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A Damnable Popinjay, Part II. . .

"Unchain my heart!  Baby set me free.  Unchain my heart!  For you don't care about me. . ."  Doing my best Ray Charles on the way back to campus for a late afternoon class today.

Double-breasted suits, despite apparently being trendy once again from what I see here and there online, still get a bad rap.   Apparently, lots of people feel they are the preserve of old, fat guys like the late actor Sydney Greenstreet, early-mid 90s Frasier and Niles Crane wannabees, or guys aspiring to resemble a young Jimmy Spader, who wore some double-breasted stuff in a few of his late 80s-early 90s movies. 

On the contrary, double-breasted suits are classic garments with a long history.  Indeed, many public figures -- celebrities, politicians, and the like -- wore double-breasted suits during the mid-20th century.  So long as you wear a jacket or suit coat that actually fits you, they are not the huge, lawn&leaf bag monstrosities that some maintain.  Instead, double-breasted suits and sports jackets enhance the male figure in a way that single breasted models do not.  I like double breasted suits and have three in the fall-winter rotation.  The Italian number shown above is, however, the only 4x1 in the mix.  The other two hanging in the ol' wardrobe are 6x2 suits.  I've also got several 6x2 double-breasted sports jackets and a couple of blazers that I wear often during the fall, winter, and early spring months.

While the suit coat pictured above could perhaps use a wee bit more waist suppression, it has a good shape already, and fits cleanly across the chest, back, and beneath the arms without being tight.  The buttoning point, by the way, is just below my naval at my waist.  Maybe a bit low, but not too much.  I am therefore reasonably well pleased with the suit and trot it out on cooler days given its relatively heavy weight.  A nice, thick wool flannel.  While natural shoulder Ivy/Trad/Preppy purists might scoff at the fairly strong shoulders of this suit coat, it certainly doesn't call Joan Crawford to mind in my book. . .  or even Crockett and Tubbs on Miami Vice.  In any case, I routinely mix bits of American, British, and Continental style in my daily dress. . .  but no wire hangers ever!!!

All kidding aside, and as I say here sometimes, I still manage to look nicer than most other male faculty and staff walking around loose on campus.  So, if someone does not like my shoulder pads, well, that is his or her prerogative.  My clothes make me feel good, and if they are somehow amusing to others, that's fine.  I certainly get occasional compliments about my clothes, so I must be doing something right most days even if the occasional detail is not quite in line with whatever dreck GQ, Esquire, H&M, Abercrombie, Aeropostale, or Old Navy are dictating and/or serving up at the moment.  

To paraphrase a now sadly deceased professor from Denmark, with whom I studied during my undergraduate and Master's programs, feel free to write a paper (or blog post) about your irrational fear of my sartorial choices.  In the meantime, I've got a stack of undergrad papers to read and grade for a morning of mind-numbing student appointments tomorrow.  Sigh.

-- Heinz-Ulrich


  1. You have such great style, may I assume that your wife shares same? Would love to see her included in an occasional photo, maybe when you're dressed for going out to dinner or some such occasion. Anyway, I regularly refer my male students to your blog, and I tell them: how you dress tells the world how you feel about the rest of the world and how you feel about yourself; do what you will with that fact, but always remain aware of that fact.

  2. Thank you! I will see if the Grand Duchess night consider striking a pose or two for inclusion in a future post. No guarantees she'll cooperate, but a terrific suggestion in any case.

    Best Regards,



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All opinions are welcome here. Even those that differ from mine. But let's keep it clean and civil, please.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

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