Syed Ali Arif’s unusual wardrobe preferences range from bold print co-ords to printed lungis worn with jackets, and occassional safas, all of which are documented by his partner on his colourful Instagram account.

Why do you dress the way you dress?

 I don’t follow trends or fashion; I wear what I feel like. I was always aware of Indian textiles, prints and handlooms but only recently included them in my wardrobe. And, trust me, everything started to look fresh and stylish. We really take our country for granted. Accessories and a comfortable pair of footwear are equally important to me. I have also started wearing dhotis since the past year. I have started creating Indo-western looks for myself and love the end result

 Where do you get your sense of style from?

 I was always interested in fashion. I used to buy lots of film magazines to browse the latest looks. My mother had a wonderful sense of fashion. Although she only wore saris, I have never seen her repeat her saris ever. If not an artist, I wanted to be a fashion designer, but there weren’t many institutes back then in ’90s Hyderabad, and I was too lazy to go to another city to study.

 Describe your wardrobe to us.

 Earlier my wardrobe was filled with whites; I was almost a slave to it. Then came a phase of blacks and greys. However one thing was very clear, despite the colour restriction, I was very sure about what looked good on me. Hence, I invested in good jeans, belts and shoes as I knew these would make anything look good. Slowly and steadily I started understanding my body and worked towards experimenting with styles and cuts. I think my wardrobe right now is clean yet fun, stylish yet a little experimental, colourful yet very earthy. I love my Antar-Agni pants, a Pot Plant shirt, a handwoven khadi sari I bought and turned into a dhoti (it’s just too sexy), my ice-blue jeans and my Andhra-ikat lungi.