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Showing posts from 2019

A Little June Noir. . .

The Phantom Lady herself.  Ella Raines lights a cigarette.
Miss Briest had gone home hours ago.  I sat alone in my office late that night going over the events of the day in my head one more time.   One more philandering husband trying to pull the wool over his wife's eyes.  An executive with a corner office on the top floor of the downtown corporate headquarters for some auto manufacturer.  Didn't matter which one.  Six figures a year, a healthy end-of-year bonus each December, and a large house in a leafy green neighborhood with well-manicured lawns on the old east side.

What did matter was Kermit Goad's running around with a young secretary he'd hired a few months back.  Some shapely victory girl with auburn hair called Babs, who couldn't file, answer the telephone, or make a pot of coffee to save her life.  Always fixed her hair and make-up while sitting at her desk though.  Immaculate fingernails too.  Typing was not a term with which she was familiar.  Bea…

Happy Father's Day. . .

A Leslie Saalburg illiustration from 1953 that, Dad's cigarette notwithstanding, works well for today.

Enjoy the day in whatever form that might take everyone.  I've asked the Grand Duchess for an unstructured day.  So, after sausage, eggs, and toast for breakfast, I hope to spend a quiet day here in my den painting toy soldiers from the mid-18th century.  30mm Austrian grenadiers in this particular case.  You knew I was a complete nerd, didn't you?  In any event, the steady rain and cool temperatures outside today are highly conducive to an indoor activity although I will admit that the yard and neighborhood look deliciously lush when peeking through the window.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

What's Your Approach to Life?

Another Leslie Saalburg illustration from decades ago.  An idealized image, yes, but the house depicted is kind of nice.  The car ain't too bad either.  A 1933 Packard I believe.

Calm -- Quiet -- Understatement -- Moderation -- Sophistication -- Elegance -- Refinement -- Discernment -- Polish -- Grooming -- Restraint -- Kindness -- Gentility -- Care -- Planning.  Concepts to be aware of.  Ideals to strive for.  Rules to live by.  
Naysayers might counter that most of  the qualities listed above, much like the illustrations accompanying this post, are themselves impossible ideals.  I would argue that it is entirely possible not only to aspire to such concepts, but to come pretty darn close to living them provided a person exercises careful forethought.  
I suppose, however, that it depends on one's frame of reference and related vision of how life can be.  Do we really want to give up on the game before we've even tossed our hat in the ring, and continue wallowing in the metap…

Happy Belated National Seersucker Day!

Not the usual single-breasted, blue and white stripe combination that most of us probably think of, but a double-breasted model from 1935.
Well, darn it!  I missed it as usual.  National Seersucker Day was yesterday, June 13th.  It was quite chilly and rainy here in Mid-Michigan, so definitely not seersucker weather even if classes were still in session, and I had the occasion to dress in a somewhat more pulled together fashion than my more relaxed summer attire mentioned here on several occasions.  Still, it was fun to root through the folders on my computer desktop this morning after a check-up for our two cats at the veterinarian to dig up this old illustration.  

As for me, I've got a vintage blue and white striped, single-breasted seersucker suit that enjoys a few outings in late August and early September at the start of each fall semester when it is usually still quite warm.  Topped off by my panama hat, it certainly stands out, once in a while even getting a compliment or tw…

Classic Summer Vacation Attire. . .

Today is the last day of 3rd Grade for The Young Master, who will be home in a little over an hour just after Noon.  A half-day.  A popsicle with ol' Dad to celebrate the start of Summer in earnest will follow, and then he'll be off to countless afternoon adventures and mischief in the backyard.  The sunny, soft, breezy air is already redolent with the slight scent of organic fertilizer on the lawn, and the summer plants and flowers are well on their way, some already in bloom.  What better way to mark the start of 2.5 months of summer vacation than with a few classic menswear illustrations by the late great Laurence Fellows one from Mr. Saalburg, and another from Mr. Goodman then?

-- Heinz-Ulrich

A Madras Friday in June. . .

The upper half this morning, featuring a vintage Madras necktie, dyed and sewn in Sri Lanka, from Rooster.  The navy blazer -- with University of Wisconsin buttons added  a couple of years ago -- is a light weight wool number that I actually purchased a dozen or more years ago while visiting Mom and Stepdad one Christmas in Mexico when I needed a jacket for a New Year's Eve dinner party to which we were invited.  It's perfect for warm weather. The blitzed OCBD shirt is one of five or six of various weights in light blue that I come back to again and again.  

And the lower half featuring some recently moisturized and buffed penny loafers from Allen Edmonds and some Land's End dress chinos in a light stone.  During the late spring, summers, and early fall, I come back to some iteration of the items featured today over and over again.

As I have written -- ok, lamented -- here before at Classic Style, once the spring semester and finals week concludes at the start of May each ye…

The Yardbirds: 'Mister, You're A Better Man Than I' (1965)

Art Deco Menswear Style. . .

A reproduction of a 1934 poster advertising a menswear collection for the Viennese department store Jawo.

Kind of quiet here at Totleigh-in-the-Wold what with the recent rains, no teaching duties, no one bothering me about anything having to do with other work commitments (they're all away for the summer), and a recent jaunt to the dental surgeon's chair to begin the lengthy process necessary for an eventual dental implant.  Ugh.  

The one high point of the procedure was that I got to practice my German with the doctor, whose father is German, so he spent a large part of his formative years there.  You just never know when these languages will come in handy.  If you'll pardon the flagrant self-promotion, my Norwegian, Swedish, and German have come in handy at the oddest moments over the years, often far beyond the regions where those languages are actually spoken!  It certainly adds an interesting, and at times very useful, dimension to life.

Returning to the point at hand, I…

Rainy Days and Wednesdays. . .

A cool, rainy day at the end of May here.  Good for the flowers, grass, trees, and other plants, so no complaints.  Odd.  Combing through my growing collection of vintage menswear illustrations culled from various online searches, there seem to be relatively few portrayals of men dressed stylishly, according to standards of the time, for wet weather.  Nevertheless, I've managed to dig up a few by Leslie Saalburg, Laurence Fellows, and other noted menswear illustrators of the long past.  Enjoy!

-- Heinz-Ulrich

Style & Self Respect. . .

Memorial Day 2019. . .

The view from our front porch this fine Memorial Day afternoon.
Taking a few quiet minutes to remember our war dead this afternoon.  

-- Heinz-Ulrich

The now cleaned up front walk from the driveway to the front porch.

And one of the Young Master's territory, the backyard, birdbath, castle (or 'schloss' as he and his mother refer to it in German), and the shed."

Sunday Pancake Breakfast Style. . .

The Madras-clad Gila Monster at work on his second pancake late this partly sunny, cool Sunday morning.
The Grand Duchess has been away at a conference on the west coast for the last several days, so the boys headed into town for Sunday breakfast together this morning.  The Young Master, who faces sensory and cognitive challenges, sometimes has trouble with loud, crowded public spaces, but he did very well today.  

On arrival, he sat right down, placed his napkin in his lap, and made small talk with the owner of the restaurant when she brought us menus and poured coffee.  A bit silly at times during the meal, he nevertheless held himself together, made pleasant conversation, and managed to order and eat his breakfast very politely once it was served to us.  

Getting a smile, as opposed to a clowning, goofy face, was also something of a challenge, but we managed after a fashion.  The old Calvin and Hobbes cartoon strips by Bill Waterson are a current fascination, and The Young Master, for…

Summer Weather Is Almost Here!

Staying cool with a vintage Madras sports jacket in early September 2018.
A selection of personal photographs today, from various late spring and summer seasons gone by, that illustrate how to beat the heat while looking somewhat more presentable than most men traipsing through life in 2019.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

A selection of warm weather neckties.  The three at far left were purchased new over several years.  The rest were thrifted or, in the case of the four cotton Madras numbers at center, purchased from a vintage clothier.

A nod to my North Carolina roots.  Yours truly barbecuing two pork shoulders during Memorial Day weekend in 2008.  Red slaw and hushpuppies with copious amounts of sugary Lipton iced tea completed the meal once the pork had cooled enough to pull for sandwiches.  This was back in the days when The Grand Duchess and I could still find the time to ride 200 miles a week on our road bikes between May-August, so we were able to inhale as much of the stuff as possible in a sit…