Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2014

Happy New Year!

A jolly 18th century scene to usher out 2014 and pave the way for 2015.
Wishing you a Happy and Stylish New Year from The Average Guy's Guide to Classic Style!  Make 2015 the year you finally decide to kick up your everyday style several notches. 

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Christmas Dressing. . .

A quick shot of my lower extremities just prior to supper on Christmas Day 2014.
Christmas Day provided an all-too-rare chance to dress for dinner, and I seized the opportunity to do so.  Above, you can observe a so-so pair of Johnston-Murphy black tasseled loafers, brand new Dapper Classics candy cane socks, and some light gray flannel dress pants.  On top, I wore my usual heavy flannel navy blazer with a maroon, dark green, and yellow mini-plaid sportshirt, and a muted green knit silk tie.  Oh, and I tucked a rather festive blue, red, gold, and white Italian pocket square into the outer chest pocket of my blazer.  

I'll probably wear a variation of this ensemble for drinks and dessert with friends here at home tomorrow evening, and again with a couple of old grad school friends with whom we are dining out on January 2nd.  Rest assured, I'll not wear the exact same items again, since I have a few different blazers and several pairs of gray or charcoal flannel dress pants in the…

A Christmas Greeting. . .

Wishing all visitors to The Average Guy's Guide to Classic Style -- regular, occasional, and random -- a peaceful and joyous Christmas.  

-- Heinz-Ulrich


Christmas Eve 2014 Style including a Dale Classic Norwegian sweater, a Christmas 2000 gift from Mom and Step-Dad.

11 Stylish Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas. . .

A seasonally stylish gent -- Bertie Wooster assisted by Jeeves perhaps? -- depicted on the cover of the December 24, 1927 issue of New Yorker Magazine.
If you have yet to finish your Christmas and holiday shopping -- especially where the men on your list are concerned -- you could do worse than the items suggested below.  Here are 11 last minute items that you can present to the men on your list to help them become more stylish, well-groomed, and sophisticated.


1) Zippo Cigarette Lighters
The cigarette, pipe, or cigar smoker on your list will appreciate a classic stainless steel Zippo lighter which automatically elevate his style several notches.  Do make sure though to supply a small container of lighter fluid along with the lighter.  Visit Zippo.com for these and related supplies, but keep whatever lighter you might select simple and understated.  In other words, it's probably best to skip any kind of conspicuous symbols or insignia.  These usually border on the tacky, and that is …

December Wedding Guest Style. . .

Sedate, understated attire for an evening wedding and reception.
Here's how it's done for male wedding guests. . .  or should be but, sadly, is not always these days.  It took very little time to assemble the ensemble pictured.  The most time necessary was about 20 minutes yesterday afternoon, to iron the shirt, which has French cuffs.  These require a bit more time to press , fold, and crease into place, so that they look right once you are dressed and cufflinks are added.  Note, cufflinks and the metal fittings on your wristwatch should match.  Gold with gold, or silver with silver.  Don't mix the two if you can avoid it.

Otherwise, little time or thought was necessary before I dressed late in the afternoon yesterday.  It was simply a matter of opening the ol' wardrobe, selecting the suit (heavy wool flannel -- every bit as comfortable as pajamas), a silk Glen Plaid necktie, black shoes, and dark to-the-knee dress socks.  Took about three minutes, once again dispelling…

Casual End of the Semester Style. . .

Who IS that dangerously unbalanced man??!!  My take on an off Broadway out-of-work actor's (a.k.a. a waiter's) uniform.
While I initially entertained thoughts of sending off the students from my Horror Cinema course with a double-breasted suit of some kind this afternoon, when we met one final time for them to turn in their term papers, I opted for corduroy and tweed in the end.  

A slight cold has kind of taken it out me today, and I simply did not feel like suiting up.  You know how over-the-counter medications can sometimes clear your head congestion, but at the same time you don't exactly feel 100%?  Yeah.  It's like that.  A bit woozy.  Hence the lopsided grin and rather more relaxed combination of clothes along with no necktie above.

Anyway, here's a breakdown of everything shown:

* Land's End Harris Tweed Jacket
* No-name Silver-Gray Italian Silk Pocket Square
* Land's End Corduroy Jeans
* L.L. Bean Shetland Wool Sweater
* Land's End Hyde Park Button-Do…

24 Ways to Look (and Act) Better Than Average This Christmas Season. . .

An illustration from a 1950s advertisement for Schweppe's beverages.
With the 2014 Christmas and Holidays Season already in full swing, it's worth remembering our aim to dress and conduct ourselves better than has become the sad average among so many nominal "men" out there.  Coarse behavior and thoughtlessness seem to be the rule rather than the exception for too many in the second decade of the 21st century.  So, here are two dozen pointers to keep in mind when it comes to our appearance and actions at the various Christmas and holiday gatherings we might attend at this festive time of year.  Come to think of it, much of what follows below is also applicable at home and throughout the rest of the year.  Ready, guys?  Then, strap in and hang on tight, 'cause here we go!


1) Put on a blazer or sports jacket, or, heck, even a suit and tie when you attend those special Christmas and holiday events.  Nothing wrong with looking like an adult man whose slovenly undergrad…

Advent Style in Early December. . .

A cafe treat for the Young Master, who did not accompany yours truly on my paper grading mission to the local cafe this afternoon.  But how could I not purchase a gingerbread man for him when I saw them grinning from the glass case beneath the cash register?
A lot going on around here since Thanksgiving, but I thought I'd check in today with a few photos of stylish seasonal items. . .  of the edible kind.

-- Heinz-Ulrich


The first of this year's authentic Dresdner Stollen baked by the Grand Duchess each December and fresh out of the oven.  The aroma filling the house when I returned home a while ago was heavenly.  While a properly done stollen is not exactly sweet like a sticky coffee cake or birthday cake, it tastes amazing with fresh, very black coffee..

Finally, yours truly, happy to have plowed through 20 or so undergrad papers (5-6 page critical website reviews).  I have several days' respite until I get another stack of final papers from one of my classes this semester …

Be Resourceful. . .

Yours truly, checking the grill late in the afternoon of  (American) Thanksgiving Day.  A single-breasted navy blazer completed the ensemble when we finally sat down to supper.
Our oven finally died in the midst of pie-baking late Wednesday afternoon this week, the day before Thanksgiving.  For a few moments, as my wife dialed various appliance repair people at 3:30pm, it seemed like the traditional Thanksgiving meal would need to be postponed by a few days until a service man could squeeze us into his schedule. 

Then it occurred to me that we had enough charcoal from this summer left in the backyard shed next to. . .   our Weber grill.  Voila!  Problem solved, and everything had a slightly charbroiled flavor yesterday evening, Thanksgiving Day, which was a delicious change of pace.  It's not often you get to save the day like MacGyver (as played by Richard Dean Anderson long before he starred on the Battlestar Galactica reboot)!  1980s pop culture and bad TV references aside, the p…

Happy Thanksggiving!

Thanksgiving greetings to Americans at home and abroad.  While the state of the world at the moment is woeful, I nevertheless maintain that there is still a great deal in life for which to be thankful.

--Heinz-Ulrich

Another Evening Sittin' around the House. . .

Ahhhh. . .  No more classes for a few days.  Pre-Thanksgiving 2014. . .  the calm before the final week of classes this term and then. . .   Finals Week!
Who says you can't relax and feel comfortable at home without looking like a pile of old, cruddy rags?  One of my favorite combinations of items during the colder months of the year.  A heavy pink Oxford Cloth Button-Down collar shirt, dark green corduroy jeans with an older dark brown belt, and a pair of suede camp moccasins.  Warm, cozy, comfy, and yet I won't embarrass myself if I must answer the frontdoor or venture down the street and around the corner to pick up a forgotten item for my wife at the supermarket.  

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Remember Your Table Manners This (and Every) Holiday Season!

A seasonally appropriate scotch whisky advertisement.
The American Thanksgiving holiday is almost upon us, and with it, the start of the rather frenetic Christmas and New Year's Season.  While I naturally hope that regular readers of and occasional visitors to The Average Guy's Guide to Classic Style will have to good graces NOT to show up to any special holiday dinners or other events dressed in hoodies, sweatpants, sagging jeans, and flip-flops or sneakers -- or, frankly, any other common attire worn by "the great unwashed" -- this post is not about that. 

Nope.  Instead, it's a yearly reminder to average guys everywhere to remember and practice polite table manners.  Not just on special occasions either, but everyday.  With that idea in mind, here is a reprise of a post from November of 2012 (with a few small recent edits by yours truly), which presents all kinds of useful tabletop information, which used to be common knowledge.  At least in my particular dimens…

A Southwick 3/2 Houndstooth Suit. . .

The inaugural wearing of this particular Southwick suit, a fine tweed houndstooth number with a 3 roll to 2 coat.  
Our frigid weather has moderated somewhat, but today was nevertheless a good one for a heavier suit, and yesterday afternoon, I finally managed to reclaim this tweed number from my tailor Mrs. V. with whom it had resided for several weeks after the usual minor alterations.

Not only is the fabric weight heavier than any other suit I own, but the pants are fully lined to the ankles, so it's definitely not something to wear during the warmer months.  Or even late Spring and early Fall.  The suit did, however, keep me nice and toasty warm during the walks to and from campus today for classes and meetings with students to discuss their upcoming term papers.

As you'll notice in the above photograph, the size of this particular suit coat is a 40 Long, quite a bit longer than the current trend for ultra short sports jackets and suit coats.  And while detail freaks might sne…

Betweeded for an Early and Frigid Winter's Day. . .

With eyes still watering from the cold outside, here's Heinz-Ulrich still in a Pendleton tweed overcoat and 20+ year old woolen scarf (a Christmas gift from Mom and Step Dad) but sans the 29-year old brown leather gloves (another Christmas gift from Mom).
Brrrrrr. . .  A frigid, and unseasonably cold, day for mid-November in my neck of the woods!  About 20 degrees Fahrenheit with a -8 degree windchill, and the sun is dropping fast at 4:43pm.  But we have nevertheless been provided with a perfect excuse to bundle up in tweed and flannel today.  

Everything show in today's pictures was thrifted for very little, or, in the case of the tweed overcoat, purchased via Ebay for very little.  Only the suede brogues, brown belt, and the dark red Argyll knee socks were purchased new.  Proof again, that a guy can look more than a little presentable in classic attire without breaking the bank.

One thing occurs to me with classic clothing items.  Whether you frequent thrift/charity shops, watc…

Tweed for a Blustery November Day. . .

Striking a pose in Zum Stollenkeller before a shelf of various books on horror films and plastic tubs of toy soldiers.
It has finally turned cold here in our neck of the woods, although we are not getting the snow that Northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan are supposed to receive during the next several days.  Our favorite X-country ski area, in fact, is ABR Trails just outside Ironwood, Michigan right across the state line from Hurley, Wisconson, a favorite summer vacation spot for the notorious Al Capone. 

Although we live approximately a day's drive south of the area, it's still exciting news for my family since the Grand Duchess and I are enthusiastic cross-country (Nordic) skiers, and the Young Master is excited to try it.  Santa Claus actually placed an order for a child's ski package last night, so with any luck, he will find his ski legs this winter and be seasoned after a few more years.   His mother is actually much better at going down hills than…

"How large should a starter wardrobe be?"

Another great old Laurence Fellows illustration.  Or perhaps by Leslie Saalburg?  In any case, most young guys don't need to look quite this elegant in 2014, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't make a solid effort to look pulled together once you leave college or university and enter the real world.
An e-mail was in my in-box this morning from a young guy, currently in his senior year of college.  He points out that his funds are limited (for now), but he wants to begin dressing a bit better in preparation for graduation next May and embarking on his career path. He concluded by asking, "How many clothes does a young guy need when he is just starting out like me?"

I'd suggest the following as a bare minimum with plenty of room for possible later expansion or diversion, depending on your own goals, company culture, and the type of work you'll be doing.  Here we go:

*1 wool sports jacket. . .  2 in slightly different patterns are even better!
*1 navy blazer

*1 c…