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Showing posts from February, 2015

Can we stop letting ourselves go, please?

Another nice Laurence Fellows (or Leslie Saalberg?) illustration from way back when. I had another one of 'those' emails waiting for me this morning.  You know the kind.  Written in the heat of the moment, it started with, "It must really give you a charge to look down on other people. . ."  before devolving quickly into various expletives, misspelled words, and the occasional grammatical error sprinkled throughout the e-tirade.  Blah, blah.  Blah, blah.  Blah, blah.   Clearly, frank discussion about cultivating a more polished appearance and more polite conduct rubs some people the wrong way for whatever reason.  But as the tagline of The Average Guy's Guide to Classic Style suggests, we don't mince words around here.  And while I neither have the time, nor inclination to address the rather nasty message sent to me point by point, I will say this.  What is genuinely distressing is that we have let ourselves go as a society in the last few decades.  If

Frigid Late February Style. . .

The whole shebang for today, sans the gloves, an unseasonably frigid and snowy February 27th.  A bold tweed jacket by Southwick is hidden below the duffle coat. A few more random thoughts about style, in the broadest sense, delivered very much in the spirit of last Friday's post.  As usual, the advice and comments that follow are based on my observation of and interaction with undergraduates and colleagues each and every week in the style and etiquette desert that exists on and around the campus of my small liberal arts college and much of the rest of the formerly civilized world.  Ready?  Here we go! ****** When it comes to making your living space more stylish, try these easy and cheap fixes. . .  Straighten your crooked lampshades and any pictures hanging askew on the walls.  Even more important, pick up, put away, throw out, and/or recycle any accumulating clutter twice a week.  I've come across a few female slobs in my time, but living amidst piles of clutter usu

Pull off a Suit with Savoir Faire. . .

A handy little visual primer of how to wear a suit, borrowed from A spare hour this morning before collecting the Young Master from school for lunch and then some cross-country skiing together, so it seems like a good time for some writing.  Let's talk suits today.  Not much call for them in many walks of life these days, but if and when you do wear a suit for any reason, more is involved than simply buying the cheapest thing you can find, or borrowing your cousin's when he is six inches taller than you.  Consider, for example, the following situation. Yesterday morning, in one of my classes, a young man turned up dressed in a suit for something on campus, ether class or fraternity-related.  Fine.  It's always nice to see a guy trying to up his everyday style ante, and the student in question looked reasonably good from what I could tell relative to the other young men in the room.  But I had a class to start and run, and you don't want to stare and

"Dad neither high fives, nor bumps fists. Dad shakes hands."

M y reply to an inane question posed by a teacher to my son, the Young Master, when he and I toured a potential kindergarten last Sunday afternoon.  He was asked if he could high five or fistbump Dad. . . confirming yet again that I have landed on a world where the chimpanzees and orangutans have taken over. -- Heinz-Ulrich

Are you a gobslotch?

B eating a dead horse, yes, but this old word was simply too wonderful not to mention here this morning.  Suffice to say, being a gobslotch is not how we want to come across to others as we work to kick our everyday style several notches up the evolutionary ladder.  We've had a few inches of powdery new snow overnight, so the Young Master and I are off to the local park for some cross-country (Nordic) skiing this afternoon when he has finished with school. -- Heinz-Ulrich

A Hodge Podge of Random Thoughts. . .

Yet another great old Laurence Fellows illustration from Apparel Arts magazine.  Strange as it might seem, I wish I could put on a suit everyday, but lack of a household staff to take care of domestic chores and the Young Master make that less than practical much of the time.  Tweed jackets or blazers and odd corduroy pants combinations are a bit more forgiving (and warmer) most days in the middle of winter.  Still, a guy can daydream, right? A nother Friday evening and busy times indeed here at The Average Guy's Guide to Classic Style .  In real life, I teach writing (what we used to call English Composition) and various related subjects at a small liberal arts college here in the midst of the American Midwest.  Midterm is fast approaching (believe it, or not), and there has not been a lot of time to share photos of my various get-ups this week, or write and upload another lengthy manifesto like the last one about sending the wrong social signals with various unconscious (and

17 Ways to Send the Wrong Signals. . .

Hopefully, the average guys visiting this blog aspire to something more than simply having all the mod cons and gadgets at their finger tips. I f you want to come across to others as a cultivated and polished man of the 21st century, be aware of some unconscious ways that many average guys might, just might leave the wrong impression in their wake during their social interactions.   All of the points raised below used to be things that mothers and fathers coached and advised boys and young men against at one time in the not too distant past.  Sadly, that appears no longer to be the case across broad swaths of society if you spend anytime at all in public spaces with your eyes and ears open.   What follows, then, are a number of common ways that too many boys and men unconsciously send the wrong signals about their upbringing and the kind of person they are beneath their overpriced athletic wear and ostentatious bling.  Naturally, an average guy concerned with kicking up his e

Dentist Appointment Style. . .

  Today's ensemble, notable for the recently acquired J. Press tweed jacket. . .  with a 3/2 roll.  Imagine finding a jacket like  this in small town Illinois.  What are the odds? A n early morning today for. . .  hold on to your hats. . .  a visit to the dentist!  Never fun, even for something as mundane as a cleaning and free toothbrush.  So, why not ease the childish anxiety a bit by at least dressing in a way that won't embarrass me when I set foot outside the door?   Somewhat atypically, I opted to forgo a necktie this morning since these are easily stained during dental visits despite the paper bib with which you are supplied.  Far better to abandon polite social convention in this case, I advise, and save your ties from unaware hygienist 'splatter' and spray.  Naturally, every other man in the place wore either track suits, the dreaded bagged out sweatpants & hoodie combo, or some kind of insulated bright orange winter coverall 'onesie' for w

Heavy Corduroy for a Dismal February Day. . .

A photo of the whole shebang for today. I t has been a little while since my last post here at The Average Guy's Guide to Classic Style , but I realized that the corduroy sports jacket I selected this morning has not been worn since it returned from my tailor Mrs. V. sometime last November after a lengthy stay.  Neither has it appeared here before today.   Why it took so long simply to shorten the sleeves of said jacket an inch or two still escapes me, but there you are.  Mrs. V. works alone, and her shop is always crammed full of things from her customers, plus she is getting on in years, so I don't complain.  She gives me a pretty rapid turn around most of the time, for reasonable rates, and has rushed some items for me, even calling me at home when she has finished with particular garments, so it's best not to rock the boat since tailors in my neck of the woods are few and far between. Anyway, a raw, gray February day dawned on us this morning, and since most of