My Top Winter Picks From Russell & Bromley's Newly Launched Oxford Street East Store

"Shoes Maketh The Man" - one of my favourite statements in recent times and true in every sense.  If you've followed me for the past year you will know I'm fast becoming shoe obsessed and for me the starting point to almost every outfit is the footwear, particularly this time of year.  

With the temperature dropping and things getting a little wetter here in Blighty, it's important you plan ahead when it comes to your outfits and especially when it comes to your footwear.  We've all experienced that anguish and pain when walking through torrential rain in brand new suede shoes, so don't get caught out this Winter and make sure you put some thought in before stepping out into the cold!

It's no secret that Russell & Bromley are one of my all time favourite brands for footwear and they have recently launched their Oxford Street East store, so I thought I must head over and check things out.  

Shopping for shoes can often be a real challenge with sizing and styles very brand specific, hence I always like to buy shoes in store and take my time trying shoes on to be sure of the fit and that they work for me.  I've always found the Russell & Bromley staff extremely helpful and knowledgable with regards to their wide variety of designs which of course makes the whole decision making process that much simpler and experience that much more enjoyable.
I've always taken a liking to boots, they are versatile, smart and casual and can be worn with jeans or trousers and during the Winter months I feel like there is no better style of footwear.  When picking your boots it's always good to think through the scenarios in which you'll wear them, how often and what with, to be sure they are a worthy investment.

Here are my top three picks for Winter from the current Russell & Bromley collection:

The Leather Lace-Up:

Quite possibly my favourite shoe this season! The leather lace-up is the ultimate shoe for Winter, hardwearing and weatherproof whilst maintaining that style.  This particular pair, the Walnut, comes in three colours, olive, black and this lighter tan and is styled with a brogue detailing. 

These boots are ideal for those rainy days and with a rubber heel and sole they are comfortable on even the wettest of pavements.  I like to style this with tight fitting, darker jeans or for a more casual look a lighter pair with a 'turn up' for some additional detail.
A shoe for all weather and every scenario, it's a worthy addition to your footwear armoury.  Shop the Walnut here.

Blue Suede Shoes:

There's something stand-out about blue suede shoes.  Personally there's no better colour tone to compliment jeans for that smarter look and I love pairing these with a similar coloured jean to an all over dark navy vibe.

This pair are the Burlington design and an absolute favourite (I must have almost every colour at this point!).  A classic Chelsea boot structure with a thicker soul and rounded front, they are an ideal all-rounder for both smart and casual occasions. 

I'll be wearing these with both jeans and tailored trousers this Winter and they are the first pair of shoes I'll be putting in my Weekend bag due to their versatility. 

 Quick tip if you are considering investing, be sure to pick up some suede protector and spray 30 minutes before every 'journey', this will keep them looking smart and slick for as long as possible!
A shoe thats perfect for party season , check them out online here.

All Black Everything:

The final pair I picked out from the new store are a classic in men's footwear.  This all black leather Chelsea boot is a timeless shoe and a boot for those smarter engagements.

Once again in the Burlington design, this is a Chelsea boot for the modern day gent with a rounded toe and is constructed from black calf leather for a sleek finish.

I'll be wearing these on those more dressed up occasions primarily coupled with tailored trousers or chinos.  They are a great investment in time for the festive season and I like to give them a decent shine up before heading out for the night ahead!
An iconic boot that every twenty first century gent should have in the closet.  Check them out online here.

I'll be taking these three pairs for a spin over the Weekend so stay tuned for three Winter looks featuring the boots, live on Man About Town on Sunday.

Which are your favourite of the three?

What shoes will you be wearing the most this Winter?

C.

Episode VI - Return Of The Clean Shave

Facial hair is forever a contentious subject, with many differing opinions out there as to how to style your facial fuzz. This time of year it can be particularly challenging with darker mornings and less time in the early hours to get everything done, the last thing you want to do upon getting out of bed is fill up your bathroom sink and commence with a wet shave or beard 'trim'.

Beards have been all the rage for the past few years but the traditional wet shave has been making a return on the catwalks and the streets in 2017 and I have to agree that a well-groomed, clean-shaven face is a solid look going into the New Year.

With the temperature about to seriously drop, it's actually the perfect time to consider changing up the beard or stubble for the clean shaven look.  Research has shown that having a face free from fur will work in your favour in the colder months. During winter it's of up-most importance you take extra care of the skin on your face and without any hair blocking the way, things become a lot more manageable and easily maintained.  This winter it is time to embrace the clean-shaven look!

Given the time it can take to keep on top of the 'clean shaven' look, I recently went electric and started to use the Philips Star Wars Special Edition R2-D2 Men’s electric Shaver (SW3700), a compact electric shaver designed for the closest of shaves.

Philips has collaborated with Star Wars (one of my all-time favourite film franchises!) to bring the new film Star Wars: The Last Jedi to life across their latest collection of shavers.  In this instance the SW3700 is inspired by a film favourite, R2-D2, a real unsung hero of the saga!
This special edition shaver makes shaving extremely straight forward and convenient, catching the hair as you go and helping you get a smooth look as quickly as possible.

Here are a few tips for maximising your shave time in the morning and making the most of this little beauty to get the cleanest of shaves so you are ready and set for 'battle' and the day ahead.

Choose Your Weapons:

For any skincare or grooming routine it's important to choose the right products to suit you and in this case the right products to suit the weather conditions.  Given the cold temperatures it's important to keep your skin hydrated and when shaving this is particularly important, so be sure to pick up a heavier moisturiser to protect your skin during Winter.

When it comes to the shave itself, the Philips SW3700 is a fantastic all rounder and with the built-in pop-up trimmer there's everything in one device to ensure you get a clean and tidy shave.

Preparation Is Paramount:

It may sound cliche but those who fail to prepare, should be prepared to fail and that applies to all manner of tasks whether it be fighting off Stormtroopers on some distant planet (!) or your everyday shaving routine! 

Step 1 of any shaving process should be focused on the preparation.  When it comes to shaving and removing hair from your face, it's important to remove any other impurities and dead skin prior to the shave itself.  I tend to use a face scrub to remove dirt and unclog pores before picking up the shaver.  Using an exfoliator pre-shaving also has the added benefit of 'lifting' the hairs and essentially making them easier to remove.

Use The Force:

For the best possible shave it's all about using the right tools.  The Philips SW3700 utilises 4-direction flex heads that move with the contours of your jawline and neck, catching as many hairs as possible for an efficient shave.  The 'comfort cut' blades are designed to cut close and glide smoothly across your skin whilst shielding it from nicks and cuts.
 I was really impressed with minimal mess after shaving and the shaver head itself catches pretty much every hair, so no post-shave cleaning.  This is a big result if you're always rushing around in the mornings like me!
Unlike traditional wet shaving you don't need to concern yourself with the directions of movement so much and the shape of the shaver head makes the harder spots easy to access.
Another huge positive is the battery life, I'm yet to charge up my shaver having used it four times already for an all over shave.  The shaver utilises a lithium-ion battery that allows up to 13 shaves from a single charge, more impressive than the classic lightsaber I would imagine!? 

Choose A Side:

Shaving isn't all about the face and neck and its important not to neglect the sideburns.  The SW3700 has a nifty pop-up trimmer that makes shaping the sideburns simple and straightforward!
I found the trimmer particularly handy when it comes to the 'moustache area' and getting those final hairs around the nostrils! It pays to have an eye for detail, so once you've shaved all over, pop up the trimmer and address the harder to reach areas for a final trim!

Post-Shave Tactics:

Once clean and smooth, the battle is almost won... but don't forget the final step to keep your skin looking fresh.  A decent moisturiser is needed to re-hydrate the skin and help you fight off the cold winds and pollutants in the air.  I'm a big fan of a moisture balm this time of year, it's a bit heavier than the gel based products on the market and leaves my skin feeling well-nourished 24/7.
The Philips SW3700 is available online and at under £120 would make the perfect Christmas gift and stocking filler this year.  Check out the other shavers in the Star Wars collection here and pick your side!
Which side will you choose when it comes to facial hair this winter?

What are your thoughts on the clean-shaven look?

C.

*This post was written in collaboration with Philips UK, however all thoughts and views shared are my own *

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is out in cinemas on 14th December
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