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.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Snowy Mid-December Style. . .

Yours truly earlier this morning on the way to our local quick & greasy breakfast haunt with the Grand Duchess.  Eggs, ham, and hashed brown potatoes that are to die for along with a bottomless cup of coffee.  And now I will ski some of that off just around the corner and up the road from our house.

A more casual approach to everyday style here recently since the end of classes last week.  Just some final grading to finish in the next couple of days, and then posting course grades to the requisite site by the deadline early next week.  And then let the peevish, whiny emails from disgruntled students begin!  Tiny violins as my wife says.

In the meantime, various corduroy jeans, comfy old Norwegian sweaters (two of early 90s vintage from L.L. Bean and one from Dale of Norway that I've had since Christmas of 2000), ski socks, and the ol' trusty L.L. bean duck shoes have been getting a lot of wear here at home.  The scarf in the photograph is an old J. Peterman item given to me for Christmas by Mom and Stepdad about 20 years ago.  I wear end enjoy it every year from about the end of October to early April.

The long red stocking cap (actually made in Norway too), on the other hand, is something that I purchased man years ago at an annual winter festival held each February in Røros, Norway not far from the Swedish border.  Never, ever have I been so cold in my life as I was on that day.  It really was a can't feel your toes and fingertips kind of cold (yeeees, we were bundled up with heavy coats, hats, and gloves).  More like Scott of the Antarctic than a fun day out with friends. 

Somewhere, there is a photograph of yours truly and a friend with our sock-feet perched on the hearth of a large fireplace, with a lovely warm fire inside, in a bookstore on one of the main walking streets of Røros.  We ducked inside to have something to drink and warm up.  Well below 0 degrees Fahrenheit on that particular day.  And now I am off to dress for some cross-country (Nordic) skiing.

-- Heinz-Ulrich


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Two More Holiday Gift Ideas. . .

 Above yesterday morning, on the way to brush off and hitch up the ol' Subaru Outback sleigh for a jaunt into campus for a workshop on creating digital identities.  Ho, ho, ho!


And, pardon the thumb, the lower half.  Bright red ski socks and a brown braided belt, unseen in ths picture, completed the ensemble.


A couple of more Holiday gift ideas in today's photographs.  One, it's hard to go wrong with L.L. Bean duck shoes or boots for cold, or mucky late fall, winter, and early spring weather conditions depending on where the recipient of said gift lives.  Now, these always seem to sell out each year, and while there might still be time to order and ship the required size in time for Hannukah for Christmas, you can find similar foul weather footwear from companies like Sperry, Land's End, and Sorel.

On a different note, sometimes it can be fun to give (or receive) a gift that serves no other purpose other than that it is a neat thing to have.  Sterling silver, pewter, and stainless steel pocket flasks that hold a nip of something warm and medicinal are one such item.  You can find these at various price points on Amazon.  My own personal preference is for one like the flask shown below, in stainless steel with brown leather trim.  I hope Mrs. Santa is paying attention.

-- Heinz-Ulrich






Monday, December 11, 2017

Holiday Gift Giving Ideas. . .

My mother presented me with a ballpoint pen and pencil set  like this one for high school graduation may years ago.  I still use them in 2017.


With the approach of Hannukah, Christmas, and the gift-giving season in general, it seems like a good idea to include a few interesting gift ideas for the special men in your life (or perhaps yourself).  To start the silver Christmas tree balls rolling, it's hard to go wrong with a sterling silver pen and pencil set from a company like Cross.  No need to rely on someone else to lend you a chewed up Bic disposable ballpoint, or a dull pencil with no eraser when these are in your your inside sports jacket or suit coat pocket.  Sterling silver not to your taste?  The company offers a wide variety of elegant, sophisticated, masculine pen and pencil sets at all price points.  Visit their website at: www.cross.com.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Friday Afternoon Meeting Style. . .

 Poodle necktie courtesy of Chipp and the wool pocket square from the folks at Put This On.  The wool flannel jacket is by Brioni, picked up for a song several years ago via Ebay, and the green and white university stripe OCBD is of course from L.L. Bean.  Long live New England fustiness!


 Suede shoes by Allen Edmonds and Merino wool socks by Dapper Classics.


Who says Friday afternoon department meetings on socially conscious pedagogy at the tail end of the semester are no fun?  Arf!  Arf!  A seasonal variation on a combination of garments that owe a great deal to G. Bruce Boyer.  The first appreciable snowfall of the season arrived here in Mid-Michigan early this (Saturday) morning, so the suede shoes will likely not see the light of day again until sometime in March, or even April depending on when the winter snow and spring slop dry up enough for nice shoes once more.  In the meantime, the cross-country (Nordic) skis are lined up by the backdoor.  Winter can arrive full blast any time now as far as I am concerned.

-- Heinz-Ulrich




Two views from our front step at about 9:30 this morning.  The fall is my favorite season, but I like winter weather an awful lot too.  Now, if only I could get the blasted snowblower to start, so it's ready when we really need it!

The Vince Guaraldi Trio -- A Charlie Brown Christmas (Full Album)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Festive Tweed and Cords for Advent. . .

 Above today, December 7th, featuring a jacket by J. Press, a Pendleton wool necktie, and a pink OCBD from Land's End.  I have a few different wool tartan ties, but this one is my favorite, and it gets a lot of wear during December each year.


On the lower half, a pair of vintage Florsheim 'longwings', some wool dress socks by Dapper Classics, and a pair of dress corduroy paints again by Land's End.


My final day of classes for the current academic term today (Hurrah!), and now the grading, tallying of numbers, and online submissions of final course grades for almost 150 students spread across three courses can begin in earnest (Hiss!). 

In any case, I felt like dressing with a nod to the season this morning, so here we are.  A bit matchy-matchy, and even bordering on the dandy for some tastes perhaps, yet not an unpleasant ensemble by any stretch.  It occurs to me that, should a man wish (or be asked) to "dress up" for any sort of holiday occasion  -- parties, dinners, church services -- in the next few weeks that it's hard to go wrong in 2017 with a tweed jacket, cords, and tartan wool tie, and a pair of wingtip brogues.  Still pulled together, mind you, but a bit more casual and relaxed than a full suit. 

The latter item certainly has its place though, so be prepared should a more formal gathering call for it.  My maternal grandfather and father, for example, always wore suits for Christmas Eve church services and Christmas dinners at home as recently as the 1980s and '90s.  Sports jackets, cords, and, in the case of my father, a black or navy turtleneck pullover ala Steve McQueen worn with classic oxblood penny loafers were for parties during Christmas week or on New Year's Eve.

I like the particular combination of garments shown above so much, that I might just have to replicate it for our big Christmas Eve dinner and church service around the corner and down the street from our house.  

Last but not least, we woke here at Totleigh-in-the-Wold to a seasonal dusting of snow and bracing Michigan cold early this morning.  Can Christmas and cross-country (Nordic) skiing be far off?

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Friday, December 1, 2017

Pamper Your Feet From Time to Time. . .

Your feet take a beating, so why not give 'em a little extra attention?


Even with correctly sized and well-fitted quality dress shoes, it's still likely that you'll have calluses build up somewhere on your feet over time, which might potentially lead to other foot problems down the road if left unchecked.  So, how about accompanying the woman in your life to a manicure/pedicure salon a few times a year?  It's wild and crazy, I know.  But why not?

That's what I did with my wife this (Friday) morning when we took the day of just for us.  After a large breakfast at our favorite quick and greasy (actually a locally owned restaurant where the gal who runs it knows us by name and hot breakfast beverage habits),we headed from Willamston back down Grand River into Okemos, Michigan to a nail salon and spa favored by my wife The Grand Duchess.  

Without going into all of the eeeewwws and uggghhhs, let's simply say that my feet look and feel better than they have in years.  Rough patches and calluses gone.  Almost as soft as a baby's bottom again.  And the hot rock treatment on my feet and lower legs at the end of everything was divine.  The occasional pedicure could become habit forming.

What about your own feet then, men?  How about setting those unfounded fears of being/seeming too effeminate to one side, and get yourself a pedicure from time to time.  No one needs to know, and your feet will thank you for it.  It certainly put the spring back into my step.

-- Heinz-Ulrich