Expert Speak: Designer Dhruv Kapur Answers All Your Wardrobe Queries
This month, Designer Dhruv Kapur on single-button jackets, differentiating between fabrics and the suits every man must own.
What percentage of wool should I look for in a suit, given Indian weather?
100 per cent — the more natural the fiber, the better its breathability. Blends with silk or other natural fibers will work too. But if you really want to feel cooler in a blazer, look for one that’s unlined, or half-lined.
I quite like the look of a single-button suit jacket. Is this something I can wear to a formal event?
Absolutely! Tuxedos are the staple of formal wear, and they’re essentially single-buttoned.
If I want to wear suits with prints and patterns, what kind can I wear without being laughed out of a room?
For the adventurous few, brocades in tonal shades lend a dandy touch while being uncompromising in their elegance. Corporate honchos might consider checks or pinstripes. A sporty Sunday blazer might be good with a bar of colour across it, and an evening look could have some sequin or bead work. Just stay away from actual colourful prints.
I don’t understand all this business of peaked-this and deconstructed-that. What should I look for when I buy a basic, well-fitted suit?
You just answered your own question. An exceptional fit makes you stand out. This is why suits are always bespoke; prêt doesn’t quite do justice.
Why are suit fabrics from some brands so expensive? Is it necessarily true that the more expensive it is, the better it is?
Ever heard of diminishing marginal returns? The difference between a suit length for Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 might be blatantly obvious, but between Rs 50,000 and Rs 60,000, it’s indiscernible. Also, don’t forget that brands charge more for all their marketing efforts.
How many suits should a man own in order to cover the gamut of things like weddings, evenings out, business meetings and so forth?
Black, navy, grey and you’re sorted.
I’ve been told that having both buttons of my two-button blazer closed is a cardinal sin. Is that true? What other rules must I follow when it comes to my suit buttons?
The modern tailor cuts a sharp suit, as opposed to what a traditional cut a hundred years ago was. It’s only a sin if you don’t want to look like you’ve purposefully trapped yourself in a straitjacket with your shoulders shrugging. On two buttons, close the top and on three buttons, follow the Sometimes- Always-Never rule.
What are some easy ways to add colour to my suit for a formal occasion?
Colour can easily go overboard, so unless you’re going for a sporty or casual look, stick with the old adage — you’re only allowed one contrast in your suit. You can pick that to be any one or two components of your look. I personally love a silver tie and silver shoes – just a thought.
Are skinny or short-hemmed trousers appropriate for business events? What kinds of socks should I wear underneath?
Slim cuts will add value to your words, but skin tight would subtract. Shorter hems are also better for casual weekend looks. The boardroom is still ruled by conservatives, so wait till you’re the boss. Socks should always be the shade of your trouser or darker than that. Again, fun colours and prints are for more casual dos, but are acceptable in some business settings.
I’m coming across a lot more styles of ties these days. What occasion demands what style?
Keen observation, sir! Ties now come in three standard widths. Rule of thumb — keep your tie roughly proportionate to the size of your lapel. I’ve eliminated both lapels as well as ties altogether in my latest collection, and you’ll find that things still look formal, because the shirt collars are then cut to look like cravats, scarves and bows. In general, just keep in mind that bows and scarves are formal evening wear and cravats are daywear.
Suits with sneakers – yes or no?
Personally, no. But if you’re thinking of a sports blazer with jeans, then it could be cool. Just don’t end up in sneakers with a formal suit at an event that requires formal or semi-casual dress; sneakers make the whole look casual by default.
Dhruv Kapur is a New Delhi-based designer and creative director of DRVV
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