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.
Friday, October 27, 2017
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.
Saturday, October 21, 2017
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 on warmer days during late August, September, and, occasionally, late April.
As much as I enjoy my ties, sometimes, it's just too damn hot as the song goes. Invariably, inevitably, and irrevocably someone's Axe deodorant or body spray fails, and an already uncomfortable room is also filled with the redolent aroma of male body odor, but that's another story.
Returning to neckties for a moment, however, the weather here in Mid-Michigan has cooperated nicely so far this fall, and I've been able to wear them comfortably. Hence the Ben Silver number above, which never seems to see the light of day as often as certain other neckties in the collection. Not so with the navy blazers, which, depending on the season, make an appearance at least once each week.
I've somehow acquired four of them over the years, two single-breasted and two double-breasted in both heavier and lighter weights, so they feature prominently on those mornings when I am in a hurry and/or can't get the old brain in gear in the early morning darkness to think for a moment about what might go with what. Navy blazers are reliably easy to pair with other things without straying unwittingly into goofy clown territory because of clashing patterns or colors.
What's more, navy blazers look suitably formal when worn with creased dress pants, a tie, and dress shoes, but, in our terminally dressed down, comfort-obsessed culture, navy blazers also work well with a pair of khakis or even jeans. If you have only one sports jacket hanging in your closet, it should be the the navy blazer, an incredibly versatile piece of attire. As my mother informed the 14-year old Heinz-Ulrich when she presented me with my first navy blazer for a semi-formal dance many years ago, back when schools still had those sorts of things, "It's a classic man's wardrobe staple that goes with just about anything."
A sobering thought to close today. In an article that I read not long ago about the beleaguered middle class, the point was made that people don't really want to change anything about themselves in an appreciable way. Upward mobility is dead, and aspiration to be more and rise up the social ladder is a thing of the past the article implied. The middle class has no wish to move into new milieus where it might feel uncomfortable. The people belonging to it are, for the most part, unconcerned with leaving the metaphoric village behind. What the middle class apparently wants, according to the article in question, is just a bit more money.
And the lower half, featuring Merino wool socks from Dapper Classics and a pair of Allen Edmonds loafers.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
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.
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
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.
Thursday, October 5, 2017
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.
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
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 fraction of the suggested retail price. The moral here is that if you know what you are after and keep your eyes open, eventually you'll find it. Inexpensively too.
A rare standing selfie before I changed into chino shorts and pique polo top after arriving home early this afternoon. Only two dozen student papers left to read and grade before Thursday!