Sometimes, men just need to look like men, not a statement: Akshay Kumar - Hindustan Times
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Sometimes, men just need to look like men, not a statement: Akshay Kumar

ByShara Ashraf Prayag
May 26, 2024 04:35 PM IST

The OG King of style talks about being yourself, as he brings alive voguish looks and serves up style advice in a shoot with HT City Showstoppers

From absolutely rocking unbuttoned dungarees in the ’90s to flaunting pink pants on the most serious occasions, Akshay Kumar has always been a trendsetter. We chatted the actor up on his fashion choices, channelling stress to look great from the inside out, and more. Excerpts:

Akshay Kumar in a neon blazer by ace designer Manish Malhotra
Akshay Kumar in a neon blazer by ace designer Manish Malhotra

Akshay amps up the summer coolth in a printed shirt from Nautanky
Akshay amps up the summer coolth in a printed shirt from Nautanky

How would you define your personal style?

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Nowadays, comfortable and relatable. Some celebrities can definitely dress to impress, but one wouldn’t want to walk the streets in it — or pee or sit or even take a nap in what they’re wearing. I have enjoyed fashion a lot over the decades, but I’m happy being comfortable and ready for a game of cricket or volleyball at any given moment…

Mix work and play like Akshay, who aces this broken suit by designer duo Shantanu Nikhil behind the scenes
Mix work and play like Akshay, who aces this broken suit by designer duo Shantanu Nikhil behind the scenes

Is Twinkle a critic when it comes to your style choices?

Of course! I feel it’s all wives’ duty to critique their husbands’ wardrobe choices; it’s what makes them happy. Yes, she most definitely has a say when we’re dressing for an event together. On my own, she doesn’t mind what I look like, but for when we’re together, she’d rather I didn’t wear my trusty track pants and training T-shirts. I can’t blame her, though!

"Shirt and pants is my go-to, but Tina has always liked me in white shirt and denim jeans or black pants," says the actor.
"Shirt and pants is my go-to, but Tina has always liked me in white shirt and denim jeans or black pants," says the actor.

Your go-to look for a romantic dinner?

Whatever my wife decides. Sometimes, she asks me to surprise her, but she doesn’t like ridiculously expensive, over-the-top, trying-too-hard outfits. So, shirt and pants is my go-to, but Tina has always liked me in white shirt and denim jeans or black pants. You can’t go wrong with simple and chic — sometimes, men just need to look like men, and not a statement.

Very few can rock pink the way you do. Thoughts on men wearing pink?

I love pink — especially baby pink. For some of my favourite looks and moments in life, I was wearing pink. Well, I even interviewed the Prime Minister of India while wearing pink pants! Though if it was up to my wife, she’d burn all my pink tracks and onesies even if she thinks I look cute in them (laughs). I agree, not everyone can pull it off, but men should definitely feel like they can, for there are no limits on colour when it comes to fashion.

 

Akshay believes that style should be personal — it can reflect your mood, culture, personality, uniqueness.
Akshay believes that style should be personal — it can reflect your mood, culture, personality, uniqueness.

Any style advice for your fans?

Style should be personal — it can reflect your mood, culture, personality, uniqueness. You don’t need to follow the crowd; fashion and style exist because people aren’t afraid to push the norm. What you wear outside of school or work, should represent your own character and allow you to express yourself.

The actor slays the party look in an oversized bomber by fashion designer Manish Malhotra, teamed with tattered denims
The actor slays the party look in an oversized bomber by fashion designer Manish Malhotra, teamed with tattered denims

Fashion icons from history whose look you admire?

When I started out, I liked how (actor and martial arts icon) Bruce Lee wore high Chinese collared jackets, so I wore a lot of Chinese collar shirts and jackets. They always made me feel traditional to my sport, and smart on stage. But other than that, I’ve never really followed a fashion icon. I was always into sports, films and music, so people like David Beckham (footballer), Freddie Mercury (musician) and Dev Anand (actor) caught my eye because of what they did on and off the field or stage. I wear what interests me.

 

Akshay stuns in a neon co-ord set from Nirmooha
Akshay stuns in a neon co-ord set from Nirmooha

You have taken good care of your skin and it glows. What is the secret?

Nature, laughing and turning stress into motivation. I use natural soaps and oils on my face and body. For 30 years, my makeup dada has made me home-made almond oil and mustard oil that I use every day. No smoking, alcohol, or chemicals — and laugh every minute of the day that you can. Smile lines and expressions are what make people beautiful.

A khaki jacket rarely lets you down. Akshay rocks rugged-meets-chic in this number by fashion designer Nikita Mahaisalkar
A khaki jacket rarely lets you down. Akshay rocks rugged-meets-chic in this number by fashion designer Nikita Mahaisalkar

One trend that you can’t bear to see anymore?

Maybe jeggings on men, or jeans that are so tight they look like leggings. I feel we need to bring back the baggy fit for a while just to change guys’ wardrobes up a bit. When tapered fits came in, every item of men’s clothing became tight, from jeans to chinos to track pants. The fashion brigade forgot about comfort and breathability.

One fashion trend from the ’90s that you think should make a comeback?

For me, it’ll always be loose white T-shirts and shirts, with high-waisted, loose-fitting jeans and high-top trainers. But I reckon dungarees should make a comeback, too. A bit of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air should always be on the horizon.

 

Credits: 
Creative director: Shara Ashraf Prayag 
Photos: Vidhi Godha 
Production: Akshay Kaushal, Shweta Sunny, Kayanat zahera 
Styling: Sameer Kataria 
Makeup: Kin Chang Thui 
Hair: Shivcharan Geloth 
Location: JW Marriott Mumbai juhu

 

 

 

 

 

 

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