It's that time of the year again when an old pair of shorts and a well worn ganjee are your best friends. But you don't have to bid adieu to fashion just because the mercury has crossed the 40 degrees Celcius mark. Light-weight fabrics in the right colour and silhouette can go a long way in helping you make a statement without sweating it out.
And if you have spent the winter months working out for that perfect bod, now that you have been compelled to dump all those layers, it's finally show time. From skirts and dresses to lose-fitted trousers and palazzos or the desi tunic and churidar, choices for the summer fashionista are unlimited.
Cotton might be best but that doesn't mean monotony has to set into your wardrobe. The wide spectrum of cottons to choose from includes linen, khadi, handlooms from different parts of the country and of course, good old mulmul. Hip accessories like a chic hat, a colourful boho bag or one piece of statement jewellery and a stylish pair of strappy sandals or peep toes would complete the look.
Men shouldn't stew in boring formals during the day and in uncomfortable jeans in the evening either. As most designers advise, opt for linens, light-weight cottons and khadis. Add a twist by going for these in pastels and neon-pops - colours that are often seen on men in the countryside but have lately been rejected by urbanites nursing a colonial hangover.
So go ahead and break loose with variations on these five wardrobe essentials chosen by the country's best designers.
1 BAL'S WHITE BEAUTY
Rohit Bal's pick for women is a light-weight mulmul cutwork kurta or tunic in ivory. "The look is very feminine and chic and these can be paired either with jeans or a churidar. It's comfortable and a silhouette that flatters everyone," he says.
For men, the ace designer picks slimfit soft linen shirts in white and ivory with handstitched detailing. "Again something very chic," he says.
Price: Prices on request
Where: Studio: D-31,
Emporio: Rohit Bal Prive, DLP Place, Nelson Mandela Marg, Vasant Kunj
2 DONGRE TURNS ON THE HEAT
You can't go wrong with a dress this summer. Just pick a silhouette that flatters your figure. "Nothing says summer like a linen shift dress in a floral print," says designer Anita Dongre. Her pick from her label AND is a rose print dress in peach colour with three-quarter sleeves. "A white jumpsuit with flared bottoms (as in the photo above) is a must-have for the evenings," she says. Just add a single statement piece of jewellery, like the neckpiece that the model sports, and you can be sure of turning heads wherever you go.
Price: Shirt Dress: Rs 1899; Jumpsuit: Rs 14,000
Where: DLF Emporio; DLF Place and Khan Market
3 KUMAR DOES DESI DIVA
Give tradition a twist with this long white Ritu Kumar kurta - the designer's choice for every wardrobe this season. "White is the colour of summer. Long white straight-fit kurtas with a touch of embroidery at the neck are perfect for the summer. Pair it with a plazzo pant or churidar and a multicolour lehriya dupatta ," she says. Here, a model wears a kurta with printed ikkat palazzos.
Kumar's suggestion for men is to keep it smart and simple in white linen shirts.
Price: Rs 9,400
Where: M-4, South Extension II; Shop No. 33 (First & Second Floor) Khan Market; Crescent Mall Lado Sarai; Archana Shopping Complex and DLF Promenade, Vasant Kunj
4 RATHORE'S FORMAL CHIC
Entrepreneurs and corporate honchos might find it difficult to ditch formal attire in favour of casual shirt sleeves. But Raghavendra Rathore ensures you don't go wrong with this "Egyptian cotton Jodhpuri Bandhgala in a lovely navy blue colour (the model is wearing a similar number in black), with masculine detailing on the pockets."
For women, the designers prescribes a stylish yet fuss-free look with a crisp white slim-cut shirt with exaggerated cuffs and collars paired with printed breeches.
Price: Prices on request
Where: Shop No. 28, First Floor, Khan Market
and DLF Emporio, Vasant Kunj
5 MODO'S FOOT FETISH
You can tell a gentleman by the shoes he wears. The same holds true for the ladies. No look can be perfect without the right shoes - and as many women will attest you can't have too many pairs. This season, Swati Modo has a range of open footwear for women in bright colours. "Summers are also when you have random rains. So we have launched our plastic summer range from peep toes to ballerinas or shoes with lace sandwiched between plastics," she says. For the men, she picks Peshavaris in suede to absorb perspiration.
Price: Rs 2500-4000 (for women) and Rs 3000-4500 (for men)
Where: 38/2/20 Site 4, Opposite Kaushambi Metro Station (By appointment only)