An ode to a classic silhouette

Be it a wedding soiree or a formal dinner, impeccably cut Bandhgalas promises to give you that regal look. Let’s hear it more from the man who understands this Rajasthani staple better than anyone else, designer Raghavendra Rathore

“Boarding schools started the appetite for structured clothing,” says blue-blooded designer Raghavendra Rathore, who has mastered the art of churning out Jodhpur’s bandhgalas in their most original form. He adds that it was mandatory to wear bandhgalas or even blazers and suits to schools during the birth of a new India. Not only did the Royals wore the outfit for a formal event but young princes were also aware of this style. And over the generations, this timeless classic enhanced into a global fashion statement of elegant class and dapper style.

The bandhgala, often referred as the prince coat, is a must-have in every men’s wardrobe. The ultimate benefit of owning a bandhgala is that it can flatter any body type and promises a royal look. No wonder it has made its way into the wardrobes of debonair dandies like Amitabh Bachchan, Milind Soman, Saif Ali Khan, Arjun Rampal, and more.

Rathore explains that to achieve the original look of a bandhgala, one needs to be extremely particular about getting the right cut and fit. It should be cut high on the armhole while the jacket should fit like a glove around the chest. This tailored look lends it a modern edge. It should always be like a second skin. The length is ideally dictated by the body type. But as a general rule to follow, the length should end just at the root of the thumb while the arms rest against the body. Too long or too short with a boxy unstructured look will kill the purpose of the well-cut jacket.

When it comes to fabrics, the formal bandhgala is usually made of cashmere, wool, khadi or matka silk. Now, apart from lightweight woollen fabrics like tropical wool, marina wool and terry wool, some of which are lighter than cotton, bandhgalas are also made in linen, Irish linen, cotton chino and silk. The bandhgala has an unmatched quality when made in fine Italian suiting fabric. Besides, wearing a white band collar shirt is the norm or what was dictated. However, due to its versatility, the jacket seems to have created an edge to experiment with different colours and cuts.

Painstakingly tailored over 23 meticulous hours, Rathore has managed to give this old school must-have a slick contemporary relevance. He tells us how attention to a few small details can indeed go a long way.