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The Pleasaures of a Well-trained Dog. . .

  A few final photographs from my visit to my sister in Washington, D.C. last week.  These include  one of 'Mr. Beau,' my sister's meticulously trained and truly wonderful Doberman, another of my sister, second cousin, step-father, and yours truly on the steps of the church outside Lexington, North Carolina just after our late mother's interment service, two of me solo at the National Cathedral, and a final one of my sister and me hamming it up during a long evening walk the day before I returned to Michigan. My sister routinely walks to the cathedral, about three blocks from her place, to enjoy the grounds and gardens.  The Bishop's Garden, in particular, is a place she likes to sit for quiet contemplation and internal dialogues with our late maternal grandparents and mother, very much in keeping with the Episcopal side of things.  Our grandfather, who was raised Methodist, became an Episcopalian when he married our grandmother.   Before you ask, I am not sure tha
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How about a Bit More J. Press Goodness?

A few more photographs, taken by my sister during last week's visit to the Washington, D.C. branch of J. Press not far from Dupont Circle.   While I really like and enjoy our Michigan home (and how lucky we are to be within easy reach of major cross-country skiing areas in the winter), there is just no arguing that most national capitals have a level of sophistication -- in dress, behavior, interaction, institutional, and cultural outlets -- missing from daily life out in the provinces.   That's not a moral judgment you understand, but rather a feature that leaps out at you when meeting and observing people on the street, in restaurants, or frankly any other establishment.  My brief visit provided a much needed breath of fresh air.   How nice it is to dine out in a few places where most men sport either suits, blazers, or sports jackets with neckties and decent looking dress shoes.  The women were dressed correspondingly, the few children present were well-behaved, and people c

Nothing Like a Little J. Press (Washington, D.C.) Goodness. . .

    L ast Thursday, among the other errands we had to address before leaving for North Carolina, my sister and I dropped by the D.C. branch of J. Press to have a look and for a little necktie shopping.  Sis lives about five minutes away by car, so we combined the trip with a jaunt down Embassy Row, which was interesting in and of itself. At J. Press, we were assisted by two delightful associates, one of whom has a Spanish-speaking father and an Italian-speaking mother.  Before I realized it, my sister and he were chatting away in, first Italian and then Spanish, before I asked a question about ties, and the conversation returned to English.   I knew already that my sister has an impressive command of Spanish, but I had no idea she was also highly conversant in Italian!  It makes sense since the two languages are in the same family. All in all, a fun side trip, and I will certainly drop in again on my next visit to the city and my sister.  Just the right kind of sales assistance, from t

Return Trip Style. . .

  I 've got a few more photographs that I will share in the next few days, but here are three from my recent trip to Washington, D.C. and North Carolina, where we were finally able to inter our late mother's ashes almost two years after she left in August 2020 (not Covid related).  The attire shots were taken as I waited yesterday in the gate area at Dulles International. The memorial stone photograph at bottom is from Clear Springs Methodist Church in Lexington, North Carolina, started by three long dead great, great uncles (Uncle Curt, Uncle Croll, and Uncle Gurney).  Ol' Mom is finally at rest with our grandparents and amid several generations of cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and other people who are somehow related.  A quiet, calm service -- what Mom asked my sister to arrange before she passed away -- on an early summer's day . -- Heinz-Ulrich

A Little Light Mulching and Other Outdoor Chores. . .

  I n full summer mode here at Classic Style , so that means various Madras, twill, seersucker, or pique knit tops and various shades of chino shorts (I like an inseam of between 6" to 9") with a ribbon belt of some kind.  Here is today's example thereof as I see to a few small things outside before the really hot weather arrives.   A nice feature of life in Michigan is that it never stays that hot for that long before a cooler front moves out of Canada and across The Great Lakes to our west and northwest.  As someone told us the first year were were here, "The summers are actually very pleasant." But the main point of today's post is neither as a promotion of Michigan, nor the new mulch underfoot.  Rather, it is to illustrate one more time that even the performance of domestic chores does not mean we have to appear looking like a methamphetamine addict, or the most down and out street person.   Nope.  Some faded old shorts and a polo shirt, as long as they

Happy 80th Sir Paul! -- Hope Of Deliverance - Paul McCartney (1993). . .

Pure Fun: Paul McCartney - Coming Up (1980). . .

It's All about That Bass: Goodnight Tonight - Paul McCartney & Wings - 1979

Still My Personal Fave: Silly Love Songs - Paul McCartney & Wings - 1976 [HQ]

Thank You Sir Paul for the Many Years of Joy. . .

Almost Mid-June Sunday Style. . .

  A fter two months, Blogger has decided to allow me in the door once again, so I can add a long overdue post documenting my take on classic male style.  Since we are almost in the throes of summer, let's go with a warm weather theme this morning. Now, the items above will not be to everyone's taste:  Deck shoes without socks, shorts, pleats, skinny pale legs, etc.  All invite tisk-tisking and debate in certain online fora, but that's ok.   I wouldn't wear attire this to campus Monday through Friday, or to church.  But for relaxed, comfortable warm weather-wear around the house during the weekends, with maybe a quick trip down the road for a gallon of milk at the super market, this will do nicely, thank you very much.   It's certainly preferable to the wrinkled, torn, stained sloppy alternative we see everywhere in 2022.  Neither is it at all far removed from how the various men and boys across three generations of my extended family presented themselves during even

Late April Thursday Attire. . .

  A cold but sunny morning here in Mid-Michigan with a heavy frost during the night.  Items for today include a vintage overcoat from Botany 500 that I found in my favorite thrift-/charity shop for less than US$10 about ten years or so ago when we still lived in the wilds of Central Illinois (Bloomington-Normal).   The necktie for today is a navy grenadine from Chipp by the way, in contrast (?!) to yesterday's wool number, which was also navy.  A bit matchy-matchy with the shirt and pocket square this morning, sure, but otherwise a not unpleasant combination of items. Tomorrow is the final day of the Spring '22 semester.  While today is relatively easy with just a few things to take care of, tomorrow I will be swamped with about 150 semester reflections.  Provided they follow directions laid out in the assignment prompt (and not everyone does), students will revisit and assess their learning for the last 15 weeks.  In keeping with pedagogical thought about the practice of meta

Avoid Careless Chatter. . .

    E specially about the personal details of our lives.  There is a lot that OUGHT to be kept more private in 2022 than has become the accepted norm for many.  With the conscious and intentional cultivation of classic style in mind, however, we want to avoid oversharing and keep a bit more of ourselves to ourselves.  Exactly what personal information and how much of it to keep private seems to be a slippery concept though.  Here’s my take based on what I was told and observed as a child and young person at home.  Basically, one should keep oneself to oneself in all respects (finances, personal worth, accomplishments, politics, sex, dirty laundry, etc.).  As my late father used to advise when we were very small, and I am talking preschool and kindergarten, there were particular subjects that were not discussed outside the immediate family.  There is a time and place for sharing certain details of one’s life, but most of the time, those should be played very close to the chest,

Chilly Late April Wednesday Attire. . .

    Y ou know, if it is going to remain this cold and blustery, I need about eight inches of snow for some more cross-country skiing.  But since the white stuff is long gone, it was time to fish through the cedar closet down in Zum Stollenkeller and pull out some cold weather attire for a seasonal reboot.   But I decided to forgo the usual gray herringbone jacket from J.  Press (my go-to tweed  sports jacket) and instead opted for this number from Hart, Schaffner, and Marx plus the tan cords that hang on the same hanger, so strenuous mental effort was not required.  Pressed the shirt after tucking in the Young Master last night at 8:30, grabbed these shoes, and socks, and Bob is your mother's brother as they say.   Occasionally gazing through the large library window to my immediate left this morning, and I keep hearing that old Jobim tune drift through my mind this morning (aided by the windmills), as sung by Astrud Gilberto ( together with Leonard Cohen and Paolo Conte, the musi

Shoulder Season Tuesday. . .

    A beautiful sunrise here early this morning, but now very gray and chilly with highs forecast for the low 40s F.  So, back to the flannel on top but paired with yet another pair of lighter colored dress chinos -- I call 'em 'khakis' regardless of the precise shade.  Even those in olive green. -- and various other items.   The tweeds and cords are put away in the cedar closet for the season although I have the feeling a tweed suit might have been just the thing today given the nip still in the air.  And to think I had on shorts, short sleeves, and dock-siders (sans socks) for Sunday mowing when temperatures climbed to the low 8os F.   As the saying goes, springtime in Michigan.  Not quite time for the seersucker, linen, Madras shirts and neckties. -- Heinz-Ulrich

Late April in East Lansing. . .

  I don't know about chestnuts in blossom, but here's the attire for today.  The shirt is from Mercer & Sons while the silk necktie is old (or 'vintage' in polite company) and features Eustace Tilley for those who might wonder that  about that dandy chap.  Not sure if this means the tie is of the critter variety, or the club, but when I spotted it on Ebay a few years back, I pulled the trigger immediately.  How could I resist? Given our weather forecast for later today, I've also brought along an old topcoat in a Prince of Wales plaid and a lovely heavy navy blue umbrella from Davek, which was given to me by my sister for the last birthday.  That hat is from Borsalino and one of five fur felt fedoras in the rotation.   Yes, I've become a hat guy.  At least during the week.  I know.  And I'm so ashamed.  When the weather warms up, I've got a nice Panama that will make the rounds.  At least when I'm dressed for campus. -- Heinz Ulrich

Wet April Thursday Attire. . .

  W armer today, so I am able to wear the attire set out for Tuesday but switched at the last minute due to the cold, blustery conditions two days ago.   While I like the overall look of this combination of items, I remember now why this particular pair of shoes is problematic and seldom worn.  No matter what I do (Safir Renovateur and creme polish), the leather does not retain its oxblood coloring across the vamps where they crease.   It's maddening when you consider that these by Allen Edmonds were not exactly 'bargain bin' shoes when I purchased them a few years back.  But after a walk from the house to the car in the morning, and then from the car to the office or elsewhere on campus, this is the result.  Not a problem on any of my other pairs from the same manufacturer by the way, but perhaps this is the quality control issue that has plagued the company in recent years, which I have read about online. Maybe a trip to the cobbler for stripping and re-dying is in order?

Winter's Last Gasp?

    I t is still cold with falling snow (!) here in Mid-Michigan, so the suit and shoes I planned to wear today were replaced by my trusty J. Press tweed jacket and a pair of pleated cords at an early hour after I checked the weather forecast online.  And we thought it was Springtime!   My late mother always maintained that April was the cruelest of months.  Most people are ready for warmth and spring flowers, but so often, Mother Nature has other plans in store.  Part of the reason ol' Mom always gravitated toward the tropics and lived for many years in Merida on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Anyway, a quick trip by the cedar closet on my way upstairs from the (finished) basement where my home office is located made the switch relatively easy.  So too did grabbing an oxford cloth button-down collar shirt from the laundry room closet where my clean shirts hang.   And voila!   Warmer, yet presentable attire in about 90 seconds.  This particular jacket and pair of pants reside on

A Little Sisterly Advice. . .

    A s promised, my Washington, D.C.-based sister (she lives within walking distance of The National Cathedral) has sent some photographs of one recent combination of items that are pretty typical of her attire for both work and during her off hours.  Without further ado, let's turn things over to my sister for her particular philosophy on how to present oneself in a put-together way regardless of the situation or occasion: As a wardrobe minimalist, and one raised on Ivy Style, every item in my wardrobe has a purpose. Living in the city, and walking almost everywhere, my clothes need to function in an active capacity.  While I have a classic style, it is most often married with functional edgy pieces (boots, skinny jeans, etc.). In the past 15 years, I have gravitated to a neutral color palette for the clothing items in my closet and, at present, my wardrobe is comprised of 65% black items, 15% blue (including denim), 15% grey, with the balance most likely white (shirts, tees, p