Indian men’s fashion has undergone several changes with the passage of time. The classic dresses of men are being made timeless in the real sense with a host of designers innovating them with more comfort and durability keeping the original structure intact.
Caps are an integral part of men’s fashion. Some men never prefer to wear caps but still vivid varieties of caps are seen to be adorned in different styles by men according to their age groups. No wonder the old favourites –baseball cap, hip hop cap – continued to be flaunted in bold ways by the men as had been done from the late 90’s as a part of casual wear. Backward, forward or sideways, the good old baseball and hip hop caps are much favoured by some men-old and young alike- even today and wear it according to their choices to add extra oomph to their dressing sense.
Traditional caps are also donned with much pleasure during formal occasions. Although traditional caps were much an integral part of dress customes for men in old days and were worn as a part of daily wear, these caps are now worn in an intricately fashionable way during functions with an aim to showcase the traditions of a particular tribe or society with pride.Take the example of a wedding for instance. The turban (headgear) of a groom is an important part of his wedding attire and catches much attention among the wedding invitees. The folds and the manner in which the wedding turban is worn by a groom has become one of the prime features of his wedding attire. Moreover, wedding turbans are often nowadays accessorized with a brooch to beautify it .
Turbans, Islamic caps etc are some examples of the popular kinds of traditional caps. However, India being home to a large number of tribes and societies, different kinds of caps exist in accordance with the tribe.
UPPER BODY GARMENTS
What is the everyday wear for Indian men? Yes, the answer of course is shirt and pants. Button down shirt is no doubt the routine upper body garment seen to be worn by men .Come hot weather , half-sleeved button down shirt is the norm , so is full-sleeved shirt for cold weather. One of the classy forms of menswear, the humble button down shirt has become such a common thing of the Indian society since the British stepped into the country’s soil.
However, no men can deny the fact that from the advent of the 2000s, T-shirt has become the quintessential outfit that began ruling every man’s heart. It has taken the fashion world of the country by such a storm that the usual favourite button down shirt took a backseat. Today men-young or old- are seen hitting the streets in different kinds of T-shirts. Crew necked, V-necked, scoop necked, Henley Y-necked, polo collared – every kind of T-shirt with varying kinds of sleeves are the common forms of menswear now.
Kurtas are the much favoured traditional forms of menswear even today. These dresses are worn with much aplomb in modern times too as they were worn during old days. Crisp cotton kurtas are generally seen to be donned by men who prefer traditional wear over modern wear . Silk kurtas are much commonly seen during festivals on majority of Indian men. To suit modern men’s tastes in fashion, kurtas also are given interesting cuts and designs, some of which includes assymetrical cuts, side, slit cuts, cowl shaped designs, high-collared designs, frock-shaped designs etc.
Coats are another outfit that is used as a defense measure against cold and to define classiness at the highest level. Sherwanis are the formal traditional coats that are mostly worn to show the status and position of a man. This long coat like garment of neck to waist length screams out a royal kind of look with the fine quality of the material used in its manufacturing, complex and beautiful eye appealing designs and its excellent shape. Waistcoats are another kind of coats popularized in the colonial era by Jawaharlal Nehru and now by Narendra Modi so much so that instead of being known as waistcoats they came to be called as Nehru/Modi jackets in accordance with the time period. Blazer coats can be termed as the classic corporate menswear and corporate honchos are proudly seen flaunting it in style mostly with a pen stucked in the pocket.
Have you ever heard of men wearing sarees? Well, Himangshu Verma, a Delhi-based man has been experimenting his fashion sense with sarees for a decade. Similarly, now, a handful of men who aren’ t afraid of breaking stereotypes are also found to be exploring saree as a part of menswear.
LOWER BODY GARMENTS
Trousers are the first choice preferred by the Indian men in order to cover the lower part of their bodies. However, the material of the trousers depends on the comfort and choice of the men. Trousers became the routine lower body garment after the arrival of the British in India.
Pyjamas are the oh-so-comfortable and life saving forms of clothing men always turns to when searching for breezy and cooling kind of outfits. The comfort pants ie. Pyjamas were worn by men during the rules of various Muslim dynasties and later adopted by the British as a form of night attire. Today, pyjamas are used by Indians both as a means of nightwear and formal wear.
Dhoti has been the ancient Indian menswear and now it is worn mostly during formal occasions. Today, with the taste and demands in new kinds of fashionable trends in traditional garments changing as per the convenience of male customers, designers have made dhotis with imaginable intricate pre-stitched folds. Moreover, for the comfort of the modern Indian men, dhotis are now manufactured and available as a ready to slip garment . However, the usual dhoti that needs to be wrapped are still worn by men. Like the sari worn in different styles by the Indian women, dhoti is also worn in different ways by Indian men.
Lungis are also a loose and breezy kind of outfit also preferred by some Indian men. Lungis are available in different colours and prints unlike in a dhoti which is mostly plain and does not feature prints.
Indian men have also started experimenting with skirts now just like sarees. Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh was spotted in a skirt once and some designers even showcased male models in skirts in fashion shows.
Shoes are considered as fashion accessories. However, it is a form of necessity to wear shoes in order to protect our feet and therefore it can be called as a mandatory form of fashion accessory. Mojaris or juttis is the upcoming formal shoe adored by modern men. Juttis have been the favourite of Rajput and Mughal royalty. The juttis of Indian kings were made with rich leather and were embedded with precious gems with intricate threadwork. These days, juttis for men are available in leather with beautiful threadwork designs. Apart from juttis, sneakers , floaters and flip flops are also quite the rage among Indian men.
Jewellery was quite the trend among men in ancient times. Brooches made of precious gems were used to adorn the silk turbans of the elite class. Multi-layered necklaces were the hottest form of jewellery worn by Rajputs and Mughals to exhibhit their regal splendour. Earrings were also a commonly found to be adorned by the kings. Nowadays, neckpieces and rings are seen to be sported by men. Sikh men are seen wearing mostly iron and steel bracelets. Men who does not fear of going beyond normal fashion are seen to sporting earrings too mostly in one ear though.
Apart from shoes and jewllery, belts and watches are the most known accessories spotted in men’s everyday wear.
With times changing, clothes and accessories of Indian men are also undergoing various kinds of changes and transformations. However, comfort, quality and affordability are the three main features that still are important in fashion of modern Indian men.