The Indian wardrobe culture is no longer what it used to be, for over the years several things have become a part of wardrobes that historically speaking didn’t exist. So how did dhoti wearing Indians become people who now prefer Tuxedos and waist coats is a story for another time.
But we can tell you this that the Indian wardrobes over the years have been influenced by the Mughals who gave us Shervanis and Achkans. While the Britishers gave us birches, pants, shirts and blazers in way our complete suits, while also laid the basic inspiration which later gave us the Jodhpuris. But the major changes were witnessed post independence when even women’s fashion sense changed drastically for the earlier influences gave women’s wear different types of embroideries and shrugs in a way.
Cut to 2016 where we can find almost all the brands that exist in the Western civilization or good knockoffs in India. “This sudden change can be attributed to several things, with the biggest being the opening up of the economy which paved the way for several multinationals to set up shop in India. Thus giving a rise to the modern Indian wardrobes,” says Abhisek Basak a Delhi based designer.
What in turn transformed several Indian professionals into suit wearing citizens? Some are just forced to do so as the law requires them to do (pun intended). “But we need to understand that the western countries are colder then India which lies in the tropics. So wearing a coat all the time becomes very difficult for us,” added Basak.
In order to cater to this Indian designers worked with several fabrics like cotton and linen. “The concept on summer suits is not new it’s just that now they are very colorful, as earlier suits were formalwear and formal meant dark colors which is no longer the case,” says Yesha Shah, a Ahmedabad based designer. But a suit is not something that we wear just to work anymore for a visit to a club of any good bar will show you that suits are something that are omnipresent no matter what the hour or what the place. This has given todays designers a lot of room to play around. “The suit culture has made it very easy for us designers for almost every designer will have a line of suits that will be bright and bold, paired with really off beat shirts or accessories which were considered absurd until a few years ago, but are in trend these days,” added Shah.
Lemon green, lilac blue or bold checks are some of the trends that several designers are looking into these days under the umbrella of summer suits. But what exactly is a summer suit and how is it different from a regular suit? “A summer suit is basically a slim fit suit that is constructed using light and cool fabrics like cotton, linen or any other light fabrics as I have seen designers working with jute as well. The colors are generally acceptable due to the season. While some designers are going the extra mile and playing with floral prints too that are cast upon a light base colour,” says Rahul Sharma a Delhi based model.
And then there are short suits which are also being received with a lot of cheer. A short is basically a normal suit, which instead of pants adore knee length shorts. “These shorts or half pants have been there for a while and several designers have paired them with their suits but again it’s nothing new as all this has been there for a while now. But it’s just now they have become so popular that you will see them in the open,” says Nikita Sharma the proprietor of Odara.
And then there are short suits which are also being received with a lot of cheer. A “short” is basically a normal suit, which instead of pants goes with knee-length shorts.
“Before you talk about summer suits you need to know that layering is something that looks very good when we talk about fashion. For the layers and colours add character to an outfit. And there is no better way to carry this then a suit. For you have a shirt with a blazer that is accessorized with pocket squares and cufflings,” added Nikita.
Hitesh Mehta, a Jaipur based industrialist who supports these designs and has been wearing these bright linen suits to work for a long time now says, “Suits are something I have always fancied and when I started working they were my choice of attire. But these bright colours because I’m a rajasthani and we like bright colours, which is a very funny justification but that is all I can say. I wear these bright colours, as I really like them.”
According to Rahul, “summers are all about looking cool and keeping it casual, but in order to maintain some formal nature for those who go to work these suits are great. Lately I’ve noticed that a lot of people are actually wearing these suits to work.”
When asked about wearing a short suit Mehta added, “Well I would love to wear it but I’m pretty sure my staff will think that I’m losing my mind, while my clients will never take me seriously. Maybe in a few years when these short suits are more acceptable I will. It’s not that I don’t wear them I just don’t wear them to work.”
Long ago in an interview Indian Designer Rohit Bal had said, “there will soon come a day when people will wear red socks with blue shoes to work,” considering the way we Indian’s are accepting these colourful suits as our work ware, we can say that day has arrived.