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Indian Summer feat. Ishandev Hiremath

June 12th, 2013

We met Ishandev Hiremath at the Articles of Style x Ted Baker event last month in NYC. We shared drinks, cracked jokes, and had a long discussion about the blending of cultural dress with western menswear.

On the clock, Ishan is a lawyer in New York City. Off the clock, he’s a style enthusiast best known for his clever mixing of classic American menswear with the sartorial traditions of India.

“From an early age, I attended boarding school in India which exposed me to classic British prep style, along with traditional Indian attire.  I love the practicality of Indian cloth in warmer weather, such as kadhi (homespun) cotton, silk, and linen.

I like the concept of dressing with austerity and I try not to wear too many items at once.  My perfect summer outfit is a blend of breathable Indian fabrics and sharp western clothing. It’s all about balance, and creating a look that is uniquely my own.”

    1. Eastern Prep


    “Long Kurtas are the most traditional item of clothing for Indian men and the trademark of the quintessential Indian artist.

    Apart from the obvious advantages of wearing white linen in the summer, the Kurta is a blank canvas – you can pair it with pretty much anything.  I prefer Kurtas that reach just above the knee, with a trim fit across the shoulders and chest, and sleeves just shy of the wrist.”


    “To complete this look, I added one of my favorite cotton Nehru Jackets in light blue… The Nehru Jacket is so versatile… it works great with a spread collar shirt and jeans, or slim trousers.

    Traditionally a Kurta is worn with Churidars, or ruched pants, but I often take it in a ‘classic southern prep’ direction: slim seersucker pants, brown/white spectators and a straw hat.

    I’m also wearing vintage hand-me-down Ray-Ban’s that once belonged to my father… I faithfully get them cleaned and tightened every once a while.”


    • White Venetian Straw Hat by  Zara
    • Brown Eyewear by Ray-Ban
    • White Cotton Linen Long Kurta by Fabindia
    • Blue Cotton Nehru Jacket (hemmed to waist length) by Fabindian
    • Blue Micro-Stripe Trousers (hemmed with no break) by Gant
    • Brown Bel-Air Spectators by Allen Edmonds

    2. Blue Blazer + Khakis


    “This is my ideal look for a summer cocktail party. It strikes the right balance between comfort and elegance.

    The jacket is from a custom BandhGala suit, with five buttons and a Nehru collar. A style made famous by Jawaharlal Nehru, The Beatles, and almost every Bond villain, this jacket is the Indian equivalent to the tuxedo.”


    “Tailoring is of utmost importance with a custom suit,  and the BandhGala is no exception. The silhouette should emphasize the shoulders, with a narrow waist, slim sleeves and high armholes.”


    “As the jacket + shorts combination is a bold statement there is no need to experiment with color.  In the same spirit, my shoes are classic chocolate penny loafers.

    As a final homage to Jawaharlal Nehru, I substituted a pocket square with a bright red rose.”


    • Bespoke Navy BandhGala Jacket by Avinash Punjabi
    • White T-Shirt by Scoop
    • Khaki Bowery Shorts by J.Crew
    • Brown Walden Penny Loafers by Allen Edmonds

    3. Dhoti Flow


    “Wearing a Dhoti anywhere is a statement in itself. Almost every region in India has its own version of this seven-yard cloth. It was famously worn by Mahatma Gandhi and is the mascot of cultural assertion.

    I got mine from a roadside stall in Mumbai and it’s made up of Mangalgiri Cotton from South India with beautiful silk embroidered edges.”


    “The Shirt is a long sleeved band-collar, that when crisply ironed perfectly complements the loose elegance of the Dhoti… The quilted Nehru Jacket is incredibly light. It has no buttons to fasten it, but the practicality is in the pockets (holds my phone, earphones and money clip).

    The star of the look is always going to be the Dhoti, so I paired it with neutral colors and minimized any flashy accessories… (I’m also wearing the Dhoti backwards to highlight the edges).

    I went with my favorite Vans sneakers to add a laidback and sporty element to the cultural-specific look.”


    • Eyewear by Paul Smith
    • White Bespoke Band Collar Shirt by Avinash Punjabi
    • Beige Quilted Nehru Jacket by FabIndian
    • White Linen Dhoti by roadside vendor in Colaba Market, Mumbai
    • White Leather Sneakers by Vans

    Thanks for reading, and special thanks to Ishan for participating!

    Yours in style,

    Articles of Style


    Photography by Alex Crawford

    • Ganesh Sethuraman

      Amazing! Thank you for this! As an Indian and someone who appreciates good style I’ve never seen this marriage of styles. Thank you thank you thank you. So inspirational! It’s giving me many ideas!

    • Thom

      Does Ishandev wear stuff like this in the Fall? May be a good idea to see what he come sup with. I love the Santander post and these two guys seem to be thinking outside the box.

      • ishandev

        Hi Thom,
        I wear a lot of Indian styled scarfs and shawls over my suits and tailoed jackets. Also, i wear some winter woolen bandhgalas for more formal occasions with woolen trousers.

    • Aparna

      those shoes in post 1 are wicked. Love the way he’s mixed up the aesthetics between eastern wear and western wear. It’s unusual to see guys do this but more men need to play with length and the perceptions of what is male/female.

    • Marianito

      This post is still so unique I love it. Saw a lot of shapes and silhouettes when i was in Asia. All time top five for tsbmen.

    • Thomas

      India!! Just came back from 6 months in Delhi, so inspiring, so many things to learn there for western style-enthusiast we are!!
      Amazing post, and it could continue with jutties (traditionnal shoes), sherwani (long jacket), scarfes, shirts with special kind of checks pattern…

    • http://undefined Dick Lickerson

      I love those pants in #3… I would be shwangin’ in them mu’fuhs. Reminds me of a poem I wrote about my time in India: I once knew a girl named Satay, who owned a coffee cart in Bombay, when she’d give me a tug, I’d squirt in the mugs, and she’d call it cafe au lait”.

    • http://undefined Manic Manik

      Really enjoyed this post tsbmen. Interesting combinations but is true to the goal of ethnic-prep. Would love to see more like this.

    • http://undefined Sandeep

      Got here from the Khaled post. Very refreshing to see TSB highlight a totally different style. Respect for the desi represent.

    • http://wearabout.wordpress.com Manu

      Very well done Ishandev. Especially the dhoti post. All the outfits look like so muc fun to wear around town.

    • Alan Gorenstien

      I traveled to India recently and discovered the most riotous colors used in everyday life. Even the fisherwomen would rock bright shades of blue and yellow. Ishandev’s style in Look 1 is something I saw in Haus Khas in Delhi – very traditional kurta paired with jeans and loafers. Look 2 is just amazing and definitely unique with the rose instead of the pocketsquare. It seems the most practical look for non-Indians to pull off. Look 3 would be bold even in India because you won’t find many young Indian men bothering with a dhoti. Definitely the forte of the Indian intelligentsia. Superb post tsbteam.

    • ThatEisenberg

      Fabulous shoes in Look 1. One could compare his style in Look 1 to a reinterpretation of the loose fitted attire seen in the east. I own a bandgala and never dreamt of wearing it with a suit – maybe soon! The Dhoti is such a bold look and e can pull it off. Very impressed with this post tsb team. Definitely find some more people who can mix and match ethnic wear this well. If I recall, Wes also seems to incorporate some of his Filipino roots into his wardrobe. Question: how does Ishandev express his personal style into his daily work attire?

      • Ishandev

        It is much harder to wear Indian inspired clothing to work – especially corporate America. As a lawyer, i can only have so much fun with color, thus, fit becomes all important. I wear neutral ties with Indian motifs as a play on the preppy critter ties- tiny elephants, rep ties with indian silk or small Oms like pindots. I wear my bandhgalas with slim pants for black tie events or formal occasions – paired with black lace ups and different flowers to add a touch. My fav cuff links are fakirs on a magic carpet and my fav tiebar spells out as “Garam Masala” ;)

    • Michael

      Very cool style! Such an eclectic mix of Indian heritage and traditional American elegance. I love it!

    • The Thespian

      Very unique look. Seems weather appropriate as well with the heat wave in effect. Well done Ishandev!

    • Luca

      Bravo. I like the Dhoti very much and would be great to see that style at Pitti.

    • VisionQuest

      I met Ishandev in the burg yesterday. He was wearing a superb short blue kurta with slim white pants and black navy suede stubbs. Looked fresh! Interesting to actually meet somebody featured here and notice that their style is pretty much as it is portrayed on the site.
      p.s. btw he’s hilarious!

    • Jemma

      Love the ‘flow’ literally of the kurta and dhoti. Looks elegant yet boho.

    • Taylor K.

      Incredible pairing in Look 1 and 3 to exact a memorable Indo-Western outfit.

    • Danny B.

      Fabulous looks. Really love the dhoti and the jacket in Look 2.

    • Aguerro

      Exquisite shoes on Look 1. Look 2’s jacket contrasts well with the casual shorts element, including the starchy finish on the jacket and the crumpled look of the khaki shorts. Look 3 says a lot about taking traditional india menswear and playing around with it. Great post.

    • Dave R.

      Great Looks, really funky way of expressing personal style More posts like this tsbmen.

    • Alexander P.

      Great looking jacket. Perfect fit and and elegant alternative to what we normally see. Well done Ishandev.

    • Mike G.

      Very well done. Fan of the dhoti and rose touch.

    • Phillip C.

      Amazing sense of personal style.

    • Craig M.

      Beautiful shoes on the first look. Look 3 is very unique. Good post.

    • Josh Mc.

      Brilliant outfits. Dhoti is sheer class.

    • Daniel

      Exceptional style. Look 2 and Look 3 are amazing.

    • Alyssa

      Beautiful shoes in the first look. Definitely a unique and wonderful way to express his culture and style. I love Indian clothes, but this is the first time I have seen an Indian guy wearing dhotis and kurtas in New York in this manner.

    • Brian C.

      Pretty cool. Look 3 is killing it with the dhoti. Digging the long kurta look as well.

    • Karan B.

      Wow! Now this is original. I never imagined a traditional Indian garb, like a dhoti, could be transformed into a fashion statement. #trendsetter

    • Ed B.

      First time poster. Really liking all the looks, great style and confidence.

    • Perry T.

      Surprisingly the rose is a great touch. I think flowers instead of pocketsqs are a fun alternative.

    • Chris

      Beautiful spectators in the first Look. Dhoti killing it.

    • Dan

      Fantastic feature. Love those dhoti’s !

    • Eli

      He pulls of all the looks really well. I really like how it literally seems cool, is functional yet also uniquely Indian.

    • Jordan

      Look 3 is amazing. Good Post.

    • Lee

      Interesting post. I like how he keeps everything quite minimalistic but takes it up a notch with the completely unique pieces. This is a lesson on wearing traditional eastern wear. Too often it looks contrived and overdone.

    • Jorge

      Good post. Like Look 3 the best.

    • Nathan

      Look 1 and Look 3 – I have never seen anybody wear this before. Pretty cool stuff.

    • Papa D

      Wow. I must say I LOVE every look but look 3 is absolutely amazing. And who is this guy? He is so confident chic, also the secret picture was awesome!!! I would love to see more on him. Work attire was mentioned above and I agree that I would definitely want to see that. Bravo ishandev!!!!

      • Sif

        Often when people are dressed in a unique manner it seems forced and unnatural. Not the case with this Ishan character. Stylish, personal and relaxed, isn’t that what fashion is suppose to be?

    • Sif

      The dhoti and Vans together. what a combo. Well played old sport

    • Mike D.

      Long time reader, first time poster. This is exactly the kind of feature I wanted to comment on. Something out of the ordinary pulled off with style. This guy has major confidence. Look 3 is sheer class.

    • Peter Gibbons

      I wasn’t a fan of the southern guy shorts post but I kind of like this version. Growing on me. Definite props for Look 1 and Look 3. That is just wildly creative.

    • Nasir

      Really liked this post. Impressive!

    • Alan M.

      Great post. Definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, but this guy is really showing something different. I though Look 3 took the cake, while Look 2 seemed like something anybody could wear. Look 1 is definitely possible if you are confident to wearing a shirt of that length.

    • Brandon

      The *secret* 4th picture on Look #3 is hilarious. Please tell me Ishandev came on that to the shoot :) Boss feature tsbmen team.

    • Bardot

      Can Ishandev or the tsbmen photographer clarify if this is the original dhoti or a more modern one? I know they sell dhotis that have elastic bands around the waist and then you just slip it on.
      I love that he is also wearing the dhoti backwards. Would never have known that.

      • Ishandev

        The dhoti worn here is squarely in the middle of both styles you mentioned. It’s not a purist dhoti that I wrap around multiple times, nor does it have elastic waist bands. It involves wrapping it twice and a two drawstrings to gather it at the waist. Sort of a wrap 1 + pull it up through the legs + wrap 2 + tightening the draw strings.

        • Sif

          What a wonderfully elegant combination – somehow modern and classic

    • Calypso

      I just really like the way this dude is making it look so effortless. The smile is key to pulling any of this off.

    • Taylor

      Anybody else catch the 4th picture in Look 3? Refreshing post and great use of heritage pieces. So many times you see somebody wear a pocket square or scarf only and claim to fuse cultural pieces.These looks squarely focus a large portion of the outfits on Indian wear.

    • Paul B.

      Fantastic looks. Real confidence in pulling off some unique clothes. Look 3 is just nuts- in a very good way.

    • http://undefined Charlie Matthews

      Mega impressive, Ishandev. I like the confidence with which you carry off this versatile look. Its not often that one sees the Indo-Western look pulled off with such panache! Good job!

    • Josh

      Really diggin the jacket and rose combination.

    • Raj M.

      Effortless style. Kurtas are a very appealing summer staple. Glad that he is showing them off in the West.

    • Zachary

      Awesome style. Period.

    • Brad W.

      Look 1 and Look 3 are crazy cool. Look 2 jacket s a perfect fit.

    • Purvi D. Shah

      Ishaan, looking sharp as always!

    • Josh

      Hey tsb team, I was just wondering what you think of light suede monk shoes with shorts?

      Great post by the way!

    • Alex

      Wow! This guy is on some other level. I have some Indian print scarves and I’m wearing them this summer. Beautiful looks in this post.

    • Sumeet

      Look 2 is my favorite because I’m most likely to try that. Look 3 is just really cool but much more of a statement, so I would hesitate to wear it often. If I saw somebody wearing this on the street I’d take a photo and Instagram it lol.

    • Jason H

      Such a good feature tsbmen team.Really enjoyed this guy’s style. Very unique and definitely stylish.

    • Rich

      Insanely cool!!! Next level guys

    • Brent Kuz

      Not gonna lie the guy looks good. I will never wear anything in this post nor will I even try but it’s cool to see. Just doesn’t really impact my life.

    • Kris

      This. Is. Amazing.

      One of the best posts. Ever.

    • Blard

      This is by far my favorite post on here. Look #2 is the weakest of the bunch, but looks #1 and #3 kill it.

    • Karan

      Solid job. Loved the use of the ethnic pieces in some clever ways. Look 3 is pretty much ethnic apart form the Vans. Also, did everybody see the *secret* 4th photo in Look 3. Hit the ‘elegance’ link.

    • Trung

      Loved all the looks. Well done Ishandev.

    • Michael

      Very strong post – well done. I wonder if a non-Indian guy could pull off any of these looks, or even any of the pieces. Really love the bandghala jacket – where would I even begin to shop for one in New England?

      • Neel P.

        I know Canali has a collection. But, this dude had his made in Mumbai at Avinash Punjabi who is one of the best. You can buy the nehru jackets from fabindia.com

    • Derek

      Pretty much the boldest look I have seen on this blog. This dude and the Brooklyn Circus dude are channeling something different with what they are wearing. I like it though – he looks cool literally and figuratively.

    • Andrew P.

      Does look practical, especially in blistering NYC heat. Definitely not the usual stuff you see on street style blogs. Look 2’s jacket can be mixed with so many colored pants, Look 3 is amazing.

    • Alex V

      Look number 2 is really a great smooth look

    • Pratik S.

      Kurtas are worn more often in India then Dhotis. And I’ve never seen a young guy wear a Dhoti before. It’s usually an old man thing. But its definitely a bold way to switch things up and why not rep your culture. Well done, Ishandev on bringing some exposure to our culture. let’s see more culturally specific posts.

    • Joe

      Really cool (literally with those fabrics and figuratively). Very interesting to hear perspectives from different cultures and how they come together with western practices.

      I know the theme was Indian and summer, but I would be curious to see a dressed for work shot, specifically whether there were opportunities to express your culture in the workplace (a pocket square, style of shirt, etc.) and whether you felt comfortable (or if you found it appropriate) to incorporate cultural elements at work. Perhaps with all the great features of diverse features, this might come to be a theme: expressing one’s culture from 9 to 5…

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Barnett

      Great look!

    • James B.

      I love your blog, I have always been intrigued about different cultures, especially India’s culture. This feature is so creative and unique. Ishandev totally pulls off his mixing up style!

    • Ash K

      Look three ties it together really well, the simplicity of just the van shoes and Paul Smith shades to top off this east-meets-west look really well.

    • Ian in Dallas

      Question for Ishandev, or anyone really: Is it standard to fasten ALL buttons on a Nehru jacket? I think the look is great! But when I see a man with all buttons fastened on a blazer, I cringe.

      • Aditya

        On the bandhgala it is customary to fasten all the buttons. However, you could leave the top one unfastened. He’s supposed to be wearing a T-shirt underneath so I guess it makes sense to show the correct way to wear it. No absolutes of course. He isn’t buttoning up the nehru jackets at all in the other looks. I guess the motto is to ‘play around with it’.

        • Ian in Dallas

          Thanks for the answer! I think it looks great all buttoned up. The cut is perfect.

          • Ishandev

            Thanks Ian. I have a jacket in linen that is much softer with natural shoulders etc. I tend to wear that more casually with just the center button or completely unbuttoned. However, because the bandhgala I’m sporting here is heavier, just unbuttoning anything more than the top button makes it bunch up around the chest area. It’s designed to make you button all the way – with the stiffer collar, tighter chest and higher armholes.

    • http://themodernprep.wordpress.com Marshall Mulherin

      This post is so awesome. Great original style with a meaningful story behind it. Bravo fellas

    • R Victor

      Wow, really loving these east meets west looks. My mother is Indian, and I have always wanted to incorporate some of that cultural style into my wardrobe, but never knew how. I really enjoyed this post so thank you!

    • Adam

      Loving look #2, the blazer is so slick. Look #3 is really cool as well

    • Tom

      Very cool. Awesome blend of cultures in his outfits, definitely don’t see that kind of style very often!

    • Steve

      Ishandev has great style, definitely an original. Showing guys like Ishandev and their approach to fashion is what this site is all about.

    • http://undefined khordkutta

      Very niice, really dig the blend of Cultures, keep doin your thing!!!

    • BF

      This dude is way outside the box which is awesome.
      Spectacular shoes on the first look.

    • http://undefined Robert

      If Kanye West were Indian, look #3 would be the number one trend in America right now. Just Sayin’

      • Ben S.

        Look 1 has a weird charm to it. Take away the kurta and evrything else is quite appropriate to a jazz-age party. Look 2’s jacket is really nice but I’m not a fan of the shorts+jacket combination. I love the rose touch though. Look 3 is just crazy cool. You need balls to pull of a dhoti for sure. I wonder if a white guy (myself) could pull it off. Doubtful, but props to Ishandev for his style. Very unique.

    • Martin

      Look three is BOSS!

    • Harvey

      Awesome post! Obviously it’s not everyone’s style, but it shows personality, which is the most important.

    • Joseph

      All the looks are pretty interesting, but I don’t know if I find them especially -flattering- though, that could just be a cultural bias on my part.