The Sherwani for Men

This regal attire for men originates from the times of the Mughal empire. Today it has transformed into an important fashion statement for ethnic men, especially for marriage.

Sherwani for Men

Quality of fabric and tailoring are two important areas that one needs to focus on

A wedding is a celebration of new beginning of life as Mr and Mrs. It is an occasion of great importance always celebrated with great fun and festivity. Every bachelor dreams of a wedding of elaborate elegance, marrying a beautiful girl and living happily ever after. And when it comes to the Indian wedding, the dream is incomplete without the Sherwani – the Indian traditional wedding dress of the groom. Embellished by intricate embroidery, it is an immaculately designed coat worn over the kurta – churidhar, pajama or dhoti.

Known as the dress for kings, the Sherwani is an embodiment of royalty, elegance and style. This knee length coat decorated with gold and silver thread works and studded with stones has an aura of majesty and sophistication.

Sherwani Story
Did you know? The Sherwani is an amalgamation of the Indian salwar kameez and British coat.

During the period of British Raj in India, the Indian aristocracy wore coats over the salwar kameez. As coats were symbolic of higher status, wealth and luxury. Gradually, the coats were given a traditional touch with ethnic designs, embellishment like zardozi made out of pure gold threads and gem stones. The length of the coat increased from the hip to the knee and rich fabric like silk was used.

The dress was very popular during the time of the Delhi Sultanate and Mughal Empire. Since then, the Sherwani has held a prominent place in the wardrobe of the Indian male.

Style Statement
Today, the Sherwani is the national dress of Pakistan for men. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan was known for his sophisticated and elegant Sherwani. It is worn by the government officials in Pakistan and are very formal, well tailored made out of cotton suit fabrics.

Nehru JacketIn India, the nation’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru became fashionably famous for wearing a black sherwani with off-white churidhar. It became a style statement to wear ‘Band gale ka coat’ aka Nehru jacket, and nowadays it is considered as classic.

The Nehru coat or jacket differs from a Sherwani as it’s a hip-length tailored coat for men with a mandarin collar and no surface ornamentation. Constructed out of cotton fabric in colours like black, grey, white and brown,  it is worn for a formal occasion like meetings and official parties.

The Nehru style gained immense popularity even in the West in the mid 1960’s and found musical band Beatles too adorning the look.

An alternative is the Jodhpuri Suit which has a short nehru collared jacket which is worn with matching formal trousers and a shirt underneath or a round-neck close fitting top.

Sherwani Today
The Sherwani can be made out of fabric like silk, cotton and even terry wool.

Urshika Kapoor - Sherwani designerFor the wedding, silk is considered the best, and stunning ensembles are created on raw silk, cot silk, jacquard and brocade. The dress is enriched on the cuffs, collars and the front chest portion with paisley designs as it adds glamour and style, while still preserving the deep roots of the Indian tradition.

Traditionally, Sherwanis worn were off-white. But with modern Indian grooms giving more importance to fashion and trends, colours like pink, turquoise, navy blue, emerald green, red, burnt orange and black too are in demand.

Urshika Kapoor, Indian fashion designer says,

“Today, the trend is to be picture perfect and wear a matching sherwani that goes with the bridal dress. Bride and groom prefer wedding dress that is simple and sophisticated. The heavily embellished dresses are out of fashion. We use modern motifs and swarovski crystal to embellish the dress.”

She further adds, “Quality of fabric and tailoring are two important areas that one needs to focus on while buying a Sherwani and a right fit is a must when you wear it or a bad fit can mar the magic of the Sherwani.”

Designer Sherwani
Nowadays, even top international designers like Armani have started to draw inspiration from classic Indian design.

Designer SherwaniIndian designers Tarun Tahiliani and Rohit Bal are considered as the ‘Badshaah of Sherwani.’ Their men collections are priceless possessions, designed with excellence and perfection. The scintillating range of designer sherwani brings out the elegance and richness of Indian craftsmanship. Gracefully adorned with artworks like embroidery, sequins and bead works, they are sure to leave the onlookers spellbound. The best about these ethnic ensembles is that apart from being fashionable, they are comfortable to wear.

Fashion designer Urshika Kapoor says “If you prefer to choose a casual look, you can opt for the calf length or even team it up with trousers or straight fit denims.”

It is an investment done once in a lifetime which will be cherished life long. So do take out time and buy the best sherwani. Remember to store it properly covered and always dry clean it.

Right Accessories
Accessories too play a vital role in a groom adornment. The Turban or Safa gives the final touch of splendid sophistication to the total appearance of a groom. It is a traditional headgear must worn by the groom in India. The safas are generally made of red colour cotton fabric, with or without zari work, draped around the fore head.

Nagra, Khussa and Mojri are dazzling flat embroidered Indian shoes that goes well with the sherwani. Beaded and jari work done on the top, it is made out of soft leather and cloth.

To complete the groom look, a complementing splendidly intricate stole (a type of shawl) can be worn. Get the accessories right but do not go over the top.

There is no other lovely and charming relationship than of the husband and wife, and a celebration no bigger than wedding in the life of a person. To mark the new beginning, getting dressed well is as important for the man as it is for the woman in his life.

Check out our gallery of some fantastic Sherwani designs and styles.

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Omi is a freelance fashion stylist and enjoys writing. He describes himself as 'a dare devil with quicksilver tongue and maverick mind, who wears his heart on his sleeve.' As a writer by profession and by choice, he dwells in the world of words.

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