Move over tuxedos! Edgy kurtas to patan patola shawls, ethnic silhouettes define groom wear this season
When it comes to shopping for a wedding, a lot more time is usually dedicated to the bride’s wardrobe over her SO’s. After all, given the diverse choice of silhouettes, hemlines, colours, make-up and hairstyles, jewellery and even footwear — the options for bridal trousseau are limitless. While traditionally, the groom, in comparison, operates within a much tighter framework.
But, it’s 2020 and trends are evolving! As fashion weeks go genderless, and menswear labels continue to borrow design elements, like drapes, conventionally associated with feminine silhouettes on an unprecedented scale, traditional aesthetics have been rendered redundant. Now, if you are wondering about the prerequisites of a fashion-forward groom’s wardrobe, we have you sorted. From Raghavendra Rathore and Gaurang Shah to Siddhesh Chauhan and Heeba Sait — our expert panel of designers weigh in with the options.
Well-known couturier Gaurang Shah says that now is the right time to be innovative. He explains, “The pandemic is opening doors to high-end, exclusive collections hitherto unavailable. Choose the option of wearing heritage clothing.” Known for classic cuts and outfits crafted from indigenous weaves, the Hyderabad designer elaborates that his label’s online store features a range of classic, versatile, and statement pieces — all handwoven. “Traditional menswear woven in jamdani textile art like the patan patola sherwani, dhoti, kurta, and even a turban, will be a classic way to entice everyone around you,” says Gaurang. He adds that regal kanjeevaram kurta and dhotis, benarasi sherwani and even patan patola shawls are likely to remain in fashion. Also, one can try a matka silk kurta paired with salwar.
A master tip: This is a perfect opportunity to discover aspirational wedding outfits through social media. Narrow down your favourite designer and reach out to them for customisations.
Complementing rather than coordinating with your bride is the name of the game, explains designer Raghavendra Rathore, on how to ace your wedding wardrobe. As a starting point, the menswear couturier, who has dressed the who’s who of Bollywood, suggests picking out colour accents from the bride’s attire as inspiration for your groom accessories. “You don’t want to look like you are competing and matching with her trousseau.” With an emphasis on creating practical yet elegant wardrobe options, pairing up something as effortless as a khadi waistcoat finished with RR’s signature barfi stitch and an elegantly textured kurta might just do the trick for the big day — but only if you pay attention to the details! “It’s all about tastefully balancing your jewellery and other accessories with the overall ensemble. Post pandemic, the way forward will be timeless dressing and not being excessive or overindulgent when it comes to aesthetics,” shares the designer, who has worked under legendary designer Oscar de la Renta.
Palette pleaser: Old rose, powder pistachio and Ecru will be the dominating hues.
Well-structured fits, tailored with a hint of asymmetric cuts creating a mirage of layers classify as the essential Siddhesh Chauhan design that grooms can opt for. “The groom would always want to look his best during these ceremonies. And given the smaller size of these gatherings, they now have an advantage of experimenting with their looks. They would want to break free from the hackneyed cuts and choose outfits that are a blend of traditional and contemporary silhouettes with sharp lines and edgy curves,” says the Ahmedabad-based designer. Talking about the colours bridegrooms are leaning towards for this wedding season, he says, wine, teal and black go well for sangeet and the other festivities leading up to the wedding. Minimal cuts with layering like a long jacket with a dhoti, a classic sherwani or achkan can be ideal for cocktail dos, while an open long jacket with fine embroidery is perfect for the D-day.
Look out for: Customised masks crafted from anti-viral neo tech fabric.
New Delhi-based Jatin Malik Couture that offers bespoke wedding outfits for men are known for their handcrafted sherwanis, achkans and kurtas. Although Jatin says shopping for a wedding is an experience-based affair, in the post-pandemic world patrons are opting for video consultations. “Colours like dusty mauve and English purple, apart from a variation of the colour blue, are in demand,” says the designer. He mentions that while his patrons continue to look for the customary sherwani, there are others who are looking for alternatives like bandis, kurtas and trousers. What’s also popular with the grooms of today, he says, is a layered look that can be achieved with his contemporary unique cocktail jackets.
Fabrics to bet on: Silk is preferred. But if you are looking for a lighter and a more sustainable option, outfits with linen and Tencel blends also make the cut.
For a twist on tradition, vibrant groom attire is a great go-to. Heeba Sait, the creative head of the Chennai-based bespoke label Gatsby, tells us that rich, jewel-toned colours like garnet-purple, burgundy and emerald green add a modern-day edge to conventional wedding styles, allowing grooms to make a statement on their big day. “When it comes to weddings, men are not compromising on their clothing because they feel like the pictures are going to last them for a lifetime. So, where we’ve earlier seen multiple ensembles for different ceremonies, we are now looking at one special piece that makes them stand out,” offers Heeba. While the brand holds the distinction of having debuted at Cannes in 2014 for their bespoke suits, the designer says that wedding tuxedos and suits have taken a backseat. Indo-Western silhouettes, that complement both the bride’s lehenga and gown, like bandhgalas are in style. Take cues from neoclassical, minimalist trend and shelf the heavy hand embroidery for something chic and classic like pintucks.
Wardrobe must-have: A kurta and a black bandhgala with interesting surface textures.
Long, fitted sherwanis will always be a mainstay in a festive wardrobe, but if you are up for a little experimentation look for ones that are cut just above the knee instead. Take cues from former International Woolmark Prize winner Nachiket Barve for wedding wear looks that are not too avant-garde, but urges you to push your sartorial boundaries. To make things interesting, the Mumbai-based designer says that adding a statement pocket square detail and ‘irreverent’ sherwani buttons will help elevate the look. “One can play around with asymmetry and draping in menswear, but that must be exercised with restraint.” Pinpointing the use of colour, as the biggest trend in the men’s fashionscape, a varied colour palette for both day and night looks are part of his wedding wear collection for men. "A deep colour palette works for an evening function, while for daytime functions or the traditional ceremony, you can choose hues of ivory, beige and soothing pastels."
One master tip: Shop sensibly. Invest in separates that you wear, instead of blingy clothes.