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.

 Peter Balani - Chicago Trunk Show - 1962

Peter Balani – Chicago Trunk Show – 1962

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. 

 Sonny Balani & Peter Balani - 2003

Sonny Balani & Peter Balani – 2003

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. 

 Sonny Balani, Peter Balani, Jai Balani - 2016

Sonny Balani, Peter Balani, Jai Balani – 2016

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

Blazer vs navy suit jacketOne 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

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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Argyle

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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