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Showing posts from July, 2014

More Summertime Reading. . .

An engrossing collection of essays by academics and museum curators on all things Art Deco.  A heavy, over-sized coffee table book that I recommend highly.
We take a holistic approach to personal "Style" here at The Average Guy's Guide to Classic Style.  So, various things besides simply clothing and attire are covered, which, hopefully, will enable a guy to kick up his everyday style several notches and live his life as a more informed, refined, and interesting individual.  A stylish man has considerable breadth and depth to his education, interests, and personality.  Ideally, he continues to inform himself about various subjects, news, and current events long after college and university exams are behind him.  Hence this morning's brief post. 

-- Heinz-Ulrich



This one is, of course, connected to my model soldier and military history hobby.  A fascinating mid-19th century war in Central Europe when drums still beat the march time, flags still flew in battle, and unifor…

Summertime Style. . .

Yours truly, beating the heat in my standard summertime uniform, during July 2008 as I checked on a couple of pork shoulders for some of that North Carolina Pulled Pork BBQ that I whip up from time to time.  A 6' high privacy fence now surrounds our backyard, a 2010 addition after two summers with our overly familiar (and clueless) nextdoor neighbors.  Time now though for a scotch&water I think.  Or maybe a gin&tonic?
Summer is in full swing here in our little corner of the American Midwest as it no doubt is for many of you in the Northern Hemisphere.  July has been delightfully unusual so far this year.  With the exception a day or two here and there, when the AC became necessary at night, it has been unseasonably cool and green, something that is not typical for this time of the year in the midst of Central Illinois.  Usually by this time, it is hot, dry, and the grass is a uniform brown most places.  Hopefully, August and September will continue in a similar temper…

Three Points to Keep in Mind. . .

James Purefoy as Beau Brummel in the 1996 BBC production entitled This Charming Man.

An average guy working to kick up his everyday style several notches should aim to be the following:

1) Be discerning where your personal appearance, conduct, and who you spend time with outside of work (or obligatory family functions) are concerned.

2) In other words, be meticulous when it comes to the details of your work and casual attire, your behavior in public, at home, and by yourself as well as in your choice of friends.  Where the latter is concerned, choose interesting people with wide-ranging interests and experiences, who enrich your life, and whose lives you can enrich in turn.  Life is too short to spend one's waking hours in less than interesting company.

3) Last, be fastidious in the maintenance of everything mentioned above rather than sinking to the bottom simply because it's the easiest path to take.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

A Dozen Things You Simply Don't Do in Public. . .

Personal grooming behind the wheel of your car?  Just don't!
After reading Dear Abby online this morning, in which a woman wrote about her husband's habitual grooming behind the wheel of the car, and how this kind of distracted driving frightened her, it occurred to me that it was time for another reminder post like today's.  So here we go.

For average guys who realize the need to kick up their everyday style several notches and are working hard to do so, remember, it's not always about the clothes and shoes.  More often than not, "Style" has to do with how we are to be around, from others' perspectives, both at home and in public.  The kind of men we are in other words.

One very effective way we can ensure that we remain pleasant to those we know well and those with whom we are unacquainted, but who might notice us from across a crowded room, is to observe the dozen tips below when it comes to certain extremely common, but less than pleasant personal habits…

A Couple of Classic Items for Sale. . .

A Southwick wool suit in a lovely herringbone patter, sized 44R.  Learn more by visiting The Average Guy's Guide to Classic Style on Ebay.

A Brooks Brothers wool sports jacket in a beautiful creamy Glen Plaid, sized 43R.  Learn more by visiting The Average Guy's Guide to Classic Style on Ebay.

These and lots of other quality items are available for purchase via The Average Guy's Guide to Classic Style Ebay page at very reasonable rates.  Drop by and have a look.
-- Heinz-Ulrich

Elegance versus Vulgarity. . .

The late Gary Cooper, about 1936, looking extremely understated and elegant in a double breasted suit.
"We communicate vulgarity or elegance or something in between each time we meet another person. When we recognize this point, then presenting our best selves takes on a whole different perspective. Suddenly we can be inspired by something as simple and yet complicated as clothing.  And when we finally realize that our body is a canvas that offers us the opportunity to communicate the workings of our inner self, a whole new world is opened for us to discover." -- Sonya Glyn Nicholson

Read the entire essay at Parisian Gentleman.
-- Heinz-Ulrich

Dressing for the Dentist. . .

This morning's shoe and sock combination.  Loafers are Allen Edmonds, and the socks are cotton trefoil numbers from the wonderful Dapper Classics, which recently celebrated its second year in business.
I returned home an hour or so ago from a 90-minute session with the dentist, which resulted only in his telling me that the crown ordered a month ago and scheduled for installation today did not quite fit properly.   The new crown will not be back from the lab that manufactures these for another four weeks.  

Sigh.  It's times like these when dressing nicely for oneself, even for something as mundane as an early morning dental appointment, helps one come to terms with wasting time and waking up far too early.  So, what did ol' Heinz-Ulrich have on this morning?  

Things were pretty casual really.  Besides the shoes and socks pictured above, I wore a pair of very light Dove Gray dress chinos from Land's End that I've had for a long time, a summer weight navy wool blazer,…

"All in Good Time," and Other Platitudes. . .

The craftsman house interior palette (found via Squidoo online three months ago) that I'm working with to plan repainting of various rooms over the next two-four summers.  The living room, library, upstairs hallway, newly created TV room at the back of the upstairs hallway, and downstairs bathroom are slated for, ahem, a little brushing up.
Average guys working to kick up their everyday style should keep in mind that both an overhaul of one's attire and one's home interior take some time.  It's better for things to develop gradually, rather than all at once.  Sure, there are people who can drop a ton of money on either clothes or furnishings in one fell swoop and redo everything at once.  But that's not necessarily the way for a physical space or personal wardrobe to develop and become an extension of your personality, is it?  Just watch old episodes of What Not to Wear and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy to see what I mean.

No.  It's preferable to slow down, …

Develop Consuming Interests. . .

Yours truly on the bike for the first time in over five years, and the first ride with my wife the Grand Duchess since April 2009.  The three of us hit the road for a 20-mile ride yesterday afternoon with a picnic lunch at the halfway point, a small state park where the Young Master was able to run around and play for a while before climbing back into his Burley trailer for the trip home.
On the way home from our family cycling tour yesterday afternoon, it occurred to me that it is important for an average guy working to kick up his everyday style to cultivate a few interests that can be shared fairly easily with others.  Sure, it's great to have various solitary pursuits.  I have many, painting and collecting toy soldiers among them.  But solitary pursuits like that become a problem once someone special enters the picture.  

With apologies to Neil Diamond, you want some things that you can share and enjoy together.   As my foresighted mother once observed many years ago, "You&…

Learn to Cook a Few Genuine Meals. . .

A couple of pork shoulders after about three hours along on July, 03 2011.
It strikes me that lots of average guys, in particular those who live alone though not always, live on quick fix meals like pasta with a jar of tomato sauce dumped over it, pizza deliveries, and various icky microwavable foods like Pizza Combos, usually eaten in front of the TV or standing over the kitchen sink.  Other guy favorites are the dreaded platter of goopy nachos, spicy chicken wings, or chips and dip of some kind.  Yuck!

It does not have to be that way.  An average guy looking to kick up his everyday style in the very broad sense can find and learn to prepare a range of tasty meals without too much trouble.  And even if your weeks are busy, and you are pressed for time as everyone claims in 2014, it does a mind and body good to slow down during weekends and holidays and take the time to fix an actual sit-down meal, you know, with plates, placemats and/or tablecloth, silverware, and napkins.  

Here is my …

Exercise Caution and Restraint with Fragrance. . .

A visual guide, which accompanied the recent Wall Street Journal article on the subject of men's fragrance and wearing too much of it.
My wife and I recently celebrated our eigth anniversary by visiting a new Italian place in town that, mercifully, is not part of a certain national chain.  You know, the one where they play seating games and make you wait although reservations aren't necessary, and the dinner plates are the size of platters?  Where the atmosphere is always kind of like post-high school prom meals in the middle of the night with behavior to match from your fellow diners?  Yeah, that one. 

Neither was our restaurant of choice the other night similar to the other Italian restaurant in town that many of our friends and acquaintances rave about, but which is equally chain-like, generic and, worse, LOUD.  Definitely not a pleasant atmosphere in which to dine.  That's not even mentioning one's fellow patrons sitting just a few feet away in their t-shirts, wife-b…

If not for yourself, then dress for the special person in your life. . .

The Madmen characters Roger Sterling and Don Draper hold up a bar somewhere in the Manhattan of the early 1960s, yet they manage to look great while doing so.  Believe it, or not, people tend to notice men dressed this well, and men who exude a similar self-confidence.
Apparently, "Women will sacrifice a lot for style: Eight in ten (80 percent) women would give up something in their lives — such as going out to dinner, using their cell phone, or even having sex for an entire year — for a better-dressed partner."

As I've long thought, and mentioned here before at The Average Guy's Guide to Classic Style, spouses and partners (of either sex) appreciate men who put some effort into their clothes and grooming.  Whether they actually say so, or not.  Read the rest of this interesting and thought-provoking essay by Sonya Glyn Nicholson at The Parisian Gentleman.

-- Heinz-Ulrich