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Just Say "No!" to Trashy in 2018. . .

From all of us at Classic Style, many happy returns in the New Year!

All you have to do is look and listen in almost any public space these days.  Or visit Yahoo News.  Trashy has taken over in public life as far as attitude, behavior, speech, appearances, and even discourse go.  Tacky, cheap, stupid, uninformed, and/or just downright offensive aren't far behind.  Sigh.  

Now, infer what you wish about ol' yours truly, but unless you have your eyes closed, there is no doubt we are feeding somewhere along the bottom in the second decade of the 21st century when it comes to how people conduct themselves privately and in public.  And the kinds of things we do.  To ourselves and to others.  We have lost something with the push for the increased democratization of society and related egalitarianism.  Fine ideals in and of themselves, but by throwing the baby out with the bathwater where acceptable personal and public standards are concerned, we sink ever further to the lowest common …

Christmas Week Style, or How to Enjoy the Snow and Cold. . .

The Young Master and Dad on Christmas Day.


The Young Master led the way on the Feast of Stephen, or December 26th.


The Young Master set the pace right from the start yesterday, December 26th.

My humble suggestion, if you live somewhere where there is winter weather right now, is to get outside and enjoy it in some way rather than complain about it like so many do.  Around our house, we like to toboggan, sled, and ski cross-country.  We have been able to do a fair amount of both the last four weeks or so here in Mid-Michigan.  The three of us have been out together each of the last three days, and the Young Master and I plan to head out again tomorrow to yet another nearby park with trails.  His skiing has really improved since last year.  The Young Master gets good glide when striding, navigates small hills well, and double-poles like a trooper to extend his glide.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Merry Christmas from Classic Style!

A calm, sedate, yet nevertheless festive Christmas greeting.

When in the world did the Christmas season become so loud?  And I mean that in a figurative as well as an aural sense.  It's more than just the ever-present catterwaul of Mariah Carey, or similar 'artistes,' from somewhere in the background you understand.The general over the top atmosphere riddled with superficial hyperbole that begins in September and, if retailers are anything to go by, ends abruptly on December 26th seems all wrong somehow.  The season actually lasts into January.  

Of course, it isn't simply retailers that do this to us.  It seems to be our whole culture.  Movies, television, radio, and everyday people as well.  The endless, exhaustive, misdirected, tacky, plastic elf-on-the-shelf "half-time" holiday extravaganza of the 21st century that assaults our senses each year at this time bears little resemblance to the quiet, contemplative, calm, unplugged holidays of my childh…

Here's Another Stylish Gift Idea. . .

An array of single malt scotch whisky brands for the sampling.

Another gift idea, depending on the person for whom you are buying, might be a nice bottle of single malt scotch.  You can find brands and bottles at various price points, which seem to  go by the age of the liquid in the bottle as well as the crafting and aging process.  For example, a bottle of 10-year-old Laphroaig will cost mush less than an 18-year-old bottle.  If you're nervous about buying the right bottle for someone you know enjoys scotch already, a neat related gift idea might be a book on scotches and how they are made.  In any case, online companies like Amazon make the shopping for, purchase, an shipping of such items relatively easy in the six or so shopping days left until Christmas.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Snowy Mid-December Style. . .

Yours truly earlier this morning on the way to our local quick & greasy breakfast haunt with the Grand Duchess.  Eggs, ham, and hashed brown potatoes that are to die for along with a bottomless cup of coffee.  And now I will ski some of that off just around the corner and up the road from our house.
A more casual approach to everyday style here recently since the end of classes last week.  Just some final grading to finish in the next couple of days, and then posting course grades to the requisite site by the deadline early next week.  And then let the peevish, whiny emails from disgruntled students begin!  Tiny violins as my wife says.

In the meantime, various corduroy jeans, comfy old Norwegian sweaters (two of early 90s vintage from L.L. Bean and one from Dale of Norway that I've had since Christmas of 2000), ski socks, and the ol' trusty L.L. bean duck shoes have been getting a lot of wear here at home.  The scarf in the photograph is an old J. Peterman item given to…

Two More Holiday Gift Ideas. . .

Above yesterday morning, on the way to brush off and hitch up the ol' Subaru Outback sleigh for a jaunt into campus for a workshop on creating digital identities.  Ho, ho, ho!

And, pardon the thumb, the lower half.  Bright red ski socks and a brown braided belt, unseen in ths picture, completed the ensemble.

A couple of more Holiday gift ideas in today's photographs.  One, it's hard to go wrong with L.L. Bean duck shoes or boots for cold, or mucky late fall, winter, and early spring weather conditions depending on where the recipient of said gift lives.  Now, these always seem to sell out each year, and while there might still be time to order and ship the required size in time for Hannukah for Christmas, you can find similar foul weather footwear from companies like Sperry, Land's End, and Sorel.

On a different note, sometimes it can be fun to give (or receive) a gift that serves no other purpose other than that it is a neat thing to have.  Sterling silver, pewter, and s…

Holiday Gift Giving Ideas. . .

My mother presented me with a ballpoint pen and pencil set  like this one for high school graduation may years ago.  I still use them in 2017.

With the approach of Hannukah, Christmas, and the gift-giving season in general, it seems like a good idea to include a few interesting gift ideas for the special men in your life (or perhaps yourself).  To start the silver Christmas tree balls rolling, it's hard to go wrong with a sterling silver pen and pencil set from a company like Cross.  No need to rely on someone else to lend you a chewed up Bic disposable ballpoint, or a dull pencil with no eraser when these are in your your inside sports jacket or suit coat pocket.  Sterling silver not to your taste?  The company offers a wide variety of elegant, sophisticated, masculine pen and pencil sets at all price points.  Visit their website at: www.cross.com.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Friday Afternoon Meeting Style. . .

Poodle necktie courtesy of Chipp and the wool pocket square from the folks at Put This On.  The wool flannel jacket is by Brioni, picked up for a song several years ago via Ebay, and the green and white university stripe OCBD is of course from L.L. Bean.  Long live New England fustiness!

Suede shoes by Allen Edmonds and Merino wool socks by Dapper Classics.

Who says Friday afternoon department meetings on socially conscious pedagogy at the tail end of the semester are no fun?  Arf!  Arf!  A seasonal variation on a combination of garments that owe a great deal to G. Bruce Boyer.  The first appreciable snowfall of the season arrived here in Mid-Michigan early this (Saturday) morning, so the suede shoes will likely not see the light of day again until sometime in March, or even April depending on when the winter snow and spring slop dry up enough for nice shoes once more.  In the meantime, the cross-country (Nordic) skis are lined up by the backdoor.  Winter can arrive full blast any time …

The Vince Guaraldi Trio -- A Charlie Brown Christmas (Full Album)

Festive Tweed and Cords for Advent. . .

Above today, December 7th, featuring a jacket by J. Press, a Pendleton wool necktie, and a pink OCBD from Land's End.  I have a few different wool tartan ties, but this one is my favorite, and it gets a lot of wear during December each year.

On the lower half, a pair of vintage Florsheim 'longwings', some wool dress socks by Dapper Classics, and a pair of dress corduroy paints again by Land's End.

My final day of classes for the current academic term today (Hurrah!), and now the grading, tallying of numbers, and online submissions of final course grades for almost 150 students spread across three courses can begin in earnest (Hiss!). 

In any case, I felt like dressing with a nod to the season this morning, so here we are.  A bit matchy-matchy, and even bordering on the dandy for some tastes perhaps, yet not an unpleasant ensemble by any stretch.  It occurs to me that, should a man wish (or be asked) to "dress up" for any sort of holiday occasion  -- parties, di…

Pamper Your Feet From Time to Time. . .

Your feet take a beating, so why not give 'em a little extra attention?

Even with correctly sized and well-fitted quality dress shoes, it's still likely that you'll have calluses build up somewhere on your feet over time, which might potentially lead to other foot problems down the road if left unchecked.  So, how about accompanying the woman in your life to a manicure/pedicure salon a few times a year?  It's wild and crazy, I know.  But why not?

That's what I did with my wife this (Friday) morning when we took the day of just for us.  After a large breakfast at our favorite quick and greasy (actually a locally owned restaurant where the gal who runs it knows us by name and hot breakfast beverage habits),we headed from Willamston back down Grand River into Okemos, Michigan to a nail salon and spa favored by my wife The Grand Duchess.  

Without going into all of the eeeewwws and uggghhhs, let's simply say that my feet look and feel better than they have in years.  …

THE HARVARD (The Longer Ivy League Haircut)

Princeton Hairstyle – Ivy League Haircut

Bill Evans - On Green Dolphin Street (1959)

Everybody Digs Bill Evans (1959) - Full Album

The Classic Style Annual Table Manners Public Service Announcment . . .

Remember, gents.  Table manners are an important part of our everyday style, even in 2017, despite any arguments to the contrary.  

The holiday season is once more upon us, and with it the annual lead-up to the rather frenetic Christmas and New Year's period.  While I naturally hope that regular and occasional visitors to Classic Style will have the good graces NOT to show up to any special holiday dinners or other events dressed in hoodies, sweatpants, sagging jeans, and flip-flops or sneakers -- or, frankly, any other common attire of the sort -- this post is not about that.

Nope.  Instead, it's a yearly reminder to average guys everywhere to remember and practice polite table manners.  Not just on special occasions either, but everyday.  With that idea in mind, here is a reprise of a post from November of 2012 (with a few small recent edits by yours truly), which presents all kinds of useful tabletop information, most of which used to be common knowledge.  At le…

Bill Evans - Portrait in Jazz (1960)

Southwick 3/2 Bold Tweedy Tuesday. . .

Said Southwick tweed jacket with a 3/2 roll and slightly wide lapels, leading me to believe it hails from sometime in the 1970s.  The lapels are not offensively wide though, so I trot out this particular jacket several times each season and keep everything else pretty staid.

And the bottom half, featuring a pair of vintage Florsheim "gunboats" that I have had for several years now.  They were completely resoled two years ago and will probably outlast me although I see that the sole dressing could stand to be redone at this point.


Yet one more example of how an adult male might up his seasonal style game a bit while also setting himself apart from the shambling herd of walking dirty laundry hampers that dot the landscape in 2017.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

A Casual Friday at Home. . .

Yesterday above.

Yesterday below.


Even on those chilly fall days days when one is at home, it is easy be "comfortable" (an apparent obsession here in the largely sedentary and overweight United States) and yet presentable.  

In this, the 601st post of Classic Style, I once again suggest that it is possible to be comfortable and cozy without resembling a shambling mound of wrinkled, dirty laundry that is riddled with stains from slops of beer, salsa, microwavable foods, and bodily fluids (Don't believe it?  Look at most people in virtually any public space these days).  The photos above illustrate just one possible example of how a guy might look reasonably presentable for those less dressed up days at home.  
Men, you don't need to look like down and out homeless people who have somehow wrangled enough credit to have three or four cars sitting in the driveway and a mortgage in the suburbs.  There is a better way.  Get some self-respect and pull yourselves together for th…

Coming Soon: 'The Dearborn' by Optimo Hats. . .

The Dearborn by Optimo Hats of Chicago.

Sadly, there is a school of thought out there, personified by the blog/website Put This On, that guys who wear hats in the 21st century look like "dicks."  Their word, not mine.  

That attitude is really too bad.  A properly fitted, decent looking hat (and I don't mean backwards baseball caps or those cheap, hipsterish Hawaiian Punch porkpie and trilby hats from the  local shopping mall that sit on the top of your head) can add a certain amount of flair, panache, or even gravitas to your appearance.  Especially the right kind of hat when worn with a trench coat, or other long overcoat.  Yeah.  Just like in those old cynical, pessimistic, fatalistic, and psychologically bleak Films Noir from the 1940s and early 50s.  You dirty rat!  See?  Yeah.

So, it's a year late in coming, but I finally got around to ordering one more special 50th birthday gift for myself this morning.  I opted for a phone fitting and was assisted by a very kn…

Chilly Fall Weather Has Finally Arrived. . .

The top half on Tuesday morning this week as I took a short break from reading and grading the second batch of student papers.

And the bottom half.  Looks like this particular pair of shoes needs some leather balm and a good going over with a horsehair brush before their next outing.

So, it seemed like a fine time to swap the warmer weather gear for tweeds, corduroy, and several wool flannel suits.  This particular combination of garments struck me as especially pleasing.  

It's sleeting outside at the moment as I type this early Thursday afternoon.  Can the L.L Bean boots be far off?

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Three-piece Thursday. . .

The upper half today, featuring a light pink short, dark green and crimson paisley necktie, and linen pocket handkerchief.  Out of sight here are the navy and crimson silk braces worn in lieu of a belt.

And the lower half, featuring a pair of 'Strand' captoe oxfords in Oxblood (or is it Chili?) by Allen Edmonds, shortly to revisit the AE factory outside Milwaukee for recrafting.

This charcoal wool flannel three-piece suit is a Polo Ralph Lauren number that I picked up in a thrift shop three or four years ago for the princely sum of US$7.99.  If it had ever been worn before, it was just once, so no signs of wear anywhere.  It is heavy, soft, and warm, so ideal for chilly fall, winter, and early spring days.  Best of all, and this rarely happens, the 40R garment fit like it was made for me once I tried it on.  It has never needed alterations of any sort.  Even the sleeve length was perfect, allowing half an inch of linen to show with arms at my sides.  A serendipitous day.  So, I …

Sartorial Frivolity. . .

In view of the generally deplorable state of the world politically and socially -- Just take a gander at almost everything featured in Yahoo News. -- I offer a brief interlude of fairly innocuous escape this morning via what  I like to call my sartorial frivolity.

Three separate ensembles worn this week illustrate how a man who cares about pulling himself together might do so in our current age of apparent low self-esteem, societally speaking that is, and the resulting dress downism of the last two decades or so.  At the very least, these photos show that it's ok to have some fun with your clothes while getting on with the day to day challenges of life.  In other words, dressing well doesn't have to hurt, guys.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Ben Silver Necktie Thursday. . .

The upper half this last Thursday, featuring said necktie (thrifted for about US$2.00 a few years back) and one of my four navy blazers.  I know, I know. . .
It's funny.  Not 'funny ha-ha' so, but rather more 'funny peculiar' as my maternal grandmother used to say.   At this point in my sartorial journey, I vary things from day to day during the weekly schlepp from Monday through Friday, combining a suit or two with somewhat more casual sports jacket-odd pants combos the remaining days.  And always with some kind of decent leather dress shoes and a necktie (almost always) of one sort or another except in the warmest August and September weather.  

A few of the classrooms I am stuck in by the unseen, unfeeling, and enigmatic classroom assignment gods each semester are in older, unrenovated buildings with inadequate climate control.  That means, that when 35+ bodies are crammed into said rooms for classes lasting an hour or more that things rapidly become uncomfortable…

J. Press and SWIMS Style!

As above.
At last, the autumn weather is here.  So, a gray, rainy and cool day today here in Mid-Michigan.  Hence the J. Press 3/2 roll tweed sports jacket, ocbd, wool necktie, corduroy pants, and Norwegian-made SWIMS to protect the Allen Edmonds gunboats.  Not shown are the accompanying London Fog trenchcoat that has served me for almost 20 years along with the cream, red, and navy plaid umbrella (with a genuine wooden handle and shaft) by Brooks Brothers.

-- Heinz-Ulrich


So below.

Ivy Style Necktie Tuesday. . .

The upper half, including the limited edition Ivy Style club necktie and a cotton 3/2 roll jacket from Brook's Brothers.

The lower half, featuring socks by Dapper classics and Land's End dress chinos.  A bit matchy-matchy with the socks, but I couldn't manage to locate a plain navy or tan pair in the early morning darkness. Canary yellow might have been interesting though!
Finally, a refreshingly cool October day that doesn't leave you damp and sweaty after walking from one side of campus to another at a brisk pace to make a lunchtime meeting.  A little olive green, tan, blue, and red here today.

-- Heinz-Ulrich von B.

An (Almost) Drones Club Necktie Thursday. . .

The upper half this bright blue October Thursday, featuring a must-iron Brooks Brothers  university stripe OCBD shirt worn with a BB 'Makers' tie that is strikingly like the club tie worn by members of P. G. Wodehouse's Drones Club. . .  save that the stripes slant the wrong way of course.


And the lower half, featuring a chopped off pair of Allen Edmonds chocolate suede brogues and a pair of Land's End dress chinos.

Something between a G. Bruce Boyer and a Bertie Wooster look here in Mid-Michigan today.  Still a bit too warm for tweed and corduroy but a very pleasant lower 70s Fahrenheit (about 22 C. give or take) in any case.

-- Heinz-Ulrich.

Belvest Tuesday One Last Time for the Season. . .

 The upper half during early morning coffee and work email before heading across campus to my office for the obligatory office hours.  In other words, additional prep time before class meets.

And the lower half.
Sunny and warm again here in Mid-Michigan today, so I hauled out the cotton Belvest suit for one final wearing early this morning.  

Other items included a genuine Panama hat sent to me by good ol' Mom last June, a cream-colored cotton pocket square from Put This On, recently recrafted Allen Edmonds shoes, and a peach-colored Italian silk necktie by Kenneth Roberts.  I must get a few pairs of navy cotton dress socks at some point.  The several pairs I have now are wool and too warm for this sort of Indian Summer weather.  I made do with these, but they're a little busy.  Fortunately, you can't see 'em when I stand.

The Belvest suit is something I splurged on last spring, new with original price tags still intact, but I nevertheless managed to pick it up for a mere…