As the sun makes way for the rains, it is time to give your wardrobe a monsoon makeover as after all a new season calls for a new way of dressing up too.
Monsoon is a perfect season to wear bold and cheerful colours and to give monsoons a fashionable spin, the new season is all about adding a splash of colour to your wardrobe.
The colour of the season is bright and encompasses shades of red, burgundy, greens, and blues. If your wardrobe consists of classic colors like beige, pastels and white consider layering or adding pops of colours. Bold prints and checks also make up for great office attire options. Dipti Tolani, Founder & CEO, SALT Attire avers, “our monsoon collection comprises mostly dark prints, cotton knits, formal culottes, that are perfect for monsoons. Instead of full-length pants, you can pick these culottes with their hem above the ankle, to keep you off from the water and puddles. A range of skirts and dresses that you can pick across our collections are excellent picks for monsoon. We have also introduced light weight fabrics; light weight polyester or cottons that are good picks for monsoon since these fabrics dry easily. By design, all our clothing is non-sheer and not body hugging, which are two factors one must keep in mind so that clothes are not transparent.” Designers from all over the world are experimenting and introducing items to suit the weather with fuss free options such as jumpsuits and coordinate sets in lightweight fabrics such as cotton, linen and khadi, keeping it breezy and comfortable. Chandan Gandhi, Designer & Founder, The Maroon Suit says, “with the advancement towards the monsoon months, it has become imperative to invest in a wardrobe in sync with the unpredictable weather conditions. Vinyl PVC has made a comeback in the form of clear handbags, trench coats and hoodies. Paired with the right pair of bottoms and shirt, these fashion choices can help thrive the rainy season. Designers are also working with handiwork organic fabrics and oversized silhouettes, with a popular comeback from the 80’s and 90’s.”
Trends for monsoons are mostly functional and include elements like high hem/not full length clothing, skirts, knee length and calf-length dresses and formal culottes, ankle grazing or above ankle. Fabrics that work well in this season includes light weight polyesters or cottons which are basically fabrics that dry easily and light weight cottons, rayons, and viscose as they also work in this extra humid weather. It is better to avoid non-sheer/very lightweight and light coloured fabrics as in case you get drenched, clothing will be very transparent. Dark shades and pop colours will add brightness to the dull weather. Shilpa Sharma, Co-founder, Jaypore adds, “airy, natural fabric, preferably not in white, woven fabric which is also breathable and therefore perfect for this season, darker naturally-dyed colors, and quirky details and prints to add an extra dimension to your looks.” Clothes made of denim and crepe should definitely be avoided, since they take a lot of time to dry up. Instead, blended fabrics of polynylon and cotton would be a good choice to invest in. “To give monsoon a fashionable spin, this year we will be talking about rich hues, fresh prints, light fabrics and just the right amount of layering. This time, it won’t be a mere shoe swap, but people play around with the outfits – their proportions and colours. Culottes, capes, playsuits, roomy chiffon dresses, palazzo pants teamed with crop tops and maxi dresses are the functional and chic outfits that will rule the rainy season. In ethnic collection, floral printed kurtis and dresses with elegant zardosi work on satin fabrics will make a mark. The hues for the monsoon will be brighter than the sun – orange, canary yellow and fuchsia pink,” says Nishit Gupta, Director, Kalki.
This weather plays a major role on choice of fabric, fit and colours. With brighter and happier colours taking a front seat to provide a visual pick me up, comfort is at the fore runner in this season. Fabrics with quick-dry technology, wrinkle-resistance and comfort stretch are monsoon favourites. Most often, consumers look for print and texture options that work from day to night as well. Harssh Chedda, Founder & CEO, Corporate Collars avers, “in recent times, technology has played quite an important part in the apparel industry and is coming up with innovative options that are weather friendly. Firstly, a lot of stress is given to the weight of the apparel. The lighter the fabric the faster it gets dry. Also, wrinkle-free shirts and trousers are popular as they are easy to wear and maintain. Moreover, today fabrics are also innovated that have a high degree of water resistance.”
Different versions of breathable and smart fabrics are introduced being used to improve consumer usage. Technologies like quick dry fix is being used by active sportswear brands like Nike and Adidas to take moisture away from the skin keeping it cool and dry. Various superior mechanisms have also been introduced where these clothes can identify one’s health statistics and communicate them to the right person. Delna Nallaseth, Creative Head, ANJ says, “one of the innovations are water proof textile materials that are being introduced using nano waterproofing technology. Nanotech clothing fabrics never get wet. They use a silicone nanofilament which is highly chemically hydrophobic.”
The challenges mostly vary with the degree of monsoons in different parts of the country. “Some cities will be extremely humid, some cities experience a drop in temperature, hence the type of clothing you would want to wear will depend on your local topography of the region. The challenges mostly vary with the degree of monsoons in different parts of the country. Some cities will be extremely humid, some cities experience a drop in temperature, hence the type of clothing you would want to wear will depend on your local topography of the region,” adds Tolani. Depending on your location, the monsoon can prove to create different dilemmas for the consumers. Adapting one’s strategy in-store and online to cater to each of these varied needs is the first marketing hurdle. “Next up is the ever important ‘price justification’. While consumers look for fabrics with ever important technology like, quick-dry, wrinkle-resistant and flexible stretch, the premium charged becomes a point of discussion. Once these challenges are cracked, the market will show better results in terms of growth, which we are inching towards now,” adds Chedda. Another challenge faced is that Indians are unaware and uneducated about the growing e-textile industry and the advancement in technology in relation to the different fabrics and materials used to create the monsoon specific pieces. Sharad Venkta, MD & CEO, Toonz Retail says, “the monsoon clothes are all about the fabric being used. It is important to opt for the right fabric. Waterproof jackets and hoodies are in fashion this season. At Toonz, we are focusing on quickly drying fabric. Monsoon in India is very unpredictable and arrives at different timings in different regions making it difficult to launch, advertise and reach out to the customers at the right time meeting their immediate requirements.” When it comes to fashion, India is a cluttered market. There is one section of the audience that is probably not yet ready to ditch the denims and who are not willing to experiment, especially in monsoons. Hence while there are opportunities there are several challenges too. However there is a change that is being seen with the spurt of online portals that announce seasonal specific clothing styles that has a clear audience as well. The apparel industry is changing and with seasonal specific clothing making inroads in wardrobes, the monsoons have a whole new dimension.
This story first appeared in Apparel Magazine’s July 2019 issue here:FEATURE MONSOON WEAR BINDU