An India (In)Appropriate Fashion Show

When I packed my clothing for India, I put a lot of thought into what I would bring. There were many items that I knew would have to stay home and wait for next summer as they might not be ideal to wear here.

I left home things like dresses with extreme v-necks, short dresses, short skirts, shorts (except for running ones), tight clothing, you get the idea. I also packed more pashminas than usual and several kikoi (think African version of a pashmina made of very light cotton) figuring that I may need some extra coverage here and there and that it might be good to have these items to toss in my purse.

Knowing how much thought I put into the items that I packed, I would like to play a little game here called “Pick the India Appropriate Outfit”.


(Click to enlarge.)

Please excuse the goofy pictures. In order to get through this exercise in a reasonable amount of time, I promised myself that I would not take more than five pictures of any one dress.

So what are your guesses?

If you guessed “None of the above.” you would be correct. Any of the above dresses will have you stared at inappropriately. Not a “Whoa, that girl has blonde hair.” kind of stare. More like a “Do you think she’s a hooker?” kind of stare. Not good.

Now, I would guess that in a more touristy locale some or all of these dresses would be better received, but Chennai is not really known for tourism and these dresses are all a bit too much. Even Chris told me that I might want to buy some new clothes.

Chris has never suggested that I buy clothing of any kind before. This must be serious.

That whole showing any chest or shoulders thing… My current stance on it is “don’t”. Well, not while in India anyway.

I’ll stay in hibernation for now. Maybe I’ll have a chance to buy some new clothes later this week and we can take a peek at an India Appropriate Fashion Show.

  1. Kier said:

    Yeah for having to buy new clothes…but that is kind of a bummer that the stuff you brought is not appropriate. It is really interesting how different cultures view what is/isn’t appropriate.

    • Brit said:

      Yeah, I agree. Many of the women here show a decent amount of lower back, stomach, and the sides of their torso which I would never do at home, but my baring of my shoulders and/or chest (tastefully) is totally wrong here. I should have known that. I did know that, I just didn’t realize HOW taboo it would feel.

      **Points finger at self** “Look at that girl, she’s an idiot!” Its ok, live and learn, right?

  2. Jena said:

    I was thinking none of the above would be appropriate- only because I know what another blogger living in KSA has to wear. Yay for getting to go shopping, i think? I don’t know if it’s really “yay-worthy” since you will probably only wear them while you are in India and maybe never again after that. Hopefully it doesn’t cost to much $$.

    • Brit said:

      Fortunately I don’t need to wear an abaya here, but it would probably behoove me to get some shirts with at least a hint of a sleeve and to suck it up and wear jeans even though it is way too hot for jeans IMO. I can only think of two shirts that I brought with me with sleeves on them and they are super casual (read they do not normally leave my house at home, stricly for lounging/sleeping). Oh, plus two UA Cold Gear shirts for when Chris cranks the A/C. Definitely not wearing those outside in these temps!

  3. Lori said:

    Did you make sure to record Chris telling you to go shopping for new clothes? Just in case you need proof he actually said it 😉

    • Brit said:

      Sadly, I don’t think I even need proof. He is genuinely concerned with me going out in public alone in nearly all of my “regular” clothing. I can probably wear most of my work clothes out, but it isn’t like I really want to be dressed business casual every time I step out the door. Part of the beauty of this assignment is that I can wear sweatpants to work every day. ❤ Love ❤

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