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Showing posts from January, 2014

It's Gunboat Weather!

Vintage Bates (aka "Phi Bates") wingtips.  The Bates Shoe Company doesn't make 'em like this any more.
While the frigid January weather in my corner of the world has moderated somewhat, it remains seasonably cold.  Perfect weather to drag out the heavy shoes, give them a quick once over with the horsehair brush, and take 'em for a spin.  I submit for your approaval a pair of vintage Bates wingtip brogues.

Spotted these in my best local thrift shop three or maybe four years ago and paid just US$9.99 for them.  Very little wear on the leather soles, hardly any on the heels, and despite a few small nicks on the leather uppers, nothing that some moisturizer and two or three coats of highly buffed polish couldn't fix.  I really worked to get the toes and heel caps glassy on these, and it still shows.  By the way, old nylon pantyhose really help bring up that high shine on toes and heels, a tip I picked up online somewhere from ex-soldiers, who shined their dress boo…

Be Careful with Trendy. . .

Sure, he looks, um. . . nice.  But this Ubertrendy guy's clothes are going to look dated in the next 6-10 years.
In the world of menswear, it's really best to avoid jumping on too many trendy, of-the-moment bandwagons.  Currently, that includes increasingly trim cut everything and lower rises in pants among others.  Fortunately, classic male style has not changed that much in the last century or so.  So, I'd suggest opting instead for more classic proportions in our attire, which didn't seem too out of place 20 or 30 years ago, and neither will those proportions seem too out of place 20 or 30 years from now.  
Naturally, I do not suggest that we all don the dreaded Hammer Pants of the early 1990s! But slightly more generous cuts than what is currently viewed as cutting edge in the fashion industry -- at least where the fits of our pants, jackets, and shirts are concerned -- are also a bit more forgiving for those of us who are over 25 and weigh more than 130lbs. (58.9kg)…

An Interview with Giuseppe Timore of An Affordable Wardrobe

Giuseppe Timore, of An Affordable Wardrobe, tells us how it's done.
If looking pulled together and thrift shopping are your things, then you need to check out An Affordable Wardrobe.  And here's a recent interview by Hendrik Pohl of Tie-A-Tie.net with the AAW proprietor Giuseppe Timore.  It's an interesting read that is well worth five minutes of your time.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

An Addendum to Dressing the Cary Grant Way. . .

A smiling Archibald Leach (aka Cary Grant) in what looks like a jaunty Gen Plaid jacket, white shirt and subdued wool necktie.
Wise words in the post the other day borrowed from Put This On (via Dandyism.net) in which Burt Bacharach commented on the tasteful, restrained nature of Cary Grant's attire.  

The problem, however, is that male standards of dress (and behavior) have sunk so far from Mr. Grant's heyday.  In our own era of Slob Post-Post Modern of the early 21st century where anything goes (Braved a WalMart or Sam's Club lately?), a man will stand out in most places and situations by virtue of the fact that he is nicely dressed.  Even when he takes pains to clothe himself in the most modest, understated way possible.  I must admit that I am unsure how to reconcile those differences other than to suggest the following to those average guys who aspire to kick up their everyday style several notches.

Dress well, with modestly and subtlety, and yet with some quiet panache.…

Reflection and Recognition. . .

A very stylish young Michael Caine clowns around with Giovanna Ralli.
As average guys who want to kick up our everyday style several notches, we need to survey the sad "style" landscape of which we are a part in 2014, quietly recognize certain things, and make the conscious decision to change ourselves.  To begin with, and as I have indicated numerous times here on the Average Guy's Guide to Classic Style,  recognize that Style (with a capital "S") involves much more than simply clothes, accessories, and shoes.  It also involves habits, manners, speech, and attitudes.  How we conduct ourselves in other words.  A guy can have all the money in the world and a room full of stylish clothes, shoes, and all the rest, but if he behaves, to put it delicately, like a compete swine in his personal and professional interactions. . .   Well, he isn't that pleasant to be around for long, is he?  We can hardly consider him Stylish since expensive clothes do not distract p…

What to Aim for with Our Attire. . .

The always dapper Cary Grant.
This particular piece of sartorial wisdom comes to us via Put This On.  Here it is:
“Someone once gave me a very fine description of Cary Grant’s attire at a time when the motion-picture star was considered the best dressed man in this country: ‘I’ve been with Cary Grant a dozen times lately, and when I leave him I have the recollection that he was beautifully dressed. But, for the life of me, I can never remember a single thing he was wearing — his hat, shirt, tie, suit, or anything else.’ And that’s what all of us should try to achieve — the impression of being well dressed without wearing any one article that blatantly sticks in a person’s memory.”— Bert Bacharach in Right Dress (via Dandyism.net)

-- Heinz-Ulrich





Objectionable Behaviors. . .

While this kind of scene might be. . .  tolerable in children this young, there are far too many guys over the age of 18 who, apparently, know no better and see little reason to change.  Don't believe me?  Look around the next time you're in an Olive Garden, Applebee's, or similar type of restaurant.
I noticed an interesting statement made yesterday by a Mr. J. as I perused The Daily Prep blog this morning, which resonated with me.  It seems like a very good idea to share his comment here.  The gist of it goes like this: "I have one life to live, and it is mine.  While I cannot [and do not] control the behavior of others, I can and do avoid those whose behaviors are objectionable."  

I might be misquoting Mr. J. slightly, but the basic idea is sound.  Gross, crass, boorish, thoughtless, and inconsiderate personal habits and (anti-) social behaviors ARE a huge turn-off for many people of both sexes.  We are not bound to endure older children or adults who cannot man…

20 All-too-Common Male "Looks" (and Behaviors) That Need to Disappear in 2014, Part II

Are you guilty of leaving the house in clothes that look this bad?  Photo from Postgrad.Com.

20 All-too-Common Male "Looks" That Need to Disappear in 2014, Part I

After a small delay, here is the first of a two-part series on various and sundry looks (and behaviors) that average guys, who want to kick up their everyday style several notches, would do well to leave behind and even eradicate in 2014.  It ain't pretty, and I don't mince words, but we need to do something about ourselves now, men.  So, it's Classic Style Bootcamp.  Ready?  Here we go. . . 
1) Any Kind of Saggy Pants
Sagging jeans, khakis, and the like make you look sloppy in the extreme, as if you don’t give a darn about yourself, or those around you.And maybe that’s true.But don’t be surprised if and when you encounter difficulty moving seamlessly into new and different social or occupational situations because you resemble a half-full bag of leaves and lawn clippings in the midst of a Magic: The Gathering tournament at the local gaming shop.Careful attention to details and neatness when it comes to personal appearance, on the other hand, has a direct influence on how ot…

Coming Shortly: Widespread Male 'Style' Trends That Need to Disappear Now!

Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad. 
Be sure to tune in again later this weekend for a discussion of current male attire and attitudes about it that need desperately to disappear. . .  Like 15 years ago or longer.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Polar Vortex Style. . .

My wife never seems to snap the shutter when I'm actually smiling.  Her index finger must have been chilled yesterday afternoon.
Just because the weather has been absolutely frigid in my little corner of the American Midwest the last several days does not mean a guy has to leave the house looking like a a strange hybrid of dirty laundry piled in a basket and the Michelin Man.  Think of that odd layered look so many guys seem to adopt, which invariably includes a hooded sweatshirt and some kind of stained plaid work jacket with an odd knitted skicap.  

Granted, if you're working in a logging camp in Northern Minnesota or driving a snowplow and salt truck in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, that look might suffice.  But for the supposedly white collar professionals, who populate an insurance industry giant that is based in my little city, and male academics with obscene amounts of post-secondary education?  No.  You've gotta walk the walk and talk the talk, boys. . .  and pull…