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Showing posts from November, 2014

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…

On 'Classic' Clothing, Conduct, and Comfort. . .

It's not just limited to petty crooks, the homeless, or tough guy wannabees, on the streets anymore.  This look is now the typical daily "go to" mode of dress for many young guys on college campuses and their slightly older twenty-something cousins.  Or, as I like to call the latter, terminally part-time baristas.  What planet are we on, and how in the world did we get here?
A common protest heard from many average guys, who aren't used to dressing in anything more than jeans, sweatpants, and hooded sweatshirts, runs something like this.  "I just hate dressing up!  It's so uncomfortable."  What exactly lies at the root of that oft heard complaint?  I feel that guys' aversion to dressing better than something resembling a walking lawn and leaf bag is based on various physical and psychological factors with, perhaps, the latter being the more significant of the two.  Together, these fuel that perceived discomfort claimed by so many guys when even the …

November Fun with Hart, Schaffner, Marx and Ralph Lauren. . .

 "Made ya laugh!"  My wife seems to have a real knock for snapping the shutter at precisely the wrong moment.
Our respective paths crossed for a few minutes this afternoon before I headed to campus.  What better opportunity to snap a few pictures of yours truly in that Hart, Schaffner, Marx overcoat that I picked up a few weeks back for less than US$10.  A fairly dark, chilly day today, so I kept it subdued with various grays and a pair of black Allen Edmonds.  The double-breasted jacket, which has appeared in various post previously here at The Average Guy's Guide to Classic Style, is by Ralph Lauren.  The one splash of color in today's ensemble was the pretty green foulard necktie.  The brand is unknown, but according to the label, the tie was handmade in England.  Good enough for me.  Everything shown here was either thrifted, purchased for a song on Ebay, or from An Affordable Wardrobe in the Boston area.  Yet more proof that you can dress presentably -- fancy-sch…

Halloween Style. . .

We had a dragon visit the von Boffke household during Halloween 2014 (von Boffke jr.), and a most stylish dragon he was too.
Halloween 2014 has come and gone, and it seems like it was a reasonably successful one.  The occasion is an enjoyable one for younger children, and they were certainly out in force during our designated trick-or-treat times yesterday evening.  
This year, we set up a self-serve arrangement on our front steps, so that yours truly could accompany the Grand Duchess and the Young Master around the neighborhood.  It was quite chilly though, so we visited about 10 houses before the Young Master announced that he was ready to head home.  It was just the right amount of time, an hour or so, on a crisp, October evening with a pretty, pink sunset on the horizon.
Back at home, we even managed to go through all of our candy by the end time designated by the city, fortunately, so no snacking on leftovers for ol' Dad this weekend. Simply by cutting out lunch, limiting break…