There is a breed, a very common breed, of Pakistani men which has the means to dress but lacks the sense. They are the ‘Gucci-Prada’ brigade who commit heinous crimes in the name of fashion every day.
Still, it’s easier to forgive those over the age of 35 for committing the sin of hyper-branding as they’re financially established and want to display their strange Louis Vuitton shirts as status symbols.
However, it is inexcusable for twenty somethings, or teens even, to walk around with Hermes belt buckles flashy enough to signal alien life in Alpha Centauri, the nearest bright star to the solar system. Nothing says, “I’m a nouveau riche douche brat” like oversized Prada loafers on an 18-year-old who is still fastened to the udders of his parents’ accounts.
That and the insouciant Armani shirt tucked in a pair of formless jeans with an Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) belt. There’s also the tee shirt that makes appearances at tweeny parties at Cloud 9 with its screaming Dolce and Gabbana (D&G) logo. It’s enough to blind a poor sartorialist.
It’s time to educate these kids about menswear attire for summer 2011.
Lesson #1: Understand that youth comes first; it is your most fashionable accessory and it doesn’t last long. The trick is to not dress like a well-paid Italian gigolo. You don’t have to blow wads of cash on labels to pick up a few neutral colors, blacks or solids, that are the latest rage this season.
These will compliment your looks instead of overpowering them. You won’t have to go very far to get these: Both Stoneage and Crossroads stock a fair selection of solid and neutral tees. Also, as a rule, you can’t go wrong, especially when it’s hot, with preppy or laid-back Americana — collared shirts and tee shirts in cream and white. Shorts, even pants or jeans rolled up to the ankle apply.
Lesson #2: If you have to buy designer, buy subtle and buy quality. Be discriminating: just because it’s designer, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily going to make you look good. Always make sure it’s you wearing the clothes, not the other way around. Do not advertise where you shop, especially on your clothes, it’s tacky and obscene. This season, check out American Apparel’s website and learn what a chambray shirt is.
Lesson #3: You can’t go wrong with wearing local designers, especially their kurtas and sherwanis that work with slim-fits or jeans. Shirts from Ammar Belal’s Green Label are ideal for the summer season and the fits are decent. Similarly, Deepak Perwani’s solid kurtas and kurta-inspired jackets equip you for a day-to-evening style. If you want to get really opulent, try HSY’s Haute Couture collection. Opt for unfussy black or, again, solids. These aren’t inexpensive either — consider investing in and promoting local designers (Karachi and Lahore do this more but Islamabad is still lost in a style-wilderness) over the trash bought during hurricane shopping sprees on Madison or Oxford Street. It is fashionable imbibing your culture in your clothes. It looks a lot more original and effortlessly smart on Pakistani men.
Lesson #4: Shoes. Loafers (without socks) are your best bet. Shades of brown, tan, grey and black apply — don’t get too colorful, muted and simple shoe-colors are in this summer. Check out Sebago’s ‘Limerock Loafers’. “Canvas slip-ons” by Generic Surplus are also a good example. The fresh-off-the-sailboat look works this season as well because sailor stripes have made a massive comeback.
Lesson #5: Keep accessories to a bare minimum. Ideally, you won’t have any at all. It is permissible to wear necklaces or bracelets only if they are meaningful and have sentimental value. A taveez is totally acceptable and never looks tacky. It also keeps the evil eye away — this is actually a big deal, especially if you look effortlessly good this season. Observe these tips, learn from them, and follow them until you’ve understood what it means to dress like a man; to dress your age. This summer herald the end of the ‘Gucci-Prada’ tyranny.