this makes no sense for you now, but let me share some shoes from my collection to give you an idea.

http://www.zappos.com/fratelli-2107s-navy-suede

These lovelies are the most recent addition to my arsenal. First off, they're not navy despite what the description and picture portray. They're more of a nice light grey-blue, which I like much better. This brand makes a lot of classic yet simple shoes at a pretty good price for nice leather shoes. They do take a little to break in, and you will want insoles because they are flat as fuck, but overall, they're pretty good. This is my new daily pair.

http://www.clarksusa.com/eng/product/jink/78145 I don't actually have this particular shoe, but the one I have is very similar to this, but you can't buy it anymore apparently (If you want to google Clarks Desert Kahn, that's my shoe). A good desert boot is a great alternative to sneakers. They're classy, people will stop you and tell you how they used to have a pair or their father or grandfather used to have a pair. That's a good sign. It's not going out of style any time soon. Pretty much any of the Clarks Originals line are a good timeless look. Another benefit of these shoes is the more beat up they get, the better they look. Clarks is also a good brand that's been around since the 1800s (sorry, I used to sell them). I put insoles in mine, but I do that for pretty much every shoe. The downside to these shoes is that crepe sole can get rather slippery on a wet floor. Because of that, I don't get as much wear as I'd like.

https://www.google.com/shopping/product/4102424124757895174?q=black%20and%20white%20wingtip%20shoes%20men&sa=X&ei=Wx4fUYXPKYXe8wSdkYHICA&ved=0CI0BEL8TMAE

Again, I don't own these shoes, but I have ones just like them. Now, although I advocate spending a little more on shoes, I still think over $300 is a bit much. If you want to, go for it. You're an adult, and it's your money. I generally spend about 60-80 dollars on shoes. Now, I used to spend $20 or less, and I'd be lucky if they last a year. I spend $80 then buy some polish (polishing may be another post, remind me), and they last for many many years making them well worth the price.

Now back to the black and white wingtips. I'm a big fan of wingtips in general, but I've been looking for years for a pair like this for an affordable price, and I finally found them at a store called Roadkill on Decatur St. in the French Quarter. Mine are by and Italian brand called Fuoco for $80. They're actually rather comfortable for dress shoes, and I'm unafraid to wear them as daily shoes. I did have to get a minor repair in the inside heel (because I never use a shoe horn, shame), but that was only a few dollars. Now I know some guys find these ugly, and they're not for everybody, that's for sure. But a pair of wingtips in any color should definitely be part of your collection.

Now, let me share an artsy crazy shoe that is still simple (what I was trying to get at before). http://origin.kaboodle.com/hi/img/c/0/0/147/8/AAAADA_kCtgAAAAAAUeOrg.jpg?v=1302676787000

I actually used to have this shoe. Now there is good and very very bad news. One, it's fucking awesome. Everybody loves this shoes. I'd get compliments day and night. It was also very comfortable, and I wore it all the time. Because of all the colors, it went with everything (I like to not have to put much thought into what goes with what). Also, if you didn't like that particular color combo, it came in about a dozen others. Now here comes the very very bad. This shoe retailed for about $225 (not the bad part yet), but since I work for them, I got it for free (oopsy). Despite this, the shoe lasted about a year and a half before it literally fell apart. I feel like I can't complain since I got mine for free, but still, a shoe that expensive should last longer than that. But I know to some people, they don't care. If you're one of those people, then go forth and buy you some awesome stripey shoes. I only put this here, though to display what can be a good artsy yet still chic and simple shoe. There, I'm sure, are many more out there to choose from. Also, if you're artsy, make your own. You can get a pair of white Keds for rather cheap, then use Apple Barrel acrylic paints, and they make a fabric medium for like $2 you can add to it (and you don't have to add nearly as much as they say). The paint will not come off, even after going through the wash.

I hope you found this a good shoe guide. If you have any questions or want suggestions about brands or my experiences with shoes, leave me a comment.

That is all,

The Notorious Dr. Dietrich.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

OPI Skyfall collection

I'm about to talk about a very masculine topic... nail polish.

Okay, so I know nail polish is mainly thought of a a girly thing, but actually, I've been painting my nails for years now, and I get so many compliments daily. It's actually a very rare thing for someone to say something negative about my painted nails. For me, it began as a way to quit biting my nails, but it evolved into more than that, it's become part of my identity and a fun way to express myself.

At first I was nervous and only wore black nail polish because I felt it was the color most acceptable for a male to wear. Then I discovered Sally Hansen's Emerald City, a true green green, which is my favorite color in polish form, plus it involved the land of Oz, which I love. I wore it for a few years until it was discontinued. At about this same time, a friend came over and saw my polish collection which consisted of the green, black, and maybe a blue, although I don't think I'd ever worn it. She said she was surprised that that's the only colors I had; she thought I'd have many more. She was right, I am more colorful of a person. So these two things coincided and forced me to expand my polish horizons, and now I have many lovely colors, and I'm no longer ashamed that something will be too girly.

So that leads us to what is meant to be the meat of this post, and that is OPI's Skyfall collection. 2012 was the 50th anniversary of the James Bond films, and we have a new film that came out. Many companies capitalized on this, OPI being one of them. Now if you regularly paint your nails, you probably already knew all about this, and in fact, it's a little late to be talking about this since it's getting more and more difficult to find these limited edition polishes (but they're now on sale at least when you do find them). I figure if you're a man (although I know most of my followers are female, and you can enjoy this too) and you wanted to start painting your nails but were too afraid it'd be too girly, well this is for you. It's a line inspired by mother fucking James Bond! Come on!

Now many of them are glittery, but that's cool. As a matter of fact, I'm wearing a glittery polish now, Live and Let Die. Glittery polishes also really get alot of compliments which in turn boosts your ego. Here they all are for you to see and buy. You can also get many great reviews all over the place online http://www.amazon.com/OPI-Skyfall-Collection-Living-Daylights/dp/B009I0LAAM/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1359784202&sr=8-3&keywords=opi+skyfall

I got three: On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Live and Let Die, and Tomorrow Never Dies. The first two are glittery, and the third is a bluish purple (purple can be masculine, y'all. It's the color of kings after all). They were my first OPI colors, which despite that I've heard good things about, I've never before paid more than $4 a bottle. Well, it's worth it. OPI is super durable. As my coworker put it, "You spend $3 on a nail polish and you have to constantly reapply and touch up and you go through it quicker. You spend $8 on a polish and it is durable so you use less of it and it lasts longer and is cheaper in the long run." Also I find that more expensive polishes generally need fewer coats. Live and Let Die is almost a 1 coater.

So now that I've convinced you to go out and buy all the skyfall collection (or what's left of it), let me just give you a couple of tips for you first timers.

1) Use a clear base coat. It will keep your nails from getting stained by the polish and even makes glitter polishes slightly easier to take off (though they're never going to be easy). I use Sally Hansens xtreme wear in invisible (it's just clear polish, y'all.)

2) before putting a second coat, lightly tap your nail you painted last. If your finger print shows, wait a little longer. Do the same of you have to do a third coat.

3) Get a really good top coat. I used to use the same as the base coat, but then I discovered Nutra Nail Speed Dry Top coat. It's really cool. It doesn't completely dry your nails in 30 seconds; I don't think anything can do that, but what it does do is it makes a super hard layer over top your nails in 30 seconds, and it's a lot more difficult to fuck them up. Also, before this, I used to do my nails before bed and then watch a movie, so they'd have like 2 hours to dry, right, and they'd feel dry. But when I woke up, all my nails would have the prints of my body hair on them. But this Nutra Nail stuff prevents that. it's really cool. I hear the Sally Hansen Insta Dry top coat also works really well, but this is what I found when I was looking for a quick dry top coat.

4) Go over the tips of your nails with your top coat. If you're a rough, this works to help slow down the chipping process.

5) carry a sharpie that is a close approximation to your nail color. When the inevitable time comes when it starts chipping, you can fill in the gaps with sharpie until you can get home and touch it up. Also, people aren't as observant as you think they are. They probably wouldn't have even noticed the chips, so the definitely wont notice the sharpie marks.

So there you go. Men, go forth and wear nail polish. You will have fun with all the colors, and you will get loads of compliments.

That is all,

The Notorious Dr. Dietrich

Friday, January 25, 2013

Wow. Hi. So it's been almost 3 years since my last post here on Dr. Dietrich's Guide for the Dapper Gent.

I do so humbly apologize.

I began this with millions of ideas and fantasies, and then life happened, and it got whisked away from me. I've wanted to return with new topics and inspirations, but always felt ashamed because I've left you in the cold for so long.

Well, I was touring through the abysmal pinterest.com's men's fashion section, and I realised something: they make me feel like I'm not skinny enough and that I live in too warm a climate. Seriously? I'm supposed to wear a three piece suit and scarf and tie in summer? Also, there's never anything new. You could just have one website that says Men's Fashion: Suits Look Nice, and that's it.

Now I'm no fashion expert, and I'm sure that many other people will be able to do this so much better than me, but I'm back and going to give it a try.

Now, I've collected myself a certain style over the years. It's not easy. I'm not skinny. I'm not tall. I like bright colors. I don't wear jeans. So it's a lot of hunt and peck before I find what I'm looking for. Now when I started this, I meant to have a very Neo-Victorian/Steampunk blog. I haven't lost that vibe, but I have toned it down a bit.

I've made some changes in my life. I live in New Orleans now, which is the best place to live to get away with any look, though we're a fry cry from a fashion capital. Also, we have a severe lack of retail shopping, especially for men. As a result, it's just plain hard. But if it's important to you, don't give up.

But I will log in my adventures and misadventures into the vast world of fashion and style... and maybe the random off-topic interest piece.

So please stick around for the All new Dr. Dietrich. I hope you enjoy the ride.

That is all,

The Notorious Dr. Dietrich

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec

This is a movie coming out this year based on a comic book from the seventies about a character in 1910. So not Victorian in the least bit, but I thought it would be something you fine folks might enjoy.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hats!

I do apologize ladys and gents, but work has been quite hectic lately, and I have been unable to update. I will make it my goal to update more often.

Now, fot the much awated topic of hats.

Hats have been worn throughout history in every culture and serve very different purposes. I'm goin to focus only on a few styles of hat, though many do exist, and many would be appropriate for Victorian garb.

Many people when they try for Victorian garb, they automatically go for the top hat. This is unoriginal and often comes off as pretentious (though some men can get away with it, and it is a nice accessory to own and wear for special occasions). There are, however, many more options. One of the most vesatile and easily accessible hats is a flat cap. The flat cap is similar in construction to a baseball cap, but the crown fabric reaches to the edge of the brim. It is very classy, and can be worn by men in any rank in society. It's a nice going around town being outdoors, everyday kind of hat. It is perhaps one of my favorite. They also look good on any man and come fairly cheap and are found in many places.

A similar type of hat to the flat cap is the ascot cap. I honestly have no idea where the name comes from or if it shares any sort of similarity to the cravat of the same name. It looks like the flat cap but is made either of formed felt or of woven straw. They can be used in place of a flat cap.

Another one of my favorite types of hats is the derby or bowler (they're the same thing). The Bowler family's hat shop invented this style of hat in the mid-ninteenth century; it has nothing to do with bowling or bowling balls. Now my predilection for the bowler originates from John Steed (who though is not Victorian, no one would disagree that he is a dapper gent), and I even wear it cocked to the side like he did. This is a hat you can have fun with, though it is mainly a winter hat. It is also easily considered Victorian without being a top hat. Also, you can dress it up or down. Nice nice.

Top hats are always a tricky sort. Not very many men can pull them off. Either you look pretentious or you look like you are playing dress up. There are some rules one should follow when wearing a top hat. They were mainly for the rich or for formal wear, so if you are rish or going to a formal or semi-formal occasion, wear a top hat. I generally don't like them on me because they make my big head look bigger, but trying on various top hats if you have the opportunity to do so (which isn't often in today's world) you can find on that fits you better.

The boater, a straw brimmed hat with a flat crown is nice for someone who has a fun or saucy personality. No one will take you too seriously in a boater. It's a nice leisure hat, tough it is strictly for the summer.

Another typical hat to wear is the deerstalker cap which is stereotypically worn by Sherlock Holmes (though I don't think it ever mentions one in the books). It is a nice winter cap because it has flaps that come down and cover your ears. a pith helmet is a nice Victorian hat. You may think of it as something some safari guy would wear (and you'd be correct). These two hats are nice, but not eant for everyday wear. Actually, you will probably get Sherlock Holmes and safari comments all day if you do. Don't let this discourage you from what you want to wear, but just be aware of this fact.

The homburg and porkpie hats are nice semi-formal to occasional hats that were very common in the Victorian era, though they were more commonly associated with later time periods, so d mae sure that if this is your style, Victorianize the rest of your attire so people get it.

There are a few other styles of hats that fit this time period, and feel free to ask me more questions or even do further research on your own.

Also, do not wear fedoras! They were strickly women's wear until the 1930s.

How to care for your hat

Many times your hats are not washable, and sadly many times they are not even waterproof.

So what does one do? Well, scotchguard and foot odor spray. Do have a tester spot to make sure the sprays don't damage them, but they do work well.

Also, making friends with those in your local hat shop always comes in handy. They can usually do a nice stretching (if you do get your hat wet) or recommend some good products, reshapers, whatever.

Lint rollers don't usually work on hats, but wrapping a little tape around four of your fingers does the trick to daily cleaning off lint and such.

If you have a formal attire hat, please get a hat box for it.

All in all, hats generally aren't too bad to take care of.

Hat rules

In general and felt or fur hat is fall/winter wear and a straw, linen,or cotton (or satin or silk in case of formal hat) hat is spring/summer wear. We can be a little more flexable now-a-days, but you will actually feel more comfortable in a hat ment for the appropriate season.

Hats are outdoor wear. Simple.

I really should probably say to stick with black, brown, or grey hats, but you know, just have fun. It puts the punk in the steampunk. And we do this to have fun anyway.

Resources

Kangol hats are realy good quality, and they are a nice place to get flat caps and ascots.
http://www.kangolstore.com
They're nice and will last youa long time, though you really don't need to spend so much if you don't want. There are other options for those two types of hats. Try Target, for instance for something cheap. Or do what I did and go the middle route. I chose a flat cap by Scala wich is nice and classy and durable yet priced in the middle. You do get what you pay for, so keep that in mind.

My bowler is a Bailey bowler.
http://www.baileyhats.com
I love it. I's also a mid-priced hat, but it's been pretty durable and kept its shape fairly well. It's been easy to take care of. I love my bowler.

Though I have not actually had experience buying hats from these people, the Gentleman's Emporium looks nice and caters specifically to our Victorian style needs.
http://www.gentlemensemporium.com

Well, that about covers it. Enjoy putting stuff on your head, and have fun with it. Try out new things. See what is you.

That is all,
The Notorious Dr. Dietrich