It’s time you shrugged off those boring formals, mundane greys and browns and strait-jacket suits. The new definition of men’s workwear is here.
They say that men with style have a good of sense of self. Gone are the days when business and work required only talent, intellect and one lone suit for those high-profile meetings and corporate occasions. While looking dapper for isolated evening dos is quite a breeze, perfectly coordinating the outfit you wear to work daily can seem like a Herculean task. That’s precisely why we’ve come up with this season’s rule of thumb: There are no rules!
That’s right. It’s time for you to break every stereotype and experiment with offbeat prints, colours, fabrics and styles. It’s time to embrace change in workwear and aim at packing a punch every single day. And those who are a page behind, here’s a lowdown on how to achieve that distinctiveness, which will help you both blend and stand out amidst your peers at work:
PRINTS & PATTERNS
According to Kamakshi Kaul, Head Designer, Max Fashions, “We’re moving away from stripes and checks as one also has an option of choosing a whole lot of understated prints in formalwear such as dots and micro prints.” Whereas, Jayanth G, Head of Design, Menswear at Allen Solly, believes that patterns like Tartan check and big, bold stripes have made the office-wear space far more interesting and individualised. “One can opt for a shirt with ditsy, small floral prints or a geometric pattern that looks like a texture, and pair it with the right neutral trousers and a blazer to make it appropriate for the office environment.”
FABRIC & FIT
It’s time you look beyond cottons and linens. Ruchika Dhupar, Styling Consultant at luxury retail brand, Fervour, recommends experimentation by way of combining fabrics from the opposite end of the spectrum. “A mix of wools and silks can add richness, depth and interest to any fall ensemble.” And, as far as the fit is concerned, “workwear is getting a makeover with close to body fits in shirts and trousers. The new age patterns with the flexi-waist trousers ensure one looks dapper without compromising on comfort,” Kamakshi points out. Needless to say, it is best to avoid fabric that wrinkles easily.
Conventional greys and blues have made way for splashes like citrus yellows, emerald greens and brick reds. While pastels tend to suit most Indian men, yellows and browns make you seem more approachable. Green helps you look calm and reassuring, and purple hints at ingenuity.
Jayanth says, “The trick to look suave and stylish and not stick out like a sore thumb is to ensure that one carries these shirts and trousers with khaki, navy or grey blazer, which neutralises the brightness of the shirt. One can also pair bright shirts with washed khaki chinos or navy cotton trousers that make the look effortless, yet stylish and dressed up.” Accent a classic menswear colour palette of blues and browns with rich colours like burgundy, deep blues and greens. Ruchika suggests, “Choose similar colours, especially in cases where you want to combine two bright pieces. You can either go from a monotone look with your suits, or mix complementary colours. But remember that one of the colours should be brighter than the other.” And, unless you want to turn up at work looking like a mad-hatter at a tea-party, do not wear many colours at once. Bear in mind that lighter colours indicate amiability, the darker ones hint authority. So for formal events, your outfit should showcase no more than two solid colours. The key lies in simplistic styles.
As they say, the devil is in the details. In this case, it’s in those minute touches that enhance the overall appeal of your workwear. Kamakshi states, “Choose fun and quirky prints for ties in complimenting colours of your shirt to brighten up your look. A dash of bright colour can also be added in the form of socks playing peek-a-boo between formal, understated pants and formal shoes.”
Brougues and Oxford shoes in tan and brown are musthaves as they can be paired with most trousers. Similarly, braided belts in browns and blacks, and textured leather belts add a lot of flair without making one look too gaudy and loud in an office space. Jayanth says, “If one wears a blazer, a right pocket square that is printed with bright colours can liven up even the weariest outfit.” That apart, a scarf, tie or even a pair of suspenders can add to a sharp casual work-look.