Everyone knows that one guy who stands out wherever he goes. He may not have a battery of stylists sourcing the trendiest outfits for him, but he knows just how to make an impact. We spoke to men across the country who dress well because they know exactly how to, and because they’re so good at it. From the right fits to appropriate accessories, fashion disasters and their most prized possessions, they give MW a sneak peek into what drives their individual sense of style.

Imran Khan (Actor)

Describe your sense of personal style.

Understated, and (hopefully), timeless. Ideally, years from now, I’d like to be able to look back at photos of myself and not go, ‘What was I thinking?’

Five must-have accessories, according to you.

A fantastic pair of sunglasses, the kind you can wear with swimming trunks or with a tux, and a well-worn cap in a neutral colour. That’s it. I’m not big on accessories. I rarely even wear a watch.

What is your most treasured wardrobe item?

A pair of my grandfather’s cufflinks.

Who are your favourite designers and brands?

At least half of my clothes are from Slowear — definitely my favourite brand. My formal wear is either by Tom Ford or Zegna.

What would you describe as a fashion disaster?

Trying too hard. We get it, you read MW, but you don’t need a tiepin and a hat and a pocket square and a collar bar and a statement tie and a lapel pin and contrasting shoelaces and quirky socks all together.

Who are your style icons?

In no particular order: Cary Grant, Steve McQueen, Robert Redford, Bruce Springsteen and Alain Delon. Also, Downton Abbey — I have a weakness for old school British style. 

My Two Bits: Tighter is not always better. Those jeans that you think go with everything? Yeah..

Vito Dell’Erba (Creative Director, Future Lifestyle Fashion Group)

Describe your sense of personal style.

Contemporary classic with contaminations from my travels.

Five must-have accessories, according to you.

Silver ring with a precious stone, Tom Ford sunglasses, suspenders, Borsalino straw hat and a silk scarf.

What is your most treasured wardrobe item?

My Italian tailor-made peak lapel ’70s blazer.

Who are your favourite designers and brands?

Tom Ford, Issey Miyake and Helmut Lang.

What would you describe as a fashion disaster?

Over dressing, stiffness and trying too hard.

Who are your style icons?

David Bowie, Jared Leto and maybe Tom Hiddleston for his cool elegance at the moment.

My Two Bits: Relaxed elegance rules.

Jatin Sapru (Cricket Presenter, Star Sports)

Describe your sense of personal style.

A mix of classic and metro. Simple might be a cliché but it’s very hard to implement. I’d happily attend a house party in a black shirt and jeans and Kolhapuri chappals, and at the same time, would love to throw on a three-piece for anything formal. 

Five must-have accessories, according to you.

Cufflinks, socks (sexy is good, socksy is better), watches, cologne (you ‘wear’ a perfume for a reason) and your wedding ring. 3 What is your most treasured wardrobe item? My ties. I have a massive collection from around the world and have collected them over many years.

Who are your favourite designers and brands?

Troy Costa, Raghavendra Rathore, Thomas Pink and Massimo Dutti.

What would you describe as a fashion disaster?

Nawazuddin Siddiqui in a Ranveer Singh outfit. A mismatch of personality with the outfit is the only legit disaster.

Who are your style icons?

George Clooney, David Beckham — need I say more?

My Two Bits: Find yourself before finding your wardrobe. Your fashion sense speaks even before you open your mouth.

Pranav Kirti Misra (Creative and Image Director, Huemn)

Describe your sense of personal style.

I find it hard to explain in a sentence, so I would say indefinable.

Five must-have accessories, according to you.

The only thing that is a must-have is a good sense of humour, though you could try watches, rings or whatever you want with it, of your choice.

What is your most treasured wardrobe item?

This hand-knit sweater that was gifted to me by a woman I was dating until recently, because she took it back.

Who are your favourite designers and brands?

Rick Owens, Gareth Pugh, Rei Kawakubo, J.W.Anderson, Yohji Yamamoto, Ricardo Tisci, John Galliano and Pierpaolo Piccioli. And in brands, apart from Huemn, I love Dior, Chanel and Vetements.

What would you describe as a fashion disaster?

Figuratively speaking, when you try too hard to fit into shoes that are not your size.

Who are your style icons?

Marilyn Manson, Jimi Hendrix, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne and Queen.

My Two Bits: Fashion is not rocket science. It’s a style that finds wider acceptance.

Sunil Chhetri (Footballer, TV Host)

Describe your sense of personal style.

I’m mostly in sportswear, which I prefer because it’s the most comfortable. But I do enjoy the odd occasion when I get to dress up.

Who are your favourite designers and brands?

Zara is my all-time favourite. Their cuts fit me very well. Whenever I need to buy something quickly for an occasion, they’ve never disappointed me.

What would you describe as a fashion disaster?

Wearing clothes that are too tight.

Who are your style icons?

David Beckham.

Govinda Mehta (Tastemaker — Raisson D’etre by Govinda Mehta)

Describe your sense of personal style.

Classic, with a modern cut — fashion sensitive but individualistic, reflective and, if I may, intelligent.

Five must-have accessories, according to you.

Socks (or the lack of them), a nice wallet or credit card case, spectacles, watches and shoes.

What is your most treasured wardrobe item?

My shoes.

Who are your favourite designers and brands?

Zegna, Corneliani, Shantanu and Nikhil, Antar-Agni and Suket Dhir.

What would you describe as a fashion disaster?

Over thinking and overdoing.

Who are your style icons?

David Gandy, Lino Ieluzzi and Mariano Di Vaio.

My Two Bits: Be aware, keep your eyes open for influencers, absorb, be simple, be true.

Sahil Marwaha (Communication Consultant and Co-Founder, Beam & Words)

Describe your sense of personal style.

Casual, comfortable but crisp.

Five must-have accessories, according to you.

A pair of reading glasses, a muted silver watch, a snapback for the summer, colourful patterned pocket squares and a backpack to carry everything. A pair of Nike Flyknit Racers is a must-have, as they can be worn anytime, anywhere.

What is your most treasured wardrobe item?

All my sneakers.

Who are your favourite designers and brands?

Nike, Pull&Bear, Paul Smith, Massimo Dutti and Huemn.

What would you describe as a fashion disaster?

Trying too hard and mixing stuff. Don’t do flashy. Keep it basic and simple — works every time.

Who are your style icons?

LeBron James, John Legend and Tom Ford.

My Two Bits: If you’re mostly on the go, wear something easy as comfort trumps everything. But always be presentable; it says a lot about you. And stock a lot of white shirts as they go with almost everything.

Ranveer Brar (Chef and TV Personality)

Describe your sense of personal style.

My sense of personal style is very instinctive and careless. Expression, for me, is a synergy between who I am, what I stand for and what I carry. My style has to express who I am.

Five must-have accessories, according to you.

Pocket squares, watches, sunglases, scarves and brooches.

What is your most treasured wardrobe item?

My grandfather’s Rolex.

Who are your favourite designers and brands?

Narendra Kumar, for his ability to be different with whatever he does, and Sabyasachi for glorifying Indian character and celebrating Indian fashion.

What would you describe as a fashion disaster?

For me, the most obvious fashion disasters waiting to happen are born out of the need to be different.

Who are your style icons?

Amitabh Bachchan, David Beckham and Ryan Gosling.

My Two Bits: Don’t be afraid to be yourself.

Rishab Suresh (CEO, The Gourmet Jar)

Describe your sense of personal style.

Classic with a quirky twist.

Five must-have accessories, according to you.

Tan brogues, pocket squares, seven-fold ties, cufflinks and a classic watch.

What is your most treasured wardrobe item?

Tibetan bead cufflinks.

What would you describe as a fashion disaster?

Suits with sneakers.

Who are your style icons?

Clark Gable, Justin O’Shea, JF Kennedy, Cary Grant and Don Draper from Mad Men.

My Two Bits: Dress for yourself, don’t fake it.

Siddharth Mahajan (Brand Manager, Shivan & Naresh)

Describe your sense of personal style.

My personal style is mostly formal and classic, with an occasional quirk added with casual T-shirts paired with jackets. I like simplicity in dressing, with attention on cuts and fits and accessorising, with addition of pocket squares, socks and scarves.

Five must-have accessories, according to you.

Printed silk pocket squares, cufflinks, espadrilles, classic wayfarers and tan Oxfords.

What is your most treasured wardrobe item?

My Shivan & Narresh espadrilles — they are the most comfortable pieces of footwear I have owned.

Who are your favourite designers and brands?

I really like Dior Homme for its classic looks with interesting details and twists, and Marni for its simplicity in silhouette and colour. In India, I love Lacquer Embassy for its really international and dapper aesthetics.  

What would you describe as a fashion disaster?

White socks with black pants.

Who are your style icons?

Justin Trudeau, Frank Gallucci and Rahul Khanna.

My Two Bits: Crying for attention through loud clothing is never fashion.

Saif Ali Khan (Actor)

Do you have any personal fetishes when it comes to style?

I like a style that balances frivolous opulence with the conservative undertones of people who work in banking. I like to experiment with both.

What are the rules you follow when dressing up?

I have five rules by which I measure style: elegance, experimentation, the ease with which you wear a certain look, the quality of what you wear and how you put a look together.

Is regular grooming a must?

Facial hair is fun, but not if you allow it to run amok. Get a good clipper and keep it in shape.

Why is it worth spending a little extra on a good suit?

The difference between classic and clichéd is often in the material. The timeless appeal of a beautiful suit begins with its material. Make sure you buy the best, as a suit will last you a long time and is an investment.

What are your favourite traditional silhouettes?

I am partial to the bandhgala when it comes to Indian wear. I find a regular kurta too boring. I wear Indian attire only on formal occasions, and the sharp silhouette of the bandhgala is amazing.

How important is the right pair of shoes?

Why do Indian men not spend on their shoes? There is more to style than the ugly, pointy-toed black shoes they wear. Try double monks or loafers. They are comfortable and look amazing.

My Two Bits: Once you get dressed, change one element. With a suit, wear a pair of converse sneakers, or take off your dress shirt and put on a button-down instead.

Tarang Arora (CEO, Amrapali)

Describe your sense of personal style.

Sporty casual with a stack of silver bracelets — that’s my sense of style.

Five must-have accessories, according to you.

Bracelets, watches, brooches, jewelled buttons and Kolhapuri chappals.

What is your most treasured wardrobe item?

A Colombian emerald diamond brooch.

Who are your favourite designers and brands?

Comme des Garçons, Vivienne Westwood, Diverso and a couple of pieces that Gaurav Gupta once custom designed for me.

What would you describe as a fashion disaster?

Ill-fitted clothes, especially jackets, are definitely a fashion faux pas.

Who are your style icons?

Amitabh Bachchan.

My Two Bits: It’s time for men to experiment with jewellery. They shouldn’t stop at buttons and cufflinks.

Magandeep Singh (Sommelier, TV Show Host and Triathlete)

Describe your sense of personal style.

I like extremes: either spiffy to the minutest detail or gypsy. I like my clothes to either show sheen or else show age and wear and tear.

Five must-have accessories, according to you.

Collar bones and pocket squares should definitely be on the list.

What is your most treasured wardrobe item?

It’d have to be my denims and my shoes, the two things that last me the longest and it pains me to throw one away when its time has come.

Who are your favourite designers and brands?

I like Diesel, Seven7 and True Religion for jeans and R.M. Williams, Ferragamo and Church’s for shoes.

What would you describe as a fashion disaster?

Among the bigger faux pas one notices is to see people flashing brands all over themselves with nothing that sits quite right. Another is mismanaging belts and shoes, or other accessories.

Who are your style icons?

No icons — anybody who wears his style like his skin is admirable.

My Two Bits: Fashion is fleeting and unless you are on top of it, it can be disastrous. I am not the kind who believes that everyone can dress up in everything.

Farhan Akhtar (Director, Actor, Producer)

Describe your sense of personal style.

Comfort with a certain degree of quirkiness.

Which recent fashion trend has caught your attention?

There has been a re-emergence of Indian influence in the western formal dressing space. The regular suit is getting a twist and there’s a fusion, which I find interesting. I have seen people wearing longer jackets with Indian detail.

Which trend will you never fall prey to?

The ’80s, if it ever came back. That would be difficult. Something went wrong with the human race.  

Who are your favourite designers and brands?

Shahab Durazi and Raghavendra Rathore. I also work a lot with Govinda Mehta and Arjun Bhasin. Internationally, I like Prada a lot, the clothes fit really well, even when they are just off the rack. 7 For All Mankind is really cool.

Which accessories are you fond of?

I love shoes. I don’t know how many pairs of shoes I have. The other thing would be these headbands that I wear on my wrist during concerts. But I keep flinging them into the crowd, and so I don’t have a collection anymore.

Riaan George (Grooming And Image Consultant)

Describe your sense of personal style.

I am somewhere between classic and preppy. I am always partial to solids. My standard look would be something clean and chic, with just one standout element — say a watch, a scarf, coloured shoes or even a tie.

Five must-have accessories, according to you.

An expensive watch is a must for every style-conscious man. A collection of colourful pocket squares to break the monotony and sobriety of a business suit. A collection of crazy, mad socks, to help you add fun to your sombre business attire. A geeky tie-pin or lapel pin. And, a funky bracelet for your casual day out.

What is your most treasured wardrobe item?

My classic white shirts. They are the base of most of my looks so I hold them in high regard.

Who are your favourite designers and brands?

Kunal Rawal, Shantanu & Nikhil, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers, Celio, Gant and Cole Haan.

What would you describe as a fashion disaster?

Ill-fitting clothes, poor grooming and dirty shoes.

Who are your style icons?

Bradley Cooper, Rahul Khanna and George Clooney.

My Two Bits: If you want to be looked at as a gentleman, then you need to look the part. This means consistently being well-turned out, dressed and groomed.

Sarosh Mody (Editor – Special Projects, Robb Report)

Describe your sense of personal style.

It has to be an extension of your personality and individualism. I don’t conform to the sartorial rules — I mould them.

Five must-have accessories, according to you.

I never leave home without a watch. My watches are an extension of my being — whether they are my wrist watches, or if I feel like bringing a retro-chic element to my day, then my pocket watch. Also cufflinks, money clips, pockets squares and a fountain pen.

What is your most treasured wardrobe item?

My signet ring. Not most are manor born but we surely can live life king-size. The signet is a symbolic representation of my heritage and culture, my ideology and my passion for horology.

Who are your favourite designers and brands?

For watches, it’s H. Moser & Cie, Maison Corthay and Crockett & Jones for shoes, shirts by Camessi and all my suits are done by Govinda Mehta. I purchase my ties and bows from Drake’s London, Charvet and Passaggio Cravatte.

What would you describe as a fashion disaster?

Someone trying to ape something they are not. Also, a ready-towear suit.

Who are your style icons?

I am inspired by the likes of the Duke of Windsor Edward Sexton and Alexander Kraft.

My Two Bits: My mentor once told me, ‘dress each day like you are about to meet your maker.’ That’s what I do every day.

Suresh Venkat (Journalist And Actor)

Describe your sense of personal style.

I would like to think of myself as ‘permanently well dressed’. I’d say my style is a mix of classic and craftsy. I like mixing classic items with clothes that have a touch of Indian craftsy-ness.

Five must-have accessories, according to you.

Watches (classic and analog), wayfarers, pocket squares, an interesting wallet and funky socks.

What is your most treasured wardrobe item?

A fitted charcoal grey suit.

Who are your favourite designers and brands?

Zara, Mango Man, Benetton, O.M.O, Jack & Jones, Savio Jon, péro and Ashish Soni.

What would you describe as a fashion disaster?

Anything Baba Sehgal wears. Anything Bappi Lahiri wore or wears. The worst fashion disaster is when people wear clothes that make them look ridiculous and they are oblivious to the fact. Also, clothes that are out of sync with your body type are the worst.   

Who are your style icons?

Shantanu Mehra, David Beckham, George Clooney, Arjun Rampal and Ayushmann Khurrana.

My Two Bits: Comfort is completely overrated. When it comes to a choice between style and comfort, always choose style.

Ash Chandler (Singer, Actor, India’s first Stand-Up Comedian)

Describe your sense of personal style.

My style is a celebration and acknowledgement of each moment. Being true to that situation is crucial. So depending on when or where I’m seen, the world would have different ideas of my style.

Five must-have accessories, according to you.

Cufflinks, a good functional hat, a good umbrella, collar bar/ tiepin and pocket squares. 

What is your most treasured wardrobe item?

It has to be a vintage doublebreasted tuxedo with silk faille peak lapels which I’ve had for 25 years. That and my John Fluevog spectator shoes. 

Who are your favourite designers and brands?

Internationally, as designers, John Varvatos, Hugo Boss, Giorgio Armani and Tom Ford all resonate with aspects of my sense of style. Locally, Troy Costa, Arjun Khanna and Lecoanet Hemant are all geniuses at what they do. 

What would you describe as a fashion disaster?

Someone wearing something they so obviously don’t feel comfortable in. If a trend and you coincide, then consider that choice a result of luck. If you force yourself to be trendy at the expense of your comfort (physical or aesthetic), then it’s a disaster. 

Who are your style icons?

Cary Grant, George Clooney, Michael Fassbender and Frank Sinatra.

My Two Bits: Be yourself. Let your style be something that is true to you and keep reading Man’s World.

Ranveer Singh (Actor)

Do you have any personal fetishes when it comes to style?

Shoes and hats. I can never have enough of them. I particularly love the plain white adidas Superstar II. I have multiple pairs at any given point. And, I’m extremely finicky about keeping them spotlessly clean.

Which is your favourite watch?

I am very fond of my HMT watch collection — basic, classic and proudly Indian. It’s so sad that they had to shut shop. Other than that, I have a soft spot for Omega.

Who are your style icons?

Lady Gaga. She’s far out, man.

Which three things should every man have in his wardrobe?

A solid pair of blue denim jeans, a black leather jacket and white-coloured basics, such as shirts and T-shirts.

Stubble, full beard or clean shaven — which do you personally prefer?

Full beard.

Rahul Sharma (Co-Founder, Micromax Informatics Limited)

Describe your sense of personal style.

It’s an extension of me, and reflects the way I relate to anything that spells out natural, effortless and solid.

Five must-have accessories, according to you.

For me, I’m all set with a classic black suit, white shirts, black tees, neutral slacks and sneakers. I feel best in my skin with these.

What is your most treasured wardrobe item?

My sneakers. They wear well and get me places (I need to go).

Who are your favourite designers and brands?

Have an edge. Be easy on the eye and fit well. That’s why I’m drawn towards Tom Ford, John Varvatos and AllSaints.

What would you describe as a fashion disaster?

Discomfort.

Who are your style icons?

Madonna, Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Lady Diana, Justin Trudeau, Tom Ford, David Beckham. The list can go on.

My Two Bits: Filter trends and create your own style.

Abhishek Kapoor (Film-maker)

Describe your sense of personal style.

It’s an extension of me, and reflects the way I relate to anything that spells out natural, effortless and solid.

Five must-have accessories, according to you.

For me, I’m all set with a classic black suit, white shirts, black tees, neutral slacks and sneakers. I feel best in my skin with these.

What is your most treasured wardrobe item?

My sneakers. They wear well and get me places (I need to go).

Who are your favourite designers and brands?

Have an edge. Be easy on the eye and fit well. That’s why I’m drawn towards Tom Ford, John Varvatos and AllSaints.

What would you describe as a fashion disaster?

Discomfort.  

Who are your style icons?

Madonna, Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Lady Diana, Justin Trudeau, Tom Ford, David Beckham. The list can go on.

My Two Bits: Be yourself. Wear your confidence.

Abhishek Lulla (Entrepreneur)

Describe your sense of personal style.

I wear my personality and beliefs on my sleeve. Bow-ties, quirky T-shirts, flea-market buys, tote bags, rolled-up denim, and cool shoes (maybe handpainted) is how I like to put my look together. 

Five must-have accessories, according to you.

An elegant timepiece, a floral pocket square, quirky cufflinks, jewellery and a versatile, textured scarf.

What is your most treasured wardrobe item?

A two-button navy velvet blazer with satin lapels from Etro, and handmade burnished leather wingtip bluchers from Harris.

Who are your favourite designers and brands?

Frankie Morello, The Kooples, Dolce & Gabbana, Diesel, Zanerobe, Scotch & Soda, Dsquared2, Alexander McQueen and Topman.

What would you describe as a fashion disaster?

Ill-fitting clothes. 

Who are your style icons?

Pharrell, David Bowie, Johannes Huebl and David Beckham.

My Two Bits: Invest in timeless staples. Adding a pop of colour to your outfit is fun, but don’t overdo it.

Rajesh KV (Founder Partner, CAB Experiences)

Describe your sense of personal style.

I think I am adventurous when it comes to my personal style. I won’t shy away from exploring new looks and styles, be it with clothing, accessories or hair. Also, being comfortable is key to being stylish and confident.

Five must-have accessories, according to you.

Watches, tattoos, business card holders, sunglasses and socks.

What is your most treasured wardrobe item?

My watches. 

Who are your favourite designers and brands?

My personal favourite is my masterji. His ability to understand my style is more than what I can expect from a designer label. I am a huge fan of Zara as a ready-to-wear style brand, and Manish Arora is an outstanding designer.

What would you describe as a fashion disaster?

Anything that looks bad on you, be it ill-fitting clothes, wrong accessories, hair colour or wigs.

Who are your style icons?

Virat Kohli, Rahul Khanna, Ranveer Singh, Arjun Rampal, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Ryan Gosling.

My Two Bits: Understand who you are as a person and express it with your personal style.