Model: Sidharth Neeraj Sharma – a commercial model (Agency: Toabh) and passionate dancer (Agency: Spotlight by You Can Dance!)

  • Hair: Natural, wavy texture. Short all around. Left natural, matt and dry. We used some hairwax to style the strands in place. Narrow sideburns.
  • Brows: Trimmed in the centre and sides.
  • Face: Clean, shaved and smooth.
  • Skin: Beautiful, dusky complexion. We used the clay-based organic and natural skin masque from Valley View Organic to clean and tighten the pores, and to give the skin a smooth and even finish.
  • Lips: Thin and defined.
  • Others: Prominent collar-bones visible under an open black jacket.

Ten things to never do this year:

1.Wear suits without socks

Marvel fans should give the Spiderman print socks from The Souled Store a shot

There’s nothing worse than wearing a smart suit and a good pair of shoes with no socks on. I’m not sure who and what started this trend, but it’s by far one of the worst fashion mistakes to make. If you are a classic dresser, match the shoes, socks and suit. For some variety and perhaps a little fun, pick an eye-catching pair of socks and let them lift your look. These could be in a contrasting colour or have an unusual print that is sure to get noticed and make you stand out in the crowd.

My pick: Try the Spiderman or other Marvel character prints from The Souled Store.

2.Mix cold and warm colours

It’s a fashion mistake that many men make. Never mix cold and warm colours together – so no wearing blue with brown or brown with green. Know your colours: blue, purple, green and violet are cold colours while red, orange, brown and yellow are warm colours. This golden rule should apply to both your clothes and accessories. When wearing metallic tones, stick to one colour palette – either all gold or all silver. Never wear both gold and silver together.

My tip: Men with dusky skin should wear warm colours while those with pale complexions, should wear cold colours. Black and white, look good on just about everyone.

3.Sleep in synthetic fabrics

Hypoallergenic sleepwear in organic cotton by Ruh- The Soul will ensure you get a comfortable sleep

Hypoallergenic sleepwear in organic cotton by Ruh- The Soul will ensure you get a comfortable sleep

Sleeping naked is good for both your skin and body. If that’s not an option, wear night suits or sleep wear that feels like second skin! Breathable and ventilated fabrics that are light, soft and extremely comfortable are recommended. In addition to the metabolic effects of sleeping in the buff, removing your clothes improves blood circulation, which is good for your heart and muscles. The quality sleep you’ll enjoy also increases the release of growth hormone and melatonin, both of which have anti-aging benefits.

My pick: The range of organic cotton sleep wear from Ruh – The Soul. The colour palette is limited, but the fabrics and cut are both very comfortable.

4.Wear ill-fitting clothes

You can buy the most expensive suit, wear the best brands but ruin it all by choosing a size and fit that does not work for your body. Oversized clothing was big in the 1980s and its now almost 40 years since. Similarly, trying to fit into clothes that are too tight or those that you have overgrown, just don’t work. To look good, you need to feel good and that only happens when clothes fit you well and look like they have been made to fit on you.

My tip: Ensure the shoulders don’t droop, the cuffs don’t fall over the palm and the lowers end just under the ankle and above the rim of the shoes.

5.Buy fake leather

Handcrafted leather boots by Escaro Royale are versatile and in vogue

Handcrafted leather boots by Escaro Royale are versatile and in vogue

There are far too many imitation and fake leather brands and products out there, especially on some popular e-commerce platforms. If both quality and durability matter, I suggest you invest in the real thing. Ankle-length footwear and boots will be popular this year, especially to match those skinny jeans or sexy leather pants in your wardrobe. Choose between a style that comes with or without laces and look out for interesting elements like buckles and outer linings – both of which are trendy and fashionable this year.

My pick: The eye-catching, hand and custom-made ankle length boots from Escaro Royale. Check them out for other design and colour variants that they offer.

6.Wear thick coarse thermals

The Heattech range from Uniqlo is ideal for this winter

The Heattech range from Uniqlo is ideal for this winter

For those who live in places where thermals are an essential in winter, you must avoid fabrics that are thick or coarse and feel uncomfortable. My suggestion would be to wear only soft, hypo-allergenic fabrics so you don’t itch or have unwanted skin break outs. At all costs, avoid a fit that makes you look either bundled or stuffed under your shirt or a pair of fitted trousers or tracks. I suggest you go in for seamless styles – which means nobody should be able to tell if you have anything on underneath.

My pick: The Heattech range from Uniqlo, which is super soft, almost seamless and very warm.The collection uses four distinct yarns that optimise comfort by absorbing the body’s moisture and converting it to heat that is trapped within the air pockets of the fibres.

7. Make a blunder during an online interaction

Ensure you don’t make a fashion blunder on a zoom meeting. You must dress well and for the occasion. There’s nothing worse than conducting a business meeting (from home), flaunting your best (or worst) loungewear. Having said that, don’t look too overdressed either. Looking smart is one thing while looking overdressed and over-the-top is another. Pay special attention to the upper half – your shirt, tie or jacket. Ensure the knot of the tie is secure, the buttons of the shirt are closed and that the jacket looks crisp and crease-free.

My tip: Contrast the colour of your clothes with the backdrop. This will draw attention to you and your face, especially on a Zoom call with multiple screens.

8.Be wired

Bluetooth Earbuds by Hammer have a secure grip and fall-free design

Bluetooth Earbuds by Hammer have a secure grip and fall-free design

It is 2021, and there no reason to wear headsets with wires anymore. There are plenty of wireless ear pods available to choose from. Ensure your ear pods have a secure grip and a fall-free design, which makes it suitable for intense workouts, a run or even a cycling trip around the city. Choose a sleek design but ensure the pods feel comfortable.

My pick: The Bluetooth earbuds from Hammer, which come with a long-lasting rechargeable battery which has both an extended play and standby time. Affordable and give more than value for your money.

9.Smell stale

The fresh citrus Kistna  eau de toilette by The Body Shop smells fresh and suitable for use in the day

The fresh citrus Kistna eau de toilette by The Body Shop smells fresh and suitable for use in the day

Ensure you follow a good personal hygiene routine – one that keeps you feeling and smelling fresh through the day. Choose a good alcohol-free deodorant stick (or roll on) and deodorant spray to keep your sweat and body odour in check. Carry both with you wherever you can. Finish off with a fresh long lasting fragrance. Look out for small bottles that can fit into your man bag, even when you are on a flight or on the road.

My pick: The French-made eau de toilette for men by The Body Shop, which combines fresh citrus top notes of grapefruit and lemon and base notes of cedarwood and vanilla. Smells fresh and suitable for use in the day.

10. Not shave

I would like to emphasise on the importance of shaving in 2021 and every year thereafter. Mask or no mask, there’s just no reason (or excuse) for you to look ungroomed or unkempt. Facial hair (read moustached and beards, including stubbles) have had their moment of glory and its time we moved on and back to looking clean shaved and well-maintained.

My tip: Always shave after a shower – when the skin and hair on it are both soft and hydrated.

The author is an image, style and grooming consultant and trainer

From HT Brunch, January 3, 2021

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