For all those who dream of days when you can wear shawls, boots, trench coats and the like without breaking into a sweat, there’s help at hand. Designers tell us that there are plenty of ways to modify these winter staples for the not-so-cold climes of Mumbai.
According to designer Nishka Lulla, lots of people in the city like following winter trends irrespective of the weather. So, if you want to wear long coats, she advises, “Go for thinner materials like cotton drill, satin silks and lame tissue.” Experimenting with length is also on, as mid- and ankle-length outfits look great this season.
Think of warm fabrics and wool and velvet come to mind. Manish Malhotra’s recent couture show was high on the latter, but it seems unlikely that women in the city will wear entire outfits made of velvet. "Since the weather isn’t suitable, I modify these designs by making just the blouse from velvet, with a fun sari. Or if an outfit is full-length, I try to compensate for that by making it sleeveless," he says, adding, "Although, if the velvet is of good quality, it won’t be as warm as a cheaper variant."
“Mumbai’s weather is not conducive to wearing layers, so I suggest using a light cardigan. If it does get slightly chilly, just add a warm scarf or shawl,” says designer Daniel Syiem. “Pick any light fabric, like Ryindia, whose properties enable it to be cool in summers and warm in low temperatures.”
Fashion entrepreneur Kresha Bajaj of Koëcsh believes that boots are statement pieces for winters. “Most of us fret at the thought of wearing them because the winters here aren’t very cold. But if you know the correct style, it’s possible,” she says. Bajaj advocates ankle-length boots that are weather-appropriate and also versatile in terms
of styling options. “It’s important to not wear outfits with too many layers if you’re wearing boots, so stick to shorter hemlines,” she advises. Those who like their style being more athletic can opt for high-top sneakers — another trend that’s been making waves for a while now.
For men who are stuck with formal suits for weddings, designer Troy Costa has come up with an unlined jacket. “They have the look and feel of thicker ones, but they’re light enough to be worn in the evening and feel dressed up,” he says. Costa adds that this is also the best weather to wear waistcoats. As for accessories, “Unlike the woollen or mohair shawls in London, I make silk-based versions that are stylish without being warm. Adding a hat — Bowler perhaps — can also be edgy,” he says.