Wedding Indo western Sherwani: A gentleman’s guide to Indian formals!
Originating from the 18th century Lucknow, the traditional Sherwani had the essence of the medieval aristocracy.
Fast forward to contemporary India, where men’s wear prioritizes functionality, the Sherwani has been limited to a nuptial outfit. While it is sartorially pleasing, and perfectly reflects the “desi” in a man, the garment is not commonly associated with practicality.
Why invest in something so flamboyant so that it stays only in the wardrobe for most occasions, right? With this article, I intend to change that perspective!
Although an age-old ethnic attire, the Sherwani has undergone massive changes with time.
The modern, Indo-western Sherwani has a straight and boxy silhouette and is as versatile as any other men’s wear. This is why it can make a great choice for formal wear! Yes, you read that right!
Here are some sherwani wearing tips to look perfect for formal occasions:
- Choose the right color:
One of the significant features of Indian wear is indeed its bright colors. Nonetheless, to achieve a formal look with this Indo-western outfit, the first step is in picking the right colors.
Neutral colors are ideal for formal wear. The most versatile picks are black, ivory, beige, navy blue, and dark brown in descending order. Ensure that your Sherwani does not have more than three colors. Colors must not contrast to the extent that they stand out and must blend with the outfit, such as metallic tones.
Ethnic motifs such as paisleys, florals, etc. embroidered in metallic threads are a great choice. Flamboyant patterns like elephants, peacocks, swans, or any large intricate designs like Kalamkari are very over-the-top for formal outfits. Beads and zari work must be avoided or kept to a minimum.
- Choose the right style:
The silhouette of the traditional, 18th century Sherwani was skin-fit, body-hugging, below the knee, and curvy at the hips, almost like a dress! Obviously, the modern squarish silhouettes of men’s formal wear were not familiar to the Sultans and Maharajahs back in the time.
Fortunately, these styles have evolved tremendously over the decades and are now suitable for formal occasions. The modern Sherwani shares elements with the desi Achkan and even with a tuxedo! The indo-western Sherwani has the silhouette of a suit and is more angular than flowy.
Bandhgalas are preferable for a formal impact, however, certain angarkhas with button-fastenings can work as well, if picked wisely. Go for ones with moderate shoulder padding. There are a lot of shapes and styles at the front opening of a Sherwani to choose from, such as symmetrical cuts, asymmetrical cuts, pleats, layers, etc. For a formal look, pick an outfit with a less funky front opening.
Choose the best sherwani fabric:
Fabrics are one aspect of Indian dressing that has changed immensely with time. To achieve a more professional look than traditional, it becomes important to adopt fabrics used in western wear.
Hence, while cot silk, jacquard, and brocade are excellent choices for a Sherwani, western fabrics such as terry wool and even velvet are some really good options. Do not indulge in cheap fabrics with blinding colors, toxic dyes, and uncomfortable stitches. Remember, we are trying to make the Sherwani last longer in the wardrobe and make it a functional, go-to formal wear!
For bottom wear, fabrics like cotton, linen, art silk, and even terry wool are good options.
- Choose the right bottoms:
Don’t try to experiment with palazzos, salwars, or harem pants when the outfit is formal! The key here is “fitted” and not “oversized”! While these bottoms are fine picks for weddings and festivities, oversized bottoms kill the formal vibe!
Well-fitted churidars are the best friend to your Sherwani! Straight-cut cigarette pants, linen trousers, and Aligarh pyjamas are great choices as well. Older men can opt for a silk dhoti too!
Choose the right sherwani accessories list :
Remember that your outfit is Indo-western. This is why elements of a western suit or a tux can be incorporated very well. A deep-colored pocket square, brooch, or cufflinks can add that edge to your outfit.
A drape of an angavastram or shawl can work wonders for older men, to express a strong persona!
Lastly, what’s important for wedding indo western sherwani is to find your style and wear something that flatters your body type. Sherwanis have much more potential than just being nuptial wear. These points will make sure that your precious Sherwani does not simply lie around in your closet!