How Bollywood has influenced men’s fashion over the last 60 years


Borrowing ideas and taking inspiration from other cultures is something that happens frequently in fashion. Bollywood films have always had immense influence on the people across the country, as the actors set trends and fans follow them religiously. Let’s take a look at how Bollywood trends have influenced men’s fashion over the last 60 years

Trends come and go as fast as they arrive, and this could be pinned down to the different eras of cinematic growth in Bollywood. Bollywood stars Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand were the stars of the 1950’s and were two of the most stylish men of the decade. Dev Anand had a unique style, combining high collar floral shirts with colourful scarves and Raj Kapoor encapsulated a Charlie Chaplin fashion with a bundle of clothing tied to a stick and slung over his shoulder. Others in this era wore traditional kurtas-pyjamas, dhotis and sometimes western suit and ties.

The 1960’s were a more flamboyant and charismatic decade and actors such as Shammi Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna, Sunil Dutt and Dharmendra flourished and shifted from the humble styles of the 50’s to a more experimenting and inventive western fused style. Shammi Kapoor wowed audiences across India with his pencil moustache and slicked back hairstyle, Rajesh Khanna captured the attention of fashion designers globally with his kurta-trouser combo. Gel in hairstyles was used to its full extent with ducktail styles becoming particularly fashionable.

In terms of Bollywood audiences, the 70’s brought fashion trends that were a treat to the eyes. Amitabh Bachchan became a symbol of hatred against the establishment and someone who the public could relate to. Again, Rajesh Khanna epitomised style in yet another decade and proved as to why he was the first superstar of Bollywood. Bell bottoms, dark shades, tight blazers and broad ties were the outfit of the decade and men’s hairstyles were grew longer and sideburns were very much in.

The 1980’s brought colour to the world of Bollywood. Men’s fashion could be split into three demographics. Some wore extravagant disco outfits accompanied with ostentatious accessories, others delved into denim, mean while others grew facial hair and went for a more rugged look. The stars of the 80’s were Jackie Shroff and Anil Kapoor who both gave great performances as police men with awesome moustaches. With regards to the claim that the 80’s were the decade of colour for India, Mithun Chakraborty epitomised this with his bold and flashy style in Disco Dancer, a look that was an instant hit with Indians imitating the funky colours and sparkling attire.

The 80’s moustache era had come to an end and it was now fashionable for a Bollywood lead to be clean shaven. Stars such as Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Sunny Deol and Salman Khan all encompassed the shaved look until Sanjay Dutt started the trend of long hair that the youth went crazy for… Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan soon followed suit. Denim was still in and was popularised by Shah Rukh wearing denim jeans and a blazer.

In the 00’s, men became more westernised and designer in their styles. New stylish hairdos, tattoos and designer brands were introduced almost daily and actors such as Shahid Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan and Ranbir Kapoor amazed audiences with their ever changing styles. Ranbir Kapoor looks to be the next trend setter as he is creating ripples on the Bollywood scene with his good looks and fashionable style.