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Showing posts from May, 2019

Rainy Days and Wednesdays. . .

A cool, rainy day at the end of May here.  Good for the flowers, grass, trees, and other plants, so no complaints.  Odd.  Combing through my growing collection of vintage menswear illustrations culled from various online searches, there seem to be relatively few portrayals of men dressed stylishly, according to standards of the time, for wet weather.  Nevertheless, I've managed to dig up a few by Leslie Saalburg, Laurence Fellows, and other noted menswear illustrators of the long past.  Enjoy!

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Style & Self Respect. . .

Memorial Day 2019. . .

The view from our front porch this fine Memorial Day afternoon.
Taking a few quiet minutes to remember our war dead this afternoon.  

-- Heinz-Ulrich

The now cleaned up front walk from the driveway to the front porch.

And one of the Young Master's territory, the backyard, birdbath, castle (or 'schloss' as he and his mother refer to it in German), and the shed."

Sunday Pancake Breakfast Style. . .

The Madras-clad Gila Monster at work on his second pancake late this partly sunny, cool Sunday morning.
The Grand Duchess has been away at a conference on the west coast for the last several days, so the boys headed into town for Sunday breakfast together this morning.  The Young Master, who faces sensory and cognitive challenges, sometimes has trouble with loud, crowded public spaces, but he did very well today.  

On arrival, he sat right down, placed his napkin in his lap, and made small talk with the owner of the restaurant when she brought us menus and poured coffee.  A bit silly at times during the meal, he nevertheless held himself together, made pleasant conversation, and managed to order and eat his breakfast very politely once it was served to us.  

Getting a smile, as opposed to a clowning, goofy face, was also something of a challenge, but we managed after a fashion.  The old Calvin and Hobbes cartoon strips by Bill Waterson are a current fascination, and The Young Master, for…

Summer Weather Is Almost Here!

Staying cool with a vintage Madras sports jacket in early September 2018.
A selection of personal photographs today, from various late spring and summer seasons gone by, that illustrate how to beat the heat while looking somewhat more presentable than most men traipsing through life in 2019.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

A selection of warm weather neckties.  The three at far left were purchased new over several years.  The rest were thrifted or, in the case of the four cotton Madras numbers at center, purchased from a vintage clothier.

A nod to my North Carolina roots.  Yours truly barbecuing two pork shoulders during Memorial Day weekend in 2008.  Red slaw and hushpuppies with copious amounts of sugary Lipton iced tea completed the meal once the pork had cooled enough to pull for sandwiches.  This was back in the days when The Grand Duchess and I could still find the time to ride 200 miles a week on our road bikes between May-August, so we were able to inhale as much of the stuff as possible in a sit…

11 Tips for Delivering Great Presentations - Go Beyond PowerPoint

Springtime Lawn Style. . .

The front yard yesterday just post-mowing.  Must touch up the edges on that circular flowerbed mid-right, which will be filled with Black-eyed Susans once they emerge more fully and bloom.

And the backyard this morning just before the rains came.  Even with the morning dew, the cutting and mulching worked well.  Sure beats long swathes of cut grass that need to be raked up and/or stopping to empty heavy bags of clippings every ten minutes or so.

What?  You didn't know that I have a secret identity?  Yes, that's right.  During the school year, I am an outwardly mild-mannered, inwardly tormented, and sometimes scornful so-and-so.  During the late springs and summers, however, I slip off the leather dress shoes, hang up my suits, sports jackets, and neckties to become (Da-da-da-dah!!!) . . .  Lawn Boy!  

Acclimatizing myself to our new walk-behind lawnmower the last couple of days here at Totleigh-in-the-Wold (tongue firmly in cheek, you understand).  A self-propelled Toro with mulc…

Let Us Miss Them. . .

An interesting old ad from the the 1950s that appeared in the German-language Herrenjournal.  Men's Journal to you and me.

There is an interesting piece over at Put This On on nostalgia, attire, and the clothing brands we would miss were they suddenly to disappear.  While there are quite a few things that I might miss, there are naturally also a number of items I most definitely would NOT miss.  Two that come immediately to mind are, and it will be no surprise to you, the ubiquitous hoodie and the taupe/ecru/tan/eggshell/oatmeal/mocha fleece (with or without a company logo on the chest).  When things become as common as these two pieces of attire have become, it's time for them to go.  Let the purge begin.  Let us miss them.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Late May in D.C. Style. . .

If only I could pick up this house and transport it by magic to our little corner of the world. . .

My sister, who lives in a quiet part of Washington, D.C., takes frequent walks with her dog around their neighborhood, usually armed with a camera of some sort.  In her professional life, she develops and writes corporate training manuals for clients all over the world and occasionally delivers related talks and seminars.  But among the activities that fill her private time, she is an enthusiastic amateur photographer and frequently circulates photos of people, places, and things that she has observed here and there.  

On Sunday, she sent several shots that she snapped during her early morning stroll with the pooch.  This one, in particular, really caught my eye.  

Don't get me wrong, I like our current house (built in 1985) well enough.  The neighborhood is quiet and beautifully situated.  Almost rural in nature.  People keep to themselves, take care of their yards, and seem innocuous…

Cruddy Is the New Norm. . .

Sure, we don't have to dress up quite like this anymore, but a bit more attention to personal grooming, appearance, and presentation would not hurt either.  Robert Goodman was the artist who produced this particular illustration by the way.

Dressing presentably and reasonably pleasant behavior are not hardships to endure.  Contrary to what many (most?) people in 2019 seem to think.  

Times and fashions might change, of course, but is there really any excuse for leaving the house in grungy, food-stained clothing, visibly matted hair, and what I can only conclude must be skid marks up and down the legs of already filthy jeans?  Or have I missed something?  Are purveyors of fast fashion now foisting attire with imitation fecal stains onto the general public?  As the tagline went in an Old Navy TV ad several years back now, "Ya gotta get this look!"  Landscapers typically aren't that gross  by the end of a hot summer's day.

And before you ask, I've observed this pa…

Has 'Politesse' Become That Atypical?

A vintage Laurence Fellows illustration, that has appeared here at Classic Style previously, fits well with the tone of today's post.

Said of Special Councel Robert S. Mueller III over at

He's well-mannered and disciplined, but can't quite fix his tie. . .  Mueller attended boarding school with John Kerry, and later served four years in Vietnam with the Marine Corps, and both kinds of training come across in his physical presence. He’s quite polite, and typically makes direct eye contact with his questioners. He thanks staffers who bring him a glass of water.

Education, military service, and possible necktie issues aside, my question is this.  Has basic politeness -- eye contact in conversation, please, thank you, and so forth -- really become so rare among the general populace that it warrants comment?  A rhetorical question you understand.  I know the answer already.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Undergrad Style 1965 vs. Undergrad Style 2019. . .

Wintry 1930s undergraduate style by Louis Hurd.  Hopefully, this young fellow has a clearer picture in mind, than many of his 21st century counterparts seem to, as to why he is pursuing a college degree.

Much in the 1965 Time Magazine article shared again over on Christian Chensvold's Ivy Style sounds very familiar when it comes to what I read on the multitude of academic and social challenges facing first generation and/or minority undergrads (as well as some of the more mollycoddled  and entitled students who are part of Generation Z) during the first few semesters on campus in the second decade of the 21st century.  It seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same even in light of the rather  different student demographic now and technological gadgetry with which we festoon ourselves as compared to 50+ years ago.   

Even a less highly selective state school (in the U.S. sense), in contrast to a private or genuine ivy league institution, can be a real bucket o…