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Men’s style and grooming by Yatan Ahluwalia: The power of white

Here are five reasons and ways in which men can wear white, the season’s strongest colour as well as trend
Clean shaved and blemish-free skin is in season; model: Diovani, an international model from Brazil (Agency: Posh Talents) (Yatan Ahluwalia)
Updated on Sep 19, 2021 01:39 AM IST
By Yatan Ahluwalia

Decoding the lead look

Hair: Short all around. Left uneven to look a bit messy.

Brows: Thick and well defined.

Face: Clean shaved and blemish free. We used the Brazilian purple mineral rich clay mask by Antheia to tighten and nourish the skin. We applied the Fitkari after shave gel by Bombay Shaving Company to heal and hydrate it.

Lips: Thick, fresh, and buffed lips.

Others: Full sleeve stretchable top from Snitch. Drawstring pants from The Souled Store.

Five reasons to wear white:

1.White is a universal neutral colour and may be mixed, matched, and worn on or with just about anything.

2.It has the inherent quality to make you look both crisp and stark.

3.White works well on boys and men with a light skin tone, but looks just as good, if not better on dark or dusky complexions.

4.Light reacts to colours in different ways, depending on how much is absorbed or reflected. White reflects light, which means you will be cooler wearing it than you would be in dark clothes, which tend to trap heat.


5.White symbolises purity, looks extremely sensual and enhances both your facial and physical features.

How to wear white:

White on white

You could be in a white vest, underwear, t-shirt, shirt, pyjamas, track pants or draw string trousers and you will look good. When you wear white, ensure all the garments have the same colour pigment and are an identical shade match. Nothing looks worse that combining two different shades of white together.


White is by far the most popular and staple colour pick for vests, underwear and even winter thermals or long johns. Ensure they fit well, are made in soft cotton, and allow the skin to breathe!

White vests

Influenced by construction workers, white vests are a popular casual garment that can be worn at home, in the gym, for a run or paired with a snug fit pair of jeans. The classic ‘construction worker’ look is a white vest and indigo blue jeans, but you can variate and experiment with colours, textures, and cuts. Try cut sleeve tops or tank tops – vests that have deep cuts, square or v neck cuts.

Beyond leisure

White works great as a day colour on the weekends and an evening colour otherwise. For a laid back, leisure, or beach inspired look, wear white pyjamas with a soft semi open white shirt, vest or top. If your pyjamas or pants are made with a soft breathable fabric, then ensure to wear white underwear.


White is perhaps the most basic and popular colour for a t-shirt. You may choose between a round neck, v neck or a collared golf shirt. T-shirts can be worn on their own for a casual or sporty look or under a jacket for a semi formal look.

The full sleeve top

White long sleeve tops are a must have commodity. Wear them on their own or under a casual jacket. Choose between a round neck or a v–neck cut.

Wearing them gives you the added advantage of matching them with (just about) everything in your wardrobe. In terms of fit, keep in mind that the shoulders do not droop, the cuffs end at your wrist and not on your palm. Ensure the fabric has a slight element of stretch to give you a more fitted and body-hugging look.

The casual white shirt

A casual white shirt is essential. Ensure you have one that is distinctly different from the formal ones you wear with a suit. Choose a crease free, slim fit shirt that has a short length. Team this up with a pair of snug fit pair of jeans or casual trousers. Leave the shirt in or out as necessary.

Formal white shirts

A good formal white shirt is a must have for every man and often speaks for you, even before you do. Plain shirts are always a safer bet and can be mixed and matched and worn for more occasions. The shirt that accompanies a tuxedo should always be stark white. It functions similarly to a regular dress shirt but has a few unique features that set it apart. Design elements like pleats, pin tucks and cloth wrapped buttons are therefore strongly recommended.

The denim jacket

White denim jackets have a very casual look and feel about them, and you can easily add some character to your jacket by opting for a stone washed, weathered, or artificially aged and bleached look. Wear them with jeans, cargos, chinos, or casual trousers.

Ethnic wear

Worn and endorsed by most politicians (and at times of mourning), the white kurta pyjama is India’s strongest menswear staple. Styles may vary – ranging from the fitted and structured (Punjab), Chikan embroidered (Lucknow) and the flared lowers and long tops (Hyderabad). These can be plain, embellished or dressed in jewelled or wood buttons. Up north, white dhoti’s are popular while down south, white lungis are extremely common.

White jeans

White jeans are tough to maintain, but if kept clean and worn right, can make you look sexy and crisp. They combine well with black or white tops. You can wear white jeans with contrasting-coloured tops that are plain, textured or embellished. You may also opt for a pair that has a ribbed texture, multi pockets or loops, straps or buckles in metal, leather, or cotton drill.

Drawstring pants

Light, soft, comfortable, and slightly sheer (not see through) materials are ideal for white lowers. The more breathable the fabric, the more comfortable you will feel. Ensure the lowers end just at the ankle. There’s nothing worse than the ends touching the floor or falling over the shoes, which will make you look shapeless as well as get dirty easily. Choose flat fronts over pleats.


While white footwear can be tricky, since its always at the risk of looking dirty and stained, it does lift any casual or sporty look. Certain dress shoes, (if you are flamboyant enough to wear them) can also make you stand out in the crowd at a party or nightclub. Remember to wash, wipe, clean as and when needed. High on both maintenance and style.

Style question

With white, do you have to worry about what you have on underneath?

You most certainly do! Light colours have an inherent quality of showing everything under it and this includes vests, innerwear, sweat or untrimmed (armpit, chest, leg) hair.

Never wear a white shirt with any other coloured innerwear – especially red, black, and grey or anything that has a print or pattern on it. The plainer and more seamless your innerwear, the ‘safer’ you will be.

A review of new grooming & wellness products you should use:

1.Henna Cream Colour by Surya Brasil

This cream colour contains vegetable extracts including herbs and fruits which give a deep conditioning treatment for the hair as well as the scalp

This high performance Henna cream colour is an anti-oxidant rich semi-permanent hair colour which nourishes and infuses the hair with lush, vibrant colour. It contains vegetable extracts including herbs and fruits which give a deep conditioning treatment for the hair as well as the scalp. Easy to use, these at-home natural colour shades are safe for use on chemically treated hair, colour-treated hair as well as highlights.

Use: As necessary

2.Haircare combo by Atulya

The shampoo effectively works to reduce hair damage and make the hair stronger from root to tip

The all natural hair care range is filled with the goodness of Ayurvedic herbs which provides nourishment to the follicles and scalp. The shampoo effectively works to reduce hair damage and make the hair stronger from root to tip. The conditioner is rich in iron, carotene and antioxidants that improves hair texture, reverses free radical damage, and reduces breakage. The hair oil prevents premature greying and dullness. The hair mask penetrates deeply into the roots and provides nutrients to keep your hair strong from root to tip.

Use: Regularly

3.Youth Hand Cream by L’Occitanne En Provence

This cream makes your hands appear visibly younger with improved elasticity

Made with a highly concentrated blend of ingredients, this specially formulated serum and cream has been made specially for the hands. Contains Shea butter which helps diminish the visible signs of aging. Over time, your hands appear visibly younger with improved elasticity. Gives them a more even-toned, plumper and brighter appearance. A must have for making those hands look just as young as you feel.

Use: Daily

4.Hermoso Body Oil by Indulgeo Essentials

This body oil doubles as an after shower oil or an excellent massage oil

This body oil is a unique blend of extra virgin olive, sweet almond and Myrrh oils. Doubles as an after shower oil or an excellent massage oil to soften, sooth and nourish dry and rough skin. Smells good and feels even better, when applied. Perfect to start using as a run up to the colder months ahead.

Use: Daily or once weekly

5.Turmeric latte by ZeoTum

The latte immune system, improves the skin, reduces pain in the joints, and relaxes the body

This Turmeric latte is a convenient immunity boosting, caffeine-free (healthy alternative to tea or coffee), beverage powder containing golden turmeric, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. Milk fortified with Curcumin boosts the immune system, improves the skin, reduces pain in the joints, and relaxes the body. It is also a common Ayurvedic cure for the common cold. Healthy for the body, has a smooth texture when added to milk and tastes pretty good too!

Use: Daily

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

From HT Brunch, September 19, 2021

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