There are plenty of shoddy, baggy, large and unattractive looking attire out there for men this monsoon season. This is primarily because the rains cause more damage than leave room for style. From colds and a phone that gets wet to dry hair/skin and clothes that itch more than sit comfortably on you, the monsoon has a tendency to get under everyone’s skin.
Fashion will most probably be one of the last things on a man’s mind when he goes shopping for, say, rain coats, plastic phone waterproof-cases, mud boots and other items to prepare for the rains, mild flooding and whatnot in his difficult commute to work and back or any other activity he may have listed on his schedule.
Here’s an idea of what can work while still remaining chic, elegant and practical. Of course, you may need to spend a few hundred rupees extra to grab each of these but for what they’re worth you will appreciate making that investment in yourself.
Designer Sweaters: These aren’t the lumpy slip-on’s, the ones that make you look all strung up at the neck and wrists while leaving your waist all narrowed in an unappealing way, especially if you don’t have a flat stomach. This is where a good designer sweater makes a difference. Not only does it keep you warm it’s also tailored to look cool so you can select the one that suits you best, match it with a nice shirt and a pant (formals are a great choice for both) and you have yourself a warmth-retaining fashion statement.
Raincoats: Don’t pick up the flashy ones or the common clichés. Go for those new pieces they make these days where you can find some attractive designs and cuts with practical pocket-placements and so on. These grab people’s attention while kicking awkwardness or bad fashion sense out.
Umbrellas: It’s always best a man doesn’t opt for the use of an umbrella. It may have been in mode many decades ago when British men were using them, but these days not so much. However, if you absolutely need one go for a masculine look. These include deep color handles, preferably faux-wood if you want that style and very dark umbrella tops, gray and black being the ideal shades, perhaps a burgundy or any other deep-hued shade you feel doesn’t look girly.
Full-Sleeve Collared Shirts: While you may be wearing exactly these for everyday office wear, there are designs available specifically for the rainy or winter seasons. You can see which one suits you and go for shirts like those. The reason you’re selecting collared full-sleeves is so you can finally put on those wrist buttons and show off a more elegant side of yourself which the summer heat may have discouraged earlier.
T-Shirts: These are great to thrown on and take off, especially if you know you’re going to get caught in the rain. Match them with windbreakers or casual open-front jackets and you will have gained a youthful look with Euro and American style elements thrown in. This fashion match-up keeps you warm while being practical wear during rainy monsoon seasons. After all, the jacket can double as a makeshift umbrella or hoodie if the rains take you by surprise.
Pants & Jeans: Jeans are more of a summer special, because they don’t make great attire-buddies when wet. However, they do have the tendency to keep you warm so choose with patience.
Formal pants/pantaloons make great complementary wear for your full-sleeve collared shirts. Plus, they enable smooth wind circulation and, if slightly wet or drenched, do not hinder movement like jeans do.
Footwear: Sandals and slip-on’s are perfect for your feet. Since it isn’t Indian tradition to wear gloves when the weather turns cold (bikers have options in this regard), footwear is present to help keep the style quotient in. If you’ve planned on formal wear, go for fashionable sandals with straps and buckles that will hold your feet when wet but don’t look off. Besides, the simple fact that shoes are a terrible decision when you have heavy rains to face and how people often tend to notice your feet (check out Bhakti’s post on foot care) are two reasons why opting for chic sandals will serve you superbly.
As far as slippers are concerned, use them mostly during casual times. Crocs are a favorite and so are other designer slippers that look much better than those simple old-fashioned ones.
Caps & Hoods: This is just what it says. There are several varieties of caps for you to buy, so get the durable ones and not those off-the-platform pieces that tear when pulled with only a little force or the ones that come out in terrible shape after a washing machine clean-up. Remember those plastic holds most caps have at the back, with tiny holes to adjust for the size of your head? Cheap ones with those additions tear off, leaving the cap loose and easily blown off (note this point before shopping).
Hoods or hoodies are awesome, because they come connected with jackets and raincoats, not to forget ultra-fashionable windbreakers (this is the name of a type of cool-looking jacket for men). You slip a hood on your head, zip up the windbreaker so it becomes a kind of sweater, stuff your hands in the side-pockets these coats almost always have and you’ll look rather American with a touch of mysterious, both of which are great style-elements for men.