Discover Men’s Formalwear for Your Next Indian Wedding
Go to a library and read up on South Asian fashion, and you’ll likely stumble upon books on lehengas, saris, anarkalis, and dupattas. While we at Riya Collective are the first to champion Indian garments designed for women—it is Indian women’s formalwear that initially inspired our site, after all—we feel that menswear deserves more recognition than it has received. Indeed, in India, men’s garments are just as intricate and luxurious as women’s and boast fascinating traditions and a vast history of their own.
Peruse our guide to learn more about these pieces and how you can style them for your next Indian wedding.
The kurta is a versatile garment whose roots in South Asia can be traced back to Mughal times, if not even earlier. Its signature features are its side slits and roughly knee-length silhouette (some hit at the mid-thigh); many also feature a half placket, allowing you to personalize the wear and fit of the piece.
Like many traditional garments, the piece has taken on different qualities and characteristics in different regions and cities throughout India. For instance, the Hyderabadi kurta is often shorter than the traditional kurta and features a keyhole neck opening. The kurta has also been adapted for womenswear.
For menswear customers with understated, minimalist tastes, we offer YLNM kurtas that can be worn with or without a vest. These include the In Office - Aqua Blue Kurta, featuring nature-inspired embroidery, and the blush-pink Barfi Bandi Set. More intricate options include Countrymade’s metallic Hand Embroidered Dots Yoke and Fuselage Rustic Lines options.
The sherwani, like the kurta, traces its history to the Mughal era. It was worn by nobles of Turkish and Persian ancestry in India before becoming a staple of men's wardrobes nationwide. Unlike the kurta, it is reserved for weddings, family events, and other formal functions; this is due to its heavy, often opulent design.
Even the most pared-down sherwani still has an undeniably formal and regal quality; however, YLNM has designed styles in ice blue and navy that take a more minimalist approach to the garment. If you do prefer swankier options, we will be adding Countrymade sherwanis to our site. Check back soon to discover the collection!
Sometimes known as “Jodhpuris,” in homage to their Rajasthani city of origin, Bandhgalas are regal jackets made of jacquard, block-printed jamewari, and other sumptuous materials. They are believed to have originated in the seventeenth century, when the Maharaja adapted traditionally knee-length jackets for a closer fit. Since then, they have become fixtures at high-profile state dinners, movie premieres, and museum-exhibition openings, as part of a two- or three-piece suit with dress shoes.
Punjabi jutti at Dilli Haat, Delhi, courtesy of Ekhabhishek on Wikimedia Commons
Jootis (also spelled “juttis”) are one of the more popular types of footwear in India, particularly their birthplace of Rajasthan, and Punjab, where they are often produced. The leather shoes are made in many different styles, from delicately embroidered “curl-toe” varieties to rounded-toe options with festive prints and illustrations. Given their versatility, they can be paired with kurtas, sherwanis, and any number of other traditional garments.