At most global and Indian fashion weeks, there is conversation around easing the rigidity of corporate menswear. It could be about sporting baggy trousers with a formal shirt, carrying a funky backpack with a suit, wearing a zippered shirt with pleated trousers, slapping on a quirky cravat, tie or pocket square with a structured look, slipping into a pair of printed socks. However, getting that spot-on tip is not always easy. So we asked two designers to share their tricks on how to make trite office formals interesting.
Dhruv Kapur of DRVV
■ Let suits go extremely angular and sharper. It not only makes you look like a power player, but adds a dynamic element. For example, most suit jackets have a soft look because of their curved hemlines. Opt for sharp and straight hemlines instead.
■Try a turtle neck (T-shirt or cardigan) under your blazer. It is in vogue and will make you look really cool.
■ Combine lengths which normally do not belong together. For example, a regular suit jacket (say 30 inches in length) can be worn with a longer shirt (say 40 inches). Let the shirt show from under the blazer. For a visually balanced look, shorter men could show about 2-4 inches of the shirt, not more.
■ Wear a shirt that is cut differently. It could have a diagonal closure, an in-built cravat, or a tie or bow-tie directly incorporated into your collar. This cuts down on the layers and looks chic.
■ Experiment with collar and lapel styles of your suit jackets. And then make a statement—go entirely collarless (in shirts).
Nikhil Sharma of Lacquer Embassy
■Mix up different styles, colours and patterns, but maintain harmony. For example, wear a navy patterned shirt and a small polka-dotted jumper with a pair of smart khaki chinos.
■ Choose shirts in soft autumn colours—light grey, petrol blue, or sage (green)—and wear them with slim ties in bolder shades.
■ Slip into loafers, oxfords, derbies, brogues, monks or sport casual shoes. Team them with striped, polka-dotted, houndstooth or herringbone socks to add that little quirky element to your looks.
■Try classic navy twill or grey, single-breast wool blazer with notch lapels and wear with neutral or bright-coloured shirts.
■ Invest in base-coloured shapes, like navy or camel slim-fit trousers in a medium-weight fabric, and charcoal, navy or black cardigans to help balance out the experimental looks with coloured shirts or printed socks.