Native Dress vs. Western Dress

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This post is based on eclectic observation and little research, so people with greater knowledge and observation are encouraged to explain and comment on how my observations are incorrect, and why these false impressions, if false indeed they are, , permeate themselves within our culture.

The observations I am talking about are those for clothing styles between the west and other cultures. The Western business suit became the norm for business attire the world around – or at least it did until the West itself got into classic casual business dress.

And much of the world has also seemed to adopt our casual clothes – jeans and the like. Jeans and T-shirts can be found everywhere around the wold these days. Everyone is wearing them.

Well, not everyone. There are many conservative places and cultures (subcultures when they live in the West but keep themselves separate) that don’t allow their women to wear Western clothes.

And that last sentence is really where my thinking began. It seems the men who won’t let their women wear western clothes, have no problems wearing western clothes themselves. That is my point to ponder. Where are the cultural clothes, the native dress, for these men. Why must the women stay enshrouded and preserve the culture, while the men acculturate in their clothes?

The irony is it is portrayed as the men making or encouraging their women to stay in native dress, while not doing so themselves.

I will admit, much of the native dress is quite becoming for the women, at least the stuff that isn’t the all-enshrouding stuff meant to mask that they are women, or totally hide their presence. I personally feel it is good for men to dress like men and women like women.  That statement isn’t as limiting as it sounds — when you realize how the styles for both have changed over the years.

For instance, a regency romance my wife was reading recently talked about the men in it, and how one guy was good looking, but just didn’t have the right legs for the skin tight pants that was the fashion for men those days. Today it is women who wear such tight pants — “yoga pants”.

So, now that I’ve stirred the waters, some please tell me where I’ve been culturally naive and unobservant where clothes and fashions are concerned.

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