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Showing posts from November, 2012

A brisk morning walk. . .

Noted cad, bounder and style maven Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke modeling the ensemble described below. E njoyed a brisk morning walk around the neighborhood with my small son this morning.  As the calendar takes us toward December and the start of Advent and the Christmas season, my thoughts for this cold, late November day are as follows: Vintage Harris Tweed.  Corduroy.  Navy wool necktie with tiny orange and grey paisleys.  Windowpane button-down shirt.  Brown suede wingtips.  Orange and brown Italian silk pocket square stuffed carelessly into pocket.  Photo to follow later.   Yours, Ulrich von B.

"But I feel so uncomfortable when I'm dressed up!"

This classic menswear illustration by the late L aurence Fellow s shows two gentlemen simply relaxing and enjoying themselves in each others' company.  And what do you notice?  Why, they're dressed of course. A common complaint heard from many average guys is that they feel physically and psychologically uncomfortable in situations where they must dress up.  But what does "dressed up" mean anyway? Dressed up means unwrinkled, clean adult clothes with decent leather shoes and a matching leather belt with some kind of blazer/sports jacket and wool or khaki pants combination at the very least, or even a suit for those more formal occasions.  A silk, linen, or cotton pocket square is optional for those more adventurous sartorial souls out there.   Moreover, when you are dressed up, your creased pants should sit at your natural waist (in the vicinity of your belly button), NOT down around your hips or rear end with the crotch between your knees.  Your neck

For special occasions, how about dressing for dinner?

Of course, you don't necessarily need to wear a suit for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner -- even though that is the example my father and grandfather set f or me -- but for H eav e n's sake, don't turn up to someone else's house where you are a guest, or your own holiday table, in sweatpants and a t-shirt! F or those special occasions that come up between mid-November and January 1st each year, including Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner,  how about leaving the jeans, t-shirts, and sweats behind for a few hours?  Demonstrate that you have a little taste and grooming by tossing on a pair of khaki pants worn with a leather belt and loafers, a blue button-down shirt (tucked in of course), and nice sports jacket or blue blazer.  And don't you dare wear a hat to the table, baseball or otherwise!

An Uncomfortably Preachy Topic: Table Manners. . .

Hopefully, when you sit down to a meal with others, your table manners are better than this guy's. I n the blogosphere right now, you'll come across many blogs that talk at length about men's clothing style, grooming, appearance, and how these things contribute to our being/becoming/conducting ourselves as gentlemen.  But there is one hugely important and related topic that no one seems to mention on the many blogs that I read daily.  What is it, you ask? Why, table manners of course.  Shock!  Horror!  Gasp!  Yep, I said it.  And I'm making no apologies.  Table manners should be as much a part of our personal style as our attire and grooming, if not more so.  Average guys ought to keep that in mind.  Even when we are at home with the door closed.  Newsflash!  Our close family is just as deserving of polite behavior as people we work with, ride public transport next to, or pass on the street. However, because table manners are, perhaps incorrectly, associated

Let's find some nice middle ground in our attire. . .

Hugh Bonneville in character as Lord Grantham on the popular period piece Downton Abbey.  Although this photo shows only his top third, he is clearly in extremel y formal "white tie" dinner attire. W e here at The Average Guy's Guide to Style are all for smartening up our collective appearance as a society.  And finding a nice middle ground in our grooming and attire is a start.   But a common complaint many guys have is about feeling uncomfortable and constricted when they are dressed up in anything beyond jeans and sneakers (or shorts and flip - flops ).  Well, here's a little secret.  If your clothes -- in particular your collar , chest, shoulder, and waist measurements -- are sized and fitted correctly, discomfort will no longer be an issue.  It's very hard to take accurate measurements of yourself though, so get thee to a tailor and have him or her do it for you. Confidence is another issue related to the perceived level of discomfort that many a

Have Fun with Patterns and Footwear. . .

Even in black and white, this photo of the late Duke of Windsor provides a good idea of his sartorial eccentricities.  We here at The Average Guy 's Guide to Style are certainly not suggesting something so outlandish for you . But don't fear adding a little bit of pattern to your wardrobe either.  An item like this subdued houndstooth jacket -- modeled here by that notorious jet-setter, bounder, and cad the Prince Ulrich von Boffke -- will add a bit of visual interest and flair to your wardrobe without going over the top and straying into more flamboyant territory.  Not that there's anything wrong with that!   Shoes and socks are another place where average guys can shake things up a bit and add some pizzazz to their appearance.  Suede wingtips along with a subtly striped pair of charcoal socks are sometimes just the ticket.  Tasseled loafers, too, will work equally well with dress jeans, khakis, or creased wool pants like those above.  Just make sure ke

A little bit of style goes a long way. . .

A little bit of care put into your personal appearance goes a long way.  And you don't even need to be as pressed and starched as Don Draper (played by John Hamm) from Mad Men. “S ince the time it was introduced in the seventeenth century, the modern suit has been about two things: power and sex. If you doubt us, try this simple experiment. Some evening, go to a nice hotel bar where you don’t know anyone, wearing jeans and a t-shirt. The jeans don’t even have to have holes in them, and the t-shirt can be clean. Now, return to the same bar the next evening wearing a nice suit. Take note of the difference in reaction from the bartender and of the other patrons in the bar. Remember them.” - Esquire Style Handbook   Well, I don't know about the power and sex bit.  But, I have noticed how a blazer or sports jacket with a clean shirt, a clean pair of jeans worn with a belt, and some kind of LEATHER shoes (or even cowboy boots), to say nothing of a suit and tie,