Lessons In Style From: Paul Newman

When you think about classic Hollywood cool, a few names come to mind—and somewhere at the top of that pantheon of exemplary looking men is Paul Newman. A cut above the rest in both appearance and personality, he was an Academy Award winning actor, director, environmentalist, activist, philanthropist, race car driver, and is even the face of a damn fine line of salad dressing. His company Newman’s Own, actually donates all proceeds to charity, so far having donated nearly 430 million dollars to various charities.

For many in the ‘60s and ‘70s, Newman was the epitome of cool, having starred in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “Cool Hand Luke” (a movie literally named after his innate coolness), and “The Hustler.” On and off-stage, Paul had an impressive resume, but we’re here to look at his contributions to the world of men’s fashion.

Take a look at what VK Nagrani has to say about Paul’s style and its influence.

1. A Suit That Fits

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Not many men could pull off a suit quite like Paul Newman. He knew very intimately how a well tailored suit complemented his form. Notice how in the picture above he goes for a single-breasted jacket with wide padded shoulders that accentuate his athletic build. The slim, squared-off tie completes a look that impresses in the office or dazzles on a night out on the town.

2. Bold Jackets

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Paul had a pretty broad selection of unconventional jackets and coats that only added to his own particular brand of anti-establishment cool. He was a racecar driver, so he would often incorporate racer jackets into his look. In the picture above, he’s in his natural habitat: cool and nonchalant, smoking a cigarette and not really looking all that interested, with a flight jacket suggesting he could take off at any moment. Paul also had an extensive collection of army jackets that would throw some new interest into the classic jeans-and-boot ensemble of the time.

3. Wear a Watch. At. All. Times.

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For men, the range of jewelry that is typically acceptable is limited almost exclusively to the watch, and at times, cufflinks. A wristwatch is a handsome accessory and can be used to illustrate style, taste and status. Paul had a watch for every occasion, and this is something that we should factor into our daily style as well. From the picture above you can see his informal style, a well-fitted Oxford dress shirt under a deep V-neck pullover, some casual jeans and a wristwatch with a nice leather band accentuating the entire look.

There was something special and raw about Paul Newman. He didn’t have the shattering and unequivocal heat of his contemporary Marlon Brando, nor the unabashed smolder of his junior, James Dean. Rather, Paul Newman was somewhere in the middle, in a world that is ambivalent and uninvolved with what anyone thinks.

Keep tabs on the VK Nagrani Blog for more fashion lessons we can learn from our icons of yesteryear.

 

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Lessons In Style From Cary Grant

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 Lessons In Style From Cary Grant.

Few gents have garnered the following and left an impression quite like Cary Grant. The Hollywood film actor appeared in over 70 films spanning a 30 year period, including popular roles in Penny Serenade and None but the Lonely Heart, for which gained him Best Actor Academy Award nominations. But people who’ve never seen a Cary Grant film still know about Cary Grant. They know him for his clean, classic look and unwaveringly gent style. While VK Nagrani and Cary Grant probably wouldn’t have seen eye to eye on all facets of men’s fashion, or men’s designer clothing, there are certainly some fashion lessons we can agree on.

Here are some gent fashion lessons from Cary Grant any aspiring gent needs to know:

1. Do Not Overbuy

Cary Grant once said regarding men’s fashion, “All it takes are a few simple outfits. And there’s one secret — the simpler the better.”

At VK Nagrani, we’ve preached this over and over, because, not only is it economical to buy quality-made items that’ll last, it’s an easy way to make sure your wardrobe doesn’t get bogged down with rubbish clothing you never feel like wearing.

Each article of clothing a gent owns should serve a specific, consistent purpose. From the belts you wear to the medium-sized lapel suits you sport, a gent’s wardrobe is no place for that piece you wear once a year. Go capsule. But go elegant. Be sophisticated. Your closet may look a bit barer because of your minimalized wardrobe, but you’ll know each and every piece plays a vital role to your gent style.

2. Lounge in Style

After a long day or week, gents need to relax. But true gents relax in sheer style. Put on some over-the-calf socks and a quality hand-sewn robe that doubles as a piece of art. The timeless, fashionable man defies normal standards. He relaxes with a hardcopy of The Times and enjoys a nice lowball of 15-year reserve bourbon. Cary Grant did indeed have it right.

3. Don’t Skimp on the Cufflinks

Nothing beats a tailored, navy tuxedo to exude confidence and suavity. But a mistake you don’t want to make is skimping or leaving the cufflinks home altogether. Whether you want to have eyes glued to you all night with a bold cufflink, or are looking for something a little more laid back, pair that tuxedo with a quality cufflink to put that exclamation point on your gentleman spirit.

4. Get an All-Purpose Top Coat                                                        

Depending on where you live, or often travel to, an everyday, all-purpose topcoat is as essential to your gentlemen aura as a pair of underwear is to simply getting dressed. A versatile topcoat isn’t too heavy or flashy. Simplicity, quality and versatility are the key components of the topcoat. It should accentuate your body lines and be able to be worn with formal wear like suits, or a more casual look of jeans and a t-shirt.