What you are buying when you buy VKNAGRANI

 Since childhood I have had a certain attraction to the clothing business. It was a combination of both nature and nurture that led me down this path. Most people never really think about what it really takes to make a garment come to life or how a brand operates behind closed doors.

When I started the company in 1999, the intention was not just to create great clothing but to also create a company that I would be proud of. Pride for me is not derived from the financial success of the business but rather the overall impact the business has on the world around me. Right from the start I have chosen to work with family-owned manufacturers. I never questioned prices because to me that was not really the issue. Instead, I focused on making a product the best I possibly could where the price became irrelevant.

In addition, I believed that as the company would grow, the employees of the factory would also reap the rewards. After all, we are all in this together. Then there was a responsibility to the artisan trade. So many have fallen by the wayside in lieu of companies seeking larger margins, faster turn around times and consumers choosing price over true long term value. And, of course, I was to be the brand that catered to the very few who seek the best. A man is his own brand; my job was merely to help enhance that brand.

When you buy our socks you are enjoying the work of a father and son that operate a small laboratory in Brescia, Italy. They have been making socks for the Italian market for decades and both father and son share a genuine passion for making the best product they possibly can. In addition, part of our collection is produced in Peru under the supervision of two brothers who have also been producing socks for over 50 years.

Should you have the opportunity to wear our underwear, breakfast pants, or loungewear I am sure you noticed the intricate workmanship that goes into building each piece. You would surely notice that the stitching is near perfection and the fabrication is beyond anything available in the market. This was the result of working with Las Hermanas de Calderon. Two sisters who put heart, soul and passion into each piece of clothing. What we produce yields a product that only a few would truly understand.

Our clothing is a joint venture with an Italian sartorialist. We work together to create functional, aesthetically pleasing and super chic clothing for the man who seeks both quality and performance. Each piece comes to life in small laboratories in the North of Italy. Each piece is created to enhance the consumer’s way of living while simultaneously elevating the environment he finds himself in.

Summer Essentials – The Gent’s Guide to Sytlin’ without Sweatin’

 

For men like myself who do not spend hours a day at the gym or are constantly on some whacky diet, summer is a real pain in the ass when it comes to getting dressed. For years I have obsessed with techniques to beat the heat but alas, mother nature has always kicked me in the balls.

It is now merely about adaptation. Outside of the occasional visit to the gym or a regular session in the steam room, I hate sweating. There are a handful of gents that for some reason look great in the summer. I just happen not to be one of them.

Here are some summer hygiene tips that have helped me adapt the best I possibly can.

  • Cold showers only. Keep the body temp low, especially after working out.
  • Body powder a must. It helps absorb some of the sweat before your shirt ends up looking like a mop. It helps, it does not prevent.
  • Drink tons of water, especially if you drink tons of booze. You will sweat like hell if you drink the night before and forget to excessively hydrate. No one like the smell of liquor oozing from your pores.
  • Always keep a few extra shirts in the office. Even if you do not have a shower in the office, just washing your face and wiping yourself off will suffice. Putting on a fresh shirt will make you feel like new.

When it comes to wardrobe, summer is light, fresh, cool and casually refined.

  • When it comes to work, the gent still has to look tip top. Keep the suit, shirt, shoes and socks at the office. Roll in and call that inner super hero and change into your work gear.
  • Light weight suits are now a year round must. Layers are essential, so keep everything light.
  • White shirts. You can never have enough.
  • Cool, cotton pants – basic colours, let the newbies wear their fancy coloured pants. Gents should be more focused on the fit of the pant than the colour.
  • Linen, linen and more linen. It is the best fabric for the summer. Of course, I mean great linen, not the cardboard type you find at most stores.
  • Enjoy summer, the relaxed pace, a time to slow down. Stressing is unacceptable.

VKNagrani | Inspiration | The Italian Linen

It’s summer time folks and this is the time a gent slows his roll and enjoys it!

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The Mission: Cocktails on a roof top, or for our suburban clients, the country club.
The Gear: 100% Pure Italian Linen shirt, light weight cotton pants,
Ecuadorian Straw Hat, a great belt and pair of white kicks.


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The Mission: Your fancy buddies yacht party that may require an overnight stay in
a stateroom (wink, wink).
The Gear: The Pure Italian Linen shirt, dark trousers and accessorize as needed…
perhaps the only time a man should wear sandals past 6 pm.

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The Mission: Educational Vacation or for us with small children,
a day at an amusement park.

The Gear: The Pure Italian Linen shirt, with sleeves rolled tight and high, well fitted shorts
that go right above the knee and a comfortable pair of leather sandals…
it is summer, so some rules can be broken.

The Gent Gets Why Underwear Is Important

Most men tend to believe that underwear is just a necessary evil that his mother had told him to wear. They do not really understand the importance and true function of the oft overlooked underwear. So, with this, we will begin to hopefully help you understand why underwear is important.

 

  1. The obvious. Underwear functions to pick up the slack when you do not complete hygienic duties in full.
  2. Fit for your trousers. Your choice in underwear should work to enhance the fit of your trouser. Bet you did not think about that. Slimmer pants require briefs, jeans are best with boxer briefs and trousers allow for more options like a boxer short. Now, if you wear a baggy boxer short, your pants will not drape correctly.
  3. Uncle Jim and the twins require support. For the active man, it is essential that you keep the boys in place.
  4. Great fitting underwear also serves to accentuate your manhood.
  5. Cheap underwear can ruin your day. Imagine having to tug at your underwear or stretch your leg out to try and get them to realign with your body. Buddy, you look like an idiot. We all know what you are doing and we all know you are wearing cheap underwear.
  6. When your trousers come off, good underwear accents your “good” areas and takes attention away from your problem spots.
  7. Nobody wants to see a man in ill fitting underwear. This is a sure shot way of letting the person you are with know that you are a slob. The gent knows that great fitting underwear shows that you pay attention to detail. You are a gent.
  8. What kind of man needs another man’s name across his waist band? We will let you just sit and think about this.
  9. And boys, when you are not working out, you really should not be wearing synthetic underwear. I mean, really, do you wear your gym clothes to a cocktail party?
  10. I think by now we have covered the bases.

Genting on A Budget

Gentleman (Gentle-man): A man of noble or gentle birth. A man belonging to the landed gentry. A man whose conduct conforms to a high standard of propriety or correct behavior. A man who is oft the envy of his peers and the fantasy of the co-eds.

Now you have the definition of what it means to be a gent, but how do you dress the part without having the Duke of Windsor’s bank account? Let us help you make it easy. Breathe; it is much easier that you think.

 

Step One:

Keep it simple. Invest in clothing that has multiple uses. Nothing that is obviously noticeable or causes you to draw unwanted attention. You know what I mean, no stupid shirts with palm trees or dumb logos or images of your favourite beer. Clean and simple. Focus on how the garment fits and makes you feel.

Step Two:

Great shoes. For men, this is essential. After a woman first notices you, she looks at your watch and then shoes. If you meet the mark, you will soon find yourself having a banging time. As GQ’s Guide to Shoes reveals, “What’s great about being a man is that you can do perfectly well by sticking with just a few options.” You do not need a ton of styles, keep it simple and elegant. Less is more.

Step Three:

If you are still looking at magazines or celebrities to make wardrobe decisions, you need to pay attention now. Avoid fashion, it is for kids. Start thinking about style. What we like to think is that if I took a picture of myself today would I think I was stylish 20 years from now? You see, style never weans, it is timeless. That light blue tuxedo Jared Leto wore to the Oscars, well that’s just being an asshole. Gents do not make amateur moves. To avoid stupidity, stick with the classics. They are classics for a reason. When we use the word “classic” we mean cool, classic like the white shirt or a great leather jacket.

On that note, always have a lot of great white shirts. Unfortunately, they tend not to last very long, but hey, it is what it is. While it does last, we encourage you to try the VKNAGRANI CAPTAIIN SHIRT. Feels like a t-shirt, wears like a dress shirt and moonlights as a sport shirt. Find me something close to that.

Step Four:

Quality over quantity, always. Quit buying stupid things. Building a stylish wardrobe is like building a car. Each part has to work together to make the car work. Avoid having a closet full of spare parts. Each piece you purchase should be able to be worn in three different environments. Think about that when you purchase something. With that said, aim for quality pieces. Invest in a few great things like a suit, a sport coat, a leather jacket and great shoes. Shirts are also essential. Avoid cheap shirts, they fall apart and they look stupid. Buy quality shirts. The rest becomes negligible.

Step Five:

Make and effort and take care of your clothing. Do not be a schmuck, hang your clothes on real hangers. The metal wire hangers will destroy your clothes. Look, if you shop at department stores, then who cares what hangers you buy, most of the stuff in those stores is garbage. If you are that guy, you just wasted time even reading this; it probably did not even make sense to you.

How the Military Uniform Influenced Clothing Trends

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Military uniforms have influenced mainstream fashion for centuries. It is not American, European or any sort of depiction to a particular people. It is a universal fact. Fashion often gets convoluted into something absurd or time sensitive. Military uniforms are designed to function and offer a rigid, fierce aesthetic. Many soldiers became so accustomed to wearing elements of their uniforms after serving that it began to catch on. Of course, the world view on soldiers after WW2 was reverence.   It would only makes sense that people would embrace the design element that military regalia has to offer.

The History of the Bomber Jacket

The bomber jacket had it’s origins in Europe during WW1. During the early 20’s, the US military recognized how important the flight jacket was. However, they felt the European style jackets which were more like car coats were not very functional. They cut the jacket to the hip, added the shearling for warmth and there born perhaps the most recognizable military influenced jacket – the US Airforce’s A-2 fighter pilot jacket.   Remember, pilots often flew planes with open cockpits and therefore needed incredibly warm clothing to battle the sub zero temperatures.

Soon after, the Navy followed suit. The navy used seal skin rather than calf skin to better perform in their environments. With a few adjustments to the A-2, the navy introduced the G-1 flight jacket. It is almost as recognizable as the A-2, but the A-2 remains the king.

The History of Colour in the Military

For many, the concept of camouflage is out of necessity for soldiers on the front line. However, how did they come about? Before 1947, the Army was in control of the Clothing Board from 1917. It was the Army’s ubiquitous green that would influence all branches of the United State’s military.

The new Power Dress Code: Style + Sophistication = Success in business

Power {pou-er}, noun: the ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something. To succeed in business, it is essential that you present yourself in a powerful way. To accomplish anything in life, you need to be able to recognize the power that lies within. Then, understanding how to dress allows you to expose that inner power.

Successful people recognize this and do all they can to remind themselves of their inner power. A man who not only recognizes, but also embraces, his personal power comes across as confident and charismatic. The clothes he wears also reflect the power he feels within himself.

We can all portray a powerful image by the way we choose to dress. Below, we have listed a few key recommendations that should help you bring out that inner mogul.

  1. The Suit – This is where it all starts. It’s the most important piece in your wardrobe, and not just any suit will do. In the old days, the power suit was much easier to define. It was a particular brand and it was very structured and stifling. Today, the power suit is more defined by the individual and how he chooses to wear the garment. If you are in pursuit of a brand defining your self worth, you are a lost cause. Please stop reading this piece.

A perfect example of the power suit is the VKNAGRANI double breast Branson suit. It harks back to the Golden Era but brings forth a modern edge. Like the single breasted Branson suit, it is unconstructed, so it has a young, modern feel to it. However, the double breast option conveys a sense of formality and exudes power.

The description of this suit says it all: “Imagine if you were a rock star and your father was an Italian tailor.” Should you be able to embrace the DB, you will soon understand the feeling of walking into a room and without words letting everyone know that Daddy just walked in.

  1. The Shoe – If you’re going to invest in a high-quality, designer power suit, you need to make sure you have the right shoes to go with it. Not just any shoe will do. The color, shape, and style are all important components in choosing the right power shoe.

 If a woman’s interest is perked after noticing your suit, she begins to look more closely before making her final decision. Her focus shifts to your shoes and watch. All of this happens within five seconds of her noticing you.

A quick cheat sheet for choosing the right shoe:

  • Unless you work for the government or a mortuary, there is no need to wear black shoes. With black tie, we can understand.
  • NEVER wear shoes with gaudy buckles or logos. Monk straps are cool, but no more than a single buckle.
  • A lace up shoe is ideal for any and all business meetings. Be it an oxford or Brogue, you cannot go wrong.
  • A loafer is the go to for a more casual setting. You can wear them with denim or a more casual trouser.

VK’s top choices for dress shoes: Bontoni, DiBianco, Santoni, Magnani

  1. The Shirt – I do not know why we always have to discuss this because men should understand the importance of the shirt. However, it seems like shirt etiquette has fallen by the way side. Here, let’s make it easy:
  • The most important factor of your shirt is the collar. The collar should be sturdy and roll gracefully inside your jacket. It should stand up and not slouch.
  • The fit should be tailored to your body. The sleeves should be clean and reach no further than then where the wrist meets the hand.
  • The shirt should always be clean. 
  1. The Accessory – Never underestimate the power of men’s accessories. Do not go crazy with accessories. For the gent, a watch, a pocket square, cufflinks and socks are the only accessories allowed to be a bit more expressive. Goofy, colourful ties are for idiots.   The key to the watch is simplicity and sophistication. Diamonds, studs, gadgets, etc are foolish.
  1. The Fine Details – Gents understand that the Devil lies in the details.
  • Hair Style. Unless you are in the military or are going bald, there is no reason for any skin to be showing on your head. Choose a style that works with your face and your personality. I get the man bun thing, but let’s be serious. Unless you look like a 20 year old movie star or you are a rock star, you are not going to be able to pull of the man bun. Keep it clean, easy and avoid excessive hair product. Hair should flow and remain controlled but not imprisoned.
  • If you choose facial hair, make sure you keep it groomed and healthy.
  • Get a manicure and pedicure once a month. In the interim, keep your nails clean and cut.

To achieve success in your business, you’ll need to have the skill and know-how of your trade. But, in order to become a powerhouse in your business, well, that comes from within. A personal sense of power will make you unstoppable. Tim Pait from Oak Hall, Memphis, TN shows how VKNAGRANI products contribute to this sense of power. He says, “There are people that like clothing, but rare are those that understand the art of making beautiful clothes that function to enhance the consumer’s lifestyle. VKNAGRANI offers a concise, efficient and sophisticated point of view to men’s clothing…and has redefined the modern man’s look. Vivek’s approach to creating distinct, innovative, and timeless pieces offers a man both style and comfort without sacrificing elegance.”

If you don’t feel as powerful as you would like to feel, adding some power pieces to your wardrobe will give you a boost. Wearing a power suit and looking the part will encourage the self-confident and competent part of your personality to emerge. They say that clothes make the man. If you want to be a powerhouse, dress for success by incorporating power pieces into your wardrobe today.

The Key to the Gents look: The THIRD Piece

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The reality is that most men are so afraid of dressing well because they are overcome by fear. The magazines, the TV shows, the sales people in the clothing stores create a sense of disdain for dressing well. I am thinking let us take it old school. Back then, it was very simple and efficient and practical. When we look back at the images of yesteryear, we are always in awe of how well dressed men were. And lo and behold, all were dressed very simply. Your focus should be on fabric, fit, style, stop. All the other nonsense is, well, nonsense.

What separates the man from the gent is the elusive “third piece”. Take notice, outside of beach living, a man looks unfinished with a shirt and trouser. So, for the gent, the idea is to always look effortlessly chic, never contrived. The jacket or sweater or whatever that one chooses to wear over his shirt is what elevates the gent. It refines the look and differentiates you from the masses.

Here are a few easy tips to follow when looking for that third piece:

 

  1. The office: shirt, trouser: Find an unconstructed soft coat that is light and has a “casual” heir to it. Do not throw your suit jacket on or some rigid fitting excuse for a jacket. If you really want, try our Aviator jacket.
  2. The Game with the boys: jeans, t-shirt: Find a cool, lightweight leather jacket or a bomber jacket. You can even wear a cool cardigan or a v-neck sweater. If you like VKNAGRANI, you have the moto leather jacket, the country leather shirt jacket, the TYPE X Sweater or the Aviator jacket.
  3. Date night: dark denim, shirt: Depending on where you choose to go, elevate your prowess with the sport coat we mentioned earlier. You can also use the TYPEX for a more casual evening.

There you have it, keep it simple, clean and efficient. Avoid trying to be stylish, just be stylish. Leonardo Da Vinci said it best, “True sophistication is simplicity.”

 

 

Clothing as Art vs. Commodity

For most men, clothing is deemed more a necessity than a way of self expression. Who can blame them? Today’s casual environment no longer demands culture, refinement or simple attention to detail. We live in a world where texting has taken the place of conversation and using proper grammar is a thing of the past. However, there is a small culture of gents that still seek to be better. They do not do it for society but rather for themselves.

The Gent sees clothing in a totally different way than the average consumer. To the gent, clothing is more art than anything else. He appreciates the fabric, the workmanship, the attention to details and most importantly the way it makes him feel when he wears the piece. He also appreciates clothing that is made in a manner that is befitting the gent’s way of life. He will pay more to know that no one has to suffer in order to save a few dollars. After all, civility and luxury should go hand in hand.

When we begin to discuss this topic, the first thing people need to get out of their minds is that a “brand” or more a label with a name on it is not luxury. You see, luxury should be reserved for those that posses a true understanding of what luxury is rather than just the means to afford what society claims as being luxury. For the gent, his life is art. The way he speaks, the way he lives, the way he treats others and himself. Every aspect of his life deserves attention. When it comes to his clothing, he understands that less is always more. There is not the need to attract compliments or garner unnecessary attention.

“Personally, I prefer that no one knows where I buy my clothing. I prefer to be judged on my personality and taste rather than where I shop.” For me, this statement resonates. When we create a piece of clothing, our intention is that it not only enhances your way of living but yields a continuous sense of enjoyment for several years to come. I am not out to sell you anything. My job is to create pieces that you choose to acquire. Each piece is created to work with all the other pieces; therein, creating an efficient, functional and beautiful wardrobe. The gent need not have to ever stress about what to wear.

The Hybrid Wardrobe – A Style Necessity

For men, the word fashion drums up fear and insecurity. And it should because fashion is for adolescent high school kids. Grown men should focus on style, not fashion. If you look to magazines or catalogs, you are not stylish. Those images are designed to sell you more shit that you do not need. And really, the guy who dresses like that in real life looks like a douche bag.

Let us show you how to simplify your life and create the hybrid wardrobe. It is easy, efficient and will prevent you from looking like a douche.

Shop your closet before you shop the store.

For most men, their closet is a storage unit for failed attempts at trying to be fashionable. Because you chose fashion over style, you have a closet full of crap that even homeless people would find offensive.

Every six months you should take an hour and go through your closet. If you have not worn something in six months (assuming you change your options between seasons) you should get rid of it. There are many people who would get use of what you have in your closet collecting dust.

Here is a strategy that will help elevate your life and the less fortunate:

  1. Go through each piece in your closet and pick your favorites. Not sentimental nonsense, but the best-looking pieces in your closet. Take them to a tailor and get them re-fitted to your current self.
  2. Look for redundancy. If you have 12 “expressive” t-shirts, get rid of 8. If you have more than one “party” shirt, get rid of anything extra.
  3. Get rid of anything with oversized logos.
  4. For jeans, make it simple. A beat up pair for the weekends, a clean, dark pair for almost anything else. Make sure they fit right and are shaped to best enhance your phenotype.

 

Building the Hybrid Closet – The Essentials

In achieving Hybrid success, it is essential that you look at your wardrobe as one unit. Each piece should work together to create a single unit. Most men have a bunch of spare parts that add up to one big pile of shit.

Here is what you need:

  1. Three pair of jeans. One dark, slim fitted jean that work with loafers and sneakers. One dark, fitted jean that you can wear with boots. One pair of vintage jeans that you take to the tailor and reshape to your body. Make sure you patch up all the holes. These are your casual, cool jeans and should be worn with loafers, moccasins or sneakers.
  2. A well fitted navy sport coat. Just buy the VKNAGRANI cotton jersey aviator coat. It is perfect.
  3. A suit. If you are in shape, like to have sex and enjoy being a human rather than a sheep, get the Branson suit from VKNAGRANI. We only make navy or grey, and that is all you will ever need.
  4. Two colors in a solid tie.
  5. Six Solid White shirts.
  6. Three striped, three checked shirts.
  7. Six solid colored shirts. Light blue, navy, light grey or a soft fashion color.
  8. A great sneaker, a great loafer and some shoes that have laces and made of leather.
  9. Six great fitting t-shirts.
  10. 12 pairs of underwear that flatters your body and are comfortable. Stick to cotton, God knows what chemicals are in those tech fabrics. They wick away sweat and may wick away your penis.
  11. The accoutrements of the wardrobe can be an experiment in self-expression. Swimsuits, cufflinks, and socks – let it rip.

Moral of the story: Keep It Simple Stupid. Simplicity is the essence of sophistication. Well-fitted, well-made and high quality fabrics should be the only thing you are paying attention to when building the foundation of your wardrobe. Now, you can mix, match, and create without fear. Everything works as a unit. Everything functions to elevate your life.