I’ve always loved formal clothes and I firmly believe that, for a man, nothing beats the elegance and sophistication of a well-tailored suit and a great tie. That being said, I’ve also admired the bandhgalas sported by so many stylish men these days. It seems to have become an acceptable alternative to pure Westernwear at any formal event. From royal polo parties at a Rajasthani palace to red carpet appearances at awards shows and even weddings, the bandhgala has indeed attained cult status in the past few years. However, I must confess that I have only admired elegance from afar. I don’t own one. I’ve never attempted to incorporate it into my wardrobe — not out of reluctance, not out of indifference. I just don’t know why! That was until I received an invite from Aboutir to come in and experience their tailoring services. Just to bring you up to speed, Aboutir is Mumbai’s latest bespoke boutique for men, located in Kala Ghoda. The stylish studio only deals in made-to-measure menswear and aims to plug a void in high quality customised menswear that has existed (and probably still exists) in the city of Mumbai. Manish Banthia and Devinaa Chouhan, who started Aboutir have brought a whole new segment to the menswear market in Mumbai and I couldn’t be happier.
I accepted the duo’s offer and decided to go in search of the perfect bandhgala. For those of my readers who are unfamiliar with the term bandhgala — it is also known as a Jodhpur jacket. It is basically a Western-cut jacket with the famous Nehru collar. The Indianness of the jacket is then added by means of embroidery or even the fabric. I couldn’t have been more excited.
As per my appointment, I arrived at the store to get measured for my bandhgala. Devinaa welcomed me and explained that she would be helping me choose what was just right for me. She would take me through the options Wow, the store is an impressive space. Here’s what it looks like
There were a few bandhgalas already on the racks, from Aboutir’s latest collection, however, these were merely to be used as a starting point for a personalised one created for each customer.
Here are a few examples of what I saw:
and then there was this light coloured brocade, perfect for a bridegroom…
and then there was this STUNNING three-toned bandhgala, one of my favourites. However, such a colour tends to limit your wearability to just a few times. I was looking for something more timeless so I had to continue looking…
this gorgeous brocade also caught my eye. I LOVED the ornate buttons and suede collar.
I also liked this one too. I liked the idea of having a velvet bandhgala. It is rich and sophisticated. But I wanted to look for some more options.
I was then shown some fabrics from which I had to choose. I had the choice between a plain black and another black brocade with a gold sheen.
Finally, after much confusion and debate, I zeroed in on my fabric. It would indeed be the black brocade with a gold sheen. Here’s what the fabric looks like. I’m sorry, the camera doesn’t do justice to what it actually looks like. The final results will be stunning I assure you.
After all this, the tailor painstakingly took my measurements. My bandhgala would have a black satin piping and an interesting inner lining (can’t wait to see what that looks like). Devinaa matched it with two pocket squares — a bandhani print and a plain copper one.
The search for the perfect bandhgala is far from over. I’ve been called in for my first trial in 15 days so watch this space for the verdict. I’m dying to know what my Aboutir bandhgala is going to look like. I will be posting the final results as well as Devinaa’s tips for pairing it.