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, September 10, 2015

Thursday Morning Office Hours Style. . .

 The whole shebang minus the white silk pocket square that peeked out of my jacket pocket.  My belt was braided brown leather, reasonably close in color to the shoes.  The jacket, a Brooks Brothers 60/40 linen-silk number, and the genuine Indian Madras necktie by Rooster were thrifted two or three years ago.  The shoes were purchased for a song on Ebay 'round about the same time.


A pair of Allen Edmonds spectator shoes closer in.  Fairly understated if we can say that of this type of shoe.

A couple of shots of what yours truly wore today for office hours and later teaching of my two courses that met today, a sunny, breezy day with temperatures in the low 70s Fahrenheit.  

While there are the usual slobs in backwards baseball caps (and their frumpy female equivalents) roaming the campus here at my new institution, I find overwhelmingly that the student population dresses rather well, if not downright stylishly, taking into account our recent very warm weather and the fact that things are still pretty casual.  But the students here are, by and large, NOT sloppy by any means.  

I have even observed many guys in leather boat shoes of one kind or another, Nantucket Red, mossy green, madras, or good old khaki chino shorts and actual shirts that have buttons on them and are not wrinkled beyond belief.  Some of the young men are even sporting haircuts very similar to the kind I noted in Berlin this summer.  You'll also actual hats and caps of various types worn at rakish angles, the occasional necktie with/or without sports jacket, reasonably good shoes that are not athletic  wear, and all kinds of other small stylish flourishes on young men of all kinds, shapes, and sizes.  Their attention to grooming and details like wearing, oh, I don't know, clean and pressed clothes that actually fit is refreshing to say the least. 

The dreaded backwards baseball cap does not seem to hold sway here quite like it has at my previous institutions.  You see it, to be sure, but nowhere near to the same degree.  Mercifully.  That is one of the dumbest looks I've ever seen.  You would think we would have worked through the cycle and left the look behind in the two plus decades since I first noticed it when I arrived in the Upper Midwest way back in late August 1994 to complete my undergraduate work at UW-Madison.  

But back to the present and better things.  Try this on for size!  I even crossed paths this morning with a young guy dressed in a well-fitted charcoal suit (not the currently trendy skimpy kind either) and repp stripe necktie, who actually wore a pair of good looking dark brown leather cap toe oxford shoes with actual leather soles.  No square toes or rubbery comfort soles, bless him!  You could see from even 12 or 15 feet away that the shoes were decent quality and not that plastic, shiny reversed grain stuff.  What gives?   

Pleasant sartorial surprises aside, it's encouraging to see that quite a few young people, of both genders, at a large state institution in the Upper Midwest seem to care at least a little bit about how they appear in public.  Who would have thought?  Shallow of me I know, but I think I like it here.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

3 comments:

Old School said...

Just in case you haven't seen this:

http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/24144/

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Thank you. Yes, and I wish it were permissible to have something in the syllabus about appropriate attire for class beyond 'make sure to remove your sunglasses before class starts, keep your shoes on, and feet off the desks/tables,' all of which are mentioned explicitly in my syllabi.

Old School said...

I used to hand out disposable razors, but it was a losing battle.