Men’s Style and Grooming by Yatan Ahluwalia: The extras matter
What you wear or carry makes all the difference to your look. Here’s a guide to the best accessories and tips on how you could flaunt them
Decoding the lead look
Hair: Very short, faded look on the sides that blends into sharp spikes on top. This is one of the strongest hairstyles for summer.
Brows: Thick and bushy but shaped at the ends to lift the face. Intentional cut on the left eyebrow.
Face: Clean shaved, smooth and well groomed.
Others: Silver chain on the neck and a silver stud in the right ear. Trends favour silver over gold and slim, but eye-catching jewellery for men.
The right accessories can take any look to a whole other level. Accessories are what compliment, enhance, transform or complete a look. The wrong accessories can ruin the whole look easily.
If you feel overwhelmed by accessory options or are confused about what to pick, then choose just one statement piece that looks good and which you can wear with multiple outfits or looks. When you’re ready to add more accessories, create balance by choosing one piece to dominate your look in terms of size or colour, then layer on more subtle accessories to complete your look.
Always remember that apart from providing you with stylish touches that easily puts your whole look together, accessories also highlight and reflect your individuality and personal style. More than anything, they help you stand out from the crowd.
What they include: Headgears, eyewear, scarves, bows & ties, jewellery (ear studs, chains, brooches, tie pins, bracelets & rings) watches, cufflinks, belts, bags, wallets and footwear (shoes & socks).
The rules to remember:
1.Never over accessorise your look. One prominent accessory is always better than wearing too many.
2.Accessories complete your look, so wear the right ones. Never mix formal and casual accessories together.
3.Accessories must match the colour, texture and feel of your look.
4.Accessories must always be well maintained. You must ensure they don’t look old, weathered, frayed or worn out.
5.Accessories don’t need to be expensive. Accessories are now more affordable and available to everyone. There are numerous brands in all price segments to choose from.
Five fashion accessories that you should wear this summer:
1.Printed pocket squares
What: Pocket squares should always be placed neatly into the left chest pocket of your jacket.
Styling: Pocket squares can be folded in many ways – either with one, two, three or four points. The most modern and preferred way to place one is to flatten it and to allow a band of about a quarter of an inch to peep out of the jackets pocket. Ideally, pocket squares should contrast with the base colour of your jacket. Printed pocket squares can make a strong style statement. Choose between a quirky or classic print.
The printed scarves from House of Badnore are available in both quirky as well as classic prints and come in an assortment of colours.
My style tip: When you want to draw attention away from it, place a printed pocket square into a dull or plain jacket.
At work: The belts you wear to work should be with simple with fuss free buckles. Slim bets compliment formal trousers and the overall corporate look. Leather belts are ideal but ensure the quality is good. There is nothing worse than wearing a creased or worn-out belt with a sharp business suit or a pair of formal trousers.
At play: Semi formal belts can be made with leather, cloth, canvas or other materials. These can be slim or a bit wide – depending on what you are wearing them on – jeans, chinos or trousers. The buckle reflects your personality, and most people will judge you with what you choose to wear. It’s important to ensure the buckle rests right in the centre of your body or follows the shirt’s button line.
The handcrafted belts from Escaro Royale are made in high quality leather and come in a variety of colours, patterns and textures.
My style tip: Always match the belt to the colour of your shoes.
3. Chunky watches
Make a statement: Even in the age of smart watches and digital displays, conventional watches haven’t lost their appeal. If you are looking to make a powerful style statement with your semi formal look, I suggest a large chunky watch that rests securely on the wrist but catches the eye.
Match or contrast: You could either match or contrast your watch with your look. This depends entirely on whether want to make the watch blend in or stand out.
This eye-catching watch from Diesel has a large dial and has an unusual gold metal work pattern as the display. This is my pick for this season’s must have trendy watch for a semi formal look.
My style tip: The colours of all your metals and leathers should match. The watchband must therefore always match with the other metals or leather of your look.
What they do: Scarves are used for their ability to insulate the neck while providing freedom of movement and add a strong element of style, especially when they introduce colour to an otherwise bland outfit. Scarves are a must have accessory for men who are classic dressers. More casual styles can be used to layer even the simplest of looks.
How to wear them: You can wear your scarf with a jacket, under the collar of your shirt or just throw it over (or around) your shoulder. A lightweight linen scarf can protect your neck from the sun and an unwanted tan.
The range of beautifully made scarves by Siddhant Agrawal come in rich jewel tones and can be draped with a variety of garments: including jackets as well as ethnic wear.
My style tip: Wear scarves with muted colours and subtle prints.
5.Sandals with straps
Where to wear them: There was a time when you only wore them on a beach holiday, but these days they are as much a part of an urban look as they are on the sand. Open-toed footwear comes in many forms, so deciding how to wear sandals really depends on your personal style and what kind of look you are after.
Styling: The first rule is no socks, especially not white ones designed for sports. Too many straps can make your look appear busy as well as be tough to maintain, so I suggest a pair with simple single or cross over straps. Pair them with casual shorts, drawstring trousers or pyjamas.
The summer collection of sandals from Metro shoes are fitted with pressure point cushioning that makes them even more comfortable and desirable. Available in white, tan, brown, red and blue. This is a must have WFH accessory.
My style tip: Wear sandals only when it’s practical and the climate or terrain around you commands it.
The must-have summer shirt
Style essentials: Summer shirts must be light, airy and ideally made with fabrics that are ventilated or highly absorbent.
Colours: Pastels and lighter colours make the ideal summer palette. White is the universal favourite and has the ability to be worn to the office or a for a leisure weekend. Every man must have a minimum of one, if not two white shirts in his wardrobe.
My choice for the season has to be the very aesthetically put together Bageecha range from Postfold. The shirts are well crafted, fit just as they should and feel extremely comfortable. I personally love the white and charcoal grey variants. The first is great for daywear and the other for an early evening occasion.
My style tip: I recommend you choose summer fabrics that are lighter, with looser weaves which allow the heat to escape and keep you cool.
Why: Your workstation becomes a style extension of you. As most of us are now working from home and spending longer than expected hours on our desks, I suggest investing in this very slick and extremely well-designed task light which has been engineered to reduce eye strain and provide the right light for the time of day.
How: The light supports your body clock with local daylight tracking that continually adjusts colour temperature and brightness in relation to your local daylight.
This ‘must have’ lifestyle accessory from Dyson will ensure you look your best on your online video calls and that your desk looks just as stylish as you do.
My style tip: To hide those dark circles and minor imperfections, adjust the angle of the light source right ahead of you so it provides an even and flat light on your face. Good lighting is the secret to looking perfect online!
The author is an image, style and grooming consultant and trainer.
From HT Brunch, April 25, 2021
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