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Viktoria Dobreva

BARBER’S BLOG | TEN SARTORIAL INTERVIEW TIPS

At Shepherd’s, we believe in the power of beautiful hair. We also, however, know that in order to get on in life, your hair is just part of the mix. This is abundantly present in that classic scenario – the job interview. Here are ten sartorial tips on how to breeze your next interview by dressing your best.

  1. Shoes. Want to work in a law-firm or an investment bank? Arcane as it seems, many firms (especially those with a more international clientele) will scoff if you wear brown shoes with a business-suit. Try these Church’s Derbies instead. And make sure you polish them.
  2. Tie. Your tie should say ‘I’m useful’ not ‘I’m a maverick stockbroker from the 1980s’. Forget bright colours for your interview and wear something high-quality and inoffensive, like this Drake’s number.
  3. Suit. Your suit doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does need to fit you. Too tight and you look like an idiot – Too loose and you look like you’ve borrowed it from your Dad. The best way to do it if you’re on a budget, is to get yourself measured, then order one of these Charcoal Westminster Suits from TM Lewin. Then take it to your local tailor to get it nipped, tucked and adjusted to suit your body. Always buy a little bigger if you’re not sure. It’s easier to remove an inch than add one.
  4. Shirt. Play it safe. White, or pastel-blue are your options here. If you must have a pattern, then a simple stripe or check will suffice. And of course, as with the suit, make sure the fit is comfortable, and the sleeves aren’t too long. An inch longer than the suit-sleeves is perfect. If you’re on a budget, this one from Charles Tyrwhitt is a safe choice.
  5. Knot. Windsor-knots are for footballers. Opt for a four-in-hand and ensure a nice, central dimple.
  6. Watch. A tasteful timepiece will speak volumes at interview. Avoid a cheap-looking watch, but remember this is not the time for blingy-bezels either. If you’re on a budget, then why not opt for this Mondaine.
  7. Face. With beards becoming more common among young men, many employers are starting to loosen up on their arcane ‘shave every day’ mentality. However, if you’re not sure, for the purpose of getting that dream-job, it may be worth sacrificing that hipster-barb for the day and opting for a full shave the day before.
  8. Hair. This can be tricky. Make sure your hair looks natural. Too much product and you’ll end up looking like a character from ‘Saved By The Bell’. And that trendy hipster-fade that matched your converse or vans at university needs to go. Get a scissor-cut, and go for a blend over an under-cut. If in doubt, ask one of our barbers what they would suggest for a job interview and they’ll work with your facial-shape to ensure you look your best.
  9. Socks. Your socks should match your trousers. leave the garish family-guy socks at home. Try these from Marks & Spencer.
  10. Manners. This may seem obvious, but your level of etiquette at an interview may invoke prejudice about social class or your ability as a company ambassador if you get it wrong. Why not check out this article before your interview.

Photography by Omar Budeiri for OBC Digital

BARBER’S BLOG | TEN INDEPENDENT RETAILERS IN BIRMINGHAM

Birmingham is the city that we call home. In the last ten years, the growing Independent retail landscape has transformed the city into a genuine, stylish, global contender, and we’re proud to be part of it. Here’s a list of ten independent retailers that anyone serious about style should know about.

  1. The Liquor Store. Situated in the Grand Hotel Development, Colmore Row. Expect brands such as Universal Works, APC and Oliver Spencer.
  2. Clements & Church. Situated on Church Street. All clothing is bespoke, from suits and sport-coats to custom-made jeans and trainers. Expect impeccable service and an espresso (or scotch) during your consultation. This is for investment pieces only. Bring your credit card. Preferably the black one.
  3. Minima. This hidden gem is truly the best place in the city to buy furniture (provided your tastes are Scandinavian, mid-century modern) and in the last year, has also amassed an excellent selection of homewares, crockery and gifts. Situated in a stunning basement on George St. Jewellery Quarter. Expect brands such as Knoll, Hay and Iittala.
  4. Glimpse. Eyewear is back, in a big way. If you’re serious about design, and the standard Ray-ban/Guccis/Oakley/[insert generic sunglasses here] are just way too generic, then Glimpse is the only place in the city for you. Expect advice, bespoke frames and endless colour choices, with designs from Theo, Anne & Valentin, and Mykita to name a few.
  5. Loki. Forget Waitrose. No self-respecting Brummie turns up to a dinner party without a Loki bag. Wines from £9.99 to £999, expertly curated with knowledgeable (but not stuffy) wine-lovers to guide you. You can even drink-in, and sample from their Enomatic machines. Situated in Great Western Arcade.
  6. Vincent Van Doodle. Many art-stores struggle to toe the line between quirky and tasteful. Vincent Van Doodle have managed to do just that with beautifully made frames, artwork and homeware, with witty takes on inspirational people from the past. Wonderfully unconventional. Situated in the Bullring Link.
  7. Ikon Bookshop. Any self-respecting man (or lady) about town knows that your coffee-table is supposed to have a book on it – and there’s no finer place in Birmingham to obtain that book, than Ikon Bookshop. Situated in the Ikon Gallery, Oozells Square.
  8. Honest. If you like natural, beautiful skincare and apothecary, then you’re in for a serious treat here. Expect skincare products, candles, scent and soap of the highest quality. Situated in Great Western Arcade.
  9. Jam Jar Lights & The Workshop Below. This local brand has gone from obscurity to iconic in a very short space of time. Expect stunning lights and lamps made from industrial products that celebrate the city’s industrial heritage without dirt or overalls in sight. Situated on Bristol St. South.
  10. Peter Forson. If the suit makes the man, then it’s the accessories that make the suit. This expertly curated store, situated in Great Western Arcade stocks brands such as Stetson, Borsalino and Vivienne Westwood, to name but a few.

Photography by Omar Budeiri for OBC Digital

BARBER’S BLOG | TEN RULES OF CONVERSATION

At Shepherd’s we believe that hair and grooming plays a massive part in the way that your face and silhouette are framed. We also know, however, that being the finished article goes much deeper than just having great hair. Your manners need to match too. Here are ten conversation rules that you can follow, to ensure that you navigate the world of social interaction with as much grace and gravitas as your hair.

  1. Respect Small-Talk. It’s a lost art. Many people pride themselves on how ‘straight-talking’ or ‘direct’ they are. However, we live in Britain, and simple formalities such as ‘how do you do’ followed by a compliment on their dress, hair or an accessory is not only perceived as charming, but very, very British.
  2. Make Eye Contact and Smile. Avoiding eye contact makes you look evasive and disingenuous. And the old adage, ‘smile, and the world smiles with you’ is true. Happiness is contagious. Spread it with your face.
  3. Be Kind. Some people may be shyer and less confident than you. In a group context, always try and include them in the conversation. You never know the quieter, more listening types may add a new level of insight.
  4. Avoid Religion & Politics. I know it’s tempting, but both subjects put you at risk of offending people. Religion and politics are linked to people’s identity, and failure to share the exact same view on these matters can very quickly result in the conversation turning south.
  5. Ask Questions. Be inquisitive. It shows both care and interest. Don’t interrogate though. Nobody likes to feel like they are on trial.
  6. One-Upmanship Is Unattractive. I don’t need to explain this. A conversation is not a competition. That’s why there’s a word for conversation and a word for competition. The same goes for name-dropping. Steer clear.
  7. Don’t Reveal Too Much. In our world of social media, instant messaging and general over-sharing, it is becoming increasingly common for people to spill their guts to a comparative stranger. This is bad manners.
  8. Listen More. Talk Less. Again, listening more marks you out as inquisitive and caring. It also demonstrates patience and attentiveness. Aim to be talking for 25% of the time.
  9. Don’t Interrupt. It’s very disrespectful, and makes the other person feel like their viewpoint is of no interest to you, or that they have less right to speak.
  10. Don’t Be A Gossip. This shows people that you are unable to be discreet, and as a result, cannot be trusted. It is wrong to give away other people’s secrets, and it is bad form to revel in someone else’s misfortune.