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Final Zoom Office Hour Stylefor Spring 2021. . .

    The upper half for today, featuring a medium heather gray suit worn with a linen pocket square, a dark green necktie, and pink dress shirt with a pointed collar. And the lower half.      T oday sees the end of classes -- online, hybrid, and limited face to face -- here at my institution.  My last scheduled office hour of the semester too.  Hallelujah!   So, why not go out in style with a heavy wool flannel 6/2 double-breasted vintage number from Polo?  It helped that the outside temperature was in the mid-30s Fahrenheit here this morning.   This particular suit is one of my favorites.  A definite mid-gray as opposed to charcoal with a 1930s silhouette.  No one would mistake it for a more current 'skinny' cut given its Apparel Arts -like appearance.  You'll have to take my word for it given the impromptu nature of the photographs shared here.     And yes, I have indeed worn the suit to school pre-Covid quite a few times during late fall to early spring for teaching, off
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Line Renaud & Dean Martin - Relaxez-vous

Polo and New Yorker Zoom Style. . .

    The upper half for today, featuring a vintage Eustace Tilley necktie from the 1960s.  Mr. Tilley is, of course, the flaneur figure that has featured on the cover of and within New Yorker Magazine for decades. And the lower half, featuring a pair of Allen Edmonds black captoe oxfords.  Not visible are the usual silk braces holding up the pants and and some navy dress socks.  Experimenting with the Berluti knot on the shoes.  It certainly holds tight all day and is a flatter, more compact knot, which seems ideal for dress shoes.     B raving ongoing unstable internet here this morning for my second to last Zoom office hours of the semester.  Online classes end Wednesday, and finals week begins next Monday after several reading days.   Which means, that there are relatively few days left this semester to dress well before the long, lazy summer break.  Since it's chilly here today, I chose a vintage Polo Ralph Lauren single-breasted flannel number with a white oxford cloth button-d

Saturday Post-Yardwork Style. . .

  All cleaned up now and ready for the rest of the afternoon here at home.   And  the lower half.  Still kind of cool here today, hence the corduroy jeans.  Possible snow forecast for Monday and Tuesday next week.  Certainly colder temperatures with rain.  Ah, springtime in Mid-Michigan! R elaxing around the house during evenings and weekends does not mean a guy should stray into what I call 'urp-slop' territory.  Use you imagination.  An explanation is not really necessary.  How much more pleasant for those around you if you shower, put on some aftershave so you smell nice, and don an old pressed shirt.  Tuck it into a pair of clean pants worn with a belt, and you have arrived.  As if by magic, you no longer resemble an oversized ragamuffin.  Attire for weekends around the house needn't be anything fancy, but let's spare our family members the sight of us in stretched out sweatpants and a ratty t-shirt with bean dip or salsa stains down the front, eh boys?  Or lying on

Friday Pocket Square Style. . .

    The upper half of today's later Zoom meeting with colleagues and some additional work-from-home activities, featuring a festive pocket square I purchased about 15 or 16 years ago in Chicago at Marshall Fields before Macy's took over.  The display of men's pocket squares was something to behold.  Rack upon rack and several large tables displayed them in their hundreds.  It was a dandy's paradise, but I spared The Grand Duchess, looked around quickly, and purchased just this one since we were on our way somewhere else.    And the lower half, featuring corduroy jeans and my faithful old suede camp moccasins, which are my 'go to' at home shoe during the cooler half of the year.  And no socks. Yes, I know.  I know. S till quite chilly here at Totleigh-in-the-Wold, so the oxford cloth, tweed, and cords are still very comfortable.  I find that this particular tweed jacket from J. Press, another 'go to' piece, is the most comfortable indoors because it is le

Chilly April Wednesday Style. . .

    As above for today, spoiled by my holding the phone out in front, which of course messes up the otherwise neat shoulder line.   And below.     A more somber look for online office hours this morning and a meeting later today, but I chose a patterned shirt with spread collar and navy grenadine tie this time to offset the midnight navy double-breasted suit just a wee bit.     A decent dimple on the necktie today, but I could have finessed the half-windsor knot into a nicer triangle and smooth the tie itself before snapping the picture.  Ah, well.  One does not want to appeared too studied in his appearance.     It's those little imperfections that keep things interesting.  At some point, you've just got to quit fooling with it, get on with your day, and the business at hand.   -- Heinz-Ulrich

Double-breasted Whales. . .

    The upper half of today's ensemble.  The navy silk necktie with tiny green whales is worn with a very comfy old spread collar shirt that is just starting to fray along the cuff edges and collar points.  Sadly, it will need to be retired from the dress rotation before long.  But it irons up well and feels almost like silk once on.   And the lower half, featuring one of three or four pairs of black dress shoes that get far less wear than those in brown, tan, or cordovan.  Navy silk braces with dark red paisleys  hold up the pants. H aving a little fun with another 6/2 double-breasted suit, whale necktie, and cream cotton pocket square on this chilly, cloudy Monday here in Mid-Michigan.  I usually try to offset the seriousness of such attire with some kind of slightly irreverent 'critter' tie: whales, poodles, prawns, terriers, pheasants, parrots, and the like.   Depending on your point of view, it either makes the entire getup less intimidating to young people who rarely

A Warm April Saturday at Home. . .

    Above post-long Saturday walk and shower.  A Land's End oxford cloth button-down collar shirt from a time long ago in a galaxy far away, before the company began marketing and selling everything as  'No Iron.'   Said shirt has been in the rotation for at least 10 years, possibly longer.  And yes, that lazy mug needs a shave.   And the lower half, featuring my ever present Sebago topsiders (at least during the warmer months) and an equally well-aged pair of Land's End shorts, that over the years have faded to about the same shade of green as my long gone 1976 Volvo 244DL.  I miss that car.  Not visible is a red and navy surcingle belt with a nice brass buckle. A s I mention often enough here at Classic Style , it is entirely possible to dress comfortably, yet presentably without straying into ratty sweatpants territory.   Presentable attire need to break the bank either.  The pieces shown here were all purchased at reasonable retail prices, on sale, or seasonal clear

How to Handle Snide Comments. . .

  "Oooo, I say!  Marmaduke?  Where DID you find that suit, old duck?"     O n the other hand, if and when someone is gauche enough to comment in a negative way on your appearance, simply say nothing.  Do not allow yourself to become involved in an exchange.  People either understand the need to present oneself well, or they do not as a friend once advised.  Refuse to engage with the nuisance and move on.     As my late mother used to advise for all sorts of annoying situations involving other people, "Let it roll off your back like water off a duck."  My late father put it more directly with "Consider the source."     Snide remarks about your attire or appearance aside, don't let the ignoramuses (I prefer ignorami ), and they are legion, bring you down.  It's neither worth the time, nor the irritation.  You have bigger fish to fry.  Keep the faith and keep making the effort to both dress and conduct yourself well.   -- Heinz-Ulrich

How to Handle Compliments. . .

Mavis: "Oh, Percival!  You dance marvelously.  Almost as though you are moving on air."  Percival: "Why, thank you my dear!"    A s a man who dresses and presents himself to the world with intent, sooner or later you will receive a compliment about your general appearance.  Or a particular item that is part of your overall presentation.   Strangely, compliments make a lot of people uncomfortable.  Daily kindness to each other has become so rare in 2021 -- even among people living in the same dwelling -- that many are left unsure how to handle unsolicited pleasant remarks or observations about attire, eye glasses, well-shined shoes, an interesting pocket square, one's smile, or a firm handshake for instance.   Just one more sign of the graceless age in which we live.  Once common niceties of the (fairly recent) past, it seems have been relegated to the social dustbin of history.   The sad result is that we have been left unable to navigate what used to be fairly

It's Mercer Wednesday. . .

    The upper half for today, featuring a recently arrived shirt from Mercer and Sons. . . And the lower half.  The belt for today matches the monkstrap loafers reasonably well.  Dark tan, although I am not so sure looking at the photograph now.  These may be more brown now than tan given their age and patina. T he weather has turned warm in our neck of the woods here in Mid-Michigan.  Mid- to upper 70s Fahrenheit with sunshine for today, so it's time for the tweeds, corduroys, and flannels to go away until the fall.  Maybe not quite Madras, linen, and seersucker weather just yet, but olive and khaki cotton will do just fine in the interim, thank you very much.   -- Heinz-Ulrich

Happy Easter from Classic Style!

  E njoy the day in whatever form that takes and look good (presentable) while doing so. -- Heinz-Ulrich

1940's American Female Singers Compilation Mix Vol.4. . .

Zoom Attire for March 31st. . .

This comfy, old shirt from Land's End (purchased in 2004) is beginning to show signs of wear, but it doesn't look too bad when pressed and tossed under a blazer.  Hard to go wrong with olive, khaki, or tan chinos and loafers. Some years back, I finally concluded that the most versatile dress socks are those in navy and occasionally mid-blue.  If you have a lot going on elsewhere, it's best to keep the socks fairly understated relative to everything else to avoid straying unwittingly into clown territory. T he usual spate of online meetings -- brief, but meetings nonetheless -- at the dining room table today (the light is kinder there than elsewhere in the house), so why not dress it up a bit with my most used navy blazer, olive chinos, penny loafers, and braided belt?  The shirt and necktie have not seen the light of day in more than a year.  The wool and dinosaur pocket square is a recent purchase (on sale) from Ben Silver.  How could I resist a bit of playful irreverence

The End of Quality Menswear? Why Iconic Brands are Dying. . .

Friday Multiple Zoom Meetings and Committee Chair Style. . .

    The top half for a Friday Zoom marathon.  Whew!  Yet again, the ol' J. Press 3/2 tweed jacket and one of several blue OCBD shirts made dressing for the day of meetings online pretty simple.  Dressing presentably need not take a lot of time, a commonly heard complaint trotted out by too many 'terminal boys' whenever the subject of slovenly male appearance across all levels of society comes up.   A fter yesterday, Friday, I am no longer sure which is more fatiguing mentally.  Meetings face-to-face the old fashioned way?  Or via an online application like Zoom or Microsoft Teams?   Certainly a string of meetings throughout the day is tiring, regardless of how they happen.  Presentable dressing and comfortable attire, however, help with the inevitable tedium.  At least you feel good while trying to keep your eyes focused on whoever might be speaking at the moment.    Sadly, I was the only man sporting a necktie in any of the meetings of which I was part.  However, this part

Wednesday Double-breasted Zoom Style. . .

  The upper half, featuring a navy grenadine necktie.   And the lower half, showing off a pair of dark green (Pine?) wool dress socks and the same pair of shoes that have featured here so many times before during this winter.  My wife was already in an early morning Zoom meeting across the hall in the TV room when I dressed today, so I could not access the rest of my shoes residing in a spare closet there.  Still, not a bad combination of colors and pattern. H aving some fun with a vintage Polo number today, which has a 4/1 button configuration.  The double-breasted suit is a heavy wool flannel number with a decidedly 1930s silhouette.  I don't mind though, and, in normal years, wear the suit a couple of times a month from October through early April. Too much?  To my knowledge, no one has yet complained about my attire during the last couple of decades.  My own view is that one can never be overdressed, and, given the sad depths to which so much of the rest of society has sunk in

Monday Online Meeting and Office Hours Style. . .

  A brown Glen Plaid jacket (three-button with the middle one fastened in this photograph), light blue oxford cloth button-down, and a fun necktie on top.  As close as I will get to so called 'novelty' ties.   Penny loafers, mid-blue over-the-calf cotton dress socks, braided brown belt, and olive chinos on the bottom.  No high shine on these loafers, but occasional moisturizer and a good buffing with one of my grandfather's horse hair shoe brushes in the morning keeps a pleasant sheen on the leather.   I t was actually a bit on the cold side for these lighter garments yesterday.  Since I actually felt a bit chilly at one point while 'Zooming' at the dining room table, I should've gone with tweed and cords, or maybe a flannel suit.  But I did not need to venture outside into the blustery morning that was, so the combination of items chosen worked for the day.  Seasonally jumping the gun as it were.  It's really mid-May before the weather is what you could ca

Wednesday Suit Style. . .

  The upper half.   The now obligatory wrist shot.   And the lower half.  Not visible are matching belt and navy socks with a medium blue vertical stripes. Decided to go with a full suit for this morning's Zoom meeting and office hours, snapping the pictures when everything was finished but before I headed upstairs to change clothes.  Two cats and an unpredictable child, who makes no secret of his  dislike for school in online form, mean that it is probably best to don some harder wearing items that can be laundered easily should unforeseen difficulties arise that require my attention.  Too bad since it was enjoyable wearing this combination of  items for a few hours this morning. -- Heinz-Ulrich

Zoom Committee Meeting Style. . .

    Reasonably pleased with this more casual combination of items, though I wish the collar on the denim shirt had a bit more roll to it.  More difficult than you might expect to find a denim shirt with a button-down collar though.   And the lower half with the usual corduroy jeans and chocolate suede camp moccasins sans socks.  I know, I know. . . E xperimenting a bit here today as far as the clothing goes.  I think tan chinos and brown or oxblood penny loafers with nondescript matching leather belt might work equally well for something even dressier without appearing "dressed up" although that is nothing to fear.  Our 11-year old, The Young Master, has begun complimenting my appearance lately, so I think he might be off on the right foot as far as awareness of and appreciation for a more pulled together appearance than is common in 2021.  I might just quietly leave the new J. Press Spring-Summer 2021 catalog, which arrived with today's mail, on the bedside table in his

Monday Zoom Style. . .

  S omewhat warmer, spring-like temperatures today, so out came some lighter attire, which included one the two new Mercer shirts that arrived last week.   Not visible in these photographs are some medium blue over-the-calf cotton dress socks and a plain belt that matches the shoes in color and tone.  The gabardine paints are a bit greener than they appear here.   Apparently, we're supposed to have two or three warm days this week before colder temperatures return, so we're not quite out of tweed, flannel, and corduroy territory yet.  And that's fine by me. -- Heinz-Ulrich

How to Succeed. . .

  I wish the theory of smiling, engaged undergraduates like these matched reality a little more often.  Still, a guy can dream, right?  This particular photograph comes from a 2011 Faculty Focus piece on the benefits of engaging students.    D uring 25+ years of teaching, students have asked frequently, "What do I need to do to get an 'A' in the course?"  Isn't it obvious after reading the syllabus?  Do the work assigned each week, produce thoughtful projects or papers, hit the books, and perform well on any quizzes or exams!  But I no longer bother with that particular can of worms and have taken a more proactive approach during the 2020-2021 academic year, in which all of my formerly face to face courses have become asynchronous online courses.    At the bottom of all weekly email reminders to students, as well as in the headers of all documents shared with them in the weekly online modules created by yours truly using our institution's particular classroom