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, April 24, 2017

Late April Monday Glen Plaid and Tan

A vintage Corbin Glen Plaid silk-wool suit worn with a Ben Silver necktie above.

A wonderfully bright, sunny, almost warm day here this morning, so it was the perfect time to break out a lighter suit and a pair of tan shoes, which I moisturized and shined yesterday evening.  It's had to see in the photo below, but a glassy shine is beginning to  form on the toe caps and heel box of this pair.  I use neutral shoe polish by Lincoln along with a horsehair brush and a piece of old nylon stocking to bring up the shine.  This is a trick I learned from a woman in the military via Youtube a few years ago.  I am eager to try Saphir products, though, to see how those work.  Very easy to become obsessive about shoe shining products and techniques, you know!

-- Heinz-Ulrich

And a recently polish pair of tan Allen Edmonds captoe oxfords below.  The pleated pants have a full break, which I have felt for a few years now veers a little close to sloppy.  So, over time, I will have various pants, both part of suits and odd pairs that suffer from the malady, shortened ever so slightly.  As mentioned in yesterday's post, I like my pants to break somewhere a bit longer than a medium break and a bit shorter than full break.  In any case, these were held up with a very attractive pair of navy braces that feature red and silver paisleys all over.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Knack: That's What the Little Girls Do (Live In Los Angeles, 1978)

Take Your Suits to the Tailor!

Kind of an interesting visual to include with today's post.

A lovely, sunny Saturday in late April here at Totleigh-in-the-Wold, and I finally had the chance to take a Belvest 6/2 double-breasted suit and another, by Samuelsohn, into my tailor today for a few minor alterations after a lengthy delay.  Both are items I picked up for a song on Ebay during May of last year.  Perhaps not the best way to acquire wardrobe additions, especially with items like suits where fit is so important, but the prices were such that I couldn't pass 'em up when I came across them.  Since I remain able to fit things in the 40R or 41R range at the half century mark, purchasing attire like these without the benefit of trying it on first is not too much of a concern

Not me, but a photo I found online, illustrating how my tailor plans to address the fit of one of my suitcoats althoug he limited to pinning to just the rear side seams.

For those things that need some work once they arrive, like these two scores, it's off to the tailor!  Both suits fit reasonably well already, after the obligatory sleeve and inseam shortening last September, and I have worn the Belvest a few times since, but each suit still had some problems that needed to be addressed.  Hence today's visit.  Parenthetically, it is always amazing to me the number of men, of all ages, that I occasionally notice walking around in suits with pants and sleeves that are far too long.  They could look so much better if only they would have a few minor alterations made to the raw off-the-rack items, but there you are I suppose.

Anyway, the Belvest suit coat, while it looked fine from the front, clearly had too much material across the small of my back and between my shoulder blades in the upper back region.  What a pleasant surprise it was when the tailor simply pinned a bit in along the two rear side seams, and the coat instantly looked better all the way around.  The pants still lacked the amount of break I prefer, something between medium and not quite full, so that was very easy for the two of us to work out.  I also opted to abandon the cuffs (turn-ups) and go for a more formal non-cuffed look with a angled hem (called a Guardsman's Slant), which features some break in the front and hangs straight to the top of the shoe heals in the back to create an unbroken line.

Another visual aid that shows how a suit coat should fit when correctly adjusted for one's unique measurements.

The Samuelsohn suit was potentially more complicated, at least where the pants were concerned.  While I no longer enjoy the 31" waist of my twenties, thirties, and early forties, I was a bit distressed when the suit arrived late last spring, and I wasn't even able to button the blasted pants!  The suit had been advertised as a 40R with pants featuring a 34" waist after all.  Grrrrr.  Finding the time for routine exercise has been difficult at best since our son was born in 2009 (my wife and I used to be avid road bicyclists, sometimes managing 200 miles a week in the summers), and then there have also been the increased job commitments since our move to Michigan State University in 2015, but surely my girth has not increased that much over the last seven years!  I was at 33" late last fall when I hit 50, or as I call it, my latest 29th birthday.

Fortunately, my tailor came to the rescue when I asked him if anything could be done.  He informed me, after taking a look inside the waistband, that it and the seat of the pants had been taken in previously by about four inches.  Let both out, he suggested, so yours truly could close and wear the pants of the suit comfortably while preserving his middle-aged vanity?  No problem!  Same thing with the double-breasted coat, which was just a bit tight when my arms were raised.  Likewise, it too had been taken in quite a bit.  The tailor informed me that he could let out the rear side seams slightly to make everything more comfortable and allow the two side vents of the coat to hang straight over my seat and remain closed while preserving the overall shape of the coat including the sightly suppressed waistAll I have to do now is wait about two weeks before everything is ready, and I can try it on before paying the bill and bringing the suits home.  

Here's a tip for average guys who are new to this kind of thing, try everything on BEFORE you pay your bill and leave the shop.  Then, if something is still not quite right, you can have it addressed, although that might involve waiting another week or two before your alterations are completed.  I find that tailor's shops are busy placesTo begin with, there are fewer tailors than once was the case, so they always seem to be swamped with work.  That means, on a related noted, that people tend to find them, the good ones at least, and your new suit might not be the first in line.  Who knows?  You might just have to hurry up and wait as they used to say in the U.S. Army according to my late paratrooper grandfather, who always looked amazing in his suits, Monday through Friday, on Sunday mornings, and for most other special occasion throughout the year.  The last time I saw him in a suit, he was in his 80s and, while a bit stooped in his posture at that point, Granddaddy still cut an impressive figure.  It's all about how you carry yourself, I guess, and he still had it.

But what about the cost of alterations to a suit?  Well, I find that tailors seem to be all over the board with pricing based on my own experience and rates I have seen online from tailoring shops that maintain an internet presence in various major cities around the United States.  I suppose some guys out there might balk at spending a bit more over and above the price of a suit, though, and this explains the overly long sleeves and inseams that I lament in paragraph two above.  However, if you want to look your best when you don that new suit, that means you'll need to spend a bit more -- Yes, yes.  A First World problem. -- to have a few necessary alterations made before you actually wear the item in question.  Let's not be cheap here, fellasThere's no excuse for being a tightwad about things like this when you have already purchased a suit at a substantial savings either on sale, via an online forum like Ebay, or otherwise discountedGot it, Ebeneezer?  Come on.

So, after all of my blather here, what's the moral of the story?  Well, there are three actually.  One, off-the-rack suits look miles better when you have minor alterations -- sleeve length, inseam, and waist suppression at the bare minimum -- made BEFORE you wear them in public.  You'll still end up with some pretty damn good fitting (and looking) attire.  Two, when there are problems with fit, a tailor can make minor adjustments one way, or the other by about an inch or two, depending on the specific issue in question, to address the problem and make your suit look stunning.  Three, watch what you eat and, if at all possible, exercise regularly in some way -- cycling, swimming, martial arts, cross-country skiing, running, etc. -- to burn enough calories and maintain a trim physique.  There is just no getting around the fact that clothing in general fits better, even before alterations, than it might on more generously proportioned figures.

Of course, the best fitting suits are custom made for your precise physical dimensions alone.  Think Saville Row here, although it is possible to have equally good stuff  made elsewhere.  Even online operations, I have read, offer a viable third option in 2017 when it comes to suits made exclusively for your personal measurementsWhile one day I hope to add a bespoke suit to the ol' wardrobe, to be perfectly frank, cost is a consideration right now.  As I say though, a First World problem. 

Now, God bless those internet style personalities (and you know who you are) with household budgets apparently large enough to swing this on a regular basis.  But for others, things like student loan, car loan, and house loan repayments tend to take priority over bespoke clothing.  Sadly.  You know how it is.  Still, quality off-the-rack items that fit pretty well to begin with can be made to fit very well, and thus appear, even better after the careful attentions of an experienced alterations tailor.  I cannot stress that point enough for average guys looking to kick up their everyday style by several notches.  Take your suits to the tailor!

-- Heinz-Ulrich

A Gentleman Wears Color

Saturday, April 15, 2017

An Easter Reminder from Classic Style. . .

While a tophat and tails might be a bit much for most of us in 2017, I hope some men, at least, might deign to dress for the occasion on Easter Sunday.  My father and grandfather certainly did when holidays and special events rolled around each year. . .  as did the other men in the extended family up and down the eastern seaboard.  

So, put on a suit and necktie -- or at least a sports jacket and odd pants -- with a pressed dress shirt, shined leather dress shoes, and a matching leather belt should you opt to attend either an Easter church service in the morning,  or an Easter dinner later in the day.  Even if your immediate family remains at home, let's remember to mark a special occasion by dressing appropriately before you sit down to the table.   Let's demonstrate that we possess more than an ounce of grooming and sophistication while also setting a good example for the younger male members of the species.  

Happy Easter from Classic Style!

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Early Wednesday Morning Office Hours Style. . .

As above. . .  Another Brooks Brothers odd jacket worn with an L.L. Bean ocbd shirt, Land's End necktie, and a silk pocket square from Put This On that I picked up for peanuts back in January.

Just enough time early this morning to enjoy a cup of fresh coffee at the cafe on the ground floor of our library here at MSU and snap a couple of phone photographs before heading to the office to plow through another stack of student papers before class.  Perhaps today's attire is a bit matchy-matchy, but not offensively so.  I'd certainly repeat this particular combination of items without giving it a second thought.  Just one more example of how an adult male can dress comfortably, yet look pulled together, and all without getting anywhere near a suit. . .  Heaven forbid!  You too can achieve a similar look this without too much trouble.

-- Heinz-Ulrich 

So below.  Land's End dress chinos, recrafted Allen Edmonds shoes, and Merino wool socks from Dapper Classics.

Monday, April 10, 2017

A Warm Oy Vay Monday in April. . .

Thinking Spring above.  The jacket is Brooks Brothers, the pocket square is a silk number from Put This On, and the necktie and shirt are Land's End Items that have been in the spring/late summer rotation for at least a dozen years.

Managed to put my cold weather gear in storage on Sunday and rehang the warmer weather items in my wardrobe and a spare closet in the second-floor TV room across the hall.  Most of the tweed, corduroy, and flannel items migrated to a cedar-lined closet that I appropriated in our basement where the female half of the previous occupants of our house kept the wedding dresses she sewed for her clients.  This being Michigan, I kept a couple of warmer, flannel suits within easy reach in case we get another cold spell before the spring semester ends in  a little over two weeks, but it's time for some brighter colors and lighter garments if you ask me since we are heading full speed toward mid-April.  

In other news, I'm home a little earlier than usual today since one of the student groups scheduled to lead discussion during class today was a no-show (and no, they failed to contact me ahead of time to indicate that there might be a problem), so they've cooked their own goose.  Or is it geese?  In any case, I've got an unexpected hour or so to play with this early afternoon, which isn't a bad thing since I am in the midst of reading and grading the latest batch of student papers, quite a few of which have been very good.  That helps make the job of reading through them slightly less hellish than it might otherwise be.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Thinking Spring below.  Land's End dress chinos, calfskin monkstrap loafers, and cotton dress socks from Dapper Classics.  Again, the pants and shoes have been in my wardrobe since 2007-2008 and see regular use in warmer weather.  The shoes are some of the most comfortable I own.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Presidential Shoe Shine

Presidential Shoe Shine Pt. 2 - Mirror Gloss Shine

How to Mirror Shine Your Shoes

Dressing "Vanilla" Anyone?

 An fictitious ideal, for many of us, but you take my point I hope.  There is nothing vanilla about the man.

There's an interesting post over on the Put This On blog today on the challenges faced by clothing companies like J. Crew.  The piece concludes by singing the praises of their menswear, in particular, as reasonably priced (Fine.  I've got a few J. Crew pieces myself.), ubiquitous (Um, wait a second. . .), and vanilla (Stop right there!) enough to suit most personalities, places, and situations in which American guys might find themselves in 2017.  Just let me catch my breath for a moment before I continue.  I'll  be better directly. . .

There now.  While I certainly would never suggest that grown men stray near more dandy territory, like we might find in the pages of a Rose Callahan photographic book on the subject, if this is not their sartorial aim, do we really want to dress in a way that is, ubiquitous and/or vanilla?  Good God! 

First of all, suggesting that people to strive for middle of the road -- vanilla -- in anything is completely incomprehensible to me.  Second, there is the issue of ubiquity.  Who in the world wants to be ubiquitous?  Are most men really so fearful of somehow sticking out that they are satisfied by blending into the sloppy sweatpant gray mass that has become the visual backdrop of society during recent decades?  No need to answer.  It was meant rhetorically.

So, what's the point of today's mini-rant?  Men, for the love of Pete, don't be afraid to add some variety, flavor, and spice -- in other words a smidgen of personality -- to your daily attire.  Continuing with the analogy, what about dressing a bit more in the direction of Mint Chocolate Chip, Rocky Road, Neapolitan, or Butter Brickle for example?  

Whatever your preferred flavor of ice-cream, never, ever stray into vanilla territory when it comes to the details of your personal appearance, or how you live your life for that matter.  Let's all strive for a bit more panache where our clothes and daily behaviors are concerned.  There's nothing wrong with standing out, but let's do it in the right way.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

 And what would a post ranting about "vanilla" style be without a photograph of our wintry weather here in Mid-Michigan all day today. . .  April 6th mind you.  Some of the wettest, stickiest damn snow I've ever come across anywhere.  Definitely not the powdery, fun variety.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Topcoat Thursday. . .

The upper half Thursday morning this week just before walking the Young Master out of the front door to await the school bus.

And with the rather subdued cotton pocket square (from Put This On) visible.

Ahhhh. . .  There is nothing like returning to the house after putting the Young Master on the school bus, closing the door, and being met by the aroma of freshly made coffee in the front hall.  Happy Friday everyone!


The weather has warmed somewhat during the latter half of the week here in Mid-Michigan, and while my thoughts have not reached linen and seersucker suits quite yet, or, in my more casual summer hours at home, madras shirts and khaki shorts with well-worn leather docksider shoes, you could just about get away with dressing less warmly by yesterday (Thursday) morning.  So, I pulled out the vintage London Fog Glen Plaid topcoat from the downstairs front hall closet along with a pair of suede shoes and a matching (more or less) belt.

The eagle-eyed among you will notice that the necktie and pocket square are not coordinated, and this is a conscious choice on my part in the quest to avoid being too matchy-matchy with the accessory items that form part of each day's attire.  As I have indicated here before, a man wants to avoid looking as though he has purchased his tie and pocket square as a set.  No, no, no!  It is far preferable to throw caution to the wind and have one thing that doesn't quite go with everything else, which will help impart a more nonchalant look to everything.  Beauty through imperfection as I have written in a previous post or two this year. 

After all, even if we do spend time thinking about out clothes before we dress in the morning, that is not the impression we want to convey.  And while I am perfectly happy to admit that I am a vain, empty-headed popinjay who thinks about nothing but his appearance, I would advise any man who is looking to kick up his daily style a few notches to avoid straying into this same territory -- The Bermuda Triangle of Menswear and Personal Style Blogging -- himself.   

-- Heinz-Ulrich

 And the lower half with recrafted suede 'shortwings' by Allen Edmonds and socks by Dapper Classics.

Tweed Suit Wednesday. . .

 The top half a couple of days ago, featuring an Italian wool necktie and silk pocket square that were picked up for a few dollars three or four years ago in the best of the three thrift/charity shops that I used to shop in our old stomping grounds of Bloomington-Normal, Illinois.

Still nippy here in Mid-Michigan earlier in the week, so it was time to haul out a genuine tweed suit by J. Press for one last wearing before things warm up. . .  maybe.  This is easily the heaviest suit I own, and while I am unsure of the exact weight per ounce of the fabric, this is one item that will be far too warm above 50F/10C for most people.  It's HEAVY.  

The coat is 3/2, and the pants are plain front, worn with braces rather than a belt although I still need to have the beltloops removed at some point by my tailor.  A more casual kind of suit, but certainly one that you will not see everyday (if at all) in my area of the world and in my line of work.  Each time I put it on, I feel as though I should be on my way to meet Bertie, Tuppy, and Bingo at the racetrack for an afternoon of gambling under the watchful eye (and guidance) of Jeeves.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

 And the lower half, featuring long-wing brogues by Allen Edmonds and a pair of Merino wool socks by Dapper Classics.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Tattersall and Tweed Tuesday. . .

 The upper half, featuring a jacket by J. Press that was purchased at a thrift/charity shop about three years ago for less than US$10 and a Land's End 'Hyde Park' ocbd shirt purchased new about the same time.  These are only ones sold by the company these days that are not part of their 'No Iron' nonsense.  How much longer will that last I wonder?  It is getting increasingly difficult to find ready-made dress shirts that are not pre-treated with all kinds of unpleasant chemicals to make them (more or less) 'No Iron'.  Time finally to try out shirts made by Mercer et al I guess.

And the bottom half, featuring Italian flannel pants (again purchased in a thrift shop two or three years ago) plus a pair of completely recrafted Allen Edmonds split-toe oxfords.  Not my favorite shoe style, but it's nice to vary the look of one's footwear from time to time.  My late maternal grandfather wore split-toes and long-wings almost exclusively throughout his working life and into old age.

Tattersall, tweed, and flannel one cold Tuesday in late February a few weeks ago.  Fortunately, it remains frigid here in Mid-Michigan at the moment as we approach mid-March, so I can still get away with heavier, warmer items like these for at least the next few days.  

In other news, the current semester begins again tomorrow morning after nine days of Spring Break.  Sigh.  I just cannot get myself in preparation mode for Monday morning.  Come on Finals Week!

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Critter and Club Ties. . .

The closest I'll ever get to so called "novelty" neckties.  Not a Tasmanian Devil, Wile E. Coyote, or Pepé Le Pew to be found.  Thank you for helping me with the correct spellings of these characters' names Old School!

Accessories, carefully chosen, allow one to have a bit of fun and express some personality when dressed to the nines.  Among my 90 or so neckties -- I know, I know. -- are a few critter and club ties that make the rounds several times a year between late August and mid-May when I have occasion to leave the house and appear on campus looking pulled together.  While very few men in 2017 actually need anywhere near that many neckties, it has always struck me as sad when I have crossed paths with the occasional grown man at a formal event or job interview, and that person clearly owns no other necktie besides one with a cartoon character on it.

If  a man in our overly casual age has  just one necktie hanging in his closet, I suggest that it might be either an understated repp stripe tie, or a dark solid like a navy or black grenadine weave since these kinds of ties will work with just about anything from a full suit, to a navy blazer worn with gray flannel dress pants or creased khakis, to a tweed sports jacket and a pair of corduroys.  Of course, if you appreciate the beauty of, and the slightly more formal air suggested by, a well chosen necktie (Yeah, we are out there.), there are plenty of other kinds that you might add to your rotation.  These range from less formal knitted silk and wool weaves to muted wool plaids, houndstooth, and tartans at one end of the necktie spectrum to the more shiny silk Glen Plaid numbers like you might see at more formal weddings that are not strict 'white tie' affairs.  

Whatever you do, and assuming you are over the age of 12, however, steer clear of the Elmer Fudd neckties.  Ok, Gomer?  At best, you come across like an unsophisticated rube who knows no better, which is hardly the impression you want to makeThat brings us back around to the subject of the critter and club neckties pictured above.  Critter neckties enable a guy to impart a bit more irreverent personality to his attire, even when suited up, without straying into the dreaded cartoon character territory.  Club ties allow a man to show an affiliation with, or membership in, his particular organization of choice without painting his face and flabby bare torso in the colors of his favorite professional sport team.  David Puddy anyone?

Pictured above are the various critter and club ties that are part of my own necktie collection.  My personal favorites are the wine colored parrot tie brought to me from Italy by my parents 20 plus years ago for dog and house-sitting while they traveled in Northern Italy during a summer-long stint my professor step-father had doing something for the U.N. in Trento.  The next favorite has to be my navy blue pheasant tie from J. Press although the newer Ivy Style tie at center runs a close second to it.  

The cream colored bicyclist tie was given to me by my in-laws a few days before The Grand Duchess and I finally married in June 2006.  Yep, before we had our son, my wife and I were avid road cyclists (my better half raced while at university), sometimes managing 200 miles a week in the saddle during summers.  Sadly, that is a thing of the past at the moment until we can get The Young Master (7) riding on his own although he does tandem pretty well with his mother already.  The yellow and red Orvis tie, on the other hand, is a wry nod to my late fly-tying and fly-fishing father, who somehow always managed to suck the life and joy out of an activity that should otherwise have been fun!  Probably why I haven't been fishing since I was nine or ten, a looooong time ago at this point, but I do like the necktie. 

Moving right along, the navy whale and green prawn ties allow me to be a bit silly without straying too far beyond the parameters of reasonably good taste, although P.G. Wodehouse's character Jeeves might disagree vehemently since both the whales and prawns are, without doubt, in the same boat with Bingo Little's horseshoe necktie.  It is worth noting, however, that I would not wear either tie to a formal meeting or event!   

Last of all, the two Phi Kappa Phi neckties bookend everything else nicely.  I'm an active member and serve on my university chapter's governing board as well as a second committee at the national level.  Typically, I wear these two ties with suits as well as navy blazer-odd pants combos.  Look closely, however, and you'll notice that no Roadrunner tie is apparentMercifully. 

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Wool Pocket Square Wednesday. . .

The new square in action early this morning before the first class of the day.

As mentioned in a previous post or two, 2017 is the Year of Accessories here at Classic Style, and one of my favorite accessories happens to be pocket squares.  I began wearing the silk paisley variety in my jacket and suit pockets back during the fall of 2003 in my first job immediately post-graduate school when I taught for 14 months at a small college just outside Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Oddly, I don't recall specifically what it was that  inspired me besides the vague impression that empty chest pockets struck me as somehow odd.  

The rather dandy move, in the minds of many men, was, admittedly, into uncharted territory.  My nearest examples of how professional men ought to dress, my father and maternal grandfather wore suits five, and sometimes six, days a week in their working lives as Philadelphia and Manhattan-based corporate executives.  Only my grandfather though ever adorned his suit coat pockets, and that was invariably with a folded white cotton handkerchief.  Nothing more.  Unless I wear a navy or charcoal suit, however, I tend to go in for a bit more color most of the time.

Today's example was purchased on sale from Put This On, a source of nicely made, reasonably priced full-size 16" pockets squares, last May or June.  I only just got around to stuffing it into my jacket pocket for the first time this morning.  Behold! 

I don't bother with any special folds, unless wearing a white linen square with a dark suit, and typically just put the square in question in my pocket and, at this point, truly do forget about it until undressing and putting things away at the end of day following my return home.  Neither do I attempt to match my pocket square to my necktie, preferring to have one part of my ensemble that doesn't quite coordinate with everything else.  I believe that the late Hardy Amies advocated this sort of  approach to one's dressing, and the idea works for me.  Beauty through imperfection.

Sadly, no necktie today as you'll also note in the photograph above.  I had one all laid out to put on -- a navy silk number with pheasants on it by J. Press -- but decided at the last minute that it would have made the overall look too busy.  So, with head down, I slunk to the car since it was high time for yours truly to get to school.

Speaking of neckties. . .  Tune in tomorrow, and I'll share several examples of somewhat irreverent, yet still  attractive, neckties that are part of my regular smart casual rotation.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Friday, February 17, 2017

Fun with Patterns. . .

 The upper half this last Monday, featuring a heavy wool flannel number by Southwick, a Brooks Bros. ocbd, and a wool necktie by Rooster I think.

After a grueling five days, that ended today with not one, not two, but THREE separate meetings as well as the dreaded annual review,  it seems like a nice idea to show some sign of life, albeit limited, by 7:12pm Friday evening.  So, I share one of this week's more interesting combinations of clothing.  

The last several months, I've been experimenting with combinations of patterns.  This particular example, worn on Monday this week, received the approval of wife, mother, and sister, so I might be onto something with it.  In any case, proof positive that more than two patterns can be worn at the same time and maybe, just maybe, men needn't fear standing out if they buy and wear a suit that is some other color than the usual (shudder) black that we observe so often in 2017 when average men wear suits at all.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Another tip, that I have mentioned somewhere here before, don't match our pocket square too closely to your necktie.  You risk looking like a member of a high school choral ensemble, or a cheap Eastern European thug when you do that.  It's far better, and visually more interesting, I think, to wear a pocket square that either compliments your tie in some way, or doesn't match it all all.  You know.  Beauty in the imperfection of your clothing AND accessories combination.  Watch for a few examples of what I'm talking about in the coming weeks.

And the lower half, featuring a very comfy pair of Allen Edmonds long-wing brogues.  The pants are fully lined (it must be C-O-L-D to wear this particular suit comfortably), feature a single, inward facing pleat, and were held up with navy and red paisley braces.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Snowy February 1st Style. . .

Taken on the way to my 10:20am class with my I-phone, looking across the Red Cedar River toward the MSU Stadium and  bit of Wells Hall on the left.

We could hardly go the entire winter without a snowy landscape photograph, could we?  To paraphrase my late maternal grandfather, it's hard to get worked up about very much on days as beautiful as this one.  Can you tell I am a winter person?

-- Heinz-Ulrich 

P. S.
Jeeze Louise!  How embarrassing"February" it is.  Thank you, Mark.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Make 2017 the Year of Men's Accessories!

 The new Ivy Style necktie work on Monday last with a Harris Tweed jacket and the usual light blue OCBD shirt.

Happy belated New Year everyone!  It has been a busy few weeks since the start of the spring semester back on January 9th, hence the absence of new posts since New Year's Eve.  But fear not!  Classic Style (for the Average Guy) still lives.

Besides my usual exhortation at this point each year for men to live a life less ordinary by dressing better and minding their day-to-day manners more closely than has become the sad, pathetic norm for society at large, let's throw interesting accessories into the mix for 2017.  Of course, while it is possible to go overboard with bling, one or two tasteful -- Yes, I realize I'm setting myself up perfectly for a take-down here! -- accessories can help bring an otherwise nondescript ensemble to life, providing added visual interest and even personality to a suit or combination of odd clothing items.  

Of course, if you work in one of the few remaining conservative professional environments that maintain business formal dress Monday through Friday (God bless you!), you need to exercise great care and restraint lest you get noticed for all the wrong reasons.  Subdued neckties and maybe understated cufflinks here, guys.  But it's probably best to leave the eyebrow rings and earlobe plugs at home and keep those full sleeve tats covered in the office, Maynard.  Let's call it a hunch.  If, on the other hand, your workplace is business/smart casual, it is a bit easier to have some fun by way of your accessories without raising too many eyebrows.  Included with this post are but two examples from this very week of my own forays into accessory territory.  

Somewhere, I have a couple of photographs from November 2016 of two Chipp dog breed neckties that I treated myself to after rounding the half-century mark (Oh, God no!) just after Halloween last year.  These, featuring black Poodles and West Highland White Terriers, dogs my family has had in the past.  Both have been fun to trot out a few times since then and always seem to get a positive reaction from my undergrads (as did today's pocket square below).  Guys tend to be amused while the young women typically make no secret of their approval.  Certainly not the reason that I make attempts to dress better than average, but it is nice when someone pays you a compliment.  If I can find these, I'll share 'em here in a later post.

In any case, occasional future posts here at Classic Style will highlight the various types of accessories that I include in my own wardrobe,and how you might also work them into yours.  Make 2017 the Year of Men's Accessories!

-- Heinz-Ulrich 


Thank you for the nudge Old School!

A new Put This On silk pocket square (purchased at a considerable discount) worn for the first time today with another Harris Tweed jacket, a Fair Isle sweater, and university stripe OCBD shirt.  Brown corduroy jeans and 'duck shoes' from L.L. Bean completed the combo for today along with my dark green, very heavy duffle coat and a long University College-Dublin woolen scarf that I've had for about 20 years.  A Christmas gift from Mom and Step Dad in the late 90s.  No necktie though since there was snow to clear this morning before I could make my way to campus.