31. Build a classic wardrobe

31. Build a classic wardrobe

Next year, take a look at those classics. Take time, visit the trial rooms of every showroom before you decide to pick the best. Most of us love shopping enough to spend lots of time on it. Why still go with the impulse buying then?

Gentlemen, start your engines

Ravi Bajaj classifies what he calls the classics for the new cosmopolitan man

The Italian tailored cut in a suit:From a hundred years ago and till today, it’s the most lasting thing. For instance, the (Ermenegildo) Zegna fit: something that is nicely sculpted, has soft shoulders, made in pure fabrics; it’ll last you forever. Well-tailored clothes are the most important things in menswear. In

Plaid jacket: It may be old-school but it’s sharp fashion. In three basic patterns, windowpane, glen plaid and Prince of Wales, depending on how closely the horizontal and vertical pinstripes intersect to make checks—a plaid suit has to be part of your wardrobe. With it, you’re straddling the middle path and the avant-garde at the same time.

Bandhgala: Velvet is a beautiful, rich material and a deep shade of purple will look stunning. A bandhgala can be formal evening-wear or it can be made trendy with a pair of jeans.

Floral print shirt and tie: Fashion is about fun. It’s less necessity and more indulgence. A floral shirt and tie will brighten your wardrobe. For a necktie, avoid anything too skinny. A slim tie calls for a jacket with slim lapels

Blue suede shoes: No wonder there’s an Elvis song for them; blue suede loafers can add the casual, chic, resort-wear touch to any ensemble.

Black patent leather shoes: There cannot be a classics list without these. Tradition calls for them, fashion calls for them, any wardrobe worth its salt calls for them.

Ladies vs fickle fashion

A thumb rule that most stylists follow is to highlight your assets and hide your flaws. ‘Go with that philosophy and then have fun,’ says Adajania

Little white dress: This is the Sicilian twist to the Little Black

Fitted shirt: This unconventional but well-fitted military green or navy blue shirt is a good thing to have. Teamed with a fitted knee-length skirt, this makes for secretary chic. And it works as an amazing layer over a sleeveless dress as well.

White wide-legged pants: Such a pair can be worn with simple T-shirts on weekends, or straight-cut kurtas for a more formal do. Add a lace trim for some fun.

The ‘Never Fail’ jacket:Pick something that has structure and style, and gives you an instant “power" look. It should be a jacket that gives your look a lift, no matter what you combine it with—a frock dress, a pair of jeans or black pants.

Sling bag:In a bold colour and preferably a square shape, it works with both casual and party looks.

Movie-star sunglasses: Have a pair of basic chrome aviators, or if

Vintage accessories:This is something that cannot be done in a hurry at all. Like, I love 1980s gold costume jewellery and I’ve been picking up pieces over the years. Look out for a few big earrings and statement pieces that can lift any ensemble.

Flirty printed dress: A dress that mixes a couple of patterns, along with a Havana hat and your movie-star sunglasses, and you have a perfect weekend or brunch look.

Made-for-you jeans: It’s important to buy the right jeans for your body type, and not necessarily go by what the trend is. Try 50 pairs if you have to, in different shapes, some really low-rise, some high. Bend over, sit and see how they fit. It needs to look like these jeans are made for your body. If your legs are shorter, buy straight-cut or boot-cut, go for skinny only if you have long legs. The length is important. It should look good with flats and should be long enough to accommodate heels.

Shoe wardrobe: It’s crucial to have the right shoe, for the right occasion, whether it’s a pair of delicate sandals, statement stilettos or comfortable boots that will last you all day. Living in India calls for a beautiful pair of slippers as well. As hard as we try to ape the West, most of us end up in flats. Even big international brands are wizening up to that.

Sourced from: Zara, Tod’s, Etro, Canali, Blackberrys, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Eina Ahluwalia.



Admit it, over the years you’ve switched from princess cuts to A-lines, trying to follow fads. Now think of those whose sartorial statements you admire they probably don’t wear the same colour or the same styles every day, but they do stand by a flattering silhouette.


In interviews about designing Hepburn’s clothes for her 1954 movie Sabrina, Givenchy recalled: “She knew perfectly her visage and her body, their fine points and their faults. She wanted a bare-shouldered evening dress modified to hide the hollows behind her collarbone. What I invented for her eventually became a style so popular that I named it ‘décolleté Sabrina’."

While you might not have Givenchy to help, with some trial and error, and a little help from friends, you might be able to find your fashion shape.