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.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Stop Fearing Color and Pattern. . .

A new pair of pink and green cotton, to-the-knee dress socks that I won from Dapper Classics last spring along with a pair of recrafted Allen Edmonds wingtip brogues.

One thing that average guys can do to kick up their everyday style a few notches is to embrace color and pattern.  Too often, when a guy dresses up, it's black (ugh!), charcoal, or, at best, navy blue with a white or blue shirt and some kind of tie.  When that is done right, the look can be extremely elegant in its simpilcity ala Beau Brummel.  But you're missing out on adding some life and dynamism to your appearance if that's all you ever wear.  

So, how about broadening your attire horizons a bit?  Have some fun here and experiment with color and pattern once in a while.  I'm certainly not suggesting that you go over the top with color in the same way that the crazy character "Mark" did on Ugly Betty, but a few well-chosen accents can help get your overall look up on its feet.  With that in mind, I submit for your consideration a photograph of the bottom part of my ensemble today:

* Girorgio Aramani pleated pants in dark grey, lightweight wool (E-bay)
* Allen Edmonds wingtips in dark brown (E-bay and then recrafted at the AE factory)
* Dapper Classics cotton, knee-length dress socks (won in a Facebook drawing last spring)

And on top:
* Georgio Armani three-button, linen sports jacket in wheat (An Affordable Wardrobe)
* Land's End straight collar shirt w/faint pink, green, and blue windowpane pattern (clearance)
* Bachrach wool necktie in forest green (thrifted)
* Italian silk pocket square in silvery gray and black paisley patterns (thrifted)
* Land's End leather belt in dark brown (clearance)

 On reflection, today's collection of garments and accessories was perhaps a bit overly coordinated and matchy-matchy as far as the light green and pink went.  So, I opted for a pocket square that had nothing whatsoever to do with the tie or shirt.  The jacket, I suspect, dates from the late 80s or early 90s given the strong shoulders, but the socks were only visible when I sat down to have some coffee during my office hour in the student center following an 8am class, so I didn't worry about things too much.  

I felt good, and, Heaven knows, I looked more presentable than most male professors or staff on my small campus this morning.  However, I dress more for myself at this point than to intimidate or impress.  If people like it and understand about setting, occasion, and the related appropriate attire, great.  But if others think it's somehow weird, or that I'm trying t0o hard, that is their prerogative.

The point is, unless one is in a more staid occupation like banking, finance, or the legal profession, have a little fun with your wardrobe, guys, and make things a bit more colorful sometimes.  Trust me.  It's OK, and your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, or significant other will almost assuredly be into it.  And that ain't a bad thing.  Who knows?  You might get the occasional compliment from someone you don't even know.  It happens.

-- Heinz-Ulrich


Anonymous said...

Well as a solicitor I'm obliged to wear a suit every day, I do try to push the boundaries a bit. So over the last 20 plus years have built up a collection of about 15 winter work suits and 8 summer suits. These are pretty classic with about half double breasted and the others single. There are some pretty standard fixtures:-

1. 4 cuff buttons which should open.
2. A ticket pocket on the right side.
3. Double vents at the back.
4. On the single suits, 3 buttons at the front.
5. Turn ups on the trousers.
6. Pretty narrow trouser bottoms.
7. No belt loops - only buttons for braces.
8. Depending on my mood over the years, the suit linings go from dull grey and darkish red to light pink and blue!

I have had 90% of my suits made for me by a tailor. The first was done at my father's tailor in 1986. I still wear this suit although it has been let out etc. Regretfully I am not quite as thin as I was 27 years ago but thankfully I have not gone grossly over weight. I have a range of pin strips, through plain greys/blues to prince of wales checks.

I then match these fairly conservative suits with colourful shirts and always wear a silk pocket handherchief (never matching the tie). Recently I have been buying knitted silk ties. Socks regretfully during the week are fairly boring and coloured socks are reserved for the weekend.


Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Hello Guy,

Thank you for your remarks above. Might you consider sharing a photo or two of your ensembles here? It's always fun and inspiring to see how others do it. Your colored jacket linings sound great, and I too prefer not to match the pocket square to my tie most of the time. Anyway, thank you again for commenting, and please continue to drop by as and when you like.

Best Regards,

Heinz-Ulrich von B.