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.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Frigid Late February Style. . .

The whole shebang for today, sans the gloves, an unseasonably frigid and snowy February 27th.  A bold tweed jacket by Southwick is hidden below the duffle coat.

A few more random thoughts about style, in the broadest sense, delivered very much in the spirit of last Friday's post.  As usual, the advice and comments that follow are based on my observation of and interaction with undergraduates and colleagues each and every week in the style and etiquette desert that exists on and around the campus of my small liberal arts college and much of the rest of the formerly civilized world.  Ready?  Here we go!

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When it comes to making your living space more stylish, try these easy and cheap fixes. . .  Straighten your crooked lampshades and any pictures hanging askew on the walls.  Even more important, pick up, put away, throw out, and/or recycle any accumulating clutter twice a week.  I've come across a few female slobs in my time, but living amidst piles of clutter usually seems to be something that afflicts boys and men in particular.

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Keep your mouth closed!  The following is not PC, so those of you easily offended, avert you eyes now.  Ready?  Ok.  Good.  Here goes.  You want to avoid looking like a slack-jawed village idiot, so remember to keep your mouth shut during moments of physical and verbal repose.  Otherwise, small insects and rodents seeking shelter might easily find their way into your gaping maw.

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Make sure your face and mouth are free from any food residue, powdered sugar, or dried saliva, guys!  Or, for that matter, the area around your nostrils and upper lip if you get my drift.  Not only after meals, but throughout the day.  Get in the habit of checking your face quickly in the mirror whenever you visit the restroom.  I was treated to this charming vision twice today before 9am during my early morning office hour, once with what I can only hope was tomato sauce on the cheeks of a middle-aged male non-traditional student, and once around the mouth of a traditional female undergrad.  Um, distracting and icky.  Don't people care what they look like?  Wait!  No need to respond.  We already know the sad answer.

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Match your metal!  No, this is not the title of a rare vinyl EP by some obscure New Wave of British Heavy Metal band from the late 70s or very early 80s.  Sorry.  What I mean is that the metal on your wristwatch and your belt buckle should match each other if at all possible.  Silver with silver, and gold with gold.  Do the same thing too for a tie clip if you go that route.

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Make a habit of carrying the following small items in your inner sports jacket, blazer, or suit coat pocket: a pressed and folded white handkerchief (for things other than blowing your nose in it), a small comb, and a decent quality ballpoint pen.  I like pens by Parker and Cross, but there are plenty of other good brands out there.  A billfold or wallet for your chest pocket is also a good idea since your posterior will look lumpy and unbalanced if you stuff a wallet into your hip pocket.  Notice that I did not mention an I-phone, although the inner chest pocket is a good spot for these too.  Some newer jackets and suit coats even have special pockets specifically for cell phones now.  Whatever you do, avoid those doofusy holster things that fit on your belt.  Unless you want to veer unwittingly into Star Trek convention territory.  .  .  with apologies to the recently departed Leonard Nimoy.

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Put on deodorant, guys!  One of my classrooms this morning was filled with the pungent aroma of unwashed/unprotected armpit this morning, so I cannot have been the only one in the room made uncomfortable by someone's poor hygiene. You would think people would know better by their late teens to early 20s, but apparently not.  The temperature in my neck of the woods was around 0 degrees Fahrenheit this morning, so perhaps the culprit thought he (or she) could get away without it?  I kind of doubt much thought was involved however. 

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Finally, where your attire is concerned, guys, don't fear plaids, checks, houndstooth, striped, or herringbone patterns.  Sometimes, a little flash can really help an average guy to stand out in a good way when he is working to kick up his everyday style several notches,  so long as he doesn't go overboard.  I suggest, and as you'll see in the photograph below, that you wear only one 'bold' item at a time and ground it by keeping everything else very simple in color and pattern.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Today's bold tweed jacket by Southwick ( a thrift/charity shop find) worn with a pale yellow OCBD shirt by Land's End, an almost invisible vintage wool plaid necktie by Rooster, a gray Shetland wool sweater L.L. Bean, golden dress corduroy pants by Land's End, and L.L. Bean 'duck shoes,' a concession to the snowy sidewalks here at home and on campus.  Better to save the leather dress shoes for once the snow has melted. . .  However, several more inches are on the way Saturday and Sunday this weekend, so the Young Master and I can get in a few more days of cross-country skiing this season.  Yes!!!

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