The Gentleman's Life: The Essentials of Style

When it comes to living the life of a gentleman there are many men that we can take inspiration from. Be it ‘old world’ icon like Cary Grant or US based style icon Christopher Corey, who mixes ‘old world gentleman’ with the hustle of a modern entrepreneur.

 ‘Anyone can be heroic from time to time, but a gentleman is something you have to be all the time’.

-          Luigi Pirandello

At Ananya HQ we’ve scoured city, country and coast to bring you the essentials to living the life of a gentleman, from gentlemen that we love and adore.

 Over and above being kind, courteous, and thoughtful and worthy, we know that living the life of a gentleman should always involve style. And no, this doesn’t mean just having a designer suit – it goes way beyond that. Style and gentlemanly behaviour aren’t mutually exclusive to having lots of money! Whatever your budget, whatever your circumstances you can live a life of a stylish gentleman.  

 ‘It isn’t only money that determines how well a man dresses - its personal taste.’

-          Cary Grant

Suited and Booted (well, shoes actually…)

You don’t have to be well dressed to be a gentleman. Says Vaishali, our MD “One of the most courteous and gentlemanly men I know is my builder whose ‘uniform’ is jeans and polo shirt. But, at Ananya HQ we do love a well-cut suit.  Cut an elegant figure in a well-tailored suit in dark grey or navy. Team with a crisp tailored shirt, a waistcoat and double Windsor knot tie to complete the look. One of our favourite gentlemen is actor Stanley Tucci who wears this look with a grace and style that could give Cary Grant a run for his money!

 To emulate the style of a ‘gentleman about town’ our advice is to leave the novelty tie at home and concentrate on colour and texture.

And shoes? Shoes should hold their own in city or country. Ultimately they need to allow you to walk in comfort and style whatever gentlemanly efforts you are involved in.

Signature Style

Image credit:  Hello Magazine

Image credit: Hello Magazine

A gentleman always has a signature style. You might have your suits tailored in Savile Row, or maybe express your personality through your collection of exquisite silk pocket squares.

The art of being a gentleman is finding your own style whatever that may be.

We love the contemporary style of Indian royal, Rai Sinh Jadeja of Maliya (Nino), and the black tie style of writer, producer and director, Mozez Singh.

Time it Right

A good watch is an essential for any gentleman. But, a gentleman doesn’t have to ‘shout’ with his timepiece. Think Robert Redford in his Rolex Submariner Date Ref 1680. Ultimately a gentleman is a guardian of his watch. A gentleman’s timepiece will mark time elegantly and quietly waiting to pass to a worthy son, nephew, godson or grandson.

Perfect Penmanship

Image credit:  Montblanc

Image credit: Montblanc

Our regulars will know that at Ananya we are dedicated to the art of writing. A gentleman knows the value of things such as handwritten thank you notes. He also always has a pen to hand. Invest in the best that you can afford. Whether it’s a plain ballpoint, a fountain pen from Cross or an investment piece from Montblanc or Montegrappa, having a pen and sleek notebook to hand is the mark of a stylish gentleman.

Personalised stationery by Ananya

Personalised stationery by Ananya

And the final touches…

Image credit:  Frederic Malle

Image credit: Frederic Malle

There’s no point investing in style, and developing your signature look if it isn’t completed with the essential final touches.

We’ll take you head to toe with a collection of what we consider are some of the best ‘essentials’ available.

A subtle hint of fragrance is always appreciated. Emphasis on the word subtle please! We love Frederic Malle for men. It’s a deliciously good fragrance exuding warmth and citrus notes. 

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Good grooming is a must, whatever your style. We love Pankhurst Barbers, where the chairs are made from Bentley motors leather and the whole place gives the feel of a gentleman’s club with a frisson of ‘edgy’ from its ‘speak easy’ vibe.

Once you’re dressed and ready it’s time to add those absolute final touches. Whether it’s a family heirloom such as a monogram signet ring, or discreet cuff links, these are the final ‘bits and pieces’ before you put on your classic design sunglasses and step out into the world.

Do contact us to discuss any of your stationery requirements, whether that is a bespoke monogram design or personalised stationery and invitations.

 

The Art of Letter Writing Revived

Have you noticed recently that there’s a letter writing revival going on? Yes people, pen and ink and beautiful paper are enjoying a renaissance. At Ananya it’s definitely a revival that we are absolutely crushing on. Who doesn’t love receiving a beautifully written note on gorgeous paper? We’ll take that over a text message any day.

Writing the Perfect Letter

"Now that handwriting is a choice, not a chore, and there is a premium on the unique rather than the infinitely reproducible, people are beginning to discover, or rediscover, the thrill of pen and ink.’" -  Daisy Goodwin, Sunday Times November 2014

When we say we love receiving a letter we do, of course, assume that the letter will be written on paper worthy of the effort involved in hand writing those precious words.

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For timeless elegance, think of heavyweight (at least 100 gsm) cream, ivory or white paper. Create something special with personalised monogrammed writing paper and envelopes. You just can’t go wrong. But, if you want colour, try envelopes lined with your favourite colour, or bold writing paper in contemporary colours. We love cobalt blue, hot cerise or deep emerald green; bright without running the risk of your recipient developing an instant migraine. If, like the team here at Ananya HQ, you’re a visual person, you might include a hand drawn artisan card as a lovely memento.

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Word Perfect

Finding the right words for a handwritten letter may seem like a gargantuan effort at first. And you’re right, it does take effort compared to a quickly fired off text or e-mail. When you write a handwritten letter what you’re actually saying is that you value the love and the friendship of the person that you’re writing to. You’ve taken the time to consider your words and you’ve taken pleasure in writing the letter. 

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Put Pen to Paper  

If you have barely picked up a pen since schooldays, using a ballpoint pen to write may come easier. At Ananya HQ we are big fans of fountain pens. Why? To write with a fountain pen is to experience a slower, more considered pace of life that has a frisson of romance associated with it. You can’t backspace or delete, so each and every word is considered and beautifully written.

And when it comes to receiving a handwritten notecard, what a joy it is to see something so special in the mailbox or on the mat by the front door. It’s akin to receiving a small exquisite gift, complete with the delicious anticipation of who it may be from. For our MD Vaishali, reading a handwritten letter or notecard from a friend or loved one is worthy of putting aside special time to read it. This isn’t the moment to read in a hurry, it’s time instead to find your favourite spot, sit back, relax and read.

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Whether you are a writer or a recipient, at Ananya we hope that you enjoy the art of letter writing. Please do let us know in the comments below.