Fashion Inspiration Blog

The evolution of Indian menswear

The story of Indian men’s clothing is one to which we could never do full justice in a relatively short passage of text. It is a colourful and ever-fascinating story, encompassing such staples of traditional Indian male clothing as the sherwani or achkan, bandhgala, lungi, jama, angarkha and kurta, but also increasingly predominant western influences, especially in the 21st century.

The rise of the Indian style under British rule

The recorded history of clothing in India can be traced back to the spinning, weaving and dying of cotton in the Indus Valley civilisation in the 5th millennium BC. However, what we may now consider to be quintessentially traditional Indian dress was greatly influenced by the 17th century to 20th century period of British rule.

The centuries of British influence on elite Indian men’s clothing saw the flowing garments customarily worn by Indian men in the 18th century evolve into more tailored and fitted items. Indeed, the sherwani is a long coat-like garment that originated in 19th century British India as the European-style court dress of the Mughal dynasty’s nobles and royals, and saw more general adoption later that century.

An intermingling of the modern with the traditional

An ongoing trend since the 1960s and 1970s has been the gradual absorption of other elements of western dress into Indian men’s clothing – at much the same time as western fashion began to embrace many Indian influences. As traditional Indian crafts, textiles and techniques were incorporated into the creations of western brands, so India rose to the status of a key international exporter of fashion garments.

Today, the sophistication of the Indian men’s clothing market is such that many organised manufacturers now exist in the country, creating world-class products for an increasingly ambitious and fashion-conscious populace. In an age of increasing urbanisation, young Indians are helping to power forward a menswear sector of a size that could even overtake the markets of many developed countries in the coming decade.

Khubsoorat embraces the latest evolutions in Indian men’s clothing

Throughout such tumultuous change, however, and an embrace of the new, there remains much appreciation across both the East and West of a more traditional Indian menswear aesthetic.

Whether you are on the lookout for sherwanis sporting decidedly contemporary cuts or instead a more imposing Mughal look, we are confident that you will be delighted by the many innovative interpretations of time-honoured Indian menswear that we continue to produce here at Khubsoorat.

Our couture wedding sherwanis are designed by the globally renowned menswear designer Saran Kohli, and you are welcome to contact us to learn more about our continually evolving sherwanis collection – or to have your own distinguished Indian wedding outfit created on a bespoke basis.