“Beard topiary looks exceedingly foolish”
Patrick Grant clearly knows what looks smart, as the perfectly tailored suits he creates as owner of Savile Row’s Norton & Sons have a cult following. A graduate of Oxford’s Said Business School his obsession with British heritage brands has seen him become the current Menswear Designer of the Year, he also regularly features in the best-dressed lists of British men’s magazines like Esquire and GQ. Here at The Grooming Guide we know Patrick for his clear clean skin and well trimmed beard. He shares his tips on keeping things clean and simple, and why David Niven is his unlikely grooming hero…
What is your top grooming tip for looking sharp?
No secret, I just like to make sure that everything is in it’s place. So shoes polished, clothes pressed, hair tidy and nails clean….it’s not rocket science.
You are known for your beard, how and with what do you care for this?
I give it a trim with a Wahl beard trimmer about once a fortnight. No. 2 for summer, No. 3 for spring and autumn and No. 4 for mid-winter.
Where do you get your hair cut?
I have two regular barbers; Neil Woolley at Percy & Reed (who also does the hair for E. Tautz shoots) and Matthew Mulhall at Kinninmont.
Have you ever enjoyed the benefits of a wet shave?
I’ve had wet shaves in India and Thailand but never here. Before I went beardy I used to use a lovely classic Wilkinson sword razor that my dad gave me and a good bristle brush.
Do your grooming routines differ from daytime to night time?
Not really, I wash my face with cold water and that’s about it. I certainly don’t brush my hair before I go to bed!
Do you use different products depending on where you are in the world?
I travel with deodorant (Clinique), toothpaste, a moisturiser (Sisley Silsleyum Global Revitaliser), and a fragrance. Everything else depends on what the hotel deems fit to provide.
Have your grooming routines changed over time?
When I was a spotty youth I used all sorts of cleansers and soaps and unguents. Happily now I don’t need to bother.
If there is one thing a gentleman should be sure to do before he leaves the house in terms of grooming, what should it be?
Make sure his hat’s on straight.
What is one grooming tip you can share with the rest of us?
Keep your facial hair neat, but do not shape it. Beard topiary looks exceedingly foolish.
Can you tell us about one grooming disaster?
When did you look your best and your worst? Looking back there have been some shockers but they all felt good at the time. Men happily seem to learn to be better groomed as they age.
Do you wear fragrance if so,what is your favourite fragrance and why? What makes a good fragrance for men?
I wear lots- my favourites change with mood and season. I like most Penhaligons fragrances and Blenheim Bouquet is a big favourite. I also wear Byredo Green, Bleu de Chanel, and Sisley Eau d’Ikar.
Which other guys get it right in terms of their grooming?
David Beckham seldom looks anything less than immaculate.
Is there a historical figure/filmstar/all time icon that looked immaculate in your eyes? David Niven; even managed to make a dubiously thin moustache and a beret look good.
1. Penhaligon's Blenheim Bouquet Eau de Toilette Spray £88 for 100ml from www.penhaligons.com or the store 5 Great New Street (off New Fetter Lane) London EC4A 3BN
2. Wahl 5537-217 Beard and Moustache Trimmer about £10 at Boots
3. Sisley Eau D'Ikar Eau de Toilette £90 for 100ml from John Lewis
4. Sisley Sisleyum for Men Anti-Age Global Revitalizer about £170 for 50ml from House of Fraser, Selfridges, and John Lewis
5. David Beckham
6. Chanel Bleu Eau de Toilette Spray £60 for 100ml from Debenhams
7. Percy & Reed 157c Great Portland Street London W1W 6QS 020 7637 4634
8. Clinique Skin Supplies for Men Stick-Form Antiperspirant-Deodorant £11 for 75g from Debenhams, John Lewis, and Boots
9. David Niven