Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from November, 2015

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…

Juliette Greco -- Je suis comme je suis

Edith Piaf - La Vie En Rose

Henry Mancini - Goofin' At The Coffee House

Something for Sellers (Pink Panther Theme) - Henry Mancini

The Village Inn (Pink Panther Theme) - Henry Mancini

Glenn Miller & His Orchestra - Moonlight Serenade

Friday Morning Meeting Style. . .

Here's how the upper half looked this morning.  A Polo University Club wool flannel blazer (thrifted about five summers ago) worn over a pink and white University Stripe OCBD shirt with an old Land's End necktie that I purchased about 10 years ago.  I added my PKP pin when I realized that the person I was to meet today needed some way to recognize me.  It worked.

And here's the bottom half.  Yet another pair of gray flannel pants, charcoal Merino wool dress socks, and a pair of Allen Edmonds cap toe oxfords.  Very supple shoes that I could easily wear all day.  If more guys were aware of how comfortable good quality leather dress shoes can be, the bottom would soon drop out of the athletic shoe industry.  Call it a hunch.

And the same shown here beneath my trusty old London Fog trenchcoat, purchased new during the summer of '99 before I left for Norway, along with a wool scarf that Mom and Step Dad gave me one Christmas over 20 years ago.  The coat is a bit worn in place…

A Blustery Thursday in November. . .

The top half today included, among other items, a herringbone pattern Harris Tweed jacket by Hunting Horn.

The bottom half, including Land's End corduroy pants, Merion wool socks from Dapper Classics, and yet another pair of wingtips/brogues, these too by Allen Edmonds.
Cold, windy, and rainy here today.  A perfect reason to channel Bingo Little, Tuppy Glossop, and Bertie Wooster, albeit with a bit more color, before heading out to brave the weather here in the southern part of Lower Michigan.  Mid-November has indeed arrived.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Make a it a Double-breasted Wednesday!

A Brooksgate wool flannel navy blazer with brown foulard necktie and a green and white University Stripe OCBD shirt.

L.L. Bean gray flannel pants, Merino wool socks by Dapper Classics, and those recrafted (2013) Allen Edmonds shortwings once again.
Still having fun with clothes this morning and thought I'd upload these before finishing lunch and getting back to the afternoon grind.  At my old institution in Central Illinois, one of the most visible university muckety mucks also wore double-breasted blazers and suits.  And he looked pretty good too.  But the problem was in his always matching bowtie and pocket square exactly.  Clearly these were purchased as sets.  

In private, my wife the Grand Duchess expressed the opinion that that particular feature of his attire made him look like he was dressed for a high school musical when he might otherwise have looked really sharp.  Since I veer toward the dandy side of thing anyway and occasionally stray into matchy-matchy territory myself,…

Tweed Suit Humor: Peter Sellers doing Michael Caine on Parkinson. . .

Southwick Tweed Suit Tuesday. . .

The top half of today's tweed suit venture.  A very, very warm and heavy suit.  The pants are fully lined to the ankles, so it must be chilly weather before this one is practical.  Dark blue and maroon paisley silk braces worn with this in lieu of a belt.

It was uncanny, but I was nearly done in by a disembodied hand writhing around on my office floor this morning.  Somehow, it had managed to wriggle its way into my Seiko slim dress watch, a birthday gift from good ol' Mom about a dozen years ago.

Navy Merino wool socks by Dapper Classics with resoled vintage Florsheim gunboats.  I obviously need to apply brown sole dressing and a coat or two of clear polish on top of that, darn it.
Enjoyed trotting this Southwick 3/2 suit out today for early morning office hours, rereading selected course texts, and lesson planning followed by a couple of classes (with a medium cappucino in between) this afternoon during which I returned the graded second batch of formal papers collected two wee…

Peter Gunn - Henry Mancini

Inaugural Outing of AE Schautal Wingtips/Brogues. . .

Here they are.  Extremely comfortable.  Full leather lining and excellent support as you would expect from Allen Edmonds footwear.
A chilly, sunny Monday in November here today, so perfect weather for tweed jackets, corduroy pants, and suede wingtips/brogues.  I even managed to scare up a pair of heavy green laces sent to me by the Allen Edmonds people two or three years ago when they returned a pair of shoes post-recrafting.  Glad I kept these in the shoeshine box, 'cause they don't look too bad here.It's funny, but when you've got interesting things to wear, suddenly Monday's don't seem as awful.  

Feeling better about oneself and, indeed, whatever life drops in your lap -- via the the hated and feared email inbox-- between late Friday afternoon and early Monday morning (I do not check work-related email at home during the weekends) is an oft overlooked reason in favor of dressing more presentably.  If more people dressed even halfway better than has become the…

Novembers Past, Novembers Present. . .

A male ring-necked pheasant, like used to be extremely common in SE Pennsylvania when I was a boy.
This Sunday morning while enjoying that first mug of coffee, I overheard a couple of blue jays squawking just outside the window of our temporary diggs here outside of East Lansing, Michigan.  The mind is a funny thing, because my first thought was of the many ring-necked pheasants years ago when I was a boy and teenager in southeastern Pennsylvania, especially during Late October-Early December each year, when it seemed that you could not swing a dead cat without either seeing or hearing them.  Ring-necked pheasants that is.  As a toddler and very small child, according to good ol' Mom, I referred to them collectively as Silly Pheasant, a generic name that remained in use among the family for many years thereafter especially once the weather cooled in the fall.

The corn had been harvested by that point, the leaves were mostly off the trees, and the landscape was beginning to look deci…

"The Ipcress File" John Barry FULL VINYL SOUNDTRACK ALBUM 1965

Bernard "Pretty" Purdie talks about ghostnotes. . .

Of Thank-you Notes Past and Present. . .

The Young Master and I have had birthdays in the last couple of weeks, and today we'll sit down together to write a few thank-you notes for the cards and gifts sent to us from family members.  Both the physical notes and a couple of the cyber variety for relatives in areas of the world where the mail is unreliable.

Too many people, if and when they think about them at all, regard thank-you notes as a quaint reminder of a bygone era.  A relic of the past.  Something about as necessary in the 21st century as gloves, calling cards, and  walking sticks.  Something that is, somehow, too time consuming.  You know the old, tired refrain, "I don't have the time."  We hear this excuse used for everything from thank-you cards, to dressing presentably (not expensively or well, just presentably), to actually setting a dinner table properly and sitting down for an evening meal (without TV and I-phones mind you), to washing one's face and brushing one's hair before appearin…

A Spring to the Step. . .

Today's shoes, although the photograph was taken two or three years ago in my den in our old house in Illinois.  Closing is in three weeks, and then we will have sold it.
At the conclusion of today's class on Scandinavian and Nordic Cinema, a student approached me to touch base about a couple of items on the syllabus.  As he turned to leave, he asked, "By the way, is that a jacket with a 3/2 roll?  I've never seen one in person."  I was wearing my J. Press Herringbone tweed jacket among other items.  

We then spent the next ten minutes talking men's classic attire and dress shoes.  I should mention that said student was dressed rather well in his own Allen Edmonds shortwings, a sportsjacket over a pressed sports shirt, and wool dress pants with a sharp crease.  He was on his way to a job interview in downtown Lansing.  Yes, indeed.  It seems there are some 21-year olds out there who get it, which does the mind and soul good on this unseasonably warm November af…

Flannel and Flies for a November Monday. . .

Nippy here in the southern part of Lower Michigan this morning, so I grabbed a  favorite wool flannel sports jacket from the wardrobe -- a Pal Zileri number in Glen Plaid -- and combined it with a pair of charcoal gray flannel pants, a light blue oxford cloth button-down shirt, and a recently acquired vintage Orvis necktie, which I've only worn once before (several weeks ago).  I topped off the ensemble with a pair of chocolate brown suede Allen Edmonds shortwings and an Italian silk pocket square that I picked up for a dollar or two at a thrift/charity shop several years ago.  Everything seemed to work well together, but it was almost too warm by the time I came home after midday, and I am actually sitting in khaki shorts and a short-sleeved navy polo knit top as I type this.  Can you believe it's November 2nd?

-- Heinz-Ulrich