Men’s style and grooming by Yatan Ahluwalia: Get autumn-ready

How to wear brown and the top 10 fashion trends for men this season
Yash Saini (A fashion model from Haryana).(Yatan Ahluwalia)
Yash Saini (A fashion model from Haryana).(Yatan Ahluwalia)
Updated on Sep 27, 2020 07:30 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By Yatan Ahluwalia

Decoding the look

Hair: Medium-length on top and shorter on the sides. We enhanced the texture to make the hair look wavier and curlier. Add a hint of brown colour to give the hair more dimension and texture.

Skin: Natural weather-beaten skin.

Face: Two-day old shadow stubble.

Brows: Thick and bushy.

Hands: Hair on the arms and hands


The colour has set off the seasons fashion trends and is going to be the dominating colour for the remaining part of this year.

Brown is an earthy, natural warm and masculine colour that evokes a sense of strength and reliability. It’s often seen as solid and is mostly associated with resilience, dependability, securityand safety – something we could all do well with at this point.

Brown often gets labelled as boring and lacklustre in a variety of different fields from interior design to fashion. However, when combined correctly with the right shades, brown can be both inspiringand super sleek. Brown possesses rich qualities that are warm, dramatic and enveloping.

Brown can be surprisingly flattering, especially for most Indian skin tones. It pairs well with a wide array of colours and lends itself nicely to other trends currently sweeping through menswear (details below).

There are so many different shades of brown that you can easily find something in your wardrobe to match your skin tone, the occasion or your mood.

A few fabrics and materials actually work better in brown: suede, leather and corduroy to name a few. Closer to home, khadi and silk both look artistic and rich in various tones and shades of brown.

Colour overview

Palette: Neutral and warm

Wear it with: White, yellow, mint green, burgundy, army green or orange.

Metallic match: Gold and Copper.

Shades & Hues: From beige to rich dark chocolate.

Skin Tone: Pale to dusky

5 golden rules of how to wear brown

1.Lighter shades on top and darker ones on the bottom.

2.If you are dusky opt for beige, camel and tan.

3.If you are pale, you gave the option to wear lighter or darker tones.

4.Different shades of brown like camel and chocolate look great together and will add a minimalist dynamic to any look.

5.Pair your brown clothes with brown accessories. Shade variations are acceptable and look good.

10 STRONG AUTUMN 2020 trends

1.Strap up or be left out

Straps are going to be the seasons strongest trend. Think strapped up tailoring, harnesses, suspenders, belts and jackets and tops with chest straddling attachments.

The overall menswear look is going to lean towards a more structured look with both a fitted and oversized silhouette.

Style tip: Use straps to fit and support your jackets and keep them in place.

2.Leather for the weather

Watch and accessory box in dark tan by The Leather Story
Watch and accessory box in dark tan by The Leather Story

At the risk of making environmentalists and animal activists cringe, leather is going to be the seasons most sought after material. Expect to see leather dominate clothes (jackets, overcoats, pants), accessories and even on home décor and lifestyle products.

It’s going to be brown over black through and through. I personally favour and recommend natural or fake leather, now even being made with apple peels (in Germany) and vegan leather (in India).

Style Tip: Match brown leather bags with brown belts and shoes.

3.Checks and balances

The vintage print keeps reinventing itself and you will see plenty of checks in all shapes, sizes, colours and forms.

Check shirts, overcoats, jackets and scarves are all reflecting the trend. Expect to see and wear checks in muted colours and even bright and multi coloured patterns.

Style tip: A check jacket over a pair of fitted jeans will lend a smart casual look.

4.Cardigans are the new jackets

Nostalgia returns with vintage cardigans as the outer layer. Cardigans will replace jackets for both business and formal wear. You can always wear a contrasting coloured or tone on tone tie underneath.

Pick a cardigan with a deep V-neck. The ends should rest just over the waist (or over the belt) and the fit should be as smart and close to the body as possible. Knits, cashmere and soft wool cardigans are going to arrive well before winter this year.

Style tip: Keep the buttons fastened at all times.

5.Functional and utility clothing

By definition functional clothing is designed or engineered to meet the performance requirements of the user under various or extreme conditions.

A variety of functional clothing products are available in the market such as protective, medical, uniforms or sports clothing. Given the current situation with the pandemic, these clothes will take centre stage as protection and safety both become important and relevant.As technologies are being developed, new and innovative products will emerge to meet the requirements of consumers.

Style tip: Look out for designs that come with pouches for your phones, wallets and other accessories.

6.Tech face masks

The fabulous new waterproof range of face masks by SQOD
The fabulous new waterproof range of face masks by SQOD

Influenced by current trends, face masks have become both mandatory and important. Innovation for this new accessory was long overdue and has finally arrived. The ‘wearable tech’ masks by SQOD look great - they have a hard bound design and a Silicone sleeve for a better fitand are sure to make you stand out in the crowd.

I suggest keeping a minimum of two masks ready on standby – one for formal occasions and one for day to day or casual everyday use. Match the colour of your mask with the dominant colour palette of your wardrobe.

Style tip: Avoid printed masks that draw too much attention and come in focus.

7.Neckties make a comeback

Men have been wearing ties for as long as anyone can remember, but finally the classic accessory has been given a high-style rework. Now, it’s not about simply throwing a tie around your neck, but how the necktie is drawing attention to itself.

On the international runway, neckties are now being worn oversized and even being sown onto lapels. The standard necktie is also being tucked into high-waisted trousers. My take: wear as many neckties as possible – keep them looking classic and opt for slimmer and sleeker styles. Solids and prints (read checks) are a must have for this season.

Style tip: Mix and match your necktie with an assortment of shirts to change your look.

8.Silk above all else

As the season changes, pull out those classic silk shirts from the back of your wardrobe. As a matter of fact, wear as much silk this Autumn/Winter as possible.

Silk shirts, kurta’s, jackets, ties, scarves and stoles are all going to be in focus. Silk tends to add both texture and a look and feel of luxury. Given a shift to Indian fabrics, it may be a good idea to invest in some classic Khadhi silk shirts and jackets.

Style tip: Choose a medium-length for silk scarves so they wrap around the neck and over the shoulder.

9. Formal footwear

Suede and leather two-tone formal handcrafted shoes by Escaro Royale
Suede and leather two-tone formal handcrafted shoes by Escaro Royale

Laced formal shoes in varying shades of brown are going to be the seasons bestsellers.

Brands, especially in India need to shift from pointed styles to round tip shoes and bring back more classic and vintage styles on the shelves. I suggest a neutral brown pair in your wardrobe that you can wear either to a business meeting or a dinner engagement.

Style tip: Look out for shoes with thin and slim laces.

10. Casual footwear

Brown casual shoes by Crocs
Brown casual shoes by Crocs

Before winter sets in, it’s a good idea to keep your feetopen, well ventilated and dry to prevent skin related issues, during the colder months when we tend to keep them constantly covered.

I suggest a pair of Crocs which I have found to be an extremely functional and durable brand. While they could do better with some new styles and design innovations the existing Crocs range remains extremely hands on and practical.

Style tip: Avoid wearing socks with ventilated shoes.

The author is an image, style and grooming consultant and trainer

From HT Brunch, September 27, 2020

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Sunday, October 17, 2021