5 hot fashion lessons from Shahrukh Khan & Kajol

I’m an SRK fan, so despite the wonderful reviews (heh!) by critics and FB friends, I headed to downtown Yangon to watch Dilwale last weekend. The show was housefull and ticket scalpers were making good money. I was mostly interested in the Kajol-SRK on-screen romance, and their crackling chemistry and emotive eyes are the only bits of the film that I liked, even though it was shoddily scripted and directed. Anyways, somewhere amidst the plot twists, overtly-comical characters and extreme suspension of disbelief, I picked up some fashion tips from Shahrukh Khan and Kajol (or Kaali/ Raj and Meera).

Even if you abhorred the film or won’t watch it for a million dollars, these style lessons will hopefully inspire a tiny style upgrade or whole new look.

BTW, there is not one, not two but FOUR costume designers credited in the film so I have no idea who did the clothes for Shahrukh Khan and Kajol. If you do, let me know!

Lesson 1: Match your jacket with your shirt

SRK in Dilwale blue jacket

Jackets that match your shirt are the ultimate cool in men’s fashion. Just like what SRK’s wearing in the Bulgaria flashback. I say it’s the “ultimate cool” because it looks oh-so-mature and contrasts is so college-boyish (remember Kuch Kuch Hota Hai?). SRK sticks to black, grey and other muted colours, portraying a very chic European look.

Lesson 2: Skip the skinny

SRK in Dilwale blue jeans

So skinny jeans are all about showing off your shapely legs and there’s no doubt that SRK is superfit. But he’s dunked skinny jeans and chosen to wear straight fits instead. Why? Here’s a secret: skinny jeans are on their way out the trend door, especially since everyone and their grandma is wearing them. Meanwhile, jean legs are getting wider for both men and women and straight-fit denims or a slightly-flared bootcut is what you should wear like, right now, if you want to be fashion-forward.

Lesson 3: Go long if you’re a pear

Kajol in Dilwale

What do you do when you’re heavy in the lower half, but still want to look great on screen? One, you create the illusion of a waistline, and two, you go for longer lengths. So Kajol’s worn some gorgeous printed midi skirts- they cut off at just the right section of the waist, and they draw attention away from the bottom. Paired with blouses and sky-high heels, Kajol is rocking these skirts. And oh, she wears a printed maxi dress in a Goa scene. Fabulous!

Lesson 4: Smart blouses should be your daytime LBD

Kajol in Dilwale

I’ve always thought smart buttoned blouses to be a highly underrated garment. It makes anyone, and I mean anyone, look feminine, sophisticated and classy. If the blouse is a solid pastel, even more so. I especially loved Kajol’s gold-smuggling accident outfit- jeans, light peach blouse and matching open cardigan. Paired with a strong lip colour and pulled-back hair, it’s an easy peasy way to elegant style.

Lesson 5: Neutrals are nice

SRK Kajol in Dilwale

When in Europe, dress as the Europeans. Their colour palette may seem more restricted than ours, but even neutral tones can translate to great clothes if you pick the right garments and style your ensemble well. While SRK sticks to black and greys, Kajol opts for light pastels and blues, though she also adds some colour with her printed skirts.

BONUS: A lesson in colour: Less is more

Alas, the colour scheme changes drastically when they move to India (including the set design!) and the tad bit of tastefulness disappears as dozens of bright colours pop everywhere, even in SRK’s garage. Too many colours. Sigh! And then one day SRK heads to church in a parrot green shirt with matching jacket. Urghhh…. Why, why, why?!

TREND ALERT FOR MEN: Style tips to go short or long

Since it’s halfway through the year (what? June already?!), it’s time for a guy to update his wardrobe. There will always be tshirts and shirts to help change a man’s look, but how about updating your style with fashionable shorts and pants instead? From easy going shorts to comfortable jeans, here are some top choices and handy tips for the boys.

Shorts

Prints, checks, or good ol’ solids. Great for chilling at home, stepping out in the sun or for a beach vacation.

Trend Alert: Quirky prints on shorts (and shirts) are really hot right now. Play safe with polka dots and textures or go crazy with florals, camo prints.

Military print shorts from Ed Hardy

Ed Hardy mens military shorts

Linen shorts from Selected Homme (available on Jabong.com)

SHDott dark blue linen shorts H RS 3995

Denim shorts from Superdry

Denim shorts Superdry

Chinos

They’re comfy, easy and available in a range of colours. Chinos are quickly replacing jeans and formal trousers as the “smart casual” alternative to everything!

Trend Alert: After building up your chino collection with basics like khaki and black, stock up on bright blue, wine and olive green.

Complete look from Arrow

Arrow SS15 - Arrow chinos

Trousers from French Connection

FCUK blue chinos

Red chinos from Breakbounce

Breakbounce red chinos

Jeans

A man needs his jeans, no matter the season, the shade, the style.

Trend Alert: Skinny’s still in style, but wider leg and relaxed fits are slowly making a comeback. Look fashion forward already!

Complete look from Killer Jeans at Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2015

Killer Jeans Lakme Fashion Week SR 2015

Jeans from John Players

Mens Jeans John Players

Jeans from Lee

Lee mens jeans

Picks of the week: Avengers Age of Ultron tees

Yay! The awesome supervillain-thrashing team (aka Marvel superheroes) is returning this weekend in The Avengers: Age of Ultron! Now if you’re a true fanboy or girl, of course you need a tshirt declaring your love when you go watch the film. VoxPop has more than 50 super cool Avengers Age of Ultron t-shirts:

Avengers Tee-shirt

Avengers Tee-shirt

Avengers Tee -Shrit

Inspired by the superheroes and moments from the film, there are enough choices to spoil the fans: colours, graphics and themes. I’ve been browsing for a while now and it’s difficult to pinpoint a favourite (liking too many of them!).

Iron man Tee-shirt

Hulk Tee-Shirt

Iron man Tee-shirt

Special note for fangirls:

Ladies, this t-shirt collection may be for the boys, but don’t let that stop you. Buy a size that will look like an oversized tee. Then throw it over a spaghetti or racer back top, and let it show. Or you could shorten the length to make it a crop top. Wear skinny pants or shorts with coloured sneakers, and voila! Here comes the fangirl. 🙂

Shop The Avengers: Age of Ultron tshirts at VoxPopClothing.com (Price: Rs 799)

5 men’s summer fashion tips for newbies

This blog post is dedicated to all men who hesitate to experiment with their look (you all know who you are!). These mini-lessons will show you the way to an updated look for the season without stepping too far away from your comfort zone.

Ladies, if you know such hesitant, reluctant and boring men (and I’m sure you do!), use this guide as an inspirational piece to experiment on the men in your life, or push them to try out something new. 🙂

PS: Don’t miss the newbie tips, specially written for very reluctant men.

Think beyond checks: Printed shirt

So, printed shirts have been around for a couple of seasons already. But of course you’ve been sticking to solids and checks, right? You know something? Prints are not bad. Chosen carefully, the right prints for your personality and body type will make a strong statement about you.

Newbie tip: Florals freaking you out? Opt for “safer” prints like little dots and squares, or tiny abstract patterns. Just make sure the prints aren’t too big, too colourful or too eye-catching.

Shirt from 16stitches.com

16 stitches printed shirt

Get summer-ready: Linens

Linen blazers are a no-brainer for summer. They can look formal, and can be dressed up for an outdoors wedding or dressed down for a summer soiree.

Newbie tip: Choose a light, neutral shade that will go with almost all your shirts- such as off-white or light beige.

Look from Arrow

Arrow beige linen blazer

50 shades and more: Coloured shoes

Too many men have only black and tan shoes in their wardrobe. It’s time to add some colour—greens, beiges, blues… they’re all there!

Newbie tip: Start with a colour that’s already in your wardrobe, such as blue. Select a pair of shoes that’s similar or goes well with the chosen colour…. And you’re set.

Shoes from Mochi

Mochi green loafer shoes

Be playful: Round sunglasses

Aviators are a classic statement, but everyone’s wearing them all the time. If you’ve got the pizzazz, you can carry these off. And no, it won’t make you look girly. But it might just make you look like the cute teen you were once. 🙂

Newbie tip: Play safe with a round-ish frame with neutral colour rims.

Sunglasses from Fastrack

Fastrack red round sunglasses

Go retro: Bow tie

Maybe it’s to do with the Downton Abbey craze (of course men love the show too). Bow ties are making a comeback. And not just with tuxedoes or black tie events. The 21st century bow ties are quirky, cheeky and easy to wear. It’s perfectly alright to wear the “readymade” ones.

Newbie tip: To start with, choose a no-frills bow tie without patterns or prints. Wear your bow tie with a light-coloured solid shirt (such as white or baby blue), and stick to a similar colour scheme.

Bow tie from The Bro Code

The Bro Code Blue Bow Tie

Chic Picks: Hot leather travel bags for a cool summer

Summer time is vacation time, people! And every summer I get on the hunt for cool travel accessories since I believe in travelling stylishly. This season, I’ve found some great bags that will last you many many trips.

For travel, I strongly recommend a spacious, sturdy, durable bag to stash all your stuff- whether for an overnight trip, a weekend getaway, a cruise, a flight or a very long vacation. These leather bags from Viari are roomy, good-looking and multi-purpose. They even come with a shoe bag, so you can later carry them to gym or work.

For women: Soho travel bag, Rs 11,900

Lots of colours to choose from, but the tan one is an all-season classic.

Viari Soho Travel Bag Tan

For men: Camper Bag, Rs 6000

Gotta love the rugged look.

Viari Camper bag small Khaki

Happy holidays!

Are cricket players more fashion-conscious?

In the past century, fashion has evolved tremendously—from corsets to crop tops, and coat tails to tshirts. With hundreds of fashion brands vying for attention, people across the world have become more trendy and fashionable. Not surprisingly, two of the most glamourous fields in the world- fashion and sports- have collided and sports persons have turned into fashion icons. This global trend began with football player David Beckham early in the 21st century.

Just like fashion, cricket has evolved as well since the 1800s, and from being role models, cricketers have become style icons as well. Unfortunately, this seems to have come at a cost. The cost of True Style.

Imran Khan cricketer

Days of cricket past: When style went beyond fashion

Your personal style is a means of expression of your personality and is an all-encompassing concept, going beyond what you wear. Style reflects in your clothing and hair, the way you speak to someone, hold your fork, or write a letter. This traditional sense of true style was something the gentlemanly cricket players of the previous century possessed and practised. You couldn’t be dressed to the Ts and use abusive language like a drunken slob at the local pub.

For instance, the dignified Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi was known as much for his quiet charm as for his understated luxe clothing. The dashing Imran Khan made women swoon with his smart shirts and suits, thick wavy hair and his elegant conversation.

Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi

Cricket players have also sought different means to express their individuality and personality. With his carefully groomed side burns à la Elvis Presley, India’s “Brylcreem boy” Farokh Engineer was a vivacious, talkative man and continues to be one. While Sir Viv Richards with his swagger, doffed cap and murderous smile, epitomized Caribbean cool much before a certain Mr. Gayle.

Days of cricket present: Cricket and fashion in the 21st century

Some of the younger Indian and international cricketers are eager to try new trends or even forge their own trend. So Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh carry off grungy jeans with elan, while Kevin Pietersen’s super confidence puts him equally at ease in a printed tee and chinos, as well as in a tailored suit. His versatile style is the envy of a lot of young men.

Virat Kohli tee and jeans

Off duty, most cricketers like to play safe with their fashion and opt for well-known international fashion brands (a number of them often go shopping on their overseas tours). Of course, there is more focus on personal grooming, along with hot trends, high street and premium fashion. Famous cricketers have been spotted in brands like Ed Hardy (Harbhajan Singh), French Connection (Shikhar Dhawan), Lacoste (Michael Clarke) and H&M (Virat Kohli). At formal events several cricketers sport designer suits from luxury brands.

Current off-duty styles

Off the field, the gentlemen (and fashion icons) of today’s cricketing world have opted for a range of looks and styles, such as:

  • Classic– Neutrals like white and black with straight cut jeans (favoured by Kumar Sangakkara, Alastair Cooke)

Kumar Sangakkara

  • Grungy – Distressed jeans, acid washed denim, printed graphic tees (loved by Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, AB de Villiers)
  • Sporty– Polo shirts with badges, casual shirts with chinos and jeans (such as Brendon McCullum, Graeme Smith)

Graeme Smith polo tee

  • Versatile– Wear a range of looks (like Kevin Pietersen, Brett Lee)

Kevin Pietersen

On-field fashion

The current crop of cricketers also set out to express their individuality on the field as well. Despite being in uniform, their distinctive features stand out:

  • Tattoos: Brendon McCullum, Kevin Pietersen, Dale Steyn

Brendon-McCullum

  • Hair: Lasith Malinga’s coloured locks, Brett Lee’s spikes, MS Dhoni’s ever-changing hair styles

Lasith Malinga hair

  • Sunglasses: Chris Gayle, Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh

Chris Gayle

  • Facial hair: Shikhar Dhawan’s curled moustache and stubble, Mitchell Johnson’s handlebar moustache, Ravindra Jadeja’s royalty-inspired moustache

Mitchell Johnson

Style, fashion and “uniforms”

In the first decade of this century, the idea of style has given way to “fashion statements”, and thus style has become equated only with what you wear. Men and women have become clones when it comes to sartorial choices (solid or graphic tees, skinny jeans, chinos and sneakers). These off-the-field “uniforms” may make you feel part of the peer group, but they don’t express your personality or style.

This limited definition of style has unfortunately percolated to current cricket players as well. While some of them may make a strong fashion statement, their unique style is lacking and invisible. Let me explain: I have never met Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, nor do I recall watching or reading any interview with that legendary cricketer. Yet, one look at his off-duty picture and I am convinced that if I were to meet him, he would be a true gentleman- courteous, respectful, benevolent and, of course, charming. That is the magnetic power of True Style.

True, we shouldn’t judge a wearer by his or her clothes, but what about style as a holistic concept? Somewhere in the past few decades, individual, meaningful True Style has almost disappeared.

Bodyline (sorry, bottomline): Style vs Fashion

Yep, cricket players these days are smart, suave and well-groomed. Some of them endorse fashion brands, appear on fashion magazine covers and sell beauty products, while others are trying their hand at fashion themselves (Virat Kohli’s fashion line WROGN and Zaheer Khan for Sher Singh).

Shikhar Dhawan GQ India

With the overwhelming number of clothing and accessory options for cricket players today, the bright young lot these days is more fashion-conscious than ever. Despite this, the timeless appeal of the erstwhile cricket players is universal, eternal and magical. Young people across the world may want to copy the current players’ clothes, but how many can truly emulate the charm of Pataudi, the playfulness of King Viv, or the elegance of Imran Khan? Now THAT is True Style.

This blog post is an entry for the Blogger Dream Team activity run by Blogmint. (Check out #BloggerDreamTeam on Twitter.)

Pick of the Week: Cool kurtas to wear this Diwali

It’s Diwali week! I’ve always loved the Festival of Lights and especially enjoy dressing up for the festivities. As a kid, Diwali meant a shopping spree which was super tiring, but now I’m game for new clothes anytime. 🙂 And since Diwali is not limited to just one day, what you need in your wardrobe is a cool kurta. A lightly embellished kurta will see you through the extended festive weekend.

So here are my top picks for Diwali kurtas.

Kurta for women

Silk kurta Rs 3600 on Limeroad.com

This silk kurta with its self-embroidery effect has a luxurious feel, making it perfect for small family gatherings and card parties. Loving the colour and slightly glossy fabric finish!

Wear with: Contrast churidar and dupatta

Accessorise with: Kolhapuri wedges

Available at: Limeroad.com, Rs 3600

Kurta for men:

Striped-Aqua-Blue-Kurta from Jabong, Rs 3299

I was sold on this kurta for Diwali when I saw the lovely aqua blue. This embroidered kurta is perfect for the Diwali and Bhai Dooj celebrations at home, and you can wear it to upcoming wedding celebrations.

Wear with: Slim-fit pants or churidar

Accessorise with: Open-toed slip-ons

Available at: Jabong.com, Rs 3299

LFW SR 2013: Men’s accessories of the week

LFW SR 2013: Men’s accessories of the week

Surprise, surprise! Men’s accessories suddenly grabbed the spotlight at Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort 2013. Here’s a look at the top accessories for the guys:

Bags

Bags for boys were spotted in several shows—Shantanu-Nikhil and Arjun Khanna, to name a few

Arjun Khanna LFW SR 2013

Shantanu Nikhil LFW SR 2013

Brooches

Elegance personified at Rohit & Abhishek for Woven Gold.

Brooches at Rohit-Abhishek for Woven Gold

Shoes

High-top sneakers at Kunal Rawal are the ultimate in cool shoes!

Kunal Rawal shoes LFW SR 2013

Mojris aren’t usually seen in fashion shows, so this was a pleasant surprise at the Rohit & Abhishek show.

Shoes at Rohit-Abhishek LFW SR 2013

LFW SR 2013: Sanjay Hingu plays with neon colours and details for men

LFW SR 2013: Sanjay Hingu plays with neon colours and details for men

There are very few menswear designers who can create collections that make an impact. Sanjay Hingu is one of them. For Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort 2013, he used just a few colours in the collection. So green, brown and red dominated,  while neon pink made a guest appearance. This hot colour was on piping, lapels, collars and button plackets. The colour also peeked out from below jackets (on shirts). I like how he kept the jackets and pants simple, but played around with the few colours and details for attractive evening (and maybe even day) outfits for guys.

Sanjay Hingu at LFW SR 2013

Sanjay Hingu at LFW SR 2013

Sanjay Hingu at LFW SR 2013

I can imagine men not liking the idea of wearing a neon colour,  but if Indian men can wear maroon, yellow and green pants, why not just a bit of neon in their ensemble? Now that they are daring to wear colours, might as well wear them loud and proud!

Chic Opinion: Why Indian men are obsessed with shoes

Chic Opinion: Why  Indian men are obsessed with shoes

It’s true– Indian men love shoes, and they love them more than Indian women. Here’s proof:

 

Google Trends- shoes for men

 

This graph shows the relative volume of searches done in the past one year in India for the terms “men shoes” and “women shoes”. Terms like “shoes for men” and “shoes for women” show similar trends. Surprised? So was I!

As the Google trend chart indicates, men’s shoes are way more popular than women’s shoes in India (globally the search trend is just the opposite). So does that mean Indian men are more interested in shoes than women? Well, it does seem to be so.

With most Indian women complaining that the guys here are just not fashionable, this little statistic has been puzzling me for a while now. Most women I spoke to said they knew guys who loved shoes but just didn’t know why.

image

To get some answers, I went straight to the source- guys I know who love shoes. This includes a colleague who loves wearing coloured shoes to work (our office dress code is smart casual) and a couple of friends. Here’s what they had to say:

Men have fewer fashion choices or options to change their look. There’s tshirts and shirts, jeans and trousers on a normal day. So how do you get some variety? With accessories, specifically shoes.

image

Watches are expensive, ties are almost redundant and in India you don’t get to experiment much with jewellery like cuff links or chains. Changing the shoes are an easy and inexpensive way to update a look.

Guys like to stick to specific types of shirts or styles (they even buy multiple pieces of a single garment at one time), and often repeat jeans throughout the week, so the lack of variety is made up with a change in footwear.

I think this seems to be a reasonable enough explanation. What do you think?

PS- Ladies, next time your man complains about your footwear collection, point to his shoe rack. And men, there’s nothing to be ashamed about- women completely understand what shoe love is, so admit it. 🙂