Herring Shoes – A Follow-Up Review

It’s been almost a year since I received my first pair of shoes from Herring, and I can honestly say that they have stood the test of time. Quickly becoming my go-to shoe (they pair so well with every outfit), it’s safe to say that they have received plenty of wear; I’ve even found myself reaching for them on consecutive days, when I really should be letting them rest, because they are just so damn comfortable.

They fit me better now than they did at first (which was still a good fit), because the soft calf leather has molded to my foot over time; and the constant polishing has given a them a new depth of colour. In fact, the only problem that I’ve had with them is that I have had to replace the laces a couple of times.

Herring

I hold these shoes as a shining example of what good shoes should be, and everything I’ve tried on since has paled in comparison; they put the rest of my collection to shame, so much so that despite a decent collection, I usually end up rotating between only two pair: these, and a pair of Charles Tyrwhitt Black Monk-straps. I still enthusiastically recommend Herring Shoes to anyone who has the misfortune of talking about shoes in my presence; If I had a little more money, or a little less self-restraint, I would no doubt have already bought several more of my own. To reiterate the summary of my first review: buy as many of these shoes, in as many styles and colours as you can afford. You won’t regret it.

Recommended Reading: 5 Books Every Stylish Man Should Own

Gentleman: A Timeless Guide to Fashion by Bernhard Roetzel

Timeless Guide

The first book on men’s style that I owned, A Timeless Guide to Fashion is the most recommended style book on lists like this. Full of colourful pictures and easy to understand text, this book is at home on your bookshelf as it is on your coffee table.

The Handbook of Style: A Man’s Guide to Looking Good by Esquire

Handbook Style

Witty, humorous, and well written, The Handbook of Style is a mandatory part of any well-dressed mans library. Full of pictures, drawings, and good advice, the Handbook is aimed at the style novice, but there is something for everyone in it. If you only have one book on this list, make it this one.

ABC of Men’s Fashion by Hardy Amies

ABC

Laid out like a glossary, this book has just about every word related to men’s style, and their definitions. More of a reference book than a guide, ABC of Men’s Fashion will definitely come in handy decoding your other books.

Classic Tailoring Techniques: A Construction Guide for Men’s Wear by Roberto Cabrera

Classic Tailoring

Classic Tailoring Techniques isn’t necessarily about style; but I think knowing how your clothes are made will give you a greater appreciation and understanding of just how and why things are the way they are. Not only that, but you will never have to ask someone to sew a button or hem a pair of trousers for you again.

Details Men’s Style Manual: The Ultimate Guide For Making Your Clothes Work For You

Details

A bit more colourful, and definitely for the beginner, the Men’s Style Manual is a basic primer for those just getting started; styled more like a magazine than a library book, it features glossy, full colour images, and interviews with style icons. It’s a good starting point for the absolute beginner.

Herring Classics – A Shoe Review

Tl;DR:  Buy as many of these shoes as you can afford, in all colours. They are awesome.

Herring-Herring Richmond-Burgundy Burnished Calf-451-421-1

Richmond model in Burgundy

I’m going to start this by talking a bit about customer service. It doesn’t matter if you are selling literally the best product in existence, at half the price of your competitors; if your customer service if crap, no one is going to buy from you. This is especially important with online stores; where your customers can’t physically hold or see your products, and tell for themselves how good it is. When I was doing my research on Herring before buying my last pair of shoes, the product reviews were decent; most thought that the shoes were more-or-less worth the price, but absolutely everyone commented on the amazing customer service. So, lets talk a little about Herring, the company.

Herring Shoes is a UK-based company that stocks a range of brands (Church’s, Loake, Barker, etc), as well as their own house brand; these shoes are made by other companies (Loake, Barker, and Cheaney), using their lasts* and construction techniques, with Herring providing the designs, and typically better quality leather. They provide a massive range of shoes from all the brands, at very competitive prices; better than most online stores, and infinitely better than anything found in Australia. Every pair of shoes they send comes with a complimentary travel sized shoe horn, and a tin of polish matching the shoes (which I will talk about in another article).

*The last is the foot-shaped structure that forms the shape of the shoe. It looks similar to a wooden shoe tree.

A Loake shoe, and the last it was formed on

A Loake shoe, and the last it was formed on

Now, for the shoes themselves. Made by Loake (on their 026 last), the Richmond model is a full brogue in calfskin leather, with a full leather lining, a Goodyear Welted leather sole (with a 1/4 rubber heel), and are handmade in a factory in Northampton, England. My pair is Burgundy, but they also come in Black, Tan, Brown, and Brown Suede. At £162.5 (~$315AUD), they are in the same price range as the Loake 1880s, which is considered by most to be their best range of shoes; most will compare Herring favorably to the Loakes, but having never owned the 1880s, all I can say is this: these are the best pair of shoes that I have ever owned.

Herring-Herring Richmond-Burgundy Burnished Calf-451-421-3

Herring-Herring Richmond-Burgundy Burnished Calf-451-421-4

First Impressions

As I’m writing this, I have just returned from a quick shopping trip, and my first time wearing these shoes. The first thing I have to say is that these are the most comfortable things that I have ever put on my feet; I wouldn’t go so far as to say that they are more comfortable than standing on a cloud made of marshmallows, but they must be close. Given that it’s the first time they have been used, the leather soles are still flat, and a little slippery, so I have to be careful walking down the stairs; and the leather upper is still relatively stiff (as all new leather is), but it will soften over time. Even if it doesn’t soften, it is still incredibly comfortable. The quality of the leather in these shoes is easily the best that I have ever owned; there is absolutely no comparison to the corrected grain leather in my other shoes.

The only flaw that I can find in the shoes is minor, and cosmetic; there is some overlapping in the decorative pattern around the welt on the sole of one of the shoes, where it has been done twice in the same spot; as far as I am concerned, this just adds character to the shoes, and the human error just proves they were done by hand. I’m going to stop now, and come back in about a weeks time, after the shoes have been worn in a bit.

Some Time Later

So I have worn these shoes all day for the last three days (to break them in, and really test them; in the long run I will obviously give them rest days), and given that I am on my feet for 9 hours straight each day, I can safely say that they have been well-tested. Fortunately, I can say that they have passed all my tests with flying colours; the leather insoles are comfortable, especially in the heel where there seems to be a soft (but firm) foam pad underneath the insole.

The minor cosmetic damage to the patterning on the sole has disappeared due to the general wear to the leather; an unfortunate side effect of actually walking on something other than carpet.

Herring-Herring Richmond-Black Calf-1396-675-1

Richmond model in Black

Herring-Herring Richmond-Cigar Suede-5236-2739-1

Richmond model in Suede

Herring-Herring Richmond-Tan Burnished Calf-450-420-1

Richmond model in Tan

First Thoughts: Loake and Herring Shoes

Herring Shoes

So after being disappointed with the price and range of shoes at David Jones (and Australia in general), I turned to Herring Shoes; an online, UK-based shoes store that stocks a large range of shoe brands, at pretty awesome prices. A pair of Loake 202’s (which I bought), cost $369 at David Jones; including postage, and my $10 off coupon, the same model was only $220 at Herring.

Not only do they have great prices, they have a massive range of shoes, including Loake, Church’s, Barker, and their own house brand; as well as a range of accessories.

The best part for me however, was the postage; from when I ordered them, they only took 5 days to arrive. That alone is enough for me to be a return shopper, but the range and prices that are offered make me think that I have found my new shoe supplier.

The only negative that I can find is that, because I live outside the UK, if I ever do have to return a pair of shoes, I will have to pay the postage costs; still, I can avoid that by not returning anything.

The shoes also came with a Herring branded shoe horn, and a tin of polish matching the shoes, as well as info booklets for Herring and Loake. The shoe horn is nothing special (but still definitely appreciated), but the polish is a nice touch, and I look forward to seeing how well it works.

Loake Shoes

Style wise, the shoes look great, and they fit perfectly; a dark brown wingtip, in a size that fits my foot, the only flaw that I can find with these shoes is that they are corrected-grain leather. I knew that going in however, and I wouldn’t expect any different from a shoe at this price; at a total of $220, they are only slightly more expensive than my Charles Tyrwhitt shoes, and at least as good. I’ve only had them for a few hours now, so can’t speak to the long-term quality, but I will have a proper review in a couple of weeks. My first impression is that I love them, and I’m hoping they will hold up well.

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Fresh out of the box, in direct sunlight

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With a light coat of polish

 

 

New Pomade Review

I love my Pete & Pedro Pomade, but the falling Aussie dollar has made it far too expensive ($67 for two tubs, including postage), so I have had to find an alternative. A quick google search lead me to The Pomade Shop. A fairly new business, The Pomade Shop helps to fill the massive void in the mens grooming product industry, and (more importantly), allowed me to finally try some products that previously cost too much to be worth it.

Murray’s Superior Pomade

murray-s-superior-hair-dressing-pomade-3-oz-9.gif

Price: $17

Shine: Medium

Hold: Strong

Murray’s is a thick, petroleum-based pomade that smells mildly of vanilla and vaseline, and has been around for more than 75 years, so they must be doing something right. On the upside, Murray’s gives incredible hold, decent shine, and a little goes a very long way. On the other hand, it takes about a week to wash it out (unless you are willing to use degreaser on your hair), and even getting it off of my hands was a challenge. Styling my hair the day after was as simple as heating it with the hairdryer to soften it, but I’m not sure that it was worth it. Also, being oil based, it’s probably not the best for those prone to outbreaks.

I can see why some people use it, but it’s just not for me; on the plus side, my brother seems to like it, so it probably won’t go to waste.

 

Bona Fide Superior Hold Pomade

ThePomadeShop-44

Price: $18

Shine: Medium-High

Hold: Strong

Bona Fide reminds me strongly of American Crew Pomade; it has a similar list of ingredients, a similar texture, and a similar citrus scent (although this smells more strongly of orange), and at this price, is much better value for money. The best, and worst, part is that it is water soluble, so I have no problem washing it out, but is also sweats out on a hot day. In all, until I find something that is better value, Bona Fide if going to become my new go-to product.

Comparison

At $18 for a 4oz tub, the Bona Fide pomade is the clear winner in terms of value for money, and although Murray’s pomade has the best hold, it is far too difficult to remove and work with. In terms of hold and shine, Pete & Pedro is probably the better product, but the cost and smaller size are severe drawbacks. Bona Fide, with its larger size, lower price, better smell, and better overall usability, is the clear winner.

 

Dollar Shave Club Review

So, the Dollar Shave Club (henceforth known as DSC) has been around for a while, but I’ve only been aware of it in Australia for a short time. After much deliberation (none at all really), I decided to give it a go; here is my review.

TL;DNR: Meh; it’s convenient, and as good as any Gillette razor, but not as cheap as a traditional safety razor, and not as good. They are great if you insist on using a cartridge razor, but won’t replace my safety razor any time soon.

The Full Review

The idea behind the DSC is pretty cool, for between $4-$10 per month (depending on the plan), they will send you a set amount of razor cartridges. This means that you will never run out of razors, and they end up being cheaper than most name brand alternatives. They offer cartridges with 2, 4, and 6 blades, at $4, $7, and $10 respectively; the 2-blade cartridges send 5 per month, while the others only send 4 per month. In an effort to keep costs low, I went with the cheaper option; because really, good technique is better than more blades anyway.

For the first month the blades come with a handle (the cartridges are only compatible with this handle), and a pack of 5 cartridges; the handle is a bit flimsy, and it took a bit of effort to actually get the cartridge attached (but it may be easier for you), but it was finally time to shave.

DSC Razor

From the DCS Website

I had just shaved the day before, so I figured I that would be the perfect time to test the razor out, before working up to it’s limit; but after that first shave, I don’t recommend trying it with and substantial facial hair growth (2+ days).

Even after the usual process (hot shower, pre shave cream, lather), the blades felt uncomfortable in comparison to what I am used to; they cut the hair just fine, but they noticeably pulled and dragged along my skin, and left my face quite red afterwards.  None of this was any worse (or better) than the Mach 3 that I learned to shave with though, and I do have fairly sensitive skin.

I know that some people swear by the DSC, but honestly, I don’t think that it’s all that great, I get a better(and more comfortable) shave with my grandfathers old double-edged safety razor than I do with any modern multi-blade razor, and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper too (about $30 for 100 blades, which is about 400-500 shaves); assuming that my pack of blades lasts around 1.5 years (a conservative estimate), they only cost me about $1.60 per month. That being said, I am probably biased, and I understand that (for some reason) some people prefer to use multi-blade razors; I’m just not much of a fan.

All in all, if you insist on using the modern multi-blade cartridge razors, the Dollar Shave Club may well be a worthwhile investment; just know that there are better and cheaper alternatives when you are ready to make the switch.

New Ties, Hair Product, and a Dive Watch

A second review of products from The Tie Bar, a review of Pete & Pedro Hair Cream, and my new Invicta Dive Watch (the one from my reasonably priced essentials list).

The Tie Bar

Navy – Double Striped  – $15

Navy Double StripeMy major concern with my last batch of ties from The Tie Bar was that it was a bit flimsy and lacked weight; this time, I purposefully chose a tie with a thicker weave, and all my complaints have vanished. The thicker weave adds weight and body to the tie, making it feel more substantial; it also doesn’t have the same scratchy coating that my last tie had (which was either from a stain-resistant coating, or from some form of screen printing). Overall, this tie is an incredible improvement over the last one (which was already good value for the money).

 

 

 

 

Solid Red – $15

Solid Red Weave

There is nothing that I can say about this tie that I haven’t already said about the one above. It is a great solid red tie, and one that should be in every wardrobe.

Danbury Plaid – Green Teal

Plaid Green Bow Tie

Diamond tipped bow ties are my favorite type of bow ties (they compliment my face shape the best), and this one was kind of an impulse buy. Still, I’m happy with this tie; it’s very thin, and the silk is a bit stiff, but it ties well, and looks great. The silk feels similar to the first tie I bought, in that it feels like it may be coated in something. Overall, I still definitely recommend the bow ties from The Tie Bar.

Overall

I probably said this in my last review, but The Tie Bar has an incredibly range of colours and patterns, and stocks neckties, bow ties, pocket squares, and a large range of accessories. All of it’s products are extremely reasonably priced for the quality, and it is an incredible resource for the gentleman looking to save money and still look great.

 

Pete & Pedro

Pete & Pedro Hair Cream

A while ago I did a review of Pete & Pedro Pomade, favourably comparing it to American Crew Pomade; this time, I’m covering something that I bought by mistake: the P&P Cream.

PPCream

The Hold: It says light hold on the tub, which was the reason I initially decided not to get it; I thought that it would be too light for my thick hair, but it turns out that it works well. It’s definitely lighter than the high hold pomade, but it still does a great job for day to day wear.

The Shine: It’s marketed as medium shine, and it does a decent job of it when applied to damp hair. If your hair is too dry then the shine is very minimal.

The Smell: Incredible doesn’t even begin to describe the way this smells. Pete & Pedro themselves came the closest to describing the scent:

Have you ever smelled a unicorn? Well, we have and the experience has inspired the creation of a scent that can only be described as the mystical marriage of essence of unicorn, the mild cleanness of your favorite body wash, and splash of “lem-o-nut” (If a lemon went out to a bar and picked up a coconut and the two made sweet, sexy love… the resulting aroma is known as “lem-o-nut”.)

Honestly, the scent alone is enough for me to use this cream on a daily basis.

Overall: The Pete & Pedro Cream is an excellent product, it works best on less structured hairstyles, but still does a decent job on more structures styles and thicker hair. Overall, it’s a great everyday product, and another fine example of the excellent work done by Pete & Pedro.

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Invicta

Invicta 9204 – $54

Invicta 9204The watch is definitely inspired by the Rolex Submariner; the face and body are practically the same, with the only major difference being in the scalloped bezel, which was definitely inspired by the Omega Seamaster. The body is made from stainless steel, the crystal is mineral, it has a Japanese quartz movement, and it water resistant to 200 metres. The materials and mechanics are nothing special, but still come together to make a mid-range watch that is well worth the price.

From front on the watch looks incredible, the blue face and bezel are darker than they look in the picture, and are almost black in low light. The hands, hour indicators, and the dot on the bezel all glow in the dark, but don’t really last a significant amount of time. The crystal also has a date magnifier, and the date actually fills most of the window, unlike on lesser quality watches. The back side of the watch has “INVICTA” engraved on it, which is a bit ostentatious, bit it isn’t too bothersome.

Ultimately, it’s a stylish and functional piece that can be worn anywhere from the office to the ocean. Is it a top-of-the-line watch? No. It is, however, a great watch for the price, and one that I can definitely recommend.

Some Pictures

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Rubber Invicta tag with barcode on back.

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Inside the box. The packet in the top has instructions and warranty info.

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Bright yellow Invicta box

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Invicta logo on the back and links

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Invicta logo on the clasp

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Invicta logo on the side

 

 

 

 

The Tie Bar Review

The Short Review

The Tie Bar is an online store that offers a wide range of bow ties, pocket squares, socks, and other accessories; but their primary product is their neckties, which are all just $15 (USD) each. They have an incredible range of colours and patterns, and they offer ties in silk, cotton, and wool (no polyester in sight); they all certainty look good, but I was a bit sceptical, how good could a tie possible be if it costs just $15? I have read some reviews, and done my research, so while I was optimistic, I wasn’t expecting much, but still, I bought three ties.

The three ties totalled $45 dollars, a little more than half of what I spent on my last tie, and barely a fraction of what some higher end ties cost, but I can happily say that I was pleasantly surprised by the relative quality of them when they arrived yesterday morning (two days before they were due to arrive, by the way). They aren’t the best quality I have ever seen, but certainly well worth what I paid for them, and I definitely look forward to buying more in the future. For details on the ties themselves, look at the longer review done below, but The Tie Bar is definitely going to become my go-to source for ties in the future.

The Longer Review

The Ties

Black Silk Knitted Tie with a White Stripe

Black Silk Knit Tie with White Stripe by The Tie Bar

Black Silk Knit Tie with White Stripe by The Tie Bar

I’ve been meaning to buy a knitted silk tie for a while now, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. I can honestly say that I am very happy with the tie; it has a good weight to it, and at just under 3″ wide and 58″ long, it is the perfect size. The craftsmanship appears to be pretty good; there are no loose threads or weak spots, and the silk is quite strong. We will see how it holds up over time, but I have high hopes so far. It is 100% silk, but I can’t speak to the quality of it; the material feels a little rough, which may be attributed to either poorer quality silk, or a stain-resistant coating. Either way, the tie looks great, and for the price, can’t be beat.

With all this taken into consideration, I would definately recommend this tie.

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Midnight Navy Silk Knitted Tie

Midnight Blue Silk Knit Tie bt The Tie Bar

Midnight Blue Silk Knit Tie by The Tie Bar

There’s not much that I can say about this tie that I haven’t said about the last one; in terms of fabric and construction, it is virtually the same, and if has the same feel in the hands.

I would still definitely recommend this tie, it is an excellent addition to any wardrobe, and one that I expect that I will use quite often.

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Serene Blue Silk Tie – Imprint Plaid

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Plaid Serene Blue and White Tie by The Tie Bar

I purposefully set out to buy at least one knit tie, but I saw this one and just had to have it, so I had high hopes for it. At 3″ wide and 58″ long, it is what I consider to be the perfect size for a tie, and the craftsmanship is just as good as the other ties. Where it falls short is, once again, in the quality of the silk; it just feels rougher than higher end ties. It also doesn’t have the same heftiness to it that my more expensive ties have, and is does feel a little flimsy. It’s still a very nice looking tie though, and one that I expect to wear quite often; I definitely recommend that you check it out.

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The Price and Quality

Like I said above, (virtually) all the ties on The Tie Bar are $15, and for that price, the quality is better than I would have expected; and I know people who have paid three times as much for polyester ties that are worse quality than these ties.  That being said, there are better ties out there; you just have to be prepared to spend $50+ on them. For the price, The Tie Bar offers an incredible range of patterns and colours, with relatively good quality fabric and craftsmanship.

Postage to Australia is $12.99(USD) for regular postage, and $25.99(USD) for express postage; keep in mind however that all the prices listed here are in US Dollars, and may cost more or less depending on the exchange rate.

Overall, The Tie Bar represents a great source of value-for-money products, and I look forward to many repeat purchases, and I recommend that you give them a chance.

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I’m always looking for products to review, and topics that interest my readers, so if you have any questions or suggestions, leave a comment below; it would be greatly appreciated.

American Crew Pomade vs. Pete & Pedro Pomade

Today is a comparison review between two products: American Crew Pomade, and Pete & Pedro Pomade. American Crew is the brand of products reportedly used on the set of Mad Men to achieve their perfectly sculpted classic hairstyles. Pete & Pedro is the creation of Aaron Marino (the man who initially inspired me to become an Image Consultant), and his stylist, Stephen Posta (owner/stylist at Dyer & Posta). Also, their mascot is a donkey.

American Crew Pomade

AmericanCrew_Classic_Pomade

Cost: ~$20 + Postage

Hold: It is marketed as medium-hold, and that is what it provides.

Shine: So long as your hair is damp the pomade provides a decent shine. If your hair is too dry, then the shine is rather lacking.

Consistency: The pomade has the consistency of thick waxy gel.

Review: I have used the pomade for the last month, and I am very happy with it. It provides enough hold for my hair, and enough shine when my hair is damp. My tub cost me $22, so in terms of price it isn’t too extravagant for what it does. It has a pleasant citrusy clean aroma, and easily washes out with water. I’ve used it for a month, so it has faced virtually every day-to-day activity that I have thrown it up against, and more often than not, it comes out on top. Is it a good product? Yes. Would I recommend it? Yes, I would, but I would also recommend shopping around to find it as cheap as possible.

Pete & Pedro Pomade

PPPomade

Cost: $19(US) + Postage

Hold: Marketed as high hold (the picture says medium, but the actual container and website say high), and high hold it provides.

Shine: Also marketed as high shine, it does a good job of doing what it says on the label.

Consistency: It has the consistency of very thick glue.

Review: I want to start by saying that I have very thoroughly tested this product for slightly over of a day and a half. I was honestly a little intimidated by the prospect of it at first; I wasn’t sure if I could handle having bueno hair (more so than usual anyway), but I think I did a good job. The pomade stood up to all the tasks I would expect it to (working in the garden, sitting in front of a computer, going to the gym, wrestling crocodiles, saving infants from burning buildings, etc), and is also water-soluble, and swashes out without difficulty. As a matter of fact, there are only two downsides that I can find; the price, and the size. $19US per tub is about what I would expect, but the international postage is another $15US, so it cost me $36AUD; and the tubs are only 57g (2oz), compared to the 85g (3oz) of the American Crew. Domestic shipping is only $5US, with free domestic shipping for orders over $50

Fortunately P&P have the super secret Bueno Hair Club which, for international customers, sends out three tubs of the product you choose (there are a few), every three months for $60; meaning they only cost $20 per tub.

As far as smell goes, the pomade smells like mint, with a hint of “dude the stuff smells GREAT!”. But mostly just mint. Also, P&P products are Paraben free, and the containers are made from 100% recycled plastic. In fact, the only real insurmountable complaint I have about it is that there isn’t enough of it.

So, does P&P Pomade stand up to the promise of Bueno Hair? Yes. Should you buy it? Yes, but especially if you live in the US, or if you are going to use enough to need three tubs every three months (or if you want to stockpile it).

Comparison

In the categories of hold, shine, and smell; the winner is Pete & Pedro. The hold is definitely stronger than American Crew, and the shine is better too. I like the smell of both, but P&P is my personal favourite of the two. In terms of consistency, I think I prefer the American Crew, but no so much that it makes a large difference to me. As far as price goes, without postage they are similar enough, but with postage the American Crew wins hands down. However, P&P also have the option of the Bueno Hair Club, which drastically reduces the cost if you will be using that much product. P&P is also the more environmentally and hair friendly of the two, with no parabens, loads of essential oils, and containers made from recycled plastic. I’m on a budget, so I am going to save P&P for special occasions (Weddings, Parties, Monday, Thursday-Sunday, etc), and use American Crew for lesser events and as a base product for comparisons. I will also try to get a hold of more of the P&P range (particularly the cream, shampoo, and conditioner)  to try when I have some more disposable income.

In conclusion, both are good products, but only Pete & Pedro gives you Bueno Hair!


Here is a link to the Pete & Pedro website; I highly recommend you go and check them out.

Saphir Medaille d’Or Renovateur

When you are spending $200+ on a pair of shoes, you want them to last as long as possible. Assuming you have read my shoe care guide ( find it here if you haven’t), you will know that the first steps in looking after your shoes are cleaning and conditioning them. Saphir Medaille d’Or Renovateur does both these things, and the Saphir range is generally regarded as one of the best line of shoe care products in the world.

The Product

Saphir Medaille d'Or Renovateur

Saphir Medaille d’Or Renovateur is marketed as a two in one leather cleaner and conditioner for smooth leather. It is Mink Oil based (which has a bit of a bad reputation), so just remember that a little goes a long way. It contains no pigment, so it won’t stain, and it works on any leather goods. At ~$20 per 75ml bottle though, I don’t recommend using it on your leather couch.

The Price

From A Fine Pair of Shoes (who I use for all my shoe care needs), the Renovateur cost £9 ($15), and another £8 ($13) for postage.

Total: $28

You may be able to find it cheaper, depending on where you live. Postage in the UK from A Fine Pair of Shoes is much cheaper than it is to Australia.

The Review

Short: I like it, and will definitely buy more when I run out.

Long:  I’ve read a lot of good things about Saphir Renovateur, so while I wanted to withhold judgement until after I had tried it, I was expecting good things. I can happily say that if not exceeding those expectations, it at least met them. As far as cleaners go, it is rather mild. I tried it out first on my new brown oxfords (article here), and it worked well to clean them and remove the old polish. The last time I striped the shoes it took a while to remove the old polish, so it definitely helps, but will not completely remove the old polish.

As far as conditioning goes, the shoes are still new so the effects are not incredible obvious, but they do appear to be somewhat smoother and softer. Not much, but enough that I noticed a difference.

I also applied the Renovateur to the sole of my shoes, and now they look like new again.

Overall, I would definitely recommend Saphir Renovateur, and most of the products in the Saphir range.

How to use

Brush the dust and dirt off of your shoes. Once they are free from visible dirt, use a rag to apply a smallish amount of Renovateur to your shoes (use your best judgement). Apply it in small circles like you would the polish. Let the shoes dry for a while, and buff off the excess with your horsehair brush. Polish the shoes as you normally would.