Often times when it comes to Tamil weddings, the focus on wardrobe tends to be towards the bride and the bridal party. This isn’t because no one cares about what the groom or the groomsmen are wearing, but for the longest time, men traditionally wore a veshti at their wedding – and a tux or a suit when it came to the reception or engagement party. As times evolved, men starting switching to kurtas for Hindu weddings. Even then – the kurtas were simple, plain, and in neutral colours of off white or beige.
We now live in a fashion forward culture where menswear has just as many, if not more options than women. There are kurtas, sherwanis, dhotis, veshtis and the list goes on. We see grooms in outfits with bead work, thread work, bold colours, variety of fabrics, and also coordinating to compliment their partners outfits.
With the multitude of options, we decided to chat with an industry leading expert when it comes to a very popular trend in traditional menswear, the sherwani! Read below to find out about Sherwani King and for their tips on how you can pick your wedding attire without being overwhelmed.
Where is Sherwani King located? Do you have a show room or home based?
We are based in Solihull, West Midlands. We have a showroom where clients can come and try on sherwanis we have in stock or discuss ideas for their bespoke sherwani with stylists.
Tell us about Sherwani King and the personalities and people in this company. How many people are behind the team?
Our day-to-day team consists of 5 people.
Moon, Managing Director: Along with being the marketing director, he is hands-on with the day-to-day running of the showroom and online store. Client appointments are an important part of Moon’s work. When clients engage with Sherwani King – Moon is their first point of contact as he gets to know what they have in mind for their event.
Jonathan, Assistant Manager: Jonathan looks after client enquiries, booking their appointments, and handling appointments. When sherwanis are ready to be delivered, he is the one making sure they are in impeccable condition.
Karishma, Marketing Assistant: She handles our social media keeping clients up to date with everything new with Sherwani King while answering any questions they may have.
Chris, IT Director: With experience in software consultancy, Chris has been at the forefront of the implementation of systems and processes for Sherwani King.
Ifti, Operations Director: He has enabled the creation and set up of the physical and digital stores.
When did this business first start?
Our parent company was supplying menswear on Green Street London since 1975. We have been trading as Sherwani King in Solihull for 2 years now.
Do you provide custom designs for clients, or have in stock outfits? Where is your custom designs made from?
We do both! We have the largest stock in the UK and it’s all on site for customers to try on anything they like (dependant on size). We also offer a made-to-measure service where clients can tell us what they have in mind and show us any inspiration they have. We work from there with the designers until we create exactly what the customer has imagined. The sherwanis are made in Delhi, Lahore, Mumbai and Calcutta where our designers are based.
Do you provide services for clients overseas? Are you open to clients overseas?
We do provide services to overseas clients. So far our client base is in USA, Canada, France, Norway, Germany and Spain.
Name a couple of popular or most requested designs for sherwanis.
Our bespoke pieces have all been unique which are all extremely popular. From our higher collection, one our most popular pieces has been ‘Samir’ an Emperor gold zardozi embroidered Sherwani.
How far in advance from a wedding would you recommend a sherwani to be custom ordered from you?
We recommend starting around 12-16 weeks before your wedding so that it allows for a good amount of time for the sherwani to be made (applicable for bespoke pieces) and allows times for any adjustments that might be needed once the sherwani is completed.
What’s your busiest month of the year?
Our busiest time of year coincides with the summer – its’s April to mid-September. Understandably couples want to hold their special day when they are guaranteed at least some sun and have a picture perfect wedding. August is always a busy month as most people are on Holiday.
Tell us something about Sherwani King that many people may not know (could be a service or product you offer, or even a fun fact)
We have a try on service. If you are unable to visit the showroom but would like to try on a piece we can send that to you so you can see how to look in it.
Do you also have selection of shoes for sherwanis available?
We offer a selection of over 100 styles of shoes that clients can match to their sherwanis and create the perfect look.
Tell us about one of your first clients for a custom order, and that experience.
Our client travelled from Slough as he was getting married in three weeks and had an extremely urgent requirement. We managed to find the perfect style for them and worked with our tailors day and night to ensure we got the piece ready in time for their big day.
Tell us about a time where something went wrong with a client’s orders. How did you work around this and still end up meeting the client’s expectations/what did you learn?
One of our clients submitted the incorrect date for their sherwani delivery. The night before the event, we received a call and to our surprise the client was expecting their sherwani the day before. Our MD packaged the sherwani and drove to Bedford to hand deliver the sherwani at 10pm the same night. That was once happy client who will remember us forever.
What advice do you have for grooms who are still in the process of looking to hunt their sherwanis?
It depends on how close your wedding is. If it’s very soon then what are you waiting for? Start looking through ideas on what you would like and consult with your partner on what would best suit the theme of the wedding and how your outfits would complement each other. As soon as you’ve got some ideas, book appointments at Sherwani King’s showroom(s) and get your order in as early as possible.
Do you provide rental Sherwanis?
Yes! That is the core offering here at Sherwani King. Men buy extravagant pieces to essentially never wear again – so we provide them the option to hire an outfit at a fraction of the price and still have something that looks fabulous. During our evolution, we have progressed into selling sherwanis and now offer a made-to-measure sherwani service for new and existing styles.
Tell us a little bit about some of the fabric you use to make your sherwanis. Where is it sourced? What type of fabrics work best for sherwanis?
The sherwanis are made from pure silk, raw silk, velvet, brocade or jamawar. There is no best fabric it all depends on what type of look the client wants and if the designer is able create the perfect look with that particular fabric.
Let’s talk embroidery, stonework or beadwork on sherwanis. Are these done by hand? Do you have people on your team that specialize in this?
All of our pieces are made by hand, typically involving from 150- 500 man-hours to create each piece. Our multiple designers and their competent teams create unique pieces every time for Sherwani King Clients world over.
Is there a popular or recurring colour requested by grooms? What about patterns or motifs?
Gold, maroon, cream and black are all popular colours as they are colours that will compliment whatever the Bride is wearing. It does also depend on the theme of the wedding and sometimes we have grooms who want something completely off the wall, which we help them create.
Do most grooms prefer to match their partners to be in terms of colour theme?
A lot of grooms when they first come into the showroom say they want to match their partner but if they are both wearing the same colour it ends up clashing. We recommend choosing a colour that compliments your partner and then with the accessories the groom can match.
Can you discuss a current trend(s) you are seeing when it comes to Groomswear?
Recently bespoke clients have been asking Sherwani King for shorter sherwani where the kurta is visible, embroidered waistcoats and 3D geometric embroidered patterns. This is stuff very different to what is available right now and it’s how the Sherwani will stay relevant for generations to come. As styles evolve, consumers want the clothing to adapt and this is what our designers do.
What/who are your inspirations for your sherwanis?
Sherwanis have been worn for centuries, long before the sherwani reached South Asia it was the dress code for noble men in Turkish and Persian courts. After that the Mughals wore them then, the local courts in South Asia began wearing sherwanis. So our inspiration will always stem from royal beginnings with our goal being that every groom looks like a Maharaja on his wedding day. However we appreciate that the Sherwani style needs to be updated constantly to reflect current tastes so our designers take inspiration from everywhere.
Tie • The • Thali would like to thank Sherwani Kings for taking the time to educate us on traditional menswear. Make sure to check them out at https://www.sherwaniking.com/