Ali Fazal Talks Halloween Costumes and Other Stuff

The indie star and theatre marvel reveals his style secret after a lot of nudging. His recommendation? The right attitude and tees. We’re in them already!

by Sunanda Vaid

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How would you define your style?
I think I’m pretty comfortable in my skin. I’m pretty chilled out. And that’s my style. It’s not something you wear in the morning. It’s just your attitude. White tees, jeans and boots—that’s my go-to look.

List three must-haves every man should have in his wardrobe.
Denim jacket, jeans and a nice, smart three-piece suit.

Who are your style icons?
George Clooney and Brad Pitt have great style. In India, I admire Mr. Bachchan. Also, I think Shah Rukh bhai has great style. These are men who have lived in the spotlight for decades. They have seen the change in fashion and there’s still something really classy about them. It’s about how you carry yourself. I won’t ape anyone. I mean, nobody can ape anybody. When you start doing that, you start lying. You’ve got to invent and reinvent yourself. That’s what keeps you going.

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Your idea of weekend dressing is...
We don’t have weekends in this industry! I mean we work on Saturdays. But, yeah, holiday dressing would be white tees and shorts. I wear a lot of shorts. Add to that chappals (fl ip-fl ops) and a hat and I am ready to head out.

When it comes to formal dressing, especially red-carpet events, how can a guy look smart without much priming?
It’s about standing out. I always look for something diff erent. I wore a white tux to Filmfare (awards) once and I thought it really stood out. Smartness lies in how you carry yourself. You could look like shit in a regular tux. We’re taking a full circle with style. It’s the 1950s that’s coming back like double-breasted blazers and three-piece suits. What you wear does matter.

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Does your girl normally pick out clothes for you, like ours?
I wish! So many of us wish! No, I’m the one doing it for her. Or used to. I’m not currently seeing anyone. But there is one girl, she’s a designer and I love her. She pretty much gets all my clothes. But not for everyday wear. I pick my own stuff. I love wearing suits. I love my shirts and pants when I’m not in that whole grunge zone. I have a wardrobe and a washing machine so I can repeat clothes. It’s not a crime to repeat clothes, you know.

We agree! What’s the funniest outfit you’ve seen a guy wear?
Guys with stick legs wearing tight pants. It kind of kills it. It’s wrong. And skirts. I don’t know what’s up with that. I mean kilts are fi ne but don’t skirt it out. That’s pushing it. Can I tell you about the grossest thing I’ve ever seen a woman wear? It was Halloween and I saw this woman wearing like an extra tummy with intestines hanging out. I just can’t get that picture out of my head. It was really weird.

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You were a part of our Zippo Real Men campaign. What was the biggest learning for you?
Don’t start lighting Zippos inside a club—you might just burn something. Let the bartenders do it. On a serious note, the campaign had a great set of individuals who have achieved so much in life... It made me want to do so much more. As an actor everything in your life is a subject. ==If there’s something you want to do, you just gotta do it.

When it comes to real men, grooming is an important aspect. Do you haveany specific grooming routine?
I fold my clothes (laughs). It starts from there. It really does. It gives you a sense of patience with yourself and when you have that, you want to groom yourself. You want to take care of yourself. It’s not bad, it’s not uncool for a guy to do that. Grooming is very important. I think it sets you apart. It defines you in so many ways. I think hair is something that everyone is really experimenting with these days and that’s cool. Just don’t be scruffy. Be groomed. Women love that. Provided you’ve got wit.

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Name three grooming products you always use?
I don’t like using products in my hair regularly, but on shoots I prefer using wax. I use a bit of argan oil on my hair too. I don’t use a comb much. I use a basic moisturiser.

What are the small things a man can do for his woman to smile?
That’s a tough one. I think you just need to listen to them. They will stop talking and smile because you listened. I think that’s very important. Last year, I did something for someone I was going out with, not anymore... Shit. I set up a whole gig inside the house—with a chef making her favourite meal. That made her smile. And then she cried. But she smiled first. It’s the small things that matter. I love writing. I write a lot. I paint too. I’ve gifted all my paintings.

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Photographs by Kurush Umrigar
Styling by Anisha Jain
Hair & Make-up by Marcelo Pedrozo
Shot on location at Waterstones Hotel, Mumbai