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Mid-June Thursday Style. . .

    A nother pretty typical variation on the theme for late spring, summer, and very early fall.  I'm a huge fan of Madras and have several such shirts in the seasonal rotation.  Lightweight, exceedingly comfortable, and even dressy when pressed and tucked in, which is the usual way of things here at Totleigh in the Wold.   Now, if I had my druthers, I'd still rather be skiing the trails in the upper half of "The Mitten" (of Michigan), in the Upper Peninsula, or Ontario.  But summers ain't so bad either, and I'd look pretty funny walking around in cross-country ski attire during June. -- Heinz-Ulrich
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Nonconference Summer Style. . .

  I t's "Back to the salt mines!" as my much missed late maternal grandfather (and former paratrooper) David Lewis Stokes used to kid.  In any case, here's one typical variation of the summertime wardrobe for tooling around the house.  Early evening outdoor work in the yard, mowing, and such isn't much different, but I change into older, fraying items for that.   The Young Master dresses similarly, by preference at this point (We've trained him well!), although he is going through a stage in which he eschews shorts for jeans in the summers even when it is quite warm out.  No matter.  I was that way at his age (14.5).  He'll come around.   To his credit, however, he prefers polo, Madras, and poplin shirts during May through September.  Good man! -- Heinz-Ulrich

Return Trip Sunday. . .

A nd the final iteration of my approach to conference attire for the trip home yesterday (Sunday).  Overall, one of the best such events I've been to in the quarter century, or so that I have been attending academic conferences.  Along with very pleasant trips on either end the four-day jaunt.  It's good to be home though, and I am tired, but at the same time I'm already thinking ahead to next such event for Spring 2025. -- Heinz-Ulrich

Conference Style Saturday. . .

A nother variation on the conference theme here.  No one else looked like this at the conference, which had more than 800 professors, administrators, and staff from colleges and universities across the U.S. in attendance.  Yet I felt confident and at ease precisely due to the fact I was dressed, well, presentably.  It sounds silly, I realize, but dressing appropriately for the occasion or event boosts confidence although the Grand Duchess would say wryly that my own is in no need of help.  Wives are funny that way. -- Heinz-Ulrich

Conference Style Friday. . .

  U p and rarin' to go Friday morning, a slightly different variation of the standard conference uniform, which also worked remarkably well that evening, during the large poster presentation in which I participated after the plenary session.  I snapped the lower shot of the socks during my two croissants  and coffee that morning just because.  Gotta say that this particular combination of shoes, socks, and pants seems remarkably pleasing to the eye. -- Heinz-Ulrich

The Thursday Trip Out. . .

N ewly settled into my seat on the first flight as the rest of the passengers shuffled down the aisle.  It was about 5:15am and the start of a fairly straightforward route to New Orleans.  I was on the ground there and on the way to the hotel by 10:30 that morning.  The trip home was longer and more circuitous. -- Heinz-Ulrich  

Packing for a Conference. . .

P acking for a trip of any length, given that large steamer trucks and a gentleman's personal gentlemen are largely things of the past, can be difficult in 2024.  Especially if one wants to look semi-presentable traveling to, during, and coming home from a professional trip.  While this will be familiar territory to frequent business or conference travelers -- Weekend getaways are a slightly different beast although I'd still advise wearing a jacket with loafers on the feet. -- here is my iteration for the typical three to four-day conference trip: Navy blazer (Worn throughout.) Three pairs of chinos (Pack two, wear one.) Four button-down collar shirts (Pack three, wear one.) Two to four neckties (Optional these days if you wish.)  Brown or oxblood penny loafers (Worn throughout the trip.)  Brown and/or oxblood leather belt(s).  (Wear one, pack the other, swap 'em out each day). Three clean white undershirts (Besides the one worn.) Three pairs clean undershorts (Besides th

Monday Style. . .

  A lmost into full summer mode here at Totleigh in the Wold though scrambling to take care of a few things before departing for the 2024 Teaching Professors Conference in New Orleans later this week.  Don't worry!  I'll shave before then and remain clean-cut during said conference and on either end of the trip to and from.  A visit to the barber tomorrow morning to tame the mane as well. Now, many will sneer at the chino shorts with their 6" inseam.  I have come to prefer a 9" inseam myself in recent years, but there are still several pairs with the former measurement in the rotation.  Moreover, I like the olive green of this particular pair, so there we are.  In any case, there is no doubt that the addition of a belt elevates even the most casual combination of attire.  Except maybe sweatpants or pajama bottoms. A couple of my students about 10 or a dozen years ago once asked if I ever wore sweatpants, to which I replied (honestly), "Yes, but never in public.&q

End of May Appointment Style. . .

  W orking from home yesterday (Wednesday) with a variety of appointments in the afternoon, including a visit to the dentist (always a barrel full of monkeys), and shuttling the Young Master to math tutoring after school.  A pleasant, cool, yet sunny day, perfect for something a little nicer than shorts, deck shoes, and a polo or Rugby jersey over top.   No necktie, but there is always lots of water flying around while in the dentist chair, so it makes better sense not to risk a sartorial mishap.  A conference coming up next week in New Orleans, and then we will sail into the summer with more casual, yet still pulled together attire.  The usual suspects, but for a different season in other words. -- Heinz-Ulrich

My Late Mother. . .

  A bit of fun with this post though admittedly wistful too.  My late mother made it to the cover of the latest issue of The New Yorker .  I almost fell over when I pulled it from the mailbox at the end of last week before the long Memorial Day weekend.  I took a photograph with the ol' iPhone and texted it to my sister and step-father once inside.   The former, a dab hand with Photoshop, changed the glasses to dark glasses and substituted Mom's long gone Pomeranian "Bijou" for the original King Charles Spaniel.  Otherwise, it is my mother to a T.  The tilt of the head, the gaze, the stride, everything.  I'd like to think it's her way of saying, "Hi there everyone!  Don't worry.  Bijou and I are doing well."   -- Heinz-Ulrich

Tuesday Chauffer Style. . .

I n the mid-80s Fahrenheit today, so time to break out the Madras shorts!  Ok, not strictly in accordance with the old rule about Memorial Day.  But I'm a gauche rube who knows no better.  Shuttling the Young Master to and from an after-school tutoring appointment in any case, which gave me an excuse to enjoy a small late afternoon cup of fresh coffee around the corner and thumb through yet another new title on generative artificial intelligence.  Hey, I need all the help I can get. -- Heinz-Ulrich

Sunday Afternoon Nap Style. . .

  O ne of the most delightful things an individual can do during the latter half of a Sunday afternoon is to retire upstairs for a couple of hours' "quiet time," what we used to call it when the Young Master was small.  So, ceiling fan, favorite book, something cool to drink, the bedside lamp on low, and the window open to allow in the slight breeze blowing occasionally outside.  I was out in about 10 minutes.  Which is the whole point.  Ahhhh. -- Heinz-Ulrich.

Saturday Morning Cafe Style. . .

Not too bad on top for a Saturday morning. Of the pale ski pole legs, the less said, the better.   F orty-five minutes or so of time in a cafe this morning with a cup of fresh dark roast coffee and a new book on our uneasy relationship with generative artificial intelligence while the Young Master had his first math tutoring appointment of Summer 2024 just around the corner.  A few people in the cafe, but pleasantly quiet with vocal jazz standards playing in the background.  A delightful way to kick off a Saturday in May. -- Heinz-Ulrich

Thursday Appointment Style. . .

  A sunny, warmer Thursday yesterday, so out came the tan belt and shoes when I dressed in a few of the usual suspects to shuttle the Young Master from school to a mid-morning appointment and then back again.  Child safely deposited and signed in by 10:15, and I was back home by 10:35. Now, some scratch their heads and wonder aloud why you should bother to dress for similar kinds of appointments (doctors, dentists, orthodontists, law offices, bankers, air travel, etc.), either your own or your child's, when almost everyone else looks like they just rolled out of bed and pulled on whatever was handy from beneath the it.  Frumpy is the new lingua franca it seems.   Here's the answer.  People in all walks of life simply react better to and treat you with a higher level of polite deference and respect when you present yourself well and look like you have more than a couple of active brain cells functioning somewhere behind your eyes.  There are, admittedly, adherents to a certain

Tuesday Tutoring Style. . .

  S till a bit chilly here in Mid-Michigan, but there's no reason not to pull oneself together, sartorially speaking, even as the Spring 2024 semester recedes in the rear view mirror, and summer approaches.  Hence the navy sports jacket tossed over an old cotton poplin button-down collar shirt (tucked in of course) along with some tan corduroy jeans, a ribbon belt, and the familiar suede camp moccasins yesterday.   Once the Young Master arrived home from school and enjoyed a snack, we journeyed to a nearby tutoring center to get him set up for some extra math practice through August.  He'll begin his freshman year of high school late that month.  Can you believe it?  Where does the time go? -- Heinz-Ulrich

Saturday Barbershop Style. . .

  The Young Master gets a trim.  #3 on the sides and back with just enough to part on top.  His request. O f course, it's not all waxing poetically about suits and sports jackets here at Classic Style .  Sometimes, we must come back down to Earth and take care of more domestic duties.  Such was the case midday today (Saturday), when I shuttled to Young Master to our barber for a trim and clean-up.  I've always assumed the role of barbershop-visit-facilitator since he was very small, but it shouldn't be too many more years before I can toss him the keys, and the Young Master can take himself.   By the way, we patronize the Williamston Barbershop , a quirky but lively establishment about 10 minutes from the house.  The shop is always busy, filled with music of one kind or another, and bubbling with related chat and laughter.  And then there are the framed movie and band posters that adorn the walls along with stuffed game birds, fish, and deer antlers.   "Pure Michigan&q

Yet More J. Press Goodness. . .

    R ecently arrived, a cotton poplin number courtesy of J. Press!  The usual two or three minor alterations are necessary, along with a pressing (pun unintended), but then we're all ready.  I might even take it in a suit bag to my upcoming conference in New Orleans at the start of June, to wear during a planned presentation. Full disclosure here.  I do have a beige suit in the rotation already, and have worn it routinely in May-June and August-September, but I have never been quite happy with the fit.  Somehow, the coat has always been a little off even after the usual alterations.  It's either a Southwick or Samuelsohn oddly, and these usually fit well without too much effort from my tailor.  It's puzzling to say the least.   I know.  I know.  First World problem.  Time to donate it, and begin enjoying this one instead.  Press items fit well without much attention from the tailor, which is what we're really after, right? My late father, a stockbroker and corner offic

GenAI Interview Style. . .

  M y colleague and I met in the Center for Teaching and Learning Innovation this morning where we were interviewed for 90 minutes or so on generative artificial intelligence in the post-secondary classroom.  An interesting and fun conversation followed.  The finished piece should hit the stands, as it were, at the end of the month in a few weeks. -- Heinz-Ulrich

Pastry Style in Ann Arbor. . .

  T he Grand Duchess and I enjoyed a grand day out on Saturday, when we drove about a hour southeast of East Lansing to Ann Arbor for brunch, some tooling around various favorite shops, and stop at our favorite patisserie-cafe before heading home late in the afternoon.  As we walked along hand in hand toward our first destination, shortly after parking the car, a passerby remarked that we were a striking couple.   I don't know about that, but it was nice of the woman in question to say so.  The Grand Duchess, by the way, wore a navy dress with a navy cardigan over her shoulders, a pair of low black heels, and pearls.  She was certainly the more striking of the two! It was, we discovered, graduation weekend for the University of Michigan, and there were actually many male graduates and family in suits or sports jackets with neckties milling around along with tastefully attired women of various ages dressed to the nines.  Great to see actually, and an indicator that many remain aware

Job Talk #3. . .

  C andidate #3 is, for my money, the person for the job.  Considerable experience, broad perspective, well-connected throughout the college and university due to an array of collaborative pursuits of one kind or another, coherent and detailed vision laid out for the next three years and beyond.  Yes.  I am not on the committee that makes the recommendation to the dean, who will make the final decision and send the letter, but, were it up to yours truly, this is the guy.  And he wore an actual suit (mid-gray), dress shoes, white shirt, and necktie as an added plus.  20 years or so my junior, but someone gets it. -- Heinz-Ulrich

Vintage "Job Talk" Style. . .

  A vintage Hart, Schaffner, and Marx jacket with and English-made necktie, featuring Eustace Tilley of The New Yorker magazine fame, on top. Combined with non-vintage items on the bottom.  But it all works well together. A nother beautifully sunny and cool spring day here with a slight breeze.  Ideal odd sports jacket, khakis, and loafers weather.   This particular jacket is, to my mind, a perfect Spring-Summer-early September piece.  Colorful, yet it doesn't burn your eyes when you look directly at it.   That's a joke , son.  I say, that's a joke.   Anyway, I made the 15-minute trip into campus again this morning for the second of three job talk with lunch events this week.  Normally, I would avoid these.  But the position is for the director of my particular program, and I am now one of the four senior most faculty in it, as hard as that is to fathom, so I feel honor bound to be present and ask probing questions during Q&A.  The candidate today was very strong, and I

Spring Retreat Tuesday. . .

  T he best sort of spring day today!  Sunny, breezy, and cool.  Perfect weather for a sojourn into campus for our Spring Retreat, really just a summary of the year and a glimpse ahead to August and the autumn semester.  Oh, and lunch was part of the mix.  Wraps, of which the less said, the better. -- Heinz-Ulrich.

Rainy Sunday Style. . .

  A very quiet and damp day here at Totleigh today.  I actually managed to sleep until 10am!  Can't remember the last time that occurred.   In any case, a shower, a splash of St. John's 'Madras', some informal attire, and we're ready to put the back porch together for the 2024 season, which will be a nice surprise for the Grand Duchess, who is out with the Young Master right now.  I'll get to that after another mug of fresh coffee and submitting final course grades to the requisite online portal of course.  The navy blue Rugby jersey and leather deck shoes have been in the rotation for years.  The red shorts were an end of season clearance purchase last fall, and today is their inaugural wearing.  A 9" inseam when I stand by the way. In the next week or so, depending on available time, I'll stow the rest of my cool weather attire and finish replacing it with the usual late spring and summer gear, both more formal and the casual stuff.  A lot of men, for

Friday Breakfast Style. . .

  N ow and again, the Grand Duchess and I manage to find the time for an adults' breakfast out on Friday mornings once the Young Master has climbed aboard the school bus.  Today was the first such outing in quite some time, and we visited our favorite quick and greasy about 10 minute up the road.   Since I've got a couple of Zoom meetings midday and in the early afternoon, I opted for a sports jacket over an OCBD shirt rather than the more typical Rugby top or flannel shirt.  Hey, it's still quite chilly here in the mornings. -- Heinz-Ulrich