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.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Damnable Popinjay. . .

 Today's ensemble, built around a wool flannel three-piece suit made by Ralph Lauren for Mark Shale.

Not the greatest of photographs, but today was the first wearing of that Ralph Lauren woolen flannel three-piece that I stumbled onto for less that US$5 back at the start of September.  When I wear the suit again next week, and the weather, hopefully, is better, I'll ask my wife to snap a brighter photograph outside and replace these with better ones.

Apropos the title, I wore an Italian silk necktie featuring parrots that dear ol' Mom and Step-dad brought me 18 or 19 years ago after they spent the summer in Trento one year, where the latter was doing some things for the U. N.  They also had quite a bit of time to visit several places in Northern Italy before coming home, and Mom picked up the tie for me during several days in Milan.  My first really good necktie by the way, and it still gets worn often.  I figured it offset the very traditional suit with a bit of playful irreverence.  Amazingly enough, while on campus today, I spotted our university provost from across The Quad in a similar charcoal three-piece!

Anyway, while I think the jacket sleeves could maybe be a hair shorter, and perhaps the inseam a bit longer, I'm extremely pleased with the general condition, look, and fit of the suit.  I'll wear it again before making up my mind on these two points and, if necessary, take it back to Mrs. V. for those adjustments at the end of the month.  A cool day today in any case, which was good because a woolen flannel three-piece suit is quite warm.  And extremely comfortable.  If more men were aware of that one feature of flannel suits alone, maybe a lot more of them would leave the house looking considerably better than they do.

But back to the suit.  Particular details include, among other things, pants lined to the knees, brace buttons on the inside of the waistband (I'm wearing blue and red paisley silk braces here), inward facing pleats, a fully canvased coat with natural shoulders, and an actual real boutonniere hole on the left lapel.  I'm not sure what the fabric weight is, but the suit is quite heavy even without yours truly in it and drapes very well.  I really like the lines/silhouette of the suit too.  The nap of the fabric is also in amazing condition everywhere (unusual for previously owned items), and I can only conclude that the suit was worn once or twice***, if at all, before finding its way the thrift/charity shop where I discovered it.  I've wanted a three-piece suit for a long time, and this one fits the bill wonderfully.  

As the song by The Doors goes, people are strange.  My father and maternal grandfather both owned and wore a number of Brooks Brothers and/or Southwick three-piece numbers during the cooler months when they worked in Manhattan during the 1950s-1980s, and I always liked the look even as a boy and teenager.  I suppose you could say things have come full circle here.  I'm finally dressing like Dad and Granddaddy after years of swearing to myself (and others) that I would never, ever -- under any circumstances -- do so.  An apple never falls far from the tree I guess.


A second, less stiff shot of same.  Doing my best Betty Grable.  In this suit, I feel almost like one of those old Laurence Fellows illustrations.  Almost.  It's the silhouette most of all I think.




***A useful thrifting tip.  Don't waist time and money buying things in thrift and charity shops that are within an inch of becoming threadbare. . .  or with tears, holes, pulls, stains, etc.  They'll look like you bought 'em from the back of the neighborhood ragman's cart.  Instead, purchase only items with minimal to no wear, ensuring that you can wear and enjoy said garments for years to come.  After getting any necessary minor alterations from your tailor or seamstress of course!

1 comment:

guy said...

I have only been to Milan once and similarly I bought a tie. Frankly after a detour into one of the v posh shops to buy something for Lindsay that was all I could afford! It is definitely 20 years old as it we were on our honeymoon in the Italian lakes. Still regularly worn.

Guy