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Showing posts from November, 2013

Another Great Gift Idea. . .

Call it either a late birthday to myself, or an early Christmas gift, but I've got a pair of these purple, orange, and black socks on their way to me from Dapper Classics right now.
Another great Christmas or holiday gift idea for yourself, or the guys on your list, who are looking to kick up their everyday stay several notches in 2014, might include a pair or three of to-the-knee, American-made dress socks by Dapper Classics.  Their Black Friday Sale, with 25% off on all orders, is still going on for a few more hours, so click on the link, and have a look around.  You're sure to find a few designs that you cannot live without.

And here's a hint for you more sartorially conservative average guys out there.  Dapper Classics also offer a variety of extremely sharp, but slightly more muted models of socks for those more formal times and occasions, from weddings and funerals, to those few remaining offices (bless 'em) where business formal dress remains the order of the day.…

A Classic Masculine Gift Idea. . .

Royall Lyme, Bay Rhum, and Vetiver aftershave and cologne.  Three of my post-shower and shaving favorites.
With Black Friday and the approach of the Christmas gift-giving season upon us, it seems like a good idea to say a few brief words -- Yes, it IS possible. -- about possible gift ideas.  Here is one that you might hint strongly for, or to which you might just treat yourself.  The Royall aftershave lotions are delightfully fragrant, yet subtle, classic masculine scents that few men seem aware of.  Thankfully.  

I first learned about Royall products almost 30 years ago, when my maternal grandmother gave me a bottle of Royall Lyme one Christmas.  I've been a fan ever since.  This year, for my annual 29th birthday celebration, my four-year-old son, the Young Master, presented me with the bottle of Royall Bay Rhum you see above.  

Not exactly cheap, but by no means the most expensive male fragrances on the market, it's hard for average guys to go wrong with the Royall line when ma…

Thanksgiving Sartorial Nonchalance. . .

Note the pink socks with green stripes, from Dapper Classics, peeking out from beneath the chinos.
Here is how the males of the Average Guy's Guide to Classic Style household dressed for Thanksgiving Supper late yesterday afternoon, continuing an example set many, many years ago by my maternal grandfather and great uncles, and later my father, all of whom wore at the very least a collared shirt and sports jacket to the table for holiday dinners.  More often, it was a suit, white shirt, and necktie for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, Easter, and other special occasions.  And no.  Rest easy, gents.  The Grand Duchess did manage to slip upstairs right before supper and exchange her jeans and Birckenstocks for a dark top, skirt, and a pair of heels.

-- Heinz-Ulrich


The Young Master, who succeeded in looking much more relaxed and at ease than his father.  Chalk it up to the promise of pumpkin pie.

Happy (American) Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

Strangely (for a guy), I really like old-fashioned Victorian and Edwardian greeting cards.  Look what I found online this morning!
A day early, yes, but I've got a few moments to myself for another mug of coffee before pie preparation (pumpkin and raspberry) begins in earnest along with a few other dishes for tomorrow and running the vacuum cleaner around the first floor.  So, allow me to wish all American visitors to The Average Guy's Guide to Classic Style, wherever in the world you might find yourselves, a very. . .  Happy Thanksgiving!  May your day tomorrow be filled with family, friends, fun, and delicious food.  We do indeed have a great deal to be thankful for in whatever form our respective lives take, something that is all too easy to forget in the hustle and bustle of the 21st century.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Celebrate the Holiday Season in Style. . .

If a pack of dogs can get dressed for a special occasion, then so can you.  Put on some dressy clothes for those upcoming holiday dinners and parties, damn it!
With the holiday season almost upon us it, it's time once more to remind ourselves -- average guys making an effort to kick up our everyday style a few notches -- of the need to put on some real clothes for all of those special dinners, cocktail parties, open houses, and other occasions that typically occur between the end of November and early January each year.  

Here's the skinny, guys.  Contrary to what many of you might think, or may have been led to believe up to this point in your lives, holiday-related events are special occasions. Your hosts or loved ones will have gone to considerable trouble and expense to organize and prepare these events in advance.  Occasions like these do not come around everyday, and therefore (Surprise!) are several notches above the usual weekend routine of watching TV sports with your b…

"How do I get a good grade in your course?"

A generic professor type with students.  So, how does a student do well in university and college-level course?
Every semester, there are always one or two students (usually young guys), who come to me on the first day of the term at the end of the first meeting and ask, "How do I get a good grade in your course?"  Mind you, this invariably is after I have bored everyone, myself included, by reading through the entire multi-paged syllabus, which details, among other things, how students can do well.  But ok.  Let's attribute it to freshman or new semester jitters.  I'll play along.  For you average college-aged guys out there, here is how to become better, and maybe even stellar students during your undergraduate career.  Pay attention.  It's not rocket science by any stretch of the imagination.  There are no secrets or magic bullets.  Ready?  Here we go!


1) Buy the required textbook(s) ASAP and bring it/them to every class.  Don't show up without them.  Snap…

Start 'em young. . .

YMP all ready to head with his mother for the final Saturday Morning Farmers' Market of the 2013 season.  Not all that different than the way my mother dressed yours truly in the 1970s, my grandfather dressed as an undergraduate in the 1930s, my grandmother dressed my uncle in the 1950s, and my father dressed as a university undergraduate in the early 1960s.  Classic and timeless.
Just because they are children does not mean young boys should go through the first five year of life dressed in nothing but Sponge Bob or Spiderman items, junior versions of bagged out t-shirts, sweat-, or cargo pants, or any permutation of what has become recognized and known in some quarters as thugwear.  Hopefully, we aren't raising them to resemble little meth heads, petty criminals, or various other types -- and there are many -- who look like they've fallen through the cracks of society.  Or they are about to.  

Nope.  Let's stop kidding ourselves.  Appearance most definitely is importan…

Sometimes, the Stars Line Up. . .

Yesterday's ensemble, detailed below.  This is as casual as I allow my Friday's get.
In just the right way.  Friday morning, before daylight, I managed to throw on the garments pictured above without effort or thought post-shower and shave.  In the dark.  And then forgot about them and strode forth into my day of teaching, meetings with students, and another with colleagues.  Never realized quite how nicely everything worked together until late afternoon, when I arrived home and changed into more casual attire.  Not bad for no planning at all, if I do say so myself.  Here's a break down of the clothing and accessories shown:

* Polo University Club wool blazer (thrifted)
* Brooks Brothers oxford cloth button down (Ebay)
* No-name, unlined wool necktie in MacDonald tartan (thrifted)
* Land's End Dress Chinos, which hold a crease (purchased on sale)
* Land's End braided leather belt (end of season clearance)
* Johnston Murphy loafers, worn on rainy, wet days to spare better …

In Matters of the Heart, Don't Be Desperate. . .

Why, oh why, does it seem these days like so many guys are afraid to be by themselves?
It never ceases to amaze me.  What, pray tell?  You really want to know?  Ok, here you go.  The sheer number of online exchanges, and actual conversations one overhears virtually everywhere, where people are apparently obsessed about the "problem" of being single.  What?  What??!!  

You read it right.  And it's not just something the gals trouble themselves over either.  Guys do it too.  But that sort of worrying to death and overthinking those much sought after, hoped for, and eventual relationships is hardly the way for average guys to kick up their everyday style.  Newsflash!  Sadness and desperation are anything but stylish.  Sorry for not being sorry about that.

Here's a different approach to try.  Live your life, behave like a reasonably pleasant, purposeful individual -- DO NOT become a player whatever you do under any circumstances.  That only breeds unhappiness for someone, y…

Strive to Be Better Neighbors. . .

The cast of the 1970s British situation comedy The Good Life, known in the United States as Good Neighbors.  From left to right Felicity Kendal, the late Paul Eddington, Penelope Keith, and the late Richard Briers.
If there are any super-intelligent lifeforms elsewhere in the universe observing life here on Earth in the second decade of the 21st century for useful tips on how a society ought to function cohesively, they must be chuckling to themselves right about now.  Think about it for a moment.  Even on good days, the news can make it seem like the world has gone mad in places, and that people on one part of the globe or another just can't manage to live together and get along.

It seems, moreover, to be frightfully easy for most of us nowadays to become cut off and even alienated from the people closest to us.  Without a doubt, the decline of community (in all senses) in the last few decades, the more recent rise of technology, and the abundance of various blinking, chirping pe…

A Doublebreasted Jacket on Campus. . .

A photo of yours truly, horsing around in the afternoon sun following school yesterday afternoon.
Who is that grinning and horribly overdressed ass?  Catsmeat Potter-Pirbright?  Augustus Fink-Nottle?  Or is it Tuppy Glossop?  Neither.  It's yours truly, Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke, once again modelling the Ralph Lauren Glen Plaid double-breasted jacket, purchased from An Affordable Wardrobe earlier this fall, yesterday afternoon.  The fit is great, and it's a very comfortable piece.  Heavy flannel, but not quite as heavy as my heavier tweed jackets, so for a sunny, late fall day, it was ideal with an overcoat for the walk to and from campus.  My Russian colleagues, who have remarked several times in the past how sloppily informal they find many American college and university campuses, complemented me on it, something that is always nice to hear.  About the jacket I mean.  The other garments included:

* Brooks Brothers red and white stripe oxford cloth button-down
* Daks silk necktie

Introductions, Thank-yous, and Excuse Mes. . .

When you meet someone new for the first time, establish eye contact, shake hands firmly, and exchange correct verbal salutations.
A somewhat shorter post today.  I'm simply worn out after yesterday's marathon writing, proofreading, and editing sessions.  Almost 11am here, and so time for the first scotch and water of the day I think. . .  Joking, joking!  Only joking.  We wait until at least Noon on Sundays here at Stollen Central before the process of knocking 'em back starts in earnest.  In the meantime, let's briefly talk about introductions, thank-yous, and excuse mes, three areas of social interaction and exchange that too many average guys (and people in general) get wrong in the 21st century.

Where introductions are concerned, the correct thing to say when you meet someone for the first time, and hopefully shake his or her hand firmly is, "How do you do?"  Please, please, please do not use the ubiquitous "Nice to meet you" or the even more drea…

The Way You Speak Is Important. . .

You want to be heard, in at least two senses, anytime you talk to and converse with people, but how you speak might be getting in the way of that.
As some of you might have guessed from previous posts here at The Average Guy's Guide to Classic Style, I am a big fan of languages, dialects, and accents, both in my own native American English plus other languages I've been exposed to over the years.  Differences and deviations between the written word on the one hand and the spoken on the other are fascinating.

But how we talk is a huge factor in the way we come across to others during our interactions with them.  There is just no getting away from it.  Whatever your country or culture of origin and native language(s) might be, I'm willing to bet there are jokes floating around about the humorous misunderstandings that can and do arise due to differences in speech habits, patterns, and vocabulary.

A number of years ago, there was a very funny public service announcement on TV in…