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Showing posts from 2015

Christmas Week Casual. . .

The top this afternoon includes a red and white university stripe ocbd and a gray crewneck Shetland Wool sweater that I bought on clearance from L.L. Bean two or three Januaries ago.
Who says you've got to look like a schlub when hanging around the house on a cold Christmas Week afternoon?  This is what I changed into following a visit to the pediatrician with the Young Master for his yearly check-up midday today.  I wore a tweed jacket and primarily navy plaid tie plus navy dress cords with a crease for that appointment by the way. 

I find that medical and dental personnel tend to be less patronizing when you go in looking like you know which way is up.  Know what I mean?  You can always tell by the tone in their voices.  Same thing with airport ticketing agents, security personnel, and airline crews as well as other service providers.  That's reason enough for me to suggest with a perfectly straight face that an adult male above the age of 18 should always be dressed a cut or …

Feast of Stephen Casual Style. . .

Modelling a new rugby jersey, a Christmas present yesterday from the Grand Duchess.
Things are relaxed here at Totleigh-in-the-Wold the day after Christmas. . .  but they are by no means sloppy.  Corduroy jeans and a rugby top are every bit as comfortable as, and a damn site better looking than, ratty sweats and an old t-shirt or hooded sweatshirt.  If you don't dress up a bit better than average for yourself, then at least do it for the others around you.

For Christmas Dinner yesterday evening, I wore an ocbd shirt in pale green and white university stripes with a red and white MacDonald tartan wool necktie, a navy double-breasted blazer, a pair of herringbone pants in a mottled brown with black tasseled loafers and black leather belt.  The combo was topped off by a very festive red, navy, silver, and orange paisley silk pocket square that I purchased new several years ago just before Christmas in a downtown Chicago department style close to the annual Christkindlmarkt on Daley Squ…

Merry Christmas from Classic Style for the Average Guy. . .

Warm holiday greetings from Classic Style for the Average Guy!  May your Christmas and New Year's Season be understated, stylish, and nonchalant in a classic sense.

-- Heinz-Ulrich


All dressed for a casual stroll at a nearby nature center during the mid-afternoon of Christmas Eve 2015.  The shirt beneath the sweater was an L.L. Bean pink and white University Stripe ocbd.

A Pre-Christmas Reminder. . .

An illustration from a 1950s advertisement for Schweppe's beverages.
Here's a reprise of a piece I wrote and shared last year at this time. . .


With the 2014 [now 2015] Christmas and Holiday Season already in full swing, it's worth remembering our aim to dress and conduct ourselves better than has become the sad average among so many nominal "men" out there.  Coarse behavior and thoughtlessness seem to be the rule rather than the exception for too many in the second decade of the 21st century.  So, here are two dozen pointers to keep in mind when it comes to our appearance and actions at the various Christmas and holiday gatherings we might attend at this festive time of year.  Come to think of it, much of what follows below is also applicable at home and throughout the rest of the year.  Ready, guys?  Then, strap in and hang on tight, 'cause here we go!


1) Put on a blazer or sports jacket, or, heck, even a suit and tie when you attend those special…

Casual Mid-December 2015 Style. . .

The top half for today, a cold, blustery one with some snowflakes in the air.
Not much to report style-wise on this end.  With our move from our temporary digs on Monday this week, I've mostly been up to my waist in cardboard moving boxes and packing materials as I've tried to get the first floor of the new house in order at least.  Wednesday saw us touring what will be our son's new school come January, so I did manage to pull on a blue and white University Stripe ocbd shirt, red wool necktie, tweed jacket, corduroy pants, and a pair of long-wing brogues for that, but no photographs sadly.  

However, this morning, I had to journey into campus to pickup several student papers that were left in my mailbox AFTER the deadline on the final day of class last week.  The assumption by young people that this is some how permissible and ok drives me crazy.  Especially when it has not been discussed and arranged with me beforehand (a policy laid out clearly in the course syllabi by th…

A DB Suit and Granddaddy's Cufflinks. . .

Here's a so-so shot of today's attire and accessories combination.  Just out of sight is the dismounted hunter in a red coat and black riding helmet, holding the reins of his rearing mount.
The final day of classes for yours truly today, so why not glam it up a bit with a wool flannel double-breasted suit, a shirt with French cuffs, and a pair of my late maternal grandfather's cufflinks?  I added an Italian silk necktie, a pair of oxblood captoe oxfords, navy Merino wool socks, a white linen pocket handkerchief, and a pair of navy silk braces with red and silver paisleys hidden beneath the coat.  One of my students complimented me with, "You always look so dapper!"  

However, it was the numerous handshakes at the end of classes today and accompanying thank-yous from my students for the semester just concluded, plus an anonymous little bag of pre-Christmas candy treats with a candy cane, carefully wrapped with a bow and left quietly on my briefcase for the semester …

More Advent Style -- December 08, 2015. . .

The upper half today.  I call this my Yankee Candle "Bayberry" look.
A bit matchy-matchy today, but it's the final week o classes or the semester, and I won't have much o an opportunity to dress quite as presentably in the coming weeks with the exception of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.  Just cords and a rugby top or crewneck sweater most days as I get the house in order. . .

On that note, we closed on our new house yesterday, received the keys, and will take up residence from Monday the 14th.  Just in time to prepare for Christmas.  Ahhhhhhh.  The Grand Duchess, as chair of her department, will be otherwise occupied, so I will be able to unpack and arrange without distraction.  You know.  Too many chefs in the kitchen and all that.

-- Heinz-Ulrich.

And the lower half.  I actually had a couple of student visitors this morning during office hours for the first time this semester.  Can you tell the final paper is almost due?



Monday's upper half f…

Coming out from My Dark Place. . .

Not a house belonging to anyone I know, but it reminds me of my maternal grandparents' house in SE Pennsylvania whenever there was snow, which we had many Decembers and Christmases in the 1970s and 1980s.
Closing on the new house tomorrow afternoon with moving day a week later when we'll take up residence.  Lots to do in that time, of course, but we'll manage.  I cannot wait to bid goodbye to the movers, shut the front door that first evening at home, have some kind of supper with the Grand Duchess and Young Master, tuck the latter into bed in his new room at 8 o'clock, and then poor a glass of something medicinal to celebrate with the Grand Duchess in front of the working fireplace in the library.  While the style of our new house is more modern that the one pictured above, it does nestle down much like it in a bunch of trees at the edge of a large wood, hence my borrowing unashamedly from Mr. Wodehouse.  Totleigh-in-the-Wold, which my sister finds riotously funny.

--He…

Julie London - I'd Like You For Christmas (Liberty Records 1957)

Bedtime Style Yesterday Evening. . .

The Young Master, Dad, and a library book on volcanoes.  It was a good evening.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Early Advent Season Style. . .

The top half today, featuring a red and white university stripe ocbd Brooks Brothers 'Makers' shirt and a wool necktie (one of my favorites) by Pendleton.  While I wear them all winter long, usually with tweed jackets, the three or four wool tartan neckties in my collection seem most suitable during the holiday season.
Going for a slightly festive and seasonally appropriate look this morning since we have just over a week of classes left here at MSU before Finals Week and Christmas Break.  However, you'll note there is no sign of Tweety Pie (or Sylvester the Cat et al) in a Santa Claus hat.  Perish the thought although we certainly see plenty of goofuses each year at this time who think such ties are subversive and thus riotously funny.  Puh-leeze!  Maybe the first time, or at the big middle school winter solstice dance.  But after you've seen the same thing 500 times on any guy older than 21 for too many Decembers running?  Um, no.  Give me a pretty wool plaid necktie…

The First Sunday in Advent, or Can It Really Be the End of November 2015 Already?

Bruce Boyer's latest.  Easily one of the most delightful reads on men's attire that I've come across.
Sounds like a conference paper title, eh?

Spent a delightful 90 minutes or so last night perusing True Style and came across a few pointers that are worth pondering when we consider how we present ourselves to the world.  Especially since we are now in the midst of the (sadly) frenetic Christmas and New Year's season with its various gatherings and parties that, hopefully, at least, some men will dress for. These are taken from Chapter 16, entitleed 'Maxims', of Mr. Boyer's book:


12. Clothes talk.  In fact, they never shut up.  And if you don't hear them, perhaps you aren't the intended audience.

16. Being inappropriately dressed has the potential to be more embarrassing than saying something stupid.

22. Dressing decently should be a matter of politeness, if nothing else.

24. Clothes are social tools, like language, manners, and a sense of humor.


With thos…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Since tomorrow is the annual day of Thankgiving here in the United States, I thought it high time to rerun a piece that has been featured here at Classic Style for the Average Guy for at least the last couple of years.  Take it in the spirit it is meant.  Part of kicking up our everyday style several notches involves our behavior, which might, in some instances need some work.  So, while I hope you might don, at the very least, a pressed button-down shirt and jacket or blazer plus some leather loafers before you join your loved ones at the Thanksgiving table tomorrow, remember, it ain't just about the clothes.  Here we go. . . 


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 h…

Playful Irreverence for a Pre-Thanksgiving Wednesday. . .

The upper half, featuring my other Harris Tweed jacket sold at one time by Land's End.  American made and not as boxy as some of their jackets became by the early 2000s.  I used to own several and gradually donated them to thrift/charity shops as I acquired nicer blazers and sports jackets.

And the lower half, featuring dark green and navy herringbone socks in Merino wool by Dapper Classics (yet again), charcoal wool flannel pants, and those Allen Edmonds 'Schautal' suede wintips/brogues.  Most of the snow is gone from our sidewalks and walkways on campus, and the sun is out today, so. . .  I'm also wearing a newly acquired chocolate suede belt by Allen Edmonds, another gift received for my most recent 29th birthday.
Yet more playful experimentation with different items of clothing and accessories here today.  One of my more visually appealing combinations lately I think.  Happy Thanksgiving to visitors from Classic Style for the Average Guy to visitors from the UNited S…

If it's Tuesday, this must be Michigan. . .

The upper half early this morning included a Land's End British regimental striped necktie that I purchased back in 2004 when LE was selling a whole bunch of these.  I want to say it is the stripe of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, but that might be incorrect.  Regardless of whch particular regiment the stripe represents it would be extremely bad form to wear this tie were I visiting the U.K., never having served in the regiment in question.  However, we are such a messy, crass post-postmodern hodgepodge here in the U.S., that I hope I might be excused (just maybe) for sporting it on this side of the Atlantic where fewer people recognize such associations.  The color combination is delightful in any case.

And the lower half, featuring a new pair of Dapper Classics yellow Merino wool socks and a pair of vintage Corbin khaki pants in medium to heavy wool flannel.
Having fun combining a few different items this morning.  Something old, something new, nothing borrowed, and something blue.  I…

A Snowy Monday in Late November. . .

Spartan Stadium at MSU from the rear of the library early today with the Red Cedar River in between.  Still lots of snow everywhere although some attempt has been made to clear the walkways around campus since the snow fell on Saturday.

One way to keep warm: a heavy duffle coat and a 20+-year-old J. Peterman woolen scarf.

Of course, a Harris Tweed jacket and a heavy oxford cloth button-down collar shirt also help.  Seemed like a good morning to fish out my vintage L.L. Bean cross-country skier necktie too.  Sadly, I have not been able to locate the box with our own ski boots in it although I have spotted the long bag containing our skis and poles.  Otherwise, we would have been out on Saturday and Sunday.

And finally, those golden tan dress corduroy pants again with heavy socks and L.L. Bean duck shoes.  Today was not the day for fine footwear by any stretch.
A few shots of out first taste of winter and my response for a Monday morning.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

A Tweed and Cord Thursday. . . .

The upper half today, again featuring the J.Press herringbone jacket that has show up here before.  As much as I wear and enjoy all of my various bolder tweed items, this one is becoming the go-to tweed jacket in the wardrobe simply because it works with so much else thanks to its less obtrusive pattern.
Channeling Mr. Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster this morning as I dressed post-shower and shave.  We're off to visit Aunt Dahlia at Brinkley Manor late this afternoon and help Tuppy Glossop out of some romantic predicament or other, while hopefully avoiding accidental engagement to an eager young lady ourselves.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

And the lower half, which includes a newly moisturized, polished, and buffed pair of Allen Edmonds MacNeil brogues/wingtips and a new pair of Dapper Classics Merino wool Fair Isle pattern socks.

Allen Edmonds Resole. . .

The Shoe Snob - How to Polish Your Shoes Properly. . .

As Comfortable As Pajamas. . .

The upper half for today.  A Made in the U.S.A. three-piece wool flannel chalk stripe number from Polo Ralph Lauren and sold by Mark Shale.  The necktie is a hand-sewn Robert Talbot.

And, as always, the bottom half.  I was fresh out of navy and charcoal wool socks, so I went with these, which kind of echo one of the colors in the necktie above.  As usual, I opted for braces instead of a belt with the pants, which have brace buttons along the inside of the waistband.
Today's suit was purchased for between US$5.99-7.99 a year or so ago from one of my old thrift/charity haunts back in Central Illinois.  As far as I could tell at the time, it had been worn maybe once, if ever, before finding its way to the thrift shop, and required no alterations at all.  Even the coat sleeves were short enough to allow some shirt cuff to show with my arms at my sides.  And absolutely no wear on the seat of the pants, elbows of the coat, or anywhere else.  The suit fits as though it were made for my bod…

Make it a double-breasted Tuesday. . .

The upper half early this morning.  Although it could stand an inch taken in along the back/sides, the 6x2 coat fits more nicely than it appears here, but I was, of course, sitting and holding my stupid phone out in front of me and down low to avoid including my tired, middle-aged face in the shot.  The wool suit is medium weight and features a really nice nailhead finish.

And the lower half.  I always give my shoes a once over with the horsehair brush before putting them on, but I think it's time for a bit of TLC, and this pair of shoes has not had it since sometime late last winter, or early spring.  I wore some navy braces in lieu of a belt by the way.

I decided to wear the faux Drones (Brooks Bros. Makers) necktie this morning with a navy double-breasted number I haven't worn since last spring.  Hmmm. . .  Not horrible, but I should have kept it simple and gone with plain navy or charcoal wool socks instead of stripes.  And the shoes could use some leather lotion, a new coat…

One Monday in Mid-November. . .

Were I to do this over again, I would reach or my solid navy wool necktie, I think, instead of this one whose design is too similar in scale and appearance to the houndstooth pattern of the tweed hacking jacket.

More successful with the bottom half today.  Hard to go wrong with olive green, navy, and tan suede.
Sometimes you nail it, and sometimes you stumble a bit when it comes to combining various items into a cohesive ensemble.  The necktie today, sadly, didn't quite work with the jacket.  Well, you can't be afraid to get it wrong sometimes I suppose.  One never learns what works together and what does not otherwise.

-- Heinz-Ulrich


Imagine My Surprise. . .

The repp stripes point in the wrong direction, but otherwise, there is a striking similarity between this tie and the kind that might have been worn by Messrs. Wooster, Glossop, et al in the dining room or bar of Wodehouse's Drones Club.
Late last Friday afternoon, as I wasted a few minutes online before the Grand Duchess arrived home with some fabulous Middle Eastern take-out dishes for supper, I stumbled onto a description of the Drones Club necktie.  That's right, the Drones Club as mentioned in numerous P.G. Wodehouse stories.  "My, that sounds awfully familiar," I thought.  "I believe I have something similar hanging from my own tie rack."

Demonstrating with no apologies what a truly frivolous and empty-headed popinjay I am, I threw open the doors of my wardrobe to check, where, lo and behold, I discovered that there is indeed an old Brooks Brothers necktie bearing a striking resemblance to the plum, black, and yellow colors described on the webpage at w…