In a culture of stylists, Imran Khan wears his own clothes and never fails to leave an impact. His vast knowledge of clothing, style, fabric and more sure makes the cut, feels Pratishtha Malhotra.
I have always been a geek and when I started getting interested in tailoring, that also happened in a geeky way!” Clad in a black T-shirt, beige pants and very cool sneakers, a relaxed Imran Khan gets chatting about all things sartorial, over a morning cup of cappuccino in his beautiful home. Fashion is clearly a passion with the dapper, good-looking actor. “I want to know the history of a fabric and everything about it,” he vouches. He is a textbook when it comes to tailoring and even custom tailoring, instructing me about different kind of twills and fabrics over our chat!
Experiment but in very subtle ways
I subscribe to the theory ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ What guys have looked stylish in for the past 50 – 100 years, they would continue to look stylish in now also and I think 50 years in the future as well. Like, a white shirt-blue jeans works always. That is the kind of thing which you can’t go wrong with. You get a nice decently fitted suit, without doing funky sh** on it and you can’t go wrong. Look at old pictures of guys like Cary Grant to Paul Newman to George Clooney, you put their photos side by side, you make it all black and white and you won’t be able to tell which guy is from which era. These are the basics that have not changed and will not really change.
A lot of it does come down to physical fitness
It is important for men to be physically fit and healthy. You can also take more risks, you can try things that other people might not be able to try. Most suits are designed to make the shoulders look broader and tucked to make the waist look narrower. Even if you are not in an ideal shape, a jacket or a blazer is designed to make you look like you are.
No need to act creative
I am a big fan of black tie because the rules are in place. A black tie means you wear a dinner jacket or a tuxedo and a bow tie. There is no room for misinterpretation. If you follow the rules, you will look good. It’s damn simple. You don’t need to act creative. When you try to add something – coloured lapels, funky shoes – then you go wrong. I can’t tell you for how long I have brought my own very few suits. You get a couple of decent suits, you change your shirt and your tie, pocket square and suddenly it is a whole new outfit.
For me, it is very much about trying to find an ideal something that can work in the maximum number of situations. Whether it is trousers or shoes or whatever, try to find things which you can use for a long period of time and in multiple ways. That comes down to buying the best that you can find, to buying the best that you can afford. There is this saying, ‘We are not so rich that we can afford to buy cheap shoes.’
I wear all my own clothes
I don’t get anything from a stylist or a designer. My wardrobe is all the stuff that I bought for myself, mostly it is custom made. I choose my fabrics, my cuts, my buttons, my linings, just everything. I know everything that I own inside out. I build my wardrobe and know what to wear in the day and what in the evening and later you get to a point where you know what to mix and match. I think of that when I buy things. When you go to a stylist or a designer, you might get something that someone else has worn or someone else is going to wear next month.
Two things that guys really need
to figure out in life…
…Shoes and the length of their pants. Most guys look like they are wearing their older brother’s pants. They are so long that it is gathering and puddling at the bottom which looks like you are a young kid and you’re wearing bade bhaiyakipatloon. That can be easily fixed by just cutting the length off. Shoes, good shoes make a major difference. God, you see some very ugly shoes! And god, baggy pants too! I mean yeah, I also wore them but when I was 15 but then came a point when I wanted that when I walk from here to there, I should be able to without pulling my pants up.
I would encourage everyone to
try wearing pants other than jeans
I don’t wear jeans now. I own one pair of jeans which I never wear. I don’t think people realise what a difference that weight makes. Denim is a very heavy fabric and we live in a damn hot city. If you just wore a lighter fabric, cotton pants, how much lighter and more comfortable you would be! I mean, until someone tries it, they won’t get it. There is nothing else on everyone’s lower half of the body; everyone’s lower half is blue!
My favourite thing in my closet…
It changes a lot. Currently there is this pair of cargo pants that I feel like I have been living in. I wear them like, two-three days a week. I have reached a point where I pick them up and start looking at them and then say, ‘No I can’t wear them again. I just wore them day before yesterday!’