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Showing posts from October, 2015

Disgusting. . . Repulsive. . . Decadent. . . Fantastic!

An early birthday gift to myself: a new pair of velvet Smythe & Digby Prince Albert slippers in navy blue, acquired via Ebay for a song. 
Not really a bedroom slipper kind of guy, but I could hardly pass these up when I saw them on Ebay.  I actually won the auction for a change too.

My first encounter with similar slippers/loafers was now well over 40 years ago, when I was occasionally invited over to her house to play after school by a preschool and kindergarten schoolmate, who was part of our Monday through Friday neighborhood carpool.  The Maiers were a German-Yugoslav family, and I'm not sure what Herr Maier did for a living, but Mrs. Maier had their large house covered in Turkish and Persian carpets.  The genuine item.  Naturally, family and guests were required to change into house slippers in the entry hall, and Mrs. Maier kept a box of spares in various sizes in the hall closet for the guests to use.  

Another thing that I recall vividly. . .  Mrs. Maier and my mother di…

Every Once in a While. . .

Three photographs of my recently purchased (at a steal) Allen Edmonds 'Schautal' oxfords in tan suede.
Besides thrift/charity shops, it pays to frequent sites like Etsy or Ebay when a man builds a classic wardrobe.  A week ago, I happened onto these Allen Edmonds 'Schautal' brogues (that's 'wingtips' to those of us on the North American side of the pond) in my size on Ebay and at a mere fraction of the suggested retail price.  Apparently, these were a display model in a shoe or department store somewhere, and as far as I could tell from the photographs were never even tried on by a potential buyer. 

Here is what I learned about the shoe via Ask Andy About Clothes:

Just got the scoop from Brenda at AE and she was very helpful.

She said she has been with AE for over 20 years and she has never heard of the Schautal. She had to do some digging on her computer to find it and you won't find it on the AE web site.

The Schautal is made only for the Nordstrom Ra…

One of Ol' Mom's Favorites 40 Years On: Indoor Games Near Newbury by Sir John Betjeman

Sting - Englishman In New York. . .

My Preferred Oxford Cloth Button-Down Shirts. . .

One of several light blue cotton oxford cloth button-down collar shirts in my rotation, worn here with a wool flannel navy blazer and a vintage Italian silk necktie once sold under the Rooster label.  An orange-brown with silvery paisleys, ideal for the autumn.
The other day, a regular visitor to Classic Style for the Average Guy left a comment in which he asked for information and my recommendations on the classic oxford cloth button-down shirt, commonly abbreviated to 'ocbd.'  "Me?  Are you tawkin' to me?"  Oblique Robert DeNiro references aside, let's talk oxford cloth button-down shirts.  This particular type of shirt is one of the bedrock items every man should have a few of hanging in his closet, especially when he wishes to present himself to the world in a way better -- yes, I said better -- than what has become the sad accepted average among so much of the male populace.  

First things first though.  Lots of people automatically associate this type of …

One Monday in Mid-October. . .

The slightly disheveled upper half this morning.  Yes, those are little green whales on the necktie.  Although it is out of sight here, the bottom button of my vest/waistcoat was indeed left unbuttoned.
Today's irretrievably Bertie Wooster, Bingo Little, and Tuppy Glossop-ish combo.  It's finally cool enough for wool vests/waistcoats, so I laid one out with everything else last night after supper before pressing my shirt.  A male student actually complemented me midday today as I left the building where I had just taught a class, describing everything as "Awesome!"  Nice to know that even some of the young whipper-snappers out there recognize classic combinations when confronted with them.  I've had several similar such comments during the last seven weeks or so from random students while going about my business on campus.  Not necessary of course, but the odd compliment is a nice thing to hear once in a while.  Now enough with the always unintentional alliterati…

It's Thirsty Thursday. . .

The top half this morning as I killed a little time outside on campus between office hours and then teaching for almost the next four hours.  And now, I need a drink.  Making due with some coffee however.  The overcoat above is an old Botany 500 number that I picked up for less than US$10 a year ago, the blazer is a Polo University Club, and the hand-made green club tie was also thrifted at some point in the not too distant past.
Thirsty Thursday, otherwise known as drinking night and the unofficial start of the weekend around many (most?) college and university campuses in the United States.  A chilly one here in any case this morning, so I opted for wool flannel items and a vintage wool overcoat.   The blazer, pants, and overcoat were all purchased in my old thrift/charity shop down in Central Illinois during the last few years.  

There are, apparently, a number of thrift/charity and clothing consignment shops in our new neck of the woods here in southern Michigan, but our lives have …

One Monday in October. . .

The top half today.


And the bottom half including Merino wool socks from Dapper Classics and a surprisingly comfortable pair of calfskin monk strap loafers from Land's End that are about eight years old.

In full Autumn mode here at the moment.  Even cooler weather is on the way, so it just might be possible to don a sweater or a vest/waistcoat beneath a tweed jacket later this week.  As much as I enjoy snow and cross country skiing, Fall is my favorite season of the year. 

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Sunday Grading and Lesson Planning Style. . .

The top half today, including a vintage 'Made in the USA' Land's End genuine Harris Tweed.  Oddly, the shoulders are not as boxy and large as seems to be the case with many of the sports jackets and suit coats sold by LE now.  I purchased this for a few bucks at my favorite thrift/charity shop haunt in our old stomping grounds of Central Illinois late last winter when it was handed to me by another patron much taller that I.  His words were something like, "Here.  This should fit you.  It's a Harris Tweed."  How could I possibly argue with that?

And on the bottom, a pair of suede Allen Edmonds 'Catskill' loafers among other items  My wife, the Grand Duchess, occasionally needles me about these decidedly orange Land's End corduroy jeans, but they're great for the fall and winter.
A long, brilliantly sunny October afternoon avoiding the in-laws, who are in town for the weekend to see the Young Master and the Grand Duchess.  Luckily, I had a ready …

One Lazy Saturday in October Style. . .

Some old Land's End khaki shorts, my usual rugby top, and Sperry topsiders.  Almost too cool in the shade now for this stuff, but it was fine in the sun.

YMP just before spilling the bubble solution.  No more until springtime!

A very casual and yet stylish YMP in some madras shorts, OCBD, and his own Sperry topsiders.
Just a quiet (and brilliantly sunny) October Saturday with the boys today (the Grand Duchess is away at a conference).  The Young Master, who will turn six in a couple of weeks, and yours truly spent a couple of hours this afternoon fooling around outside with bubbles, magic sand, and foam rubber rockets with launcher plus some attempts at tree-climbing and running at top speed around the grassy courtyard area.  Pepperoni pizza for supper this evening.  YMP's favorite.  Why can't we have more lazy days like this?

-- Heinz-Ulrich

A selection from the overly large necktie rotation, right now around 95, or 100 in number.  I know, I know. Some of these ties have been…

October Campus Style. . .

An absolutely stunning autumn day here today.  Cool, breezy, and mostly cloudy with the leaves starting to change colors.  Mostly reds, yellows, and oranges but still lots of green.  Campus was beautiful in the most quiet of ways with very few actual students in evidence  as I walked across it just after Noon for my lunchtime meeting.  

The relative absence of undergrads comes as no surprise really since it is Friday remember.   Class attendance drops off noticeably on Mondays and Fridays as students are either recovering from the weekend, or already began gearing up for it Thursday night and are in no shape to attend classes come Friday morning.  A professor of mine -- from Norway oddly enough -- observed as much 20 years ago when I wrapped up my own undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Of course, she made, and I make, a very broad generalization.  There ARE very conscientious and serious students out there, but there is also more than a grain of truth to ol'…

Harris Tweed Friday Style. . .

 The top half.  I later switched to a dark green, purple, and silvery gray pocket squares since this one struck me as too matchy-matchy with the shirt.
At home today except for lunch on campus midday with  a colleague who is (almost) an old hippy and extremely casual in his self-presentation, so I decided to forego a necktie for the date.  Good thing since I undoubtedly would have dribbled something on it.  It always happens like that, so I usually skip midday meals and limit myself to coffee, or a banana at most.  Hey, it's a good way to stay trim.  But today, a ham and cheese sandwich it was since I was taken to lunch.  I know.  I know.  Living out there on the bloody edge.  In any case, were I to add a necktie to this particular ensemble, it would be either a knit silk, or a knit wool model.  I've got them in dark green, maroon, and mustard yellow.

-- Heinz-Ulrich


The bottom half, which includes my recently resoled Florsheim wingtips/brogues and a pair of tan Land's End dr…

The Birth of Power Pop: The Kinks with I Need You

The Birth of Power Pop: The Who with The Kids Are Alright

The Birth of Power Pop: The Beatles with Paperback Writer

Sunday Undergrad Paper Grading Cafe Style. . .

Just because it's the weekend doesn't mean we can't still look pulled together, right men?  Especially when venturing outside the confines of the home.  Leather Sperry docksiders without socks completed the picture on this chilly, damp Sunday.  

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Leave It to Beaver -- Wally's Hair

Leave it to Beaver -- Wally's New Suit

Early Friday Morning Meeting Style. . .

A J . Press tweed jacket, perhaps my very best find ever.  I don't think it had been worn more than once.  If ever.  Can you imagine finding this in a small Central Illinois city thrift store/charity shop?  Me neither, but I did.  Still can't quite believe it.

And the bottom half this morning, which included a pair of Allen Edmonds wingtip brogues.  Just like the few other pairs of AE shoes that I now have in the rotation, these are extremely comfortable to wear and walk around in.
Friday meetings, early morning or late afternoon, are the absolute worst.  At least today's gave me an excuse to put on some nice things for another seasonably chilly and breezy fall day in our small corner of the world.  It's the kind of day that makes you feel good to be alive.  Whatever small annoyances and irritations -- and here have been a few lately -- life might throw our way, our little family is extremely fortunate.  Heck, I even found myself looking forward to the day early yesterda…

British Ska Revival 1979 -- One Step Beyond !!!

It's Finally Autumn at Last!

Land's End cords, Dapper Classics Merino wool socks, and recently resoled vintage Florsheim gunboats.  Up top, a cream, olive, tan, and brown houndstooth tweed hacking jacket, brown wool vest, blue OCBD shirt, and an ancient madder necktie in primarily dark red.  Plus a cream and red silk pocket square.  Kind of like a dandified Bertie Wooster today.
A cool, breezy one here today.  Finally able to dress decently without being covered by a patina of perspiration 10 minutes after leaving home.  How utterly refreshing.  In other news, I had yet another close encounter of the Danish kind between classes today as I sipped a quick cappuccino at a sidewalk cafe across the street from campus.  Three Danish graduate students were deep in conversation at the next table.  This is the third or fourth time in as many weeks that I have overheard Danish here at MSU.  Who knew?

-- Heinz-Ulrich