The month of August is all about brothers – the men in house who promise to take care of their sisters. Putting our men under spotlight of style and fashion, we met with the new-age men’s stylist, Sudhir Arora who believes, “It’s high time that men start looking at styling seriously, and not as something that’s slated for celebrities.”
A self-confessed fashion geek, Sudhir is an alumnus of National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT). Professionally, he has worked with runway designers like Anita Dongre; dabbled with his entrepreneurial venture – JoyStreet, where he designed and retailed bags; and presently he is doubling up as a business operations head for a high-end luxury products company; along with being a men’s stylist.
Fashion and style comes easily to Sudhir — “The moment I enter a room, my natural inclination is to decipher which look works and which doesn’t on people.” Though naturally gifted, he is extremely coherent in his approach towards styling and does a lot of background work before designing the best look for his clients. “For me it’s not only about adding trending fashion elements to an outfit. I like to put together a well-studied look after understanding a person’s work and social life, body type, his own preferences. The idea is to keep it effortlessly stylish.”
One can say from his wardrobe that he is clean, structural, clear-cut and carries an uber-cool finesse in his collection. His wardrobe has everything that is relevant to his lifestyle – minimal, yet dapper.
WM: How does styling help in defining one’s self?
SA: Styling is about being modern, streamlined, de-cluttered in your choices; while bringing out the best in you.
WM: How would you define your style?
SA: My style is preppy, modern and minimalistic — in that order. I love business casuals, and that dons my style. I play with textures and details, while keeping it basic and subtle.
WM: What’s peppy and preppy in styling?
SA: While peppy is about making it fun and lively; preppy is proper, classic and collegiate. Think Ralph Lauren, Hilfiger or Lacoste.
WM: When you style someone, what do you look at bringing out in them?
SA: Apart from focusing on their strongest points and highlighting their features, I love attending to their fashion fantasies — things they have always wanted to do, but just did not know how. On a more generic note, I make sure that their wardrobe is up-to-date, balanced and relevant to their lifestyle.
WM: What accessories do you like to work with while styling?
SA: I love using pocket squares and ties. I can play with their colours and patterns and easily take an ensemble in a different direction.
WM: How important is it for men to wear the right accessories?
SA: For men, good accessories denote elegance. Hence, I always recommend having accessories that speak of quality. I would say, it’s always better to invest in classy, branded accessories. In a separate approach, one can use accessories like jewellery, ties, pocket squares or even socks with interesting colours and patterns to drive up a look and add a notch of excitement.
WM: A right fit…
SA: Makes one look good. It is comfortable and also plays an important role in defining one’s posture; as there is no room for slouching and any sluggishness.
WM: One fashion trend according to you will never go out of style…
SA: I feel sports jackets are here to stay. They have been here for the longest time and are versatile to carry off. With lines blurring between work-wear and casual-wear, sports jackets also work well with formal and casual attire. Also, accessories like aviators and wayfarers have been around and look classy no matter what.
WM: What’s your take on men’s shoes?
SA: As a basic rule, one must wear shoes that are clean and intact in quality. It shows you are proper, respectful and you mean business. In terms of style, use shoes to complement your whole outfit — let them stand out as a winner.
WM: If you were to style a celebrity, which one would it be?
SA: I am most fond of business casuals, which is why I would like to style John Hamm as he personifies that category for me. Another celebrity I would like to style is Johnny Depp. He is always seen experimenting with his looks. These two guys are already so cool and it would be interesting for me to see what else I could do to enhance their style quotient.
WM: Any style icon you follow?
SA: Jaden Smith, Romeo Beckham and Harry Styles — they experiment a lot with their looks and I am always intrigued to see what they would come up with.
WM: A styling tip for our readers?
SA: To build any look you might want to break it down to individual elements and have a go at it one at a time. To do this, figure your lifestyle, personality and combine it with the trending fits and patterns. Remember, keeping it subtle is always a winner!
Recipe: Meghana Biwalkar (introduction + concept). Chef: Indrajeet Deshmukh (photography + edits). Sous Chefs: VR Kiran & Sangeeta Baishya (post-edits + creative garnish). Server: Sharmil Shah. Food Critic: Yours truly.