Designer Kunal Rawal on how to dress for weddings this season

Worn your best outfits, and still have weddings to go before the season gets over? Kunal Rawal to the rescue

There is dressing right. And then, there is dressing right for an Indian wedding.

What happens if your shoes don’t quite go with the cut of your trousers one day? Nothing much. What if you wear the same shirt you wore two days back? Doubt anyone would even notice.

But imagine wearing what you wore for Friend A’s wedding to Cousin B’s wedding. You’d be judged, my friend. A doesn’t know B, you might think. But we live in the times of social media. And nothing makes it to Instagram faster than that group selfie with the couple on a wedding day. Of course, ours isn’t like a simple black tie church affair, where you pull out the same old suit, go for a few hours, and it’s over. Indian weddings are like Test matches. They go on, sometimes for over five days.

So, we find ourselves in December, a few weddings done, but, still a few to go till end February-early March. In other words, we’re bang in the middle of the season. The ethnic wear you always look good in has already been worn, and you’ve been racking your brains, wondering, “Now what do I wear?

So, let’s get to work. Fortunately, there is now a lot of variety on offer. Men’s kurtas are seeing a transition, with tons of pattern play, and with more and more western silhouettes influencing Indian wear. It helps, of course, that the men wearing them have also matured, and are no longer scared to experiment, and try something entirely new. They are no longer afraid to wear colour. It’s pleasantly surprising to see more and more Indian men going for bolder, brighter shades, even flouting the silly ‘pink is for women’ notion.

What they have become picky about, though, are motifs. Nothing too elaborate or floral finds favour anymore. So, it’s bye-bye big paisleys. So, what us designers are doing instead is we’re making embroideries and motifs in traditional wear more contemporary, even bringing in newer techniques, such as quilting, alongside traditional hand embroidery.

The other big sign of changing times is the amount of black you see at weddings. Once considered inauspicious (and sure to draw an exclamation or two from an aunty or two), fail-safe, flattering black has become quite popular.

I t isn’t enough to know what’s in. The problem with trends, sometimes, is that everyone wants to flaunt them. So, how do you ensure you stand apart? Here’s how:

* Customising is of utmost importance if you want to avoid looking like someone else at the party. That doesn’t always mean spending big. Change the buttons, or the colour of the lining to make your outfit unique.

* Mix tons of the same colour, or different textures of the same colour to look unique-yet-understated.

* Having trouble deciding on bottoms? Go with black, and let your kurta or sherwani stand out.

* If it’s a beach wedding, pick your fabric and colour carefully. Go with more pastels and whites. If you must go with black or navy, make sure you’re wearing linen or cotton.

* The current cooler climate calls for a jacket. But if you’re wearing it open, make sure the buttons match those on your kurta. It’ll make the overall look appear planned.

Kunal Rawal is a leading men’s fashion designer

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