wait a moment

You can call it “dress over pants.” We just call it the shalwar kameez

Dear West, you’re a little late on this one. The “dress over trousers” trend is called the shalwar kameez; we’ve been wearing it for centuries now.

 When celebrities like Kendall Jenner wear the so-called “new” dress over trousers look, it becomes cool, trendy and high fashion. The shalwar kameez has been around longer than Kendall Jenner. It is no revolutionary fashion statement.

For centuries, both men and women from South Asia have been wearing the traditional shalwar kameez. The shalwar kameez is believed to have originated from the costumes of the Mughals, who were the Muslim rulers of India from 1526 to 1707.

Some even call this cultural appropriation: “When white kids start wearing another culture’s clothing, then it’s fashion.” – Professor Reina Lewis, University of the Arts London.

Historical pictures of women rockin’ the shalwar kameez

Girl from Karachi, Sindh, in a suthan and blouse. c. 1870. Oriental and India Office Collection, British Library
Punjabi Shalwar kameez