The pithy, opinionated, and sometimes brutally frank Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke challenges average guys to live a life less ordinary and embrace classic style in the broadest sense. it's time to rise above the trite, the boring, the predictable, the mundane, the banal, and the commonplace. It's time to stop behaving like barnyard animals at the trough and leave behind the perpetually sloppy man-child aesthetic of the last two decades or so. It's time to learn once again how to present and conduct yourself like an adult with some grooming, finesse, and sophistication. And here is where you can learn how.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Dispiriting News. . .

 My look of the Week for the week ending on February 5th.  The upper half of my get-up this last Wednesday.  I don't always think to snap a photograph of my clothes, but the thought actually occurred to me during early morning office hours as I read next week's crime thriller, and I happened to have my I-phone handy and fully charged.

Sad news this week.  It seems Billax, the man behind Wearing the Ivy  League Look Since 1958, has decided to cease writing/publishing his blog due to the annoying activities of a serial plagiarizer, a person who has, apparently, done the same on/in other online fora.  Even more amazing, and if I understand correctly, the offending individual is actually  a journalist of some kind by trade, someone who should know better

The whole situation is disheartening in the extreme since Billax had interesting things to say and an equally interesting, highly readable, and educated way of presenting them.  His blog was one of the best so called 'style' blogs out there, from my vantage point, thanks to these unique qualities.  He was actually present during the last hurrah of Ivy/Trad in the late 50s and early 60s, giving his observations an added layer of authenticity and veracity.  And then there was his great taste in clothes, shoes, and accessories.

We have never met, of course, and did not know each other personally, but we left comments on each other's blogs once in a while, and, despite the 20 or so years separating us in age by my estimate, I felt like we were kindred spirits in our approach to dressing, living life, and how we view the world.  The style blogging world is poorer without Wearing the Ivy League Look Since 1958.

So, for the time being at least, I'll borrow a page from Billax's book (at least until his return?) and occasionally share my own 'Look of the Week' if and when there has been an ensemble of items that I've managed to combine especially well.  You may, or may not always agree of course.  In any case, here is my Look of the Week for February 1st through 5th, 2016.

Finally, the week ended on a brighter note, when one of my male students, an Engineering major no less,  paid me a compliment on whatever it was I had on Thursday afternoon as he left the room at the end of class.  As I have mentioned before here at Classic Style for the Average Guy, I dress for myself at this point in my life, but it always adds a spring the ol' step if, or when someone says something nice about it during day to day interactions.  The moral lesson for today?  Say something kind to someone else once in a while

-- Heinz-Ulrich

And the lower half.  Calmer socks would have worked better given the  necktie and jacket on top, but these are what I grabbed from the sock drawer in the early morning darkness, and you could not see them when I stood up before a roomful of undergrads.  The pants, by the way, are one of two pairs of wool twill ones Corbin, both in slightly different shades of tan, that I found together in my old best thrift/charity haunt two or three years ago back in Central Illinois.  I don't wear them nearly as much as one the several charcoal or mid-gray pairs of wool flannel pants in my rotation, but that means they last and remain pressed a bit longer.  It is also nice to have something to pull out that you don't wear all of the time.

Friday, January 29, 2016

A Bold Tweed Thursday. . .

The upper half yesterday morning early.  The jacket is by Southwick and was thrifted for between US$5-7 a year or two ago.  On the bottom, a pair of heavy olive green chinos and the usual L.L. Bean duck shoes over ski socks.  I don't think I've gone so many days in a row without wearing leather dress shoes since my first teaching job up in Minnesota back in 2003-2004.

Well, folks.  The weekend has arrived and with it a cold and low fever.  Darn!  I had looked forward to some idle downtime during the next couple of days, engaging in a few hobby things I enjoy given a planned lull in course work and lesson prep.  But when you crummy, even normally fun things just don't seem like, well, much fun.  Sigh.  Ok.  Time for something to nibble on, and then back to bed.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

To Followers of Classic Style for the Average Guy. . .

IMPORTANT: Google Friend Connect (GFC) & Blogger follower changes

I've noticed that on a couple of days, I've suddenly lost a significant amount of followers on Google Friend Connect (GFC). While you do tend to lose a follower here and there, the sudden loss of this many followers seemed strange to me. Another blogger recently googled to see if GFC was experiencing issues (back in 2011 they phased out GFC for non-blogger sites, so wouldn't be the first time).

Apparently, starting the week of January 11th, Google has been slowly adding this requirement: you now MUST have Google account in order to follow blogs through Google Friend Connect. If you follow blogs with Twitter, Yahoo, Orkut, or other Open ID providers, you will lose your subscriptions to blogger blogs via GFC. 

Fortunately, if you'd like to continue receiving updates from me, you could do as they suggest and sign up for a Google account and re-follow your blogs.  Thanks!

Here's the original message:

In 2011, we announced the retirement of Google Friend Connect for all non-Blogger sites. We made an exception for Blogger to give readers an easy way to follow blogs using a variety of accounts. Yet over time, we’ve seen that most people sign into Friend Connect with a Google Account. So, in an effort to streamline, in the next few weeks we’ll be making some changes that will eventually require readers to have a Google Account to sign into Friend Connect and follow blogs.

As part of this plan, starting the week of January 11, we’ll remove the ability for people with Twitter, Yahoo, Orkut or other OpenId providers to sign in to Google Friend Connect and follow blogs. At the same time, we’ll remove non-Google Account profiles so you may see a decrease in your blog follower count.

We encourage you to tell affected readers (perhaps via a blog post), that if they use a non-Google Account to follow your blog, they need to sign up for a Google Account, and re-follow your blog. With a Google Account, they’ll get blogs added to their Reading List, making it easier for them to see the latest posts and activity of the blogs they follow.

We know how important followers are to all bloggers, but we believe this change will improve the experience for both you and your readers.

Posted by Michael Goddard, Software Engineer

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Doubleshot Tuesday. . .

The upper half for today early this morning over coffee and the final 75 pages of The Preacher, by Camilla Lackberg, part of my Scandinavian and Nordic Detective Fiction course this semester.  

A chilly, raw day today although much of our snow cover has gone here in the southern part of Lower Michigan.  Still cold enough for tweed and sweaters though.  The Donegal Tweed jacket shown above is one I found for about US$5 in a thrift/charity shop about three years ago.  The label inside is virtually all in Irish Gaelic other than the bit about 100% wool.  After the side and back seams were taken in by my old tailor, Mrs. V. back in Central during Fall 2014, it now fits very nicely over a thin sweater like the Land's End number in the photo.  The dark green wool tie is another thrifted item by Bachrach, and the pocket square is the wool one purchased on sale at the start of the month from Put This On.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

On the bottom, a pair of navy Land's End dress cords with the, by now, usual L.L. Bean duck shoes and ski socks.  I stepped in a deep puddle this morning crossing from the lot where I parked across to campus.  Not looking where I was going.  Imagine if I had worn one of my leather pairs of shoes and thin Merino wool dress socks?  Uh-huh.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Late January Monday Style. . .

The upper half this morning.  A thrifted Alan Flusser tweed jacket, sweater and ocbd shirt by L.L. Bean, and a Seiko sim dress watch, which was given to me by good ol' Mom way back on my 36th birthday in the early 2000s.  The necktie was a plain navy wool number.

The new semester has yet to settle down into a dull roar at the start of Week Three, but I had a few moments to sip some fresh dark roast coffee and snap these photographs this morning during office hours before my first class.  The first batch of undergrad papers arrives in just two weeks. . .  Jeeze Louise!

-- Heinz-Ulrich

An the bottom half, featuring dark green Land's End dress cords, L.L. bean duck shoes, and yet another pair of heavy to-the-knee ski socks.  I'd love to put on a pair of leather dress shoes, really I would, but the snow, slush, and salt has simply been too much.  Fortunately, we already had the requisite bad winter weather footwear before leaving Central Illinois for more northerly climes.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Winter's Majesty. . .

 Here is the view from our driveway down toward the street just before 10:30 this (Friday) morning.  Definitely suburban, but awfully quiet and almost rural.  Works for me.

We're enjoying the winter so far here at Totleigh-in-theWold although there is not yet  quite enough snow for cross-country skiing.  Locals keep remarking to us, though, that this year has been unusual in that there is usually much more snow on the ground by this point.  Still, we've had a few opportunities to fire up the snowblower to clear the driveway before heading in to campus, and we routinely enjoy the fireplace most evenings.

This evening, the Grand Duchess and I will play a game or two of Scrabble and enjoy something medicinal by the hearth following the Young Master's bedtime.  I found her a nice bottle of Apricot brandy late this morning for us to sample a bit of, and then perhaps we might follow it with a glass of wine, or some single malt scotch. . .  all of which should help my Scrabble game immeasurably!

Lest anyone think me a complete lush and reprobate for purchasing booze before Noon, I can offer a defense, albeit a rather thin one.  I had to run a few errands once the Young Master had left for school as well as pick up a few things at the supermarket for supper this eveningNaturally, I took a spin through the wine and liquor aisles on my way to the checkout counter at the front of the store, and , well, there you are.  A few bottles of wine, the apricot brandy, and a bottle of single malt scotch magically found their way into the shopping cart.  

I chuckled at this as I stood in line to pay because it reminded me of my maternal grandmother's Friday forays to the grocery store and, more important, the Pennsylvania state-run liquor store.  She always picked up a bottle or two of something on the way home, usually scotch in the winter, gin in the summer, and wine year-round before the start of the weekend.  I've written here before about my Episcopalian and Methodist forbearers, all of whom enjoyed a drink or two in the late afternoons and early evenings before supper during the weekends and on holidays.  

I realize there are people out there who will equate that with being full-blown alcoholics on a park bench somewhere.  My non-obsevant Lutheran wife, on the other hand, grew up in a less well lubricated home -- practically a dry county if we are honest -- although she has acquired a taste for a sip or two of liquor, a glass of wine with supper, and once in a while some Irish whisky or single malt Scotch with me.  It can be a nice way to unwind before heading off to bed on a Friday or Saturday evening at the end of a long week, and we really don't indulge all that much.  A few bottles of the evil firewater last us a loooooong time in other words.

Finally, as an aside, my heavy, dark green duffle coat has had more wear so far this winter than during the previous three.  Easily, one of my best Ebay finds.  And inexpensive too.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

And here is photograph taken from our front walk through part of our wold.

This is the direction from which the school bus approaches each morning.

And, of course, our woods out the back, hence my rather grandiose borrowing of Wodehouse's Totleigh-in-the-Wold.  Look closely, and you'll notice deer tracks everywhere.  I've only actually spotted two of them in the last month, but Bambi and his cohorts are clearly walking all around the house at night based on all of the new tracks we spot in the snow each morning.

Indoors, something medicinal.  I finally tracked down and retrieved the handmade crystal scotch decanter and glasses to which I treated myself before Christmas.  Due to my oversight, they were sent to our former temporary address that we left in mid-December when we moved into Totleigh-in-the Wold.  Luckily, the ladies in the rental office there set this aside and hung onto it until I called last Tuesday inquiring after it.  For the time being, the decanter contains some 10-year old Laphroig, but once that's gone I'll spring for something older.  The Grand Duchess and I are also sipping our way through a bottle of Aberlour single malt that she gave me for Christmas.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Mid-January Style in Lower Michigan. . .

The upper half today, minus the heavy dark green duffle coat from Scotland.  The necktie is a recently acquired wool number from Bert Pulitzer,

Cold and snowy here since the official start of the spring semester last Monday.  That has meant a moratorium on polished leather footwear sadly.  In its place, I have relied on LL Bean boots and the duckshoes show below worn with skiing socks.  Obviously, this would not quite work with a suit, so I have worn nothing but corduroy pants, tweed jackets, ocbd shirts, and the occasional crewneck sweater of one kind or another on really cold days along with wool neckties.  Brogued "longwings" in brown or dark tan would, admittedly, be better on the ol' feet, but I'm not complaining.  How fortunate that the Grand Duchess and I already had the LL Bean footwear in our respective wardrobes though.

-- Heinz-Ulrich 

And the lower half.  Dark tan leather belt not seen here.  Not my office rug, I promise, but a lounge area on campus where I enjoyed some very early morning coffee before settling down to read  new article on the Hitchcock films Psycho and The Birds.