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.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Don't Forget These in Your Quest for Better Everyday Style. . .

Make sure you get enough sleep, among other things.  It will improve your appearance, productivity, and outlook on life to no end.

For all of the talk about clothing, shoes, accessories, and personal conduct here at The Average Guy's Guide to Classic Style -- and elsewhere in the menswear blogosphere -- it's important not to overlook smaller things that can help a great deal when an average guy makes the decision to kick up his everyday style several notches.  Here are ten tips that come immediately to mind: 

1) Hands
Keep 'em clean, clip your nails once a week, and file any rough edges at once.  Don't bang up your hands in the yard or garden either.  Wear work gloves.  Don't bite your nails, keep your cuticles pushed back with an orange stick, and be sure to moisturize!

2) Toenails
Is it really necessary to say that you need to keep these clipped?

3) Face
Shave daily, or, barring that, Monday through Friday at least.  The bleary-eyed, three-day growth, and perpetual undergrad look has been done to death already.  Know what I mean?  And if you insist on anything approaching the Long John Holmes look, then at least keep your beard and/or 'stache trimmed neatly.  Get a good facial cleanser if blackheads or blemishes are a problem and wash your face with it twice a day.  Don't squeeze zits or pick at your face.  Keep those eyebrows trimmed if necessary, and be on the lookout for any stray nose and ear hairs.  You can buy a specialized battery operated clipper for these at your local drugstore or pharmacy.  Finally, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!  You should also be aware that smoking and too much booze will, over time, have a negative effect on your face (and the rest of your body).  Care and moderation are the keys here.

4) Teeth
Again, hopefully it's not really necessary to say this, but I will anyway.  Brush at least twice a day, floss, and use fluoride mouthwash.  See your dentist routinely for check-ups, cleaning, and any necessary work, the latter of which, hopefully, will not be that often.

5) Hair
Keep it trimmed neatly.  Don't go overboard with any particular product or of-the-moment style.  And here's a newsflash for you trendier boys.  That way cool fauxhawk really makes you look like Ed Grimly or Bob's Big Boy.  In other words, you look like a goober!  If you're over the age of 12, and your life/career goals include moving into and navigating the white collar world, get a man's haircut with a sharp side part.  And I'm telling you this as someone who used to rock a killer early 80s era Eddie Van Halen 'do way back when, ok?  There comes a point when you've got to grow up a bit.  Unless you actually want to go through life looking like Billy Ray Cyrus when Achy Breaky Heart and country line dancing were all the rage, then by all means. . .

6)  Aftershave or Cologne
Don't overdo it with the aftershave or cologne.  Less is more.  Unless you want everyone else you pass on the sidewalk or in a room to know that you have purchased a new bottle of Axe that is.  Pee-eew! 

7) Body
In the shower or tub, use a loofah or back 'n' body brush or scrubber to exfoliate and invigorate your skin. . .  all over.

8) Sleep
We all have occasional late nights for various reasons, bet get plenty of sleep when at all possible.  It not only affects your appearance for the better, but ample rest also influences your general mood and outlook on life.  Trust me here.  Recent personal experience has reinforced the importance of this point.

9) Food
We've all got our favorite things that we eat too much of, but make every effort to watch what and how much you eat.  Moderate your intake and don't go overboard with even the healthy stuff.  Exercise some self-control here.  Of course, it should go without saying that you should avoid sugary carbonated beverages at all costs.  They'll make you put on weight, ruin your teeth, and destroy your stomach lining in the process.  And regardless of current misguided efforts to endorse fat acceptance and love your body as it is -- bowing to the almighty gods of self-esteem yet again here in the U.S. of A. -- there is no doubt that a reasonably trim figure is more healthy in the long term.  Your body also looks better and is easier to clothe.  There.  I've said it.

10) Exercise
It's not necessary to go whole hog and do the Rocky Balboa routine up and down the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art before sunrise every morning, but even something as simple as an hour's walk five evenings a week will help to keep you trim and agile in our otherwise sedentary digital age.  Of course, if you can find the time and inclination for something more vigorous like regular jogging, swimming, bicycling, roller blading, or (snow permitting) cross country skiing, or even sex a few times each week, then so much the better.  Exercise that body and burn some calories, darn it!

There we are.  Without a doubt, there are other points that will occur to you when you think if over.  However, these ten should go a long way in helping you to kick up you style quite a bit.  Best of all, they cost little to nothing to incorporate into your daily life and routine.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

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