Shalwar Kameez – The Newly Adopted Office Style

As normal life is starting resume, the first post-pandemic style that has emerges into popularity is a western appropriation of the shalwar kameez. The look has been nicknamed “double duty” by Harper’s Bazaar, as the silhouette speaks to our new hybrid way of living and the state, we find ourselves in when it comes to thinking about our style after almost 2 years of pandemic living.

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The shalwar kameez is a traditional combination of a dress or tunic with matching trousers and is often worn by women and men in many regions around the middle east, as well as south and central Asia. The style was first worn by Muslim women, and then the style gradually spread.

The style offer comfort and flexibility, as the “double duty” look can be changed and modified to suit an individual’s style. Fashion historian Professor Alison Goodrum thinks the trouser frock is a symbol of us adapting as we emerge into the new working world, “It’s a look that is a sort of safety net, piecing together the practicalities of the trouser with the versatility of layering. In this scenario, trousers are no longer conceived as mere ‘separates’ but, instead, they become combination garments with which to create new silhouettes and lines, the same goes for the dress.”

The combination outfit, which has been worn throughout fashion history by figures such as early women’s rights advocate Amelia Bloomer, Ginger Rogers, and others who’ve questioned traditional gender roles, now signifies a new era of gender-neutral wear.

For Goodrum, it is a sign that “post-gendered dressing” has arrived. “When once, quite neatly, trousers were considered menswear and dresses were exclusively for women, there have always been outliers that have challenged that order”.

With more brands on the rise offered unisex and non-binary clothing, the time of pure self-expression and genderless clothing is coming to the forefront of fashion. With womenswear designer introducing more and more traditionally masculine shapes, whilst more menswear designers are looking at traditional feminine silhouettes, skirts, and dress to incorporate into the mainstream menswear.

Even within the Lingerie business, we see more and more men enjoying wearing lace, satin, silks, and more. Considering lingerie is crafted from soft fabrics that allow breathability, comfort, support, and effortlessly sensual style, we fully embrace men finding the perfect lingerie look for them.

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