For years, I’ve been intrigued by some of the clothing worn by men in India, Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc. My intrigue is based, primarily, on my belief that some of the clothing worn by men in those countries is ideally suited to hot climates. Like Texas.
So, I wonder, why have these types of clothes not caught on here? Well, maybe they have, but not so much among the aging conservative geezer set. I’ll have to explore. In the meantime, I’ve just come across some news from Dhaka, Bangladesh about a series of protests in response to the banning of certain clothing by rickshaw drivers (AKA “rickshaw-wallah”) in the diplomatic quarters. This clothing, the lungi, is a type of sarong worn not just by rickshaw-wallah, but by all sort of men, both in public and around the house. They wear lungi because it’s comfortable, and it’s traditional garb. But, apparently, the more well-to-do Bengalis and the diplomats in the diplomatic quarters find such clothing offensive…only riff-raff wear such stuff, you know.
Regardless of Bengali issues over lungi, I find it an appealing garment, though I’m not sure I could figure out how to tie it and wear it without it falling down. Not that I’d be likely to wear it out in public; I’m still a “fraidy cat” when it comes to utterly and completely flaunting fashion (many people might be surprised to read that, having been embarrassed to have been seen with me in public places).
Apparently, it’s frequently worn without underwear; were I to wear the garment in the traditional way but failed to tie it properly, lives could be lost from the horror and shock if it came “undone.”
It’s not just the lungi I find appealing. I also like kurta, a long shirt (which may fall just below the knees). Wearing a kurta would address the problem I sometimes have of my shirt either coming untucked (I really don’t like to tuck in my shirt, though) or the shirt-tail being slightly too short when worn outside my pants. A kurta would address those issues…they are never worn tucked in and their length would address the second problem. Notice the trousers the guy is wearing; don’t they look super lightweight and comfortable (actually, I think they’re called kurta pajamas)? I could forego the lungi, I think, if I could get my hands on the right kurta and lightweight, loose-fitting pants to go with it.
I suppose it’s silly to be concerned what someone else might think, but I can imagine what it would be: “Is that geezer trying to make a fashion statement?! Ha! Or is he trying to look like he’s leading a fashion trend?! Ha! Or is he just an oddball? Or maybe he’s a combo-pack of all three.” Should I care? No. Do I? It depends.
Anyway, back to my enchantment with the clothing of the Indian subcontinent and environs. I wonder what it would take to get the “fashion world” to actively embrace and promote clothing that’s actually comfortable and simple and attractive? Even if I knew what would do it, I don’t have the wherewithal and, truth be told, the inclination to do it. Instead, I’d be happier just staying out of sight in my cheap, comfortable clothes. Next step: finding this stuff I can wear around the house…loosely translated, that means I want it cheap and easy! If I stumble across an “outfit,” I may post photos. But probably not.