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Pink is for powerful men: How the girly colour has transitioned from Friday dressing to power dressing for the workplace

India’s top entrpreneurs, educationists and others show you how to make a pink statement (no shock involved!)

brunch Updated: Feb 24, 2019 09:40 IST
Drishti Vij
Drishti Vij
Hindustan Times
pink,shades of pink,pink in fashion
Seven ways to wear pink that will only enrich your wardrobe (Styling by Drishti Vij and Jahnvi Bansal; Location Courtesy: Ping’s Café Orient, Delhi; Art direction: Amit Malik; Make-up and hair: Artistry By Anjali Jain & Kangna Kochhar )(Hari Nair)

Deep pink speaks, light pink whispers

Rule #1: Pick the pink that works for you

Arun Kapur, 64, Principal,vasant valley school (Shirt, Zodiac; trousers, custom-made by Vaish at Rivoli; shoes, Churchill & Company) ( Hari Nair )

Let’s clear this: Powerful men don’t reserve pink ensembles for wear-what-you-want Fridays – they wear it with utmost ease in public! For anyone who has met the immensely-loved Arun Kapur, principal of Vasant Valley School, his pink shirts, which he says he “likes pairing with Nehru jackets” is something that adds to his calm, cool yet strong personality. “After all, seeing someone influential in this hue changes how we imagine our leaders,” says designer Nachiket Barve. But, men must choose their pinks with care! “Matte pink looks great on light-skinned people whereas brighter pinks complement warmer skin tones,” adds Nachiket. Stick to non-glossy fabrics to wear pink for a dressed-down event like a brunch or to work and flaunt brighter pinks for a wedding.

Manik Handa, 38, founder of menswear luxury label Eudaemon (Shirt and pants, Eudaemon) ( Hari Nair )

Manik Handa, owner of menswear label Eudaemon, likes to think of pink in a different light. He says, “I wear pink shirts or pocket scarves as it breaks the monotony of basics like a pair of grey or blue trousers.”

Power up your pink shirt by: “Wearing neutral-toned, sleek trousers,” says designer Karan Torani.

How to wear a jacket that’s not black!

Beige is boring... A deeper-toned jacket adds a statement to your ensemble

Ajit Singh, 30, co-founder of Detroit garage bar & kitchen (T-shirt, Tommy Hilfiger; pants, Bespoke; belt Raymond Made to Measure; shoes, Johnston & Murphy; parka, Amen) ( Hari Nair )

When putting together an outfit, how about adding a calamine-coloured parka jacket that will definitely be noticed first, and remembered! A jacket like that will show you have the guts to do something different. However, the bad: it can’t be worn again and again as it is remembered!

Restaurateur Ajit Singh, of Detroit and Anglow, wears it to showcase self-confidence. “I flaunt the colour on the golf course and feel wearing pink reflects an originality of thought that is independent of society’s associations with the colour.”

Fashion designer Karan Torani feels a statement pink jacket can look better than a black one because “you do not need to experiment with the silhouette to make your look stand out.”

Power up your pink parka with: “A great watch or wayfarers,” says Karan.

When pink pants don’t spell disaster

(Just don’t wear them with a pink shirt!)

Nikhil Chopra, 45, cricket commentator (Trousers and shirt, Polo Ralph Lauren; jacket, Massimo Dutti; shoes, Prada; pocket square, Pink) ( Hari Nair )

What happens when a golf player is seen scoring a bogey in a pair of pink trousers? Does he fear ending up being looked at as a crazy Ranveer Singh? Even if he does, he won’t score a Deepika Padukone! Jokes apart, many a million-dollar business deals have been closed over a game of golf, so if cricket commentator Nikhil Chopra feels confident in playing the sport in his pink pants, his style quotient surely isn’t ‘too loud’.

Nikhil says, “Anyone who can carry pink off should wear it. “Pink, in fact, defines the art of manliness according to celebrity stylist Sheefa Gilani. “Pink pants on men showcase confidence. You’re no longer a child who needs ‘boys’ clothes!” she exclaims.

So wear your pink pants to a casual lunch or a sundowner. And, if you’re brave, wear it to work, feels stylist Mohan Neelakantan.

Power up your pink pants by: “Wearing neutral-hued stripes or a printed long shirt,” says designer Jewellyn Alvares.

Also, Sheefa adds a pro tip: “Women love men in pink! Paired with a white button-down, the colour could be worn to a day wedding, brunch, or even fashion week. For a more formal look, you can opt for a power suit or a full-on Gatsby-esque suit like Leonardo DiCaprio in millennial pink.”

Smart accents to pep up the pinks

Plan your accessories right because god is really in the details if you choose to wear pink

Mohit Dutta, 37, founder of Catering of Delhi and his son Rayann, 6 (On Mohit: Blazer, Raymond; shirt, Zara; trousers, Hugo Boss; On Rayann: Shirt, Tommy Hilfiger; jeans, Zara) ( Hari Nair )

Accessorising sensibly is part of the balancing act when it comes to wearing pink. From a satin pocket square to a leather belt – accessories can add the finishing touches that one needs to look more put-together.

Entrepreneur Mohit Dutta, who found Catering of Delhi, says, “I like to team up my pink blazer with a hot-pink pocket square for that extra pop of colour. Adding a classic pair of brown shoes for lunch or maroon loafers for cocktail makes me look classy. I’m always quite particular about accessories.” Menswear designer Jewellyn Alvares notes, “Make sure fold the pocket square is in a sharp fold.”

Power up your pink blazer by: “Experimenting with a pair of slip-ons or even a subtle ring if you want to push the envelope. If you want to keep it classic then go for your favourite sunglasses,” says Jewellyn.

Show soft, appear strong

Navy and black aren’t the only authoritarian colours. Pink can be pretty powerful too!

Ashish Dev Kapur, 40, founder of Whisky Samba (Blazer, Tailorman; shirt and trousers, Calvin Klein; belt, Massimo Dutti) ( Hari Nair )

Ever thought that softer colours like pink, on a tailored, structured garment like a formal suit can show strength more than anything else? In fact, the new-age pink, when used in sharp tailoring, isn’t just refreshing — it shows conviction in oneself.

While Mohit Dutta, founder of Catering of Delhi, feels that wearing pink makes him look sharp, Ashish Dev Kapur, founder of Whisky Samba and The Wine Company among others, believes, “A pink blazer looks fresh and oozes confidence. It is being embraced by a lot of men, without worrying about it being too bright or feminine.”

You can accessorise it with a watch or a pair of classy shoes. “Fun pocket squares and cufflinks look good too,” adds stylist Tanya Ghavri.

However, Nikhil Sharma, founder of Lacquer Embassy, cautions: “Something loose or boxy won’t look good. The blazer needs to be short.” Also, a baby pink or dirty pink blazer paired with white or navy trousers and loafers can look impactful.

Power up your pink suit with: “Monochromatic stripes or mint green, off-white or dull grey to balance the colours,” adds Ghavri.

Pretty in pink? Nah! Think of being powerful in pink instead!

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From HT Brunch, February 24, 2019

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First Published: Feb 23, 2019 22:36 IST