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Showing posts from April, 2015

Classic Style: Walkin' Your Dog. . .

It does not matter how sweet you think your dog is, or whether the dog is a large, or small breed.  If you are going to take your dog out into public on a leash, then make damn sure you leash train the dog (and yourself).
I like dogs.  Well trained and pleasantly behaved dogs, that is, of many different breeds.  Terriers, Retrievers, and Poodles (toys and standards) are my personal  favorites.  Some of you might recall recent mention, here at Classic Style for the Average Guy, of my father, who trained Labrador Retrievers for hunting use in the field and the show ring although he himself was neither a hunter, nor a a dog show enthusiast.  

While I have not used the skills myself for many year now, I too learned basic dog training as a child.  So, the sheer number of people with untrained dogs walking around loose out there gives me cause for concern especially since, almost invariably, the offending owners and dogs are large and potentially dangerous.

There is a certain kind of person, u…

Springtime Style. . .

Yet another great old Laurence Fellows illustration, this time from an old issue of Esquire magazine.
A sunny, albeit cool spring morning here at Stollen Central.  I've broken out a pair of red, navy, and cream Madras shorts plus a navy knit short-sleeved polo shirt to wear at home today along with my usual leather dock-siders.  Jumping the gun a bit maybe -- It's not July or August yet after all. -- but for noodling around inside down here in my office, it feels perfect.  

Tomorrow is May 1st.  Be sure to wear something red like the guy in the illustration above and sing The Internationale as you march.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Style is Attitude. . .

"The worst faux pas in fashion is to look in a mirror and see somebody else—which so many people do.  They think [clothing] is going to transform them.  They don’t realize it’s themselves and their attitude.  Because that’s what style is: attitude, attitude, attitude."

-- Iris Apfel

Make It a DB Suit Humpday. . .

A great old Madmen era illustration, and while we certainly do not harbor any desires to return  to many of the problematic societal attitudes and conventions of the 1950s and early 60s, it would be nice if more men in 2015 dressed as well Monday through Friday as many men in the big financial and business centers of the world used to.
Naturally, the battery in my digital camera needs recharging, so I have no photograph of today's get-up to share.  A description will have to suffice instead.  Here's the breakdown of what yours truly wore to campus for one of my final few teaching days this semester:

* A solid navy 6x2 double-breasted suit with a nailhead finish (and black buttons on the coat which has moderately strong shoulders)
* A shirt with a straight collar and featuring faint light blue, white, pink, and green pinstripes
* A dark crimson necktie with small shield crests all over it (mostly covered by the suit coat)
* Black Allen Edmonds 'shortwings'
* Navy braces in …

Late April Monday Style. . .

Just a few moments to snap a photo of the season's first warmer weather combination of items.  Everything here was either thrifted, purchased new on sale, or (in the case of the Allen Edmonds shoes) purchased via Ebay.  The Brooks Bros. jacket is a linen-wool-silk blend.  Not exactly what you might call warm in our neck of the woods today, but we have bright blue skies, so I figured I might be able to get away with a distinctly warm weather look.  The jacket could do with a bit of waist suppression at some point, but overall, I am pleased with today's look.  

Sadly, the spring term ends next week, so there will be few reasons for me to dress nicely until the tail end of August once we are ensconced somewhere in the East Lansing, Michigan area.  The season of (mostly) chino shorts, madras or knit shortsleeve polo shirts (rugby shirts on cooler days), and either leather dock-siders, or penny loafers is almost here. 

And what of our trip to Michigan?  Sigh.  Despite out three-day …

Classic Style Thursday: An Interesting Article. . .

An Englishman in New York, perhaps?  I can almost hear the old, jazzy Sting tune from the late 80s about writer Quentin Crisp.
Here's a link to an interesting article in The Atlantic magazine about miscommunication.  While the article itself is not about attire, it is very easy to see how what we wear might possibly send signals we would rather it didn't.  Why risk that?  Far better to get your rear end in gear and spruce yourself up (quite) a bit say I.  

Admittedly, a walking stick, a furled umbrella, and/or bowler might be a bit much for most of us in 2015, but how about some creased dress pants worn with a damn belt, polished leather dress shoes (without squared toes), and a sports jacket of some kind over a pressed and tucked in shirt, hmmm?  Get 'em new, on sale, or go used/vintage, but be sure to have the necessary basic alterations as I have mentioned many times before.  You want to avoid pants and sleeves that are too long for you, which will make you look like a sm…

Classic Style Tuesday: An Addendum to the Difference Debate. . .

Another great old illustration by Laurence Fellows [Thank you, Old School].
You know?  I've thought about this a lot the last few days, time permitting.  In the end, and after all of that unpleasantness, I still maintain that appearance and conduct are far more important than many (maybe most in 2015) either understand, or admit to themselves.  Both are often indicative of other personal traits, habits, and predilections.  Not always, maybe, but often enough.  That is not to say that a scintillating personality and a good heart can't make up for otherwise serious shortcomings, but (like attire by itself) personality and a good heart only take one so far and are just parts of the overall package and presentation. 

Ideally, it's best not to ignore one facet at the expense of another.  To my mind, a person ought to strive for a polished appearance and demeanor, a firm grasp on his social skills (and that might mean learning and/or brushing up on all of this for some guys…

Classic Style Saturday: The "Difference" Debate. . .

Just to clarify, and in view of recent comments here at Classic Style for the Average Guy, what I cannot abide are poor social skills (around the dining table and away from it) and the apparently almost complete lack of self-respect that leads too many people to give up as far as personal appearance is concerned and leave the house looking like they've spent several weeks either living rough (at best), or exploring and living in the sewers of a major city somewhere.  I am familiar with the labels and invectives that might be hurled my way in reaction: "elitist," "snob," judgmental," "an air of smug superiority," or worse. 

That is fine, and to some extent, I will not argue with observations like this.  I am discerning and selective as far as my tastes in clothing, people, interests, and so forth go, and I make no apologies for it.  Neither will I make apologies for sharing details about my upbringing, which was comfortable and without undue hardsh…

Classic Table Style. . .

Guys, by the time you are a 12- or 13-year-old, there is really no excuse not to know how  to set a table.  As I remarked here in a recent post, sitting down to a meal, any meal, should be a pleasant event that features at least a veneer of refinement.  Even if you are dining alone.  As such, meals should involve more than a plastic cup with some team emblem on it, a spork, and a castoff microwavable plate left over from some frozen entree consumed long ago.  

The photo above shows what a basic place setting should look like.  Notice that everything is lined up nicely and centered on the plate rather than cast willy-nilly and vaguely in the direction of the place-setting. Or, worse, everything is rolled in the napkin and tossed on the bare table. . .  like you find in many (most) eating establishments these days where often enough the waitstaff have no idea how to lay even a basic place-setting.

For the record, it is equally acceptable to fold and place the napkin beneath the forks, or …

A Classic Style Sunday: Random Thoughts. . .

The late John Belushi as "Blutarsky" in National Lampoon's Animal House (1978).  I thought this movie was hysterical when I first saw it as part of a drive-in double feature with my mother and sister in 1980 as a 13-year old.  However, on watching part of it again in 1996 or '97 late one night on cable TV, I found the film had not weathered well.  And, mentally speaking, I had moved on by that time.
Random style thoughts here at Classic Style for the Average Guy this Sunday afternoon.  Here they are:

My wife and I watched a new DVD of John Huston's The Maltese Falcon (1941) last night late.  Not the most interesting film noir visually speaking -- typically it was directors like Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang, or Anatole Litvak who directed the visual masterpieces that better reflected the angst and inner turmoil of the characters onscreen -- but the story and characters are top notch as is Humphrey Bogart's attire.  I submit for your review this shot, featuring Bogar…

A Classic Style Saturday. . .

The newly altered Harvard Coop tan gabardine suit (purchased late last summer from Giuseppe at An Affordable Wardrobe).  Ok, ok.  Let's get the President Obama tan suit jokes out of the way now, please.  Sadly, I won't really have occasion to wear this number until August in my new teaching position at Michigan State University since our spring has been rather chilly here in Central Illinois, and the current college semester is effectively over by the start of May.
A fun late-Saturday morning here at Classic Style or the Average Guy since I was able to drop off a bunch of unwanted stuff at my local thrift/charity shop and. . .  pick up a few things at the tailor's and cobbler's just up the road.  The truly fun part of this morning's jaunty trip around town.

One cardinal rule of dressing stylishly is to maintain your items of clothing and accessories.  Nothing earth shattering in that, but in our throw-away society of 2015, that particular concept comes as a surprise…

Classic Style Speaks Volumes. . .

'Niels' in Berlin, Germany doing a better James Bond than Daniel Craig as far as understated, elegant masculine attire is concerned.  Mr. Craig's is invariably too trendy and too tight.  The photograph comes from the Put This On website by the way.
As I have often mentioned in one way or another here at Classic Style for the Average Guy, what you wear and how you conduct yourself speak volumes. . .  In much the same way as any spoken and/or written language does.  Think of your attire and behavior as texts for the world to read.  However you might imagine it, though, there is no denying that we send a clear and distinct message with our clothes and actions. . .  whether we intend to, or not.  See what they have to say on the subject at Put This On.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Classic Style Tip #999. . .

A seasonally fitting Laurence Fellows illustration from Spring 1934.
Here's today's classic style tip for average guys working hard to kick up their everyday style.  Ready?  Here we go.  Buck the societal trend of at least the last half century and don't make your problem(s) someone else's problem(s).  You handle it.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

The Classic Style Attitude. . .

Orson Welles and Marlene Dietrich as the dissipated, racist cop 'Hank Quinlan' and his one-time love interest 'Tanya' in the film noir swansong A Touch of Evil (1958), which Welles also directed.  If you have not yet seen this particular movie, do so forthwith.
“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.” 

― Orson Welles

Classic Easter Style. . .

The Easter Bunny, looking rather more dapper than I've ever seen before.
Happy Easter (if you observe) from Classic Style for the Average Guy.  To everyone, observers and non-observers alike, we wish a calm, peaceful, and happy weekend.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

April Fools. . .

"I pity the fool. . ."  The great Mr. T, so over-the-top and bad in his day back in the early 80s that he was oddly appealing.  And I never even watched The A Team.
Today was April 1st, a warm, sunny spring day in my neck of the American Midwest.  I held a relaxed session of office hours this early morning in the still quiet dining commons, softening somewhat the always jarring experience of reading and grading a bunch of hastily crafted undergraduate papers with a steamy fresh medium French roast  coffee.  While working through the stack, I noticed once in a while that quite a few of the female students on campus were turned out rather nicely this morning.  Besides having their hair actually fixed, or at least pulled back, many of these young ladies wore pretty sundresses, skirts, blouses, and sandals, while others wore leather dock-sider shoes with skinny jeans and a cardigan to ward off the early morning chill, and so forth.  Good.  It's always a pleasant surprise to s…