The 2015 Badger & Blade Award Winners

RoyalShave

It’s the end of the year, a time when all those “best of” lists start rolling out. One list in particular that many of us in the wet shaving community look forward to is Badger & Blade’s 2015 Award Winners.

Since 2005, Badger & Blade has been a trusted resource for novice and advanced wet shavers alike. Over the years, Badger & Blade has put a lot of products through the wringer, subjecting them to intense critical feedback via the forums. So we trust the Badger & Blade folks to discern items that are truly exceptional.

Badger & Blade started a tradition last year of handing out awards to their best products. While the focus is on wet shaving, we like how the categories hit all matter of artisanally crafted, distinctive goods, including leather goods, Whisky (New Year’s Eve is tomorrow, after all), and shoes. While not every item is affordably priced (the loafers will put a $680 dent in your wallet), there are some great suggestions to pass along to your significant other for that next big gifting holiday.

The list is below; RoyalShave is proud to carry many of the shaving products mentioned.

Since taste is personal, we have this question for our readers: do you agree with the award winners in each category? What would your picks be if you were to make a similar list?

1. Straight Razor: Feather Artist Club

2. Leather Goods: Maxwell Scott

3. Digestif: Underberg

4. Best Fragrance: Imaginary Authors: Memoirs of a Trespasser

5. Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo Party Loafers

6. DE Razor: PILS

Get yours at RoyalShave here.

7. Shaving Cream: Castle Forbes

Get yours at RoyalShave here.

8. Travel Accessory: Czech & Speake Traveler Cologne Collection

Get the full-size aftershave at RoyalShave here.

9. Mentionable Unmentionables: MeUndies and Smartwool Socks

10. Aftershave: Floid

Get yours at RoyalShave here.

11. Whisky: Yamazaki 18

12. Shaving Brush Over $150: Pearlescent Grey Plisson No. 12, High Mountain White

13. Shaving Soap: Klar

Get yours at RoyalShave here.

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Inspired Style: James Bond “Spectre”

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When you’ve leapt from a horse onto the tail end of a plane that’s taking flight, fought an international bomb maker on sky-high scaffolding with impressive parkour skills, and corkscrewed a car over a broken bridge, you might just deserve to have your own day. Today is Global James Bond Day, marking the 53rd anniversary of the release of DR. NO in 1962. Since Sean Connery made his debut as the first cinema version of James Bond, five other Bonds have succeeded him in the iconic spy role.

Spectre, to be released on November 6th , may be Daniel Craig’s last turn as Bond, and so far we know the plot involves a cryptic message from Bond’s past that leads him to uncover a sinister organization named SPECTRE. The movie’s trailers see Craig dashing as ever in his 00 work, charmingly clad in tailored suits and separates, many of which are Tom Ford (who, by the way, also designed a fair number of Craig’s suits in Quantum of Solace and Skyfall). 

Today we’ll take a look at three of our favorite outfits that we’ve glimpsed from the Bond trailers. We may not all be able to have Tom Ford as our personal suit maker, but we can definitely take some style cues from this eternally sharp spy.

The Blue Sharkskin O’Connor Suit

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The O’Connor suit was specifically created by Tom Ford for Daniel Craig in his role as James Bond. The sharkskin version, which is seen in several clips from the trailers as well as on the movie poster above, features a jacket with straight shoulders and a single vent. It’s also closely fitted and is shorter in length. His trousers have narrow legs and are flat in front.

Bond wears this suit with a white shirt with a point collar and a white handkerchief tucked in his breast pocket. A matching navy tie and sleek black Crockett & Jones derby shoes give this suit a classic Bond feel. For a more complete view of the suit, see the Bond movie poster above.

SHOP: Tom Ford O’Connor Base Sharkskin Two-Piece Suit, Navy

The Ivory Dinner Jacket

Ivory Jacket

The ivory dinner jacket is having a revival of sorts. Made popular in the ’70s  thanks to John Travolta’s career-launching role in Saturday Night Fever, the ivory jacket is now being spotted on red carpets and now on modern-day Bond.

A first for Daniel Craig’s Bond but seen before on Sean Connery in Diamonds Are Forever in 1971, Bond wears the ivory dinner jacket during a scene romancing Bond girl Madeleine Swann (actress Léa Seydoux). Tom Ford, who designed the statement tuxedo, described it as a ‘windsor ivory viscose faille dinner jacket with a peak lapel, single back vent and ivory grosgrain details.’

Bond pairs the jacket with a black cummerbund, a crisp white Tom Ford dress shirt with a spread collar, and a black diamond batwing bow tie.

Bond keeps the focus on the jacket with narrow black trousers.

SHOP SIMILAR: J. Crew Ludlow Dinner Jacket in Italian Wool

The Casual Taupe Suit

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Bond wears a taupe jacket, tan trousers, and a crisp white shirt when he’s in Morocco. His jacket is cut shorter and the shoulders are more relaxed than the other suits he wears in Spectre. Though he wears a tie, its neutral brown color still keeps the look casual.

SHOP SIMILAR: J. Crew Ludlow suit jacket in Italian Houndstooth Wool

For more glimpses behind the scenes of the new Bond film, check out the latest trailer below.

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Father’s Day Gift Guide: The Outdoorsman

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Anytime he has time, your dad is playing in the outdoors. He’s hiking, skiing, canoeing, and taking each new day as an adventure. For the dad with a thirst for the outdoors, Father’s Day is a prime time to get him a gift that’ll keep him safe, sane, and clean during one of his expeditions.

Read on for our Father’s Day Gift Guide for the adventurer dad.

Poler Men's Rolltop Pack

Poler The Rolltop Pack $69.95

Hiking backpacks tend to be more function than style. Luckily, the Old Man will have both when he straps on Poler’s The Rolltop Pack, which comes in an assortment of complimentary colors and is equipped with compression straps for safe storage. This classic roll top backpack is made from campdura and lined with high tensile strength nylon so Dad can carry the essentials without worry.

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Peak The Ultimate Fitness and Sleep Tracker $199.99

For the active dad who’s also tech-savvy, there’s Peak, a stylish 24/7 fitness and sleep tracking watch that syncs with your dad’s smartphone. Since sleep is essential for strength during treks, the watch maps sleep patterns and provides sleep stage insights. It also tracks all physical activity as well as exercise heart rate. Since it’s a smartwatch, dad can get notifications for texts, emails, and calls conveniently from his wrist.

Eagles Nest Outifitters Double Nest Hammock

Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest Hammock $69.95

There’s taking a break from hiking, and then there’s throw-your-feet-up bliss in a hammock overlooking a waterfall. Give Dad the most luxurious respite possible with the Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest Hammock, which supports up to 400 lbs and can compress to the size of a grapefruit, so it easily fits into a backpack.

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Ursa Major Traveler’s Skin Care Kit $36.00

The well-kempt outdoorsman doesn’t let basic grooming slack just because there’s no bathroom sink available. The Ursa Major Traveler’s Skin Care Kit includes the basics to smell and look good – face wash, shave cream, face balm, and face wipes. In case Dad is hopping on a flight to his destination, these skin care tools are all TSA-friendly.

Need Supply Military Watch

G10 LM Military Watch $96 (20% entire Need Supply Co. store now through 6/13 with code GET20)

When all other electronic devices fail, an analog watch can save the day. The G10 LM Military Watch comes with a water-resistant time and date window and a 18mm military webbing strap made of heavy-duty NATO canvas.

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The Everyday Carry Complete Kit $107

If we could only take one item with us out in the wilderness, it would be this Everyday Carry Complete Kit. There are lots of things Dad can pack to keep himself comfortable, but this one we consider a survival essential. Made for the military, the kit is a compact lifesaver. Need to pry off a nail? Get the job done with the mini pry bar. Need directional guidance? Use the compass, complete with waterproof storage. Need to build a fire? Fire up the waterproof lighter. Got a splinter? Use the tweezers to take it out. There are more features to this EDC kit, but we recommend you check out the kit’s full potential in the link.

Culver Vintage Tortoise Glasses

Culver 201 Vintage Tortoise Polarized Sunglasses $179

Even the most style-challenged dad will look like a veritable stud – and protect his eyes at the same time – when he slips on the Culver 201 Vintage Tortoise Polarized Sunglasses. The darkened lenses add an aura of cool, and the tortoiseshell frames are an understated classic.

JBL Clip Portable Speaker

JBL Clip Portable Speaker in Black $39.95

Equipped with a handy carabiner, the JBL Clip Portable Speaker allows dad to sway with Michael Bublé when he runs or hikes. He can stream Bluetooth music and calls wirelessly while he’s on the go, and the device has a battery life of 5 hours – the length of a long run or day hike.

GSI Outdoors Coffee Pot

GSI Outdoors Enamelware Coffee Pot $24.95

If your dad is a fan of throwback pieces, the GSI Outdoors Enamelware Coffee Pot will hit the spot. Made of stainless steel coated in a speckled blue enamel, this vintage-inspired coffee pot can not only be thrown directly into the fire for a warm cup of coffee, but can also be used to boil water and heat up apple cider or hot cocoa.

Marmot Men's Jacket

Marmot Men’s Precip Jacket $100

We love the multifunctionality of the Precip Jacket – with a simple silhouette, it can be worn during a hike or a cold sidewalk stroll. Made of fabric that’s both waterproof and breathable, this jacket will keep your dad comfortable in just about all weather conditions.

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Inspired Style: Don Draper’s 7 Best Outfits from 7 Seasons of Mad Men

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After seven seasons, the cultural phenomenon that is Mad Men has finally come to an end. Set primarily in the ‘60s, the show was a weekly reminder of the Golden Era of dressing. Each character assimilated iconic period pieces into wardrobes that broadcasted their personalities as much as their ranks within the advertising firm.

Since season one, we’ve been taken with Don Draper’s impeccably tailored suits and low-key accessories. No matter how many duplicities and adulterous entanglements Draper got himself into, he always looked like a class act. Don Draper’s style – and that of Mad Men itself – has had a massive influence on runways and on men looking for style inspiration.

So to commemorate the end of this stylish TV series, we’ve chosen our favorite Don Draper looks from each season and broken them down for you.

The ad exec’s formula for great style? Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant summed it up for Men’s Fitness: Don’t be a slob, get a tailor, embrace color and skinny ties, and pay attention to the details – hats, pocket squares, watches, and ties allow men to show individuality. Tie it all together with some swagger.

There are certainly characters who are far more adventurous dressers than Draper, but what he does so well is he wears what looks good on him – a cue we can all take.

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Season 1, Episode 2 – Ladies Room

An iconic scene from Mad Men. There are so many suits on the show it’s easy to get lost in the sea of them, but if you pay attention to the fabrics, colors, and patterns of Don Draper’s suits, you’ll see he’s quietly manifesting his artistic side. Rather than being nearly all blue or gray like Pete Campbell’s in the beginning of the series, Draper’s suits always have an interesting texture (such as tweed), color, or pattern (here, he’s in pinstripes).

Draper is a businessman but he’s also a creative, a balance reflected in his outfits.

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Season 2, Episode 7 – The Gold Violin

Draper’s skinny tie and skinny lapels are carryovers from the ‘50s, a decade which had an immense influence on early ‘60s dressing. Again, Draper takes the suit away from stark black and white with a blazer made of multicolor thread and a subtly striped brown tie.

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Season 3, Episode 5 – The Fog

Mad Men is set in an era when men wore hats. On the special occasion of welcoming his third child home, Draper is dressed to the nines in a suit and felt fedora with a tapered crown.

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Season 4, Episode 3 – The Good News

It’s the end of 1964, and Don Draper is getting ready for a holiday trip to Acapulco. In the midst of shuffling from work to Los Angeles to visit Anna – the wife of the man whose identity he stole –  he goes into vacation dressing mode, topping his suit with a thick gray coat and even toting around a straw briefcase.

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Season 5, Episode 8 – Lady Lazarus

Draper livens up an otherwise run-of-the-mill dark gray suit with a striped oxblood tie and his signature neat white pocket square.

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Season 6, Episode 9 – The Better Half

It’s midsummer and scorching hot. Draper stays ever the professional with a tailored suit, albeit with a summery taupe blazer and neutral brown tie with contrasting azure blue stripes. It’s got a slightly groovier factor that we see increasingly on all characters as the show approaches 1970.

Jon Hamm as Don Draper - Mad Men _ Season 7, Episode 5 - Photo Credit:

Season 7

Draper’s ties get wider and more colorful during Mad Men’s last season. Colors like brown and blue – staples of the ‘70s – surface often. Lapels and pants follow the widening trend, and the mod influence is obvious.

Did we leave out any Don Draper outfits? Let us know what your favorite Draper outfit is in the comments!

(Images): GQ

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