Summer Fare for Well Dressed Gentlemen


If you’re wearing suits in Indian summers, don’t let it be an ordeal. Radha Prathi does a market survey of summer formals for men.
In a tropical country like India, summers can be forbiddingly hot and indefinitely long. The trendy formal suits which served the double purpose of keeping off the winter’s cold and keeping up with the agenda of winter wear have to be resigned to the wardrobe for the next couple of months.

While the women find it easy to start sporting cottons, the men find it difficult to do so. They are sometimes forced to wear formal suits during the blistering heat of the Indian summer.

Arrow’s Italian fashion designer Renato Grande says, “In the hierarchy of style, a good suit remains a man’s only trump card. Even in this age of casual-wear, the suit still carries an air of success, taste and sophistication.”


Until a couple of years ago there were hardly any exclusive formal cotton suits for men. The scenario has changed dramatically, not only do men want to dress up to the hilt in accordance with the occasion but they also look forward to being comfortable in what they wear.

The simple economic principle of the relationship between ‘demand’ and ‘supply’ has ensued. The market is now flooded with casual and formal men’s wear in superior varieties of cotton. While the Arrow President Collection crafts its outfits from superfine Italian fabrics made from the finest Giza cotton. The Signature collection swears by linen. Some international premium brands such as Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole and Izod opt for the finest cotton that money can buy to beat the summer heat.

For instance, Grande has come out with a collection for his special customers which he feels is, “trendy, light weight and designed to make you eventually look the gentleman you are”. One candid designer remarked, “This season, my recommendation for formal men’s clothing is very simple. Be comfortable and basic. Wear a light coloured linen suit in the day and a darker one at night. You can wear it with or without a tie, as it looks good both ways. The only down side really being, that linen crumples and at the end of the day, it might really look tacky. So, the other option is to wear a very light tropical wool suit which breathes and does not make you really uncomfortable.”

There are exclusively designed shirts and in a palette of summer-friendly colours mostly in simple yet elegant patterns. Nevertheless there seems to be a variegated opinion on the option of colours.Yet one glance at the range of shades in the market divulges that there is variety.

Men with a preference for light shades and subtle patterns can indulge themselves in shirts sporting fine stripes and checks across basic blues, white, ecru, beige. Male customers who have a penchant for brighter hues can opt for shirts with a variety of bright designs that interplay with stripes in electric blue, acid green; lemon yellow and mint green re-living the tones of spring in this season. Paresh Lamba a leading designer who has his exclusive Signature men’s wear suggests, “Colours should be mild during the day, even though you can team up a mild coloured suit with a more adventurous shirt inside to add a dash of colour. For instance, if you are wearing a mild beige suit, you can couple it with a mint or pink coloured shirt which would compliment the summer look and at the same time be pleasing to the eye during the day, and the same suit could be worn with a really dark shirt inside like a purple, black or electric blue for a great night effect.”

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