Says super model Amit Ranjan. To be comfortable in your skin is the cornerstone of elegance and grace. Then comes the suit you choose to don… By Sonali Kokra
“Make sure you look your best and then forget it! Focus on the occasion, the people around you… that’s what true style is all about!”
“Treat yourself kindly, teach yourself to be happy and be nice to others.” “Huh?” “Yeah.” “Did you hear my question right?” “Yep. That’s my answer to it.”
And that’s the gist of my conversation with model-actor Amit Ranjan (above). The question, if you were wondering, was: “What does being stylish mean?”
For someone who towers over most people (six feet one), has the kind of body that could easily belong to a Rodin or Bernini masterpiece, thick tumbling locks that must make any red-blooded woman that crosses his path itch to run her fingers through them, and a smile that can make said woman blush a thousand shades of red, Amit is exceptionally grounded in reality, with little time or inclination for frivolity, vanity and self-indulgence. He’s focussed, quiet, committed and so damn nice.
Being grateful for blessings is a lesson Amit learnt early on in his career, right from the time he was struggling to get a foothold in the industry. “I was 18, immature and in love with clothes. They were like art to me. I could spend hours putting together a look. People would keep telling me to try for modelling but I always felt they were flattering me and never thought about it seriously,” he laughs.
All of that changed when Amit was “discovered” in a model hunt. Industry insiders saw potential but he was still very green. The first two years were spent learning the ropes, getting knocked down and finding the will to get back up again. “That’s the toughest part,” he reflects. “One part of ‘making it’ is talent. But a bigger part is refusing to give up. If you can stay in the game, sooner or later, it will be your turn to win.”
Ten years have passed since those early days and there have been countless lessons he’s picked up along the way – about fashion, style and looking good, yes. But the more important, more enduring ones Amit carries on his person each day are what he’s learnt about life and making decisions that he fights hard to stick with.
“When you have the power to choose your circumstances that’s when your moral fibre is put to the test. It’s easy to be swept away. Sometimes you have to fight to keep being the person you decided to be because glamour and an adoring public gaze can give you a false sense of invincibility.”
“Who do you choose to be?”
“I choose to be simple. In so many ways, it has been the hardest thing to be. I use my brain, say what I think and avoid manipulative people. I’ve chosen to believe in hard work and the dignity of labour. And I’ve chosen to be a positive person.”
“Look to the world for experience and wisdom but never lose sight of your own moorings
AMIT’S TAKE ON STYLE
“Style is what’s natural to you. When I’m tired, jeans, chappals and a ganji are the pinnacle of style for me. When I’m going on a date, a well-tailored jacket is what’s stylish. You’re stylish when your body and mood are aligned with each other.”
A dark suit is a must in your wardrobe. This ensemble with a shirt and pocket square that pick up colour echoes from the suit, is truly versatile
5 THINGS THAT NEED TO GO OUT OF FASHION
1. Men need to get over military greens. If you absolutely must be on trend and need your greens, go easy.
2. Everything too tight. Not pants, not shirts. They look super tacky and no one finds it appealing when you’re constantly adjusting your crotch or if your arms look like they’re going to rip out of your shirt. Relaxed, comfortable fits are the way to go. Buy clothes your own size!
3. Shiny, shimmery shirts in slippery fabrics, unless you are really keen on emulating some erstwhile underworld don!
4. Pointed shoes. Buy shoes that don’t look like scuba-diving paddle fins.
5. Mercury shades. It’s sexy when someone is trying to catch your eye through your shades, not when they’re shielding themselves from their ultra-reflectiveness.
FIVE THINGS EVERY MAN SHOULD OWN:
1.A bunch of crisp white shirts in different styles and collars. You just can’t go wrong with them.
2. Tan brown shoes. They go with almost everything and are super classy.
3. A pair of ripped jeans that fit well. Not so tight that you look like you’re bursting out of them and not so loose that another person could fit into them with you.
4. Aviators. They’re a classic.
5. At least two great suits-one for the day and one for the night.
AMIT ON GROOMING
Grooming is non-negotiable. Shower, be clean and smell good. And exercise. No matter how hectic your life is, make time to exercise. It’s important not just for your body, but also your mind. Exercise makes it powerful, gives you resilience. Move every day. Do something. Anything!
AMIT’S FASHION ADVICE
Don’t be an unthinking clotheshorse or trend follower. Use your brain. Listen to your body, see what works for you. Just because man-buns are in fashion does not mean they look good on everyone or that everyone should try them. Nothing is more unfashionable than a force fit.”
AMIT ON SUITS
“I believe suits make a man. And the two key elements of suits are fits and fabrics. A great suit is one where the fit and the fabric are in sync. If you have a suit that fits well but of a cheap fabric, it’s going to fail you. If you have a good fabric but hasn’t been tailored well, you’re going to look like a dud. This is why I love the clothes I’ve worn today. I was always sure of Arvind’s fabrics, but I’m amazed at the sophistication of the cuts and details in tailoring!”