Purple reign | india | Hindustan Times
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Purple reign

It’s regal, it’s vibrant, it’s mood-enhancing, and right now, especially for men, it’s top of the colour pops. Casuals, formals, woollens – you find it in everything. Read on to know what's in this season.

india Updated: Dec 06, 2009 16:44 IST
Veenu Singh

FashionCorporate executive Hitesh Kanwar is used to his wife Nisha buying him shirts of many colours – there are more reds, pinks and yellows in his wardrobe than those of most men. But he was taken aback when Nisha presented him with a shirt in lilac.

“Lilac and purple seemed to be the newest shades on the market,” Nisha says. “I liked the colours, so I bought him a lilac shirt.” Though Hitesh is a bit resistant to it, Nisha is correct. Says Sanjeev Mohanty, managing director, Benetton India, “Purple has caught the fancy of Indian men this season. It signifies luxury, opulence and celebration. The colour is a mood changer, very vibrant and positive.”

It’s been top of the colour pops in most ranges of men’s wear since Diwali. Casuals, formals, woollens – you find it in everything. About time too, says fashion stylist Harmeet Bajaj. “Finally Indian men are getting comfortable with colour,” she says. “Thanks to a more global exposure in terms of trends and style, they have started using colours like lilac, purple and even plum in casual and formal wear.”

Purple has always been popular with women. But Indian men have tended to stay away from it till now. However, since most of the top brands have introduced ranges in purple this year, men have begun to realise that it is quite wearable after all. That’s because the various shades of purple can range from a deep near black to a pale near white, so it can be used in almost every article of clothing, as well as accessories. Here’s how: The colour is best used for shirts,T-shirts and pullovers, says Nandini Sethuraman, head of marketing at Marks and Spencer Reliance India Pvt Ltd. Deeper shades are good for party wear, says designer Manish Gupta who enjoys wearing purple in its pastel shades during the day, and deep purple and even plum for evenings. “I think the colour suits our style and skin tone,” he says.

This explains why Blackberrys has introduced Egyptian cotton shirts in lilacs and purples for the season. “Customers love it because the colours are youthful and stylish,” says Sandeep Khapra, head of design at Blackberrys. “The self structured and striped shirts are more in demand.” Purple and lilac both go very well with denims for a casual look. “Or else, wear them with light coloured trousers,” says Nagesh, designer at Van Heusen. “For the evening, it’s best to team purple with different greys or blacks.”

It isn’t wise to go overboard with purple, says Sethuraman. But even the notoriously colour-wary corporate world could use a dash of purple to break the monotony of white, black or grey. Says Akash Ahuja, a software engineer, “I bought a lilac tie and was told by the shop assistant to wear it with a black or grey suit. I tried it out at a meeting and everybody seemed to like it.” However, a little purple goes a long way. “If you are wearing a shirt in this shade, then it’s too much to use the same colour for your lowers or even in an accessory,” says Harmeet Bajaj.

Purple looks good in traditional Indian wear too, and works well with a certain amount of embroidery and embellishment. “With sherwanis and kurtas the fabric base is purple while the plating is done in antique gold and silver,” explains Sudhir Diwan, MD of the clothing store, Diwan Saheb. “Purple is a new and innovative colour in Indian wear, and is changing traditional sherwani designs.”