Skip to main content

Winter Soltice Style. . .

Yours truly, just back from running a few Friday morning errands as we enter the last few days before Christmas 2018.  This particular combination of clothes is what I like to call my out-of-work Off Broadway actor's uniform. . .  which is to say my waiter's uniform*. 

Up and at 'em early today getting the Young Master breakfasted and ready for school, which I've done since classes ended on December 7th, to help The Grand Duchess a bit.  Typically, I also get our son up and serve him breakfast on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays during the school year, and daily during summer vacations, so no hardship there.  It's all fairly routine.

Anyway, after he climbed aboard the school bus, it was off to his school myself to drop off a fruit platter, strawberries, and bananas for his class' Christmas breakfast.  Finally, it was onto one of our local big box supermarkets to assist ol' Saint Nick by picking up a few things for the Young Master and Grand Duchess to discover in or below their stockings on Christmas Morning next week.

But I digress!  Let's get to the attire for today.  

The ensemble you see above is a pretty typical variation of my weekend and/or running errands "uniform" during the cooler half of the year when I am not on campus.  If it's not a tweed jacket of some kind over an oxford cloth button-down shirt, then it is either a rugby top or Norwegian sweater on the upper half with corduroy jeans in one of several colors, a surcingle belt, and those same chocolate suede camp moccasins that have been mentioned in previous posts.  

The scarf came from Ryder & Amies in the United Kingdom and is in the colors of my alma mater, the mighty University of Wisconsin-Madison.  As far as I know, we do not have quite the same tradition of scarves in school colors here in the U.S. (maybe within the Ivy League?).  Nevertheless,  I have wanted such a scarf for years, already being a fan of long wool winter scarves anyway, and finally ordered one during the winter of 2015-2016.   

Yes. Perhaps a bit of silly and pretentious Anglophilia, sure, but you could say I come by it honestly.  My maternal grandmother's family came to this country from England during the first half of the 20th century, my maternal uncle and mother both lived outside London and Southampton, respectively, for several years each, and we still maintain fairly close ties to that area of the world although I have not been back for 30 years.  Indeed, my professor step-father is a Welshman. 

Although we don't hold that against him.  After all, this is the season of goodwill and forgiveness. . .  Even with all of his tired, long-winded stories about the heyday of Welsh rugby during the 1970s and the old TV series of a similar vintage, The Likely Lads.  My mother, long ago, forbade ol' step-dad  from talking anymore about either subject in her presence.  It is, admittedly, much more interesting to hear him hold forth on jazz, single malt scotch, Asian temple bells, Kendo, and American politics. . .  not to mention the work of Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster.  

Now, how's that for circuitous?

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Another vintage Christmas card this morning, this tome an illustration of rather old-fashioned --  Dare I say traditional? --  glass tree ornaments.  While we don't have any that look exactly like these, we have quite a few ornaments with similar shapes hanging from the boughs of our larger tree in the living room.

*I've been dressing this way, more or less, for almost 40 years now since good ol' Mom presented the almost 13-year old me with that very first herring bone tweed jacket to wear with tan cords, a blue ocbd shirt, and Fry boots during a day-trip with her to Manhattan in October 1979.  While Dad was a stockbroker -- his company at one time was "bullish on America' -- my mother worked for many years as a buyer, department, and later store manager in clothing retail, making twice monthly visits to the Garment District in New York City.  Often, we accompanied her for the day to get a taste of The City That Never Sleeps, which would also include lunch somewhere special (sometimes joined by our father or grandmother), and visits to one or another cultural attraction in Manhattan.


Popular posts from this blog

The Problem of "Business Casual" Attire. . .

This is how it's done.  Business Casual the RIGHT way, ladies and gentlemen.  Even during the summer months.  A photograph (taken by Studio B Portraits) which appeared in 425 Business Magazine in May 2017.

This post on the problem of business casual dress began as a quick postscript to a previous blog entry last week but quickly grew and grew as additional thoughts occurred, were developed in more detail, and revisions made.  So much so, that it seemed, eventually, like a better idea to make the initial P.S. afterthought into its own entryAre ya ready, Freddy?  Then, here we go. . . 

Unless you actually plan to sell beach snacks and trinkets on Cozumel, become a serial barista, or greet customers at a fancy nightclub after taking out huge student loans to attend university somewhere for four or five years, plus an MBA afterward, it's really a better idea to err on the side of (somewhat) more formal work attire any time you head into the office or meet with clie…

Introductions, Thank-yous, and Excuse Mes. . .

When you meet someone new for the first time, establish eye contact, shake hands firmly, and exchange correct verbal salutations.
A somewhat shorter post today.  I'm simply worn out after yesterday's marathon writing, proofreading, and editing sessions.  Almost 11am here, and so time for the first scotch and water of the day I think. . .  Joking, joking!  Only joking.  We wait until at least Noon on Sundays here at Stollen Central before the process of knocking 'em back starts in earnest.  In the meantime, let's briefly talk about introductions, thank-yous, and excuse mes, three areas of social interaction and exchange that too many average guys (and people in general) get wrong in the 21st century.

Where introductions are concerned, the correct thing to say when you meet someone for the first time, and hopefully shake his or her hand firmly is, "How do you do?"  Please, please, please do not use the ubiquitous "Nice to meet you" or the even more drea…

Dressing for the January Cold. . .

Said 'polo coat,' found via Ebay and acquired for pennies on the dollar.

Dressing for the cold in a professional sense can sometimes be a challenge in our age of so called athleisure technical gear that looks like it might be more at home on the ski slopes, or tobogganing at the local park than in a quasi-white collar setting.  Sure, there are still companies that produce classic men's overcoats of one kind or another, but too often these items are obscenely expensive when purchased new at full retail price.  While I no longer shop thrift and charity establishments, let's be reasonable.

Luckily, there are other options though, for instance Ebay, where I stumbled onto this vintage Polo University Club double-breasted 'polo coat' (in a wool and camel hair blend) at the end of November 2018.  I've been on the lookout for one of these for several years, and given the ridiculously low asking price, I made an offer, which the seller accepted.  Yes!  Call it a late …