At the 2015 Surrey Vaisakhi Parade attended by around 300,000 – the largest Vaisakhi outside India, I saw many men wearing an outfit that I picture any man, regardless of nationality, could wear in cities like New York, Manila, or London and be regarded as common elegant wear, not just for cultural occasions.
Called Kurta Pazam, it is so stylish, practical and comfortable. Kurta pazam is a South Asian outfit for men: a loose fitting, simple cut with or without buttons, shirt that falls beyond the knees, with matching trouser or as younger guys do so in a very modern take, with a pair of jeans.
The Kurta Pazam also known as Kurta-Pajama comes in a wide range of fabrics like silk, cotton, linen, dupion, brocade, jacquard, and many more. But the linen version comes out downright sharp.
Some guys wear the Kurta Pazam with a Nehru jacket - a hip-length tailored coat with a mandarin collar – more like a vest – which makes the whole ensemble so manly man, so Cary Grant. Ironically, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister of India from 1947 to 1964 rarely wore the jacket named after him, preferring the more traditional sherwani or achkan or an American style jacket.
Draping with a shawl gives a very chic look.
And if you really want to look special in a party, wear a pair of Aladdin-like Mojari or Khussa shoes, Rajasthani style - a man's closed shoe with an extended curled toe and no left-right distinctions between them.
The more observant of the Sikh men wear a dastaar or turban – see separate article.