Diversity is the spice of life. I love pulling influence from different cultures. The easy access to knowledge of different peoples’ heritages has helped shaped me to be who I am today. Therefore, I practice love, not hate. I practice cultural appreciation, not cultural appropriation. Learn about and have respect for the cultures that you seek to emulate – you’ll be happy that you opened your mind to “a whole new world” (I hope you sang that in your Jasmine & Aladdin voice, because I did!).
Cultural Influence: Indian Sherwani Style
I purchased this robe-like garment at a thrift store, and from my research I believe it to be a sleeveless, collarless, long Sherwani robe of Indian (Asia) origin. Traditionally, a Sherwani has sleeves and a high collar, but there are many variations on those two aspects, as well as the length. It is also a standard wear for men in their wedding ceremonies. Apparently Buzzfeed knows what’s up with their post tagged “Sherwanis 4 Life” where they give “definitive proof every dude looks dapper as f*** in a sherwani.” Women, too, when they wear them. If you’re with Buzzfeed and you’re reading this – feel free to link back to me to show a woman looking street chic as *bleep* in sherwani-esque garb. You’re welcome 🙂
So what does a traditional Sherwani look like? Let’s see it in traditional form and in a recent American interpretation from the hit show Empire.
When I think of Asiatic Indian clothing, I think colorful, plentiful in fabric and intricate deigns. Their clothing and details always make me happy. I love saris that women usually wear with a small portion of midriff revealed. To amp up the cultural knowledge, I’ll share some random facts I’ve learned and opinions I’ve formed about Indian culture from when I was a student that was heavily involved in cultural experiences on my college campus.
- Caribbean culture has heavy Indian influences, and the islands are real melting pots, as there is a high percentage of people with Indian heritage on several islands.
- Diwali is a festival of lights celebrated by the Hindu, Sikh and Jain religions. The major theme of this 5 day festival (with the 3rd day serving as the main holiday) is the driving away of darkness by light, and goodness triumphing over evil. Fireworks are always plentiful during the celebration. I had the opportunity to dance for a Diwali banquet with my Caribbean club some years ago, and it was one of my favorite routines to perform! The outfits were fun and festive, as well.
- Curry goat is amazing. If you ever have the chance to eat at an Indian restaurant, don’t be afraid to try the goat. It is my favorite!
My “Old World New” Sherwani Style Interpretation
I wore this sherwani in a kimono style that is popular in American fashion right now. I wore a simple white t-shirt tucked into denim shorts (thrifted Wrangler pants, cut and distressed) along with my Steve Madden cream toned snake skin shoes. With this outfit, the relatively simple Sherwani stole the show because of its length and intricate design lining the opening.
Are y’all loving this Cultural Style Appreciation series as much as I am? It is combining so many things I love – history, style, making old things new because most of the pieces are thrifted, and also because I’m showing you a new way you can style them. I feel blessed to be able to share it with y’all. Until the next installment, check out the previous (1 & 2) posts.
xoxo, dolls & dudes!