Your fashion and style conundrums deciphered and explained by designer Sushant Abrol

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What are your fashion predictions for 2022?

There is a feeling of optimism amongst the fraternity, and I strongly believe the coming year will be rewarding, especially for fashion. People have started to come out of their enclosures slowly, and are looking out to reimagine their passion for dressing up. In my opinion, however, the styling would be more individualistic than ever before, as lockdowns and work-from-home have changed the rules of dressing up for most men. In terms of colours, we will see brighter hues taking centre stage with neutrals and blacks maintaining a dominant place in men’s wardrobes. Tailoring will also see a rise as most men will look forward to a personalised experience with an evolved individual aesthetic.

I want to try winter clothes in colours other than earthy shades. What can I opt for?

While the first thought for men’s winter wardrobe is dark neutrals comprising blacks, navy, browns, and olives, brighter colours are always a great idea to accentuate an otherwise safe look. With an effortless opportunity for layering in winters, you can team them up with neutrals for a balanced look. For example, a burnt orange sweater can be layered with beige pants or further subdued by throwing a khaki blazer or jacket on top. Mustards and yellow ochres go really well with navy and add just the right amount of wilderness. You can also look at adding pastel shades of pinks and blues in knits this winter for the day, and neutralise them with white shirts underneath. If you still want to downplay the entire look but just add an element, look no further than your feet to add that dash of colour in your socks with an array of jacquards or stripes and argyles in the brightest shades.

winter wear

I have the tendency to make unnecessary purchases that end up sitting in my closet for years. How can I make my wardrobe sustainable?

The pandemic has taught us how little we actually need to survive, and lead a comfortable life. Picking up from there, I suggest you focus on buying quality essentials that would withstand the test of time, and try out different combinations from the existing wardrobe, to begin with. Also, you must pull the plug on following trends blindly, and invest in classics as much as possible. To satisfy your hunger for shopping, you can even look at pre-loved or vintage clothing brands that are steadily growing. Be mindful of your indulgence, and try to invest in natural textiles for your next purchase.

I am planning to go to a ski resort this month. What style essentials should I carry for the same?

Invest in a versatile turtleneck to give you that concealing warmth in merino or lambswool. Look out for some chunky knits for when you want to get rid of your performance ski jackets. Also, keeping a downs jacket handy in a vibrant colour will give you an amazing contrast in the backdrop.

I have always wanted to try out loose suiting options, but haven’t figured out how to pull it off. Please help.

Oversized clothing has made a definite comeback, but it is not a new trend. We are seeing an emergence of dad jeans from the ’90s and the power suits of the ’80s. It is very important to understand that loose-fitting clothing doesn’t just qualify as oversized, or even wearing two sizes bigger won’t crack the code. If you observe closely, oversizing is done from specific areas i.e. waist, shoulders, or biceps for jackets, and thigh or ankle for the bottoms, keeping the essential measurements as per the sizing and making it extra comfortable from the other areas. To further break down the trend for your comfort, you can also look at teaming up oversized separates with well-fitted (not slim or skinny) outfits. For example, team up an oversized tee with a straight trouser or just throw an oversized blazer over a fitted jumper or turtleneck, or you can try your hands at a longline shirt with a fitted jacket on top.

Ami Alexandre Mattiussi: Runway - Paris Fashion Week - Menswear F/W 2017-2018

I wish to buy strap-on sandals for everyday wear. What homegrown brands should I look out for?

While Birkenstock seems to have captured the everyday sandal market well in India, you can look at homegrown brands like DMO Dot for premium leather or Monk Story for vegan leather options. 

monkstory

This season, I want to experiment with subtle yet statement sherwanis and kurtas for weddings. Where should I look for them, and how to style them?

Sherwanis make you look the sharpest for Indian weddings, while kurtas do play an essential role throughout the wedding festivities. Keep the silhouettes classic and invest in one for its repeat and timeless value in your wardrobe till the time you outgrow it. A classic black or navy sherwani in either handloom silks or worsted wools with off-white trousers look the best for evenings. You can style them up with nice metal or stone or enamelled buttons as per your liking, and throw in a coloured pocket square or a warm pashmina kani or embroidered stole to complete the look. For the day, look out for pastel shades in muted tones such as onion pink or sage green with MOP/pearl buttons and a contrasting off-white pocket square. My personal recommendation for kurtas would be to look out for interesting prints for the day, understated/muted embroideries for evenings, and also try and move away from sleeveless waistcoats. Try teaming them up with interesting bottoms like salwars or wide-legged trousers other than churidars or slim pants. For kurtas too, you can look at teaming up plain kurtas with stoles for that added touch of elegance.

This month, I plan on travelling to a tropical destination. What type of bags should I carry, and how to style them without looking like a clown?

While a backpack is a practical option to carry all your essentials, you can also look at investing in a beach tote bag in canvas fabric to wander in an effortlessly chic style, and carry your towel and clothes to the beach. You can look at water/dust repellent materials to interesting prints on heavy cottons/canvas to reinforced leather trimmings to add a premium edge.

 

Photo credit: Andrew Neel