For those of you who think of Men’s wear as dull/ boring or mundane, think again. Let’s rewind to the decade that just passed. Some of India’s biggest mass market retail brands were the ones making headlines - Tata’s Westside, Arvind’s Arrow, Indigo Nation, Levi’s Strauss etc. Indian men wore largely what a lot of these domestic players offered and what the unorganised market had to offer. In short these were the people dictating what was trendy in Men’s wear and what Indian men needed to wear to look good and be fashion forward.
The stuff was largely the same with barely any distinction. Something that looked good on one brand’s shelf and was considered to be a fast seller would in no time be found in another competitor brand’s shelves. Such is the scenario in the Indian market in general. People follow, but seldom lead the way with path breaking innovation. Very few E-commerce giants had their portals up and running and online shopping was not what it is today.
The years passed and International brands began making inroads into the country. With fast fashion brands like Jack and Jones, Zara and H&M launching exclusive brand stores in prime locations in Metro cities across the country and eventually expanding into smaller cities, the way Indian men dressed was to change forever. Not to mention global e-commerce giants had taken over the way India shopped and gave one the convenience of sitting at home, picking from the best brands (that were not necessarily physically present in one’s city or town) and most importantly at marked down prices! Sometimes we stop to wonder what’s in store in the decades to come.
Not too long ago, employers had strict dressing guidelines they expected their employees to adhere to. For men, the formal work wear attire consisting - crisply pressed formal shirt, crisply pressed formal trousers and formal shoes were a staple in the wardrobe to work. Today however, we see a drastic shift in attitude and approach across a number of sectors of professional employment; barring a few.
Today’s man is daring to push boundaries taking cues from global fashion biggies. The understated Jogger pant has made inroads into the boardroom as has the tee shirt and sneaker; thereby blurring boundaries between work wear, casual wear or gym wear and giving rise to what we know today as ‘Athleisure’. Cropped pants in slimmer and tapered fits have replaced full length regular fit chinos just as effortlessly as printed tees in tropical prints, summer hats and braided belts have replaced the mundane work shirt.
Author: #Sneha Sundareshan