Go for gold
T-shirts embellished with gold are no longer just for the ladies. Don’t be shy to show your love for bling, but do it subtly, like Hrithik Roshan does. His dark tee with a motif in one corner stands out, but doesn’t make him look as if he’s related to the Lahiris. Designer Arjun Khanna says metallic prints, transfers, foil embossing and sequins, especially in gold, are a trend. But only wear them casually, never under a formal suit, he warns. Rahul Khanna, one half of design label Cue, says they’re stylish when paired with jeans, but the look is best on younger men. “These tees would look awkward with formal trousers,” he says. “If you want to wear them, be slightly outrageous: Try them with jeans, New Age sneakers in metallics and big aviators.”
White doesn’t always equal Jumping Jack
White sneakers are a popular star trend, even on the red carpet. Dino Morea’s pair with coloured strips are casual-cool, while Arjun Rampal and Zayed Khan’s have quilted detailing. It’s a hot trend, says designer Rahul Khanna. “It’s acceptable to wear sneakers out in the evening. They should be slightly dressier than normal, could have stripes or checks, could be crafted from patent leather, or with a distressed look,” he says. Khanna advocates them for times when you want to wear a classic jeans-and-tee, but still stand out. “Highlight your sneakers by wearing jeans and a simple black or white shirt. Keep the clothes basic, so the shoe can stand out as the cool element.”
Shirts should add some drama
There’s nothing like a striped shirt worn under a business suit in the boardroom. But give them a rest when you’re wearing a suit for an evening out like Shah Rukh Khan and Dino Morea do. Khan’s rich claret-coloured shirt is a great way to dress up a dark suit and stand out in a crowd. Morea’s dark one-button jacket and white pocket square would have looked too stiff and formal without the white kurta-like Chinese collar shirt. The black and white contrast looks chic, and the shirt is casual enough to make the ensemble look effortless. To make a suit more interesting (and casual), designer Aki Narula’s tip is to play with collars. “Leave the traditional collared shirt, and try options such as the band collar or a Mandarin collar,” he says. Narula also recommends keeping the texture of the jacket and shirt completely different. “If you have a houndstooth, herringbone, or even plain navy jacket, wear a linen or textured shirt with it,” he says.
Take jackets outside the boardroom
When wearing semi-formal jackets in fabrics such as linen, corduroy or velvet, keep the rest of your look casual. Khanna says faded blue or off-white denims look good with linen and casual jackets. “It looks great if you wear a T-shirt under these jackets,” he says. For the evening, designer Narendra Kumar picks a heavy fabric such as denim, but suggests keeping the jacket unlined or half-lined. It can be paired with chinos, and a printed tee, or a linen shirt. Kunal Kapoor gets it right with a white shirt, a dark velvet jacket and well-fitted jeans, while the wide-necked white tee gives Shiney Ahuja’s formal jacket a casual air. For the feet, Khanna recommends slip-ons, or shoes without laces, to keep the look relaxed—much like John Abraham’s sandals. Abhishek Bachchan’s jacket is a heavy piece in corduroy, but he keeps it fresh with the open shirt and upturned yellow collar.