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Ambud Sharma

Ambud Sharma - Founder & CEO at Ligo Group/ Escaro Royale.

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Evolution Of Men’s Fashion Has Changed The Dynamics Of Men’s Styling In India

Indian men today are aware that accessories help complete an outfit and are willing to pay premium prices for accessories that create a desirable appearance.

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The evolution of Indian men’s sartorial quotient is visible on screen and magazines. Attire sported by Bollywood stars in the 1960s and 1970s consisted of bell bottoms or plaid pants inspiring a generation of Indian men to wear them. However, today fashion is more robust than even a decade ago. An important reason for this is the expansion of the media landscape. Indian men no longer simply wear what movie stars wear, rather their choice in attire is shaped by influencers, athletes, bloggers, fashion consultants, fashion designers, global trends, a rich social media landscape, friends, and of courses Bollywood and Hollywood.

Fashion today is about individual expression. Trendy urban Indian men and even many in rural areas aren’t afraid to stand out by wearing attire that’s different. While conformity is still valued, being distinct is as well. And fashion has moved beyond traditional sartorial choices and encompasses everything from eyewear, backpacks, wristwatches, footwear, cuffs, and pocket squares.

Indian Brands Feeding Men’s Fashion Appetite 

Over the past decade, Indian fashion brands have arrived. Some of the most sought after apparel is sold under Indian labels. A new generation of Indian consumers are no longer only impressed by foreign labels and doesn’t look down on India ones, far from it. Niche Indian fashion brands have legions of loyal followers.

A re-discovery of traditional Indian fabrics is visible. Indian brands and designers are creating garments made from heritage fabrics like khadi. Leading designers like Rohit Bal have added their flamboyance to this otherwise humble fabric. Indian men are buying garments made from Khadi, not just to advertise traditionalism, but also because brands are presenting khadi garments in a fresh avatar.  

Fashion accessories like pocket squares and cuffs have caught Indian men’s fancy. Men know that looking good requires paying attention to detail.  By carefully selecting cuffs and pocket squares Indian men are adding finishing touches to their attires. Pocket squares favoured by men tend to be bright and eye catching. When, accompanied with distinguished bespoke cuffs, pocket squares placed in a breast pocket create a striking image.  

Indian men are doing away with stuffy formal suits and replacing them with sleek ones having sharp lines. The evolution of Indian men also clearly indicates a preference for quality over quantity. An Indian man today is more likely to purchase a single suit of exceptional quality than 3 mediocre suits. With this in mind, Indian brands are crafting suits that signal precision and sophistication as opposed to simple decorum.

One of the most important developments among Indian men is their appreciation for quality footwear. Unlike members of the earlier generation who never felt the need for more than 1 formal pair of shoes, today’s youngsters have several pairs of well made formal dress shoes. Indian men like to draw attention their dress shoes by keeping them well polished. Great care is exerted in selecting the right polish and while polishing formal shoes. 

Importantly, a greater sense of individuality among Indian men is on display today than ever before. This is also leading fashion brands to craft unique narratives about themselves to attract Indian men. Narratives that advertise exclusivity attract Indian men, as do narratives about adventure and openness.  

Indian Men Demand Quirky Products

In 2019, runways have been witness to men wearing saris. While few if any men would be as bold as to wear them off-ramp, their emergence signals Indian fashion has evolved dramatically beyond button-down shirts, trousers, and athletic wear.

The influence of celebrities in shaping fashion is highly visible. Love his fashion sense or hate it, there’s no denying Ranveer Singh is a major fashion influencer. Indian men are eagerly emulating his fashion sense by buying over the top garments. Demand for sherwanis like those worn by him is growing as is demand for resplendent shirts.

The demand for kurta pajamas topped with button down waistcoats signals a blending of the traditional and contemporary. Ideas emanating from across the globe are captivating Indian audiences who want to signal their broad worldview by wearing garments that fuse the traditional with the most modern.  

Men have always cared about their appearance, what’s different today is fashion brands are in a position to satiate men's desire to look good. The relationship between Indian brands and men is a symbiotic one in which labels anticipate trends and design apparel likely to be well received. When men buy apparel, they signal to labels if they have their finger on the pulse of the fashion industry. Importantly, Indian men today are aware that accessories help complete an outfit and are willing to pay premium prices for accessories that create a desirable appearance.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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