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Showing posts from October, 2018

Halloween 2018 Attire

The upper half for this chilly, wet last day of October.

And the lower half as I waited for the students in my 8am class to deliver their student learning team papers due today.  And as expected, there were a few instances of last minute, morning of drama via email meant to mask a complete lack of preparedness.  It's not like the date for peer review of working drafts and the final due date were not printed clearly in bold in the online syllabi.  I really wonder how some young people manage to put on their underpants each morning without choking on them in the process.

Adding a bit of seasonal color to the palette today while simultaneously refusing to submit to 'Da Frump' and still dressing like an adult male with a modicum of sophistication and awareness.  A plain white linen pocket square and slightly dressier shoes would make this particular ensemble sing, but what are you going to do?  I'll keep that in mind when Halloween 2019 rolls around.  Live and le…

We Once Went to War. . .

Along with millions of others, my maternal grandfather and various great uncles -- Methodists, Episcopalians, a Baptist, and one Catholic -- once went to war almost eight decades ago, in part, to stop the sort of thing that happened yesterday.  On Saturday during religious services at The Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, an individual with a history of antisemitic behavior murdered 11 people: 

Joyce Fienberg, 75, Rose Mallinger, 97, Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, Cecil Rosenthal, 59, David Rosenthal, 54, Daniel Stein, 71, Melvin Wax, 88, and Irving Younger, 69, Richard Gottfried, 65, and Bernice Simon, 84, and Sylvan Simon, 86.  

During the first half of the 1990s, I used to catch the bus to and from college daily just up the street from this particular temple in a quiet, tree-lined neighborhood where you might think this kind of thing would never happen.  Have we learned nothing?   

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Is the Suit Dead?

Double-Breasted Thursday: An Experiment in Blue and Brown. . .

The upper half early today after a sip of fresh dark roast.


And. the lower half just before I began entering some team-led discussion grades into an online course page where students can keep track of their progress 24/7.  That''s the theory at any rate.  You would be surprised how few students actually do that.


On the way home yesterday, I stopped by the local shopping mall to pick up two dozen new white t-shirts.  Periodically (every three or four years or so), it makes sense to start fresh even when they have no holes or tears.  With time and wear, and regardless of any claims made to the contrary on the packaging, all cotton t-shirts will shrink, lose their shape a bit, seams may come undone, and they lose their whiteness.  Time to do something about that.  So, I parked the car and ducked inside to purchase a few packages of my preferred Stafford 100% cotton crew neck t-shirts.
What an education and an eye-opening experience it was to walk through the fairly empty (at that po…

It's Harris Tweed Tuesday. . .

Continuing my single-handed fight against 'Da Frump' this chilly October morning. . .  That's a Robert Talbott Ancient Madder necktie by the way, purchased in a thrift (charity) shop several years ago before we decamped for Michigan and left the terminally brown prairies of Illinois behind for good and all.

And the lower half.  These suede Allen Edmonds brogues are surprisingly comfortable given how infrequently they are trotted out.  Perfect with a heavier pair of corduroy pants, but once we begin having accumulating snow and/or late fall-winter wet, the two pairs of suede footwear in my rotation remain safely shoe-treed on their shelves in my closet.

Still suffering from mushy brain this morning after leading graduate students, who are about to enter the academic job market, through a seminar on developing statements of teaching philosophy yesterday (Monday) afternoon.  It was a rare treat to work briefly with more focused and driven adults during the session.  The vast bu…

A Brief Quiz on Fops, Macaronis, Dandies, Hipsters, and Metrosexuals. . .

An interesting visual array of said gentlemen.  How well do you know your fops, macaronis, dandies, hipsters, and metrosexuals?

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Whatever happened to???

This seems to be how most people, regardless of their age, shuffle through life given our collective customer service-based mindset.  But is it really the way forward?

In the wake of finishing reading and grading the first round of student learning team projects for my three courses this semester -- a two-week project in itself -- I ask, whatever happened to the good old-fashioned work ethic and related consistency?  

I cannot tell you how many undergraduates I meet each year who have no readily apparent or discernible work ethic.  Yes, a select few do, and they tend to do well in their university work.  They will probably do well just around the corner in later adult life too.  But most young people I come across each year do not have this quality as far as I can tell.  I have now taught and worked with college and university undergrads for over 20 years, and the problem, while perhaps more pronounced than ever before, is not entirely new.

My own view is that if work ethic and consis…

A complete loss for words. . .

The infamous sweatpants episode -- "The Pilot" -- in which Jerry rakes his pal George over the coals for continually venturing out in public while clad in sweatpants.  An extremely prescient observation by Mr. Seinfeld back in 1993 or '94.  It certainly seems like the vast majority have, indeed, given up by this point in history.

A chilly, gray October Friday here in Mid-Michigan today.  A perfect day for a quick trim at the barbershop plus a few other small errands before joining another couple this evening with my wife for dinner and drinks at a local restaurant.  

During my midday run, I dropped by my tailor with a couple of suits for some minor alterations to improve fit.  As I collected my ticket, a couple arrived, one of whom carried a black plastic garbage bag full of sweatpants that the male half of the pair wished to have altered.  The tailor directed him to one of the changing rooms as I said goodbye and left.  I really and truly think that I have now seen and he…

Are Superlatives Killing Your Credibility?

Foggy Days and Mondays. . .

The upper half today, featuring a 3/2 cotton sports jacket in olive green from Brooks Brothers, an old 'must iron' shirt from Land's End, and a navy Grenadine necktie from Chipp, which is getting quite a bit of wear lately.


And the lower half. . .  Shoes are calfskin monkstrap loafers from Land's End of all places.  About a dozen years ago, the company had some dressier footwear in a few of its catalogs that actually wasn't too bad.   The dress khakis are a more recent purchase from LE, about three or four years ago, while the socks were purchased from Dapper Classics back in 2013 or '14.


Foggy days and Mondays don't always get me down, especially when I have the excuse to dress up a bit for classes and other duties on campus.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

The Perfect Cool Weather Casual Shirt. . .

One of the current crop of rugby shirts on offer from Land's End for Fall 2018.  The photo has been "borrowed" from the LE website.

When the weather turns chilly, there is nothing like a rugby shirt to dress up those more casual moments once you come home and change out of the day's creased dress pants, blazer or sports jacket, oxford cloth button down or similar, and remove the ol' necktie and (hopefully) leather dress shoes or loafers.  Best if all, rugby jerseys seem tailor-made for lazy weekends. . .  Assuming anyone stills allows themselves to have lazy weekends in 2018.  Heck, rugby tops might even work in certain business casual environments, and certainly for those occasional Saturday mornings when when drop by the office for a few hours to catch up  on the week's work.

In any case, I've worn and enjoyed casual shirts similar to the Land's End number pictured above, from roughly September each year through to the following April, for close to 40…

Vera Lynn - We'll Meet Again

On Sale Now at Allen Edmonds. . .

The Delray in Dark Chili.  I've ordered myself a pair along with a matching belt.  The photograph comes from the AE website.

Long on the lookout for a pair of split-toe oxfords, I took advantage of the current sale at Allen Edmonds this morning between tasks to place an order for a pair of Delrays and a new dress belt to go with them.  My late maternal grandfather always wore split-toes similar to these -- in black, brown, and oxblood no less -- although I don't remember his being quite this sleek in design.  

The dress shoe collection will be just about complete when these arrive.  What can I say?  I dig nice leather shoes.  Seriously though, having a number of pairs in the rotation keeps all of 'em lasting and looking nicer for much longer than if you wear the same pair daily.  

So too do routine moisturizing, shines, and a good brush-down with the ol' horse hair brushes -- courtesy of the same maternal grandfather, who passed his brushes onto me about five years before…

Tuesday Blues and Grays. . .

The upper half today, featuring a jacket by Hickey-Freeman, necktie by Chipp, and an old Land's End shirt with a spread collar, purchased way back in the early 2000s when the company still sold "must iron" shirts that were correctly sized.  Even the company's Hyde Park oxfords now suffer from skimpy fit and skimpy collars.

The lower half, featuring navy Merino wool socks, gabardine pants, and those same Allen Edmonds shoes that have shown up here before.


Keeping things simple on this rainy, gray Tuesday here in mid-Michigan.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

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