Skip to main content

"Suck in that stomach and put on some color!"

Several classic menswear illustrations featuring splashes of color and/or pattern that help to illustrate the point of today's post.

The title of today's post is a weak paraphrase of Shellie Tomlinson's 2008 book intended primarily for girls and women in need of some assistance with their sense of personal style.  But that same advice is also applicable to a lot of men, who have also become lost in that impenetrable frumpy fog that has descended over so much of Western society since the early 1990s. 

It's really no secret, or shouldn't be.  Following the advice of those tough as nails drill instructors on Army and Marine bases that turn new recruits into fighting men and women, stand up straight, suck in your gut, and hold your shoulders back!  

Better posture goes a long way toward making us look a hell of a lot better than we otherwise might.  Even when clad in so called 'casual' attire and 'athleisure' technical gear.  Puh-leeze!  

Maintaining good posture is especially important in our era of either sitting hunched over computer desks, laptops, or staring into those godforsaken iPhones that have become permanently attached to so many peoples' hands.  Standing and sitting up straighter is not only more healthy, but it makes us look better in our clothes, helps us to step lively, and appear more purposeful. 

The next step would be for guys to get over themselves a bit, quit worrying so much about what others might think, and add some judicious splashes of color -- a necktie, a non-matching pocket square, with understated socks -- and pattern (fairly subdued unless we're going all madras during the summer, or bold tweed in cooler weather) to their overall look once they've got the basics nailed down (better personal grooming, pressed and tucked in shirt, decent leather shoes, matching belt, etc.).  

You know.  After these same gentlemen manage to move beyond presenting themselves for public consumption while wearing the usual sorts of sloppy attire that succeed only in making a person look like his self-image, self-worth, and personal outlook have hit absolute rock bottom.  Cue UFO with Michael Schenker from 1974!

I know.  I know.  I am nothing if not a confusing, tangled, hot mess of contradictions.

-- Heinz-Ulrich


Popular Posts

Flannel and Suede Tuesday. . .

W hew!  Almost three hours spent reading and providing feedback for 41 self-evaluative reflections submitted by students at the end of last week for one of my two courses this semester/term.  A largely thankless task since most will pay no attention to the probing questions asked  and suggestions made. There are ten such low risk (two points each) formative assignments between Week Two and Week 13 besides three collaborative projects (due at the end of Week Five, Week 10, and Week 14) and a semester capstone that students complete individually (due at the end of Week 15).  The format is similar for all of the courses I teach whether face-to-face, hybrid, or asynchronous online.  So, why spend the time providing feedback for the ether?  To create a paper trail of sorts.  That way, when students come to me with either belligerence or crocodile tears (it rarely varies) and complaints that they won't be able to earn their A+ -- a foregone conclusion out ahead of the invariable medical

Halloween Monday Style. . .

    A dark, wet Halloween today, so time to break out the flannel three-piece, which is one of my favorites during the cooler/colder months.  My sole concession to the day is the orange necktie which is a Brooks Brothers 'Makers' and, in my view, perfect for the fall season given its colors.   The fedora, worn without irony, is a Borsalino 'Noir' model, which works wonderfully well with a trench coat.  Hey, everyday is dress-up day in my little corner of the world.  Here's a tip.  When you dress everyday, and become used to doing so, it ceases to feel like a costume, and you become less self-conscious, eventually forgetting about your clothes all together once they are on your body.  Which is what you want.  Of course, it helps if you observe older male family members doing so routinely during your formative years, but that's not entirely necessary when you have the right approach.  Take a page from Carol Dweck's book and adopt what she has termed a 'g

Fall Break Monday Style. . .

    T he Young Master and I had some fun yesterday (Sunday) afternoon while digging out a few exterior  seasonal decorations from the furnace room.  Enlarge the top photograph to see what Mr. Bones is reading about at my son's suggestion. Personally, I would be happy to skip the Halloween decorations outside beyond a couple of jack-o-lanterns glowing on the front porch for trick-or-treat evening, but The Young Master, who turns 13 this week, still enjoys it, so what are you gonna do?  He will be answering the door this year, however, rather than heading out himself.   But fear not all you advocates of kids hopped up on sugary treats!  His Tae Kwon Do studio has organized a trunk-or-treat for Saturday afternoon, in which our son will indulge following his morning classes toward Black Belt Recommended status (testing in December). Fall Break the first two days of this week, so a bit more work from home since, officially at least, the university is not closed for faculty and staff.  J