Once upon a time, men were men, and they wore dresses.

Of course, I'm being facetious. The very definition of the word, "dress" is that of a feminine garment. However, the concept of an ankle- or calf-length garment for men is by no means feminine. Historically, the early Arabs merely called it a qamees, or "shirt." Later, distinctions were made between the currently more typical short shirt and the much longer variety. Despite the fact that men have been wearing these long garments for most of human history, there remain a number of Westerners who jokingly refer to my garment of choice as a "dress."

 

salim-galabiyya

  Ironically, I am not the one wearing clothing of the opposite gender. Rather, it was Yves Saint-Laurent who popularized women's trousers. Prior to him, standalone trousers were not worn by women. (The salwar kameez does not consist of standalone trousers, but rather, baggy trousers covered by a knee-length shirt, hardly comparable to Western trousers.) Given that YSL was a homosexual, it kind of makes sense that he'd want to improve women's appearances by making them look more like men.

At SHUKR, our head designer is a woman. Furthermore, the men at SHUKR believe that women have a natural advantage in the appearance department, and don't need to dress like men to look good. Take my word for it; I wear the dress around here.

(Above: Salim Thobe, US, UK, International )

~ Moustafa, Manager, Retail Division