Friday, February 19, 2010

Effeminate Fashion

In the last decade, ethnic wear for desi men has undergone some pretty cataclysmic changes. The dull colors that dominated the kurta and sherwani section of their wardrobes have now given way to a Full Monty of rainbow hues in pastel and rich jewel tones.There is almost no color that a desi man will not wear. When you add the intricate embroidery and other embellishments that go with their ensembles, it is hard to tell a man's attire apart form a woman's.

I have always wondered if men feel differently about themselves when dressed in colors that were for the longest time associated with women and therefore embody femininity. Does it help or hurt their masculinity to go well past the traditional boundaries of their gender.

Each time I see a desi man thus attired, I feel slightly perplexed - maybe I am far too old school to be able to appreciate this particular aesthetic sensibility. I have had other Indian women express their puzzlement over this relatively recent trend as well. A lot of them would prefer their own men to stick with traditional "male colors" with a dash of modern day pizazz thrown in. They would much rather not have their men look like a kurta model from a fashion magazine minus the physique and chutzpah required to carry something so decidedly unmanly.

Just like a stunning woman looks beautiful even when dressed in men's clothing, a very handsome man can look perfectly masculine and attractive  while wearing a sequined lavender kurta paired with lime green pajamas. Clearly, it is a not a style option for everyone as it has become lately. When it does not work out (as is often the case) it is an eyesore and a source of embarrassment to the women related to the man in question. 

Read this interesting comment on the feminizing men's fashion  that talks about some of the peripheral effects as well. Contemporary fashion for desi men's is takes feminization to an extreme that western attire does not readily allow. The worst offender may be a hibiscus patterned shirt in red and yellow which can't hold a candle to one of those turquoise zardosi numbers paired with yards of silk or chiffon in the form of an ankle-length scarf. Such crimes in the name of men's fashion that can be committed only within the desi ouevre.


Anonymous said...

There are always people who find it difficult to embrace change. Wearing denim trousers by women were offered similar resistance and opinions. But today it is widely accepted dress for women.

digital said...

No matter what the colour is ,if the man is having the right attitude, he can very well carry the pinks, florescent blues and peaches.You just need to be yourself.

There is another place where one can claim to fame by just being themseves. All one is required to do is visit :

Facebook is running a contest called Bausch and Lomb Karthik calling Karthik contest .One can just upload their photo ,get himself or herself clicked and also win a free pair of lenses.