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Partying tonight? Here's what you could wear

Raghavendra Rathore | August 26, 2005

From the chaotic wealthy boys' scene to the more serious arty crowd or the flourishing, globetrotting businessmen groupies, it seems the party circuit in both Mumbai and Delhi is faintly but firmly being divided along tribal lines of what to wear in the evening.

In cluttered parties around town, men seem to be in a state of flux about something 'new' to wear -- whether at lavish get-togethers in lounge bars and clubs in Mumbai, or overt social dos, diplomats meets, city dinners or the hazy darkness of farmhouse parties in Delhi.

On the one hand, the informal dress codes of yesteryear have undoubtedly been dropped, opening avenues of self-styling and offering unlimited potential for individual stylistic expression. Yet, on the other hand, there is always that tinge of doubt and uncertainty in one's mind that, when you walk into a room, it might suddenly dawn on you that you've got it completely wrong!

In certain outings you might be required to follow a dresscode -- black tie, formal, casual -- and this clearly offers some relief. A sartorial spin on your styling and what you finally choose to wear for outings with such specific dress themes is entirely acceptable.

However, it is best to tackle functions that don't dictate a dress code a bit differently. Analysis of what you wear is not only bound to raise eyebrows but also some chitchat as you, the evening's subject of scrutiny, move and groove up (or down) the sticky social ladder.

For people who see more of the night than the day, it can be said that a 'smart formal look' -- for example, a dark shirt and a pair of dark pants -- can work magic for their confidence and give them a style disposition with an unforgettable appearance, as night after night they mingle with different social groups, casting a memory of this one look associated with them.

Not surprisingly, people who are out frequently stand a higher probability of meeting various groups of distinct, well-dressed and heterogeneously minded individuals, where their 'trademark look' would work superbly well.

In contrast, what might work better for people who go out less would be a crisp, fresh and new look each time, as this allows for setting a style statement and creating a lasting impression on those who they meet less frequently.

The 'fashion scene' in the metros is split into two types -- the low key, easy-dressing pack and the high-gloss, fashion savvy crowd. Depending on which side of the line you find yourself, the idea is to look genuine and interesting. Fragrance, care of your body and the choice of accessories become important if you see yourself as a part of this group.

For the endless art exhibitions and promotions in the metros, there is the 'arty look'. People who appear at these openings mysteriously disappear into the canvas of the city only to reappear a season later at new art openings.

These individuals induce a sense of aesthetic into the already fashionable way of dressing in the city by offering faintly stylish and fun-loving clothes that sometimes inspires creative fashion for the coming season.

The 'young Bohemian' -- a small but specialised group of young creative people -- add the subliminal look to evening dressing by offering everything and at the same time nothing to that which is fashion. No two people in this genre ever look the same even in similar clothes -- what's unkempt on one could be inspirational on another.

If you fancy this method, remember, pink with pinstripes is okay with this much louder, clearer and progressive lot when it comes to picking attire for the night.

So then, as the evening approaches and the clans of 'party circuit city' make their respective plans and shortlists for the evening, the mind of the male dresser starts to tick and choose its evening attire.

But whether tribesman or chieftain, the look of the evening should not overshadow your self-confidence, cramp your inner style, or hinder your spirit of seeking -- and having -- a good time.

10 great personal style secrets

Designer Raghavendra Rathore has royal blood and it shows in the majestic clothes he churns out at regular intervals.

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