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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Lessons In Style From: Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake has been in the spotlight since his Mickey Mouse Club days, and it shows in the way he dresses. When you spend that much time in the public sphere, you learn quite a bit about the way you should hold yourself together, through demeanor and style.

From Disney to N*SYNC to his mega-successful solo music career and Hollywood film roles, Justin Timberlake is someone to learn from. Check out VK Nagrani’s Lessons in Style takeaways to be learned from Justin Timberlake.

1. Learn to Layer

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Justin is a mastermind when it comes to layering individual pieces of clothing to compile an ensemble look. One of his older tricks, which has become pretty commonplace at this point in style history, is to match hoodies under a great looking jacket – bombers are really “in” right now. Even if he’s just wearing a pattern sweater with a clean shirt underneath with well-fitted pants, he knows that dressing well is using many tools to build a great look.

2. Integrate a Hat

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While incorporating hats into your look is nowhere near a new concept, Justin has mastered the casual yet slightly tailored look, and this shows in his hat choices. JT will use the hat as it is supposed to be used, as an accessory – not the focal point of the outfit. It is integrated into his ensemble, not the centerpiece. Typically, Justin will go for the fedora, but if that’s not your thing you should try playing around with a couple of different styles of hat.

Throw your personality into the mix. Style isn’t possible without personality.

3. Unexpected Elements

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Justin has a unique personality, and his look completely reflects that about him. He has a way of creating a look that seems thrown together, yet is not contrived or outlandish. He maintains an effortless look by adding one or two unexpected elements into his style, which keep him from being stale, stuffy or unoriginal. Some of his favorite accessories include adding a pair of sneakers to a well-tailored suit, dog-tag jewelry, hats, or army boots with jeans.

Justin Timberlake is a true American treasure that will be remembered for his vibrant personality, approachability, and overall effortless cool. These features about him, above his personal style, are the keys you need to attain a timeless look. The number one lesson to learn from Justin is to not be afraid to let your personality shine. Justin does it every day, and he used to bang Brittney Spears, so there’s that.

Keep it bookmarked to the VK Nagrani Blog for more updates in our Lessons in Style series.

 

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Lessons In Style From George Clooney

Many articles from our Lessons in Style segments come from classic members of Old Hollywood. While it is easy to glean style statements from a period now stuck in yesteryear, it is still very possible to pick up fashionable cues from the world of the living. Actors like Robert Downey Jr. and George Clooney are in their 50’s, yet they are still considered viable and attractive – so, what’s the secret? Well, good genes for starters. But, since you can’t go back in time and pick more attractive parents, you’ve got to be stuck working with what you’ve got, like the rest of us.

Just because most of us aren’t George Clooney, doesn’t mean we can’t have the flair or confidence of him. Here are some Lessons in Style that you can pull from George Clooney from us here at VK Nagrani.

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1. Black and White

Clooney is seen in these colors all the time. They’re simple and go with everything. In the above picture, you can see he makes even a white polo and jeans look great with a classic black leather jacket that’s been accessorized with a stylish watch. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a watch to complete the look, a simple leather strap and classic gold face for a timeless look.

George is a classically good looking man, yet he has a very simple and very attainable style. You might not be able to emulate his face, but with basic solid colors and some confidence, you could easily rock the look that has made him a star.

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2. Rock the Gray Hair

That once salt-and-pepper-now-gray-hair situation on Clooney’s well-maintained mop is a signature of his, and one that many women love. Gray hair has traditionally been a sign of the elderly, yet Clooney embraces this look with grace and wisdom. Accepting your own gray hairs can be viewed as a symbol of sophistication and confidence in your look.

In the above picture, even his beard is gray but he’s still owning it and making something that is often seen as a negative side effect of age, and making it something to anticipate.

3. Know Your Color Range

You don’t have to be doing costume changes every few weeks with your style. If you know what colors work for you, stick with them! As stated earlier, Clooney is mostly found in black and white, but for a casual look, he is often found in gray. Above, you can see he’s wearing a gray suit (that complements his hair nicely) with a white button down and black shoes. He knows his range and sticks to it.

Overall, Clooney’s look is one that takes simplicity and elegance and blends them together seamlessly, while never being too loud or understated. A proper fitted suit will net you the attention you deserve when entering a room.

Keep the VK Nagrani Blog bookmarked for more Lessons in Style from people you should know about!

 

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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: Humphrey Bogart

When watching a Humphrey Bogart picture, you can’t help but feel this innate sense of what “cool” used to be in a time now long passed. He was pretty late to the game: 37 by the time of his first big role, and 41 before he received any acclaim for his work. In his early days, he was typecast as the original gangster type, but something else emerged from his performances.

He was believable as a down-and-out drinker and roustabout, but there was something distinctly uptown about his demeanor, as if perhaps in another life he came from money, but now it’s gone with no clear way home and he’s going to sit in this gin joint and simmer until something changes. Whether he was acting as a detective or a crook, Bogart was always convincing on both sides of the law.

With that said, it’s pretty easy to see why we at VK Nagrani think Humphrey Bogart oozes cool and is rife with a few style lessons.

1. The Bowtie is Cool

ca. 1949 --- Humphrey Bogart in the movie . --- Image by © John Springer Collection/CORBIS

When thinking about rough-and-tumble, hard-boiled, hard-drinking, antihero detective types, you probably aren’t imagining a patterned bowtie. Yet, it shows that the bowtie is not only for Doctor Who cosplayers, and that bold, fearless swagger can make just about any style look good.

2. Standout with a White Tux

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It looks like it might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship when Bogart paired a bright white tuxedo with a simple black bowtie to create the look that sets his “Casablanca” character Rick Blaine apart from the patrons in his club. It’s an iconic look that hasn’t changed much in the seventy-something years since the film came out. It’s a daring leap that only some can pull off, but Bogart makes it seem so very simple.

3. Simple Can Look Great Too

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In his hit movie “The Big Sleep,” Bogart played Philip Marlowe, a man who presumably paid little attention to how he looked. Note the simple single breast jacket, the plain tie, the no-frills shirt. This combination took minimal effort to pull off and probably only cost him a few minutes gathering them from the store in haste to catch up with some crooks. The lesson here is simple: you don’t have to spend a lot of time complicating or adding to your wardrobe to have a great timeless look.

Humphrey Bogart was an exemplary man with confidence up to his mug. He knew what it meant to be comfortable. He was authentic.

It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing a three-piece suit or a tee with blue jeans, if you’re uncomfortable with your clothes, it’s not a stretch to assume that you’re going to look uncomfortable to match. If you’re going to put the effort in to dressing better, make sure you can back it up with a cool, comfortable attitude that tells the world that “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

Stay caught up with the VK Nagrani Blog to see more icons we can learn style lessons from.

 

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Lessons In Style From: Steve McQueen

There is no debating it: Steve McQueen is the King of Cool. His style has been a staple in men’s fashion since he first stepped onto the world stage, emulated time and again by men looking to ditch all the bullshit and cut straight to the core of style. In the last four decades, there hasn’t been another person to come along and dramatically impact what men wear as much as Steve McQueen.

But what exactly made him the standard-bearer for men’s clothing? VK Nagrani takes a look at some lessons in style to be learned from Steve McQueen below.

1. The Suit

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The suits McQueen sports in “The Thomas Crown Affair” are a perfect showcase of how a well-tailored suit can accentuate a role. He is every part millionaire businessman playboy. The broad cut of the shoulders in the jacket over the signature three-piece with square bottom waistcoat and perfectly dimpled tie. Combine all these things next to that hot car and you have a sophisticated outfit that oozes power.

2. Casual Weekend Wear

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In Old Hollywood, there was a certain masculinity that you don’t find anymore. Today’s celebs don’t walk the walk quite the way they used to. Steve McQueen looked like a badass because he was a badass. He was every bit as stylish on screen as he was off of it. In the above picture, you can see that with just the right pair of sunglasses you can turn a plain white tee into a bold—just-got-off-work-at-the-ass-kicking-factory—kind of look.

3. The Canadian Tux

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Double denim is notoriously hard to pull off, but with the confidence of a hundred honey badgers, Steve McQueen did it effortlessly. The secret is to use different shades of denim, so try a stonewash shirt and an indigo pair of jeans to create the contrast needed. Add some sturdy leather boots to create a rugged aesthetic that forces you to have to try to not look masculine.

4. Signature

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The most important lesson that can be taken away from Steve McQueen is to add your own signature to every look you create. Lightweight jackets are an essential part of the modern man’s ensemble, and you can see why up above. The navy Barracuta Harrington with a matching knit sweater underneath highlights the lining and creates the focal point of the entire look. His real signature was the Persol sunglasses he rocked in nearly every outfit he wore.

In the great Pantheon of Style Gods, Steve McQueen is Zeus. He took a look that has seemingly been around since the beginning of modern clothes and wore them in a way that has yet to be added to in any significant way.

Stay tuned to VK Nagrani’s Blog for more style lessons from legendary men!

 

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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.