Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Mujhe rang de

Replacing the staid stripes with sequins, banal checks with brocade patches and formal suits with fun shirts, men are adding more colour to their lives, believes India Today.

I asked half a dozen young men who work in my office and each of them gasped," I wouldn't be caught dead in that". That being the floral print pink shirt worn by the model in pic above.

And I get the feeling not many guys would disagree.

Thing is, every media vehicle worth its salt is desperately searching for trends. But there's a difference between 'trend' and 'trendy' - as trendspotter Irma Zandl so rightly points out:

Trend vs Trendy:
Why it's important to understand the difference.

A trend is driven by demographics, lifestyle, technology -­ it moves forward steadily and relentlessly. It provides the foundation for building businesses and new brands/categories.

Trendy phenomenon ­ or fads - often seem to spring up overnight, burn intensely and then die out just as rapidly e.g. scooters, swing dancing, gin martinis. "Trendy" looks good but generally does not fit into the pattern of people's lives.

Flowery pink shirts do not fit into the pattern of men's lives and hence, in my opinion, need to be classified as 'trendy' - for p3 and wannabe p3 people. "Our niche market is the rich daddy-kid and the yuppie," says the MD of Tuscan Verve. Point taken - a market exists. But why does the writer have to make sweeping statements like:

"Checks and pinstripes are bowing out to colours, frill and funk. Men's wardrobes are resembling women's, with embroidered collars, patchwork pieces and retro prints."

Really? Checks and pinstripes bowing out to embroidery? Flamboyant shirts are going to be loungewear or clubwear - not replace standard business clothing or Friday dressing.Even for rich daddy-kids and yuppies. I mean, who will take a male CEO in a pink paisley shirt seriously??

The article, predictably, concentrates only on the tiny designerwear market (declaring breathlessly: Rohit Bal's floral and polka dotted applique shirts are 'flying off the shelves'). Except for a brief mention to Provogue - a relatively mass brand.

But yes, there is actually a trend hidden away in the focus on trendy.

Men do want to go beyond blue and grey - they want to look good. But except for a tiny fraction of a fraction they do not identify themselves as 'metrosexuals'. They want to look like guys, not girls.

So when pink has to be added to the wardrobe, brands like Arrow are the ones which will do the trick. The normally staid company has become a lot more adventurous of late. It's introduced colours like bright pink and lime green pinstripes (and it looks quite decent!).

Allen Solly - the Friday dressing people - have lots of colour in their store. But it's all checks and stripes, in novel and interesting design and colour combinations.

Will they introduce paisley prints and embroidery? I think not. Yes, Indian men are now more style conscious and willing to experiment. But like I said, the experimentation will be within certain bounds of masculinity.

It's like guys may have started wearing beads - but they're NOT going to adopt dangling earrings. At least, I hope, not in my lifetime...


  1. Shilpi Sharma11:12 AM

    Hey Rashmi
    I was reading about 'The Mirl' in today's newspaper , it's supposed to be something like the metrosexual.i think that guys who wear pink look sissy.

  2. Excuse me? Jeans hasn't caught up with everyone, and that an IIM, for heaven's sake. Flowerd pink shirts? Not unless guys undergo a sex change or sth! :)

  3. Rashmi, I agree completely...was shocked to see the pic in India Today...good point Govar..fwiw, i am a guy.

  4. Hi Rashmi,

    The article is nothing but a press release for some company (probably Tuscan Verve) disguised as an article. I used to wonder about these types of articles as well, then I came across this article which explained everything:

  5. Rather, I should say that it is "probably" nothing but a press release. I havent read the actual article, but from your description it looks a lot like it.

  6. i do see shades of pink making their way into many branded shirts.
    but floral patterns and all...not unless i am on a plane to hawaii!

  7. Anonymous3:34 PM


  8. Navin4:28 PM

    i guess such kind of funky clothes are for people related to the fashion,movie and entertainment industry in general, where people have to do things to catch everybody's attention and get noticed. And there is a huge market out there for such clothes, since a lot of people today are mesmerized by the entertainment field and want to join it.

    And its obvious and understood that the business class and the regular job doing variety, will not go in for such clothes.

    Besides, not to forget, such clothes, if designed by fashion designers like Rohit Bal and other huge brands, do cost a bomb. So there, its anyways out of reach for the common junta.

  9. wat about white kurta and white pajama! hmmmm devdas look or cutie chubby look...better than wearing dress made by big fashion world!!! give one thought nad reply....better case study than rashmi....hahahahaha

  10. wat about white kurta and white pajama! hmmmm devdas look or cutie chubby look...better than wearing dress made by big fashion world!!! give one thought nad reply....better case study than rashmi....hahahahaha

  11. Most of the so called fashion designers are gay and they are trying to popularise their highly lame GAY styles.
    Trust me no self respecting guy is going to wear a floral pink shirt!We like our blues and grays thanks.

  12. Anonymous1:36 AM

    We don't get the stuff that sells everywhere else in the world (even though we make a large part of it), most of the stuff i have seen at the shops run by indian designers seems like its been put together using bed-sheets. The quality of even expensive brands in India such as benetton is not worth the money we pay for them. The styles and fits we get in India are really bad and they make us look bad. Searching for good clothes is like looking for a needle in a haystack ( i am talking about mens clothes). But, we indians are also obessed with brand-name, no matter how ugly the clothes, ppl still wear it to show it off.

    Wearing pink is not unmanly, depends on the shade and what exactly you are wearing. Wearing colors isnt bout being metro sexual, its just about what looks good on u, if you have a darker complexion going in for bright colors (especially pink) might not be the best idea. Yea but the guy in the picture looks bad, looks like India today really skimped out - paying for a decent looking model, could have just used a bust. Btw you are right jewellery on men isn't good.


  13. Hey Rashmi
    Check ur mail.

  14. Whats wrong with pink or flurescent green shirts....It is a kind of Bohemian style...And it is not conventional and makes people to sit up and comment something....

    When girls can wear pink, and oinking pigs can flaunt pink, why not guys ?

    The key idea is whether you can carry urself wearing that! If you cannot, tried something different

    Next time, try flamy-orange hair

    thats looks much better now :)

  15. Anonymous4:21 AM

    Scooters trendy? Just because trendy people are picking up on something doesn't make it trendy over all. Scooter life is important to many of us who live in the cities and want some freedom without having to hassle with a car.

    Other than that I'd say you're right on!

  16. well now the world is changing so the style and taste of consumer. there are many colors which are termed as girly now making their way in men's market as every sense is changing. so if somebody wears pink or floral prints of pinks is not bad. because now fashion and style gives you a chance to express your self and your identity this doesn't mean that makes you sissy or gay. well a designer is desinger he uses his creativity he doesn't think his product is aiming for gays only since he is gay. well dear friends come out of these things and face enjoy the feel of colors

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