Menswear in Pakistan is Dead – Here Are 5 Reasons Why!

Amidst all the categories of apparel that you are ought to find in countless magazines and social media blogs dedicated to fashion, perhaps, the one that will remain the dullest would be menswear. You’d most probably see a model standing in a grandiose environment with a niche double-breasted coat or an eastern outfit, and probably keep seeing it again and again.

That’s the problem.

There are always fashion faux pas around us, and we wholeheartedly understand them sometimes. However, in what has happened to menswear in Pakistan, it’s a tragedy & a half and it just doesn’t seem to be getting any better, any time soon.

But what exactly is the issue and why is menswear dead? Diva explores…


The Death of Design

A simple cut for suits, a long-length Sherwani coat, and the staple Shalwar Kameez are possibly the three things that are the backbone of Pakistani menswear. However, how many of these have the plethora of menswear designers been able to master? Needless to say, save for a few, most designers lack proper stitching and you’re ought to find Suits that are loose or lopsided, Prince Coats that lack any proper shape, and of course, Sherwani’s which just lack cohesive cutting.


The Economics of Fashion

A large factor in menswear is always going to be the price factor of it all, and when on an average, a formal designer ensemble costs between an upwards of PKR 50,000, there are going to be a lot of questions raised on the economics of it all. Unfortunately, this is where Pakistani designers are unable to factor in the affordability point of view. Apart from a few designers, many choose to count on the luxury factor of designer wear and not the economic facets.


All That Glitters is Not Gold But Fast Fashion

Menswear in Pakistan for the longest time has been about the concept of off-the-rack ensembles, and whether it was Teejays or modern-day fast-fashion stores like Outfitters, menswear has lacked any exclusivity to itself. There’s always going to be a quick, prêt option available in the market, and when that’s the case, then designer menswear is nothing but a novelty.


The Immature Consumer

All the blame need not go to the heads of menswear designers, and that’s a hard fact that should be understood. The consumer very much so is involved in the process of choosing the best of ensembles that Pakistani designers have on offer, and more often than not, the choice of the consumer goes with less innovation and more safer options. In such a case, menswear designers have chosen to keep up with sellable craft and less with experimentation.


The Wary Designer

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Pakistani menswear designers may have a few platforms to exhibit their craft and showcase the best of their abilities via fashion weeks, but largely, many choose to stay away. This, in turn, shows designers a way where they can choose economics of fashion over the actual craft and showmanship of it all. This not only has become a reason why only a few designers each season, choose fashion weeks and more go towards social media campaigns, but also why there’s just a large gap of innovative fashion being shown any longer.


Gone are the days of menswear glory, and until a complete rehash of how the business of fashion is conducted is not considered, there is no chance for a return to the days when wearing a bespoke men’s ensemble actually meant something.


 Have anything to add to the story? Tell us in the comment section below.





Shahjehan Saleem
Shahjehan Saleem

The author is the Editor of Diva Online as well as a film & fashion critic. He is also a professor in the Department of Media Sciences at SZABIST, Karachi. Socio-cultural theories and geography fill up the rest of his time.

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