The Ultimate Cheatsheet to Dressing Well for Indian Men

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It might be difficult to be fashionable, but having great style is pretty straightforward, atleast for men

One thing that has been a gamechanger for me is to never buy individual items, but to always buy complete outfits, and buy colours that go together with each other so you can mix & match.

Another very important thing you need to do is choose colours according to one’s skin tone.

Dark colours look great on fair guys, while darker guys should wear lighter colours (but they almost never do).

 

 

The Basics

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Simple combo of dark denims & a light shirt (dark-light), along with light/tan shoes
Both are essentials for a wardrobe because they go with so much else. I apologise for the potato quality photo.

 

 

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This is the reverse – tan khakis, white linen shirt, black blazer, and black shoes

 

 

 

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One mistake Indian guys make is wearing dark & dark combos. You should go for this only if you’re fair. If you’re dark, this kind of outfit will look pretty shitty on you

 

 

 

Mostly you just go light and dark alternates. They almost always work.

 

If you’re going for the classy casual look, the easiest way is to wear white. You’ll stand out. It’s really rare for people to wear white here for some reason. Everyone dresses dark.

 

Get a grey undershirt to wear with your white shirt unless you don’t mind your nipples showing, heh heh.

 

Why grey & not white?

 

That’s because grey is invisible under white, while a white undershirt shows a clear outline.

 

Here are a few more examples to see how the basics are where the magic is:

 

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Notice they all have atleast ONE accessory to complement the outfit, else it looks too boring. Keep clothes basics & use accessories like socks, scarves & other stuff to add a dash of style to clothes.

Match light bottoms with dark tops & vice versa .

One question probably running through most of your minds is you have to be fit first to look good in these outfits.

The short answer is that’s not completely true, but getting fitter is one of the best ways to improve how your clothes fit on you. While each brand has a certain fit according to who their target customers are, ususally clothes fit best when you are lean & slightly more muscled than average.

The shoulder to waist ratio is a huge driver of how attractive you look, both in clothes & *ahem* out of them.

 

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Check out this guy. Pretty skinny, but his dressing is on point

 

If you’re trying to get fit & don’t know where to start, check out My Fitness Blog.

 

 

Building your wardrobe: The essentials 

OK, so now you have a rudimentary understanding of what looks good, what doesn’t & a few examples of how to throw combinations together. So how do you go about building your wardrobe?

 

Buy these items first, there’s a reason they’re called essentials. These items are IN ORDER OF PRIORITY from top to bottom.

 

White linen shirt
Indigo denims

 

Light checked shirt

 

Khaki chinos
Dark patterned shirt

 

Black leather shoes
Black leather belt (don’t be the fancy buckle guy please. You know who you are)

 

Classic blue denims

 

Grey woollen pants

 

Tan leather shoes (Oxfords not brogues)
Matching tan leather belt (see above disclaimer)
'Kingsman: The Secret Service' Blu-ray and DVD release, London, Britain - 03 Jun 2015

Oxfords, not Brogues

 

Dust denims

 

Black trousers (move these up if you need to get formal wear first)

 

Converse or similar-styled sneakers (for casual wear)

 

A word about sports shoes: Have you seen older gentlemen wearing formal clothing with white reeboks. Leave the running shoes & trainers for the gym or track. Wear normal sneakers instead.
Sports shoes with formal wear

Oh hell no

 

Heavy boots. Hard-toed ones are great.

 

 

Accessories 

Unfortunately, I don’t believe this is something that can be learnt from a blog post. See what other guys are wearing, browse around online & see what attracts you the most. Good taste cannot be taught, it has to be cultivated & refined over time.

 

So what are some good brands? 

To some degree, this’ll be subjective, but these are brands that make clothing that I find fits me well.

 

Jack & Jones

 

Gap

 

H&M

 

J. Crew

 

Banana Republic

 

Zara (be cautious with this one. I’ve had more than one person tell me their clothes seem to be sort of flimsy. Planned obsolescence)

 

American Eagle
Another brand that has some weird fitting shirts (unless oversized collar & extra-length sleeves are your thing) . Go for these if it goes with the look you’re trying to pull off.
They have great denims though.

 

Remember, buy fewer outfits, but better ones. You don’t need to shop every 3 months.

 

 

 

 

 

Tips & Recommendations

  • Always buy clothes at sales, never otherwise
  • Dress for the occasion, but it’s better to be overdressed rather than to be underdressed
  • You’ll be spending the most on shoes. That’s the one thing you can never skimp on. A good pair of leather shoes will last you a decade or more.

If you’re a little observant, you’ll notice that the first thing girls check out are your shoes: Always!  Ask any of your female friends.

  • Protip: When lacking inspiration I usually just look at what attractive guys are wearing at clubs & reverse engineer the look.
  • Wear solid denims & let them fade with use rather than buying prefaded denims
  • Get more light coloured shirts and tees

 

Mistakes to Avoid

  • Trousers shouldn’t have pleats unless you’re 60 years old & can’t be assed to change your dressing style
  • Throw out all polos that aren’t a solid colour (no stripes)

 

Russian_tracksuit

Just. No. Unless you’re Russian, & can sit in the squat position comfortably for more than an hour

  • Branded Apparel
Unless you’re trying to fit into a certain subculture (like the guys in Ed Hardy tshirts traipsing along the whole Andheri-Juhu-Lokhandwala belt) avoid all brand name mentions on your clothes.

 

Remember, you’re buying their clothes, you don’t also have to advertise for them. Leave that to women & their handbags. :^)

 

I admit I have a few tees like this, but I acquired them during a less enlightened phase of my life. I wouldn’t do it again.

 

Instead, if you’re buying tees for casual daytime use, buy something which displays your passions or sense of humour. It’s easy now. Go buy that GOT tee you’ve been eyeballing.

 

For evening wear, you want to buy plain tees, & layer them with a nice jacket.

 

One last thing, if trying to dress well, t-shirts are a tough look to pull off if you’re not in great shape.
  • Sandals with socks

These will kill any attraction women might have towards you in an instant

 

  •  On the same note, definitely NO CROCS. Wear regular beach slippers instead.

 

 

Odds & Ends

Socks

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Watches

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Cheatsheets to take things to the Next Level

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I don’t think anyone should need any more cheatsheets

 

 

Do you have questions, tips or interesting stories, leave a comment & I’ll try to help as best as I can.

 

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Historical Books & Essays on India

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A Selection of Books

A Brief History of The Indian Peoples – Sir William Wilson Hunter (1908)

A Geography of India – George Patterson (1909)

The Arts & Crafts of India & Ceylon – Ananda Coomaraswamy (1913)

The Status of Women in India – Dayaram Gidumal Shahani (1889)

Encyclopedia of Indian Physical Culture – DC Mujumdar (1950)

Invasions of India from Central Asia – Anon (1879)

More Resources

The Rare Book Society of India

Digital Library India

 

Handy Fb Unfriending Checklist

 

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This is the face of seeking External Validation

 

 

Wanting to cull my social media footprint to a manageable level, I decided on the ambitious task of  lowering the number of my Fb friends to just below Dunbar’s number ( which is 150 friends). While easy in theory, it was molasses to bring about into practice.

I want others to be spared the headache of going through the entire process I had to, so here’s a framework to quickly go through a first pass curation of your online relationships.

You can use it, with appropriate modifications, for Instagram & Twitter too.

Just go through the checklist below & unfriend anyone that meets the criteria.

 

Checklist
  • Mark themselves safe in Mumbai “floods”
  •  Have pictures taken using selfie sticks
  •  Compulsively share fb memories to make themselves feel better about getting older
  •  Two words: food pics
  •  Check in every time they eat out
  •  Share cat videos
  •  Are registered as blood donors on Facebook yet demonstrate no inclication towards donating blood irl
  •  Shill their fake handbag “business” excessively
  •  Suffer from “me me me” syndrome
  •  Share no posts where you actually learn something about our wonderful and fascinating world
  •  People who make you go ‘who the fuck is this’?
  • Share shitty buzzfeed links
  •  Excessively political
  •  People you haven’t spoken to in 3 years or more
  •  20-year-old unemployed humanities students sharing their own insights into government economic policies & world politics
  •  Any people left over if you’re still over Dunbar’s number
Take a deep breath. That’s the smell of freedom.

Marriage & Meme Warfare

Girl-Smoking

I was trapped.

Try as I might, I couldn’t wake up out of the nightmare. They had me surrounded, and their brightly painted nails & horn-rimmed glasses inched closer, emboldened by my weak-seeming defense.

They crowded round like vultures, anticipating the coming kill with unabashed relish.

Their scarily painted faces, & loud shiny attire did not add any pleasantness to the ordeal.

Their jowls quivered as they leered at me. I could see a lifetime of anxieties & regrets in their bulging eyes. And anger, so much repressed anger. And they were out to fix the wrongs that had been done to them. However, not having the competence & intelligence to fix their problems themselves, they farmed it out to us, the younger generation.

“‘You’re already 30”, crowed one particularly salty aunt. It seemed that the bigger her derriere got, the more her unpleasantness blossomed.

“There will be no good girls left if you wait” One concern troll grunted.

‘”Erm, have you seen the girls around? There’s no good girls left anyway. They’re now a minority here in Mumbai. And good competent guys too, as female friends tell me”

It’s a sea of filthy unwashed masses, atleast when it came to marriage. Tired, unhealthy, overworked, stressed-out people don’t make good partners. Who would have imagined? /s

“Maybe I’ll marry a south Indian girl” I crooned nonchalantly. My counter-offensive had begun.

“South Indian girls are sweet. And even pahadi girls” I added, savouring the powershift. An especially crabby-looking gujju uncle looked like he was going to burst an artery.

‘You know, what’s even the point of getting married. Most of you have been married a long time, and none of you seems to be particularly happy. I’d be completely depressed if I had to spend the rest of my life with someone like one of these “aunties”.’

Boom! Nuclear warhead detonated. It was total annihilation.

Meme warfare works best, when there’s a kernel of truth in there somewhere. I noticed realisation in the male relatives within earshot. They knew I was right, and sheepishly accepted defeat. The women looked at each other, ancient feminine anxieties triggered.

With a few choice maneuvers, the old guard had been destroyed. It was our time now.

My mom was going get an earful from her relatives soon. Casualty of war, I shrugged it off.

Maybe this sort of guerilla warfare is the only thing that works. Going toe to toe with the ogre army would be foolishness, seeing as how outnumbered the bright shining youth are. But the oldies, used to bullying & arguing their way to get what they want, had no countermeasures to this sort of blitz, which young people nowadays are particularly competent at.

Lady friends, if an annoying aunt comes up to you at a wedding, elbowing you in the sides sniggering, ‘You’re next’, do the same to her at the next funeral. See how soon they stop doing that.

Meme warfare is real. Weaponised Autism saves. Spread the word.

Of Mating Dances & Seduction

 Why do you read, she asked?

An innocent enough question, it seemed, on the surface, but the glint in her eye made me feel I’d better make it good.

‘Oh boy!’ I thought, but out loud I said, ‘Well, book reading is for me the same as mind reading, or atleast the closest I’ll get to it. I get to glimpse into the mind of another, develop perceptions and make judgements as they would, put on a different set of mind filters, and see the world tainted by their life experience. Why do you?’

‘Well, it lets me be someone else.’

Heavy.

Dont get me wrong. Despite the lack of sophistication on my part, I enjoy an intellectually stimulating discussion just as much as the next guy, but sometimes the vibe is just wrong enough for that kind of exchange.

You don’t want what was a light and playful interaction suddenly get bogged down by the sap of sentimentalism, the remains of what came before encased for posterity in the amber for future dusting off and drunk reminiscing and posthumous analysis.

On cue, a fly buzzed around our drinks.

She absent-mindedly flapped a hand at the intruder, determined to carry this conversation right into the graveyard of boredom.

‘I have a tough job, and a boring job. Reading, for a little while, helps me forget all my problems and life circumstances,’ she offered.

Oh, so she has problems. I didn’t know whether I should take it as a good sign or not. Only problem I had was figuring out how to steer this sinking ship away from the shark-infested deep and straight onto the nearest viable land mass.

A snarky comment about her being from an Ivy league university with honours coalesced in my mind but caught itself somewhere on the way to my lips. Why ruin what was a halfway good evening, by any standards? I gave it my best shot,

‘Oh, I understand. Sometimes I wish I can just leave this all behind and just go away for an indeterminate amount of time. I guess vacations are hardwired into the human psyche. We’d all kill each other otherwise.’

‘But we do kill each other all the time. Humans, I mean.’

The way she said it hinted at her considering herself not being in the same category as ‘those humans’. The barest hint of misanthropy. This girl gets more and more interesting.

She continued, ‘What do you think about this. Why are humans like that?’

The slightest instinctual response surfaced from the depths of my nervous system warning me of danger. The uncomfortable feeling was familiar: we were going in the direction of politics. Most people wouldn’t really call this a political question, but to be fair, those are the same people who find themselves in heated rhetorical arguments with random strangers regarding the direction the government should take in response to latest changes in regimes halfway around the world.

Occupational hazard of being a writer, I guess. People want to know what you think about things. What they fail to clarify, is that they want to hear what you think, so then they can tell you what they think. Tedium. Bedlam. Blahville.

‘Well, inasmuch what I have seen, people (Humans, she corrected. I made a mental note to ask her if she was vegan later).

‘Humans, I said pointedly, ‘also have an incredible capacity to love. (Yuck. I hated using that word without pointing out context, but desperate times and all that. So colour me green, I’m jaded).

‘For example, right now, you and me sitting here having the most fascinating discussion, and we didn’t even know each other when the day started. Humans connect, develop relationships. People love pets like their own children. Heck, our social instinct is so strong, we even have relationships with inanimate objects. For instance, there is this pair of tweezers I use that I’m very attached to. And I know, when the time comes to replace them, they’ll take a little part of my soul with them when I throw them in the trash. It’s lucky I’m so thick-skinned, or else I’d be heartbroken for those tweezers.’

I was surprised it came out so congruently.

She giggled and pulled her hair behind her right ear, giving me a glimpse of her jugular. The flush of her skin was very obvious.

This part of the mating dance over, the next logical step presented itself. I moved closer…

Sometimes it feels like life is a dancefloor. You ask a partner for a dance, both link together and calibrate to each other, feeling each other out, gingerly at first, and becoming more confident with each step. You weave in and out around other dancers doing the same, the music acting like the governing principle, God forbid lest someone jiggle and shake out of time, and when the song is over, you thank your partner and sit back down at your table, looking around for the next victi..partner for you to dance with.

And in the end, the dance you choose depends on what music is playing.

Why do we dance? Why indeed?

Yash Chheda

 

Break Free In 2017 – A Manifesto

Fearful people are easy to control. It’s in the interest of those who are trying to influence you, for whatever reason, to keep you in a state of fear.

There’s a meme of negativity in the world right now. It’s a case of divide and rule all over again. The East India Company did it by dividing us on the basis of caste and religion but it seems the current crop of young people doesn’t care that much about communal and racial differences. People prefer interacting with people on the basis of similar interests and socio-economic background, with other distinctions not featuring much on the radar.

So this time, the people who would like to wield their influence are doing it on the basis of political affiliation & gender. By dividing people on the basis of political beliefs, they’re making sure that people don’t come together.

The whole neo-liberal, YouTube feminist, SJW insanity is a bunch of people so dumb with stress, that they’re acting out from a state of extreme fear and emotions rather than well thought out reasoning. And while people like these are just the minority (the argument could be made they’re not), they get proportionally too much screen time

Stress makes us stupid. Turns us into sheep. Makes us have strong fear-based opinions on what is the right direction for others to take to make us feel safe. Makes us impose our values and beliefs on others, while at the same time denying them their right to have their own. Stress makes us blind to our own hypocrisy. Makes us complain that we’re not meeting the right people on Tinder, completely forgetting the fact that it’s not other people’s problem that you don’t have your shit together.

There’s a TED talk by Steven Pinker that makes the argument that we’re living in the safest time in known history of the human race. Why then are people so fearful of the future? Why do they overestimate the effect changes in power, regime and heads of state will have in their day to day life?

How do we escape this mental prison that has been thrust upon us even without us knowing of its existence?

How do you give a big fuck you to the insecure folks who’re trying to control what you eat, who you fuck, what you think, and what you put into your body?

By getting off this wheel of fear. Skip news media, incessant noise and constant attacks on your attention. Turn off your app notifications. Control who and what you give your attention to. It’s the thing that’ll starve them like nothing else. Don’t give them your money. Don’t give their YouTube videos your views. Starve them of the clicks that are their digital lifeblood. Use social media, don’t let it use you.

The process is begun. More and more people are waking up to this game being played around them. They’re disconnecting, tuning out and turning away.

And it’ll get worse this year. The battle for your attention is underway. Expect a renewed attack on your senses. The news will become more and more sensationalist. Not just popular media, but even the social media space will be rent with wailing, scared, hyperactive, loud voices insisting that you engage with them. When you don’t, they’ll try to get you to react. The clickbait will get worse as analysts collect data on what headline gets the strongest reaction.

The triggers will get ever more outrageous. Expect them to. You can tell you’re being triggered by the anger rising inside you as you read a comment or article. Refuse to engage.

The whatsapp forwards will get dumber. Cat videos will come at you faster and quicker. Learn to dodge them. Memes will try to drag you into the tar-pits of time kill.

Create space, both mental and physical, between you and what’s important to YOU, and the stressed out, fearful, negative population. The new filthy, unwashed masses, if you will.

Develop laser-like focus on the things YOU want to do. Make sure your goals and achievements are coming from deep inside your core, not generated by peer-pressure and societal expectations. Be brutally honest with yourself. Don’t feed off your own bullshit. You can do better than that.

Get healthy and strong. Fix your stress and clear your mind. See if maybe you can thrive, instead of just survive.

Get off this wheel of fear, and it’ll be your best year ever.

Happy 2017!

How To Dispose Of The Indian National Flag Respectfully

Indian Flag

Love & Respect

Every year I see this happen. And it breaks my heart. Torn flags. Flags on the ground. Trampled upon. Piled up in the trash. I see this epecially around schools. This has been my experience in my own school as well.

And it gets overwhelming to see the scale of it too. What do you do about it? What do you do with all these flags? You can collect them, but then what? Who do you hand them over to?

The Indian National Holidays of Republic Day & Independence Day are celebrated with an amazing level of enthusiasm. Flag sales are off the charts. You see everyone sporting mini-flag badges and stickers (thats something new I’ve seen this year).

And rather than becoming yet another voice in the peanut gallery, I thought I’ll do my bit about it. The information is there, it just hasn’t reached mass awareness yet.

Please, if you like this post, share it with your friends & followers on social media. It would mean a lot to me, & I’m sure it’ll resonate with you too. No one likes to see the Indian National Flag being disrespected, and no one I’ve met does it deliberately. Indians are patriotic with a fervour I’ve not seen in people of many other nationalities, even as we bitch and moan about the sorry stae of affairs around here. 🙂

Ok enough of preaching from me. On to the heart of the matter.

How To Dispose Of The Indian National Flag Respectfully

Guideline for Disposal of damaged Flag : When the Flag is in a damaged or soiled condition, it shall be destroyed as a whole in private, preferably by burning or by any other method consistent with the dignity of the Flag. – Flag Code of India 2002, Section II, Point 2.2 (xiii)

Generally the way to dispose of the flag is either by burning it or burying it.

If you’re going to bury it, then you should make sure that no person walks on the place. This is easier said than done in a country as populated as India, especially in the metros.

So we move on to the other method, that of burning, as counterintuitive as it sounds.

When the Flag is in a damaged or soiled condition, it shall be destroyed as a whole in private, preferably by burning or by any other method consistent with the dignity of the Flag

What this means is that when burning the damaged flag off, please make sure you burn it by itself. That means no throwing it in with other burning trash, or chucking it in an incinerator. And while doing so, please maintain proper repect and decorum. Your volition means a lot in this case. 🙂

Thats about it. Hope i was able to get the message across without coming across as too self-righteous. If I did, it is entirely my fault.

Jai Hind!

PS: I’ve attached a PDF of the Flag Code of India 2002 to the post for those who want to see the source of these guidelines for themselves.

flag code of india_2002