Most of us in Mumbai pack away our jeans alongwith our sweaters this time of the year. Anywhere in the world jeans are everyone’s idea of summer. But if you live in the most humid cities of the world, denims are definitely disagreeble. The thick factory fabric doesn’t allow the skin to breathe and sticks in places you don’t want it to.
But with denim as this summer’s biggest fashion choice, how do you keep your pants on? You roll them up to culotte length, also a big style high-five this year, and you’ve knocked off two birds with one pair.
But jeans aren’t the only way to wear denim. The utilitarian uniform has seized the catwalks of the world. Rajesh Pratap Singh’s fashion week collection was a homage to his favourite fabric, with his factory hands seated on his stage as the models showed their handiwork. Gucci has denim shirt dresses, Aneeth Arora embroiders hers with flowers and Dhruv Kapoor has oversize shift dresses. Of course chambray, a plain weave fabric, is a lighter option to proper denim. It looks just like denim but is as light as cotton. Zara is filled with chambray playsuits.
An Indian summer is only bearable if you’re dressed in linens. No one does better linens than Wendell Rodricks, who makes his eco-friendly ones in Goa. His beautiful bias cut dresses and tops are very well priced albeit hard to find. But mass retailers like Raymond and Zodiac are promoting linen hugely. Cottonworld has a lovely range of linen tshirts that are priced easy at Rs 900.
The linen pantsuit is an utterly stylish way to dress up for the day. Sabyasachi introduced several in safari styles and military colours at his spectacular show at Mumbai’s Richardson Cruddas Mills last month, and they are available at his beautifully curated boutique at Fort. At the show they were teamed with his new leather belts with his Bengal Tiger logo, a delicious throwback to the retro 60s.
Printed shorts and culottes are the most obvious way to herald in sunny weather and I have to confess shirts are my go-to clothes for most of the year. This season knee-length shorts are getting to be rather formal and can be worn to work too, depending on the nature of your boss of course.
The cropped top or the bra top is still around, and surprisingly so. I only see Bollywood heroines wear it at events. Or sometimes teenage girls, well, because they can. But a short tshirt or a shift blouse can be made ladylike when worn with a highwaist skirt. A demure peep never hurt.
Most of the next two months is going to be be about keeping cool. White is going to be everywhere as if the colour instantly brings down the temperature. The Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla label have a rack of white summer tops and tunics with a stripe print on the arm and a fan in Sussanne Khan.
But the best way to add a touch of style to your tropical basics is to introduce a coloured scarf. Hermes has just launched their ‘La Masin Des Carrés’ website which allows you to customise your own Hermes scarf. It also has lessons on how to tie the scarf in a dozen different ways with two or three options of wearing it as a blouse. Print-loving designer Anupama Dayal has more affordable options of large scarves as stoles. She recommends wearing them as a belt on a denim dress.
See, Indian summers can be about style as well as comfort.