Ready for high street fashion

A model in an outfit by Sayantan Sarkar

A model in an outfit by Sayantan Sarkar

Seduced by the great range the market offers and a new-found interest in fashion, Indian men are stocking up their wardrobes in great style

The Indian man was an also-ran when it came to fashion. But not anymore, with men becoming more conscious of what they wear and spending more time before the mirror than ever before. According to recent statistics, the millennial man is spending more on shopping than women, indicating a change in attitude. Experts, however, insist that Indian men’s fashion is still in its evolutionary stage and the revolution has just begun.

Making the cut

Indian men had not been exposed to designer wear as much as their female counterparts. However, avenues to buy and showcase men’s designer wear have zoomed with a lot of Indian designers coming up with interesting creations for their male clientele. A wide range of ethnic, western and casual offering from top couturers including Tarun Tahiliani, Rohit Bal, Manish Malhotra, JJ Valaya, Shantanu, Nikhil Thampi, Sayantan Sarkar and Masaba Gupta to name a few, has made a great difference. Some experts go to the extent of saying that if there is a kind of buoyancy in the apparel sector, it can be attributed to the change in the buying patterns of Indian men.

Bollywood favourite Nikhil Thampi, whose men’s wear is as stylish as the women’s line says, “Women’s fashion has always been ahead of and more talked about and reported than men’s fashion. However, things are changing and there is definitely a huge scope for the men’s market to grow. As designers we didn’t have enough platforms to showcase men’s wear and also it wasn’t feasible for us because the buying wasn’t proportional to the production. But now with the changing mentality of the male shopper and a lot of fashion weeks also including men’s line apart from the exclusive men’s fashion weeks, have opened up the market for us. Further, the new-found male sensibility of constantly reinventing, revamping and redefining one’s look has made it a win-win situation for themselves and the retailers.”

What’s hot this season!

This season is all about colours, floral prints and patterns. The monochromatic colour-blocked ensembles are also hot. But shades of blue, ranging from indigo to aqua top it all. Skinny jeans are still in, but they’ve relaxed a little. While a lean silhouette is still sought-after, the focus is on having a more tailored, tapered finish.

Ready for high street fashion

Over the years, men’s fashion has been growing slowly but steadily in India. Today, there is a change in the way the average man perceives fashion. Unlike before, he wants to look as though the clothing was made with him in mind. Fashion designer Vivek Karunakaran says, “Men are not just wearing anything they pull out from their wardrobes. They don’t just put on any T-shirt and a pair of jeans anymore it is all about experimentation. They have started experimenting with bright colours, waist jackets, accessories and even hairstyles they’re paying attention to the overall look. Not just for social events or dos, even for a casual night walk or to sweat it out at the gym, they know exactly what to wear.”

Spoilt for choice

For long, menswear was associated with staid, clear-cut designs and patterns. The market of men’s fashion which was confined to wedding wear from sherwanis, bandhgalas and formal suits has now expanded to semi-formal to casual wear. Today, we see coloured trousers, neon shirts, customised shirts and funky printed tees on the streets. The anarkali kutra, slim fit shirts, double cuffs, dhoti trousers and customised styles in collars and pockets have already made it to the contemporary man’s closet. Things have taken a right turn with several national and international fashion labels making shopping adventurous for the buyer. Right from the men’s wedding trousseaux which have become as glitzy as those of their female counterparts, the heavily encrusted sherwanis and Jodhpuri jackets which often outshine the bridal lehengas to the casual trousers and jackets, men are spoilt for choice. Designer Sreejith Jeevan who recently won an award for his film on fashion says, “Men’s style has become eclectic. The coming together of Indian and western wear, the availability of fashion tips at the press of a button through apps, a wide range of apparels offering something for everyone to suit their colour, size and occasion, have all contributed to men embracing fashion. We’re bombarded with images when we’re travelling, or watching TV or surfing the net. Earlier, fashion used to be a solid or a pinstripe shirt accessorised with a good belt and shoes. Now there’s so much more. There are fantastic jackets, usage of pleating and plenty of embroideries, intricate or otherwise.”

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