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.

Monday, October 31, 2016

It Was J. Press Monday!!!

 J. Press tweed and pheasant necktie among other items on top.

Suede Allen Edmonds 'Schautal' longwings and Merino wool socks by Dapper Classics on the bottom.

Happy to be alive and back in the classroom after a week at home following a horrific automobile accident last Monday, October 24th.  How my son and I walked away from that one I'll never know.  45mph head-on collision with a gal on her cellphone and also yakking in the mirror to her children in the backseat while making a left-hand turn (into me) across heavy, late afternoon traffic.  Never saw her coming thanks to a line of larger SUVs and minivans on my right.  

As soon as we came to a stop, I was unbuckled and headed into the backseat after The Young Master to get us the hell out of the car due to the gasoline fumes and aroma of burning wiring.  Son shaken but unhurt.  Corolla totaled beyond repair.  Dad in ER for about six hours last Monday evening undergoing battery of tests, catscans, and x-rays before they let me go home.  Not a fun experience.  Banged up and with a purple torso and still somewhat swollen lower left leg, but upright and moving, so I'm not complaining.  And oh yeah.  Happy Halloween! 

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Friday, October 21, 2016

Two Looks for the Week and a Tip. . .

The combination of items for Thursday this week -- photographed as I sat in my office waiting for a student who never showed up -- featured a recently recrafted pair of Allen Edmonds split-toe oxfords and a had-made Italian necktie that I picked up a couple of years ago in my old stomping grounds of Central Illinois for around US$1.00.  I suppose the flowers would probably frighten a lot of guys away from even thinking about wearing it, but it seemed like the perfect Autumn tie for a cool, mostly cloudy October day.

Making an effort to dress better than the average is always a learning experience.  Something I realized earlier this afternoon during a quick visit to my tailor to drop off a few recently acquired pieces for the usual routine alterations.  When it comes to dress pants' inseams, I humbly suggest we opt for a medium break.  This leaves enough length to cover your socks and the tops of your shoes without looking Pee Wee Herman weird.  At the same time, there is not so much material left flapping and puddling around your ankles that it looks like you've got your father's pants on.  

No doubt, you'll come across other, conflicting views and advice out there in the men's style blogosphere, but a medium break seems like a reasonable compromise between the two extremes of currently trendy on the one hand and traditionally stodgy (and veering toward sloppy) on the other.  Just my two cents on the matter.

Otherwise the visit to the tailor today was to have a couple of wool flannel Polo Ralph Lauren suits altered slightly (inseams and sleeve lengths) along with a pair of very pretty (and subtle) dark red, navy, and hunter green wool flannel pants by Bill's Khaki's that I purchased about a year ago to wear with a navy blazer  during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.  Naturally, I never managed to get the latter to the tailor in time given all of the hoopla around finally selling our old house in Illinois in late November 2015, closing on our new house here in Michigan in early December, and moving into it eleven days before Christmas.  Jeeze Louise!  It was not an experience I ever care to repeat.  In any case, the pants will be all ready well in advance of the holiday season this year. 

Finally, it has become chilly here at last, so this is the weekend when I'll put away the warmer weather stuff and break out the flannels, tweeds, and corduroys along with ancient madder and wool neckties.  

-- Heinz-Ulrich

And here's the combination of items for Thursday this week, which included a medium weight wool flannel Pal Zileri three-button sports jacket that I found on Ebay for about US$20 two or three years ago.  Fits like it was made expressly for me after the usual shortening of sleeve by an inch or so.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Catching Up. . .

 The upper half of a Belvest 6x2 double-breasted suit that I scored for a song on Ebay late last spring during its inaugural wearing last Tuesday.  The waist and seat need to be let out a wee bit more, but otherwise, a very comfortable, nicely fitting suit.  My students that day didn't quite know what to make of it I am sure.  One did ask how many suits I had, and my reply stunned her.  Somewhere in the neighborhood of 12-15, including a few that still need alterations at some point before they can be worn.  I know, I know. . .

 And the lower half of same suit.  I thought it best to everything very plain and forego brighter statement socks.  The double-breasted suit makes enough of a statement itself in 2016.

Swamped with work and teaching stuff these last few weeks, but I've managed to take a few photographs here and there of the more successful combinations of attire, which I'll share here.

I finally got around to ordering a pair of Classic Galoshes from the folks at Swims a few days ago.  I had no idea that the company was based in Norway (my old stomping grounds during several visits and periods of study in the 199s) of all places, so of course I opted for the color red, which is the predominating color of the Norwegian flag.  These should be here by midweek, a good thing since we've had some amazingly wet, rainy periods so far this fall in Mid-Michigan although I'm not quite ready to set aside my dress shoes for Bean Boots.  That will happen once the snow accumulates this winter.  Until then, I'll burn out people's corneas on those dark, dreary, wet days to come with the red Swims!

Finally, I mentioned something a few weeks ago about sharing some howling style (or complete lack thereof) mistakes of my own right here as a cautionary tale of sorts.  Sadly (or maybe not?), the photographic evidence seems to have disappeared from my I-phone in the meantime.  Whew!

Let me just advise that if a man is going to wear a pair of spectator shoes, even fairly sedate ones,  then the socks and everything else should be kept very, very plain.  I had one of those awful, self-conscious "What was I thinking??!!" moments during one of our last very warm days here three or four weeks ago, when I wore these two items together.  The results were anything but admirable.  Or attractive.  

I later noticed a young man, with his wife and newborn baby while waiting in the pediatrician's office, making the same mistake a week ago.  Shudder!  "No, no, noooooo!!!" I screamed inside, but then he had at least made an effort to dress for work and a visit to the doctor, and he certainly look more pulled together than has become that sad, pathetic average.  So, I cannot criticize him too strongly for making the same mistake as yours truly.  

Suffice to say that it's perhaps a good practice to  limit flashier items to just one per clothing combination, or risk straying into unwitting clown territory.  It's too late for me, I know, but there is till time to save yourselves.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Here is a combination of items from a couple of weeks ago that I was reasonably well pleased with.

 And the lower half, featuring a new pair of coffee colored Merino wool socks from Dapper Classics who have become my go-to sock supplier of choice during the last few years.

 And finally, one of my heavier wool flannel single-breasted navy blazers work on a chilly but sunny day recently with a knit silk tie from Land's End and light blue oxford cloth button-down shirt.

And on the lower half that day a recently recrafted pair of Allen Edmonds sued shortwings along with another pair of Merino wool socks from Dapper Classics.