Men’s style and grooming by Yatan Ahluwalia: Staying urban-chic – brunch feature

  • Hair: Very short on the sides with a gradual fade. Strong and distinct parting line on one side. Slightly longer on top.
  • Skin: Clean and well-groomed skin.
  • Face: Full facial hair with sharp lines to define the ends on the cheeks and under the jawline.
  • Brows: Very thick and bushy.
  • Lips: Thick lips with an all-natural pout.
  • Clothes: Crisp, partially unbuttoned white full-sleeve shirt with a short collar and grey band, worn over a pair of dark blue fitted jeans.
  • Why the Look
  • The goal is to look either rugged at play or dress smart casual at work.
  • Jeans and shirts have a masculine look and feel to them.
  • Jeans are sexy, more so when you sport a ‘I don’t care’ attitude.
  • The look is extremely versatile.
  • The look has no barriers of time of age, day, occasion or season.
  • Remember:This is a simple look, but needs to be done right.

Don’t go over-the-top

When you’re putting your shirt-and-jeans look together, stop over-complicating things. Remember that you’re a man, and being overly extravagant isn’t necessary.

If you find yourself wearing something that calls attention to itself or takes away from the overall image you’re pursuing, then maybe it’s too much to wear at the first place.

Less is more

Moderation and subtlety are the keys to completing this well-put-together active urban look.

Rather than wearing too many elements together, stick to the basics (the shirt, the jeans and one or two prominent accessories) and let them speak for themselves.


You can never go wrong with a well-fitted and structured shirt worn with a pair of either snug or comfort fit jeans.

Always choose a shirt that fits well. Ensure the shoulders don’t droop and that the sleeve-length is just right for you.

While a dressier shirt (for a semi-formal occasion) can have a short cutaway collar, the casual one will look best with a straight or tab collar.

Unbuttoning the first two buttons is optional and recommended only if you have a chest to flaunt and there’s not too much hair on show!

Plain or printed?

You may choose between a plain or printed shirt. A good white shirt is a must have for every man and often speaks for you, even before you do. Plain shirts are always a safer bet and can be mixed and matched and worn for more occasions.

If you are opting for a printed shirt, go for subtle checks or thin stripes. Remember, prints now look outdated. Yet if you must wear them, choose the print carefully – anything too bold or loud lends a retro look from the ’70s while prominent checks have an ’80s feel to them. Modern men, with a 2020s-style should be as minimal and subtle as possible!

Half or full?

You may choose between a full- or a half-sleeve shirt. I always find a full sleeve shirt more versatile as one can roll up the sleeves to lend a more relaxed feel.

Full-sleeve shirts don’t just generally fit better on most body types and will always give your look a smarter and sharper feel.

Style tips

1.The buttons on your shirt should always be an identical match to the base colour. A safer option would be transparent buttons.

2.The fabric must always be crease-free and breathable.

3.Shirts always show up fold lines, so ensure they are well ironed before you put them on.


Jeans have been worn everywhere from factories to the red carpet. If you are looking to create a smart casual look, then jeans are a sensible choice, given their durability, comfort and extreme versatility.

At work

More and more offices are allowing denims in the workplace. Some even encourage it, as part of relaxed corporate culture that’s slowly and surely changing the way we dress, not just on working Saturdays but also on casual Fridays and now spilling over to almost every day of the week.

At play

From being industrial to now an essential casual and leisurewear clothing, jeans can be worn with just as ease during the day as they can be worn at night. You can wear them for a brunch, at lunch, to the movies, a weekend getaway or a popular watering hole or night club.

A light colour is great for the day or general casualwear. This includes light blue or pale grey. White jeans can be worn both during the day as well as for a night out. Deep indigo, black or grey works for more formal occasions or to wear during the evening or night.

Style tips:

1.Ensure the jeans you wear fit well and are not naturally or intentionally made to look old or aged. A crisp and new-looking pair works far better than anything else that isn’t so. The less wear and tear is there on your jeans, the better it will be.

2.Your jeans should always be well-fitted — not skinny jeans-tight, but without any sag in the crotch or around the hips. Straight-legged can work, but boot cut, or flared jeans are completely unacceptable, unless you are wearing them to a ’70s theme party.

3.Jeans should be simple — no straps, flap pockets, patches, loops, prominent logos or embellishments.

Active accessories

Accessories are a way to make a simple look like this, feel big.The primary reason to sport an accessory with this look is to make sure it accentuates and does not distract or take away from it.

For this look, you may wear or carry one or two prominent accessories, so it’s more subtle. Let the accessories grab attention and become the conversation starters.

Here is what you could wear or carry:

1.On the shoulder


Black leather shoulder bag by Joe Shu

I recommend this smart, urban shoulder work-bag in high-quality leather by Joe Shu. It is compact, functional and roomy. The multiple pockets with zippers ensure your business and communication basics (and perhaps a lot more) can fit into it with ease.

The right fit: As the length of any bag can visually alter your body’s proportions, adjust the straps as required so the bag rests over the hips and not any lower.Compliments snug or comfort fit jeans.

2.On your feet


Healthy footwear by Von Wellx

Finally, there’s an option for healthy footwear for those with foot issues! Over the last week, I have been wearing the very comfortable and relaxing footwear by Von Wellx, a German footwear brand. The insole comes with raised reflex points, which massage and stimulate the organs as you walk. These are especially useful for those who spend long hours on their feet and don’t like their feet feeling constrained by the footwear they wear. The shoes felt very light and extremely comfortable.

Pair with: Blue, grey or black jeans.


Casual brown shoes by San Frissco

Finding round tip shoes has become a challenge but this pair of laced casual shoes by the new brand San Frissco caught my eye as a good pick for a casual daywear shoe. A white sole can sometimes be challenging to keep clean, but these look trendy and feel easy on the feet.

Pair with: White, beige or brown jeans and other accessories.

3.On the wrist


The new FitBit Versa 2

Features: The FitBit Versa 2 has a precision-crafted swimproof design with innovative sleep features like Sleep Score and is packed with advanced health and fitness features. The smart watch debuts an on-device microphone, which enables Fitbit’s first-ever Amazon Alexa smartwatch experience, along with a Spotify app that allows users to control their music.

Look and Feel: Versa 2 is available in black with a carbon case, petal with a copper rose aluminium caseand stone with a mist grey case. The Versa 2 Special Edition is available in navy and pink with a copper rose aluminium case and smoke with a mist grey case.

My verdict: Looks good and has great functions.

Style rating: 5/


The Wave S by Riversong

Features:The Wave S fitness band by Riversong is perfect for men who have an active lifestyle or fitness goals. It calculates steps, distance and calories in real – time. It also calculates your heart rate, blood pressure and blood oxygen levels.

Look and feel: The band has a sleek and smart look, is made with Zinc Alloy metal and has an ergonomic design with a large coloured screen. You can customise the wallpaper to match your clothes and looks.

My verdict: Sleek and easy on the pocket.

Style rating: 4/5

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

From HT Brunch, August 2, 2020

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