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A Snowy Tweed Suit Wednesday. . .

  I t has been two years or more since I last wore this heavy tweed suit by Chipp.  15 months and 40+ pounds of weight loss plus a few very recent alterations, have, however, made this a very comfortable and warm item to sport on a snowy December day in Mid-Michigan.   With a highly respectable collar roll today, thank you very much! The cranberry waistcoat was one of three given to me last year by The Grand Duchess for birthday and Christmas 2020.  It goes so well with the suit, that I think I'll make it a permanent addition and hang them all on the same hanger as an effective three-piece ensemble.  The Merino wool socks from Dapper Classics are a fun seasonal addition.  I made sure to purchase two pairs a few years back. Last, I stopped on the way home, under instructions from The Grand Duchess, to pick up this year's Christmas trees from our usual vendor given the apparent shortage and supply chain problems so many places this year.  Mr. L., the man who heads up the operatio

The “Reverse Advent Calendar” Helping People in Need at Christmas - BBC ...

Saint Nicholas Day Monday. . .

    T he last week of classes begins today, heralding the (almost) end of the semester!  So, it's time for some festive attire. Among other items a toasty warm vintage Polo double-breasted blazer with some fairly subtle wool flannel plaid pants and a bright MacDonald tartan necktie help to brighten this dark, cold day with sporadic snow showers and high winds. It's also Saint Nicholas Day.  The three of us left our shoes by the front door last night, and they we're filled with chocolate goodies this morning.  The perfect accompaniment to a mid-afternoon mug of coffee. Heinz-Ulrich

Sunday at Home in Early December. . .

    A chilly, gray Sunday at home.  Whiling away the afternoon by finishing up a few things and spending some time with one of the cats.  At home attire today include the dark green Rugby top shown plus tan corduroy jeans, a surcingle belt, and the usual chocolate suede camp moccasins worn without socks.  I know, I know.  Heinz-Ulrich

It's The 2021 Solstice Pineapple!!!

    I n December 2020, The Grand Duchess and I began a new pre-Christmas tradition with the lighting of the first Solstice Pineapple.  This evening, we flipped the switch on the second annual Solstice Pineapple, which will probably ripen before Winter actually begins in about two weeks.   No matter.  We'll purchase another and adorn it with lights until it too becomes ready to chunk and enjoy.  Yum! We're nothing here at Totleigh if not a bit quirky and weird.  But that's ok.  It keeps us young at heart. -- Heinz-Ulrich

Navy Blazer Thursday. . .

  I cannot recall when I have ever enjoyed my attire like I have the last several months since the Fall 2021 semester kicked off at the start of September.  Almost 18 months stuck at home will do that I suppose. While the foundational items have been seen here before, the shirt is new, or rather it has not appeared in a long, long time with any combination of navy blazer and pants.  I purchased it as one of several new shirts from Land's End during early fall 2004 in my first teaching job after graduate school when I added to and expanded what was a very basic professional wardrobe.   Although you don't necessarily need a huge amount of clothing to present yourself well, at some point you do want more than just a couple of sports jackets and two or three dress shirts.  In any case, the shirt pictured above sees the light of day infrequently these days.  But it is fun to trot out now and then and works well with the knitted silk necktie selected for today. The chocolate suede b

Tattersall Vest Wednesday. . .

  T he simple swapping in and out of shoes and accessories can produce a host of different looks that are nevertheless beneath the same umbrella.  Doing my best Tuppy Glossup here today with the addition of a bold wool vest given to my by The Grand Duchess last Christmas, some equally bold wool socks, and a rather festive silk pocket square -- for December 1st -- that I've had for about 15 or 16 years.   The wool tie is an old favorite that, thrifted 1o or so years ago.  The suede brogues are by Allen Edmonds made for sale in Nordstrom department stores, but I snagged them very cheaply on Ebay in late 2015 just before we moved (Yet again!  Twice in six months that year.) from an apartment into Totleigh-in-the-Wold in early December that year.   Gotta wear 'em now before the snow starts piling up when L.L. Bean duck shoes and boots become the default footwear of choice. -- Heinz-Ulrich   "Fra-gee-lay.  It must be Italian!"  My sole concession to Christmas schlock, a 20

A Tiny Spring to the Step. . .

     O n the way home midday today (Tuesday), I stopped to pick up a few things at our local big box supermarket.  Atop the attire pictured above, I also wore a vintage tweed overcoat, a long school scarf, and a genuine fedora, this one from Optimo Hats in Chicago.   While going up and down each aisle, a middle aged women stopped me, asked if she could compliment me, and then said "It's just so nice to see someone dressed like this!" while motioning with her right arm from my head to my toe in a manner not unlike Vanna White on TV's Wheel of Fortune. I thanked my admirer, smiled beneath my mask, and we went our separate ways.  She was about my age, or early 60s at the most, so very probably also a child of the 1980s.  Definitely not someone who was alive during the golden age of menswear in any case. How nice to bring a small moment of joy to someone I've never met before.  And how nice to hear positive words from someone, who was simply showing kindness to a stra

DB Polo Coat & Suit Monday. . .

  A lmost head to toe vintage -- really just nicer way of saying 'old' -- attire today, after a long Thanksgiving Weekend.  The hat, shoes, and mask are more recent purchases, but everything else is at least 20 years old or more.   There is nothing like a wool flannel suit for comfort on a cold day.  It's like a nice, toasty warm set of pajamas.  But better looking.  Assuming one does not have a problem with double-breasted suits, which some do.  But, ah well.   Variety is the spice of life, and sometimes its nice to vary the diet a little from the more typically seen single-breasted navy blazers and tweed jackets.  And a double-breasted polo coat rivals any blanket in terms of warmth.  On a different note, hear that?  The semester is almost over.   A surprising number of students back on campus this morning after the break.  For some, admittedly, the four days of Thanksgiving weekend somehow morphs into 10 days off campus, relative inactivity, and lack of forward movement

Minimalist First Sunday in Advent Style. . .

  We take a relatively understated approach to seasonal decor around Totleigh.  Best to keep clutter to a minimum so that we aren't sick of Christmas by the time it actually arrives.  Know what I mean? A nd we have had a few inches of snow here in The Grand Duchy!  The next three weeks or so will, invariably, be a bit busy as the semester winds down.  However, probably like many people, I am looking very forward to Advent and the Christmas season.   In the meantime, it's back to the salt mines tomorrow (Monday) as my much missed maternal grandfather used to joke.  We have not been entirely inactive since Thanksgiving Day.  This year's Christmas wreaths have been hung on either side of the front door, and the icicle lights suspended from the eaves along the front of the house (our sole concession to seasonal exterior illumination).  Most of the leaves have been sucked up from the lawn by now, and the snowblower even started on the first try this morning.   You know.  Just to

Thanksgiving 2021 Family Photos. . .

  O bviously, someone had a bit too much apple juice in his wine glass while at the dinner table.  Anyone who has ever tried in vain to get children to cooperate for just one usable family photograph will appreciate my consternation.   We finally threw in the towel after The Young Master got me to crack up.  Several minutes of hilarity ensued before we were able to collect ourselves and shift to clearing the dinner table and loading the dishwasher. -- Heinz-Ulrich

Happy (U.S.) Thanksgiving 2021 from Classic Style. . .

  It did not look quite so 1940s when I was a boy, teenager, and young man, but we were dressed similarly, the table was formally set, and the tapers lighted on the dinner table, colonial era chandelier, server, and smaller side table.  Log fires, lots of delicious food, and actual conversation among close family, all of whom knew how to behave when off the leash.  Thanksgivings at my maternal grandparents' place outside Philadelphia were pretty close to idyllic.   T im e fo r my annual reminder. . .   T he 2021-2022 Covid-19 inflected holiday season is almost upon us, and with it the annual lead-up to the rather frenetic Thanksgiving through New Year's period.  While I naturally hope that regular and occasional visitors to Classic Style will have the good graces NOT to show up to any special holiday dinners or other events dressed in pilled earthtone fleeces, hoodies, sweatpants, sagging jeans, and flip-flops or sneakers -- or, frankly, any other common attire of the sort --

Vintage Tweed, Cords, and Suede. . .

    T he trick, when wearing a bold item, in this case a vintage Southwick 3/2 roll tweed jacket, is to keep everything else very, very plain.  Hence the navy Shetland sweater worn over the Mercer Tattersall shirt.  Best to leave the statement socks for another time.   And yes, I realize the lapels are a bit wide, about 4" in this case.  I am actually old enough to remember the early 1970s, their oversized mustaches, and bell-bottomed jeans quite well thank you very much.   But hey.  It could be worse.  Much worse.  After all, I might actually have yet another pair of dark green wool socks in the drawer for tomorrow!   Besides, the students working around me in the library this morning were too busy on their laptops or texting on their iPhones to notice me in my eye-popping jacket. -- Heinz-Ulrich

Corduroy Monday. . .

    T here are those all too rare days when -- whether inspired by one's attire, or not -- you are on fire.  This morning, after the usual Monday round or reading and providing feedback on student work, submitted online at the end of last week, I managed to sketch out the skeletal structures of three separate planned articles and begin the first draft of an introduction to one of them.  Before lunch.  Hey, once in a while, it happens. Cozy, soft attire for a cold, blustery November day here in Mid-Michigan.  Everything pictured has been in the rotation for at least a few years barring the pocket square and mid-gray wool pants, which are recent acquisitions.  One can never have too many of either in my view. A very old friend once asked me a few years back, after a conversation on the number of dress socks in our respective dresser top drawers, whether I considered myself a dandy.   "Please!" I retorted.  "I prefer the term fop." -- Heinz-Ulrich

Saturday Flu Shot Style. . .

    T here is no easier 'uniform' than a gray tweed jacket, tan cords, penny loafers, blue oxford cloth shirt, and a pair of fun socks.   I keep this jacket on a hanger paired with this particular pair of pants.  They have become my go to combination for dressing a cut or two more presentably during fall and winter weekends, evenings out (remember those?), or for the Christmas holidays here at home.  The socks are the newest thing here, a birthday gift last year.  But everything else has been in the rotation for five years or more.  The pants themselves actually date from the early fall of 2004, when I was gradually adding a few things to spruce up the wardrobe in my first teaching job after graduate school.   The jacket, by J. Press, was actually a thrift/charity shop find for about US$5 nine or ten years ago.  If memory serves, it still had the original sales tags attached.  Quite a find in the wilds of Central Illinois where we were at the time. Anyway, add a wool or knit si

Let's Be Smart about This. . .

    O n the way to get my flu shot later this (Saturday) morning.  Covid booster shot scheduled for next Friday morning.  This ain't that difficult people.  Why not be proactive ?   And hey.  It's another excuse to don a decent shirt, loafers, and tweed sports jacket for the trip out, which includes a few additional errands close by.  Why not? -- Heinz-Ulrich

A Single-Breasted Navy Blazer and Flannels Thursday. . .

  T he inaugural wearing of a new Brooks Brothers Makers necktie, which I could not resist given my interest in horse and musket era military history and the toy soldier hobby.  I purchased it last May to celebrate getting through an entire year of asynchronous online courses. The final photograph is of my recently culled and revamped fall-winter rotation.  Two additional [very bold] vintage tweed jackets and pairs of odd wool flannel pants plus a few more suits reside across the hall in the TV room closet.   In any case, after a dozen or more years, I have finally whittled it down to quality items that I really love and wear on a regular basis.  It's a nice feeling to reach that point. -- Heinz-Ulrich

Vintage Overcoat & Double-Breasted Navy Blazer Monday. . .

  W hatever else life might throw at me, there is no denying that I feel like a million bucks when I walk to the car each morning for the 15-minute trip into campus.  High time after March 2020-August 2021.  Jeeze Louise! -- Heinz-Ulrich

Aquascutum Wednesday. . .

  E very now and again, you acquire a new (thrifted) piece that needs no alteration to fit perfectly.  Such was the case with this jacket, which replaces several that went in the Great Closet Culling of '21.  Just a trip to the dry-cleaner and voila! -- Heinz-Ulrich

Let's Take Them Under Our Wings, Part II. . .

  These are not the shoes I purchased for Young Master Paul, which are new, but they look very similar.   T he Young Master recently turned 12, so I did something very similar to that my late mother did for me at 12.   I purchased (discounted items since he is still growing) Paul a pair of Bass Weejun loafers, a navy blazer (it fits him amazingly well), and a new dress belt to go with the khakis, ocbd shirts, and Argyll socks already in his rotation.  I presented him with the new items last night before our (still for now) routine bedtime reading, and he was impressed.  Surprisingly.  "Wow!" was all he kept saying as he tried on the blazer with shoes and checked himself out in the mirror.  I explained that, with the holiday season fast approaching, he is old enough now to dress for special dinners and occasions a few times a year.   "But don't worry," I added.  "We won't send you to school in these." "Thank you, Dad!" he answered with a g

A Calm, Sunny Saturday. . .

A vintage 1930s ad for menswear that is new to me.  But, given my penchant for double-breasted blazers and suits, I liked it immediately . A delightfully sunny, calm November Saturday here in The Grand Duchy!   I've spent it doing my own thing while The Grand Duchess and Young Master attended his various Tae Kwon Do classes and ran a few other errands.  After a shower about 11am, I donned a tweed jacket, dress cords, an oxford cloth button-down shirt, braided leather belt, and penny loafers for my own set of errands.   That included another visit to the tailor's to pick up and drop off a few more items. The first item of business was to try on the two heavy wool navy blazers (one single- and one double-breasted), corduroy sports jacket, and three pairs of wool flannel pants left last week, including two brand new pairs of the latter.  The items in question looked amazing in the three-way mirror.  If such a thing is possible, my tailor seems to be doing even more exacting work t

Tweed Overcoat and Wool Scarf Tuesday. . .

  D ownright nippy in Mid-Michigan early this morning when I prepared to leave for campus, so I reached for my heavy tweed overcoat and a wool scarf in the front closet before heading outside to the car.  High time since these items have not been worn since March 2020!   Relying on the J. Press herringbone tweed once more since one tweed jacket is at the dry-cleaners and two others are at the tailors this week.  One of my usual fur felt fedoras, this one by Optimo of Chicago, completed the ensemble.  It is also a dark, chocolatey brown, which goes very well with the shoes and other earth tines of this particular ensemble.  I should develop a course on how to wear and have fun with traditional menswear.  Something like Act Your Age, Not Your Shoe Size 101 -- How to Dress Like a Man, Get Comfortable with, and Stop Fearing the Crease. -- Heinz-Ulrich

Glen Plaid Double-Breasted Monday. . .

    H alloween night, it finally grew cold here at Totleigh-in-the-Wold, so Monday morning seemed like the perfect time to don another one of several double-breasted suits in the fall-winter-early spring rotation.  This particular suit, which has been in my closet for about 10 years, is one of my favorites.   Thanks to some recent alterations due to the great weight loss of 2020-2021, the suit now has an amazing silhouette.  You'll have to take my word for it, given the impromptu photographs above, but I look like I've stepped out of a Laurence Fellows illustration, circa 1935.  The key is waist suppression, which I also had done to a navy blue double-breasted number that shows up here from time to time. My tailor and I have developed a wonderful working relationship during the last five years that I have been taking him things for alterations.  I simply try things on, stand before his mirror, tell him what I am after, and ask his opinion.  He and his wife also sometimes make s