Quite a long time ago finding it necessary to get a job in what we euphemistically call 'the real world' I discovered I had no clothes at all suitable for wearing to an interview at a bank. By age 30 I'd been designing and making everything I wore for the past 15 years, that is, when I wasn't wearing vintage clothes made from natural fibers rather than chemically produced ones. My wardrobe was not only extensive but also pretty colorful. Looking for subdued colors and conservative cut in my collection soon proved to be a futile effort so I caught a bus downtown and went into one of the last big department stores still left in Providence and purchased an outfit. In all honesty it was a uniform of sorts but it worked and the next day I was offered the job.
30 years later I'm fed up with my professional apparel - black jackets, black skirts, black pants, black shirts, socks, stockings, underwear, shoes and purses all black. If it weren't for the painted silk scarves I'd disappear into darkness altogether. All the really old clothes are gone but I'm thinking about color again and the fact I won't be working at a job much longer. Not being a t-shirt and sweat pants kind of female I've been looking at Indian clothes instead. Now a sari is completely out of bounds since I have no idea how to fold and wear 9 yards of fabric - never mind walk while wearing one. More likely than not I'd have the whole thing on the ground trailing behind me before I was half way down the block.
The answer might just be what's known as the churidar salwar kameez. The salwar is the pants and churidar means pants with narrow legs. The kameez is essentially a tunic style dress. The dupatta is a matching shawl-like scarf. There's a picture of one at the top and here's a typical description from an Indian web site:
* This frock style cotton salwar kameez is all over quiet amazing.
* This cotton salwar kameez is the best outfit for anytime this summers.
* Intricate designs and vibrant colors makes it a trendy.
* So choose this awesome beige, maroon and olive salwar kameez with floral and geometric print.
* Paired along with salwar and dupatta.
* There might be slight color variation .
The remarkable thing is that many of them are quite cheap compared to what we're used to paying for clothes here (the one pictured sells for US$75) and the manufacturers will make them exactly to your size and specifications. They can also be made to suit practically all climates.
Since I'm not embarrassed about the idea of walking around wearing strange clothes the salwars sound pretty good to me. I think I may be ready to start a whole new non-black wardrobe and if I can work up the energy I may even make some of my own design. What do you think?