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.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

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 birthday gift to myself.

The coat looked anything but inspiring when it arrived at the start of December.  But following a visit to the dry-cleaner, it came home cleaned, pressed, and in plastic.  I hung it in the front hall closet to wait for the the start of the new semester in January.  Well, here we are.  Today was its inaugural wearing.  

The verdict?  Very warm, extremely comfortable, and classically stylish in a 1930s sense.  In short, I'm pleased with the purchase.  There are three of four tiny holes, yes, but these are not blatantly obvious unless you know where to look for them.  I have done some research since the coat arrived last month and found a few places with an online presence that handle reweaving to repair, among other things, moth damage.  I'll talk to them before determining where to send the coat once spring arrives.  In the meantime, I'll wear and enjoy it.

Incidentally, the attire beneath the overcoat shown included some dark red dress corduroy pants, a mid-brown Harris Tweed jacket with a red, blue, and mustard windowpane overlay, chocolate suede quarter brogues and belt, maroon wool dress socks, a light blue oxford cloth button-down shirt, and the brown necktie with silvery gray and red foulard pattern.  Who says you can't have fun with your attire when it's cold out?

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Monday, January 7, 2019

Handsewn Wool Challis for the New Semester. . .

The upper half today.  Bottom half included golden tan pleated dress corduroy pants, a brown braided leather belt, my trusty brown Allen Edmonds brogues/wingtips, and some egg yolk-colored wool dress docks.  The splayed necktie is not an affectation, but rather it lacks a tie stay loop or useful brand label on the rear of the larger front blade.  Hell and damnation!  Let's throw caution to the wind once in a while

Well, the Spring 2019 semester kicked off with a bang this morning.  So, why not set the right tone by dressing with a little tweedy flair?  Of course a playful bit of sartorial irreverence never hurts either, so I stuffed the English bobby pocket square from the folks at 'Put This On' into my jacket pocket before heading downstairs this morning to herd the Young Master into his winter coat, boots, and backpack before heading outside to the school bus stop.

The necktie shown above was purchased a number of years ago at one of my former thrift/charity haunts in our old Central Illinois stomping grounds where, I think, most of the area's retired doctors and attorneys unloaded their professional attire once they no longer needed it.  I found numerous items there over a five or six year period, before we pulled up stakes and headed north to Michigan, that continue to form the basis of my daily wardrobe, including the J. Press tweed jacket worn with the necktie.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Make 2019 a Year of Self-Improvement. . .

A final vintage greeting card for the end of the festive season.  This time, an old New Year's card featuring a couple of gnomes in a snowy January landscape.

Happy New Year from all of us at Classic Style!  Hard to believe that it is already 2019.  As I have no doubt remarked elsewhere, it seems like we were just worrying about what all of the coffee makers and toasters might do at midnight on January 1st, 2000!  Terminator in the kitchen, or something like it.  

I recall waking up to a quiet, gray, cold, and snowy morning in Trondheim, Norway that day, somewhat amused at all of the angst and worry about Y2K that had occupied people everywhere in the months before the end of the century.  As the old Doors' tune goes, people are strange.  And it is indeed odd what we get ourselves all worked up about.

But onward into 2019 everyone!  

Let's make this year one for self-improvement.  Keep that aspiration small and modest to make achieving your aim more likely though.  It might be something like increasing your knowledge about subjects that interest you by reading one new book a month.  It might be reducing that waistline by careful diet and exercise.  Say, losing two or three pounds a month.  It might be becoming more informed about the world through reading the daily news in a traditional newspaper, magazines, or online.  Your resolution might, on the other hand, be to polish your table manners a bit.  

Improving yourself might include finally signing off of the perpetual stubble and messy hair look at 35 and making the choice to don creased dress pants, leather loafers, and a sports jacket two or three days a week even if your workplace is t-shirt casual.  Start dressing for the job you want rather than the one you have now in other words.  Double-breasted suits, neckties, and starched white shirts aren't always necessary, but looking more like a capable adult who can make things happen and get things done rather than a drifting 20-something who cannot quite make the leap from part-time college barista to grown-up life -- 'adulting' seems to be the currently popular term -- won't hurt you either, men.

Whatever form your self-improvement might take in the next twelve months, recognize what about yourself might need changing, and have the steely resolve to achieve that change.  While we may not be able to change the world around us, we can certainly change things about ourselves.  Anything is possible, but it all starts with the individual, how that person wants to shape his or her life, and the resulting choices made.

Happy New Year!

-- Heinz-Ulrich