He shows up in our office channeling the urban cowboy vibe – his trademark stubble, a plaid shirt and an unbuttoned waistcoat. Easy going, laid-back and super comfy – these phrases sort of sum up his personal style. However, he knows his Burberry suits from his Dolce & Gabbana t-shirts and has a penchant for Rajesh Pratap’s easy chic pieces. Over to the lumberjack, who clearly knows what works for him and what doesn’t…
How do you interpret style?
Style to me means comfort. If you are not comfortable, you cannot be stylish.
How do you interpret your personal style?
Somebody wrote this about me long ago, which I really liked: either a vagabond or James Bond. I am like that – either completely laid-back in t-shirt, track pants and chappals or I’ll be very chic, when I am stepping out for public events. I love wearing suits however, I can’t tie the tie knot. I am still struggling with that.
Do you follow fashion?
I am not really into but I am aware of certain fits which go well with me. I know about certain brands which you find in Mumbai. But I don’t keep track of fashion. If you ask me what’s the in thing, I’d have no idea.
Rhea’s been styling you. How much is her input and how the two of you brainstorm?
The other day, I was telling her I’ll come 20 per cent and you come 80 per cent and we’ll meet in-between. She insists that I button up my shirts and I am like – ‘this is not me so she understood’. As a personality, I am a certain way so she blends her clothes into my personality. She’s done all my ads and she’s done a very good job of all of them. She’s done a couple of covers with me too and now she’s doing Tevar so I trust her. She has a keen eye. Of course, she has an emotional agenda also so that I look presentable. But we do have our battles. She likes me to be sober and chic and I like to be normal and chilled out.
She keeps doing fittings and brings clothes and discovers what works for me. I only try out certain clothes and know what works for me. I told her, ‘Give me some colour. It’s a young, energetic film. I want to be dancing around and don’t want to look subdued’. So now she’s got into that thought and called for new stuff. The other day, I tried a beautiful kurta from Rajesh Pratap Singh and she told me, ‘now I know what to do with it’. I trust her blindly but I have my sensibility that I’ll never let go of. I’ll never completely submit. She knows that also.
Who are your fav designers in India and internationally?
Raghavendra Rathore. I like Kunal Rawal, who’s a very good friend of mine and done Tevar. I also like Rajesh Pratap Singh. There’s a new guy Antar Agni, he’s sending me stuff for promotion.
Burberry suits fits me really well. I also like Paul Smith. If you ask me if I had an hour to shop anywhere, I’d go to Dolce & Gabbana – they are very consistent be it shirts, shoes or suits. You can’t go wrong with them. Something or the other with them you’ll like. I like high street brands like All Saints, G-Star. Only certain brands fit me because I have a broad structure. But I am not a fussy guy as far as brands are concerned.
Any penchant for accessories?
I can’t afford too many watches but when I can I will. I have a tremendous affinity for watches – I like big dials. I have a fetish for sunglasses. I end up buying sunglasses on every trip. Recently I was bored at Delhi airport and I ended up buying two pairs. I like boots and leather jackets which guys like me like – the lumberjacks (laughs). Leather jackets keep lying around. I don’t even know how many I have.
What’s in your vanity kit?
We have a make-up staff when we are shooting otherwise I never forget to carry a trimmer.
What’s your grooming regime like?
I don’t have any regime. Since I am an actor and I shoot for months in the sun, I have to go to a dermatologist for a basic clean-up. I get a pedicure because I am flat footed.
Where do you shop from?
Online. Recently I was in Istanbul, I shopped there. In Mumbai when you do photoshoots even if a few things aren’t used, you end up buying them. You can’t get out here to shop. I’d love to shop at Palladium but I have to be careful because I get spotted.
What maketh a men – shoes or watch?
Since I don’t wear shoes all the time so in my case my watch defines me. I like Hublot and AP.
Who are your style icon?
David Beckham is effortless. He is a very good looking man which always helps. The way he carries himself, there’s a nonchalance. Saif Ali Khan in India is naturally very stylish. He can carry off a bandhgala as well as t-shirt and jeans.
Any faux pas Indian men make?
Men tend to wear very very tight jeans especially the skinny ones. Don’t opt for them if your legs are not skinny. Even I have made that mistake in the past and everybody said they are looking fine but I knew they were not looking fine. They hug your crotch. Indian men also tuck in their shirts and the stuff that’s supposed to be tucked in gets tucked out. (Laughs)