Wrap it up

With dipping mercury levels, a large percentage of men are taking to the popular and essential neckwear ——- THE SCARF.
Unlike before, scarves or stoles, for men, can now be found across a wide range from luxury brands like Alexander McQueen and Louis Vuitton to those from Indian designers.
Further, scarves are no longer boring with dull and plain patterns.  The latest ones that have hit the markets are dressy with some elegant patterns like Polka dots and Foulard.  Besides being an essential accessory, scarves add a strong element of style, especially when they introduce colour to an otherwise bland outfit.
Mumbai-based stylist Karan Singh says, “The most important element to consider while picking a scarf is the comfort factor.  It should be effortless and it’s also important to keep the rest of the outfit simple so it isn’t competing with the scarf for attention.”  —-Wearing a scarf properly is quite an easy task.  However, if you’re still baffled about how to wear one, here are some easy tips.
CLASSIC FLIP : Wrap it around your neck and let the ends fall loose in front.  This style is best worn inside your overcoat.
PARISIAN KNOT : Take the scarf in both hands and fold it over, lengthwise, drape it around your neck, insert the loose ends through the loop hanging in front of you and pull them through.  This knot looks great with a leather jacket or blazer.
TWICE-AROUND KNOT : This style works best with long scarves.  Wrap the scarf around your neck with both ends to the front.  The right side should be twice as long.  Wrap the right side once around your neck ending in the front.  Cross the right end over the left one, bring it behind the left end and pass it to the front, forming a knot.  Adjust the knot closer to your neck.
OVERHAND KNOT : Lay your scarf over your shoulders.  Now take both ends and tie them over and under, similar to when you do your long shoe laces.  Now adjust the front and tighten it.  ——————– Style Sutra.


ESPADRILLES are to loafers what UGGS are to boots.  These canvas shoes with a jute sole —- once merely a Spanish peasant shoe —- has become the footwear of choice for celebrities.  For the past few years, this style of shoes has been making its presence.
JUTE SOLES are what distinguish these shoes from other footwear.  Usually flat, ESPADRILLES are now available in wedges and heels and sport colourful fronts.  Owing to their popularity at street stores and designer boutiques, ESPADRILLES come in many styles, such as open-toe, back-open, slip-ons, with tie-up laces or as gladiator sandals.  Stylist Pernia Qureshi says that espadrilles are gaining popularity because they are casual and comfortable.  “These shoes  pair perfectly with shorts, dresses, denims and almost anything casual,” she says.  She recommends women pair wedge espadrilles with a lose-fitting top, cotton shorts and a big tote.
Image Consultant Yatan Ahluwalia says that with lighter hues ruling men’s fashion, espadrilles can be used to add colour to men’s attire.  “Textured, coloured or striped are suitable to laidback leisure look,” he advises.  Bright numbers are best sported with an all-white or muted ensemble.  Slip-on and flat espadrilles best suit men.
———– Amin Ali. 

A dash of yellow

It may be the most difficult colour to pull off, but yellow has heavily featured in this year’s (2014) men’s fashion collection.  Too much yellow can be an eyesore and men are advised to exercise caution while adding yellow to their daily wardrobe.
Getting the tone right is getting the trend right.  Fashion designer Samant Chauhan insists on sticking to lighter hues of yellow.  LEMON YELLOW is the colour of the season.  He advises the shade be paired with beige pants or blue denims, and should never be contrasted with dark brown or black apparel.  Yellow in cotton or linen blends can look classy and prep up your look, while the same shade in polyester or any other shiny fabric can completely mar it.
Says fashion designer Asish N. Soni, “When selecting a yellow item, pay attention to your skin tone.  The darker your skin tone, the brighter the colour you can experiment with.  Those with very pale skin, should choose lighter to medium hues.”  Adding this particular colour to their wardrobe, is a first for many men.  Stylists have noticed that men try different shades, but usually give yellow a miss.  Image consultant and a specialist on men’s style and grooming, Yatan Ahluwalia says, “A POCKET SQUARE or a TIE is a great way to start incorporating yellow in your wardrobe.”  Accessories like cufflinks, backpacks, watches, frames for sunglasses and belts in yellow are his recommendations.  But, even for the most daring dudes, he suggests steering clear of a full yellow suit.

Trieste – the city of fashion

The mysteriously under-rated city of TRIESTE, nudging the border with Slovenia in Italy’s far north-east, is known for its stately HABSBURG-era architecture, exquisite coffee and traditional regattas.
But, for a few days every year in July, it is one of the most important places to discover the next best thing in the WORLD OF FASHION DESIGN.  The International Talent Support (ITS) contest, launched in 2002, has invited students from 70 countries ——-spanning a network of 1000 schools and Universities –to compete for a lot of awards —— celebrating clothes, jewellery, accessories, and for the first time this year —-2014 —- ART.
ITS Director, Barbara Franchin says, “This is all about young creativity, and so we must offer the youngsters —–friendship and support.  This year’s theme —— LUCID DREAMS —– It’s about whimsical humour and flights of fancy.
Renzo Rosso, founder and CEO of OTB International said, “The best creativity comes from CRAZY DREAMS”.  A machine, resembling the OCULUS RIFT, took visitors on a fully immersive, customised, virtual reality tour, starting from the exhibition hall and ending up free-falling into a lake suspended in mid-air. —George Webster (CNN)

The moustache

From the lustrous whiskers of England’s Medieval Knights to Magnum, PI and Movember —–Lucinda Hawksley charts the changing fashion of the HIRSUTE UPPER LIP.
Throughout History, facial hair has fallen, in and out of fashion.  Hairy faces have been lauded, derided, immortalised in art and legislated against.  The RISE and the CURL of the MOUSTACHE has never been STRAIGHTFORWARD.
Since the 1st caveman picked up a hinged shell and tweezered whiskers from his face, men have shaped their facial growth.  Over the centuries, the MOUSTACHE has been more popular sometimes, less so at others —–but it never disappears entirely.
As Social History goes through new and varied phases, so does POGONOTROPHY (the act of cultivating facial hair).  England’s Medieval Knights, had armour made to accommodate their lustrous moustaches.  In the 14th Century, Edward, Prince of Wales, was commemorated by an effigy in Canterbury Cathedral.  It shows the Prince in full battle-dress, with chain-mail encasing his face and neck, but allowing his long whiskers to flow over the top.
The MOUSTACHE, as a fashion symbol, really came into its own in England following the heavily-bearded Elizabethan Era.  King James-I was proud of his DAPPER MOUSTACHE.  His son, King Charles -I, made the GOATEE & HANDLEBAR MOUSTACHE ICONIC.  Sheer jealousy of the monarch’s magnificent moustache, led Oliver Cromwell to lead a REPUBLICAN REVOLUTION.  He not only executed the King, but also one of the King’s loyal followers.
During the late 17th Century, beards fell, spectacularly, out of fashion in Europe —–helped in Russia by Tsar Peter the Great’s BEARD TAX.  The younger generation, eventually, kicked out against all this hairy fashion.  They wanted to emulate a poet, who was ‘mad, bad, and dangerous to know’.  Lord Byron kept his face free of hair, except f  or a ROMANTICALLY CURLING SLENDER MOUSTACHE.  For several decades, The BYRONIC STYLE was the sexiest look around, and moustaches ruled the roost.  But in 1854, with the Crimean War, there was a return of the MASSIVE BEARD.
The moustache had become the symbol of the modern man.  In 1920, Agatha Christie, in her 1st crime novel —–THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES, introduced Hercule Poirot and his famous moustache.  In Hollywood, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn and Ronald Colman sported moustaches, that could make a heroine swoon. In the 1960s and 1970s, beards were back with a vengeance and the moustache faded into insignificance.
The world’s longest moustache belongs to RAM SINGH CHAUHAN, from India.  In 2010, it reached to over 14ft in length, when it was measured for the Guiness Book of Records.
History has shown that FACIAL HAIR FASHION, can be as mercurial as the platform shoe and high-waisted trousers, but for the moment, the moustache is well and truly back.

Turban Headwrap

Once, just worn at music festivals, the TURBANED LOOK is back.  Several designers have been styling their collections with this accessory, that can also work as a HEADBAND.
KEY POINTS TO WEARING ONE : —–(1) Be Confident : This is totally different to try, and you are also hiding your hair, so if you are not comfortable, IT WILL SHOW.
(2) Keep It Simple : Let the rest of the outfit be in single colour monochrome OR wear plain white or cream.
(3) If you want to wear one, to work casually, try a FLORAL TURBAN, over a simple black top and slim pants.
(4) For a night about town, go for one, with a shimmer material OR in black lace.
(5) Make use of extra fabric strips, by stitching them together, and creating your OWN TURBAN HEADBAND.
—–Ismat Tahseen

The bow tie is back!

f5393b0e_wide-lapels-bow-tie-submit-trashnessBlast from the past :— The bow tie was the key I the signature looks of iconic Hollywood actors : Humphrey Bogart, Fred Astaire and Frank Sinatra to comedians Charlie Chaplin and Pee-wee Herman and personalities like Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Groucho Marx.

When you wear a bow tie, doors open for you.  Your posture is a little more erect, your shoulders are a little further back, your style is a little more dynamic.  Its about the re-establishment of the gentleman.  After becoming the weapon of choice for golden Hollywood greats, the bow tie was lost in fashion wilderness for decades.  Since last year, it is back from exile in such a big way that it is practically taking over the necktie.  Bow ties are neat and suggestive of cheekiness, they have a major advantage over the necktie, especially for sloppy eaters.  Bow ties used to be restricted to formal events.  Now they have been brought into casual and semi-formal wear.  They are being teamed with short suits, shirts and jeans.  They are being experimented with prints and colours and even substituting the blazer with leather jackets. 

brad_pitt_traje_negro_camisa_bThis men’s accessory dates back to the 17th century.  Croatian soldiers who travelled to France in support of King Louis tied a bow around their necks to keep their shirts closed and protect themselves from the wind and rain, since buttoned shirts were not available at the time.  King Louis was so impressed, that he made it mandatory for his upper class subjects to wear these bow ties at the palace.  over time, the fabric of the bow tie changed from white cotton to silk.  These days the bow tie comes in one piece that must be knotted and in a pre-tied option which has two clips that easily attach to the collar..  The modern avatar of the bow tie includes a variety of options from polka dotted and plaid to pinstriped.  A black and white suit or tuxedo with a black bow tie—–spells class.  Bow ties and plaid shirts are a match made in menswear heaven.  If the checked shirt is multi-coloured, do not wear a printed bow tie.  But if the plaid shirt is red and white, wear a red or black bow tie.  A lively substitute to the necktie, this men’s accessory has been irresistible this season. ——–Kasmin Fernandes@timesgroup.com