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VKN Lessons In Style From: Jon Hamm

There are quite a number of similarities between Jon Hamm and his hard-working, hard-drinking Mad Men character, Don Draper (or Dick Whitman, if you’ve actually seen the show). While both men are effortlessly cool and ooze charm, Jon Hamm has mostly only borrowed Don’s well-tailored and classic style, not his habits of philandering and womanizing. Like his on-screen counterpart, Hamm is most comfortable in suits with neutral colors and traditional prints.

Hamm calls his style “aggressively casual”, an oddly appropriate term for someone who always seems so done up, yet is always so collected and cool. We here at VK Nagrani have learned a lot of Lessons in Style from Jon Hamm and we’re here to share them with you!

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1. Seasonal Suiting

Jon Hamm has a well-known penchant for suits and looking great in them. He knows how to cater his look to the weather. Year round, Hamm tends to his selection of earthen and neutral tones like a seasonal garden. In the summer months, he sports well-tailored fabrics in light and sandy colors like taupe, with a muted breeze colored dress shirt.

In the cooler days of the year, he opts for black-brown suits with thin pinstripes and patent leather shoes. Hamm will always go for the matching pocket square and tie, that is often in stark contrast with the colors of the suit, yet somehow still never break the office-ready ensemble.

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2. Black Ties Matter

If you can’t be Jon Hamm, maybe you should take a lesson from his style-book and step up your black tie look. He is the current reigning champion of the classic black tie look that hits all its marks – seen above in a silk lapel and white dinner jacket. When it comes to tuxes, Jon Hamm is very traditional in his approach. Why change what’s been working since the beginning of time?

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3. Accent with Accessories

Since he likes to dress in muted colors, accessories are his way to throw some flare into an outfit. He takes what is traditionally a very serious winter look – solid black pea coat, smoky gray pants and classic leather shoes – and hams it up Hamm style with vibrant blue patterned socks. The man takes a classic look and makes it absolutely his own.

Jon Hamm is a man’s man, and this is reflected in his outfits – he wears extremely well-fitted clothing that is held together with confidence. He uses color and pattern to great effect to blend in and accented accessories to stand out. There are many lessons to be learned from him, but rule number one is still always: don’t be unattractive.

Keep it bookmarked to the VK Nagrani Blog for more Lessons in Style from your favorite famous icons!

 

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This Men’s Wear Shop Is Not for Everyone

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Lounging on a cerulean leather chair at his store on the Lower East Side, a glass of Bunnahabhain 12-year-old Scotch in hand, Vivek Nagrani talked about the two types of men who frequent high-end clothing shops.

“There’s Banker A, who goes to Harvard, Goldman and buys a Lamborghini,” said Mr. Nagrani, 44.

That’s not his usual customer.

“Or there’s the guy who went to community college (his parents had no money),” he said, “but he loved finance and made his way to the top. Our client tends to be that guy. Top of the industry, but he had to earn it.”

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And that guy, Mr. Nagrani said, doesn’t like to go with the crowd, even when it comes to his clothes. That’s why, since starting his first full collection in 2013, Mr. Nagrani has offered limited editions, with each item numbered on an inside tag. The pieces are made in factories and workshops in Italy or Peru. Suits start at $1,800, and the shirts range from $350 to $695.

Mr. Nagrani entered the business in 1999, when he formed a partnership with a French factory in an attempt to make the ultimate men’s socks. His plan worked: Esquire declared his product “the best dress socks in the world,” and his clients include Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Mr. Nagrani, born in Pune, India, and raised in Northern and Southern California, sold what he called “junk toys” before his foray into socks. He built the business from there.

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Badass Gals: Princess Diana

Coming up on 17 years since her tragic early death, Princess Diana is remembered as a brave and tender, yet badass woman. Her compassionate work with AIDS patients in the ‘80s, and underprivileged the world over, has inspired and astounded an entire generation of people. Diana had many titles, Princess of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay, Countess of Chester, Baroness of Renfrew, yet the most important title to her was Mother. She gave birth to the Princes William and Harry, who are now respectively third and fourth in line for the throne.

Keep reading to learn why VK Nagrani thinks Princess Diana is a badass gal.

1. Aristocratic Upbringing

She was born into British nobility and was one of the most adored members of the royal family. She became Lady Diana Spencer in 1975, after her father was given the title of Earl Spencer. She was a shy child as she grew yet always showed an interest in the arts and developed a strong bond with children – a feature of her personality that would come to be one of the most recognizable.

2. Marriage & Divorce

Diana married one of her childhood playmates, Prince Charles. Since he was the heir to the British throne, their entire courtship was publicized – similar to the way that Prince William and Kate Middleton’s was a few years back. But, Diana thrived in the limelight, even though she seemed pensive and shy in her personal life. Their televised wedding ceremony reached a total of 750 million global viewers.

Although, over the course of their marriage, they grew estranged and rumors of infidelity (on both sides) surfaced. They were officially divorced in 1992, spending only ten years together and raising two sons.

3. Charity Work

Even with her quiet demeanor, Princess Diana was something of a rebel. During the peak AIDS scare in the ‘80s, she never shied away from them, and comforted them as though they had any other disease. This was seen as a very courageous act at the time, because people were dumb and didn’t realize that that isn’t how AIDS works. All the same though, she was the first person to address the stigma that came along with contracting HIV and AIDS. As she so eloquently put it:

“HIV doesn’t not make people dangerous to know. You can shake their hands and give them a hug, heaven knows they need it.”

4. Death

After her divorce, she was still immensely popular, due to her work with the poor and disenfranchised. She would know the highs and lows of fame, and the lows would ultimately cost her her life, as she ended up in a fatal car accident with her then-lover Dodi Al-Fayed.

Her work towards getting rid of the use of landmines worldwide won her the Nobel Peace Prize, unfortunately it was a few short months after her death.

Princess Diana is remembered across the globe for her charity work, warm personality, and elegance that embodied what it truly meant to be a princess. Keep it bookmarked to the VK Nagrani Blog for more editions in our Badass Gals series.

 

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VKN Badass Guys: Theodore Roosevelt

Throughout history there have been exceptional men who’ve inspired us by the way they lead their lives and accomplish success. This is VK Nagrani’s Badass Guys Series.

Commonly known as “Teddy” – despite his disdain for the name, Theodore Roosevelt was one of the most prolific men to take office. The man couldn’t be stopped by anyone and appeared to take the Presidency simply because he could. Roosevelt was an American statesman, author, explorer, soldier, naturalist, and reformer, who was the driving force of the Progressive Era in the United States.

Here’s why VK Nagrani thinks Theodore Roosevelt is badass.

1. Born a Sickly Child

Theodore Roosevelt was born with crippling asthma, but overcame the illness and other health problems by taking on a rugged and strenuous lifestyle. Beating asthma was the driving force behind his boisterous and exuberant personality. He was homeschooled and taught to be a life long naturalist before he attended Harvard University.

2. Explorer of the Frontier

Roosevelt, being the tough badass he was, built a ranch north of the boomtown of Medora, North Dakota, of which he named Elk Horn. During his time there he learned to ride western style, rope and hunt earning the respect of the locals. A herdsman who knew him during that time said he possessed, “few of the emasculated, milk-and-water moralities admired by the pseudo-philanthropists; but he does possess, to a very high degree, the stern, manly qualities that are invaluable to a nation.”

3. An Accomplished Research, Author

During his time at Harvard, he began a rigorous study of the role of the United States Navy during the War of 1812. He carefully scrutinized the source materials and official US Navy records. Roosevelt’s meticulous research was comparable to a modern doctoral dissertation, even though he wasn’t a doctor or studying to be one.

4. Namesake of the Teddy Bear

While on a big game hunt with some colleagues, all of his compatriots spotted and killed at least one bear. Roosevelt was feeling pretty disappointed about the whole situation, but the hunting guides trapped and caught a bear for him to shoot. They tied the bear to a willow tree, but Roosevelt was not amused. He was a real sportsman and wouldn’t entertain the idea of shooting an animal that was tied up. However, since the animal was injured, he ordered it be put down.

Word of the incident hit newspapers and a political cartoonist published the above picture and readers went wild. A candy shop owner saw the cartoon and had the idea to place two stuffed toy bears in the window with the sign “Teddy’s Bears” in an attempt to be topical and relevant because Roosevelt was such a hot commodity. The rapid popularity of the bears led to the candy maker having to mass-produce the bears, eventually forming the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company.

Around the same time a German manufacturer heard about the successes of these “Teddy’s Bears” and began making them across the seas – effectively starting the childhood staple that they are today.

Keep checking the VK Nagrani blog for more editions of our Badass Guys Series.

 

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