Back in the late eighties and early nineties, there was a sartorial revolution of sorts. Working professionals were introduced to what we call today, Casual Friday. Suddenly men who would be seen only in suits during the week and polo shirts and slacks/denims over the weekend had to find a third alternative, and we saw the emergence of khaki pants, golf shirts, and moccasins. Then came the aughts with its dotcom bubble, metrosexual revolution, and start-up stories. And men’s fashion as we knew it exploded. There were men who preferred work uniforms to save time, who championed creative self-expression, who chose comfort over style, and dressing up was no more what was expected, it was what every man wanted. Today with social media pages proclaiming personalities, you can identify certain style tribes in menswear, tribes that resonate with who you are and what your worldview is. We try to peek at these style families.
The Boardroom Charmer
Corporate slave – you probably know of this guy by that term from the days of yore. But he has given us a new-age avatar, making 9-5 jobs seem glossier and attractive. As if the money wasn’t bait enough! He probably has a wardrobe that would give women a major case of what we call the green-eyed monster. Saville Row suits, tailored shirts, made-to-order shoes, cufflinks, pocket squares, and ties with just the right dash of quirky, all integral to his impenetrable style armour. Ah, a gentleman of discerning taste!
The Luxe Jock
This is the guy who is all about the comfort but don’t mistake him for a slob. He is the guy who owns that startup which has been making all that buzz lately or the indie film actor who is the darling of the awards circuit, or the former jock who is now a consultant working out of co-working spaces, holding meetings in coffee shops and even upscale watering holes. He loves his sneakers and his allegiance-proclaiming t-shirts. A leather jacket for the chilly weekend dos and a casual blazer for more formal events; his style statement remains always on point. His style mantra: I’ll do however I please, codes be damned!
The Quirky Creative
The artsy guy who doesn’t shy away from embracing his feminine side or making bold statements, he is the guy who will wear a floral shirt with as much panache as he would a t-shirt screaming the name of the Game of Thrones house he supports. He wears his personality on his sleeve, quite literally, and his self-assured style game is something to be admired. Add to these a hipster-inspired beard and rimmed tortoise-shell glasses and you almost have yourself Stan from Mad Men.
The Proud Trendsetter
He is unafraid of wearing that pink, paisley print shirt or mixing different prints and patterns. Stripes, polka dots, florals, mesh, or even neon colours, he will experiment with anything and everything. Even the Ranveer Singh-endorsed androgynous, more daring style is something he’s up for. May not be everyone’s cup of tea but this dapper peacock is all about standing out in the crowd. Because he’s cool like that.
The Stylish Traditionalist
This is the guy who will talk a dime-to-dozen about the pros and cons of demonetization, is into the theatre scene, reads books you haven’t heard of, and watches neorealistic Italian movies (maybe even without subtitles). He supports Indian weavers and artisans, wears kurtas and Nehru jackets, and accessorizes with neat hair, rimless glasses, and probably a three-day stubble. This is the guy who haunts the dreams of our intellectual selves.
Dear men, take it from a girl who loves fashion! We love all these avatars, we love that you are taking care of yourself, and we love that you know what you want, and aren’t afraid to show off your fashionable selves. Please promise us one thing, though! You will never go back to M.C. Hammer pants and those deep v-neck t-shirts. Those we may never forgive you for.