Sunday, September 27, 2009

What to Wear?

Amygirl asked "do you find yourself buying and wearing different styles than you would have in the past?" (thanks for the question).

Actually, I think my clothing changes are due more to climate differences than because of accommodations for the culture here.

These days, flip flops are standard daily attire. I throw them on when heading out for yoga, slip them on to walk the dog, or wear them at the grocery store. There's hardly a day that goes by that I don't wear flip flops. And at work, I never wear socks or nylons anymore. The thought of encasing my feet and legs in warm fabric is seems suffocating. Back in the US, I was pretty conservative about my work dress and there's rarely a day that I didn't weare socks or tights - especially with heels. So, I guess my footwear has changed pretty dramatically.

I do try and keep my shoulders and thighs covered if I'm out. I try not to wear sleeveless tops or shorts. But I think my shift away from shorts has more to do with being in my mid-40s than with being here. I don't like the spider veins on my legs - and I was already getting a bit uncomfortable in shorts that didn't cover most of my thighs. And with the sleeveless tops - I'm probably about 50-60% of the time. Just yesterday I was out with a tank top on. But I was at our Mirdif mall where a lot of westerners go - so I don't feel awkward. But if I were down in the older part of town near the souks, I'd definitely have my shoulders covered.

A few weeks ago, I was going through my closet trying to clear out a few things. I usually have a rule that if I haven't worn it in a year then it should go out. But it was harder to apply this rule with so many of my cold weather clothes. There are suits and trousers here that I've never worn. And I think that I'll wear them again when we're back in cooler climate. But sometimes I wonder if they'll look dated by then. So, I did toss quite a few things - but still kept a lot. It's hard when the outside temps are near 110C to really look at lined wool trousers and feel like you'll ever want to put them on (ugh).

So that's it really. I don't need to cover my head or wear an abaya in Dubai. I have that for visits to Saudi - where it's only necessary for me to wear the abaya. We have a friend who just recently moved to Yemen - and she wears both a head cover and an abaya - but she still looks like a "brazen westerner" since she allows some of her hair to be seen and she doesn't cover her entire face (which most Yemeni women are fully covered except the eyes).


Musia said...

While visiting you I felt awkward a bit because of my short, short hair.

amygirl said...

I wasn't really thinking of cultural sensitivity, but more of style. Like do you see styles you like that you would never have run across or worn before? Of course, knowing you, if you like it you will wear it no matter what others are wearing. you trend setter you.

Ms Jewl said...

Amy - I so rarely shop, even at home. So, at times I think I see things that are new trends and then when I get home I realize it was there all along, I just failed to realize. Like bling for example. I really thought that the bling-thing was a fashion here, then during a visit home I saw bling on everything. I don't really think I've started buying new fashion just because I'm here. I'm more apt to stick with the classics anyway.

Ms Jewl said...

Musia - I wouldn't have thought about that. I think there are lots of women with short hair, but they definitely are the westerners.