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  • Writer's pictureThe Dandy Cat

It is the end of January, the thrill of the festive season is but a dull memory and the heavy grey skies of Winter have once again failed to bring any of the promised glamour of snow and ice - so what can lift your mood at this time of year?

The answer, if you ask a search engine, is Valentine’s day. We all know the name of this saint can spark as much hatred as love but that doesn’t stop his search engine prowess being top-of-the-game at this time of year. The top three answers for how to celebrate the day of the saint are:

1. Eat chocolate

2. Drink wine

3. Cook a meal

Forgive us for being unromantic, but that sounds like an average evening alone for 90% of the population and we here at The Dandy Cat feel you could do a little bit better than gorge on empty calories to lift you spirits.

To begin a perfect February 14th, we recommend you at least spruce yourself up a little. I know you think your routine of rubbing soap over our hair, beard and body on a daily basis is enough to make you stand out in the crowd, but if we are being honest with ourselves, and I think we should be, this is not the routine of the proud. You are worth more than a bar of soap and you know it, you just haven’t found the right grooming solution yet and have been a little afraid to ask.

Our advice would be to pop in store and take a look at what alternatives we offer, but you don’t even need to do that, you can look at all our “nice things” online, choose your favourites and then click and collect them instore thereby bypassing that fearful conversation about products or routine – just walk in, pick up your goods and run away. Easy.

With the new found confidence you will get from using #proper body wash, shampoo and beard oil (or if you prefer a clean shave one of our delightful razors, shaving brushes and shaving creams) you can proudly book yourself an appointment online for a spruce up with our master barber. Our job is to make you look and feel better. To that end each client can sip a beverage of their choice in the chair, and because we are fully licensed you can also purchase a bottle of something to take away – we recommend Hawkins Bros. Sparkling English Wine at this time, or indeed any time of year.

Our Dandy top three for the day of the saint then:

1. Get a proper haircut (not the one your mum chose for you and you haven’t thought to change)

2. Take a bit of care in your daily cleansing routine. We can help with everything you didn’t want to ask the girl behind the counter in Boots about – deodorant, colognes etc.

3. Buy a bottle of Hawkins Bros. award winning English sparkling wine from us and fizz into February.

None of the above is exclusively preserved for those who plan an evening of romance and chocolate, we all know that Valentine’s Day is a joy for some and a pest to many, but you cannot deny that taking a little time to pamper yourself in the middle of the most miserable of months will lift even the darkest of spirits.

Book the barber and peruse our catalogue of “nice things” online today, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your fireside chair, what could be saintlier than that?

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  • Writer's pictureThe Dandy Cat

“Why does a barber sell hats?”

There is a distinct marmite attitude toward hats these days. I say these days, but since the 1960s there has been something of a backlash against the humble hat. Look at any picture of a high street in the 1950s and there are hats everywhere, but the same image taken in the late 1960s and a hat has all but been erased from society. Why did this happen? Well, the most obvious reason is the rise of the teenager and their constant struggle to evolve into something better than their parents, I mean why would you wear a hat when your father wore one? Where is the rebellion in that?

The hat used to be symbol of social status or belonging, but today thanks to a generation growing up apart from their local milliner, it is the hair product or the hairstyle that gives you that same status. The passage of time though has brought forth a new generation of hat wearers, if your parents are ‘sans son chapeau’ you need to be a proud hat wearer to stand apart. No one ever claimed fashion was anything other than cyclical.

The joy of all this is that there is a new breed of designers bringing a fresh take on the classic styles of headgear. As time has erased much of what would have been considered the hierarchy of the hat, there is now no longer a need to wear a hat that befits your place in society. This is something to be celebrated. Up to this point the only hat one could wear without comment was a baseball cap, but now one can reach for almost any design of hat and walk proudly down the street, not quite without comment, people still fear standing apart or looking good, but certainly with swagger.

A stylish youth

Here at the Dandy Cat we have searched high and low for a designer that can bring a fresh take on the cap. We settled on Sussex Tweed for many reasons; they are relatively local to us so have a smaller footprint, they hand make their hats using use the finest tweed available and are proudly manufacturing their own tweed in small batches on the South Downs. They also offer a lifetime repair warranty on their hats, which makes them heroes of the slow fashion, buy once, buy well movement that we wholeheartedly support. Most importantly though, they have style.

Philip Treacy states that a properly placed hat can work wonders for the face. We believe him. Nothing lifts the face like a well angled hat, never just plop it on, spend a moment to glance in a looking glass and set it just so; you will know where that position is, you will suddenly look better. We get countless people coming into the shop and claiming that a hat just doesn’t suit them. I say this is rot, they just haven’t tried a good hat yet. Like you and your head, not all hats are the same, which is why we offer a variety of styles to suit every shape of head and face. A peaky blinders style baker boy hat may be the height of hat fashion today, but they are notoriously difficult hats to wear well. If you are lucky enough to suit one then embrace them, you will shine, but if you have tried one on and not found that sweet spot of joy, then it is not because you don’t suit hats, it is because that hat is not for you. In our experience everyone who tries a Sussex Tweed hat on in the shop realises they look better with one on their head than without, they really are that good, but it takes a few tries to find the right style.

A stylish reminder is that a hat is for outdoors. Inside you can let your hairstyle shine, but outside if you want to feel stylish, look better and keep warm, reach for the hat.

This is why as a barber we also sell hats; we want you to look good and feel better wherever you are. Why not call in and try one of our Sussex Tweed handmade in England hats and caps, you never know, you might just find you do look good in hats.

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  • Writer's pictureThe Dandy Cat

Sussex Tweed scarves

“Scarves are for women”

How often have you heard this, or even thought it yourself? It is a constant source of wonder to us at The Dandy Cat that human beings insist on projecting either masculine or feminine attributes to inanimate objects.

It is a very wrong statement to suggest that scarves are only for women, not only for the clear sexism of it all but also for the utter bad form of denying men the chance to brighten up their winter attire with a simple clothing accessory.

A scarf is a thing of great joy. Nothing makes a person more miserable than a draft blowing down their collar, a scarf is therefore a barrier to misery. You can choose to wear it in a sombre colour and hide your dandy side, or you can enliven your day and the lives of those around you, by adding a splash of colour to your otherwise grey(ish) Winter wardrobe.

Here at the Dandy Cat we champion a good scarf, no overly long, shapeless and bedraggled woollen scarves are found with us, a scarf should be as stylish as the wearer. This means finding one that is the right length or has the right amount of colour to lift your outfit. Colour does not have to mean acid yellow or crushed strawberry pink (though whatever floats your boat we say) but colour should also never be feared. Colour, chosen well, will lift your look above the others around you and make you stand out as one who is to be admired, not derided.

We favour Sussex Tweed scarves for adding a subtle sense of Autumnal or Winter colour and finesse to our wardrobe. Not only are these handmade locally from the softest tweed you will ever have encountered, but they are just the right length and provide a wonderful stylish hug for your neck as the winds of winter blow in.

A man wearing a silk neckerchief

We also champion the neckerchief, preferably in silk. Silk is a wonder product for winter, its warm, soft hold around your neck will make you wonder why more people don’t wear it year-round. We get a lot of questions about our neckerchiefs, mainly from those who feel they are strictly for women and therefore represent some sort of emasculation of the modern man. The truth is that a silk neckerchief has been worn for centuries by some of the most virile of men. Military the world over understands their insulating properties, adventure motorcyclists use them as a low bulk, lightweight way to fight off a chill and those magnificent men in their flying machines of WW1 and WW2 used them to ward off the freeze during battles in the sky. No one could ever accuse any of these groups as being anything less than heroic, so if they wore neckerchiefs, why can’t you?

Scarves then. They keep you warm and they look stylish. Don’t let the pressures of society steal them away, be strong and stand up for your right to sartorial swagger.

Pop in store this Autumn and treat yourself; you deserve it.

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