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Showing posts from April, 2019

Why Constant Learners All Embrace the 5 Hour Rule. . .

Do NOT Try to Be More Confident (Do This Instead)

Illustration Procrastination. . .

The title of today's post almost sounds like it could be the title of a 1930s-era screwball comedy, starring The Marx Brothers, Bing and Bob, Bud and Lou, and perhaps even Lucy and Ethel, or Jerry and Deano if we stretch things a bit.  A sketch by Sellers, Secombe, and Milligan might also be a possibility.  Maybe even a Little Rascals/Our Gang short?  I can almost hear Alfalfa rehearse his pick-up line intended for the pretty young schoolmarm, with whom he has become so infatuated, "Oh, Miss Crabtree. . ." before comedic misadventure ensues.

In any event, to delay my planned Sunday grading session just a wee bit longer, here comes another crop of classic menswear illustrations -- many but not all by our friends Laurence Fellows and Leslie Saalburg -- that appeared once upon a time in either Apparel Arts, Esquire, or, in the case of the final picture, the German language Das Herrenjournal.  Just like yesterday's post, there is plenty of inspirational material here for …

Dressing Intentionally in a Casual Culture

A Few Classic Menswear Illustrations. . .

Wasting time here this Friday afternoon -- before plowing into final grading of student poster projects this weekend -- digging up various classic menswear illustrations by Leslie Saalburg and Robert Goodman online along with a single picture by our old friend Laurence Fellows.  See if you can figure out which one that is.  Sure, it's not 1940 any longer, but there is nevertheless considerable inspiration here for any man looking to kick up his everyday style by a few notches in 2019.  

On a related note, I've actually spotted quite a few young men wearing suits, leather dress shoes, and neckties around here during the last couple of days, and to a person they have looked pretty darn good.  Decent fit and silhouette.  No overly long coat sleeves or pants legs, no overly large shoulders, decent, conservative colors and even a few muted patterns, but thankfully no black suits that I noticed.  Everything tucked in, fastened, and knotted like it ought to be.  

Moreover, a hiring com…

Beige Suit Thursday. . .

The upper half today.  Suit and tie are Brooks Brothers, the pocket square is from Put This On, and the shirt is a silky, soft number that I purchased from Land's End about 15 years ago.  How much longer can it last without fraying or a small hole developing somewhere?  Time will tell.

And the lower half, featuring some recently shined Allen Edmonds split toe oxfords.  Not shown are a pair of plain, mid-blue cotton dress socks from Dapper Classics.

Fooling around with the phone for a few minutes earlier this morning as I waited in my office for a couple of students to drop by the last designated office hour this semester.  Yesterday, two different young men in two different courses indicated they desperately needed to talk to me.  Sigh.

It's not unusual by the end of any 15-week semester for panic to strike a certain number of students once they realize -- as advised in my 12+ page syllabi. . .  Yes, 12+ pages!!! -- that they should have taken the course, its material, assignment…

Tan Suit Wednesday. . .

The upper half at about 7:30 this morning as I sipped coffee in one of our on-campus cafes and replied to a few emails before meeting one final time with my 8am class. 

And the lower half before the caffeine kicked in, and I got a case of the. . .  Happy Feet!

A bright, sunny Wednesday in late April here in Mid-Michigan today.  Continuing to have fun with my attire in a playfully irreverent way before the semester ends, and I transition to the usual summertime "at home" uniform of  khaki shorts, knit polo or Madrass sport shirts, and the ubiquitous leather dock-siders.  The new Sebago pair seems to be breaking in well.  

Today's photos feature a combination of Hickey Freeman, Land's End, and the usual Allen Edmonds shoes-belt combo.  Not shown are a pair of cotton light green and navy dress socks by Dapper Classics

-- Heinz-Ulrich

"Spartacus" Love Theme - Nardis - Bill Evans Solo

7 Daily Habits for a Clutter-Free Home

Happy Easter!

How social occasions used to be done and still are in a few instances (I've been to a few over the years)People actually dressed and actually conversing.  Not an iPhone, blaring large screen TV, backwards baseball cap, or bellybutton ring in sight. 

Drinks before sitting down to Easter Dinner anyone?  And did you know?  A small, candy-coated Cadbury chocolate Easter egg goes very well with that first mug of coffee on a Sunday morning.  Imagine that! 

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Jazz Noir Playlist. . .

An Early Easter Reminder. . .

A delightful old greeting card from many Easters gone by.

If you observe Easter (or Passover), in whatever form that might take, consider the following.  It is a special occasion, just like birthdays, anniversaries, and other religious observances.  Whether you plan to attend a church service Sunday morning, have been invited to someone's home for a celebratory meal later in the day, or you plan to host a similar occasion, remember to present yourself in a more pulled together way than has become customary in recent years.  

While a suit and necktie might not be strictly necessary -- Perish the thought! -- it is amazing the pleasant change that comes from donning simple items like a pressed, tucked in shirt with a sports jacket or navy blazer over top, a pair of creased khaki or wool dress pants, and some loafers that match the color of your belt.  I'll wager that many men, and even quite a few adolescent or teenage boys, have these items hanging in their closets already.  Why n…

Friday Film Noir Music. . .

Smacking Your Lips. . .

What are we, street dogs?  Any way you slice it, making noises with your mouth when you eat is gross.

Ladies and gentlemen, let's go over this again.  When you take a bite of anything, at the dining table or on the go, close your lips and chew quietly.  Not as an afterthought, but as an ingrained habit.  If your parents failed to instill that particular social grace in you, get on the ball, take some responsibility for yourself, and make sure to drum this particular habit into your own head.  Bleecchh!  And do we really need to mention chewing and bubble gum too?

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Tuesday Afternoon. . .

A Brooks Brothers' sports jacket that, somehow, has never show up here before.  No heavy by any stretch, it is nevertheless a perfect weight for those cooler spring and fall days like today.

A pair of recently acquired cotton dress socks by Dapper Classics.  The shoes, while maintaining their mirror shine on the toe and heel caps could do with a nice application of Safir 'Renovateur' moisturizer and a coat or two of brown polish elsewhere.  I might just tackle that little project this evening after The Young Master's bedtime.

For some strange reason, cool rainy days in the spring, summer, and fall always call this old tune by The Moody Blues to mind.  Here's Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?).  Used to hear it a lot during the early 1980s on Philadelphia's now defunct 94.1 WYSP, at that time one of the two major competing rock stations in that particular market.  93.3 WMMR was the other, and I routinely listened to both along with Allentown's 95.1 WZZO between 1980…

Dave Brubeck - The City Is Crying

Poco a poco. . .

One of my best friends here at home.  We catch up every couple of weeks.

Poco a poco as they say in Yucatecan Spanish south of the border in Mexico, or little by little. . .

Now, there are probably very few of us who are fans of housework, although I must admit to finding a strange, zen-like pleasure in ironing my dress shirts.  Nevertheless, if you are beyond college student age with a family, job, etc., you'll grasp pretty quickly why it is necessary to keep dishes from piling up in the sink, the rooms picked up, stuff put away, and everything relatively straight to avoid utter chaos and a tsunami of dirty laundry cascading from the bedroom closet whenever you open it to retrieve something.

Around Totleigh-in-the-Wold, we're fans of handling it this way.  Little by little as the great Robert Plant once intoned way back in the early 1980s.  

So, try doing things bit by bit when it comes to domestic chores.  If you make a habit of putting things away soon after you arrive home or …

Should You Shine a New Pair of Shoes Before Wearing Them? Allen Edmonds ...

First Impressions, Or. . .

You've only got one chance to make a good first impression.

I hustled into campus this morning to attend a roundtable discussion on interdisciplinary pedagogy.  I came away with a few interesting new ideas to weave into my courses for next fall through talking to a couple of colleagues from my own program after the session concluded.  The person leading things was another story.  

For starters, she honestly looked like she had rolled out of bed five minutes previously, piled her hair haphazardly into one of those sloppy buns, and pulled on sweaty, soiled gym clothes from the bottom of her dirty laundry hamper.  If you have never visited The People of Walmart website, you should.  It's sobering. As it turned out, the person leading the discussion would have fit right in, and I am not attempting humor here. 

Then there was the tell-tale redolence of her body odor, which clouded one end of the medium-sized room.  Initially, I thought it was some poor, sad, socially awkward schlub o…

Vocal Jazz Style. . .

Sheet music for What'd I Say? by the late Ray Charles.

The Grand Duchess and I were able to attend a concert last night (her treat), featuring the combined talents of The Manhattan Transfer and Take 6.  Truly amazing vocal talent -- 10 vocalists all together -- backed by a simple three-piece combo (piano, upright bass, and drums).  

Imagine, if you will.  90 minutes of POSITIVE and enjoyable music without any twerking or similar gesticulations, expletives (I know that makes me sound really old and completely unhip), vocoders, Autotune, or lip-synching to prerecorded tracks.  There was even some well-choreographed stagecraft between the two acts.  Highlights, for me included versions of Got to Get You Into My Life, Stand By Me, and the show closer, an encore of What'd I Say? by the late, great Ray Charles.  The whole auditorium was on its feet for that one.

Along with a babysitter for The Young Master, a rare dinner out just the two of us beforehand (East African cuisine, my treat…

Dandy Tuesday. . .

Today's upper half during a quiet early morning coffee in the library here at MSU, fearing a Hickey-Freeman sports jacket and one of my favorite critter ties, brought to me by ol' Mom and Stepdad back in 1995.  They summered that year in Trento (where Stepdad taught some courses for the U.N.) and Milan while I house sat back here in the U.S. and took care of Mom's parrots during their absence. Not an easy job.  The tie came from a haberdashery in Milan.


A new pair of Dapper Classics cotton socks along with gray gabardine dress pants and trusty old pair of Allen Edmonds shoes that have been in the rotation for about six or seven years.


A nice shot of the wrist and hand, obscuring the corner of my laptop and Luebeck coat of arms.  WHile I have three wristwatches in fairly regular rotation, I keep coming back to this one by Seiko, a birthday gift from Mom and Stepdad way back in 2002.


The fedora from Optimo Hats of Chicago (the 'Dearborn' model) has more asymmetry, a pr…

Madness - One Step Beyond

Ella Fitzgerald - Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered. . .

Self-Confidence Is Vital. . .

This photograph is not mine but comes from the Generation Rescue website.  Generation Rescue is set up to assist families with children on the Autism Spectrum by providing support and guidance to various resources.

Papataxi was in service this (Saturday) morning, shuttling The Young Master to his weekly piano lesson and Tae Kwon Do class.  He was amazing to observe during the 40+-minute session at the latter.  Markedly improved coordination, balance, and kicks.  He also worked with a partner (A small girl.  There are many of various ages in the class.), who helped him with his blocks and punches.  I've tentatively scheduled him for his Orange Belt test at the very end of the month!  One of the directors and I also have a progress meeting about ten days in advance of that. 

The transformation our son has undergone in about two months, thanks to these lessons, is almost head spinning.  At times, he is like a different child at school, home, and therapy as well as during Tae Kwon …

Keep Your Socks Low-Key. . .

The latest batch of new socks to arrive from Dapper Classics early this week.

I've been a fan of zany socks, now commonly referred to as "statement socks," since the early 1980s.  If the rest of one's attire for the day is kept pretty straightforward -- consider the usual informal, business/smart casual uniform found in so many places these days: darker dress jeans, tucked-in shirt with buttons up the front, leather dress shoes, and a (hopefully) matching belt -- brightly patterned statement socks work reasonably well peeking out at ankle level if that's your thing.

However, the moment you begin moving in a more formal direction and adding items like a blazer or sports jacket, a pocket square, with possibly a necktie, or you are in an environment or situation that calls for more formal, full-on business attire, statement socks become a less attractive alternative. 

Why?  My own thinking is that as our attire increases in formality, it becomes important to make certa…