Behind closet doors: Imran Khan talks style

  • Shalvi Mangaokar, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jun 19, 2015 20:17 IST

Imran Khan’s Pali Hill bungalow has a walk-in closet any man would envy. And one a neat freak would be pleased to see. Shoes in a row, shirts together, trousers hung in the Savile Row fold (legs straddling the hanger)... All in place, except those damn socks — a drawer-full of them, all messed up.

What style means to you: “It’s an expression of your interests and likes. It’s inherently individualistic; it cannot be copied or bought.”

At home, we’ll catch you wearing: “Most likely, a pair of cotton chinos and a T-shirt.”

How has your style evolved: “At 22, I was all about ragged jeans and comic book T-shirts. I had an impressive collection of Converse sneakers. Now, I don’t own a single pair of jeans.”

Style icons: “Through late teens and early twenties, it was James Dean and Marlon Brando — these classic, laid-back guys; the kind who’d wear scuffed-up jeans and T-shirts… basically, an effortless, rugged look. In my late twenties, I was looking at Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Gregory Peck, Cary Grant…men from the best-dressed age of cinema — the ’40s and the ’50s.”

Go-to designers: “Tom Ford and Ermenegildo Zegna; that’s where most of my suits are from.”

Watch Imran Khan talk style here

Online shopper: “A lot of my stuff is bought online. Pants, T-shirts, shoes... Most of the trousers I wear are by the same brand, the same cut and shape. My go-to website is”

The whole mismatched socks thing: “Not sure how it started. I picked up a pair of coloured ones. I liked them, so I picked up more. Then they all got jumbled up and I thought, ‘Let’s pair different ones together.’”

Most attached to: “Only my grandfather’s stuff (ties and suits) which have sentimental value.”

Best cities to shop in: “London and Florence. I like Italian stuff more than French because the French stuff is skinnier.”

Fashion faux pas: “I once put myself in the hands of stylists. They convinced me to wear a velvet, polka-dotted suit, and said it looked awesome. It really didn’t.”

Ready in 15 minutes: “I plan what to wear (for an event) while I’m in the shower. This is the great thing about guys. You can just throw stuff together. Pants, a shirt, a tie, a jacket. I can be ready for the red carpet in 15 minutes.”

Go-to suit: “I can let the cat out of the bag now. I’ve been wearing the same Tom Ford suit to most events for the last three years. I change the shirt, the tie, the pocket square, the shoes, but the suit remains the same. It’s a three-piece suit, so sometimes you wear the waistcoat and, at times, you don’t. The suit is also a ‘3 roll 2 button’. It has three buttons, but is made in a way that the top button rolls over. So, you can make it a two- or a three-button suit.”

The watch collector: “I have a 1960s HMT (with a fake leather strap) that was a gift. In Florence, I found an antique watch store, with a gentleman who didn’t speak English. With gestures, I explained the strap I wanted. I also have a Smiths I found in a vintage store in London which is the same model as the one Sir Edmund Hillary had.”

Style advice: “Figure out what works for you. I’d try to wear what people I admired wore, and it wouldn’t look as nice on me. What works for one man’s body and personality doesn’t work for another’s. So, don’t get caught up in what a ‘cool’ person is doing; find what works for you.”

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