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Showing posts from December, 2013

Christmas Week Style. . .

The lower half of yesterday evening's casual ensemble.
Just because it's Christmas Week, there's been no real reason to venture out, and classes don't resume for your truly until January 8th, is no reason not to dress up a little bit when time and occasion call for it.  Yesterday evening, my wife and I were joined by a former colleague and her husband, retired professors of the German and French languages and literatures respectively. . .  and wine aficionados.  It seemed, therefor, like the perfect time to wear the Dapper Classics socks show above, which were a Christmas gift this year from my better half.  Here are the details of the full ensemble:


* Polo Univeristy Club navy wool blazer -- thrifted
* Brooks Brothers OCBD shirt red and white university stripe -- Ebay
* Land's End dress chinos (these hold a crease) -- sale 
* Land's End braided belt brown -- sale
* Dapper Classics to-the-knee dress socks -- Christmas gift
* Allen Edmonds loafers -- Ebay
* Italian silk…

Happy Feast of Stephen!

'Church in the Snow,' painted by Norwegian artist Theodor Severin Kittelsen in 1907.
Happy Second Day of Christmas!  Just contemplating, for a moment, the quiet joy that was Christmas Day this year in the von Boffke household, the first like that in several years.  Why can't we collectively have more similar days during the rest of the year?Those quiet, relaxed, calm, uncomplicated times that are filled with the small joys of immediate family and pleasant company capped off by a special meal.  We all need more of that, I think, when we actually talk to and laugh with each other rather than stare vapidly into our phones, or check the damn things every few minutes.  Or, where we simply enjoy each others' company as we look over the books and other gifts we've received once again after we finally drag ourselves upstairs to get dressed by early afternoon and return to the living room or other gathering point in the family home with another cup of coffee or a glass of…

Warmest Compliments of the Season to You. . .

Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and the children gather around the Christmas tree.
Wishing all of our visitors happy, peaceful, joyous days and compliments of the winter season regardless of your faith or level of commitment.  If you celebrate, Merry Christmas.  We'll be back with more tips on style in its broadest sense during the final week of 2013.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Avoid Endless Deliberation. . .

Anyone who has ever worked in the corporate sector, academia, or government at any level, will be familiar with the endless deliberation, dithering, and useless chatter of committee-based decision making.  It seems we just loo-oove our committees.  That must be because they prevent easy finger-pointing and accepting of responsibility if and when there is a snafu.
The longer I live, the more people, of all ages, I meet who seem to be incapable of making a decision.  It might be as simple as deciding which shoes to put on in the morning, which local restaurant to visit for an evening meal, whether or not to ask that new gal out  for a drink after work on Friday evening, or something more serious like whether or not to take that promotion and transfer recently offered to you by your company.  

Regardless of the precise situation, there is invariably a great deal of hand wringing, apron twisting, and endless talk without a decision being reached.  Arrggh!!!  This phenomenon is not a recent …

Control That Temper Guys. . .

No matter how upset you might get, rein in that temper, guys.  Losing it accomplishes nothing.
With the stress and numerous pressures of the Christmas and Holiday season, not to mention the rest of the year, it's all too easy for tempers to flare and angry words to escape from our mouths before we have had a chance to calm down.  So, I'd like to challenge average guys everywhere, who are making the effort to kick up their everyday style several notches, to exercise greater self control -- a concept no one ever seems to mention anymore -- and swallow that anger. 

Unkind words and/or physical violence do nothing to solve a problem or help a situation.  And most often, you'll succeed only in hurting whatever case you might hope to make.  Open any newspaper, or turn on the TV, and you'll see all kinds of daily examples of what has happened when two or more guys have been unable to control their respective tempers.  Childish behavior, violence, and all too often injury or eve…

A Very Simple Step toward Greater Style. . .

Trust me.  You don't want to be one of those guys who can't keep his gum in his mouth, or chew it quietly.
Here's a very simple tip for average guys who have set out to kick up their everyday style several notches.  Best of all, it's inexpensive and easily accomplished.  Are ya ready Steve?  Andy?  Mick?  All right fellas.  Let's goooooooooo!!!

If you are one of the legions of people who insist on having a wad of gum stuck in the side of your mouth -- and if no one has told you before, it's a pretty tacky and cheap habit to begin with -- chew it quietly and keep it in your mouth.  Anyone over the age of seven who cracks and pops his gum is annoying in the extreme, even if others around you are polite enough not to say anything.  That sort of thing is not even cute in children if we are perfectly frank with ourselves.  And it's also just plain gross for us to treat people to the sight of that chewed up, rubbery, neon wad of stuff in our mouths.  As inconsidera…

Do you have a mouth like a cesspit?

When you speak, are the words that come out of your mouth the verbal equivalent of raw sewerage spewing in all directions?
Late this afternoon, as I read through and graded student papers with a cup of coffee in a cafe and dining area on campus, I was reminded again how awful a steady torrent of obscenity sounds.  Two young men at a nearby table seemed unable to utter more than a sentence between them without peppering their speech liberally with the F-Word.  Keep in mind, these are university men.  Part of the huge "middle class" of which almost everyone is now a part in the United States, yet there was nothing remotely classy about these guys based on their speech and behavior.  You'd think they might have been able to express themselves a bit more eloquently after a few semesters on campus.   Guess not.

But maybe I'm completely out of touch.  Is the prevalence of this kind of thing a byproduct of the democratization of higher education specifically and society in g…

A Gentle Holiday Reminder. . .

The hilariously funny, but unexpected and uninvited, Cousin Eddie and Catherine in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
In the hustle and bustle that is December for many of us, it is worth remembering this tiny tidbit of a social grace, which average guys attempting to kick up their everyday style several notches should do their utmost to remember.  Don't drop in on people unexpectedly, and don't try to wrangle an invitation.  If people want to see or include you, they'll let you know with a phone call or an invitation.  You certainly don't want to add to anyone's Holiday stress by crashing the party uninvited.  It's high time to think of others and, hopefully, consider how your choices and behavior might negatively affect them.  Even if they are polite enough to say nothing about it.  Know what I mean?

-- Heinz-Ulrich

A Couple of Stylish, Cool Gift Ideas. . .

A classic Zippo lighter.  I've got two that look like this although I'm not a smoker.  Quite a step up from the usual disposable Bics!
That you won't see suggested on every other menswear website and style blog!  Whether you have a smoker on your giftlist.  Or you just want a couple of cool, classic accessories for your own jacket pockets.  You cannot go wrong with a chrome Zippo cigarette lighter and/or a leather cigarette case.  Even if you aren't a smoker, both items have all kinds of unanticipated uses.  After all, who knows when you might need to pull out that lighter at the campsite, or to light someone else's cigarette.  Always an amazingly suave and even retro move in our own era when coarse and common behavior rule the day most places.  And a leather cigarette case might be a neat way to carry the business cards you accumulate during the workweek.  Or, it might make a neat billfold in lieu of the more typical money clip.  Just some pre-Christmas food for th…