Fashion, Lookbook

We’ve been doing the “dress over pants” for centuries

The “dress over trousers” trend is called the shalwar kameez; we’ve been wearing it for centuries now.

Dear West, you’re a little late on this one. The “dress over trousers” trend is called the shalwar kameez; we’ve been wearing it for centuries now.

Dear West, you’re a little late on this one. Click To Tweet

 When celebrities like Kendall Jenner wear the so-called “new” dress over trousers look, it becomes cool, trendy and high fashion. The shalwar kameez has been around longer than Kendall Jenner. It is no revolutionary fashion statement. For centuries, both men and women from South Asia have been wearing the traditional shalwar kameez. The shalwar kameez is believed to have originated from the costumes of the Mughals, who were the Muslim rulers of India from 1526 to 1707.

The shalwar kameez has been around longer than Kendall Jenner. Click To Tweet

Some even call this cultural appropriation: “When white kids start wearing another culture’s clothing, then it’s fashion.” – Professor Reina Lewis, University of the Arts London.

Historical pictures of women rockin’ the shalwar kameez:

 Girl from Karachi, Sindh, in a suthan and blouse. c. 1870. Oriental and India Office Collection, British Library
Punjabi Shalwar kameez
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Contemporary Salwar Kameez, anarkali dress and churidar
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Aishwarya Rai
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Karishma Kapoor

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Designers

Sana Safinaz
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Khaadi
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Let’s not forget, Muslim women have also been wearing the dress over trousers look because it’s modest, great for layering, and it’s become necessary with most maxi dresses and skirts now having slits in them.

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Sara Chaudhry

Sara Chaudhry is a writer, activism enthusiast and an aspiring journalist. Graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Politics and International Relations. Currently pursuing a Masters degree in Near and Middle Eastern Studies at The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

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