• From palazzo pants to embroidery and even some bling, here are style essentials for men this season

The start of the year is a good time to both look back as well as ahead. For a good part of last year, one saw men (designers and brands included) truly experiment, not just with colours but with styling and silhouettes as well. While comfort remains key, there is newness now in men’s fashion that had been missing for some seasons. In the words of ace designer Rohit Bal, who showcased at the Van Heusen & GQ Fashion Nights, “The looks are experimental with a strong sense of adventure.” The event also saw leading designers like Rajesh Pratap Singh, Shantanu-Nikhil and Kunal Rawal, among others, showcase menswear collections, keeping a new season in mind.

When it comes to men’s fashion, designer Sahil Aneja, who was also part of the Fashion Nights showcase, says, “My collection draws inspiration from the modern man who has evolved out of his comfort zone into the fusion-led and dynamic international fashion world. The collection looked to break traditional typologies and personas.” Aneja’s colour palette brought in colours like bottle green, grey, deep wine and dark blue.

Also emphasising on a deep and dark colour palette was designer Rajesh Pratap Singh. His collection brought in mix of wool and silk, wool-cotton and wool-linen blends in fabrics. If you are still to put together your look for the coming months, here are five essentials you can’t afford to miss.

Palazzo Pants

Who said palazzos were only for the ladies? Having said that, palazzo pants aren’t for everyone and it’s a look that requires you to be confident and nonchalant. One has seen an increasing number of designers flare up pants this season, keeping comfort in mind. More like lounge pants, these can also be teamed with an open bandhgala for a fusion look. Actor Aditya Roy Kapur (in photo) dressed in a Rajesh Pratap Singh ensemble carries off the look well. We love the fun vibe.

Embroidery and Bling

Again mainstays of women’s fashion like embroidery and bling has crept into men’s fashion. But we like how the men are giving it their own interpretation. Instead of going all with embroidery, think less is more. And that holds true for the wedding achkan and sherwani. An embroidered jacket with tone-on-tone embroidery looks chic when paired with plain trousers and not too many accessories. If all-over embroidery is not your thing, you can choose to highlight a kurta jacket or Nehru collar. Don’t go too colourful with the design is what designer’s recommend. Also since bling is in, opt for sequinned shoes in silver or black or even a glittery steel or black (not loud colours) shirt worn under a formal coat.

Suit Up

Given that the shaadi season is in full flow, it is imperative that men invest in a sharp suit. We suggest you leave the tuxedo for the groom and close family members only. While there is a lot of mix and match in fabrics when it comes to suiting material, one look that is trending is that of same pattern for coat and trousers. Think plaid with plaid and check with check. Just don’t go for an overwhelming pattern and make sure the suit fits you well – not too tight. Pictured here is actor Kunal Kapoor in a well-fitted double-breasted suit. Make sure you tuck in pocket square that pairs well with the suit.

Relaxed Silhouettes

Actor Shahid Kapoor has launched his range of clothing, Skulpt, that focuses on athleisure, a new term in fashion that stands for comfortable yet fashionable garments for exercise and lounging. Comfort is definitely an important part of men’s fashion now and keeping that in mind we see an increasing use of relaxed silhouettes. Farhan Akhtar spells out the trend, pictured here in slouchy pants, worn with an asymmetrical kurta with a cowl neck. We like how designs mostly associated with womenswear are now appearing in men’s clothing in a smart way.

Ethnic Chic

See how dishy Ranbir Kapoor looks in this Kunal Rawal design. A short kurta and Nehru jacket teams up very well with straight-fit pants. The fit is most important and it’s best not to get too adventurous with colours. Pair neutral tones together.

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