Menswear: Amp up your wardrobe

   (Published in Express Tribune on October 31st, 2012)

   Trends for women in Pakistan are evolving to a more modern look with newer style aesthetics. A growing herd of designers fueled by the flourishing fashion industry, expansion of nationwide retail brands and a flurry of fashion weeks all promise that the future for women’s wear in Pakistan looks brighter than ever.

   But if there’s one department that is still lacking, it’s the menswear department. Men are still reluctant to experiment with fashion and are hung-up on stale and monotonous ways of dressing. Even the ones with an affinity for fashion and an interest in looking stylish eventually go for the safe and unexciting looks that do no wonders for fashion evolution. Redundancy and stagnation in fashion is equivalent to death; it’s all about jazzing up your look and having fun with it.

Here’s how to make a few changes to your wardrobe and go from boring to stylish.

Upper: Layer it up

   Winter is a wonderland for clothing! It’s all about how well you layer your outfit. Beat the cold in style with a leather jacket and wear a knitted piece inside to look chic. A coloured knitted sweater or a woolen cardigan will not only keep you warm, but it will accentuate your style indefinitely.

   Of course, you can wear dress shirts in casual avatars too. Get a sleek, fitted dress shirt; roll up the sleeves up to the elbows, pair it with a trouser and voila — You have a sharp semi-formal look for a night out. Experiment with prints, gingham and stripes which are all the rage right now.

   In the tees department, go for graphic t-shirts with statement prints and illustrations; plain tees are absolutely no fun. Get rid of your dull ones, and get yourself some t-shirts with your favourite superheroes on it.  Before stepping out, pair it up with a structured jacket or a blazer and you have a winner on hand.

Pants: Get out of the blues

   When it comes to pants, the trend in Pakistan goes no further than jeans with colours limited to shades of blue. Chinos are formidable alternatives to jeans; with a similar look but slightly different in construction.  They are normally made of cotton with a tapered hem. Chinos are ankle length so you won’t drag them under your feet (as most youngsters are seen dragging jeans leaving them torn and jarred).

Chinos by Fahad Sheikh available here

   Play with colour, ditch the blues. Burgundy, black, camel and navy are colours that are safe yet trendy. The privilege of choosing a colour opens up a whole new set of options for pairing and styling.

    Advice: Never go for the drab unfitted pants or for super tight, body hugging jeans for that matter — keep it structured and fitted but leave some space for breathing too.

Accessories:

   Keep in mind that wrap around bracelets, watches with canvas straps, plaited belts and leather flaps make a stylish man. Bandana wrist bands and shiny steel watches with gold plating do not.

   Use your accessories to punctuate your look! Don’t follow the herd with the unconventional look. There’s no need for a Rolex watch to look good; a slim watch with a colourful canvas strap will do the job better. If you are a bracelet guy, a simple leather wrap around will define your personality and anchor your look.

Shoes: Ditch the sneaker

The rule of fashion is that it remains fresh and cool as long as it’s unique and exclusive. It can become redundant and out of date the moment it becomes too common or over used. Similar phenomenon has occurred with sneakers and canvas shoes also. It might be time to scrap your boyish shoes for more masculine and grown up footwear options like leather and suede shoes. Suede is an amazing footwear option; it gives a decent look while keeping the edginess. Another direction to go forward would be to explore lace-less shoes like moccasins and loafers; have fun with colour and texture but refrain from looking like a 15-year-old boy.

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Photo Courtesy: asos.com and fs-clothing.com

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