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If there’s one thing that fashion in 2019 has taught us, it is that everything is game. The only rule to follow is to express who you really are. Which is why the one look that’s really caught our eye is the pairing of sneakers with ethnicwear. Cool and seemingly effortless, this cross-cultural sartorial venture does however come with a handful of dos and don’ts. To help you ace this look, we asked four style-setters for a crash course in fusing ethnicwear with sneakers.

Designer Kunal Rawal on colourplay
ethnic with sneakers
Kunal Rawal, with Jahaan and Arjun Kapoor

“Sneakers and ethnicwear can be a brilliant combination but people need to keep in mind that the most important thing is to dress right for the occasion. So make sure that the sneakers you’re pairing are compatible, avoiding much of a colour statement. You don’t want sneakers stealing the attention away from the outfit. If you’re playing with colours, try matching your sneakers with your clothes.”

ethnic with sneakers
Kunal Rawal

“I think sneakers are best worn with a kurta and slim fit trousers. You could even aim for a jacketed look for the night, but it’s important to dress for the occasion so don’t let your sneakers take away from that. Black white, muted, tones are trending this festive season for ethnicwear. The key for me is to keep it modern without straying away from the dress code.”

Influencer Riaan George on pairing right
ethnic with sneakers
Riaan George. Image: @urbaneyebyrg/Instagram

“There are two prime ethnic Indian outfits to pair with sneakers. First, the bundi jacket has a simple silhouette that looks good with sneakers and jeans. It’s super trendy and embraces a very east-meets-west vibe. The bundi jacket has really evolved into an everyday staple for an Indian man. To take it up a notch, you could work with a printed number too for a colourful look. Navy and black are timeless when it comes to ethnicwear.

“The second way of indulging in this trend is by pairing long asymmetric kurtas with sneakers. This is all about being modern, so linen kurtas is a good option. These go really well with a great hem break and white sneakers.”

Influencer Sarang Patil on making a statement
ethnic with sneakers
Sarang Patil, Image: @HeIsGotTheStyle/Instagram

“Sneakers are all the hype in 2019 and have found their place in every kind of outfit. At first, you might be skeptical about fusing traditionalwear with westernwear, but this is just the first wave of cross-cultural sartorial elegance.

“Apart from the stereotypical look of wearing kurta-pajamas with white sneakers, add more elements to the look. Most importantly, keep it classy and pair them with trousers or maybe cleaner denims. This will allow you to even make it an everyday style statement.

“Indulge in a light leather jacket that tones well with the shades of your kurta and sneakers. So even once festive season is done, you can rock this look throughout layering season.”

Designer Ujjawal Dubey on being effortless
ethnic with sneakers
Bhuvan Bam (left) with Ujjawal Dubey

“Indianwear is looking to depart from the common notion of it being uncomfortable. I see kurtas as a cool piece of clothing that should not necessarily be worn simply for traditional events, but as an outfit for everyday fashion too. Cuts and drapes need to complement sneakers – it’s a defining factor. I personally wear loose pants teamed with a kurta and sneakers. It’s easy-chic and comfortable “

All images: Courtesy brands and respective creators

Mikhail Gomes
Senior Features Writer
A watch aficionado, Gomes also enjoys learning about fine whiskies, and one day hopes to establish his own menswear label. At Lifestyle Asia India, he writes on watches, menswear, auto and tech.