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Showing posts from April, 2013

Recondition Your Dress Shoes!

The newly arrived reconditioned Allen Edmonds shoes, courtesy of Allen Edmonds, along with a few unexpected customer appreciation gifts.
Readers of The Average Guy's Guide to Classic Style will know that I generally advocate thrifting and watching for sales as cost-conscious ways of building one's wardrobe.  And the same goes for footwear.  I've been lucky enough to spot half a dozen pairs of Allen Edmonds dress shoes in two local thrift stores and online during the last couple of years, building a small but respectable collection of very nice dress shoes for a fraction of their retail cost.  Some among you might be able to acquire a good basic collection of dress shoes more rapidly if you have more and better thrift shops in your area, but I suffer from smaller than average feet for a guy, and narrower too.  So, it has taken a bit longer than I thought it initially might to find and add several pairs of quality dress shoes to the wardrobe.

The pair of Allen Edmonds shoes pi…

Sartorial Faceplants. . .

Perhaps the ultimate in skiing faceplants.  How did they get him (or her?) out?
Some days, just nothing seems to go right, and that has certainly been the case so far today with regard to clothes and the pretense of attempting to dress stylishly.  To wit:


1) Already too late early this morning to take the time and head back upstairs for a different sports jacket or blazer, a brass button (the buttoning point button) came off my mid-blue blazer this morning as I rushed out the door.  The first time this season I've worn that particular blazer too.  Should've known right then that the stars were not aligned properly today.  Sigh.

2) Mid-morning, during office hours to which students rarely come (unless you make them visit you by making it count as part of their grade), one of those tiny metal pins that keeps leather watch straps attached to the actual wristwatch broke on my Bulova watch.  This is really maddening since it has not been three months since I had the pins and strap rep…

The Swing of the Sartorial Pendulum

The cast of AMC's Mad Men.  While this particular business dress aesthetic might not be to your taste, do you really want to leave the house for work five days a week dressed like you're going to push a broom somewhere?
You might not need to dress in a three-piece suit and necktie within your particular line of work.  But neither do you want to drift aimlessly into the ill-defined, amorphous mess that "business casual" has become most places.  Why risk straying dangerously into slob territory? 

Like it, or not, a slovenly appearance, implies a boatload of negative things to clients, co-workers, supervisors, and even strangers you pass on the street.  You don't care about details.  You can't be bothered.  It's too much trouble.  You're too busy.  It doesn't matter.  Others just have to deal with it.  You'll wear and do what you want.  You're not putting yourself out for anyone or anything.  Tough luck, buddy!  The list goes on and on.

Sorry g…

Dandy Friday. . .

My somewhat dandified get-up worn last Friday. 
Casual Fridays?  Ugh!  Hate the entire concept.  Too many people get it wrong.  So very wrong.  I mean, how can you give clients, people you supervise, or students and pupils you teach the impression of knowledge, expertise, capability, and skill when you wear things like grubby, wrinkled Dockers and an over-sized golf shirt, or frayed jeans and cheap square-toed shoes that fell out of fashion 20 years ago?  No, it's preferable to dress better than you are required to and keep it classic.  Clothing, after all, coveys a message whether we choose to admit it to ourselves or not. 

So, In my neck of the woods, I've rechristened these now ubiquitous dress down days as Dandy Fridays and dress accordingly.  One of the few benefits of being in academia.  No one hassles you about bucking the current company culture, or flaunting the team player "guidelines" laid down in the employee handbook by dressing like you actually give a d…

A Restrained Monday. . .

The "look" for Easter Monday.
My love for tweed and wool sports jackets in bold houndstooths, herringbones, and tartans notwithstanding, sometimes it's nice to throw colleagues and students a curveball and wear something more austere once in a while.  And so it as with today's ensemble, which included:
Wool Flannel Pants by Corbin -- $3.99 (Thrifted) Navy Wool 'University Club' Blazer by Polo -- $7.99 (Thrifted) Wool Necktie -- $1.99 (Thrifted) Silk Pocket Square -- $1.99 (Thrifted) Shoes, Belt, and Shirt -- Purchased On Sale at Different Times in 2010.
Socks -- Purchased On Sale September 2004.

I was particularly taken with the unintended matching of the green socks with the tiny green flecks at the center of the gray floral designs on the tie.  A nice surprise when I realized it later.  In any case, it's just one more example of how average guys can put together an above average ensemble for pennies on the dollar.