BALANI Webinar with Dormeuil Cloth Master, Luke Mayes

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Luke Mayes of Dormeuil sits down with BALANI clothier, David Tinter, to share his 25 years of experience from a family-owned, 5th generation British fabric mill.

Luke Mayes’ incredible journey began in Northampton, England. He moved to New Zealand with his family in the early ’70s where he flew fighter jets for the Royal New Zealand Air Force. After honorably serving his adopted homeland, Luke was personally recruited to serve as a brand ambassador by Ashley Dormeuil, the 5th generation heir to the House of Dormeuil. Luke then moved to the United States where he established himself as the V.P. of North American Dormeuil Operations.

When he’s not traveling the world to share the story of this innovative British mill, Luke lives in New York City and practices karate as a 5th Degree Black Belt.

Learn more about Luke and this world-renowned fabric mill here.

BALANI Custom ClothiersBALANI Webinar with Dormeuil Cloth Master, Luke Mayes
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My Father, Peter Balani

This Father’s Day, I want to take a moment to acknowledge my father, Peter Balani, who founded Balani Custom Clothiers in 1961.

Growing up, my father was always traveling for work and making sacrifices to give my sister and me better opportunities. When I turned 16, he proudly asked me if I would like to join the family business. Like any 16-year-old, I quickly shut him down stating I would pave my own path.

Ten years later as I was going through a career transition, he asked me the same question again. With several years of finance and corporate experience under my belt, I was finally able to recognize the magnitude of this opportunity.

To this day, my father is still encouraging yet firm, pushing me and the business to our fullest potential. My father exemplifies quality, teamwork, and top-notch customer service; core values that were not only bestowed on me, but on each and every member of the Balani team.

Today, my father is 80-years-old and continues to support and challenge me every step of the way. Nowadays, his wish is that my 7-year-old son, Jai, gives me just as hard of a time as I once gave him.

I wish you all a Happy Father’s Day and hope you take the opportunity to recognize the father figure in your life.

– Sonny Balani

Sonny BalaniMy Father, Peter Balani
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Navy Suit Jacket vs. Navy Blazer

One of the most commonly asked questions we receive is whether or not it’s ok to wear a navy suit jacket as a navy blazer. While many of us are guilty of this offense, it doesn’t negate the fact that a navy blazer and a navy suit jacket are two entirely different garments.
Sure, they are both blue and yes, from a distance they look similar; however, saying there’s no difference between a navy blazer and navy suit jacket is like saying there’s no difference between a deep-dish pizza and thin crust pizza. While both share similar characteristics and traits, there are substantial distinctions between the two.

To start, blazers are typically made with textured fabrics, such as hopsack and birdseye weaves. This gives the jacket a casual and sporty feel. A deconstructed blazer takes the casual feel to the next level, by eliminating padding in the shoulders and removing canvas from inside the jacket. Ultimately, this gives the jacket a softer and more relaxed style.

Contrary to the blazer, suits are commonly made with smoother fabric weaves like twill or sharkskin. These fabrics give the suit jacket a formal and dressy feel. A suit jacket is also very structured due to the canvasing inside of the garment. A full canvas gives the suit jacket shape, structure, and a proper drape.

Pocket style is another distinguishing factor between a suit jacket and blazer. Traditionally speaking, suits are made with formal flap pockets, while blazers are made with the more casual patch pockets. Patch pockets are sewn onto the fabric of the jacket as opposed to being cut into the fabric like flap pockets.

Lastly, button style is one of the most visible differences between the two garments. Blazers are almost always made with contrasting buttons, such as brown, metal, or mother of pearl.  Contrasting buttons help make the blazer more casual and also add color to an otherwise basic navy fabric. A suit jacket’s buttons are meant to blend in with the fabric. They typically match the fabric as close as possible.

Sonny BalaniNavy Suit Jacket vs. Navy Blazer
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angora goatAngora /ang-gawr-uh/
The hair of the Angora goat, also known as angora mohair. Angora may also refer to the fur of the Angora rabbit. The FTC requires any clothing containing Angora rabbit hair to be labeled as such on each garment.

Sonny BalaniAngora
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ArgyleArgyle /ahr-gahyl/
A popular design for knitted fabrics (both hand and machine knit), most often used on sweaters and socks. Usually, two or three colors appear in this diamond-shaped plaid pattern, named for the tartan of a clan in the country of Argyll, western Scotland.

Sonny BalaniArgyle
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