As a professional who has the privilege and opportunity to travel across the world, I have the amazing opportunity to see the national dresses of various cultures. From the colorful prints in Africa to the gorgeous skirts in Southeast Asia to the sarees, salwars, and lehengas we see in South Asia and that are included on this site, these colorful, decorative, and artistic outfits are fun to wear.

Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, we live in a world where Western fashion has dominated the office scene, and part of my goal in building this site was to begin a global fashion movement where everyone would feel comfortable wearing clothes from anywhere without fear of being socially rebuked.
And many of today’s top designers draw their inspiration from outfits they seen around the world, except they only become trendy when a large fashion name like Ralph Lauren, Armani or Gucci make the clothes trendy; on top of that you will pay top dollar to buy or wear something similiar if you went to the average European or American department store.

Take the tunic, for example. According to Wikipedia, tunics have actually been around since Greco-Roman times, and in the west, tunics are worn among the clergy and other religious leaders. However, as the article so aptly noted,

“Worn in Indian Sub-Continent, including India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, [the] tunic is usually referred to as Kurta and is now an emerging women’s top style increasingly liked by many in the West. An Asian tunic is typically adorned with delicate embroidery, bead-work or intricate threadwork as well. Embroidery or thread work on such tunics usually combines threads of many different colors.”

Fashion, like food and music, is often influenced by the interaction of different cultures. So one day, I hope, we can all start to become more comfortable with wearing “ethnic” clothes in the office or outside of the country of origin.

In the meantime, here are some amazing shots of women wearing “ethnic” clothes to the office. And be sure to check out our articles on ways to wear a tunic or a salwar to the office.

The African Shirt Company Blue Lagoon Shirt

Photo courtesy of: The African Shirt Company

This woman is pairing this brightly colored blue African-style print shirt with navy blue jeans and boots. Perfect to wear anywhere and still colorful enough to make you standout from the crowd that are all shopping at the same stores and wearing non-original clothes.


African traditional dress code
Photos courtesy of: Wikipedia commons

More and more in my hometown of Washington, DC, I am seeing women wearing these African-inspired gorgeous paneled skirts all around town.

Local Refugee Art Auction & Fashion Show 2011

Photo courtesy of: Viktoriya Aleksandrov

These Chin Burmese girls, are wearing a colorful short-sleeved top that goes with a matching skirt, for this festive event celebrating refugee women.

Do you have a picture that you can share of you wearing your ‘ethnic’ clothing and rocking it? Feel free to comment on this post or contact us at



Tunics are versatile tops and great for wearing during the fall, winter, and spring weathers, or if you enjoy wearing long sleeved tops year-round. Below are some tips on how to wear and pair this fashionable yet adaptable piece of clothing.

    1. If you are heavier on the bottom go for a tunic with side slits. The slits will give your hips more space to breathe.
    2. For women who are heavier in the midsection, wearing a tunic that falls just below the waist and with a slender neckline will accent your figure.
    3. For women with the hourglass figures, wear a tunic that cinches at your waists and accentuates your figure.
    4. lFor petite women, wear a tunic that is not too long and falls just below your waist to accentuate your length.


Some other tips:

      1. Pair a tunic with skinny jeans or leggings.
      2. If there is a lot of print, forego a necklace. The design embellishes the tunic enough
      3. Add a belt to billowy tunics to add shape and form.
      4. Layer it with a cool jacket. Tunics can be worn alone or layered with shawls.


Inspired? Check out some of our tunics


Outside of celebrities and perhaps South Asian weddings, many non-South Asians have anecdotally expressed that while they love saris, salwars, and lehengas they feel foolish or were told they were foolish for wearing saris. I am here to describe some personal accounts of women who have told me how they grew to be comfortable wearing them in the office or for other occasions. We would love to hear your stories too. By the way, all names have been changed in this post to protect these women’s privacy.


Gisele is a woman who works in a multicultural office in international development. She feels she has no issues with wearing a tunic and pants underneath since so many of her colleagues are well traveled. The tunic is a great for office wear because its conservative, clean, and sheik. She even wears a shawl with her tunic to add some style.


Jamirah is a woman who attended a Kenyan wedding where both the bride and groom decided to have a full out Bollywood style wedding. Why? Simply because they liked the culture. The bride wore a beautiful, sequin gown and the groom wore a sleek kurta. Unfortunately, she didn’t want pictures posted to share with the world but they had an incredible time and loved their wedding.


So what is your story? Tried to wear South Asian clothing at other times and got mocked for it? Applauded for it? Be great to hear your stories on what you think.