Summer (South Asian) Casual Fridays

I was cleaning through some boxes in our closet last night to make room for storage for our summer guests  and I came across my “international clothes” box and it got me thinking…

When I traveled as a student I enjoyed buying local clothes to wear, and eventually my style became a smattering of more conservative American styles with bolder South Asian or African styles mixed in. For example, I love cotton block print fabric, and I have various skirts and tops made from this material.

When I graduated and started working in the “real world” I sadly figured that my South Asian flair was a little too much, and packed a lot of it away. Slowly a lot of it is finding it’s way out of the box, and now I  wear various colorful scarves (particularly in winter) and a few of the skirts in the summer, but alas, the more “traditional” (shall I say, “ethnic”) pieces are still in the box, unless I’m wearing a sari for a more formal international party.

So when I came across the box again last night, and tried on some of the clothes, I was thinking how much of a waste it was to have them hiding away in the back of the closet. Luckily the university where I work has a summer “casual Friday” policy. Usually this means that office administrators can wear jeans instead of dress pants, but I decided for the summer it would be fun to turn “causal Friday” into “South Asian Friday” when I can wear some salwar kameez suits and more flamboyant skirts.

So today I’m sporting an outfit I haven’t worn in about four or five years, a dark blue, light blue and white cotton block print long kurti with skinny cotton salwar pants.

I think my boss gets a kick out of it. He has encouraged me to dress up for other campus-wide international functions before– this past year I wore a sari to the International Dinner and an African Batik Boubou during the African Marketplace cultural festival.

I guess I’ll never really be a “suit-in-the-office” kind of girl.

3 responses to “Summer (South Asian) Casual Fridays

  1. Great that you are taking the outfits out – clothes are made for wearing. So say I who has half a wardrobe of “ethnic” wear that is generally hidden way (although the scarves are a regular feature of my outfits). I’m discovered Gul Ahmed recently so I think I might finally get around to stitching some of the fabric that is sitting around – I could wear those mix-n-match with jeans. Looking forward to my friend’s wedding at the end of the month when I can take out some of the more formal “ethnic” outfits!

  2. Kudos for spreading the South Asian style :) I don’t have enough guts yet to wear a full outfit where I work – I’ve just been testing the waters with a few kurtas so far (with surprising positive results). It always seems like the best outfits are the ones that are hardest to find an occasion to wear. Bright colors are always fun.

  3. I wonder if your ‘skinny legs’ shalwar is actually a ‘kurta-pajaama’ or ‘chooridaar’ suit and not a shalwar qameez?

    A lot of South Asian ppl work at my place of employment and some of the women wear s/q to work. It is allowed in our dress policy as long as it fits in with the ‘modesty rules.’ I wear kurtis to work sometimes, but never s/q.

    @CY I am in Dubai, too but only for 3 more weeks! I love Gul Ahmed fabrics, too. The best quality of lawn, Pakistan’s pride fabric. It is heavenly soft stuff. I sure will miss being able to buy and have it stitched when I leave.

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