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One-piece wonder

Published : Feb 6, 2016, 9:54 pm IST
Updated : Feb 6, 2016, 9:54 pm IST

It was bound to happen. Once men acquire a taste for fashion, they are ready to trade in their tailors for couturiers and their clothing shops for boutiques.


It was bound to happen. Once men acquire a taste for fashion, they are ready to trade in their tailors for couturiers and their clothing shops for boutiques. As genderless fashion continues to build momentum across the industry at houses like Prada, Calvin Klein, Mulberry, Hood by Air and others, the one garment helping make unisex chic easily accessible for both men and women is: the oh-so-utilitarian jumpsuit.

“The garment’s anti-fashion credentials are exactly what the fashion world is attracted to right now. The durable workman’s one-piece is the definition of no frills, function-over-form practicality, part of the vogue for utilitarian design,” says designer Gautam Gupta of the garment’s modern interpretation for men. “To be fair, the catwalk version isn’t all about dressing up as a mechanic or a Ghostbuster. We’re talking versatile slimmer cuts, closer to flight suits that even include classy, belted one-pieces in navy, heavily riveted denim versions, onesies with a faux-belt and detailings in the upper-half with buttons, pockets, and a collar, etc. in plainer and nice fabrics. Retro 70s jumpsuits have been on trend for women for several seasons but after designers at this past international fashion week showed several wearable variations on the trend (including shorter versions). They’ve officially arrived back on the scene for the boys.”

Referring to its growing popularity, designer, host and actress Mandira Bedi shares, “It’s the antithesis of something that feels stiff and overly polished. Gone are the stiff-shouldered trappings of the traditional power suit. These days, men who are drawn to the sharp look can have it with a softer, almost pyjama-like feel.” She adds, “The best way for guys to embrace the trend is with simplicity as too many extra accessories will ruin the look’s clean lines and also its sense of play. The attire is noted for its movability and practicality and is favoured by everyone from dancers to fine artists, mechanics and fighter pilots. So have fun exploring who you want to be in your jumpsuit. Maybe, you can channel Jackson Pollack or Maverick from Top Gun or the late David Bowie.”

Designer duo Pratham and Gyanesh, on the other hand, feel that in spite of its many runway interpretations this season, the jumpsuit is still, for most men, an incredibly daunting full-body statement. “Much of the trusted male wardrobe is derived from functionality such as the military trench coat or denim jeans. I personally think Indian men won’t accept the trend so easily unless it has been worn and promoted by celebrities and idols. Having said that, I do not think a jumpsuit or romper won’t look good on a guy. I mean, it’s fashion it’s fun and that’s the whole point of fashion, right When you are in a suit, you tend to get distracted by paranoia like: Is it all straight Is everything tucked in etc. but with the jumpsuit, you can just get on with minimal distraction. Consider it when worn unzipped over a sporty layer for a street-ready urban appeal.”

Designer Mausmi Mewawalla advises, “If you’re well-built and have broad shoulders but still want to try what that skinny model wore on the runway, do it like Kayne West. The singer was seen wearing his jumpsuits loose and boxy. Don’t try patterned jumpsuits or prints; stick to basics and in fact buy a size larger than what you’d usually buy. Jumpsuits may not suit every body type especially if you’re on the heavy side. But there are ways to work around it. Layer your jumpsuit over a T-shirt, try a zipper or a button-down jumpsuit to make it look more casual and easygoing. You can also try different colours such as greens, deep purples and even prints.”