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November 9, 2004

Salwar kameez
Posted by Teresa at 11:01 AM *

I’ve successfully tested a proposition: You can commission traditional garments from tailor shops in India and Pakistan, via eBay.

Doing this makes use of a polite fiction. You start by going to eBay and typing in a search string like women clothing salwar sari. This puts you in the land of Indian-subcontinent clothing makers. Now, the conceit of eBay is that it sells existing concrete objects; but if these guys sell you a salwar kameez (that is, the traditional Indo-Pakistani pantsuit plus matching dupatta or stole), and you send them the list of measurements they request, out of the kindness of their hearts they’ll throw in all the cutting, sewing, embroidery, etc., required for a complete outfit made to your measure.

I’m all for this. It means you can buy semi-directly from Third World suppliers, instead of having several rounds of importers and wholesalers taking their percentage along the way. The range of products on offer is wider, because you’re not limited to whatever some importer guessed would sell in the United States this season. And if these small manufacturers make good money by selling us good stuff, we’ll not only be happier with each other, but we’ll be real to each other in a way we weren’t before.

How to find these vendors:

There are three signs to look for. First, if the listing says any size, it usually means they’re making clothing to order, but might mean they’re selling the same model in multiple sizes. Second, the accompanying photo shows, not finished garments, but two or three pieces of color-coordinated fabric wrapped around a dressmaker’s form. Not all bespoke-tailoring vendors do this, but all the vendors who do it are selling bespoke tailoring. The third and infallible sign is that they ask you for your measurements.

The base price for a made-to-order three-piece salwar kameez starts around $30 for something simple in a cotton or synthetic fabric, and goes up to the lower-middle three digits for wedding garments so dense with gold embroidery that they mess up flash photography. Shipping runs around $12-$25, so check before you bid.

Report on the experiment:

Using the proceeds of my CafePress t-shirt sales, I ordered three salwar kameez (kameezi? kameezes?) from three different vendors. Only one auction was contested. The average purchase price was $39.00.

All three purchases arrived within two weeks. All three fit. All three vendors misunderstood or ignored my request for elbow-length sleeves, but they all got the trousers right (nipped in at the ankle, with a small cuff).

Specifics, good and bad: Indianartcart were were the first to deliver, but the edges of the dupatta were raw fabric, unevenly trimmed, so I had to roll handkerchief hems on both sides to finish it.

Bollywoodfashion produced comfortable and undeniably flashy garments (some of the decorative beads and sequins turned out to be fluorescent), but the beading and embroidery are not of durable execution, and the kameez needed to be lined but wasn’t.

Indiashop1 is my favorite so far. They made the red-and-blue outfit I wore to the Hugos and the WFC banquet. The kameez is fully lined; the lightweight silky trousers survived unscathed a bad fall I took over a brick coping; and someone named Alka at the home office kept me apprised of each new development, and fretted intensely throughout a shipping snafu that temporarily sent my salwar kameez to a warehouse in New Jersey.

Overall experience: I’d do it again. I’d deal with any of those vendors again. And I’d recommend it to a friend.

Comments on Salwar kameez:
#2 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 03:18 PM:

Second Kevin's request. I didn't see the Hugos; I was busy at the Loser's party (I was the scantily-clad waiter).

The whole thing is just too cool.

#3 ::: Popsciolist ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 03:39 PM:

Interesting! And do you know if ebay's a good resource for handmade cheongsams as well?

#4 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 03:41 PM:

It means you can buy semi-directly from Third World suppliers

What's the 'semi-' for? (I mean the question literally, no pun intended. This time.) How does it get more direct than ebay?

I love the way the webernet encourages connections between people who would never otherwise come in contact. If we're gonna learn to love our global neighbors, buying stuff from them is as good a start as any.

(...kameezes?)

G'Bless you.

#5 ::: Jacob Davies ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 03:45 PM:

We demand photos!

#6 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 03:48 PM:

That is so cool. I have a salwar that I bought on a trip to a local Indian clothing store (we had gone to get a petticoat for the sari a kind Indian friend had given me for Christmas - I couldn't resist the salwar). It is incredibly comfortable as well as being elegant. However, finding salwars that fit my -er- strapping arms without squeezing was not an easy task. Made-to-order would be a dream.

I do, however, need to get John to take another picture of it complete with the gorgeous MJ Layman Original necklace and earrings specially made to match!

#7 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 03:48 PM:

Silly Kevin. Something like this demands a jpeg. (Or three.)

#8 ::: moe ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 03:50 PM:

I would like to buy an Indian men's suit - is this also possible to do this way? I should have bought a few when I was there but didn't... Any ideas?

#9 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 03:50 PM:

I find myself wondering if you could work this sort of deal out with traditional tailors in places like Shanghai who make western clothing. Thinking about it, a small realspace storefront, a tape measure, a webcam, and some reliable international shipping could mean you could buy and sell custom garments from anywhere.

#10 ::: Bill Blum ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 03:53 PM:

Andy Perrin wrote:
I love the way the webernet encourages connections...

I saw webernet, and immeadiately thought of a network of grills.

Time to go marinate something, and light some charcoal. I'm hungry.

#11 ::: Yoon Ha Lee ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 03:59 PM:

(n+1)'d on the request for a JPEG! This sounds lovely. I wonder if I could drop broad hints to my husband...:-)

#12 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 04:11 PM:

Some dark-ish pictures of the Hugo ceremony:

one

two and three

Having never tried on traditional Indian garments, I have no idea whether they'd suit me or what I'd like in them, but the idea is intriguing.

(I thought about this summer, when I spent a weekend in San Francisco and drove past a street of shops; my best friend from high school was getting married in a Hindu ceremony (and did get married, lest the tenses make you think otherwise) and formal dress was requested. I had no time, though, and was given to understand that they were very expensive.)

#13 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 04:18 PM:

Oh, I would love one - half the mothers in the schoolyard in the morning wear them, and they're so graceful and elegant and comfortable looking.

Also, indian shot silk is a treat to look at.

Along those lines, there's a table outside of Our Lady of Pompeii on Carmine Street on the weekends selling scarves made of this - it's yarn made in Nepal by a woman's collective out of scraps of silk sari fabric from India and it's incredibly beautiful.

#14 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 04:25 PM:

Photo? That's easy. People always post pictures of the Hugo Ceremony. Here I am with Patrick. I'm wearing a loose black gauze jacket over the salwar kameez, and in this light you can only see the red ends of my dupatta, not its intensely blue center; but this should be enough to give you some idea of the thing.

Popsciolist, I'm afraid you'll have to undertake your own research project.

Andy, I said "semi-directly" because it goes through eBay: a slight degree of intermediation.

Moe, if you'll click on the Bollywood link, you'll find that men's suits are their core business.

Josh, I've heard there are entrepreneurs who'll set up in a hotel room in NYC, spread the word that they're in business, and show fabric samples and take measurements, then go back to Singapore and have suits made up there for a fraction of their price if made in London or New York.

Kate, salwar kameez and saris look good on everyone, or at least everyone I've ever seen wearing one.

#15 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 04:31 PM:

Julia, you'd look gorgeous.

#16 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 04:32 PM:

Teresa: they very well might look fine to an onlooker, but I am a weirdly picky Kate about some aspects of my clothes. Perhaps sometime when I visit my just-married friend, I'll ask her to take me shopping.

They certainly look *comfortable*, which is all too rare in dress-up clothes (the outfit I bought a week before the wedding was spiffy, but the length-waist ratio was apparently designed for mutants. Spindly ones.).

#17 ::: Menolly ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 04:43 PM:

But do they have pockets?

I detest carrying a bag.

#18 ::: Rachel Brown ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 04:58 PM:

I don't own any full salwar kamizes, but I sometimes wear just the top over dress pants or jeans. (The ones I have are from Maharashtra, which I think is sometimes shorter than some other regional styles-- mine come to the halfway point between my waist and knees, not below the knees.) Anyway, they're very comfortable and casual-looking when worn that way.

I especially like the Jaipur-influence ones with tiny mirrors embroidered into the fabric.

#19 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 05:01 PM:

I remember seeing you at the Hugos and it really was a fabulous outfit. It's even better knowing how you got it -- as if it arrived via a science fiction story from not too long ago. Also, it's nice to be reminded that globalization doesn't have to be all bad. It's the details of how the system works that determines whose values are globalized. The difference here is that eBay and the shipper charge a fee for being middlemen, but they don't set the price of the goods or control the supply.

#20 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 05:10 PM:

Amidst all the discussion of the garments (which are quite nice, btw) I find myself wondering about the etymology of salwar kameez, or in particular, the kameez part.

The French word chemise springs to mind, and I can't help but wonder if they come from the same Indo-European stem, or if it's a European word that's gone to India and taken root. Linguists?

#21 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 05:29 PM:

No idea. I can tell it's the same word, but I don't know where it's been or what it's done.

#22 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 05:30 PM:

You can also get custom-made Vietnamese ao dai (pronounced sort of like "ow yai" in the Southern dialect, "ow zai" in the Northern) on Ebay. Some of the patterns are cheesy, but many are quite beautiful. I wore one in a friend's wedding and can vouch that they really do need to be made to measure, because the upper part of the dress (long tunic) is very close-fitting.

#23 ::: Sajia ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 05:53 PM:

When I moved back to Bangladesh from Canada at the age of five, I was introduced to the concept of shemizes. I always assumed that that was a Indo-Persian word - until one day, when I was flipping through the dictionary (I used to be a major dictionary geek) and I came upon the word chemise. Oh, and another name for the garment is kurta.
Me, I get my kameezes (you're right, in South Asian languages there's no -es to signify the plural) mailed to me from my doting mother for free. Still, it's nice to know of alternatives, which of course won't be as good.
Teresa, be prepared for purists muttering 'cultural appropriation'. These will generally be the same sort of people who complain that rock 'n roll (as distinguished from Vanilla Ice) is a rip-off of black culture.
Oh dear, I may have just begun a flame war.

#24 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 06:00 PM:

and if i recall correctly, "kurta" is related to "shirt".

#25 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 06:03 PM:

I'll have a look when I get home to my dictionaries. It sounds plausible, but a lot of things in language that sound plausible Just Ain't So.

#26 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 06:09 PM:

Cultural appropriation? When we're buying and they're selling? That's like saying the rest of the planet is culturally appropriating Coca-Cola.

#27 ::: TChem ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 06:27 PM:

Oh, wow--this is almost as bad as my discovery of "real" yarn stores. I've spent the last hour just looking at all the beautiful colors. I just might need to make up a special occasion so I can buy one.

Another code word besides "any size" that shows up on these seems to be "custom stitching".

#28 ::: Aquila ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 06:32 PM:

From OED online

kameez(e

[Cf. CAMISE.]

In S. Asian countries, a long shirt or blouse.

1955 [see SHALWAR]. 1966 J. & R. GODDEN Two under Indian Sun iii. 73 A coat and trousers instead of dhoti and kameeze. 1971 Femina (Bombay) 2 Apr. 51/2 An off-shoot of the same idea is a two-piece unit, basically a kameez and gharara, but the kameez-sleeves being of the same material as the gharara, extra colourful, while the body of the kameez itself is a plain dark self-colour. 1972 ‘E. PETERS’ Death to Landlords! i. 21 She had taken to the shalwar and kameez of the Punjabi women.

camise, camiss
[Arab. qamç under-tunic, shirt; occurring in the Koran, but generally thought to be ad. L. camisia, camisa: see CAMIS, CHEMISE; Mahn suggests Skr. kshauma linen stuff.]

1812 BYRON Ch. Har. II. Tambourgi ii, Oh! who is more brave than a dark Suliote, In his snowy camese and his shaggy capote? c1850 Nat. Encycl. I. 237 The national costume of the lower orders [in Afghanistan] is..a large shirt, ‘camiss’, worn over the trowsers, reaching down to the knees. 1859 SALA Tw. round Clock (1861) 143 The Suliote of the fruitship, in his camise and capote. 1865 S. EVANS Bro. Fabian's MS. 105 Snow-white the camise.

The shirt worn by Arabs and other Muslims.

chemise
[Two types of this word appear in Eng., both ultimately derived from late L.: (1) OE. cmes (? fem.), early ME. kemes, kemse:prehistoric OE. type *camisja-, from the late L. word; (2) chemise, a. O. and mod.F. chemise (ONF. camise, quemise, kemise, Pr. and Sp. camisa, Pg. camiza, It. camiscia, camicia):late L. camisia, camsa shirt, surplice (see Du Cange).
L. camisia appears first in Jerome c 400 (Ep. Vest. Mul. 64 n. 11 ‘volo pro legentis facilitate abuti sermone vulgato; solent militantes habere lineas, quas camisias vocant’). It is also in Salic Law (lviii. 4 camisia, and camisa), Isidore (XIX. xxi. 1, xxii. 29 ‘Camisias (v.r. camisas) vocari, quod in his dormimus in camis, id est stratis nostris’). Beside it is found the deriv. camisle, -is, campsle, OF. cainsil, chainsil fine linen, alb, etc. (see CHAISEL); also an uncertainly related camix, It. camice, OF. cainse, chainse, ‘alb’.
The ulterior history and origin of camisia are uncertain. German etymologists incline to consider it adopted from Teutonic, and related to OE. ham shirt, and Ger. hemd, OHG. hemidi, Gothic type *hamii, f. root ham to cover, clothe. Kluge supposes a derivative *hamisjâ-, which, if it existed, might perh. give a Romanic camisia, as German h gave c in OFrench, through Frankish ch. But besides other difficulties, no traces of the required word are actually found in any Teutonic lang., the nearest thing being ON. hams masc. (:hamiso-z) snake's slough. The Irish caimmse, Cornish cams, Bret. kamps an alb, and MCorn. camse an article of female clothing, are all adopted from L. or French.]

1. A garment: the name has been variously applied at different times; perh. originally (as still in French and other Romanic languages) the under-garment, usually of linen, both of men and women, a shirt; but now restricted to that worn by females, formerly called ‘smock’ and ‘shift’. Formerly also applied to some under garment distinct from the ‘smock’, as well as to a priest's alb or surplice (so med.L. camisa), the robe of a herald, etc. In recent use: a dress hanging straight from the shoulders. Also chemise dress.

c1050 Gloss. in Wr.-Wülcker 362 Camisa, ham, cemes. c1325 Metr. Hom. 124 His moder dremid..Al the mikel water of Temis Rin in the bosem of hir kemes. c1330 R. BRUNNE Chron. (1810) 122 In e snowe for syght scho [Matilda] ede out in hir smok, Ouere e water of Temse, at frosen was iys, Withouten kirtelle or kemse, saue kouerchef all bare vis.

c1200 Trin. Coll. Hom. 163 Hire chemise smal and hwit..and hire smoc hwit. 1562 LEIGH Armorie (1597) 133b, The Herehaught..in a chemise blanke, powdred and spotted with mullets sable. 1788 E. SHERIDAN Jrnl. 22 Dec. (1960) 138 Gowns all kindsChemisesRound gowns with flounce or not. 1789 Bath Jrnl. 29 June, A chemise of very clean gauze, put over a dress of rose taffety. 1808 R. PORTER Trav. Sk. Russ. & Swed. (1813) II. xl. 167 A standard made of a shift that belonged to one of the ancient queens..She would hardly make a present of so rough a chemise to her lover Broderson. 1835 URE Philos. Manuf. 392 Each [girl] is provided with fine flannel chemises by the proprietors. a1845 BARHAM Ingol. Leg., Witches' Frolic, He or She seizes what He or She pleases, Trunk-hosen or kirtles, and shirts or chemises. 1850 L. HUNT Autobiog. III. xxiv. 218 That harmless expression [shift]..has been set aside in favour of the French word ‘chemise’. 1922 Ladies' Home Jrnl. Feb. 77 Making the Popular Chemise Dress. 1958 Punch 17 Sept. 384/1 The summer chemise was the prettiest, most impudent, provocative fashion that we have seen for many a day.

¶Vulgarly corrupted to SHIMMY: chemise being mistaken for a plural; cf. chay, shay.

2. In various senses from mod.Fr. a. Mil. fire chemise (F. chemise ŕ feu): (see quot.). Obs.

1751 CHAMBERS Cycl. s.v., Fire chemise is a piece of linen cloth, steeped in a composition of..combustible matters; used at sea, to set fire to an enemy's vessel.

b. in Fortification. (See quots.)

1704 J. HARRIS Lex. Techn., Chemise, in Fortification, is a Wall with which a Bastion, or any other Bulwark of Earth is lined for its greater Support and Strength; or it is the Solidity of the Wall from the Talus to the Stone row. 1853 STOCQUELER Mil. Encycl. 57 Chemise, in medićval fortification, an additional escarp or counter-guard wall, covering the lower part of the escarp.

c. The lower part of a furnace.

1800 tr. Lagrange's Chem. II. 34 The anterior part of the furnace..in French la Chemise..A stone, called the Zinc-plate, placed at the bottom of the chemise in the furnace.

d. The iron lining or core on which a gun barrel is welded.

1881 GREENER Gun 231 All the better quality Damascus barrels are welded upon a ‘chemise’, or plain iron lining, which is bored out after the barrels are welded.

e. A loose covering for a book.

1893 Quaritch Catal. No. 138 1 In wooden boards..wrapped in a modern morocco chemise. 1928 E. G. MILLAR Eng. Illum. MSS. i. 3 It still retains its binding of this period with a sheepskin ‘chemise’. 1960 GLAISTER Gloss. of Book 65/2 Chemise, a cover of silk or chevrotain sometimes used in the 15th century as a protection for embellished leather-bound books.


#29 ::: Sajia ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 06:46 PM:

Teresa, in the latter case then it's cultural imperialism.
(Damn, where's the italicize icon on this browser so I can emphasize certain words with ironic intent?)

#30 ::: Tonto ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 06:52 PM:

This is the wave of the future... as an Indian growing up in India, I never bought a "ready-made" garment till I was about 18. Everything thus far had been tailored. The tailor I used to patronise had been in the business for 100+ years: his grandfather used to tailor my grandfather's clothes.

I hope this thing catches on even more. It's a win-win situation: you get tailored clothes for 1/10 the price, and they get 2x the money they would otherwise charge :)

#31 ::: Dawn B. ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 06:57 PM:

Too bad two of the three vendors aren't currently listing any auctions for women's saris.

And you looked divine at the Hugos.

Now I want one. *sigh*

#32 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 07:04 PM:

Kate, I have summer outfits in cotton gauze that are essentially the same thing and they're *very* comfortable.

Josh, there are ads in the WashPost constantly about this overseas tailor and another who are in a hotel suite for a period of time. The WashPost had an article on it recently:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A14310-2004Oct31.html

#33 ::: Camilo ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 07:09 PM:

I am wondering when are we going to see bespoke suits for men using the same system. I would definitely pay for something that can be had for a 20% of what I would pay in the US.

On the other hand, taylors of the world are not known for their ebay abilities.

#34 ::: me2i81 ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 07:22 PM:

I have gotten suits and shirts made by a guy from Hong Kong who comes to a few hotels on the west coast about 3 times a year. The results have always been great--they made my Brooks Bros. suit look cheap--and it costs about $450-550/suit depending on the fabric (it was $350 when I started using him 15 years ago).

The problem with doing a men's suit via Ebay is that a skilled person has to take a lot of measurements in order to make one fit right the first time.

#35 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 08:18 PM:

Dawn - While I haven't ordered from here, a number of my friends have had satisfactory experiences.

#36 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 08:22 PM:

Teresa, did you answer the pockets question? The garments look utterly gorgeous, but I really-o truly-o need my pockets.

#37 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 08:39 PM:

Aquila:

Thank you.
I especially like the quotation from Byron [1812 BYRON Ch. Har. II. Tambourgi ii]:

Oh! who is more brave than a wiley coyote,
In his snowy camese and his truman capote?

#38 ::: Menolly ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 08:45 PM:

I've seen the question of "Is it culturally appropriate for women of other backgrounds to wear salwar kameez?" come up in various places online a few times over the years, and the answer, from various sources, has always been "Sure, go for it."

#39 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 08:46 PM:

Madeleine is really interested in pockets:

Teresa, did you answer the pockets question? The garments look utterly gorgeous, but I really-o truly-o need my pockets.

Some of them have pockets, usually built into the side seam, around hip height. It's much, much more common in the male version than the female. Ideosyncratically there's often one, rather than two as well. Since they're bespoke, you could probably ask them to put them in.

#40 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 08:48 PM:

I saw webernet, and immeadiately thought of a network of grills.

If looks could grill, you'd be fed right now.

#41 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 08:53 PM:

Andy Perrin:

If you had Interstellar Reply Coupons, you'd be home by now.

Remember that sequence of graffiti:

"I love grils!"

"You mean girls."

"What about us grils?"

Which reminds me of the note I saw on a perfume vending machine in Union Station:

"Out of Odor."

#42 ::: Daya ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 09:44 PM:

Have you visited www.eastwesteducation.org? Its a charity that sells prepleated saris, salwar kameezes as well as kurta pyjamas for men. Only one size however.

#43 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 09:56 PM:

Oh dear. Indiashop1 doesn't appear to have any items posted.

#44 ::: Thel ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 11:03 PM:

Indiashop1 does have items for sale; after following Teresa's link and clicking "view items for sale," click on "ebay worldwide" when the screen comes up without any items for sale. You should see a page with ten items listed.

See if this page works.

#45 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 11:15 PM:

thanks :)

#46 ::: Aiglet ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 11:27 PM:

So after looking at a ton of interesting and pretty pages of shalwar kameez, I'm left with one question -- this is basically a big T-tunic over loose pants, made of interestingly exotic fabric, right?

They're gorgeous outfits, but I need an excuse to learn to use my sewing machine anyway, and it looks like the fabric is available in nifty colors that they won't sell actual clothes in.

#47 ::: Pam ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2004, 01:15 AM:

Yes! Another way to find these vendors, especially if you're looking for an outfit associated with a particular ethnic group, is to type in the name of the type of outfit you are looking for into the eBay search engine. That's how I found a company on Vietnam that makes ao dai to order. The price is below rock bottom of what I was quoted by tailors in my area (Southern California). Shipping can be a bit hefty, but ordering more than one helps balance that out.

#48 ::: Gen ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2004, 01:58 AM:

Aiglet, try here: http://www.folkwear.com/asian.html
Pattern #135, "Jewels of India."

#49 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2004, 08:59 AM:

No pockets, Mad, but you might be able to dicker for their inclusion.

#50 ::: jkr ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2004, 09:25 AM:

Dawn--

If you follow Teresa's links to the vendors and then click on "eBay worldwide" the listings show up.

(I bought a salwar six years ago, not custom-made, but then was too self-conscious to wear it. Didn't know they'd become fashionable. Thank you, Teresa, for posting about this!)

#51 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2004, 09:27 AM:

Teresa, I infer by this that you've already tried and rejected the shopping here on my home turf (74th Street/Jackson Heights). We have at least ten, and probably closer to twenty shops within two blocks or so that sell saris and salwars. If not, I invite you to check it out; if so, I wonder how you found it to compare. (My better half informs me that her experience was generally good, but that large-busted women can expect to find a much more limited supply than otherwise.)

#52 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2004, 10:23 AM:

And I was delighted to see that OED included an Ellis Peters reference from "Death to Landlords!" in the cameez definition. Ellis Peters/Elizabeth Pargeter wrote a lot more than just the Brother Cadfael novels.

Folkwear is a wonderful source of patterns, but Aiglet, if you are just learning to sew, they are not always the easiest patterns to use! They often have unusual construction methods or need fitting adjustments. You might find it easier to start with a similar pattern like Butterick 5944, which offers several sleeve and length variations for the top (http://www.butterick.com/indexflash.html, just type the pattern number in the search bar). The pants don't have pockets and are a bit wide in the legs to be traditional for the salwar kameez, but they would be easy to sew for a beginner. And you can always do a really old-fashioned pocket -- the type a woman used to wear under her skirt -- basically a flat purse on a belt that can be worn with multiple outfits (http://www.costumes.org/history/100pages/18THBAGS.HTM).

#53 ::: Aiglet ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2004, 12:43 PM:

Gen, Janet --

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll have to go take a look at both places.

I keep thinking about remaking and replacing my entire wardrobe with things that aren't jeans-and-t-shirts but aren't formal, either -- now must be a good time to start.

#54 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2004, 01:58 PM:

Bruce, I'm less shy dealing with tailors in India and Pakistan. Also, if those shops are paying NYC rents and NYC wages, how cheap can they be?

Janet, Aiglet, I recognize the construction of that Folkwear kameez. You could hardly find a simpler shirt pattern. That one has been in use for millennia. It could probably be made up by someone using a flint-edged cutter and a bone needle.

#55 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2004, 02:24 PM:

Teresa -- the top does look simple, but I've sewn a number of Folkwear patterns with mixed results. Even the really simple-looking ones. The ankle closures on the trousers look rather fiddly from the illustration. You can see reviews of some Folkwear patterns at http://www.gbacg.org/Patterns/folkwear.htm; alas, not #135 "Jewels of India," but you can get an idea of the variation in how well their patterns work for even very experienced seamstresses, and how much alteration they had to do to get the look or fit they wanted. Butterick and the other "big four" pattern companies may be a bit more user-friendly and reliable for the first-timer, though not as authentic, but then I have not actually used that particular Folkwear pattern and it might be one of the easier ones. But hey -- if you're motivated, by a design or a fabric, even the most advanced pattern can be overcome!

#56 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2004, 03:23 PM:

Teresa: I just spoke with M- and she tells me that her collection of salwars ranged from $15 to approximately $40, but that there are outfits ranging up to stratospheric in price, should you wish :-) They aren't tailored, and you'd have to see a few to examine the fabrics available in all the price ranges.

This is a neighborhood heavily Indian and Pakistani, so we have the expected "straight from home" shops in quantity and concentration. (Not to mention the best Indian food in the city, IMO. It converted me from not liking the genre to a true believer.) It's Queens, so not nearly as expensive as Manhattan. As for wages, if I ever hear of below-minimum I'll let you know; it's conceivable but not something I've heard of in any definitive way.

I certainly understand shyness and a preference for shopping from the comfort of one's home. Just kind of wondering about the comparison, is all.

#57 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2004, 03:27 PM:

Hmmmm. That's very interesting.

#58 ::: Craig Meyer ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2004, 07:49 PM:

That's wonderful.

I must suggest, though, that they start using terms that are convention here in the USA, like "suit," "shirt," and "pants." Then I suspect they'll get a lot more business, so long as the stuff they make is of the conventional western style.

#59 ::: Rose ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2004, 10:59 PM:

Another site to look at for pattern reviews has an easy to remember name: PatternReview.com

If you go to the section that is just on pattern reviews, you can select "patterns by company"; unfortunately no one there has reviewed Folkwear 135, but there are several other Folkwear reviews, so more fodder for deciding if you want to give the pattern a go.

My sewing adventure for the day has been working on a pair of jeans from a Vogue pattern. I'm pleased with how they've gone together, but I overestimated what size I needed, so they're a bit loose. Sigh.

#60 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2004, 02:26 AM:

When we were in Vancouver I spent some time in the Indian section of town looking for a salwar kameez. My experience was that most of the ones available ready made weren't intended for people as bountifully constructed as Teresa and I are. So I'm thinking this tailor made thing sounds good.

MKK

#61 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2004, 03:11 AM:

Somehow, this thread makes me thing of the SCTV ad for the musical Indira, featuring Slim Whitman.

Indira! Indira! Indira!
Don't cry for me New Delhi...

#62 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2004, 09:25 AM:

Craig suggests:

I must suggest, though, that they start using terms that are convention here in the USA, like "suit," "shirt," and "pants." Then I suspect they'll get a lot more business, so long as the stuff they make is of the conventional western style.

I think I'm confused about your suggestion. Are you suggesting that the various shops making and selling Salwar Kameez give up their rather lucrative market, and start selling western style shirts/suits/pants? That seems rather silly, given that the market for tailor-made western garments is sufficiently poor that finding a traditional western tailor these days is a non-trivial excercise in many parts of North America.

Linguistically, from what I've seen, the Salwar Kameez is referred to in english by most vendors as a 'suit'. A 'blouse' is what you wear under a sari, as is a petticoat (and sometimes skirt, but not normally).

#63 ::: Jeremy Osner ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2004, 12:13 PM:

A shop in England is selling tailor-made western suits via E-Bay, for 89 pounds sterling. No idea of the quality but feedback is universally positive.

#64 ::: LizardBreath ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2004, 04:04 PM:

What's their name?

#65 ::: Jeremy Osner ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2004, 10:45 AM:

The seller's name is "Tailor_Made_Suits" http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=3001&item=3939967790&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW is a link to the item, which is item #3939967790.

#66 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2004, 12:38 PM:

I think I have one in my future. For holiday and formalwear. That is such a beautiful suit, and so suitable for many body types! I just saw a beautiful selection of fabric, but can't bid on it just right now.

Sigh.

#67 ::: mythago ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2004, 12:47 PM:

If anyone who is familiar with salwar kameez can talk a little bit about fabrics, I'd love to hear it. I have (somewhat third-hand) a story of the unfortunate experience of a woman who bought a sari to wear to a friend's wedding celebratoin, where said woman was the only non-Indian present. The fabric she picked made it roughly the equivalent of showing up at a black-tie even in a gingham skirt.

#68 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2004, 03:49 PM:

mythago ponders:

If anyone who is familiar with salwar kameez can talk a little bit about fabrics, I'd love to hear it. I have (somewhat third-hand) a story of the unfortunate experience of a woman who bought a sari to wear to a friend's wedding celebratoin, where said woman was the only non-Indian present. The fabric she picked made it roughly the equivalent of showing up at a black-tie even in a gingham skirt.

I'd suspect a cultural mistake in that story. Most westerners are profoundly uncomfortable with the amount of glitz that's considered "proper" formal wear in India.

If you take a look at this picture or at some of the pictures on this page, you'll immediately notice that the more formal the wedding, the more elaborately embroidered, brocaded, and jeweled the garments (and their wearers) are.

A plain garment would be considered everyday clothing (and would also suggest that the wearer didn't have the funds to actually decorate their garments). It wouldn't be hard to make the leap to display of wealth as a part of the family alliance represented by marriage - but that's diving a bit further than fabrics.

#69 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2004, 08:29 PM:

xeger:

Is it the case that, on some parts of the Indian subcontinent, a woman brings no money nor property nor possessions with her when she marries, EXCEPT what she is wearing. Hence an incentive to maximize gold, silver, jewelry and expensive doodads sewn onto the wedding dress?

#70 ::: Amit ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2004, 01:20 PM:

Jonathon Vos Post said:


Is it the case that, on some parts of the Indian subcontinent, a woman brings no money nor property nor possessions with her when she marries, EXCEPT what she is wearing. Hence an incentive to maximize gold, silver, jewelry and expensive doodads sewn onto the wedding dress?

As an Indian who's wedding is due soon, I've learnt more than I ever wanted to know about the subject. So, briefly, here it is.

In my part of the country (Maharashtra), its customary for the in-laws to get the wedding clothes. This includes at least 5 sarees for the bride. After the longest shopping trip of my life so far, I can confirm that the kind of sarees you would wear for a wedding range from about Rs.1000(about $22) to ... well, there is really no upper limit. Thousand-dollar sarees do exist, and are so heavy with gold lace that they don't fold, they bend.

Salwar kameez, again, the kind you would wear for a wedding, are also in the same price range. They come for men, too, and are called "kurta-pyjama" The kind I'm going to wear for the wedding is called a "sherwani". The jacket is so stiff I call it a straitjacket.

Wedding shopping is a truly unique experience, about which I'll post if anyone is interested.

#71 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2004, 03:26 PM:

Wedding shopping is a truly unique experience, about which I'll post if anyone is interested.

Oh yes please! Shopping and wedding customs from another culture all at once. Shiny!

MKK

#72 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2004, 03:52 PM:

Seconded! Do please tell us about it.

#73 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2004, 05:43 PM:

Thirded! I've seen Monsoon Wedding, but that's all I know.

#74 ::: cgeye ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2004, 12:54 PM:

My salwar kameez came yesterday, and it is devoon. Exact fit, wonderful fabrics, faster shipment than I get from a US mail order firm (8 days!), way cheaper and better than some tacky dress from Lane Bryant. Will buy another once I see a fabric I like.

Indiashop1 rocks.

Go. Try!

#75 ::: sam ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2004, 03:22 AM:

You might not go semi-direct to buy your salwar kameez. You can certainly buy through ebay but you can also buy directly from India if what you are interested in is custom salwar kameez

#76 ::: Ailsa Ek ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2005, 10:08 PM:

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh....

Next month, when Passover is over, I am buying one. I think I've found a new obsession for when I am done buying roses.

#77 ::: Metal Fatigue finds (debatable) comment spam ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2005, 02:53 PM:

Two above, the one by "sam" (though it's on-topic, so I'm not sure it counts).

#78 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2005, 03:42 PM:

If comment spam contributes to the conversation, has it passed its Turing Test?

#79 ::: Diane O'Bannon ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2005, 07:38 PM:

I've wanted a salwar kameeze for years, so thanks for this info. I can't pull up any of the shops you mention on ebay for some reason. Can you possibly pass on another way to contact India1shop?

#80 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2005, 08:46 PM:

"When Passover is over," Ailsa? I know I saw your name as a bidder for a salwar kameez today. (I've been looking through the indiashop1 stuff, to see if they've got something I really like, having not gotten the one I sort-of liked.)

#81 ::: Lois ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2005, 04:55 PM:

Try Indiashop1. Yes, you can order custom made Men's suits from India, both ethnic and Western. Yes to custom made cheongsams, too. The custom made salwar kameez business is fine on eBay, but it's also booming on the internet. Try a Google search sometime. And one can also find Thai and Hong Kong tailors.

Mamalov

#82 ::: tania ::: (view all by) ::: May 04, 2005, 02:07 AM:

I'm a huge fan of the salwar kameez and of buying them custom made from ebay! I have bought 4 in the past two months and am thrilled with the quality. A good way to find them on ebay is to simply type in "salwar kameez" in the search box. My favorite sellers are:

signature_collection
bassantbahaar
rungday
lootsale
radhaboutique
bollywoodcollection
zelegant
poshak-e-khas

I linked to some of them below, they either do custom made salwar's or offer plus size salwar's.

http://stores.ebay.com/evening-chic_Traditional-Salwar-Kameez_W0QQcolZ4QQdirZQ2d1QQftidZ2QQtZkm

http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQfgtpZ1QQfrppZ25QQsassZbassantbahaar

http://search.ebay.com/_Womens-Clothing_W0QQcatrefZC12QQfrppZ25QQfsooZ1QQfsopZ1QQsacatZ15724QQsassZrungday

http://search.ebay.com/_Womens-Clothing_W0QQcatrefZC12QQfrppZ25QQfsooZ1QQfsopZ1QQsacatZ15724QQsassZlootsale

http://stores.ebay.com/RadhasBoutique_W0QQssPageNameZstrkQ3amefsQ3amesstQQtZkm

http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQfgtpZ1QQfrppZ25QQsassZzelegant

http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQfgtpZ1QQfrppZ25QQsassZsignatureQ5fcollection

I can personally vouch for radhaboutique,signature_collection
bassantbahaar and poshak-e-khas as I have purchased from them and was thrilled with their communication, professionalism, excellent tailoring and shipping times.

Hope this helps some of those out there looking for salwar's!

#83 ::: Rachna Gupta ::: (view all by) ::: May 04, 2005, 05:27 AM:

Try Uniquessentials.com

Best prices and great selection on SKs, Saris, Lenghas, Men's Suits. And plus they ship from US for a lot less, and every item starts at just $0.99!

#84 ::: Saiqa ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2005, 12:19 AM:

I have found some amazing ethnic clothing on eBay especially in the last few months. I have ordered well over 100 outfits in the last year or so(im an ethnic junkie). I have tried uniquessentials many times and am content with my purchases, althought the more they expand they seem to loose their customer service and quality, I still shop somewhat.

I have had many outfits custom made, but am strongly agaist sellers who sell with 24.99 shipping fees, and combine for 2.00 less each item. This is strongly a problem because the cost of the fabric and stitching combined, still leaves the seller with a profit from what they charge for shipping alone. I have a friend who sends me outfits for holidays and special occasions, and it only costs her around 12.00 USD to do so, so I hesitate towards 24.99 shipping sellers. In addition, they offer refunds less shipping and handling. Many buyers are contesting this and eBay will be enforcing new rules for abroad sellers I hear.

I buy almost everything from poshak-e-khas, uniquessentials, and independant eBay sellers who sell their own clothing(many women wear an outfit once and never again so its good for me!) I also buy jewelry and shoes to match my outfits. If anyone is interested, Beachcombers has the best selection of Khussa shoes both ethnic and indo-western. They carry the biggest selection on eBay, period. I only buy shoes from them. Prices are around $34 for a pair, but in stores they run over $60 and she has the best satisfaction policy. As far as jewelry goes, kg_inc (KhitabGul) is my favorite. He carries casual to formal wear jewelry at great prices. They are the only eBay store with large bangle sizes, plus be specializes in bridal/formal jewelry from $27-$80 dollars. He is not just an importer, but directly buys the jewelry from his family back home I think, thats why his prices are so good.

I hope this helps. Now im off to eBay to shop! ~Saiqa

#85 ::: Shalwar ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 06:30 PM:

I have found amazing website for salwar kameez. They have Miss India 2002 and 2005 working as models for them. Kaneesha's Plus size tunics are worth the visit. This site has wide range of Indian Clothing.

#86 ::: raveena ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2005, 01:54 AM:

i just got my first salwar from ebay seller rungday , i just wanted to share it is wonderful. thanks for sharing all this information with us.

#87 ::: Lois ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2005, 03:22 AM:

Oh, well, if you're going to leave eBay for this discussion, Priyanka's has a HUGE selection of salwar kameez at Priyankas.com, maybe even a thousand to choose from. Utsavsarees.com's selection is also wonderful; Renukasilks.com is good and for the higher end outfits, try salwar.com and indianplaza.com. Then there are Reems.com and eShakti.com and many, many more. I have had some wonderful trouser + kameez + dupatta suits from eShakti. Of that group eShakti is the only one I've had real experience with.

Back at eBay, there is a seller called Alanjum4 who not only lists fabrics for auction but who also, in his auctions, lists all the TYPES of fabrics he can get (or maybe it's only SOME of the types of fabrics he can get) and he's willing to find the fabric you want in the color you want and make WHATEVER you want out of it for you for what seems to me to be a rather light fee. So if you have ever said to yourself, "I wish they would make (fill in the blank) with x sleeves and a y neckline and in my favorite color, and have it all hand embroidered and cut just the way I want it and just to my size," i.e. if you have ever wanted to design your own clothing but didn't want to have to sew it, try sending him a request through eBay. He made an outfit for me which fulfilled a dream I've had for years!

And once again off of eBay, salwarkameezindia.com will provide the same service of alanjum4. It will cost you more, but there are more than 650 different designs in their "Custom Made Catalog" of salwar kameez suits to inspire the designers out there.

#88 ::: Saiqa ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2005, 01:09 PM:

I have seen those sites, but Priyankas and the other sites can be over expensive! I think the idea of shopping online is to buy items for less and at better rates then retails stores without compromising on the quality.

Custom stitched clothing has exploded on eBay, with one problem. Shipping! Sellers are charging $20 for shipping then starting off items at only .99 only. Their refund policy only covers the items cost, so automatically if something goes wrong you only get back $1 basically. As much as I want to support international sellers, I prefere to buy clothing from the USA so if there ever are problems, the situation can be handled quicker and fixed. With all the complaints against international sellers, they will be cracking down especially with the India-Pakistan custom stitch sellers. I myself have spent some $200 on a huge order few months ago and lost it because of this refund policy, so would never do it again from India or Pakistan on eBay. Will just buy when I go back home, but purchase ready made ones online from the USA.

I do purchase at least 20+ items a month from Uniquessentials and their latest news is that they are going to provide custom stitched clothing from India at only $5 USA shipping, and the items are fully guaranteed and fully refundable...even shipping. With a deal like that honestly I won't shop elsewhere on eBay.
I did come across a new seller on ebay (well I just found them after all this time) of ethnic jewelry. Their ebay Id is Kg_inc (www.khitabgul.com) and they have some of the most beautiful designer neckalces! I was refered to them especially for my Eid jewelry since they are the only seller on ebay with formal or wedding sets. I ordered 2-3 of their large sets last week, (I still dont know what to wear for Eid!) anyways, totally awesome. I will never again shop in a retail ethnic store, retails stores mark up items at least 150% of the items cost, I know the sets I got are high quality and worth the asking price. Besides, ethnic retails stores don't ofer refunds or exchanges but he does online so that is cool. I think everyone should check out his store, its just amazing plus they sells bangles and some clothing, but specialize more with jewelry........Hope anyone looking for clothes or jewelry has some great new places! THanks
~Saiqa

#89 ::: Terase ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2005, 02:27 PM:

I just wanted to let people know they should beware of LOOTSALES. I have had nothing but trouble with them since ordering a garment on May 19, 2005.

After MANY emails from me and a couple from them with promises to look into where my order was, they still did not deliver.

In fact their scam is to put you off long enough that you cannot file a formal complaint with EBAY.

They told me my order was lost. I asked for a refund in four emails over two weeks, and was totally ignored UNTIL I left a negative feedback on their site.

They retaliated with lies on both mine and their sites (saying I did not communicate at all and then that they could not make my garment because they did not have my measurements! I have an email from them dated May 20 stating they have my measurements and had put it on my private page for future orders!

They lie and scam and cheat their way thru. I am not the only one who has been treated this way. Go to EBAY and read their feedback. They have so many negatives.

Their final scam is to say they cannot give you a refund until you take back the negative feedback! I told them to keep my money then, because I want everyone to know how dishonest they are.

I have dealt with several others and have had nothing but wonderful service.

Terase

#90 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2005, 04:15 PM:

Thank you all for the userful consumer reports.

Terase, I went and looked at Lootsale's user feedback records on eBay. I see what you mean. They've been doing a little better of late, but I'd still be wary of doing business with them.

I'm sorry to say I've now had my own bad experience, in my case with Indianexotica. Unfortunately, I messed up my feedback so it doesn't show.

The trousers I received were nowhere near the right size. Since they were plain black cotton, I'm assuming that they were shipped from a common stock rather than being made to measure, and that the common stock didn't have the appropriate size.

That wasn't the worst problem, however. The fabric of the tunic and dupatta, in both cases a lightweight red cotton, was so heavily coated with fabric sizing that it was almost rigid, and scraped my skin raw. I hand-washed the garments in cold water, diligently trying to get the sizing out, and watched as my wash water turned a murky light gray.

Even after a good washing and several rounds of rinsing in clean water, the dupatta was so stiff when it dried that I could hold a two-foot length of it parallel to the floor without having it droop or bend. It took four or five launderings (gentle soap, cold water) to get the sizing out.

And then, when the sizing was out, the fabric puckered like crazy. It had thin intermittent stripes of metallic gold thread woven into it, and every one of those stripes humped up like large-gauge seersucker.

I've seen this kind of thing before with badly made clothing. The manufacturer uses heavily-sized fabric, which looks more substantial than it really is. The effect doesn't last. As soon as the garment is washed, the sizing dissolves, and the fabric melts down into thin cheap loosely-woven cotton. And since the cutting and seaming was done when the fabric was still rigid with sizing, the seams and other construction details sag, twist, and pucker, and generally just look sad.

(That's one of the indignities John Scalzi left out of his entry about what it means to be poor: living in a neighborhood where the merchants sell you clothing that goes from "new" to "tired-looking old rag" in one laundry cycle.)

I was seriously unimpressed. India is the motherlode of hand-loomed cotton. There's no shortage of attractive, reasonably priced, good-quality fabric. You have to be pretty mingy to shave costs by using material that shoddy. Those perfunctory black cotton trousers were equally slipshod and cheap. I won't be buying from Indianexotica again.

#91 ::: Rocky Mirza ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2005, 12:29 AM:

UniqueAuction.com large online auction portal. An ebay alternative offering Buy or sell in thousands of Internet auction categories like electronics, cars, clothing, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods, digital cameras, and everything else on eBay. Start bidding today

#92 ::: amber ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2005, 12:01 PM:

I have very good quality shalwar kameez,saree,trouser suit ,men's and ladies kurta..these all you can see onmy website ..i am in london you can chat with me by
infofashion@hotmail.com or email me for more information ..i used very good quality fabric in my collection.People they liked my design and style..

#93 ::: Anamika ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2005, 09:35 AM:

U can also call on Perveen Dang to get your salwar kameez custom made at very nominal prices. I've been buying from her past 4 years or so and shes given me international class designs at almost cost price--shes too passionate abt her work to care for profits. U can call her on 011-91-9831121675 or email at asheeshdang@hotmail.com. Try her work out if u want to adventure!!!

#94 ::: SMoogle ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2005, 11:40 PM:

I think you all look very beautiful in them.

#95 ::: Saiqa ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2005, 10:43 PM:

Hmmmm.........When did this turn into an advertisement and people sending me links and info for wholesale salwar kameez? Please take your business elsewhere, were just ethnic lovers not sellers, stop buggin me!

#96 ::: carol ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2005, 03:59 PM:

the prices and quality of this store from ebay india , that i had experience with just cannot be beaten .. i had all my saris with customstitched blouses and 3 salwar kameez's stitched to perfection ... all this in 11 days from payment made ! and shipping for each item worked out only USD4 . They have 3-4 stores on ebay india and offered me combined shipping across the sites , i guess the id is runalaila_in1 & 1hi2k and one more i do not remember ... however the common keyword is hypnosis & sa

#97 ::: Jonathan Shaw thinks there may be comment spam ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2005, 05:47 PM:

Or else just a lot of enthusiastic recommenders.

#98 ::: Fawad Ahmed ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 08:13 PM:

Just to clarify, indian salwar kameez is the same as pakistani shalwar kameez. There are only subtle differences.

#99 ::: praveen jaiswal ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2005, 03:30 AM:

paridhanlok.com large online clothing portal. An ebay alternative offering Buy all types of ladies & gents hi fashion garments like salwar kameez.sarees,lehnga choli & sherwani,kurtas

#100 ::: Mystique Asia Inc. ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2005, 11:55 PM:

you can also check out new Salwar Kameez designs online at Mystique Asia Inc. web store, best of all, they deliver world wide.

Salwar Kameez

#101 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2005, 03:22 PM:

I totally thank everyone for the recommended sellers on E-bay. I LOVE sari's and salwar kameez and have been thinking about buying some online (like a few other women have commented us "North American" sized women tend to have problems with ready made salwar kameez and even cholis). I am definately going to have to try the custom made salwar kameez. I might as well spend $39 for a salwar made in my size then $35 in the Gerrard St Bazaar in Toronto for something that fits more or less and has been stiched four times already. However that doesn't beat the salwar kameez I bought (after hours of trying them on) for over $60.00 that has had to be restitched in places. Thank you again!!! Namsate

#102 ::: swati ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2006, 05:06 AM:

hi everyone...
this was just for your information, because it looked to me that you are all very interested in indian clothes... as somebody mentioned, the indian salwar kameez and pakistani version are the same... with a few minor differences owing to the climate differences, or to help ppl adapt to the terrain...
there are several options... those of you with nice long legs (like moi... hehehe) could go in for churidar pants... which are basically fitted pants. These look very good if worn with long kameezes (tops) or kurta tops...
then there's the patiala salwar... i guess it's just a local variation of the basic salwar... the difference lies in the fact that the patiala version has a lot more pleats and looks great with fitted tops...
there's also bell bottom pants... some people call them parallels...
and the present trend is based on the clothes worn by Rani Mukherjee in the film Bunty aur Babli... it has mainly got to do with bright contrasting colours... and kameezes with collars etc...
kurta tops with block prints are quite popular too, as are big borders and cap sleeves...
i hope this helps...

#103 ::: swati ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2006, 05:13 AM:

this is for all the ppl who are wondering about the origin of the name "salwar kameez"...
well i don't think it was inspired by the french chemise... though there is a resemblance... i'm not too sure, but if i'm wrong, do correct me, the salwar kameez first started out as an islamic dress... and "kameez" is an urdu/hindi word for shirt (roughly, garment for the upper body)... this term is also applied to some garments worn by men...
so, in short (roughly), "kameez" refers to "shirt"...

#104 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: January 14, 2006, 06:00 AM:

Well I am back and I've started sewing so I've got some news for anyone looking to make their own salwar kameez. I am waiting on the pattern from dansingnspirit.us/ in the mean time I kept my eyes out in the mainstream pattern books and I've come across a couple patterns that might be of some help. First one (that I have sewn already) is from McCall's pattern number 4002. I will warn you that this pattern is more then generously sized and I ended up having to resize the kameez. The downside is that since the "tunic and pants" go together the amount of fabric for both peices are added together. Best way to find out how much fabric you need for each peice is to cut them out and measure :( wish I could be more help there. I did the XXL pants and the XL shirt (and cut the shirt down more) and used around 4 metres of fabric. This turned out to be a wonderful Salwar Kameez, it doesn't have the pleats of the salwar pants but I can't tell the difference between by ready-to-wear salwar kameez or the one I made myself. You'll love this pattern's great results and it's SO EASY (the instructions for putting the pants/salwar part together is abit messed up but easy to figure out)!! Also the price is discounted if you buy it at Wal-mart. Don't forget to look at the $1.97 a metre fabric at Wal-Mart either that's where I got mine. Total for this salwar kameez (pattern and fabric) came in under $20 Canadian. The next pattern is from Simplicity and is only in the plus size (18W-32W) the pattern number is 4377. It's listed as pajama's but anyone that knows a salwar kameez will reconize the kameez top with the parallel-ish pants. I haven't tried this pattern yet but I am hoping to get to it next week. I will come back and let you know how it goes. Mind you both these patterns call for elastic waists but I've changed them to a drawstring. Thank you once again for your time and letting me post. Namsate.

#105 ::: stellans ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2006, 01:27 PM:

I found this thread while doing a google search for salwar kameez.

Thanks for the many suggestions and links; I've ordered 3 sets (as did Teresa above). Two from eBay tailors (IndiaShop and Radha's Boutique), and one from a direct online source (eShakti). I'm wondering if any of you have any experience with eShakti?

All prices, even shipping, seemed quite reasonable considering. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished products.

I am a short, very round woman who has a hard time finding comfortable ready-made clothing, and my sojourn in Jakarta in '95 convinced me that Western dress was not meant for everyone. A good friend from India introduced me to Salwar Kameez, and I had several made while in Jakarta. Unfortunately, clothing wears out. And I also changed sizes since then. I never even thought of eBay, d'oh!

Anyway, thanks to everyone who posted on this thread.

#106 ::: neo ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2006, 05:33 PM:

I buy many many indian items online and you can not beat radha's boutique for the price and quality.

Bought identical pure silk saree from radha

So I

and also try angelshoppe I got saree and paid in us dollars for saree from australian seller who direct ships from india, the result (since both rupee and aus dollars are both less than us dollar) is a wonderful deal!

I got saree from angelsshoppe for 4$ us. and shipping VERY cheap (since it was in aus $)

Behold...the power of Ebay!!

#107 ::: Anita Gohil ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2006, 07:25 AM:

LibasDesigns.com has wide range of Salwar Kameez, Sari, Lehnga, Skirts and Indian Kurti or Tunics. Please visit www.libasdesigns.com for more information.

#108 ::: Mary Aileen Buss sees possible spam ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2006, 11:54 AM:

Looks like a commercial post to me.

#109 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2006, 04:32 AM:

Well here I am with more great news to share. I was at Walmart again tonight and took a look in the "simplicity" pattern book under the costume section and found a real gem it is pattern 4249 and comes in sizes up to a 20. It's a pattern of all the hot Bollywood clothes, there is two choli patterns, two lehnga patterns and a salwar kameez pattern with churidar pants. I haven't sewn it as of yet but it looks great and should be fairly simple to do. I have also discovered a great seller on E-bay I just have to share with everyone. This company dealt with all my silly questions (having never had a salwar kameez made for me) and they had my salwar kameez sent from Chennai to Ontario, Canada in just over a week. The sellers name is evergreenen and their store is Evergreen Enterprises. My salwar was exactly the right size and the work was excellent. I would definately suggest Evergreen to anyone looking for a beautiful made to measure salwar kameez for a great price. $13 USD for shipping and only $6 USD to have your fabric stitched. Can't beat that.

A note about a past post of mine about "simplicity" pattern 4377 that was only available in plus sizes, it turned out to be a pain in the neck and I ended up having to tear it a part and try to salvage the material using a different pattern. So I wouldn't really recommend this pattern after trying it. I wish everyone well, and again thank you for this site, I love reading all the comments and suggestions you've all helped me alot. Namate.

#110 ::: Dave Luckett agrees ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2006, 07:28 AM:

These are commercial spams delivered to any site that trips any one of a number of keywords.

#111 ::: Salma Habib ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2006, 05:01 AM:

I have been in the US since the last few years and have come to realize that buying directly from suppliers back home is much more economical. Most of the major boutiques have their own online store which makes life much more easier. I have been buying most of my desi clothing requirements from one such online store www.msytiqueasia.net

They not only have a very wearable collection, but are very proffessional in their work. The best part is that they also customize my clothes to my requirements.

#112 ::: mrandrmrswooly ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2006, 10:23 AM:

I too had a similar BAD EXPERIENCE with INDIANEXOTICA on ebay. I sent exact measurements and received a garment big enought for two of me.. with the same sizing in the fabric that made it stand out like a tent. They also drew the whole thing out until I could not make a claim thru Ebay or put in a negative feedback. I eventually returned the article but did NOT RECEIVE a REFUND. so, out over a hundred bucks, extra postage for a fast reply and no garment. I could not believe what I received. They offered to alter it, but then after the garment had be shipped and I had emailed them to this effect, they said we wont' alter or refund.. don't return the garment. ??

And Peter and Sue give you all kinds of excuses about their isp problems and being sick and such and tell you they didn't receive your emails.

True blue aussies my a**. Con artists taking advantage of being in another country where you can't hold them to Australian standards is what I say they are.

I have seen so many lovely salwar kameez in Sydney.. I think I will just try getting made locally. It will be worth it. I will know who I am dealing with.

so BEWARE - DO NOT SHOP On EBAY with IndianExotica. Cheap fabric, tons of sizing.. and you don't get what you are paying for.

You are better of paying more and getting a good quality garment.

Cheers.

#113 ::: Chris ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2006, 12:56 PM:

task at hand- choose a birthday present for my wife

due date- a week from 04/06/06 (04/13/06)

a lot of- confusssionnnn...

what do i do- started searching for salwar kameez online (my wife's new wardrobe addiction) and came across this post...went down to ebay checked out a couple of stores, loved the stuff everyone had to offer...

a lot more of- confusssionnnn...

what do i do next- shortlisted 4 sellers and contacted them individually for adivice on what I should order for my wife...all of them replied with the most expensive alternatives, except for indianartcart...they asked my budget and suggested a neat summer outfit which would cost just $44.99.

i asked them if they could deliver it on time for Tina's birthday and the guy there- Akash said that it wouldn't be a problem...so i went ahead and used the buy it now option, paid for it and gave the measurements from an old SK of my wife's...

he said that "it wouldn't be a problem" but i had my doubts...

day 1 waiting... day 2 waiting... day 3 mailed ... day 4 got tracking...outfit delivered day 5... :-O ....

i was utterly astonished at their speed...they took the order...waited a day for the measurements...got it stitched...sent it from India...and i recieved it day 5...

outfit quality- akash suggested a jute outfit, which is supposed to be oober trendy this summer...i always thought that jute was used for stuff that wasn't clothing...but he proved me wrong...the fabric was super comfirtable and my wife just loved it and the best thing IT FIT PERFECT...

conclusion- i don't know how indianartcart did it...

if anybody wants to shop with them then go down to stores.ebay.com/indianartcart

my wife's told all her friends about them and i think they have a "buy 2 and get free shipping" offer going on...so check it outt...

-Chris

#114 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2006, 02:06 PM:

How astounding is it, Chris, that an article mailed from India reached you in only five days, considering that you posted your comment from India?

#115 ::: Baishali ::: (view all by) ::: May 11, 2006, 07:11 PM:

Hi,
You can get beautiful sarees here. Located in bay area, California. http://www.shirdisarees.com
Though the price may look expensive but quality is great and the designs are exclusive. I have purchased quite a few sarees from here as well as my friends and we are really happy with the sarees.

#116 ::: raveel ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2006, 05:17 PM:

hello
well i am manufacturer in pakistan of 3 piece ladies shalwar kameez suits i want to introduce my product..i have a ladies boutique in lahore ,pakistan in the very big market of asia liberty i can show my design and i sure abt that u would definately like them...and if any party is interested to see my designs can openly contact me my id is rawy_Rulez@hotmail.com..and the prices very reasonable..u would enjoy wearing shalwar kaaameez of raveel s collection..looking for your goood respone.
thank you

#118 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 12:10 AM:

Namsate,
I am just wondering a couple things that hopefully someone can answer for me :) What's the newest fashions in India for salwar kameez this season? And I've seen what looks like a popular style of pant (although I don't know the name) but it looks like the typical salwar pant however it looks like it has extra pleats and lots of fabric, if anyone knows the name and anymore info on their construction I would be so thankful.

#119 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 02:16 AM:

Alright I've answered half my own question the pants I was looking for are patiyala so now I am just looking for anyone that can give me pointers on how to make them. Thank you in advance.

#120 ::: Linda ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2006, 06:46 PM:

Hi all. This has been an interesting thread to read. I was looking for salwar kameez for myself because I always found them elegant and easy looking and they seem to look good on women of all body types. Today I went to my favorite thrift shop and this was a first for me - I cam across about a dozen or more in various sizes and types. I wound up buying a kameez by itself, quite a casual one, and a complete set, very elaborate and dressy with beadwork and embroidery, for a grand total of $11 U.S. Brought them home and they both fit like they were made for me. But it was intesting to see that McCalls and Simplicity make patterns - I love to sew and I plan to make many more of these in the near future. Thanks for all the cool information!

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#122 ::: kate with a condundrum: is this comment spam? ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2006, 02:37 AM:

I dunno. It's awfully useful information. And yet, so very spammish. I sigh.

#123 ::: Sriya ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2006, 02:51 AM:

Was browsing through sites, looking for potential buyers for Indian ethnic wear.

I've recently graduated from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi and have a boutique that deals in Women's Wear.

If anyone is interested in ordering a salwaar kameez, indian skirts or a sari, you can email me at sriyakejriwal@yahoo.co.in

I work with not only silks, but also south cottons, handloom materials and synthetics if required. The embroidery and stitching are all well finished and there is no compromise on quality. The tailoring is customized.

So, if anyone is interested, please mail me and I'll get back to you ASAP.

#124 ::: Mary Aileen Buss sees possible comment spam ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2006, 09:56 AM:

Very polite, on-topic advertising.

#125 ::: Debarupa ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2006, 07:20 PM:

Did any of you try www.indiagiftsend.com for salwar kameez shopping? The prices are cheaper than the other websites offering salwar suits, but looks like there is no mention of the website anywhere on the net. No recommendation, no review, nothing. There are some testimonials on their website, but those could have been easily made up by the webmaster or the people associated with the website. I am not able to decide whether I should buy the dresses from that not so popular website or not.

#126 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2006, 08:14 PM:

Hey, has anyone had any business with echarming? The URL is http://stores.echarming.net/StoreFront.bok

They seem really cheap and you can even order exactly what you want. I haven't ordered anything and I wanted to know if anyone else has so I know what to expect before I buy. Thank alot. Namsate

#127 ::: Debarupa ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2006, 04:34 PM:

Let's share my experience with indiagiftsend with you guys. I was skeptical about this site before, but then I ordered two salwar suits from there because I really wanted those two suits and no other websites I visit offered them at that time, thinking that if something happens, I can always cancel the transaction later. Don't know if they are always this nice or not, but today I got the suits and absolutely loved them. May be they are new to business so don't have that much popularity yet, but the experience was better than utsavsaress who sent me a wrong dupatta and I am still waiting (it's been over a month) for them to send me the right dupatta. Anyway, the best strategy is to buy from India when you are there, and I am going to visit India next year, so I guess, I'll buy some salwar kameezes while I'm there.

#128 ::: Enid ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2006, 12:31 PM:

Hello,

I'm responding to the question about charming girl. For the last couple of years I have been buying my suits from various Ebay dealers. Some are better than others, many go out of business and new ones crop up.

I just got my first suits from charming girl and was not disappointed. The fabrics are ok and the tailoring is good. I cannot imagine how they can produce these suits for the price they charge. Just remember it is about 6 weeks for deliveryso plan ahead. Worth the wait.

I have had the best results when I send the garment measurements rather than my body measurements. Since I'm not a small woman (any longer) I don't want suits that are fitted. They look wonderful on young women with great figures but not so hot on me. Evey tailor has a different idea as to how much "ease" to leave so if you send garment measurements the suits fit the same every time. Other favorite vendors are India Shop 1 and Namaste for custom work. Both deliver quickly.

#129 ::: Debarupa ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 02:13 PM:

Just wanted to update my last post...UtsavSarees sent me full refund as they didn't have the matching dupatta.

#130 ::: Venus ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2006, 07:12 PM:

I have gone to IndiaShop1 and found them to be okay. You get what you pay for. The BEST one which is my favorite is NamasteIndia. Sonia is a remarkable and extremely caring and professional individual there who will take care of all your clothing needs. I have even designed my own clothes and sent it to her and she has made some awesome Shalwar Kameez for me. They have expert tailors and all my 7 suits I have purchased from them have been perfect. I highly recommend NamasteIndia on Ebay!

#131 ::: Alabaster ::: (view all by) ::: September 14, 2006, 02:41 PM:

I have loved the clothing of India and Pakistan since I was a student in high school and saw the wife of my science teacher, who is Indian, in a sari.

I have wanted a salwar kameez for years now, and I have determined to buy one. I have a problem. A rather large problem. It is my size, which is--well, huge.

I've lost nearly 40 pounds in the last year, and I'm still losing; but I've a very long way to go to reach my ultimate goal weight. I'm concerned about how to find someone who will sell to me, or create for me, a salwar kameez in, for example, a size 2-3X. It needs to be something that will still look good, even if I drop a few sizes before I stop wearing it. And my budget is limited, so it needs to be affordable.

I've seen a ton of good information in this place, and I'm sure I'll be referring to it again; but anything in addition that will be specifically helpful based on the information I've given will be greatly appreciated. Thanks bunches!

#132 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: September 21, 2006, 12:43 AM:

Namsate Alabaster,
I know how you feel about both your love for Indian/Pakistani clothing and worrying about size and budget. Most sites that I have come across have no problem making their salwar kameez larger. I just ordered a suit from eshakti.com and it fits perfectly. Alot of other sites will do custom size instead of the 2-3x thing which makes your suits fit alot better. I have come across one seller on e-bay who seems to only sell plus size salwar kameez, I don't have any personal experance with this seller but I thought it you didn't want to go by measurements this might be a good option for you and the suits seem fairly cheap. The sellers ID is lornabrabant. I hope this helps you.

#133 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: September 21, 2006, 12:48 AM:

Hi everyone, I now have a question for anyone that has the answer. Has anyone had any business with "S2 fashions"? I just found them and they seem to have almost rediculous prices and cheap shipping to boot. After some of the horror stories here I have to be suspicious. Thanks alot guys, I am so happy this thread is still going.

#134 ::: litlnemo ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2006, 05:19 PM:

Maggie, I saw S2 and their outrageously low prices myself. I didn't order from them because I didn't see any good feedback about them anywhere yet. Of course, they seem to be new, which would explain it. I just didn't feel comfortable ordering from them yet. I did order from eshakti a few days ago -- they have that $15 off gift certificate if you register with them, and I'd seen good reports about them, so it seemed like a good place to try. I'm crossing my fingers that the suit is nice and fits well.

Teresa, I just made a post about salwar kameez on my blog that links to your post here. Consider this a manual trackback. :-)

#135 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2006, 03:39 AM:

Hey litlnemo,
I ordered a suit from eshakti in September for a wedding, it turned out great. I had just left my house for the wedding and a neighbour that never talks to me yelled out a compliment to me, so in my opinion they make great clothes. Since then I've been getting their newsletter and although their new salwar kameez are beautiful I find them kinda pricey. I am sure you'll love your suit. I used the $15.00 thingy too on a $30.00 suit how cheap am I? LOL I still haven't ordered from S2 I am actually about to touch base with echarming again. I was looking on their updated site and they have suits for 99 cents!!! Even with shipping that's cheap. I guess we'll have to keep each other informed if either of us gets enough nerve to order from S2. Odd thing, a day or so after my post about them they put up their shipping price LOL. Namsate.

#136 ::: litlnemo ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2006, 04:28 AM:

Ha, I got the $30 suit as well. :) I guess it will still be a couple of weeks before it shows up.

#137 ::: Shazia Khan ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2006, 01:31 AM:

I have been reading the aforementioned comments and the problems which u people are facing at the time of ordering clothes, I myself am a dress designer from Pakistan and have satisfied my customers orders.

I have launched my new collection of formal wear comprising sarees, lehangas and suits in my characteristic Pakistani style. my emphasis is on the right combination of resplendent colors, floral embroidery and stunning styles. In my new ensemble, I have used a wide variety of fabrics, including silks, nets, cotton, tissues, organza, georgette and chiffon.
my collection and other designs from magazines are available on request.

I make each and every dress according to your size and specifications. I can also make dresses according to your budget. I have maintained database of my regular clients with their measurement profile. Once you become regular client then you don't have to give me your measurements again and again.

My prices are mouth watering (very competative price)my main object is to satisfy my customers.

Delivery Locations
I offer delivery to all parts of the world.


#138 ::: Mary Aileen Buss sees on-topic spam ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2006, 10:33 AM:

Might want to leave Shazia Khan there.

#139 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2006, 02:20 AM:

Namsate,
Happy belated Diwali & Eid everyone!

Well I've just put in a large order with eCharming.com (charming girl) for four suits. eCharming has done alot of work on their site as of late and they have a great deal with a 99 cent section. With any luck it'll be here before Xmas, I used body measurements but I added an extra inch or two just to make sure the suits are comfortable. I'll let everyone know how the suits I've ordered turn out, I am just hoping it's as good as Enid's experance.

litlnemo any sign of your suit yet? I just got an e-mail from e-shakti today about their new "From the drawing board" line for the fall. Nice stuff but there isn't much from e-shakti that isn't.

#140 ::: litlnemo ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2006, 09:21 PM:

(eCharming.net is the site you mean, I think -- the .com is just a domain squatter's page.)

My eShakti suit arrived today. I did get one of the "From the Drawing Board" suits, with the recommended under slip. (I expected the liner to be just a normal white slip or something, but it is maroon to match the suit. ) The construction seems good enough and the size is right. The dupatta is a different color than the site advertised, though (it says maroon and black, but it's just black with colored pinstripes -- not maroon ones, but several different colors). It's a nice enough looking dupatta though I wish it was the color I expected.

The fabric is a bit stiff so I think it needs to be washed once before it will look right. The dupatta is extra stiff and a bit itchy, so I think it has too much sizing. I hope this doesn't mean I'll have the same experience Teresa had above.

You can see photos here and here. Though the fit is right I don't think the suit looks good yet -- it makes me look bigger than my other kameez do. but I think that is because the fabric isn't draping properly because of the sizing. So I will see how it looks after the wash.

I ordered on the 12th so it arrived exactly 15 days after the order.

#141 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2006, 02:36 AM:

Hey litlnemo,
That's a beautiful suit and I think it looks great on you. I had the same problem with the sizing too, and I might suggest a good dose of fabric softener too. I didn't find that my suit shrunk at all which was really good and kinda surprising. With my suit however, I learnt the hard way that girls with bigger hips shouldn't wear hip length kurtas with a regular salwar pant. The wedding I went to in it, I had one picture taken of me standing and I don't even want to keep that picture. Gosh you know it was so great to see your picture though, they are the first ones that I've taken a look at and now I don't feel as "weird" knowing I am not the only white girl in Indian clothes LOL.

Yeah it's echarming.com that I ordered from, I am just keeping my fingers crossed, I don't need to suits to come in and be any less then well, I'd settle for good. Two of the four suits are presents. But for the cost I paid for four suits made to order and shipped from India I could have only gotten one of the new suits at eshakti. No one can convince me that eshakti isn't over priced. But with the free $15 off I couldn't resist even if it turns out to be the only suit I ever get from there. Oh one other thing about your dupatta, I think that's terrible that it that they didn't even describe it right, but did you find it kinda big and bulky? When I ironed mine the metallic stripes went all wavy too, I was just wondering if I was the only one.

#142 ::: litlnemo ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2006, 07:23 AM:

There are lots of other "white girls in Indian clothes" on Flickr if you browse around. Searching for "salwar kameez" will bring up quite a few. :)

Yes, the dupatta seemed kind of bulky compared to the others I have, which are of thinner material. But it might be better now that I've washed it. I washed the suit and I think it might have helped with the sizing thing, but it wrinkled like crazy so I have to do some serious ironing before I can wear it again. Even my linen clothes don't wrinkle as much as this suit did! :) I wonder if the metallic part melts a bit under a hot iron. I'll probably be careful ironing that part.

#143 ::: litlnemo ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2006, 06:41 AM:

Follow-up: I washed and ironed the suit and the sizing is gone, but it doesn't flatter me much. The kameez fabric is so thin and lightweight that it doesn't hang well -- tends to stick to the cotton underslip, which then (being even thinner and lighter) sticks to the cotton salwar, making it bulge in odd places. It's as if it needs weights sewn into the hem.

This does sound rather like Teresa's experience above, and also with red cotton... anyway, the construction of the garment is good, it's just that the fabric is too flimsy. And my god, the wrinkles...

#144 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2006, 03:41 AM:

Hey litlnemo,
I totally hear what you're saying, I've pretty much taken to wearing the kameez by it's self. I didn't get the slip with mine maybe that's why mine hangs abit better. Although I have to say one thing I got one of the cross dyed suits great colour but it has an odd imperfection at the wrong spot on my chest...as if I needed more attention drawn there LOL. I just don't know if I could force myself to wear the salwar with that kameez again. I got the pictures of the wedding we went to off my camera and believe me that picture is never being posted or printed. I found with my suit that it was the salwar that was a huge problem as you said it pokes out in strange places. Certianly doesn't look as nice on me as it did in the picture. And yes the wrinkles are HORRIBLE. I don't even think my artifical silk sari's wrinkle as much as that salwar kameez.

I am still waiting on my order from echarming, it takes 15 business days to deliver and we're holding Christmas on the 21st. I am starting to get abit worried but I'll give him another week or so before I start e-mailing him to find out what's going on.

#145 ::: Paula ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2006, 04:29 PM:

Hello, all:

I am so glad this thread is here because I too have issues with the abundant use of sizing, and too-thin fabric.

I bought two salwar kameez suits this summer; the first one had a top that was entirely too big (the fabric was cotton but fairly good quality, I wonder if it was of some sort of cotton blend); the second was made of cotton so thin that you could see all of my undergarments. Unfortunately, I didn't order a lining.

The second one seemed extremely cheap in fabric and construction, and it too had so much sizing that it fits all "puckery" after I FINALLY got all of the sizing washed out. It's so thin and flimsy that I feel like I'm wearing a pair of really cheap handkerchiefs.

Why the stiff sizing? My second suit felt exactly like cardboard when I removed it from the package. What purpose does that serve? Would I have better luck with other fabrics instead of cotton?

I bid on a suit from "bunthun" on eBay, but I lost that auction. I did notice that all this seller's items are having fierce bidding on them. I have also bid on a custom suit from a seller called "shriindianboutique". This one is made of georgette. Can anyone vouch for the tailoring and fabric quality of these sellers?

I have dutifully written down the other sellers that posters recommend. I hope "shriiindianboutique" will be a good experience. Too bad I didn't come here first before bidding.

#146 ::: Saima ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2006, 03:10 PM:

I found this forum on google. I would strongly recommend Zarmina.com for designer women's clothing, particularly Pakistani and Indian salwar kameez.

#147 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2006, 11:31 AM:

Namsate everyone,
Alright I've e-mailed echarming twice this week and haven't heard anything back. I put the order in on Oct 25th and it hasn't even been sent yet. When I was e-mailing questions to him he would answer within a day and now nothing? From my experance I have to put this up as a warning for anyone thinking of going to echarming for salwar kameez. If I hear nothing in the next week or so I think I might just call my credit card company and stop payment. Anyone have any other ideas as to what to do?

#148 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2006, 12:42 PM:

Namsate everyone,
Just an update finally heard from echarming apparently my suits are ready, now I just hope they get here before Xmas but I am not holding my breath. I'll let you know what the suits are like when they get here. Have a Merry HoHo, Yule or the holiday of your choice.

#149 ::: slmnrz ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2006, 07:33 AM:

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#150 ::: Mary Aileen sees something vaguely like comment spam ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2006, 10:05 AM:

Link exchange request with embedded ad.

#151 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: December 20, 2006, 05:23 AM:

Just had to figure when it comes to giving something for Christmas you buy online anything and everything will go wrong. Heard from echarming a few days ago saying that he sent my order of four suits last week. The website says different. So who am I supposed to believe? This has turned into the order from he**. Without the website saying my order has been shipped I can't track it therefore I am can't be sure that he's telling the truth. Unless these suits are of utmost quality I don't think I'll be ordering from echarming again. I'll keep you updated...

#152 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 20, 2006, 05:24 AM:

Ach, Maggie, it's like a soap opera! So sorry to hear you're being messed about.

#153 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: December 21, 2006, 07:54 PM:

I've bought a few salwar kameez online:

~Pardesi Fashions was excellent! The company is in the U.S., but the suits are made in India. The owner is super helpful and the suit arrived in under 2 weeks. It fits so well, it's almost like I went to see a tailor instead of just taking my own measurements and e-mailing them. To the person who asked about getting a men's Indian suit,they also sell those. (www.pardesifashions.com)

~Real Value Shop (sells on eBay) was okay. Nice sewing job, very cheap prices, and it arrived in around a week from India. However, even though I gave them garment measurements, my kameez was so huge that it looked like a maternity top and the churidar was too short. If you're not tall and you don't mind loose-fit salwar kameez, they'd probably be fine.

~Paridhanlok (sells on eBay) is a definite no. Their stuff is heavily dirt stained and dyed so poorly, it comes off on your hands. Prices are high compared to what you get. Owner is a scammer who says you'll get a refund if your not satisfied, but basically will play games until you can no longer file a dispute with PayPal or your credit card.

I love to sew, so I think at this point, I'm going to try making my own using the patterns that have been mentioned here. :)

#154 ::: Saima ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2006, 10:00 PM:

I agree that there are many sites out there selling South Asian clothing that are unreliable. Things to look out for are bad web design, based solely abroad, and poor explanation of the order process. What I like about Kaneesha and Zarmina.com are that they are based in America with production abroad, they have professional sites, and they are easily available by phone. They also keep you posted and deliver in a timely manner. The cost is a bit more, but the customization and service are worth it.

#155 ::: David Goldfarb notes something that is, if not spam, at least on the borderline ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2006, 11:18 PM:

Saima at 154 praises a particular web site; and if you mouse over her name, it gives that as her site. But she doesn't note any relationship with the site in her post. This carries to me the whiff of the sock puppet.

#156 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: December 30, 2006, 12:38 AM:

Not the first or only sockpuppet/borderline spammer in this thread. #113 is particularly egregious.

#157 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 04:09 AM:

I suppose everyone is out to promote their product, and websites are helpful. It's alot more appreciated if it comes from someone that has actually dealt with the site rather then someone who works for the company. And a rebuttal to the "based solely abroad" comment I like dealing with people abroad, usually they are cheaper and are better at making the suits. My experance with eshakti proved that to me. It was the second suit I bought online, and I described what it was like further up. My first suit was from someone on e-bay.in completely in India and it was made perfectly. But personally I am just happy this thread is still open spam and all.

P.s
Still no suits.

#158 ::: Samina ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2007, 05:42 PM:

I recently bought two outfits from Zarmina. I had heard from friends that they were very good trendy sort of garments. I got really BAD customer service and in the end a totally shoddy product. The company is pakistani, not that it matters, but this was my second exerience with a pakistani firm and it was same as the first - unreliable people with an attitude, and the product they deliver falls way below standard. The embroidery seemed really like the picture at first, but on closer inspection you can see the threads were coming out on the dress, and the tunic top was just badly stitched as if in a hurry. My left arm had to go all the way back over my head in order to get into the left sleeve. I called Zarmina cusomer service, the peorson was like well that's the way its stitched is there anything wrong with the PRODUCT? I mean, isn't stictching PART of the product? The embroidery was loose in places, and the silk was touted as 100% pure silk, well it was cheap Jo-Ann fabric discount silk. I have bought some really nice sarees from Indian shops here in NJ, and I feel I know a bit about silk just from those buying processes. The silk on both my outfits - the kameez and the tunic, was so thin it felt like I was wearing paper with a heavy layer of outdoor paint with weathershield on it. My wedding is in a few months and believe me, I will not be buying from Zarmina again. I had thought of doing an indian-style wedding, but after my fiancee saw my outfits he said we'd stick with a regular All-American wedding. Zarmina is a rip-off. I had such bad customer service, I really don't recommend it to anyone. And they refused to take the dresses back!! They said I had to contact them within 24 hours???? They delivered within 4 weeks as they had said (3 plus the holidays), but I would recommend anyone wanting to buy Indian dresses to either go in a local shop or really check up on the retailer, see if they ever had a real shop and even call up a few of their customers to see what they say. I paid nearly $600 for those dresses, it was a waste!

#159 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 03:19 AM:

You paid $600.00 for those suits Samina? That should have clued you in right there. That is terribly over priced unless they were made out of gold. But I wouldn't let your experance with a couple retailers online make you change your mind about having an Indian wedding. I went with the regular white dress and I still wish I hadn't (although in my defense I didn't know anything about Indian clothes, culture etc). You'd probably do better going to a little India in the closed big city to you. That's where I am going to get my clothes for our mangalsutra ceremony. It tends to be cheaper too. Last time I was in Toronto I got a 100% silk sari (and it was real silk) for $39.00 no tax.

#160 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2007, 05:20 AM:

Just wanted to update everyone as to the echarming situation, my order has finally been sent. So I am expecting it to arrive one day after the three month mark (from the time I ordered and paid for them).

#161 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2007, 07:23 AM:

Maggie,

Not the most impressive, then. Keep us posted about how they look when they arrive.

#162 ::: Chenni ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 12:47 PM:

Well Maggie paying $600 for a Salwar Suit is really big. I have bought some Indian dresses (Salwar Suit and Saree ) from ebay, but recently I had come across a new seller at ebay , " nimishan " who designs her dresses her self. They are really beautiful and reasonably priced. In fact she is very courteous and even got color of the duppata changed on my request . I would definitely suggest her to all.
This is her collection
Chenni
http://search.ebay.in/_W0QQsassZnimishanQQhtZ-1QQfrppZ25QQfsopZ1QQfsooZ1QQrdZ0?

#163 ::: Chenni ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2007, 01:24 PM:

Samina ,
I would suggest you to keep up your plan of Indian wedding and try out this seller called nimishan who is new at ebay but really good . Her work is fantastic.
Chenni

#164 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 13, 2007, 06:02 PM:

I dunno. I didn't find Nimishan's offerings all that attractive in terms of color and design; and while the photos didn't get close enough for me to make definitive judgements about the quality of the embroidery, what I could see looked pretty ordinary.

#165 ::: fatimah ::: (view all by) ::: January 16, 2007, 10:35 PM:

I have come to this forum for the first time. Iwant to recommend a designer boutiwue named"silkaffair"from Lahore Pakistan.I have been ordering them for thelast three years and having a nice experience.they have very beautiful designs and they deliverthe outfit timely.stitching is very good.they are so perfect in qualitythat I am having no complain.I have ordered designs from different websites to them and they made for me inhalf of the price.the prices are so affordable . I will try to post up some designs here if I could,otherwise you can contact them at
silkaffair@gmail.com

#166 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: January 21, 2007, 02:46 AM:

Yeah I'd say $600.00 for a suit is really big, actually I'd say you got ripped off if you paid that much. That's just crazy, I can just see the people laughing their asses off that someone would pay that amount. Like I said unless it was a bridal salwar kameez, lengha or sari that was a complete rip off. I couldn't show my face around my temple if I told anyone I spent that much on a suit or even four suits . Lately I've been having more luck going to Toronto to the Gerrard India bazaar buying the fabric myself and sewing it myself. You can get suits with all the beading etc you want and just stitch it yourself, it's alot cheaper and you don't have to wait on shipping.

This whole situation with echarming has shown me to either stick with a site I know or make it myself. For all those wondering about that whole mess let me fill you all in. First of all I believe I mentioned I had to write and write and write to find out anything about my order and was told that "Oh I have been writting you back maybe you're not getting my e-mails" or "I haven't got a mail from you maybe I am not getting them" I put up with that and got a message Dec 25th that my suits had been sent then I got a message saying he needed my phone number for shipping (never heard of that one before but whatever) I was told it was shipped but the site wasn't showing that it had been shipped. So back to writting and bugging to find out what was going on, and get this now I am being told he had back surgery so he wasn't able to write me. Perhaps he did have surgery if so, he should have informed his customers of that fact before the surgery but I can't help but feel that this was just another excuse for the lack of info on my order or lack of an order completely. Anyways the site started showing it was shipped the begining of this month, last week I got another e-mail requesting my phone number again for shipping reasons...still fishy but I sent it and he told me the site would be down because he was going to fix it up...so I checked tonight now the site doesn't even exsist!! I don't know what to do, before the site disappeared it showed a shipping number but no way to actually track the shipping. Anyone could make up some numbers to make it look good. Keep in mind I ordered these four suits Oct 25th this is now January 21st this is completely unacceptable. So even before receiving an order I have doubts I'll ever receive my verdict for e-charming is DO NOT ORDER FROM THERE EVER, even if it was the last place on Earth you could buy salwar kameez from!!

#167 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: January 21, 2007, 09:19 AM:

Maggie, I don't know if you meant it that way or not, but your first paragraph could be taken as rather rude, implying as it does that there's some shame to having paid a fair amount of money and been ripped off, and that the purchaser should somehow have known better.

#168 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: January 21, 2007, 04:55 PM:

Aconite it was not meant as rude but us as consumers must take responsibility for educating ourselves about what is a good price and what is not. Merchants aren't about to go around telling their customers that they could get the same salwar kameez in India or Pakistan for half the price they are trying to sell it to us for. We all make mistakes especially when it comes to deals=ing with a country most of us know nothing about however we have to learn from those mistakes. The best way is first find a currency converter that can convert INR or Indian rupees to your currency and secondly find some friends from India or Pakistan and ask them how much do suits like you're looking to buy cost back home. Merchants are out to make money no matter where in the world you are and they will, if they think they can get away with it take advantage of you. This is just the way things are. So no there is no shame in it however please educate yourselves before parting with your money.

#169 ::: Asifa Maheen Shahnawaz ::: (view all by) ::: January 21, 2007, 06:37 PM:

Hello, I was just reading the things on this forum, well would like to tell you all about some good and bad experiences of mine as well. About samin's $600 outfit, I am not surprised. I am from Delhi, there we pay about rs 2000-6000 for really nice shalwar suits. I just shifted here to US last year, and really I was a bit shocked that people here do not know any quality or wear much quality things. In India everyone knows what is ood, and what is best quality. Anyway, I have ordered from seasons india website since I was newly married and needed dresses and could not find good things here in NY or NJ, they were too over-priced at stores and not that great quality. So, from seasons I got two dresses. I was unhappy with one because it did not look like what was pictured, and the other was ok, it was "party dress" but I thought paid too much for it ($160 for one and $75 for other that I did not like much). Anyway, they stitched it for me, the tailoring was NOT GOOD. In Delhi on roadside tailor shops they stitch better. So I told them and they replied back nicely but could not refund my money, I said ok what the hell, and left it at that. recently my sister in law got married and as I was expecting we could not go to India for the shopping, so she decided to buy from here, but we could not figure out from where, as she wanted soooo many dresses and her budget was too less. Then just surfing we came across this site http://www.glammaam.com/ and it was a wholesale website or something. My sister-in-law sent them email and asked can they get her a few dresses etc. We were just bored and tired did not expect any replies, but we both were very shocked when they replied and asked us to check out some dresses, they said they could not give us exact styles but what is our budget etc and how many dresses we want and you know what, they were very helpful. My sisterinlaw got my husband to call and talk to this company, and we made $500 paypal payment. We thought they will eat our money so let's see, anyway we had everything worked out that if they do we will give them bad rating etc. In a week, they sent us TEN pant and kameez outfits and one set of red bangles as a gift for my sisterinlaw. All the dresses were different colors, and they fit us both pretty well, and just one dress we did not really like but we gave that as gift to her sister-n-law. So not a bad deal - 10 dresses for $500 !!! After that, my husband suggested I order one dress from them for the wedding day, but they said minimum was five because they do wholesale etc, so we decided whoever in the family wanted a wedding day dress, we contacted all of them and finally we got three people who wanted a dress. So my husband got me two and three other of his cousins got one each. That company sent us for less than $300 each really good BRIDE dresses. My husband said I looked like the wedding day bride. All the dresses were different, we ladies had a small argument about who will take which one, but that's ok. At the recepton hall, everyone was asking who he bride is as all five of us were wearing bridal dress!! We had asked for heavy party dress. One of the cousins, her husband did not like his wife to look like bride, I think he is a stuid man, he was telling his wife to go change al the time but she looked so good I tell you!! So I am happy with the purchases from this site, except they don't do custom ordering and they send you their choice not yours. But well it looks like designger clothes and price is right, so why not. Next time we have wedding in the family, I will do the same, and my husband has already asked if they can send me coton clothes for summer, they have said they will check their stock and see. Let's see, I am hoping!!! Since I will not be gong to India this year, it will be the best choice. You must try it, and if someone wants to order wth me, let me know, we can split it!!

#170 ::: Asifa Maheen Shahnawaz ::: (view all by) ::: January 21, 2007, 06:45 PM:

H, someone said to buy on ebay, did buy last year one shawl and two cushion covers from India, shawl was overpriced ($17 for what??? ) I have it still, it s ok, but in India I ca get for half price same. And two shalwar kameez from pakistani lady they are still NOT ARRIVED!! She said she sent them but se cannot remember what I ordered but nevermind, they were $20 each, still, money is money.

I have bad ebay exerience I will not buy from it again. Let me see, eshakti is also good designs, good quick service. But too much overpriced! They sell $10 cotton for $40, why will anyone pay that much. My friends bought from it, it is ok, I didn'tthink to pay that much is good. I think I should start my own company but baby gives me no time :-(. I want to put up pictures of ouor brdal dresses we got, how can I put them up??

#171 ::: Kaneesha customer ::: (view all by) ::: January 22, 2007, 11:15 AM:

I ordered my first Indian online shalwar kameez from KANEESHA.COM in November 2006. It was a nightmarish experience. Ordering was easy enough, they are quick to take the money. But after that all I got was excuses. I have now closed my account withh them, returned the dress and still not received any refund. Because of this experience, my Indian boyfriend and I am not on talking terms with our friends who recommended it.

#172 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: January 23, 2007, 03:22 AM:

Kaneesha customer,
That is just awful I am so sorry to hear you had an experiance like that with Kaneesha, as I am sure you read I've been having a nightmarish problem with another online shop as well. Same story easy to order, they were quick to take their money and then made up excuses. Thank you so much for letting it be known what has happened with Kaneesha. I am looking at ordering online again (although I am abit shy now) so I am very thankful for this timely info.

#173 ::: Chenni ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2007, 11:10 PM:

Dear Maggie ,
Online buying always have some risk associated ,so I like to stick with the seller who has provided me goods nicely for all my needs . I have stuck to a seller "nimishan" in ebay who designs fabulous suits, the images shown are not always as good as the suit ( it is the reverse for other sellers, who have good images but bad product). Infact I sent her a couple of images of salwar suit to her and she custom made it for me at a very reasonable cost(almost 60% the price which the other online seller was charging).The stitching was perfect on the measurement that I ordered.
http://stores.ebay.in/nimishan-collection

#174 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2007, 05:35 AM:

Namsate,
Well since my last post I got more lies from echarming (last one being that my order got caught up in the snow storms in Europe, it should have been far, far, far away from Europe by then) I called my credit card and I am challenging the charges through them. I also looked echarming up e-bay (where he no longer sells, gee I wonder why) and noticed all the negitive feedback he got. Even some of the positive feedback said that he took too long. However the last e-mail from echarming gave me a loose deadline which he of course didn't meet and that will be sent to the credit card company. I'll let you know what comes of that (have to wonder if they'll even find him). I found a great seller on e-bay "ladys_den" I believe is the name, great feedback, good prices very helpful I have two suits coming from them and I got brave and ordered a salwar kameez and long kurta from S2 fashions tonight. All of which I will post about when they arrive. Hope everyone is well and is having luck with their purchases.

#175 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2007, 12:41 AM:

OMG I know I just posted last night but you will NOT believe the e-mail I just got from echarming. Now he claims that he doesn't know my address and has mixed up my province and city and is questioning if I am in Canada!!! This guy is a complete and utter crook and liar.

#176 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2007, 02:14 AM:

Maggie,

At least you're getting some amusement value out of the entire mess.

#177 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2007, 07:01 AM:

Next week, on "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color" (*), abi in "Pollyanna", also starring Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken.

#178 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2007, 08:53 AM:

Amusement value, yes; but we're also compiling information about the varietites of good and bad service in the consumer market.

#179 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2007, 03:23 AM:

As most of you remember I placed an order with S2 a few days ago and I just wanted everyone to know so far they have been just wonderful. I got an e-mail checking my measurements before they started to make my suit, and tonight I got an e-mail updating me on the progress of my order. I couldn't be happier with S2 thus far. Once the suit and kurta arrive I will make my final verdict but it's looking pretty good :)

Wrote to echarming last night to make sure the shipping "problem" was cleared up and have yet to receive an answer...

#180 ::: Chenni ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2007, 02:34 AM:

Dear Tereasa Nielsen Hayden,
I am sorry to say that your assessment of suits by nimishan on ebay is way of mark. Infact , the work ,the embroidery and the communication of the seller is the best amongst all sellers on ebay. I have loved the salwar suits from her, they are not run of mill production and make you stand out in the crowd with its wonderful design and perfect stitching. Moreover the prices offered by her is much lower than that being offered by other sellers.
http://stores.ebay.in/nimishan-collection
Thanks
Chenni

#181 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2007, 03:34 AM:

Well I looked at that link, really nice suits although I have seen a few of them on other sites (so not completely orginal suits). Not too badly priced until you get to the shipping. I just hate that these sellers are going to charge you like $20 (CND)or more to send your order and when it gets here it didn't even cost them that much to send it from India. Which means they're making another profit on top of what they charge for the clothing. These are the type of sellers you really need a currency converter or calulator for. For example I am buying a custom made (not altered to fit) salwar with churidar pants and a long kurta from S2 fashions I paid $10 USD for the entire order (and that $10 doesn't change no matter how much you order from them) which is coming from India as well. So why does this particular e-bay seller have to charge $26.03 USD ($30.54 CND) for the first item and then an additional amount for every item after that? Also I have to challenge the charge of best amongest all sellers on e-bay unless you've bought from all of them. It's one thing to have a favourite seller it's another to make such claims about that seller without first being totally aware of all the facts.

#182 ::: Nina Wu ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2007, 08:00 PM:

Been reading this log for some time. Chenni, are you sure you aren't "nimishan" ?? I have a bad bad feeling about sellers who advertise themselves in disguise.

Boyfriend is from Nepal. He likes Indian dresses so I ordered an Indian pant suit from Kaneesha weeks ago, came in yesterday. One word: ugly. Maybe it's just me. :-(. Service could have been better. They shipped in a plastic bag. I didn't "customize" as I didn't know what it was really, but it fits ok. I don't think I will order from them again as Seban didn't like it. Material is "gorget" ..feels like a firefighter's uniform.

#183 ::: Nina Wu ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2007, 08:10 PM:

another thing, the pictures on kaneesha are about twenty shades lighter than what you get.. atleast that's my take on it. so when buying from images, ask them to send you a picture of the dress in normal light, or better yet, no light.

#184 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2007, 05:46 PM:

Namsate,
Well I finally got my suits from echarming, and honestly they are wonderful. The fabrics are so nice, they are lined and well made. The colour of the one is abit off but it's still so nice. One other slight problem is that the one suit I got for myself (go figure lol) the top is too small. But on the positive side he's left nice large seams so I can hopefully take it out enough for it to fit. It's still been almost 4 months since I ordered them so I am disappointed there, but if you have like 4 months before you need your suits go for it. And one last warning you may have to pay extra duty on your order I had to pay another $46.00.

I also received my order from ladiesden_india from e-bay and I just can't say enough about them. Perfectly made, amazing material and super fast shipping just wonderful. The link to their e-bay store is; http://stores.ebay.ca/Ladies-Den
They send 2-3 packs of bindis with your orders and these are by far the nicest ones I've ever received with an order. Hope everyone is having a great day!

#185 ::: Eva ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2007, 02:42 PM:

I ordered a kameez recently from Indiagiftsend.com, but the one I wanted was not in stock. So they let me choose a similar one even though the second kameez's price was higher (I didn't have to pay the difference). I was impressed with the fabric and the stitching, and I got compliments on it.

#186 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2007, 03:44 PM:

Maggie,

So will you post some pictures?

#187 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: February 21, 2007, 12:43 AM:

Good question Abi hadn't even thought about it LOL. Heck I don't even know how. Anyone have any hints?

#188 ::: CEO ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2007, 04:32 PM:

We were alerted to this website by a customer Ms Mahin Shah who had apparenty "put in a good word" for us. Unfortunately, from the comments we have perused we do not judge the largely ignorant audience from this site to be our customers. Our clients are mostly high net worth individuals or retail firms that are well-versed with couture. They recognize quality fabrics and workmanship and are knowledgeable about costs. This is wholly unlike many commentors here who are bent on propogating sweatshop facilities, especially in Asian nations. For the information of people here, most fabric manufacturers merchants in India utilize the resources of skilled unionized labor that fights for their rights when necessary. There are legal rules and regulations on pay and work facilities. Individuals that foray into fabric retailing also are humans like you and deserve to be paid their labor for 1. the fabric, 2. the workmanship, 3. the drafting, cutting, layering, basting, hemming etc that constitutes adequate tailoring, 4. running around in markets looking for inventory, 5. expenses associated with running a business, even if it is a small-scale business or even home-based, 6. their own time and labor, 7. communications costs 8. mailing charges, 10. all the costs incurred for putting up with returns, restocking fees ec from unruly customers. In the US as well as many other countries, people are normally adequately compensated for these activities and are able to live normal middle-class lives, afford basic decencies and facilities, education, housing, food, healthcare etc.. Unfortunately, when people like yourselves are bent on seeking "deals in third world nations", retailers from those developing countries are now forced to resort to unethical practices such as passing off $39 sarees as "pure silk". Any manufacturer in India can tell you that real silk cannot even be woven for US$39, let alone offer for sale. And other retailers are forced to sell their items at $.99 plus $25 shipping just to break even on a shoddy quality third-class product.

Glam Ma'am does not condone these practises, neither from the retailers/manufacturers/suppliers side or from the buyer.

Please have the website administrator remove all reference to GLAM MA'AM ENTERPRISES from this website.

Regards,

CEO, Glam Ma'am Enterprises.

#189 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2007, 05:03 PM:

CEO @188:

Do you have a name? Can I call you C?

we do not judge the largely ignorant audience from this site to be our customers
...And what a wonderful way to convince us to become your customers. Going to call us ugly while you're at it?

They recognize quality fabrics and workmanship and are knowledgeable about costs
I would suggest you read the thread. Many of the commenters here, including Teresa Nielsen Hayden herself, are experienced at both the evaluation and production of clothing.

Many of us are also interested in the economics of the transaction from the supplier's point of view as well as the customer's. One of the points that started the thread was how a buyer in the West can deal directly with a tailor in India or Pakistan, so that the tailor gets a better price for his/her work. The only one who misses out is the middleman.

Oh, wait, that would be you.

unruly customers...people like yourselves...
Go on with you. We're blushing.

I've been to your site, and while I could certainly afford your wares, I have no interest in rewarding your attitude. But thanks for giving us an insight into your manner with the public!

#190 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2007, 05:13 PM:

Maybe I should switch to decaf.

#191 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2007, 05:34 PM:

Having just checked my own blog, I retract the implicit apology above.

GLAM MA'AM, bugger off and quit comment spamming my site. I wouldn't buy your products if the alternative was to go naked, and in the climate I live in, that is not a casual matter.

#192 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2007, 08:21 PM:

^5 Abi

CEO (too cowardly to put your real name are you?) how dare you come on here and insult us. Especially since I KNOW that your two examples $39 silk saris AND the .99 + $25.00 shipping were directed at me you arrogant, poster. For your information, the fabric is priced at .99 and the shipping at $25.00 so that if the customer wanted to return the item the seller of the item will still make a cool $25.00 USD which is 1105.07 INR while only having to reimburse the 99 cents. And yes I do know exactly how much the cost of living is in India, you can live in India for about $2.00 USD A DAY!! If not less. You seem to forget all about the exchange rate. I have paid $10 for a mehandi book that on the inside cover has the cost in INR which with the exchange rate means I paid nearly 1000% mark-up. As for being paid for workmanship let me give you some more math (which I sincerely do hope you can follow along with), I buy pure georgette material in Toronto a whole suit costs $15.00 and I cut, tailor and sew it all by myself in roughly a day does that mean that I should pay someone $60.00 USD to do the same thing? NO it doesn't. And since the shop that sells me the material is still in business after more then ten years they are obviously still making a profit. Do you condone ripping people off? It appears you do.

You obviously have nothing between your ears but a lot of air. Many of us here are very well versed in the way the world works. I wouldn't want to be one of your customers you disgust me. It's apparent the only thing that talks to you is money, and with your attitude I predict you won't have much of it if you continue to treat your customers or potential customers as you have here. If you indeed have as much money as you try to imply you are a good example of money not being able to buy you class, you don't even have low class. You seem to very an extremely greedy person. We are much more intelligent then you would like to admit. We know exactly how much fabric, manufacturing and shipping costs in India and Pakistan (it's pretty easy to read the amount the seller paid to ship the package and then use a currency converter to see the real costs). And we also know that there are many a retailer that will do everything in their power to rip people off that live in the West assuming that people in the West have no idea about these things. Well guess what? WE DO. And yes my sari is 100% silk and yes it was on sale for $39.00 dollars because it was on sale for Eid and Diwali..oh am I not supposed to know about Eid and Diwali? I am so very sorry..NOT!

I suggest you take your no good self complete with your ridiculous attitude and think about going into another trade. How dare you insult people that WOULD have paid for you to have a nice holiday, WOULD have paid for your business and WOULD have paid for your children's education. You are by far the worst example of ignorance and arrogance I've ever encountered I only hope your "customers" (I doubt you have many as it is) found out exactly what kind of scum bag they are dealing with. You mention high end clientele? You're nothing but a joke. I have a lot more money then you assume that I do but I wouldn't waste it on trash like you or your products. Go back under the rock you came out from.

Oh one last thing, a message so full of hate, anger and insults leads me to believe that us "ignorant" posters here were getting just alittle too close to the truth when we made our comments about your products and your lack of work ethics. Even through all the lies you tried the truth shines right through. Good try though.

#193 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2007, 08:36 PM:

Maggie,

This is a totally minor nit-pick, but I am an awful pedant: The word that you spell consistently as "Namsate" really ought to be spelled "Namaste", or better yet, as "Namasté" (the accent over the final "e" indicating that it is pronounced rather than silent).

I apologize again. I am dweeb, hear me show off my (trivially small) knowledge of South Asian languages.

#194 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2007, 09:51 PM:

CEO #188 Please have the website administrator remove all reference to GLAM MA'AM ENTERPRISES from this website.

No.

#195 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2007, 02:32 AM:

LMAO James, well said.

Owlmirror, with respect I've spelt Namsate the same way for some time now, to many Indian/Hindu people and never once have they ever mentioned the typo you've tried to point out. Going on their info I will continue to spell it as I always have.

#196 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2007, 09:10 AM:

Am I missing something or was GLAM-MA'AM never mentioned on this site before "CEO" posted?

I keep going off to ebay and checking the custom salwar kameez, but I'm still not sure this is a good style for me, or that they could fit my figure without actually having my figure present to fit. Could Maggie or anyone else who's done this tell me exactly what measurements they request?

#197 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2007, 09:21 AM:

Their website was mentioned @ #169. Favourably, as far as I can tell. (*Shrug*)

#198 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2007, 09:23 AM:

There was a pre-CEO mention in #169 that actually gave the site a rather good review, which makes me wonder what on earth sparked the delayed backlash.

Aside from that, I have nothing to add to the salwar kameez discussion except to note that lately I've been web-browsing various sites that similarly offer custom cheongsam/qipao orders, as well as custom orders of pre-Manchu "hanfu" clothing that look like something out of a wuxia tomance epic.

#199 ::: ayesha ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2007, 01:22 PM:

can any body give me a pattern to make kameez and tunics

#200 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2007, 01:24 PM:

Maggie, "namaste" is kosher Hindi (pardon the phrase) meaning, loosely, "greetings". I don't know what "namsate" means and Google is no help, but it's possible that it means the same thing as "namaste" in another Indian language.
Alternatively, I suspect your Indian acquaintances may simply have been being politely ignoring what they took to be a typo - as a Frenchman might if I started an email to him "Bonjoru".

#201 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2007, 02:26 PM:

Susan @ 196:

I'm a fairly heavy woman with a strong hourglass figure, and the two kameez I bought fit and suit me. Both places asked for measurements for basics (hips, waist, chest, inseam, and across-the shoulders measurements) - one went rather further and into more detail (shoulder to waist, underarm to waist. Outside of leg, waist to ankle.)

I have yet to see someone on whom a well-tailored kameez didn't look good, and more people can wear off the rack than with most items, or so it seems to me. They're essentially pant-suits with long tunics, aside from colour, tailoring and decor (I've also seen skirt and kameez sets). I can't normally get anything like a tunic top that doesn't either hang like a tent from my bust down, or fails to go over my hips entirely, so there's a BIg plus for the person who sized them. I'm pretty sure the two locations were indianartcart and indiashop1, from Teresa's post; the results were very different in mood and tenor from one another, but I like them both.

#202 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2007, 03:34 PM:

CEO: "Please have the website administrator remove all reference to GLAM MA'AM ENTERPRISES from this website."

Sorry, CEO, but that one falls under the common-law doctrine of Tough Noogies.

Or, as Jim put it: No.

Want to go a few more rounds on this and work up some real googlejuice?

I don't think you read the comment thread. This is not about propagating sweatshops, or wringing the lowest possible prices out of Indian textile workers. It's about getting good clothes that fit, at a reasonable price, and disintermediating the process of manufacturing them.

None of us want to be sold fraudulent merchandise at ridiculously low prices. We want to be sold good merchandise at fair prices.

Did you miss the part about how one of the virtues of commissioning salwar kameez via eBay is that most of the purchase price goes to the people or firms that actually make the clothes? Surely that's better than having a big bite taken out of it by middlemen.

Of course workers deserve to be paid for their work. No one here ever said otherwise. I can't see a single thing about the process described that necessarily results in the work being done under sweatshop conditions. In fact, I should think it would be a great deal less likely to be produced in a sweatshop than it would be if we bought garments from some huge chain of discount stores that deals only in bulk quantities, and squeezes its suppliers until the only way they can stay in business is to pass the grief on to their employees.

#203 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2007, 03:40 PM:

Ajay, @#200:

I don't know what "namsate" means and Google is no help, but it's possible that it means the same thing as "namaste" in another Indian language.

I would tend to doubt it; the linguistic breakdown in the Wikipedia page (na/mah/te/) makes it clear what the components are and what they mean; I don't think "namsate" can be derived from them.

The only hits for various searches on "namsate" (1680 ghits) that I was able to find were obvious typos for "namaste" (3,300,000 ghits) (indeed, even Google thinks "namsate" is wrong).

But I will take the word of a Hindustani linguist if I am wrong.

I was thinking along the same lines as your guess — that Indian correspondents knew what she meant even if the word was spelled incorrectly, and were all less nit-picky than myself. Or perhaps they thought it rude to offer correction. I did apologize, though.


Amusingly, I note the Spelling reference above this page's post form box. Although since Firefox 2.0 has built-in spell-checking, I hope that at least some of those typos will occur less frequently for me. I've always had a problem with "Delany" vs "Delaney", though, so I do appreciate the name references.

Anyway: Namasté

#204 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2007, 03:44 PM:

Lenora Rose:
I can't normally get anything like a tunic top that doesn't either hang like a tent from my bust down

That's what I'm concerned about. A standard bust measurement is inadequate for proper fit at size extremes - it doesn't help with the very significant shape difference between a size 44A and a size 32H. Things either hang like a tent in front on me or are too wide across the back. Or both simultaneously.

I should probably just make my own. (In my copious spare time, sigh.)

#205 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2007, 04:06 PM:

Susan, I've seen salwar kameez sites that make some effort to accommodate those differences. I hope they do good business, and so feel motivated to further refine their approach to sizing.

abi, do I understand you to be saying that Glam Ma'am spammed your website in the wake of the dust-up here?

#206 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2007, 04:21 PM:

Teresa... Yes, they did spam abi's site.

#207 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2007, 04:22 PM:

Teresa @205
abi, do I understand you to be saying that Glam Ma'am spammed your website in the wake of the dust-up here?

In the technical sense of "unsolicited commercial messages", yes.

They left four messages on one thread where I was discussing a strong preference for natural fibres over artificial ones. The first two were "if you like natural fibres buy our stuff" ones, and the second two were about current offers.

I deleted all but one (so that I could be scathing with a reference). I have very little Googlejuice at all, so they don't profit any too much from their actions.

I did find it funny that they were nice to me on my own site, but rude here.

#208 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2007, 04:28 PM:

Teresa @ #205:
Susan, I've seen salwar kameez sites that make some effort to accommodate those differences.

If you happen to remember the names of any of them, I would be delighted to direct my potential business their way.

If I do end up making my own, I'm also debating how silly it will look to wear much wider-legged pants with the tunic-top. I haven't worn pants that skinny since sometime in the '80s.

Now I'm going to end up going fabric shopping tonight instead of doing music editing like a good girl. Sigh.

#209 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2007, 05:45 PM:

CEO@188: Our clients are mostly high net worth individuals [...]

Oooh. Hey, everybody, GLAM MA'AM says we aren't rich and sophisticated enough to buy from them and we need to know our place.

That's just freakin' brilliant, PR-wise.

#210 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2007, 10:30 PM:

Just makes you want to give 'em money on the spot.

#211 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2007, 02:19 AM:

First I would like to reply to the meaning of namaste, it is used as "greetings" or "hello" it's actualorigins lies in the Hindu faith as it means "I bow to the God within you" which is the corner stone of the Hindu faith. This belief is not present in the other two major faiths of India being Islam and Sikhism therefore it is impolite to use this greeting towards persons of either of the above mentioned faiths. The trademark Indian politeness usually dictates that if a Muslim or Sikh is greeted with this greeting but someone not "in the know" they will reply the same. But please do not confuse this word with the mundane "Hello" as it has significant religious meaning. Do note that yes indeed the spelling was off by one misplaced letter and I have fixed it. I do hope this clears up this matter as trival as it was. And there is no accent on the "e" as I have a Hindi program runing right infront of me and it doesn't show an accent.

P.s
Please don't talk about me as if I am not on the boards. I guess it's just a pet peeve.

HI Susan!! lol hope I haven't scared you away or anything, apparently just a bad time on the boards right now. You were talking about custom made salwar kameez that didn't hang like a tent. When it comes to the best talioring I have to admit at the moment I have to go with e-shakti.com. The measurements are very detailed (they even have pictures to show where to measure) some of the questions even go as far as asking what shape your bottom, tummy and hips are and give a drop down list of options (full, full and full for me lol). I just recently trimmed down my pattern for my kameez (tunic) and made a new suit that fits really nice to the body without hanging like I am expecting. I just ordered two more suits (not cotton) from e-shakti because I really do love how the top I have is shaped so I will let you know what their poly suits are like (even though perhaps abit over priced). If you have time, can sew and have access to Indian/Pakistani shops in your area I would suggest putting your money into sewing your own. It's much cheaper and you can talior your own suits, not to mention the pride you can take when someone asks where you bought it and you can say you made it lol. In earlier messages I've given patterns that when matched together give a nice salwar kameez. Currently I use the pant pattern from "dansingnspirit" and the tunic pattern I took off a nicely done custom ordered tunic. As for wide legged pants with a tunic that is perfectly fine, they would be somewhere between parallels and shara pants, some sites even offer bootcut or bell bottom pants instead of churidar pants or traditional salwar. If you do some searches for salwar kameez on your favourite search engine you'll find a vast amount of results. Looking through them you'll get to learn the different styles and their names and you'll quickly see that when it comes to salwar kameez ANYTHING goes. If you need the pattern numbers posted again just drop me a line here. Hope I've helped.

#212 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2007, 02:46 AM:

Oh I just had to talk about CEO's site (which I just visited..what a waste of five minutes of my life that I'll never get back). First of all can you say OVER PRICED, UGLY suits? I know I can because I said it over and over again after each picture loaded. What a bunch of crappy outfits I mean seriously. And as for the claim that their customers are "high net worth" what is so high net worth about a kurti for $25.00 LMFAO omg I could afford that on my poorest of days. I must be a millionaire, who knew? hahahaha But the salwar kameez, my God CEO those are not something I would advertise or make that much noise about. My first sewing job was a salwar kameez and believe me it is much better looking then anything on your pages, I wouldn't wear any of your clothing in public. Oh as for the listing named "avant garde" it is handy to know the meanings of French phrases before you use them to lessen the likelihood of you looking like more of a fool then you presently do. "Avant Garde" means before it's time, so how can a style that has been used in Asia for thousands of years be before it's time? And just for my own curiosity (though I doubt you have the guts to come back and answer) what effect were you aiming for when you used French names for your "collections" we all know they are Indian designs. The effect you got from me was a huge laugh so if that was what you're aiming for then I suppose it worked, otherwise you made yourself look so very, very silly.

I have a very dear friend of mine who lives in India, and owns his own online business and makes every piece of clothing himself and only hires someone else (adult, male..I've seen his picture) to do the embroidery. His work is amazingly beautiful, hand done, from the heart (which is something I doubt you can claim to have) and he is willing to customise any piece for a customer and his prices are half what yours are. Not to mention the fact that he would never treat someone as you did in your post.

I think I'll stick to my own sewing, or order authentic couture from at the very least noteworthy sites, yours not being one of them.

#213 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2007, 07:53 AM:

Maggie @ #211:

Thanks, eshakti is great - that's exactly what I was looking for as far as a site that takes detailed measurements. I've done a bit of sewing, so I have a good idea of what's needed to properly fit my body. I love some of their black and white "trendsetter" outfits, too!

I could certainly sew my own outfit, and I have the Folkwear pattern around somewhere. It's a matter of time (I haven't got any to spare).

#214 ::: holud ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2007, 04:28 PM:

Maggie,
Is there a website for your Indian friend?

#215 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2007, 08:06 PM:

It is entirely the fault of this thread that I went to the fabric store and came home with a gorgeous chocolatey-chestnut brown imitation silk fabric that would be fabulous for a salwar kameez, except that I never wear that color and it may look awful on me, and I have no shoes that match, but it was so nice I just had to get it.

Also, I now have four yards of a funny fleecy green fabric with sequinned patterns that is too heavy for the outfit, but it was weird and on sale and just sort of necessary. It can join all the other weird but sort of necessary things in my sewing room, I suppose.

If I am wandering around Lunacon looking funny-hued in brown, that will be this thread's fault too.

#216 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2007, 01:59 AM:

Susan @215Susan @215 This is why I approach my local Pakistani fabric shop with care. It used to be that I wouldn't even walk down the aisle with the remnants bin, till they moved it by the cutting table.

Drat them! Drat them and their beautiful fabrics!

(I don't currently wear salwar kameez - my usual interesting garb is linen wrap trousers and a fitted Mandarin collar jacket.)

#217 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2007, 03:15 AM:

Sure is holud it's http://www.freewebs.com/indiabazaar/main.html
I still think he's abit over priced however at least unlike CEO you know the extra money is worth it.

Oh I know Susan, eshakti is just horrible (in the good way) their outfits are just amazing I ordered
"burnt orange and teal with gold print crepe set" on the trendsetters page, I ordered another suit but oddly enough they stopped selling it the next day (talk about ordering it in the nix of time. I am sure you might have noticed a few of us mentioning that eshakti has horrible cottom so I wouldn't suggest buying any of the cotton sets unless you like to iron alot. I hear you about colours for thread. I've bought a ton of suits in the last two months in Toronto bring them back to small town London and have a horrible time finding matching thread. I went out and tried to find extra material for the yoke of the pants now that was a task and a half. Then I found out I didn't need it...$50.00 later pffft!! I am sure the brown will look great on you, for shoes heck just go with sandles they go with everything. This year I am looking at getting the traditional leather sandles, they seem to last forever and they'll match my salwar kameez and my numerous saris. Both of which are my everyday attire, lately it's been my wool salwar kameez though lol. Again if you want tradtional, none skinny legged pants dansingnspirit is where to go (mind you I still haven't forgiven her for not helping me out with patiala pants). I had looked at the Folkwear pattern but A) it's too small for me and I detest resizing patterns and B) it was when I was first learning to sew wouldn't want to deal with the bias then (or now to be honest lol).

Abi, Can you fill me in on how to post pictures here? I'd love to show some of the suits I've bought and made.

p.s
I am so happy for all the activity on this board lately (good and bad).

#218 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2007, 05:59 AM:

Susan @ 215... If I am wandering around Lunacon looking funny-hued in brown, that will be this thread's fault too.

I am very disappointed that you'd blame others for your own lack of moral... er... fiber.

#219 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2007, 08:30 AM:

Abi, Can you fill me in on how to post pictures here? I'd love to show some of the suits I've bought and made.

I am not abi, but I think I can answer the question. :)

You can't post actual pictures, just links to somewhere where you have the picture. To post a link, see the HTML tags reference above the comment-posting window.

#220 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2007, 09:25 AM:

Could someone who has a dupatta (scarfy thing that goes with the salwar kameez) tell me the dimensions or it? Do they vary much?

I've become reconciled to my brown fabric and decided that jazzing it up with turquoise and silver beads would be just the thing, but this means acquiring a suitably-colored piece of fabric, or perhaps a suitable package of dye and some white silk chiffon.

No way is this going to be done by Lunacon, but if it is, I shall wear it at my party.

#221 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2007, 03:58 AM:

Thank you Carrie :)I'll have to get some pictures and post them somewhere for everyone to see.

Susan, I am going to measure one right now 2.2 metres or about 7 feet long. I took this measurement from a dupatta that came with a set I haven't sewn yet. Although I have gone to Walmart and bought some of their larger scarves to go with my suits when I wanted something with some stitching or fringe or something. Just make sure that the fabric you use can be folded up small and when it hangs around your neck it won't feel like it's trying to strangle you LOL (I forgot to check that once myself :O )

I got an e-mail from eshakti yesterday, they are running a referal program all of March. If you are looking to order from them (for the first time) e-mail me at maggiejoh2005@aol.com and I can forward an e-mail from them that will save you $25.00 on your order (sure beats the $15.00). And yes everyone that says I refered them I get $25.00 off as well just so everyone knows. But I thought I would put the offer up there because I figure it would be a nicer way of trying eshakti without having to pay the full (sometimes over priced) price.

#222 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2007, 02:50 AM:

Namaste ;) everyone,
I just got my order from S2 fashions and I am completely amazed, it was small and simple order but I have to say everything is perfect. I thought the kurta I picked was abit longer but that was my own fault. They continue to update you throughout the order process and my order even included a hand written letter! Now how many companies pay that much attention to their clients? Not many that's for sure. I am certainly going to be ordering from them again and probably soon too!! I give them a 10 out of 10. I hope when any of you are looking to order you might take a second look at S2 because they are priced just right and it only took a few days for shipping the only delay was in Toronto because of the recent bad weather we've been having but that's Mother Nature's fault lol.

P.s
I won't comment on the traffic on here anymore, as soon as I did everyone went away :(

#223 ::: CEO ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2007, 12:32 PM:

We have noted your refusal to remove all references to Glam Ma'am Enterprises from your website.

C'est trop dommage mais qu'est-ce qu'on fait...


Addressing (mostly Maggie) comments:

- I don't intend to offend, but the fact remains that visitors at this website are not our target consumers and hence we do not feel it necessary to market to them. It is a bitter pill to swallow for some customers but as a company we do set our standards very high in all things - including who our customers are.

- Maggie, je parle Francais courrament, et aussi Italien, Anglais, et Indienne. It may come as a surprise to you to know that very many people have lived and do live in Europe.

- The design on the kurta is decidedly Avant Garde - Empress Noor Jehan's chikan tankas used on 21st century one-piece tops is nouveau, not ancienne. Dictionary.com is not a good enough resource for looking up foreign words... you actually have to understand the meaning.

- It is enough for you to know that this response is from the CEO of a reputable company. CEOs change, company philosophies do not.

- My earlier reply may seem high-handed, but it is necessary to be so when dealing with riff raff. You may "have money' - anyone can claim that nowadays - but you obviously don't know how to spend it wisely.

Glam Ma'am customers, as I have said before, are not just high-net worth individuals with a degree of refinement but also, more importantly, well- and broadly-educated. From long habit, they buy good quality and are not averse to paying fairly for it.

High net worth individuals do occasionally buy water and other basics such as avant garde tee tops, so I am not surprised that some people feel able to afford such things, especially if they are the cheapest item we sell.

In the same vein, Glam Ma'am customers also typically don't feel the need to, say, buy a fake Prada when they can pay for, understand the value of, and realize the efforts behind the real thing.

- I feel it is important to reiterate that sellers you buy from are being unfair - primarily to themselves. By retailing at ludicrously unfeasible prices, they have naturally inherently compromised on quality, but they also delude themselves in believing that they will gain in the long run by "making a customer" in a faddy fashion industry. They pin their hopes on buyers who change loyalties with every price drop. You say you are conversant with Indian, Pakistani and other southeast Asian living standards. You also say that in India "$2 a day" is what people live on. Unfortunately, that is very true. But why is it true? Partly because of people like yourselves who will buy from resellers in India and Pakistan - good for them - but you will cheapen their services by not paying adeqately for them. The same money that you spend on your daily coffee you say you know is adequate for a just-adequate lifestyle in India - while maintaining your lifestyle in the US. Why don't you try living on $2 a day? Yes, that is nearly 100 rupees. And that is just what an impoverished Indian might say - ONE HUNDRED RUPEES.

For that pittance they either turn into scamps zipping through rubbishy cloth and two-washes workmanship for a quick efficient mailing - often with some frivolous added "personal touch" that does nothing to upgrade the quality of garment -

OR,

if they are sincere, they slog in a tiny corner somewhere sewing their dreams minutely and with extreme detail - and doubly carefully because the customer is a foreign memsahib. What they fail to grasp is that that 100 rupees cannot even secure them cooking oil today. And it is this sincere group of workers that suffers because it thinks - incorrectly - that it will gain something. This honest-to-goodness group pays heavily for the lost time, effort and compromises on its art in working for a customer who can and should compensate its efforts properly but refuses to do so, with the convenient excuse of "disparity in living standards". How many times have you exported your own work in this scrupulous way to other nations at $2 a day wages? Ever? Why would you, correct? Have you any work worth exporting that someone else cannot do much better is the first question, but that is another topic.

- The intro here stated that "if these guys sell you a salwar kameez ...and you send them the list of measurements they request, out of the kindness of their hearts they’ll throw in all the cutting, sewing, embroidery, etc., required for a complete outfit made to your measure". In the US especially, "kindness of heart" comes with a price tag, depending on degree of "kindness". That's capitalism, and it works for you, why not let it work for Southeast Asian too? Bargain-hunting and kindness-of-heart .. isn't that exploitation? Nothing new... that's what the East India Company thought too.

- Next time you see JoAnn fabric synthetic rubbish at $6.99 a yard - even their muslin is laughable quality - consider paying for quality merchandise at a reputable asian store. Do some googling, learn some terms - banares, kanjeevaram, bandhej are good starts - buy a book.

But perhaps you purchase from the clearance corner at your local fabric store, in which case, sorry to say, no amount of education will help. That sort of material rightly ought to be consigned to cheap purse linings, coarse kitchen tablecloths and practise quilting squares.

- Bear in mind while shopping that only exploiters and opportunists refuse to recognize and pay for the value of other people's work.

- I am sure your "friend" in India is a good honest seller selling good honest work. Why else would you be buying from him? Everyone should like to have such a friend.

- As for his prices being "half" what ours are - for the exact same fabric, workmanship etc. Something we - like most original designers - handweave inhouse, create from scratch, and typically have about 4 to 40 people work on, different embroideries for different specialized workers who have been handed specific arts down through generations - for example a good murree artist will refuse to do a bakia stitch, but why would you know that? - master cutters doing just the cutting, different seamstresses and tailors putting together different things- while he uses just one person for everything, correct? Save it, I've heard it all before.

- Speaking of sounding silly. Consumers of wares from nondescript sites like eshakti and similar specifically-western-market-catered resellers, ought to know that those very same outfits retail under Rs 200 ($6) on the streets on Mumbai, Kolkatta, Chennai and yes, even all-expensive Delhi where Rs300 sizing-specific (ie "tailored") outfits are not at all hard to come by. What do you presume the less fortunate working classes regularly wear here - bikinis? And that entire outfit cost includes unethical pay standards for employees and routinely passing off machine embroidery as hand embroidery to the unsuspecting buyer. Instead of mouthing off about knowing your supplier and the value of educating yourself on costs, practice what you preach is a good bit of advice that works well here.

Good luck with machinery-churned poor quality viscose or inferior grade weave passed off as cotton, silk, etc. Meant to last? That's a joke. The stitching may fit your figure, but anyone can do Bust-Waist-Hip fitting. That's what average joe tailors - and many homemakers - DO. They also additionally sew curtains and take in dry cleaning on the side. But that is garment construction, not fashion design. You pay top designers for drape, perfect cut, shoulders that don't slouch, embroidery that isn't peeling and most importantly is original while using age old techniques the way they ought to be used, and quality fabrics meant to last no matter how roughly they are abused. This is what differentiates our work from the rest.

- Some one mentioned that we were "middlemen". Sorry to dispel that notion - we are a co-op with our own production and sales facilities. So we are not just middlemen, we actually supply the market. Our profits go directly to our workers. It's called profit sharing.

Our internet presence is admittedly lackluster. Nonetheless it offers no hindrance to our select group of clients who know where to find us when they need good work done right. You see, we prefer to concentrate on our work rather than on hollow internet facades.

- As I stated before, our products are not meant for an less discerning audience, negative advertising notwithstanding. We don't compromise on our work or our prices. You are welcome to buy from us if you wish at any time, but it does require a certain type of personality and wallet to appreciate what we offer.

- Our company does not cater to any one ethnic group in particular. In fact, most of our individual buyers are Southeast Asian. But that's just understandable - they know their dress fabric basics.

- Customer care may have inadvertently posted the same message twice on abi's site for which we apologize.


Best,

for Glam Ma'am Enterprises.

#224 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2007, 12:40 PM:

CEO, as you said, we are not your target customers. If you do not feel like marketing to us, don't. We'll do all right on our own.

#225 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2007, 03:57 PM:

The comment at 223 reminds me irresistibly of the inspiration for Scalzi's Crazy Screechy Monkeys piece.

#226 ::: Nancy C ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2007, 07:01 PM:

Dear CEO of Glam Ma'am:

I feel the need to assure you that, as a member of the hoi polloi, I will never besmirch your company by purchasing from it. In fact, I will make sure that all my friends understand that we untermenschen must indeed stay in our places, and if any are ever tempted to purchase from you, I will make sure they don't. After all, no matter how much money we make, we will never meet your degree of sophistication or have the je ne sais quoi that will make us acceptable customers for you!

Sincerely,
Nancy C.

#227 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2007, 08:26 PM:

When I google "Glam Ma'am" I don't get any useful hits on the first page. When I google "Glam Maam", this thread comes up as the second link. Further down the page there's a link to a "bridal trousseau" for (gasp) $650. That makes comments like this:

Glam Ma'am customers, as I have said before, are not just high-net worth individuals with a degree of refinement but also, more importantly, well- and broadly-educated. From long habit, they buy good quality and are not averse to paying fairly for it.

pretty ridiculous. I mean, the high net worth people I know who buy couture work generally think of cheap bridal gowns as the ones starting around $10,000. Clearly Glam Ma'am needs to adjust its "high net worth" scale a bit; I'd be embarrassed to recommend such cheap stuff to people like that.

(For that matter, despite being a low net worth person, the most recent trousseau I arranged, which was a beautiful custom-fitted, hand-trimmed mid-19thc set - corset, drawers, chemise, corset cover, and petticoat - ran over $650. Do I make the grade?)

#228 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2007, 08:28 PM:

Maggie @ #221: seven feet long; what's the OTHER dimension?

(This thing is not going to be done for Loonie due to the need to deal with alligators.)

#229 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2007, 10:10 PM:

Spamlady calls us "riff raff".

Alas, tragically, I feel amused, not insulted.

#230 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2007, 11:00 PM:

Quoth Glam Ma'am: I don't intend to offend, but the fact remains that visitors at this website are not our target consumers and hence we do not feel it necessary to market to them. It is a bitter pill to swallow for some customers but as a company we do set our standards very high in all things - including who our customers are.

*hysterical laughter*

Let's hear it for reading comprehension, everyone, and for whoever's running this marketing department. I particularly like the touch of informing us that we're right to be insulted because, y'know, they don't care if they're insulting us, 'cause we're not good enough for them. You just don't learn that kind of thing in business school.

I'll spell it out for you very slowly, Glam Ma'am, because apparently one needs to be very explicit with you: We're not insulted because you're above our touch. We're insulted because you're arrogant without cause. You'd take the money of anyone here who plunked it down in return for your goods; that would make us suddenly "one of your kind." Don't bother putting your nose in the air and pretending being your customer has anything to do with anything except being willing to buy from you.

You have given me an awfully good laugh today, though, and for that, I thank you.

#231 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2007, 11:04 PM:

Could this attitude be an, um, caste thing?

#232 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2007, 12:50 AM:

...je parle Francais courrament, et aussi Italien, Anglais, et Indienne.

I count seven errors in that sentence.

Eight if you add her boast that she "speaks Indian." (To clarify, Glam Ma'am CEO: the Indian subcontinent boasts hundreds of languages. You can't speak "Indian" any more than you can speak "Native American," "African," or "Asian.")

#233 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2007, 04:51 AM:

LMFAO TexAnne OMG I didn't even notice that Indian comment, or the many mistakes in Glam's "French" until you mentioned it. You've hit the nail on the head. And judging by CEO's angry reply directed at me, I must have done the exact same thing.

Wow, CEO, your newest post seem to be pretty unhappy. In my many years of living I've learnt a very handy saying; "Thou protest too much." If we "riff raff" (That gave me a good belly laugh) aren't your targeted customers, why do you continue to push your products and your "superior" company on us; people you have no wish of doing business with? For being such a wonderful company, you do seem to have a great amount of spare time to come on here and BS all of us some more. I can really tell how you "prefer to concentrate on (y)our work rather than on hollow internet facades," by the way you continue to post here. Did you not notice that you're unwanted here, and that we all think you're an arrogant pr*ck?

Believe me, CEO, I know a hell of a lot more about India, business, fabric AND shopping (not to mention currency conversion) than you might like to admit. We are all very well educated in the practices of some Indian companies. Have you not noticed Walmart's products? Most of them come from India or China, and are sold at prices so cheap one couldn't afford to buy the materials and make the products themselves. So, if Walmart is selling their products so cheap, how much are the workers being paid? THAT is who you should be should angry at.

You can live so cheaply in India for one very good reason, which you keep trying to side-step. The prices of the basic necessities aren't jacked up the way they are here in North America. Get off your high horse and educate yourself. My henna books aren't dirt cheap in India because they are selling themselves short. They are that cheap because it doesn't cost much to print out a simple henna design book. Food is cheaper, clothing is cheaper everything is cheaper in India. Do you honestly expect any one of us on this board to believe you and what you're trying to push on us? You challenge me to live on $2 a day in Canada. That is a rather ridiculous comparison when you actually do that math and pay attention to the cost of living in each country. It's the proverbial comparing apples to oranges.

I just loved when you said that bargain hunting is exploitative. You must be really out of touch with India and Indian cultural practises. It is a staple in India to bargain everywhere, and for everything. It's well known that shop-keepers jack up the prices and then bargain down. They expect it to happen. And it's not just my "white girl" knowledge that says so. It's also the many people that attend the same Mandir as I do that say the same thing and have already warned me about people just like you.

I just have to laugh and yet feel so sorry for you, CEO. You've cut off your nose to spite your face. It's shows right through your font that your company is hurting for business. That's even more obvious when one looks on your webpage. Could you not afford to pay a half decent programmer to do a simple webpage for you? E-charming had a better webpage and we all know his business practices.

Poor CEO got all angry when big, bad Maggie second-guessed and even challenged them. CEO got so angry that they had to throw a cyber temper tantrum and make themselves look even more like a fool then they had in the original post. Believe me, CEO, I've got more then enough money to buy what you claim is couture. But, I also have enough sense not to buy the trash you're selling. As I said in another post to you, your clothing is ugly and tacky. Oh, and for that lengha choli, maybe next time you should make it less noticeable that you cut apart a sari for the fabric. That "dupatta" is the pallu from what would have been a beautiful sari. Too bad you had to cut it to shreds.

Oh, CEO, which "Indian" do you speak? Hindi, Punjabi, Parsi, Tamil, English (which is an official language of India), Urdu, Telugu, Bodo, Bengali, Karbi, Assamese, Bhojpuri, Magahi, Maithili, Chhattisgarhi, Konkani, Marathi, Portuguese, Gujarati, Pahari, Dogri, Kashmiri, Kannada, Malayalam, Meitei, Khasi, Garo, Mizo, Oriya, Rajasthani, Nepali, French, Kokborok, Badaga, Sankethi, Soliga Nudi, Tulu, Kodava, Beary bashe, Are bashe, Gowda Kannada, Kuruba Kannada or Havyaka Kannada? Did I miss any? By the way a dictionary is the perfect source to find out the meaning of words or phrases as THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE FOR. Then again, you assume I looked in the dictionary. You will be surprised when you read further down. If you're so concerned, and care so much about what goes on in India and to the people of India why do you live in Europe? Oh, and just for the record CEO, as you seem highly undereducated in all subjects other then being an ass, one of Canada's (that's right I am in CANADA not the US as you wrongly assumed) official languages is French, and we start learning it in school in grade three. So, my dearest CEO, do not assume that I do not know French. Actually, don't assume anything about me, because you do not know me, or anyone else that posts on this board.

As for the "two wash garment" "personal touch" comment; it's seeming more and more that you, CEO, are becoming very jealous of all the praise I am willing to give to sellers that are worth giving giving praise. My kurta and salwar kameez from S2 are far from bring "two wash items." Your comments are coming out of anger and ignorance. You have no idea the quality of the clothing I have bought or how I grade them for my final judgements on here. As I mentioned, I sew many of my own salwar kameez. Sewing is an art that runs in my family, and I've been exposed to what quality is when it comes to workmanship and when it comes to the quality of the cloth used to make the item. Therefore, I know when something is a piece of junk, like my cotton salwar kameez from eshakti, or when the item is of high quality, like my most recent order from S2.

You continue on the $2 rant, going so far as to assume that I am only willing to pay that amount. Apparently, you've missed something in my previous posts on here. I am more than willing to pay a fair amount for clothing, and I do every time I order. The order I just put in with eshakti is around $127.00 USD for two outfits that other than the print of the fabric are nothing special. So, in fact, I am paying someone roughly 2700 INR for at most two day's worth of work, and probably 1750 INR for fabric. As is usual with most sellers, (yourself included,) the fabric won't even be worth that much.

As for the work I do when I sew my own, my suits look so nice that I've had numerous offers to from people wanting to buy my work. I've also had many people tell me to open up my own shop and sell my work. So, indeed, my work is definitely good enough to sell. (Aand it's much prettier then yours..oops I sunk to your level for a moment). If I ever do open my own shop, my clothing will be well made. They will be made with the most beautiful, quality fabric I can find, and my prices will be fair. I'd never sell anything to someone else that I wouldn't wouldn't wear myself. Have you ever really looked at your own clothing? Would you wear it? Would you allow anyone in your family to wear it, and leave the house? I didn't think so.

So, talk about the atrocities of us "riff raff," and yet you try and cover up the truth that in all your babble you are still making a profit with what you sell. And from your prices and the fabric you use you're probably making a very large profit. People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. In other words, I am calling you a hypocrite. You ask whether I have any work worth exporting, perhaps you should have asked yourself that before you went into business. Looking at your work you don't have anything special or, for that matter, mediocre.

I just can't seem to warn you enough against assuming, CEO. I for one, and many others here know the terms that are used when talking about Indian fabrics and traditional embellishments. We're not the ones that need a book. As for suggesting I shop at an Asian store for fabric, what kind of stores do you think are in "Little India" in Toronto? African? I only shop in Indian/Pakistani shops for my fabric. As for "Speaking of sounding silly. Consumers of wares from nondescript sites like eshakti and similar specifically-western-market-catered resellers, ought to know that those very same outfits retail under Rs 200 ($6) on the streets on Mumbai, Kolkatta, Chennai and yes, even all-expensive Delhi where Rs300 sizing-specific (ie "tailored") outfits are not at all hard to come by." You're somewhat confusing in your rants, first you tell me not to undersell the retailer/manufacturer and then you state right there for all to see that these outfits can be bought for 200 INR. Now pick which side of the fence you're going to stand on. It is going to be that we should all pay outrageous prices for cheap clothing? Or is it going to be that we pay the fair price of what we get? You can't have it both ways. By the way you don't seem to know India well at all, Mumbai is much more expensive then Delhi is now for everything.

In closing (and I do hope the admin. of this board will indulge me) I would like to tell you, CEO, to take your company, you're childish remarks, immature actions and UGLY clothing and stick them up your ass. Unlike someone else who posted, I do hope you will continue to keep your nose high up in the air so that I might pray for rain...I have no doubts that you are dumb enough to keep it up while you're drowning in the rain.

I don't know about anyone else, but the best part in the whole rant from CEO was this: "You are welcome to buy from us if you wish at any time..." Gee, I wonder if anyone from this board is going to buy from them? LMAO I have to wonder if CEO and his "employees" (HA like he has any. It's probably him and a half a dozen child workers) are colour blind or just plain blind. My God I would never post most of those outfits and then brag about them.

Stefan Jones @ 231 All of this has nothing to do with caste. Glam (hehe almost called them Clam) maam is just showing us the wonders of being ignorant, arrogent, greedy and just plain having bad manners. Although I've toyed with the thought that CEO is the product of bad breeding. You can find the exact same additudes in people around the world but most of them just don't post here.

Susan@ 228 hold on I'll do the other measurement (can't believe I forgot it lol@ me) ...Ok I measured my dupatta at almost 42 inches wide. But like I said it doesn't have to be that exact size it can be smaller. I have another suit that has a much smaller dupatta. They are made so big mainly so that they are convient for covering your head at the temple or mosque, covering your head when you're in front of elders, in the sun, in the rain, in the cold LOL they are pretty much handy in all weather and in most situations. If you don't figure you're going to be using your dupatta for any of these reasons then I don't see why you can't do with a smaller one.

#234 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2007, 05:17 AM:

Hee hee hee, Clam Ma'am.

Aside from the complete weirdness of "CEO" (if that is his or her real name) and his or her habit of freaking out utterly, what cracks me up most about all this is that any company calling itself "Glam Ma'am" and expecting to be patronized by really discerning really wealthy uppercrust types is most likely going to get a different sort of "patronizing" than they had hoped for.

That, and, you know, the only mention of that company before the freaking out was a positive one. Whoopsy!

#235 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2007, 06:21 AM:

To which one can only add that "glam", if short for "glamour" (pardon my British spelling; I blame my upbringing) denotes "a fantastical and false seeming; a magic that has the effect of creating a false appearance."

#236 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2007, 06:40 AM:

In the English-speaking cultures I have lived in (the US and the UK), Glam Ma'am does not sound like a high-class establishment. It's better than, say, the Bling Thing, but only just.

I know that these things do not carry across cultures, and I would not be surprised if it is sufficiently classy for its target geographical areas.

#237 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2007, 10:25 AM:

Maggie: thanks. I mostly wanted to know if I could use a 45" wide piece of fabric without having to cut it more narrowly. Using the full width means I can use selvage edges with no hemming except at the ends. I am very much in favor of Minimal Hemming.

I did a little more googling, and I think "glam ma'am" is Indian (for some definition thereof) slang - I found a couple of film reviews that used it in a way that suggests people would know what it means. ("The heroine is not just a glam ma'am.") Perhaps that explains why they're using a name that comes across as somewhat tacky to my American ears.

That doesn't explain their el cheapo line of clothing that they're trying to pitch as for people of "high net worth", though. Or their, um, interesting marketing strategy.

#238 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2007, 10:35 AM:

"We don't want *you* buying our clothes!"
"That's all right, we don't want to buy them either."
"Of course not, they're too good for the likes of you."
"Too something, anyway."

#239 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2007, 10:49 AM:

I just asked one of my Indian co-workers about "Glam Ma'am". She confirmed that it come from "glamour" and "madame", and that it has a slightly tacky connotation to it.

#240 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2007, 10:51 AM:

OK, I swear I just posted to this thread and it's not there. And there weren't any URLs, let alone more than seven. Hm. Probably my mistake.

God, and it was deathless, too.

#241 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2007, 10:56 AM:

ethan writes: God, and it was deathless, too.

Zombies on a Making Light comment thread!

#242 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2007, 11:03 AM:

Good lord, that would be a first!

#243 ::: shamim ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2007, 05:27 PM:

if you buy salwar kameez from e bay your getting ripped off for example if you pay $30 for something it really cost about $20 at your local indian store

#244 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2007, 08:39 PM:

shamim, you're making several assumptions, among them that an e-Bay purchaser has a local Indian store. You're also assuming, I think, that the items on e-Bay have been imported, like the items in the store, and are being sold through a middleman instead of being made to order and coming directly from the manufacturer.

#245 ::: Nancy C ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2007, 09:25 PM:

And also assuming that there even is a local Indian store to go to.

#246 ::: Ursula L ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2007, 10:45 PM:

Re #67:

Not only do western eyes see proper Indian formal wear as over-decorated, the inexpensive garments often have prints that resemble more elaborate decoration, but which are obviously not right for formal wear. You'll see elaborate prints for casual wear, more subdued styles for business wear, and all-out glitz for formal wear.

I've ordered salwar kameez online, and it's been good for casual ones. The formal ones I have are all gifts that family friends had made for me while they were in India. Wonderful details, like embroidery clearly designed and sewn to fit the cut of the garment.

My rule of thumb is that I'll wear my Indian formal wear to non-Indian gatherings, but I'll wear western formal wear to Indian gatherings, since my selection is rather limited, and also would be very clearly several years out of style. I've never heard of an Indian equivalent to the basic black dress - something that will stay in fashion and be easily adapted to different situations.

Someone who is obviously not Indian can probably get away with wearing not-quite-right Indian garments at an Indian gathering, since you'd get points for trying. Being half-Indian, I tend to get judged by Indian standards when dressed in Indian clothes. (Wear a salwar kameez, not a sari. A sari will fall off of anyone who doesn't know what they are doing. If you're going to wear a sari, do so only if you know you'll have an experienced person around to put you back together again as needed.)

Re #105:

I'm rather late in responding... I've bought several items from eShakti without problems. The one odd thing was when I tried to take my own measurements for a custom salwar, that didn't work right. But measuring the garments, they made what I ordered, I just measured wrong. Get someone who is good with sewing to take measurements for you. That rule would go for any custom order.

#247 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2007, 11:08 PM:

Not only do western eyes see proper Indian formal wear as over-decorated, the inexpensive garments often have prints that resemble more elaborate decoration, but which are obviously not right for formal wear. You'll see elaborate prints for casual wear, more subdued styles for business wear, and all-out glitz for formal wear.

Having belatedly realized that I probably *do* have local Indian stores, despite not actually shopping for salwar kameez etc. I decided to find out where they were, and among other links found this fabric closeup gallery. Um... wow. I'm stunned by the sheer quantity of beading/embroidery on several grounds: all the (handmade?) labor that went into each piece, the weight they must add to the fabric, and just plain kinda optically... stunned.

#248 ::: Ursula L ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2007, 11:54 PM:

Some more pics of glitz: Kancheepuram silk sarees:

http://www.kanchipuramsarees.com/nextcollection3.asp

http://www.rathicreations.com/wedding_sarees.htm

And a slideshow on making the saris... http://www.geocities.com/~kanchipuram/gallery/silk.html

#249 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2007, 12:37 AM:

Yow. The various silk brocades here are totally eyepopping.

#250 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2007, 01:05 AM:

...and the bodice (choli?) here makes me think of mermaid's armor.

#251 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2007, 02:22 AM:

Shamim @ #243 I would also like to interject that you are assuming that where we all live there are a lot of Indian shops. Here in London (Canada) where I live you'd be very wrong. We have two shops dealing in Indian/Pakistani clothing and by far the shops here are much more expensive for clothing then e-bay. A perfect example is a cotts wool suit I had made through e-bay it came out to just over $60.00 with shipping. I went to my local Indian shop and picked out cotts wool fabric and had to sew it myself and the fabric alone was over $60.00 with tax. So you are slightly off. Yes it's possible to be ripped off through e-bay that's a given however most of us here have enough experience to know when it's a rip off and when it's not.

Ursula L @ #246 I have to admit from your post you seem to generalise about the people on this board a lot in your comment "Not only do western eyes see proper Indian formal wear as over-decorated, the inexpensive garments often have prints that resemble more elaborate decoration, but which are obviously not right for formal wear. You'll see elaborate prints for casual wear, more subdued styles for business wear, and all-out glitz for formal wear." I think perhaps you and a few other posters should start giving some of us on this board more credit then you seem to be willing to give. I just have to wonder how you came to the conclusion that all of us see Indian formal wear the same way. You seem to think we have no interaction with Indian people that we don't have Indian and Pakistani friends and that none of us care or take an interest into the Indian culture and customs. I am very proud at the education I have about India, it's people it's customs, clothing, food, music and culture. This board began, and I was interested in India before it became the latest craze. I didn't start out with salwar kameez and I didn't start out with over the top decorated clothing actually I had no interest in that style of clothing. I started out with saris and to that end I had been wearing saris, had been listening to bhangra CDs and had "converted" (for lack of better terms) to Hinduism before I ever owned my first salwar kameez. I have a hard time believing that most of the people on this board haven't done at least a slight bit of research on this subject so I object to your assumptions and generalisations.

And to "(Wear a salwar kameez, not a sari. A sari will fall off of anyone who doesn't know what they are doing. If you're going to wear a sari, do so only if you know you'll have an experienced person around to put you back together again as needed.)" has an Indian woman never taught you how to wear a sari? 99% of Indian women use safety pins to keep their saris secure. I learnt from the Internet how to wear a sari and over time and from extra tidbits of information from kind Indian women (many of them I now call Auntie) I've been able to wrap and wear a sari and go out to Walmart for hours with my husband without a second thought to my sari. I believe that if a person learns how to wear a sari properly and remembers to pin it there is no reason why one can't wear it. I've had countless compliments on my saris by Indian men and women all very curious as to why a white girl is wearing one. Never once have I ever felt like I was being judged only appreciated. Perhaps you being half Indian has something to do with it I don't know, perhaps they expect more from you but don't judge what we should do just because you can't get your sari to stay on right.

So girls if you ever want to try out a sari DO IT! And don't leave it for Indian weddings or holidays wear one grocery shopping. In the summer you'll be hard pressed to find a day I am not in one whether I am taking the dog for a walk or I am going to my Mandir. The only time I've had a bad experience in my sari it hasn't been from Indian people, Pakistani people even African people (who are also interested in teaching you how to wear a sari the African way) it's been other white people. And my bad experiences do include rude comments being yelled from a car and having a cheeseburger thrown at me from a car (it missed). The latter could have been because of the big red bindi I was wearing. Either way be ready for anything.

#252 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2007, 04:05 PM:

Ursula: Thank you for your comments (#246) about the glitter-factor of Indian formal clothes. I have never (yet) owned a salwar kameez and all I know about "Indian" cooking is that I don't like the "curry powder" sold in American groceries - I'm a complete beginner in that area of the world, so you were very helpful. I'm not comfortable in glitz, so if I'm ever invited to a very formal event (in either culture) I'll look for a "little black dress!"

Maggie: Question about the customs duty you paid on suits from echarming. You're in Canada and I'm in US so this may not be helpful to me, but may be to others, and I'm curious. Was there any indication of how the "extra" duty was calculated? And did you also have to pay customs on the suits from S2 and Ladies' Den? (If not, I'm suspecting that the customs agent looked at the $0.99 declared value [price paid] of the echarming suits and said, "No way, that's cheating," or words to that effect.)

Re: HIgh shipping - I wonder if the high shipping fees on really inexpensive garments aren't a way to make sure that the seller can actually pay his sewing-people even if the customer changes his/her mind. After all, if your total is $30, does it matter if that's $15 for the suit and $15 for shipping, or $5 for one and $25 for the other?

To the people who've remarked on the difference in price between what one can mail-order suits for, and how much they might cost in a shop in India: Part of the reason eShakti's (and others') prices don't look out of line to me, is just that I know what good cotton cloth costs here. $10 for 6 or 7 yards of cloth in the US is usually going to get you *junk.* Very well, maybe absolutely everything in India costs less than here, but people still have to make some kind of living . . . wasn't that part of Theresa's original reason for buying from ebay? No, you don't always get what you pay for . . . but you nearly always _don't_ get what you _don't_ pay for, is my experience.

P.S. to Maggie: Somebody really needs to make sure you and 'CEO-Glam-Ma'am' are never physically in the same room together! I'd have to feel sorry for him! :)

Sorry this is so long, but you all gave me a lot to think over.

Peace

Susan James

#253 ::: Ursula L ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2007, 12:33 AM:

Maggie - safety pins are not a perfect solution to saris. They'll hold, but if not used properly they can mess up the way the pleats hang, they can leave permanent holes in silk, and they are often not large enough to hold a thicker, longer sari (say, a heavy weight, 9 yd. silk.) Binder clips tend to work better for holding pleats flat, at least at the waist. The drape a the shoulder is trickier - pins will hold, but leave it in a tight layer of pleats, which obscures the patterns on the end of a fancy sari. Left loose, it takes experience to keep enough on your shoulder so it stays, and enough loose to show off the design, and to move without having things slide off.

My point about "wear a sari only if you have someone experienced to help you" is very much based on learning to wear a sari from Indian women. You can learn the basics of putting it on from the internet or a book, but there are a lot of little tricks to keeping it nice, moving easily, and staying graceful. And the first few times you wear one, even with pins, there is a fairly high probably that it will fall apart at some point, so you don't want your initial tries to be in public without someone to help you fix things up if you fall apart. (At the very least, someone to hold the fabric off the floor as you re-fasten it.) It is generally pretty easy to recognize when someone is wearing a sari but not yet used to wearing one, from the way they move and how they have to readjust the fabric. It's awkward, and not particularly compatible with relaxing and having fun at a party.

The fashions in Indian clothing change as fast as those in US clothing, and the aesthetic is different enough that it takes a deliberate mental shift to go from choosing western clothes to choosing Indian ones, at least to wear in an Indian context. Being friends with Indians in the US, or being fascinated by Indian culture while in the US, generally doesn't lead to developing the instincts for choosing Indian fashion. I generally look for advice from someone who is Indian, has spent a decent amount of time in India recently, and is generally interested in clothes and fashion. Someone who can tell me "this is what is in fashion now."

For wearing Indian clothes in a western context, such as to work, at a convention, etc. in the US, that doesn't apply - you choose outfits that are in the Indian style, but with color and pattern that suit your taste and the occasion, and fit the western sensiblity for color and glitz level. A touch of Indian decoration, but not full out.

Susan - if you want to learn Indian cooking, I suggest the cookbooks by Madhur Jaffrey. They're fairly authentic for Indian cooking in western kitchens, and with ingredients you can probably find. Look for her older books, the ones with the word "Indian" somewhere in the title. Some of her latter books are more pan-Asian, and while good, not as useful if you really want to get to know Indian food. There is a spinach and lamb curry in "Madhur Jaffery's Indian Cooking" which my family has had good luck with for introducing people to Indian food. She also describes the Indian spices in the front of her books, which is a big help to a novice.

#254 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2007, 01:46 AM:

Ursula L again I have to completely disagree with you on saris. The first time I wore a sari I left my house (without anyone more knowledgeable then myself about saris) and went downtown to the market and without having a pin in it, it never fell apart. The last 3yrs that I've been wearing saris with or without pins I have never had it fall part and I've never heard of anyone that pinned their sari ever having it fall apart either. There is a reason that it's wrapped the way it's wrapped. As for what you said about safety pins again I have to disagree, I pinned my 7 yard silk sari with no problems with either the fall or holes at either the waist or the shoulder. I've found that you're more likely to get holes when you're not careful enough to check the pin you want to use for barbs at the end. In all the times I've been wearing saris and trying the different drapes safety pins have never changed or hampered with the way the pleats lay.

As for Indian fashion I really don't think you have to go the lengths you seem to go to, to find out what's in style in India. In truth fashion in the US or Canada doesn't really change all that fast about once a season if that and the same can be said about Indian fashion. There really isn't much to change if you're sticking to Indian fashion, it's saris and salwar kameez the only differences are the fabrics the type of decoration and for salwar kameez are the different styles and cuts (although the cut of the choli changes with saris too). Then again I never was a slave to fashion when I did wear Western clothes and I am not a slave to fashion now that I wear mainly Indian clothing. The best fad in both styles of clothing is to wear what looks best on your body type and your skin/hair colour. I find Indian fashion websites to be extremely handy as well as Bollywood films. Although Bollywood won't teach you what the reality of Indian clothing is on a day to day basis it will give you a good idea as to what type of sari (net ones at the moment) or what style salwar kameez are in style (mainly churidar with a shorter kameez or patiala with a shorter kameez right now). Music videos from India are a good indicator too. Just because India is on the other side of the planet from us doesn't mean we don't have access to current fashion trends. Then again I also belong to a board which I give fashion advice on and most of the questions are about Indian fashions. Since joining late last year I've become a higher ranking board member so I guess I can't be too far off when it comes to Indian fashion and how to judge what's in style at the moment. I guess I should mention also that the people that pick who board members are, are all based in India. Oh and PS I guess I have to remind everyone (except Susan :) again that I am in Canada and not the US.


Hi again Susan :) so glad to see someone here trying to learn about all things Indian and not just here to argue. As for the duty on the suits from E-Charming I had no clue there was going to be any duty on them at all. As far as E-Charming led me to believe was that everything was paid for and it was free and clear. I am not exactly sure how they figured out the duty. Out of all my orders the one from E-Charming has been the only order I've ever had to pay any type of duty on top of. Mind you that on E-bay alot of sellers have a policy on their boards that the buyer is responsible for any duties their order may incur. Since my E-charming order I've had a 18kt gold nose pin sent to me from India and even that never had any duties it's just weird.

LOL yeah me and Clam Maam better not meet up in some dark alley because believe you, me I'd be teaching that SOB some manners.

#255 ::: Ursula L ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2007, 08:31 AM:

Maggie,

Note that I differentiated between wearing Indian clothes in an Indian context (e.g., in India, at a party outside India that is hosted by/for mostly Indians) versus wearing Indian clothes in a western context. In the Indian community, you're talking about contemporary fashion, and everyday clothes, and someone who chose garments based on knowledge of Indian clothes from TV, videos or magazines is going to look as silly as someone who came to the US and tried to choose clothes based on what they saw on US TV shows. What is actually worn is noticeably different from what is shown in the media.

Just because no one was rude enough to tell you to your face that you looked odd, doesn't mean that you didn't look odd. If you don't look Indian, most Indians will give you points for trying, or otherwise discount the mistakes of the inexperienced. But if you've grown up surrounded by women who wear saris in an everyday context, you can see differences in the way that someone used to pants or regular skirts moves, the evenness of pleats not made by experienced hands, the not-quite-perfectly even hemline, etc.

I've seen enough women have problems from trying to wear a sari in public before they were ready so that I wouldn't give others advice based on your single lucky example. It may be a matter of context, if you were just carefully walking down the street alone, you aren't putting as much stress on the sari's hold as if you were, say, at a house party where you might be going up and down stairs, sitting on the floor, and have kids running around and playing hide-and seek or tag around the adults legs or pulling at skirts to get adults' attention. You probably didn't have to run, or dance, or cook and keep your sari off the flame.

#256 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2007, 09:17 AM:

Maggie @ #254, in ref. Susan James @ #252:

That's a different Susan who has never posted here before and may not have read enough of this thread to realize that using plain "Susan" when someone else is already doing so might be a little confusing. Use "view all by" to tell the difference.

#257 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2007, 06:43 PM:

Ursula L,
It's become abundantly apparent that you're only here to argue and cause trouble. You obviously can't grasp what I've written to you even though I've done my best to keep it real simple. If you want to stay in your own little world where Westerners are idiots and don't know a thing about Indian clothing in an Indian context or Western then go right ahead knock yourself out. As I said I give fashion advice to Indian women about Indian fashion so I do know what I am talking about even if you refuse to accept this. You talk about how other Indians give you a hard time, have you ever considered the thought that it may have something to do with your attitude and not with what you wear? If you're this rude to people online I can only imagine what you're like offline. Therefore I am dropping my entire conversation with you because after this post I refuse to waste my time on someone that is very ignorant. I've had many experiences with ignorant people and with those experiences I have learnt that you just can't get through to those that refuse to listen. My time is far too precious. My last note however is to quote myself since you must have missed it in your rush to try and argue with me.

"Although Bollywood won't teach you what the reality of Indian clothing is on a day to day basis it will give you a good idea..."

#258 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2007, 06:49 PM:

Maggie,

Neutral observer here.

You reacted somewhat negatively to Ursula's first post, which I read as well-meant. Then she reacted negatively back, and it's spiralled downhill since then.

I think you're right to break off the conversation, because it's clearly not going anywhere productive. It's a shame - you both come across as really nice people...when you're not in this particular discussion.

Peace.

#259 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 05:21 AM:

Hey Abi,
Thank you for the compliment. I have no idea exactly how Ursula meant for her first post to come across I just didn't appreciate as I am sure many other's wouldn't appreciate the generalisation in her first post. That's the only reason I reacted the way I did. Anyways lets get back to sharing useful info and supporting each other and kicking CEO's ass ;).

#260 ::: Susan James ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2007, 01:51 PM:

Hi, "first Susan": Well, I thought I had read all the posts - over several sessions, so obviously I missed a couple - Sorry for causing confusion!

Ursula: THanks for the cookbook recommendation. I'll look her up.

SJ

#261 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2007, 02:36 PM:

Namaste,
Just got my newest order from E-shakti, I ordered two poly suits from their trendsetters collection and WOW! What a major difference. I couldn't be happier with my order. Both suits came with matching tank tops for lining. Everything fits really well and the fabric is super soft. I have to say I wish I hadn't been so cheap last year for the wedding LOL. I will definately be ordering my dress suits from them in the future. And again fast shipping.

#262 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 04:33 PM:

Namaste,
I know this is abit off topic but it gets back on topic I promise. I received an order yesterday from "Multifab Online" which is an e-bay store based in India. I ordered a sari (made into automatic sari for health reasons not because I don't know how to wrap one obviously) it also came with a custom shirt (choli) and petticoat and I ordered jewelery. When I opened the package most of the jewelery was broken and my husband had to repair it and not a since peice of the outfit, fit right! I've had to alter the choli, I will have to alter the petticoat and I am going to have to figure out how to alter the automatic sari because it was all way too small. Reason why I am alerting everyone else to this problem is because they sell salwar kameez. Their lack of ability to read and stitch the correct measurements for my order makes me wonder if they are just as inept when it comes to salwar kameez. So if the high prices doesn't make you have second thoughts about their products I hope my review has.

#263 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2007, 01:45 AM:

Namaste again,
I wanted to update my last post since leaving my feedback on e-bay I've been contacted by Multifab and they have given be two options
1. partial refund
2. free automatic saris w/ ready to wear kit (choli and petticoat) on my next two purchases.

I am going with the former of the two but I will consider shopping with them again perhaps a salwar kameez next time.

P.s
Susan James, have you made your salwar kameez yet? If so, how did it turn out?

#264 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2007, 12:03 AM:

I just came across this string today, and wish I'd seen it 6 months ago. I've been wearing salwar kameez almost exclusively since last September. I wear them because they are attractive on every figure, they are sooo comfortable, and are especially suited (pun intended) to the climate here on the edge of the Mojave desert. I am partially disabled and spend a lot of time lying down- I can't think of any other clothing that looks as elegant when you're laid out on the couch. Recently I've added saris- and I find them no problem with a pin or two to hold the palu back. Just be sure the pin goes behind your shoulder so it doesn't fall forward when you are cooking or otherwise being active. This clothing has been worn so long as it is just because it is so practical, comfortable, and attractive.

I have never shopped through e-bay, and found S2 Fashions in the very beginning. I sew, and ordered from them because of the number of measurements they wanted, an indication of attention to detail, and probable good fit. I was right. Perfect fit every time, everything well made. When I ordered something with a neckline I had previously said I didn't like, I got an e-mail asking if I wanted it changed. At Christmas, I was invited to a black tie do here in California, e-mailed S2, which at the time didn't have a line of party clothes, and they custom designed -with regular consultation with me about style and color- and made a beautiful, fashionable patiala kameez, with an amazing embroidered and bejewelled dupatta, all for $120.00 and the ordinary $10 shipping. Incredible, but true. I have also bought from Utsav Sarees and shopindia, but haven't had nearly as much luck with the fit- with Utsav, it seems that each sewer interprets measurements differently- in one order I'll get things both too small and too large. Once, I got an ink stained dupatta from them-I ordered that suit in November-and just got the replacement day before yesterday. I was not impressed. S2 seems to be ultra consciencious about everything. They are regularly expanding their offerings- they now have a party collection. The green and brown patiala salwar with gold embroidery is a much simplified version of the one we designed for my party. It goes for $103 US, I think. I had a lot of input-so for them to use what is largly my design on their site says that westerners aren't totally clueless about Indian fashion. The people at S2 tell me that I often pick what eventually becomes a best seller in India. So that blows the "if you aren't Indian, you won't understand current Indian fashion" theory. Anyway, S2 has been so terrific, that I find I feel like a rat when I order from somewhere else. Their only drawback, as far as I'm concerned, is that they are very much an Indo-western fusion source, and don't have traditional styles or prints. If you are interested in that, you have to go elsewhere.

I just made a kameez pattern from one from S2, and am going to experiment with my own designs. We'll see how that comes along. But its not simple- the truly amazing thing about kameez is that they LOOK so simple, but are cut very, very carefully to drape just right on the individual. You really can't buy ready made and have it look so good. All those measurements mean something. Here's to all of us in our salwars and saris - hooray for us for having found wonderful clothes and having the courage to wear them everywhere. I get compliments all the time, and have started carrying S2 brochures, and URLs for the other places for when I'm asked. I hope this is the beginning of something big.

#265 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2007, 01:43 AM:

Welcome Anne Bremser,
It's so great to read another story about the very wonderful salwar kameez and the amazing sari. Like you I have some disabilities too so both of these have been a favourite pick of mine for 3yrs now (saris for the first year and a half). I got a bunch of flyers in my S2 order and I'll be most happy to hand them out to anyone interested. I have to agree the fit of the S2 clothing is top of the line the only one that comes close is eshakti. I was in Toronto yesterday and ended up having to buy a salwar kameez (long story but it involves the "automatic sari" omg they suck I'll stick to draping it myself) once I was finally able to find one that fit, which was a trick in itself the readymades just don't fit the same as the custom suits. From my own experance when it comes to saris and cholis buy them straight out or make your own and for salwar kameez get them custom done or sew your own, yesterday really brought that point home to me. I am just so happy for you Anne and I can really understand where you're coming from. I am thinking of using my partial refund from the "automatic sari" drama to buy more from S2 hehehe. Anyways welcome to the board Anne I look forward to reading more from you, we can even swap fashion tips.

#266 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2007, 11:57 AM:

Thanks for the warm welcome and heads up on the automatic sari; I've been wondering if they were a good idea, and leaning toward skepticism. Why fix something that isn't broken?

S2 posted a new casual collection about a week or so ago- there are lots of new designs to spend that refund on. That would be a perfect resolution. Oh- one of the more charming things about s2- when they send your order it comes with a hand written thank you note on hand made stationary. When I asked about it, they said it was made by the in-house artist. I look forward to those almost as much as the clothes!

I wish I could resolve my problem with Utsav as well as you have- my November order from them had so many mistakes I spent days sewing to make them wearable. Too big, too small...Two pieces were ink stained- one I already mentioned, the other had a big splotch on the sleeve. I was able to take the elbow sleeve off, shorten it to a half sleeve and get rid of the stain with my shears. Utsav was unresponsive, except to send the new dupatta. I contacted every address on the site to come to some real resolution, but no luck. Its frustrating because they have such a variety of designs and huge inventory compared to other sites. Too bad the customer service stinks.

Fashion tip:chudidar with above the knee or long calf length kameez or patialas with a short above the knee kameez- but you know that.

#267 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2007, 08:01 PM:

Anne, I am so happy you filled in me in on Utsav. I've looked at them and loved some of their clothes but with shipping it seemed abit pricy I am so glad I haven't ordered anything from them. If you paid using paypal you might be able to go after Utsav that way but I don't recall seeing them take paypal. If you used a credit card you could dispute the charges but it seems to be a long and difficult thing to do. I can't stand having to fix something that was ordered to fit, and ink stands aren't as easy to fix as letting out the kameez abit either. They certianly can't be making many return customers that way.

Oh I know the hand written note was such a delight to receive, with all the orders I've placed I've never seen such personal touches. To some the note might not be much but like you I find it to mean so much more, it's those little things that really do count.

I can understand why the "automatic sari" was born because saris are truely beautiful clothes that compliment ever body type but I just don't see the "automatic sari" taking over the world. I have to wonder if it was just who I ordered it from but with as expensive as they are to buy (when you do find them) it's not a mistake I am willing to make twice. I will definately stick to draping my own.

Sari fashion tip; This year large, bold almost abstract designs are the in thing. But I am sure you knew that one too lol (personally I can't stand the new designs I hope this fad goes out the window and fast).

Salwar kameez tip (sadly from personal experance); if you are blessed with hips don't wear a thigh length kameez over traditional salwar pants it's a nightmare. This is especially true of stiffer fabric like the cotton suits from eshakti (not worth the money).

With S2 do you know if they'll change the style of pant to patiala if you ask Anne? I wouldn't mind having at least one pair in my closet, I don't need anything fancy but just perhaps a simple poly patiala in black so that I can mix and match. It's so hard to find patiala even though they've been big the last half year or so.

#268 ::: holud ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2007, 08:18 AM:

I am curious to know if anyone has ordered from www.indian-dresses.com? If so, how was the experience?

#269 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2007, 05:57 PM:

Happy to fill you in on everything S2 will do, Maggie. They are willing to change just about anything. You can order patiala, churidar, or salwar with anything on their site. I've been ordering churdidar with almost everything lately. I already had white churidar and dupatta that went with a suit I already had. They were willing to sell me just the kameez from a complete suit, and prorated the price. If you like a design, but not the color, you can choose any color you like that they carry, as long as its the same kind of fabric as the original design-washable silk for washable silk, south cotton for south cotton... to find the colors, enter salwar kameez + south cotton in the advance search box, and every salwar suit made of south cotton will come up. For more colors, type in churidar kameez+.... I've had colors changed,necklines and sleeves redesigned...they will work with you on just about anything. In the beginning, I was ordering only salwar, and when I ordered a trouser suit, I imediately got an email asking if I wanted that changed to salwar. They notice everything. You can even order just the kameez cut short to kurti length by itself,if you just want a top. They will also custom tie dye dupattas, for an extra dollar, as long as the colors you want work together. The plain dupatta was $4.00 to begin with, $5.00 dyed in the 3 colors of the dress. They will add or subtract embroidery, change the embroidery from one color to multicolor for a small extra charge. I have ordered one design kurti with the embellishments from another, redesigned the patch work on a kameez I mostly liked, and got one of my favorites that way. I've asked for some to be cut with more of an A-line, because I am one of those people blessed with hips, and they did that for no extra charge. So I can't think of anything they won't cheerfully do for you. The people at S2 are just plain nice.

More hints for women with curves-if your legs are heavy, don't wear churidar with a short kameez! I don't care how fashionable it is- it looks terrible unless you have slim legs. And I agree with you about the big prints, Maggie. They can't go away soon enough. They are truly awful. Patiala seem to look good on just about everybody. They are so graceful.

#270 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2007, 06:33 PM:

Just to be clear-at s2 you can buy anything that is part of a set by itself, just email them instead of putting the order through the regular way. They will send you an invoice with the new price. also, they are having a 10% off sale with free shipping that ends on March 31.

#271 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2007, 12:52 AM:

Wow Anne,
It sounds like you should be going on "Project Runway". There are so many choices with salwars that sometimes my mind just goes blank and I order what I see LOL. I am SO happy to hear about everything S2 is willing to do, I've wanted patiala for a year now and just can't a site I would buy from. I got the mail about the Spring sale from them and with any luck I'll get my order in on the 30th or early the 31st. I have to agree about churidar pants if your thighs are on the big side don't wear them with a short kameez or kurti. I usually judge the length of my kameez so that it hits a couple inches below the heavest part of my hip/thigh. It's truely amazing that salwars and saris aren't more popular because they do accommodate all body types. I am definately going to start making a list for S2 and try to be abit creative this time. You know it's funny I've seen a few suits that come with white churidar pants and white duppatta that I really like but I already have the churidar and duppatta so I don't need another so the prorating is just perfect! Thanks so much for the info Anne I really appreciate it.

#272 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2007, 01:55 AM:

I'm not that creative- I just know that some colors are bad for me, and so if I see a design I like, I ask if they'll change the fabric to one that is more flattering. Same thing with necklines. High necks and round necklines are not so good, so I either ask for a V or square neck, or find an interesting one on the site, and ask for dress No. 1 with the neckline from dress No. 6, the sleeves from kurti No 9. And change the greys to the blues from dress No. 3. For that kind of change there has been no extra charge. They've only charged more if I wanted to make it more elaborate, like adding embroidery, sequins or dye work, or adding extra colors to embroidery. When I asked if we could change or remove part of the patch work, we discussed what I didn't like about it, and they redesigned it-no extra charge. So do get a little creative and order shapes you like in colors that are good for you. Get the neckline that is the most flattering. That's a big reason I wear salwar kameez. They look so good on everyone- you might as well make them look the very best on you! I don't understand why more people aren't adopting this dress- it flatters every age and figure, is far more comfortable, and very practical. And if someone had told me before how much the guys like the curves of a woman in a sari! Things have been very friendly around here since I started wearing them.

#273 ::: litlnemo ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2007, 08:09 AM:

Well, heck, I'm sold. I like the designs featured at S2 so much more than the ones at eShakti, and now that I know you've had good experiences with them, I think I will try them out.

Incidentally I found another thrift store kameez + dupatta that is just beautiful -- a peacock blue cotton blend with coppery colored embroidery at the neckline. It fits me perfectly. The dupatta is chiffon. I will probably wear it with a pair of black trousers I have. I suppose, since it's in a thrift store, it's probably terribly out of style, but the shape looks about the same as many of the S2 kameez, so I think it's not too bad.

#274 ::: litlnemo ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2007, 09:41 AM:

Two suits ordered! Now it's time to see how this one comes out.

I still might reorder from eShakti sometime, since the construction of the cotton suit I got from them was good. The material was just horrible, and I guess I learned that lesson. I suppose I could have returned it, but... nah.

#275 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2007, 11:53 PM:

And I had been admiring some of the block prints at eShakti after all that plain color at S2! Is the fabric that bad?

That thrift store find sounds like a real treasure. Peacock blue is a beautiful color, one of my favorites. My party dress has peacock blue patiala and dupatta with red/brown, pink, and gold embroidery. Sounds strange, but it really works. Some of the colors and combinations of colors are very new. I've spent hours looking at web sites just to understand the esthetic- the colors and shapes. Its all beginning to come together now. Where before I would see an interesting but meaningless shape, now I see the same thing and its AHA! that echoes the lines of a sari. Or I realize I'm looking at an abstraction of a paisley, which is an abstraction of a Persian Juniper. The fabrics and asymetrical designs make sense now.

I went out and bought fabric for my design project today. Some black and white cotton for the first try, and a gorgeous aqua blue silk-like poly for the the second. Wish me luck.

#276 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2007, 03:20 AM:

You know what my absolute fav colour combo is? Orange and blue and surprisingly I've received alot of compliments on it. Even stranger is that I made the suit myself and received so many comments, I wore the pants to shreds, bought a suit in almost the same colour but more design from eshakti (I love it) and wore it out last night and never heard a thing! LoL that fabric I used was just plain super soft cotton (sews and wears like a dream, soft as a cloud) and a simple poly satin with an embossed pattern. I actually saw it in a reduced bin right before leaving Little India on the streetcar in Toronto, missed my streetcar because I HAD to get this material.

I would love to order a tie dyed suit, it's really funny in the West we're used to seeing the crazy 60's neon tie dye and have very little exposure to true tie dying from India. It's really beautiful and it must take some serious talent to have it turn out perfect.

My favorite neckline is definately the sweetheart neckline, I think I will order some from S2 with that neckline. I have yet to master anything other thing a U type neckline so I need something different to add to my closet. I wish I had found S2 sooner they would have been perfect to order from for my cousin-in-law's wedding. I looked so cheap in my cotton suit from eshakti. It was abit of a drive to the wedding so as litlnemo can atest to the cotton they use wrinkles at the drop of a hat so you can imagine what I looked like when I got out of the car at the church. Add on top of that there were other Indians there one wearing a lengha with a regular shirt...cheap looking didn't even begin to discribe how I looked compared to her.

I have to agree litlnemo the construction of the suits from e-shakti are very good although what was supposed to be churidar pants ended up being so baggy in the leg they look more like skinny salwar pants (which is ok the shirt would have been too short for me to wear with churidar pants). I am sure you're going to LOVE S2 litlnemo, heck the updates on your order is worth it alone. I hate ordering something then three weeks later wondering where the heck it is or if they got my order (although most places get their money fast enough). Let us know how it turns out.

Anne best of luck on your sewing project, you'll have to let us know how it goes and maybe post some pictures. If you have any questions just post them here I am sure someone will be able to answer them for ya. I don't know if you're using a pattern and if you are which one you're using but if you're using the one from dansingnspirit I suggest you move the pattern further from the fold to add more fabric for the pleats and unlike the suggestion on the pattern put the pleats at the from and keep the back smooth (although wearing many salwars you've probably noticed the pleats are mainly always in the front). And last but not least if you're trying it on with the pleats put the pins in vertically lmao@me I know it sounds like such a obvious but I can't tell you how many times I've had to repin the pleats before it dawned on me, it also cut down on all the pokes from the pins while you're trying it on. And yes my natural colour at one point in my life was blonde...could you tell? hehehe I totally hear where you're coming from with men loving curves in saris, I had a Pakistani men tell me to leave my husband and marry him right infront of my hubby! lol My husband perfers to see me in saris or salwar kameez, he recently admitted he likes me in Indian clothing rather then what I was wearing when we met (skanky minis and tiny tight tops agh! So embrassing to admit and remember).

I found that doing mehandi has really helped me really see the patterns on the clothing and to see if it's a paisley or a stylised flower etc. Last year when Indian inspired clothing was big I had my digi cam at the mall all the time in case I came across a pattern I loved and wanted to do in henna. Worked out well but it looks like Western clothes this year are all really boring at least here at our malls it looks that way. I suspect that we'll all be popular again in about five years, it seems that's how long it takes for a fad to come back around. However we do know that we are always fashionable in India...I just love my music videos and celeb mags from India, always great for current fashions..just like "Vogue" or "Cosmo" here. Did anyone see the pics from Liz Hurley's wedding in India? You'd think with that woman marrying an Indian she'd bloody well learn how to wear a sari properly geez...Anne, you and I are going to have to teach her how to do it right :)

#277 ::: litlnemo ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2007, 08:52 AM:

"And I had been admiring some of the block prints at eShakti after all that plain color at S2! Is the fabric that bad?"

The $29.00 cotton suit I got might as well be made of toilet paper. It's so lightweight it has no proper drape, and heavy ironing doesn't seem to get the wrinkles out. But, as I said, it is well-constructed compared to the others I own (other than the fabric being, well, wrong) and the service is good, which is why I'm willing to give them another try -- just not with the lightweight cottons. The cotton was sized heavily when it arrived, and too stiff -- but without the sizing it's just not very nice. It would make OK pajamas, though!

I like some of the handblock prints at eShakti. I wonder if they have the same cotton as the cheaper suits. I don't like most of the trendsetter suits, etc. Especially the ones with the flaming ray motifs right at crotch-level. There is something disturbing about that image. ;-) Maybe it's just my evil mind. Whereas the S2 designs look more elegant and modern to me. It's possibly just a personal taste thing.

I am going to try to get a pic of the peacock blue kameez posted on Flickr at some point. The same day I found that kameez & dupatta, I also found a lavender and silver trouser/kameez/dupatta set. Very beautiful, but the thighs on the trousers are slightly tight on me. I could take them out -- there is plenty of seam allowance, but I feel self-conscious wearing such an easter egg color from head to toe. :) The kameez fits well, at least. If I can't bring myself to wear that suit I'll probably eBay it along with some of the others I've picked up. There is a local thrift store that always has a bunch of Indian clothing. ;)

It is hard to believe people have been talking about salwar kameez in here for more than 2 years.

#278 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2007, 09:21 PM:

litlnemo- Suma at S2 says that they are trying to be more elegant and tasteful. Its an Indo-western fusion site, and that's about all they carry. Because they are thinking western, a lot of the colors and styles are easier on our eyes. I especially like the things made of south cotton- the final color is achieved by the warp of the cloth being one color, and the woof another-for example, a lovely green made by weaving Peacock blue and yellow together. Its a light weight cotton that's best for summer. I agree about the designs that seem to emphasize the crotch! I got a book on the ethnography of India's womens clothing that says that the bare stomach is not a sexual place, its the place where new life begins. A person coming home from a trip might kiss his mother's bare stomach out of respect. I think that there is a whole different perception of the placement of design there. It sounds a lot healthier than some of our attitudes about gender and sexuality. There is so much to learn!

Maggie- that's a good idea about the mehendi. I've never done it, but I just ordered a pair of Khussas from Beachcomber, and they came with a free mehendi set. I'm thinking about trying it out. It didn't come with any patterns. I've seen patterns before, but didn't save any. Do you know of a web site that has some?

There's not much excuse for not wrapping a sari properly. There are loads of directions available that are easy to follow. And its not like she didn't have anybody to ask!

#279 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2007, 12:46 AM:

Anne oh goodness you're going to have a blast with the henna. First and foremost I'd have to recommend hennapage.com it's full of info, designs even free henna design e-books. I found some great Indo-Arabic designs at
http://www.tafreeh.net/mehndi-designs.php

You'll have to look around there abit because there are more then two pages I printed out probably 12 or more from them. After those pages just keep searching the keywords "henna designs" "heena designs" "mehandi designs" "mehndi designs" I've seen alot of different spellings so I am trying to remember them all lol. If you look for pattern books the best ones to find are "Navneet" it was one of their books that I taught myself how to do henna from.

The "trendsetters" on E-shakti are alot of reruns from last year and I agree with you both Anne and litlnemo the suits with the blazen crotch patterns are just weird, I have no idea what they were going for with that. I don't mind the colours I enjoy wearing bright colours perhaps it's because the city I live in is very conservative so I try and look as different from everyone else as I can. I do like the suits at S2 as well; very simple but with some classy colours and I do like S2's prices better.

Litlnemo I wonder the same thing about the handblocked suits at E-shakti it would be such a waste of beautiful artwork if they are using the same cheap cotton as they use on the cheap suits we bought. They look beautiful but that's the only drawback from shopping online is you can't touch the fabric to find out for sure.

Another thing too Anne about baring the midrift with Indian clothing is that it's believed that you shouldn't cover your belly button because it's bad for your health and if I remember correctly it cuts you off from the divine energy but I could be wrong on that last point. I had never heard about kissing the belly apon returning from a long time away though very interesting. When I go to my temple I touch the elder's feet and they bless me but I think that's more of a Hindu and maybe Sikh thing rather then an Indian or cultural thing. One thing you have to remember about the additudes towards sexuality in India have been greatly rewritten by the British during their occupation in India (and present day Pakistan). You can get a good feel of the difference when you look at the Hindu faith and the Kama Sutra which was (and to some still is) a religious text, Lord Shiva is often worshipped in the shape of the linga or lingam (or phallus) and many Hindu temples are adorned with erotic scenes. Now in India since the British occupation sexual education is next to nil, Bollywood movies will rarely, if ever show a couple even kiss on screen (although they will imply it)as it's concidered vulgar as is the way Liz Hurley wears her saris (pulled between the breasts instead of covering both). I can't help but feel for India having the traditions and beliefs changed so drastically then coming into the 21st centry where everything is about sex, where they are still stuck in the 19th and early 20th centeries. Sorry that was my bit of a rant lol. Oh and Anne you are so right Liz has so many people to talk to and ask about it not to mention how many sites are online that show you how to drape a sari, there really is no excuse. It's not like you have to do anything to sari or the drape of it to look sexy it IS sexy on it's own (especially if you have her body lol).

Litlnemo it's funny you mentioned how long this thread has been going I was just talking about that with my husband last night lol great minds think alike eh?

Did I miss anything? :) And I won't even mention how much I am enjoying the activity on this board because last time I did everyone stopped posting :(.

#280 ::: litlnemo ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2007, 06:24 AM:

I don't mind wearing loud colors, but some colors I have more issues with than others. (The easter egg pastels, for example. I will wear hot pink any day, but easter egg lavender on the kameez and the trousers is just too much. Perhaps it is just that it is too pale for me anyway; though I have pale Northern European skin, my hair is dark and the colors that look best on me are intense like hot pink and deep rich blue.)

The rays at crotch-level on the Trendsetter suits may look perfectly innocent in India; I don't know. But I have to wear this here in the West, so I need to avoid those patterns. ;-)

"Because they are thinking western, a lot of the colors and styles are easier on our eyes."

I wondered about that, but then again when looking at that site I am drawn toward the louder colors, so I don't know if it's Western eyes or what. It's just that I like beautiful fabric better than prints. I didn't know what the South Cotton was -- is it all two-tone like that? I have a salwar suit right now (an eBay purchase) that is exactly the colors you mentioned, blue and yellow together to make a green two-tone fabric. (You can see the full outfit here -- a little wrinkly -- and this larger close-up gives you the best view of the fabric and embroidery. (This one wasn't custom stitched, incidentally, but it fits fine. I had to sew the sleeves on myself as it arrived with them unattached.) If the South Cotton is not too lightweight, and it has that two-tone effect, I would totally buy a suit from it.

#281 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2007, 04:37 PM:

Litlnemo,your suit is south cotton. I have one the same color with a yellow and blue dupatta. I also have south cotton in green and orange(actually pretty sublte, because the stripes are so narrow; just a couple of threads), in maroon and dark orange,in black and grey, in green and black (very elegant)blue and hot pink (looks mostly blue with a pinkish purple overtone.) It is lightweight, and I always starch it, but I don't think it is too lightweight, like the things you have been describing. That sounds more like the stuff they use for lining at S2.
My favorite color combo is blue and orange, too. I just ordered an aqua blue and orange sari with gold block print. At first I was a little self concious about the bright colors, but I'm over that, now. I'm getting a green and orange diagonally striped kota doria sari with butis, which I am really looking forward to. Its supposed to be the most comfortable fabric in the heat.The thread that Mahatma Gandhi spun was for kota doria, a local handloom, rather than support British mills. It is incredibly inexpensive. I think handwork is way undervalued. The third interesting sari that is coming is a green and white ikat handloom. I have a special interest in the hand work. I spin, am learning to weave, knit, sew, make lace, and embroider. If it has something to do with fiber, I'm interested.
The fabrics I bought were all colorful. One in particular- at first glance it makes you think red bandana, but when you look again, there are all kinds of traditional block print designs on it. I'm going to embellish it with white and black patch work and wear it with either white or black churidar. Its the ultimate in fusion. How American can you get than a bandana print, and how Indian can you get with paisleys and line prints? I'll let you know if I end up with a treasure or a rag.

#282 ::: Annina ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2007, 08:16 PM:

Hello, girls,
I am desperately looking for salwar-suits in silk or cotton or silk/cotton (no synthetik fabrics)for personal use, but still need a lot of at least 8 sets. - Has anybody a recommendation? - I live in Germany and can be contacted by ibericacat(at)gmail.com.
Would be wonderful to get some help.
Thanks.
Annina

#283 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2007, 08:43 PM:

Hi, Annina! For cotton; 100% cotton broadcloth and south cotton, I would go to S2 Fashions at
www.s2fashions.com. For silk, all they have is a light weight washable silk. Its nice for casual clothes but for some reason, I don't think that's what you're after. So for silk thats heavier weight, I'm not as sure. I've had mixed results at Utsav Sarees at utsavsarees.com; some of the things I've gotten there have been great, others have had sizing and other problems mentioned previously. The quality of the cloth is good, its the uneven stitching quality that's not. If you can sew, or can take things in to be altered, you can get some great things there. The shipping is a bit expensive, though. The price of shipping per item usually goes down when you order more items; its done by weight.
I just ordered some cottons and a cotton-silk from a new place, Chennaibazaar.com. Its supposed to arrive April 5. I can let you the quality when it comes. The only other place I have ordered from is shopindia.com. They don't do custom work, so I don't recommend them unless you are a standard size. They also are marketing to plus sizes, and have very little in regular sizes. Good luck!

#284 ::: litlnemo ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2007, 03:00 AM:

I posted a picture of my peacock blue kameez on flickr: here it is. Terrible pic, but you get the idea.

As I walked into the library today there was a woman nearby wearing a salwar kameez. She looked at me and smiled. I hope it was the "nice clothes" smile not the "you look dorky" smile! :)

#287 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2007, 02:16 AM:

Wow litlnemo I LOVE that kameez it's exactly something I'd wear the work on it is just beautiful. I don't think you have to worry about the smile I've found that most Indian/Pakistani people if they like that you're wearing a salwar kameez or appreciate it they will smile if they don't they will either not look at you or will give you a dirty look (which I've had a couple times...oh well) it doesn't seem to be in them to be that fake about things at least in my experances thus far. However when it comes to someone trying to sell you something that's another story LOL. There is one guy that is at all of the festivals in my city during the summer and everytime he sees me he tries to tell me the sari I am wearing is from his part of India blah blah blah trying to get me to buy his over priced shawls LMAO it's even more funny when all I am wearing is an artifical fabric, mass produced sari that could have come from anywhere because there is nothing specific about it. But I mean I know everyone is trying to make money so it's really no big deal.

LoL Yeah litlnemo I couldn't agree more about having to wear the flaming crotch in N. America it would just not work. Maybe some people could handle it but I don't think I am one of them. I get harassed enough in this lily white city as it is I don't need to add anything more fuel to the fire.

Would the south cotton be the same as hmm I think they called it "cross woven" that e-shakti had? It has the same affect as shot taffeta is that about the same? I just love the affect just didn't love how thin and easy to wrinkle the stuff from e-shakti is. Wouldn't mind having a sari out of it though. I don't have many cotton saris I would love more but I can't always iron them so artifical fabrics work for me. I do have one pure silk, hoping to get another one..not only do you have to lightly iron them but you have to keep refolding them or the fibers start to break down (yeah I know most of you already knew that lol).

Anne let me know what the kota doria is like it sounds and always looks so beautiful. I wouldn't mind getting some things out of it myself, our summers up here seem to be getting hotter and hotter. I also didn't know that Mahatma Gandhi was a weaver, Anne you're full of some really interesting info.

I can't think of any place that sells good silk salwar kameez, I am sure they are out there but I haven't tried to find them personally. Sorry I can't help.

I think I am going to join flickr when I get some good pics so that I can show some of my finds and some of the suits I've made.

#288 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2007, 10:37 AM:

litlnemo- I agree with Maggie- your peacock blue kameez is beautiful. Unfortunately on my monitor it looks cadet blue! oh well. Why do we do this to ourselves? Wonder at every frown or negative expression and think that we are being judged for our clothing? When you are wearing Western clothes, you don't even pay attention to people's expressions except to think maybe they are having a bad day (Or life). At least that's true of me. I think that the smile was one of approval, just like Maggie.

Gandhi didn't weave, he hand spun thread on a very simple flat spinning wheel. The thread was for weaving kota doria. He encouraged everyone in the resistance movement against the British to take up spinning as a nonviolent protest. The mills in England were taking business from the fabric industry in India. He was trying to encourage local production.

Yesterday my daughter got her kurti from S2. Ten of them. All of them were perfect. Living in the Mojave, I like the lightweight clothes; the whole reason I started looking at salwar was that I wanted something light and loose. It is made light weight on purpose- when the temp is over 40 degrees C, you don't want anything much on. Its that way all summer here. They are making clothing for a similar climate. You will notice that the lining is an absorbant cotton. Same reason. Heat and humidity. If you want extra warmth or for the kameez to be less see through, ask for lining. Personally, the ultra lightweight cottons are a favorite, except in winter, when I wear a warmer poly blend. Those will be put away in mid spring. I've spent lots of summers in Canada-it is so cool and pleasant- I can see why you aren't interested in the thinner cottons. Kota doria is supposed to be the coolest of all in a hot summer. I'm expecting a very thin fabric. Most south cotton is pretty thin and see through in the light, so you might want to order lining with it.

My first home made kameez came out great. I used a kameez I have that fit well for a pattern. The bandana-like fabric turned out to be a perfect choice for a very casual set. Its red, white and black- I trimmed the U neck and short sleeves in black, and put a black, white then black patched stripe down from the right shoulder seam to the hem. I wore it with black churidar and dupatta yesterday. It doesn't look like a bandana in its kameez form. The motifs are arranged in vertical stripes down the length of the dress. I like it so much I'm encouraged to make more.

Maggie- ironing is a problem for me, too. I'm planning on having my cotton saris professionally cleaned and ironed. I can't stand that long. Even the thought of a tablecloth is too much. The cleaners don't cost that much. Its easy to iron a flat piece of cloth with a press.

#289 ::: litlnemo ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2007, 08:44 PM:

Maggie, you should totally put some photos on Flickr... I would love to see some of your suits! And I would love to see Anne's home made kameez, too! :) I'm planning to make one myself one of these days. There is a fabric store in Renton, WA which sells some of the 3 part salwar kameez fabric sets, and when I find the perfect one I will buy it and make one of my own. (They actually had a gorgeous set in pink and orange last time I was there -- I would have bought it, but I've been going overboard on pink and orange lately, so I think I need something else. The ones I ordered from S2 are purple/grey and green/maroon. And I will post photos on my Flickr account when they get here.)

#290 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2007, 11:05 PM:

litlnemo-is the purple/grey suit from S2 a purple kameez with a grey embroidered vertical band, with grey salwar and dupatta? If it is, I have it too. Only its not purple. Its dark blue and grey. The colors on my monitor tend to make the colors from S2 look more warm - it adds reds. Be sure you read the color description in the text or ask in the notes section for a more pricise color definition. I love mine, I hope you like blue! This is the one I wear when I want to look more sophisticated. Is the green maroon the one with Maroon kameez, green churidar, long bell sleeves and mandarin collar? I have that too. The colors on that one were more true.

My fabric store sells sets, too. I just bought an aqua blue and gold set for fancy days. Other places to look in the fabric store and fool everyone into thinking you bought Indian- some of the embroidered linen/rayon blends have appropriate patterns and a matching solid or two. Look in the bridal section for a matching chiffon, silk, or poly silk for the dupatta. Also look in the quilting section for cottons. I found two great ones there yesterday. One was a shades of blue tie-dye that goes from dark to light peacock blue. The other was a black and white print- black background with delicate white flowers that looked like a kalamkari print. I'm keeping that one simple, just white piping around the sweetheart neck and edges of sleeves. I'm deciding if I want to put white borders along the side slits. I'll wear it with white churidar and dupatta. There were several other very good choices, but you can't have everything!:) I'll see if I can get someone to take my picture with the red one on, and then you can see it.

#291 ::: litlnemo ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2007, 01:15 AM:

"litlnemo-is the purple/grey suit from S2 a purple kameez with a grey embroidered vertical band, with grey salwar and dupatta? If it is, I have it too. Only its not purple. Its dark blue and grey. "

Heh, yes, it is that one (S2-C4-SK25). I saw before ordering that the color description actually said blue, so I decided either color would be fine -- either the purplish tone it has on the website, or a blue. So I will be happy either way it turns out.

The green one is actually the shorter olive green with pale yellow chudidar and dupatta, with the unusual neckline. S2-C5-CK29. But I asked for a substitution of a darker color instead of the yellow. She suggested maroon, and I think that will be lovely.

My current order status is "artwork in progress". I've got my fingers crossed! :)

#292 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2007, 02:26 AM:

When it comes to stares and smiles in clothing for me when I (very infrequently) wear Western clothing I get dirt looks and laughed at etc anyways so I figure I might as well get all of the above (from my own race) while being who I am instead of trying to be something I feel that I am not. I forget the website but I found a website that makes clothes for desis (Indians) and they each have a different logo etc and the one I want to get has instead of "Intel inside" has "Desi inside" I thought it was the best one to describe who I am. I am sure alot of people don't or can't understand me and who I am but I refuse to be who I am not. I've received flack from my own family about my choice of clothing and my mother even asked me if I could be "less ethnic" when I was going to meet a family member for the first time. I think for myself at least the love and support I've gotten from mostly the Indian but also the Pakistani community here is partly why I gravitate closer to them. I guess alot of us Westerners are used to being laughed at for our clothing from public and high school and even after you leave school that we expect that we'll receive the same from another cultural group. I remember the first salwar kameez I owned I was probably 11yrs old, my mother had taken me to Little Indian in Toronto for the first time (although I guess she didn't actually want me to take up wearing the clothes full time) it was the most beautiful sky blue pure silk with a cotton lining and alot of mirror and bead work it was cheap because it had some discolouration on the shoulders so my mother bought it for me. I put it on to wear on the train going home and I clearly remember two Indian men walking past me and smiling and putting their hands together for "Namaste". That was my very first time ever receiving any kind of feedback on me wearing Indian clothing so I suppose it shouldn't come as any surprise now that I am for the majority accepted. Sorry guys I just thought I'd share abit more about myself.

What part of Canada were you in Anne? I am in Southwestern Ontario the summers here are getting very hot in the 30s oC I know cooler then you but you can imagine for us Canadians it feels very hot. And lucky us we have to contend with alot of humidity too. This is another reason that I love Indian clothing it made for the very hot humid weather that has as of late become the typical Canadian summer. A couple years ago with the humidex we were well over 40oC. Anne what type of fabric are your petticoats made out of? I seem to only be able to find a broadcloth like petticoat around here and they don't breathe well at all. I've been thinking of taking a pattern off the panels on the petticoat(s) I have and get pure cotton and just dye it to the colours I need.

For the winter I've started finding cotts wool salwar kameez they work pretty well, a couple days this past winter I still had to put tights on underneath. It's so confusing to live in this part of Canada anymore we'll get -24oC in the winter and over 30oC in the summer.

I hear ya about standing Anne, I have severe Fibromyalgia so some days I am well better and other days I can't do anything. I've also developed back problems. I have a ton of suits to be sewn (I have two bins full) and I've been unable to get to it for one reason...Cutting. Cutting the fabric is hell for my back it puts me out for at least one day if not more. It really sucks too because I refuse to take my suits to be sewn by someone else at like $50 each. I'll only take parts of the sets to be done by someone else since I have yet to really get the hang of churidar pants. Anne do you buy your cholis premade or do you have a pattern to make your own with? LOL sorry for all the questions just not very often I find someone else that wears saris that I can have a conversation with.

I haven't put my order in with S2 yet so hard to choose what I want LOL. There are a few kurtis I want too, mostly the ones with the Hindu gods/goddess' or at least their symbols on them. I am looking at the salwar kameez with the "Om" on it though I just love the colour. With my first order I got the kurti with the stylized Ganeshji on it, it's really pretty. I actually got a t-shirt back many years ago with Ma Durga on it that I wear with a sari now the shirt is in mostly oranges and reds and I just got a sari that is a mix artifical fabric but the design is very northern, actually looks like some hand blocking designs I've seen. Very Rajasthani.

Litlnemo, don't you just love the updates from S2? It makes me much more comfortable to order from them I know what's going on with my order. Oh did I mention on here that I got my partial refund from Multifab? From a $150.00 order I got back...$25.00. Oh well that's still one suit from S2 LOL.

#293 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2007, 03:41 AM:

maggie, you are full of questions! I summered in British Columbia and Alberta when I was a kid- starting at around age 6. Vancouver, Vancouver Island, camping on the north end, Powell River and the Sunshine Coast, Frazier Park...Usually camping, but my dad, who was a teacher, took some units at Frazier University one year,and we actually got an apartment in Quitselano (sp?) Beach. I learned to swim at Lions Gate Park.

As long as we are explaining how we got here, Dad was an Asian Studies and comparative religions teacher. We were often at the Sikh Gurdwara for one thing or another; we lived near the largest Sikh community outside Punjab. I very nearly chose to become Sikh myself. My friends and I would go there when we were in high school and talk to the folks there. We learned a lot about India from them. I also took two semesters of Asian History, taught by a local Punjabi Sikh. He definately emphasized India. I always admired the beautiful clothing the women wore, and as a child asked my mom if I could have a salwar or sari, too, to wear to one of these events. She said no, that they were special clothes for people from India, and that Americans could never learn how to wear them gracefully. I believed that for a while. She still thinks I dress too ethnicly, and is afraid I might offend someone.

I decided that because I am almost old enough to wear purple and a red hat that doesn't match, I'm old enough not to care what other people think, as long as I'm not offensive. I'm just a bit eccentric, is what I say. And what looks better when you are lying on the couch? I was so ill this year I'm lucky to be alive. I'll live wearing what I want to wear.

There are lots of things that aren't important anymore that were b.i. (before illness) and things that suddenly are essensial now. Like call up everyone that was ever important to you and tell them so, and why. I never had a set of dishes that I picked out myself. When I was released from the hospital one time, I went right out and bought some I liked. It was lying on the couch in a pair of uncomfortable, unattractive shorts and a T-shirt that made me think of salwar kameez. There is another choice! And now we have the internet for wish fulfilment.

I don't feel Indian inside any more than I feel German for having married an ethnic German. But Indian smells and sights bring back my childhood, and make me a little homesick. Especially the smell of the masala that was used in huge quantities where I grew up. I've never found that mix anywhere else. I came close to reproducing it, but not quite. I've been to Punjabi and Pakistani stores that have something similar, and found some recipes on the web, but still not quite the same as in my hometown, where you can buy it from a bin in the major supermarkets today, as well as at the Punjab Bazaar. So now you know I cook Desi Khana as well as wear the clothes.

I have a choli pattern, but I've never used it. Its one that's backless with ties. I also have directions for making churidar that turned out OK, but don't have the yoke; they are simply gathered at the waist. The pattern could be easily altered. My petticoats are either cotton batiste or lizi-bizi, which is a cotton poly blend. Suma says to make your own- they are easy, cheaper, and you get just what you want. I have back problems, too. I find that cutting fabric on all fours on the floor is the most pain-free method. I still get tired, but I'll be darned if I stop sewing as long as its physically possible to do it. I couldn't all last year, and am grateful to be back at my machine. I finished my second kameez today. Black with flower print in white on 100% cotton, sweetheart neckline outlined with white piping, with piping on the sleeves as well. I like this one too. Simple.

Oh- Maggie- I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia at first, but it turns out I have multiple autoimmune diseases, including lupus and myasthenia gravis, and renal tubular acidosis, a kidney disease on the same gene. This was all revealed when I came down with Hepatitis A; the health dept. says from contaminated lettuce. There are several more, but these are the most bothersome. Some days I am so tired I can't do anything but lie about and kill time. Too tire to hold a book and pay attention to it, too tired to hold my knitting needles or pay attn to the pattern...but on those days I can look at websites featuring Indian clothing for hours, just deconstructing the patterns. Or looking at all the ways a sari can be worn. Your imagination is the limit.

#294 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2007, 02:17 PM:

I got a piece of Salwar Kameez spam this morning! Someone is mining this thread for addresses.

#295 ::: Kat ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2007, 09:34 PM:

But do they have pockets?

No, but I sometimes wear one of my kameez over cargo pants--the churidar with the kameez are black anyway, so I toss it over my black cargo pants. Since they're black, it's not immediately obvious that they're cargos, and the slits on the kameez provide easy access. (also they're cut more full than the churidar--can't say I like churidar; I much prefer salwar)

as an Indian growing up in India, I never bought a "ready-made" garment till I was about 18. Everything thus far had been tailored.

From what I learned from a girl i went to college with who was from India, many things that are considered "luxuries" in the U.S. and many European countries are relatively mainstream in India, because prices are much cheaper--she was saying her family had a driver, just about everyone had a driver, because it cost like $50 a week, you were giving someone a job, etc. In the U.S., tell someone you have custom-made clothing and a personal driver and they assume you're rolling in money!

I've always wondered, though--if I went to India and bought a salwar kameez from a shop, how much would it cost, roughly? I mean, could one get a basic, relatively-plain-Jane salwar kameez for $20? (to me, in the U.S. or otherwise, $30+ *is* a lot of money for clothing...)

They're gorgeous outfits, but I need an excuse to learn to use my sewing machine anyway, and it looks like the fabric is available in nifty colors that they won't sell actual clothes in.

I have such a difficult time finding (at least on ebay) salwar kameez that I don't deem as either too expensive or godawful-ugly that this was something I considered too. I figured I could take apart one of the kameez and the salwar I have to make a pattern from (then reconstruct of course), make salwar in a few basic colors--black and brown to start--and matching dupattas, and then get some nifty fabric and start making various kameez like mad. Sure, such fancy fabric is hard to find in the U.S. unless you go somewhere specialized and pay a lot, but I'm sure many tailors/seamstresses/alterations folk have those sewing machines that can do machine embroidery (I myself know one who does) and one could always make up the outfit oneself and then have one of those folks do embroidery on it.

And if stuck for a pattern, find something cheap on ebay--even if you think it's butt-ugly, not like you're going to wear it--and take it apart to make a pattern from. I notice the kameez seem to be a very simple garment that would lend themselves easily to this. Other than a pattern on eBay long ago that I kept meaning to buy and never did, I have never found a pattern for them.

If anyone who is familiar with salwar kameez can talk a little bit about fabrics, I'd love to hear it. I have (somewhat third-hand) a story of the unfortunate experience of a woman who bought a sari to wear to a friend's wedding celebratoin, where said woman was the only non-Indian present. The fabric she picked made it roughly the equivalent of showing up at a black-tie even in a gingham skirt.
Cotton is to be avoided; I'm pretty sure that's considered pretty "country." One can never go wrong with highly-embroidered silk...if one has moral objections to silk, as I do (I'm vegetarian and don't consume or wear products that required a living creature's death to produce), I've seen some pretty nice stuff in synthetic fabrics on eBay as well (though I couldn't speak to whether they'd be formally-acceptable).

They are the only eBay store with large bangle sizes, plus be specializes in bridal/formal jewelry from $27-$80 dollars.
Anyone know of a good source for SMALL bangle sizes? I wear a 2.4 and that size is often hard to find...

Oh, well, if you're going to leave eBay for this discussion, Priyanka's has a HUGE selection of salwar kameez at Priyankas.com, maybe even a thousand to choose from.
I've heard from several people though that Priyanka's is a tad lacking in customer service...though apparently among their many websites, there is a U.S.-based one that is easier to deal with. I just can't remember which one that is (it has been a couple years since I've heard this, so maybe their service has improved in that time as well).

And yes I do know exactly how much the cost of living is in India, you can live in India for about $2.00 USD A DAY!!
My Indian friend from college once told me that if I ever went to India, taking a hundred bucks (U.S.$) would last me for a long time, even if I did a good amount of spending.

Here also are a couple salwar patterns I've found on the 'net; I've never tried them, mostly because I can't sew! but they might be good:
http://www.shira.net/arabella/quicksalwar.htm
http://www.shira.net/arabella/narrowsalwar.htm

Out of curiosity, what sort of shoes does everyone wear with salwar kameez and sari anyway? I mean, I've seen Indian ladies in salwar kameez or sari and tennis shoes, but I have a feeling I couldn't pull off that look. :) The traditional shoes don't look very substantial--i.e., nothing I'd wear outside--plus they're made of leather. I tend to wear my oxfords or monk straps with my salwar kameez currently. My sari, I hardly ever wear because there's no occasion to do so!

#296 ::: Nancy C ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2007, 11:43 PM:

Kat, there is silk available from silkworms that have not been killed, called peace silk or ahimsa silk.

#297 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2007, 12:20 AM:

Kat, for shoes, I wear everything from slip on flats to sandals. This year interpretations of Khussas have been in the stores. You can get them as mules, wedges, espadrilles, and slipons. I found a pair with flip-flop soles at my local drug store for $3.00. In India, they are being shown with pumps and platforms. I think you can wear whatever you like.

Thanks for the salwar pattern. It came just in time. I'm making several suits, and was planning on taking a pair apart to make a pattern. The wide version is a perfect learning to sew pattern. That was a hint. I found some perfect fabric in the deep discount section of my fabric store for $2.00 a yard. That's $3.00 for a pair of narrow salwar. How can you beat it? It's also worth learning to do simple embroidery. Resham work is not so different than our crewel work. You only have to learn a few stiches to make something look pretty good- satin stitch, outline stitch, chain stitch, detatched chain, and buttonhole or blanket stitch.

For embelllishment, you can use applique instead of embroidery. I once used the drawstring from my salwar to make binding and inch wide appliques for the neckline of a terminally boring kameez, and got something that looks pretty darn good, and was perfectly matched to the salwar and dupatta.

Cotton can be formal wear, if it is good quality and properly embellished. See the high end cottons at Utsav Sarees for examples. There is also a synthetic silk called "art silk" that can look very nice. Cruise through websites to look for other examples. There is a lot out there not on E-Bay.

#298 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2007, 01:25 AM:

I couldn't agree more about "art silk" I have a few sari's made out of "art silk" that are just beautiful and other then the weight of the sari you'd never be able to tell it's not real. The one that I have is royal purple with gold buttis, heavily worked pallu with tassles very formal. I am not so sure I agree about cotton being "country" either. It all depends on what's been done with the fabric I've seen many bandhni saris with extra work done on it that I would concider very high end. And then you have kota doria saris, these saris maybe very plain but are very beautiful.

As for shoes with my salwar kameez and saris in the Summer it's always sandles whether they are dollar store flip flops or more traditional style sandles, in the Spring and Fall I wear just regular flat shoes and in the Winter I have a pair of short Winter boots that I can pull the bottoms of the salwar over. I've got a pair of fluffy pink Winter boots too but I just don't think they look right. I've seen Indian women in saris and salwar kameez wearing running shoes too and I don't believe that there is any reason that any of us couldn't "pull it off". Just because we're mainly Westerners on here wearing Eastern clothing doesn't mean we have to treat the clothing like some holy relic it's just clothing. It's not like we go up to someone from the East wearing Western clothing and if they're wearing khussa with jeans we tell them they can't "pull it off". I think it would be advisable for some people to really stop and think about wearing Indian/Pakistani clothing a sari unless it's bridal or highly worked isn't supposed to sit in your closet in hopes that one day there will be an occasion special enough for you to wear it. Sari's are worn every day by women doing their daily chores, taking care of their kids or going out to milk the cow. I am proud to have 40 saris and unless they are heavily worked or made of silk I wear them all the time even if it's just to run up and buy bread and milk. In no way am I trying to offend anyone but it seems like there is a sort of cultural gap going on here. Here in the West we tend to see anything with colour or sparkle as something you can only wear during special occasions in India everyday is a special occasion. Of course not to mention that to Hindus when we dress we are dressing the Goddess (who resides in us)and nothing is too good for a Goddess therefore dressing oneself is abit more ritualistic and important then it is here in the West.

Wow Anne, I can definately see why you're drawn to Indian clothing. I wasn't as luck as you to grow up somewhere that you were able to be around it all the time. That's too bad that your Mum was so against you wearing a sari or salwar kameez. I am glad you've come to the mindset of not caring what other people think, I think that's when a person becomes really free. I still haven't caught on to Indian cooking, during holidays I usually go to one of the Indian resturants here in town and I go to the shop to buy sweets. I can make galab jamun from scratch but I've found it premixed LOL. I have a real hard time cooking, it's difficult for me to stand that long or to keep getting up and checking on things. I have to say I envy how alot of Indian women cook in India they can pretty much sit right next to what they're cooking and not have to worry about anything. Then again the richer Indians can also afford people to cook for them another example of how something thought of a luxury here is something fairly common in India and Pakistan.

Anne it sounds like you've had it rough, in your case I suppose having fibromyalgia would actually be easier then having everything you do have. Was everything just tipped off by the Hep A or did it stem from it? Sorry if that's too personal. Yes I am full of questions lol. I love to learn about other's especially if they are in similar situations as myself. I've found being down on the floor to cut fabric is pretty hard too because I can't get back up lol, my cats love it though. When I am too sore to do anything I am usually here (unless it's a back problem) or on the couch. I'd do henna while I am unable to do anything else but it's getting harder on the eyes each time I do it.

Speaking of saris has anyone bought the "Illistrated guide on sari drapes" or whatever title is? I am thinking of getting it but I was just wondering if A) the show and describe it so one could actually do it and B) if there are any drapes that one could wear on the street without looking like you should be working in a field. I've found that the couple of times I've worn my sari in the Bengali style (pallu brought forward over the right shoulder) I've received more compliments and questions from desis. I am wondering if it isn't that the nivi style is so well known, easy and can be done with an automatic sari now. Perhaps it shows that we really do respect the culture and clothing and that we drape it ourselves. Just a thought.

Oh and was everyone else's spam from "a silk affair"? I got it too.

#299 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2007, 10:22 PM:

My order from cbazaar.com came today, and everything is very nice. It came on time, the saris were nicely packaged in their own storage bags, everything fit and was well made of good materials. Maggie, the petticoats are made of light weight crepe. The price was right for everything I got. Not as inexpensive as S2, but fancier, and S2 doesn't sell saris yet. I also got three free packages of very nice bindi. I will probably shop here again, but S2 is still my favorite.

Maggie- you can cook with fibromyalgia. It just takes more planning and a few extra tools, like a tall stool for the kitchen for you to sit on while you work. I know the exhaution you are talking about. Do things spread out through the day. Cut up the vegetables in the morning. Make dough for Roti just before lunch, use a food processor instead of hand kneading it. Letting it rest all afternoon just makes it easier to roll out when you want to eat it. Only roll and cook as many as you are going to eat right now. The dough keeps in the fridge. Keep your work space small, ideally a counter next to the stove or fridge. Always sit on your stool, especially if you are making something that requires watching and stirring. If your recipe has a spice mix for tempering, put that together sometime during the day in a small bowl or cup, and at dinner time, you just have to throw things together. Remember that the food you get in Indian resteraunts isn't home cooking. Its party food, and its court food from the Moghul Court. Home cooking is a lot simpler and lower fat. For more tips on Indian cooking, email me. I'm finally putting together my own blog-maybe I'll add Indian cooking to it, and you can go there. I'm just just beginning it, so there isn't much there yet, but there is an article on pain that I wrote a year ago last January, just as I was beginning to get sick. I am planning on writing about a number of topics including dealing with serious illness, spirituality, and anything else that strikes my fancy.

#300 ::: Kat ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2007, 10:37 PM:

Kat, there is silk available from silkworms that have not been killed, called peace silk or ahimsa silk.

I'd heard of that, but I wasn't sure if it was actually true or not. How does it work, then? Isn't the thread interrupted when the silk worm comes out?

Anne, let me know how that salwar pattern turns out and maybe I'll give it a go.

As far as draping a sari oneself...I've never found it difficult, even my first time, to tell you the truth. I'm sure it didn't look perfect at first, but by about the third time I was making some pretty good pleats.

My mom personally loves my salwar kameezes. I wish I could make her one, I know she'd just love it (she's rather plus-size so a bit of working of the pattern would be required--she doesn't think she'd fit even the regular-size salwar--but I don't think it should be too hard). She keeps encouraging me to wear them more (unfortunately both of mine are short-sleeved so we haven't yet hit weather in Michigan that allows me to wear them yet and while I've worn them with a long-sleeved t-shirt underneath before or with a long sweater coat over the top, I don't much like the t-shirt layering look and my sweater coat needs washing). She's even asked me if I could get away with wearing one to work. I'm not so sure about that--I work at a bank with a somewhat-strict dress code and even if I made a very plain one, the style itself might be against code--but it'd be nifty if I could!

I have to say, the salwar kameez style I like best is traditional salwar and a long kameez--below-knee to mid-calf length. And relatively plain in color and embellishment (I've seen a lot of more modern necklines and fabrics that I can't say I like). I tend to like my clothing more simple, period...makes it a bit difficult to find salwar kameez sometimes! I'd love to go to India just to go clothes shopping and have a bunch of stuff made just the way I want it (hence why I want to learn to sew my own). Gotta find a good source for fabric...I've seen some nice ones at fabric stores but am a bit hard-pressed to find ones that are matching for the salwar, kameez, and dupatta...

#301 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2007, 03:06 AM:

I hear what you're saying Anne, the only problem with me is that sleeping is one of the biggest problems my FM has presented, I sleep most times 12hrs straight and wake up only to pass out on the couch again it really makes planning anything hard. I do my best when I am up to it but since probably Oct it's been a real rough patch so hubby is doing alot of the cooking. I got a cook book at Xmas for some Indian cooking very simple recipes but I haven't been able to try them out. They seem more like your typical Indian meal rather then a resturant meal. Once I try them and see how they are I'll pass on the recipe for you Anne. As for roti etc I usually go with the frozen ones you bake or put on the stove top I try to keep a stash of them just incase I want it but just can't bring myself to make it. It's such a pain in the butt. I've had FM since I was 11 and I just turned 24 so you'd think I would be used to the ups and downs but it seems like while you're on an "up" you forget just how low the "downs" are. I'd be really interested in reading what you've written on pain, actually I think I'd enjoy whatever you write :). I write as well, been paid and published but it's got nothing to do with salwar kameez (well one peice was on racism I've experanced) I usually write about social issues the poor, homeless etc.

Kat, I am sorry to hear about the dress code where you work. I can definately see why when women are immagrating to the West from India, Pakistani, Bangladesh etc they abandon their own traditional clothing. A friend of mine married in India and he had to work two years to get his wife here to Canada, she had to ask him what to buy and what to bring here and his advice was always the same, "Bring western clothes, or buy them here". I believe his wife came with two maybe three saris but most of them she left back in India. You'd think with Canada and the U.S supposedly being multicultural countries offices and business' would make their dress code abit more friendly to all cultures. I wouldn't have a problem going into a place of business (bank, lawyer etc) and seeing a woman wearing the traditional sari style native to Sudan, or a woman wearing something from Mongolia. I think the world has such beautiful cultures and people that we should all be luck enough to be exposed to it all. But I guess that's just my own rant lol. Plus sized salwar kameez are pretty simple, I am by far not a size 2 and I haven't seen a difference in the construction of a salwar kameez for a small woman or a larger woman. It is however much easier to buy ready made salwar kameez for smaller women. It's great that your mother is so open to your choice of clothing, as I mentioned mine isn't exactly of the same mind. I know where you're coming from with the short sleeves, the weather here and where you are Kat are mainly the same three days ago it was perfect weather for short sleeves and now argh! I find it extra difficult to wear a sari with a sweater or coat because we you walk the peice that comes across the front tends to ride over to one side and show your belly off to the world LOL.

Just had to share with everyone, I was out today and was talking to a girl about my salwar kameez and I was telling her about making my own etc and she's invited me to show my work at a fashion show in the fall..how cool is that? If only CEO would show their rat face in here HA! ;)

Kat I was going to say if it was easy for you to get to Toronto you should check out little India sometime for fabric, is there not some type of South Asian community set up in Michigan? You may even have more luck if you look for Islamic clothing stores, I know the shops here in my city that sell salwar kameez fabric (although much more expensive then in Toronto)are run by Muslims and are marketed as such. However it is possible you'll just find shops that sell hijabs etc.

#302 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2007, 12:51 AM:

Maggie-I just ordered Saris: An Illustrated Guide to the Indian Art of Draping. Thanks for the tip. At the same time I saw another book, The Sari:Styles, Patterns, History, Technique and ordered that as well. I'll write a review when I get them. From what I can tell, they are both very good resources, but not easy to find at anything near list price. The first starts at $68.00 US for a used edition. The second is more reasonable, but sounds more like a good companion book.

#303 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2007, 02:17 AM:

Hey Anne, I heard that the draping book is good however I heard they were good from sites wanting to sell the book LOL not the most reliable source. I'll be very interested in hearing what it's like I would definately like to wear my saris in different ways just for a change. The second book you mentioned sounds very interesting as well I've never come across it keep me updated :). I am now surfing looking at saris to buy talking about kota doria and bandhej saris have made me want them more hehe I found a tussar silk one but that'll probably be for Ganesh Chaturathi. I just love all the holidays always a reason to buy a new sari hehe :)

#304 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2007, 11:54 AM:

Maggie @301
I used to work at a bank which supplied uniforms for its branch staff (I wasn't branch staff). The uniforms included trousers, long skirts, short skirts, jackets of different styles...and a salwar kameez outfit.

I thought that was cool.

#305 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2007, 05:20 PM:

Abi- That is remarkable. What a forward thinking company. What city was the bank from? I'm curious to know where that sensitivity came from; if it had locations that included large numbers of South Asians. My bank has everyone in a man-tailored oxford shirt, whether the shape fits or not. Most people end up looking like they are wearing someone else's clothes.

#306 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2007, 12:01 AM:

Anne @305
It was the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, with locations throughout the United Kingdom, both in its own right and through the National Westminster Bank.

So yes, a lot of South Asians.

#307 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2007, 02:21 AM:

When I was a teller for the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, in their Eastern US guise as Citizens Bank, they kept the damn buidling so frickin' hot that mostly what I wore was sweaty short sleeves. But they kept telling me to wear long sleeved button-downs with ties, and I was like, hell, no. And then I quit, and all was well with the universe.

#308 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2007, 03:08 AM:

LMAO Ethan @ "And then I quit, and all was well with the universe."

Wow Abi that is very cool indeed, it's nice to see acceptance in large companies I get so tired of seeing companies enforce dress codes that try and make everyone look like a perfect clone of their coworkers. Not only that but some places their dress code would be completely against some religions. I think many Western (UK and Europe included) companies let alone countries are at a cross road right now we all claim to be multicultural and accepting but many places are now questioning just how far they are willing to go to accept other cultures and religions. I know Canada or at least Quebec had that during the election that just passed a week or so ago (you can tell how much I keep up with Quebec politics lol). I think it shows alot about a company willing to not only accept but provide for people from other backgrounds.

Anne my dear, does Suma take pictures of outfits that you'd like her to copy? I was watching one of the Punjab shows here tonight and saw a salwar kameez I would love to have so I took a few shots. I am hoping Suma can make something close to it, above the knee kameez with patiala pants in a pretty blue and red. The one on TV was silk but I was thinking cotton or even south cotton would be nice.

#309 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2007, 05:19 AM:

Maggie- That's how we started out designing the party dress in November. They didn't have a line of party clothes at all then, and I mentioned I needed a party dress and had a picture. She said she'd be happy to make me a party dress, and did. Its not like the one in the picture, though. She doesn't do direct copies. There are similarities; the picture I gave her was an above the knee kurta with a very deep V embroidered neckline and underlap, churidar, and a dupatta with a heavily embroidered edge. It was cream and maroon. By the time we were done discussing pros and cons of various designs, I had the deep V neckline with underlap, the heavily embroidered dupatta, patialas, embroidery on the yoke instead of along the neckline, in peacock blue and a red/brown that was almost maroon. Part of the reason for the differences was availability of fabrics, some was lack of time to do hand embroidery, but a lot was her design sense, she has a picture of me, so she knows what I look best in, colors and shapes, and she isn't afraid to tell me what she thinks. I don't know if she's just like that with me or with everybody. I was happy with what I got, but it really morphed from that picture.

By the way, before I spent all that on the book, I checked out other impartial reviews. It looks like it really is the best on the subject out there.

Kat- I started making the salwar from the pattern for "narrow salwar" (LOL) on Arabella's site. They are very easy, and authentic. She assumes you really know how to sew, though. She leaves a lot of steps out that an intermediate sewer would be able to figure out, but not a beginner. If you want to make them as a learning project (I still think they are good for that, they really are simple if you have all the directions), I'll send you more detailed sewing instructions. My only problem with the pattern is that it must assume everyone is the same height: short. If I'd followed her directions exactly I'd have a pair of cropped salwar. Again, altering the pattern is easy too. If you make them with her measurements they come out about 38" long from the waist. The yoke is 44" around, so for plus sizes you need to use 60" wide fabric or buy a longer length and piece it. Taller people need to buy a longer length. I can give directions for that as well. Fortunately, I'd bought extra fabric because I wasn't sure how much I would need, and overestimated.

#310 ::: Nancy C ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 01:13 PM:

Kat at 300,

The worm comes out of the silk cocoon, damaging one end of the cocoon, so the fibers are shorter than the silk that is wound off the cocoon after the worm is killed. The worm-killed silk is wound off the cocoons in a single length; the peace silk cannot be.

My info is from a book called No Sheep for You, so it's not a manufacturer trying to sell you a line.

#311 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 12:07 AM:

I finished making the salwar from Arabella's pattern. They are acceptable, but they have a diagonal seam from piecing the fabric that runs at an angle from the outside of your thigh across the front of the leg to the inside of your ankle. I'm not so thrilled with that. I pleated mine and made them a little full, so that they would be semi Patialalas, and that worked. I'm thinking of taking them apart and putting the diagonal seam in the back. I think that would be a lot more attractive. The cuffs are a little narrow, too. This pattern could be ok, but it needs some work.

#312 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 12:46 AM:

Hey Anne,
Glad to hear you finished your salwar. Sorry to hear about the pattern, I had to do alot of work on the pattern from dansingnspirit the yoke was too long, the amount of fabric for the legs was too little so there was hardly enough to pleat making the pants look pretty straight (it's great now when I have to make straight pants but not good for salwars). I ended up taking a part of salwar pants that I had that fit perfectly took the measurements off of the yoke and the length of the leg and guesstimated the extra fabric for the pleats and it turns out perfect. I find traditional salwar pants to be the easiest pants I've ever sewn, they are also less wasteful with fabric. I can fit the yoke and both legs on the peice of fabric that comes with an unstitched salwar whereas if you were to try and make them with a regular Western pattern you'd need extra fabric.

I contacted Suma and we're working on the suit right now, I am glad the pictures I sent her were clear enough. Everytime it was a great shot of the salwar the host was wearing they'd go to commercial. It's basically a blue kameez, above the knee with embrodery on a see through fabric around the next, the sleeves and the bottom of the kameez, mandarin collar and red patiala. The colours are muted slightly so it's not like I am wearing part of the American flag LOL. I am so excited just thinking about it, I know I am a nerd lol.

#313 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 02:15 AM:

Being a nerd is ok. Its what makes us interesting. Other folks wouldn't be fascinated by saris and salwar kameez!

Isn't Suma great? She's largely why I like S2 so much.

#314 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 09:06 PM:

So we've settled on the patiala salwar, same colour and pretty much the same design. I am so happy that Suma is able to almost completely copy it. We've added silver zari dots to it but that's about it. I've also ordered black cotton churidar pants for $9!! I can't believe that price I am shocked. I asked Suma about the saris and she said they've been doing painted and embrodered sarees for the market there but they're adding the saris to the site soon. I can't wait! I definately love Suma she's one of the number one reasons I love S2 I also love the price and being able to change the entire suit.

#315 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 10:56 PM:

Maggie- See what I meant? S2 is by far my favorite place to shop, too. I can get just what I want. I don't like sleeveless clothes usually, so they put sleeves on everything without being asked. I have to tell them to make it like the picture, or it will be made according to my preferences. I just got a big order today. It feels like Christmas. I was more courageous and ordered a lot more color. I love everything! I'm wearing a pista (pistachio) green salwar kameez right now. Its a great color that I've never seen here. I went shopping with my mother this afternoon, and couldn't find anything in the western shops that I like nearly as well. Even my mother agreed. Finally.

#316 ::: Naureen ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2007, 11:21 PM:

Few of my friends bought from Zarmina and they were very disappointed. There service sucks..clothes are expensive and fitting is terrible and then you have to wait another one month to get new outfit as they are mailing it from Pak.
Please Samina & Saima...I think you guys are promotting your own website so please DON'T WRITE WHAT YOU DON'T DO

I found sila.com the best to buy outfits. Good about Sila is she is the model...she runs the website and she is the designer so me and my friend never ever had any problem with her in fact she makes outfit that fits like a dream. She is the first Pakistani designer from Houston and running her business more then 10 years.

#317 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2007, 11:24 PM:

Suma at S2 heard about my adventures making salwar, and wrote me with instructions. Here they are:
I guess you are talking about kali salwar . In that there is an extra seam to give the salwar a fuller look. It is not needed. Simply lay the fabric on 4 fold. That is both legs are folded into 2 from the center (crease line). Take the length you need. That is the salwar length minus the belt for drawstring plus the seam allowance. Use the whole width of fabric if needed give an extra joint on the end where you join it to the belt. That is what is kali salwar. If the joint is bigger like for a pattiala then it is seen on the shins. Else it is a small joint which gets hidden under the top. I will try to give you a better explanation later.

I think I understand this; joint must mean piecing, and kali salwar must be the narrow form. I'm going to ask her to give more step by step instructions. Really nice of her to try to explain all this to me.

#318 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2007, 11:45 PM:

That is so nice of Suma, Anne. I wrote to dansingnspirit where I got my pattern and asked her about patiala salwar when I first fell in love with them (and on the site it says she's more then happy to help) and never heard back from her! I tried one attempt at making them myself but omg I didn't even finish them lol maybe I can figure out how to fix them when my order comes in. I am so impressed you know pista, I just learnt kaju the other night it's cashew. I am trying to learn different Hindi words and get used to using them because it'll make it easier in India when I know what I am eating. I may end up living on sweets because that's what I know the best LOL.

I know where you're coming from too Anne about Western shops and not finding much you like. I still go to the mall and I still go into shops but I rarely buy anything that won't go with my saris or salwar kameez or at least looks like either. This winter the long sweater over tights was a pretty cool look because it reminded me of a kameez over churidar pants and it was warm enough for our winters but that's as Western as I've been in years. Most of them I am attracted to jewelery when I am out or tea cups LOL.

Oh another fashion tip; Remember to match your gold. If you have real or imitation jewelery from India/Pakistan or the Middle East you'll notice it's a much darker yellow then most of the jewelery (real or fake) sold here. That's because (as most know) here we're most likely to buy 10kt-18kt gold which is much paler in colour then the 22kt-24kt gold sold in India/Pakistan or the Middle East. I am starting to suggest to alot of people that if they are looking to buy real jewelery to find an Indian/Pakistani or Middle Eastern jewlery store if they possible can because you're getting much more for your money then you would at say "Peoples" "Mappins" "Kay" etc. At the Western shops they'll just give you a price, at the Indian/Pakistani or Middle Eastern shops they will weigh the jewelery and give you a price based on the price of gold and a little extra for workmanship. You're getting more gold for your dollar by far. So there's my tip :).

#319 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: April 12, 2007, 07:40 AM:

Maggie- Last week I found some great earrings in the bargain bin at a local close-out store. They were by a major American designer, but look like they were made in India. The right color gold, aqua blue cabuchons that look like blue topaz. They match my tissue sari perfectly. I think a lot of Americans think that yellow color is fake looking. They don't realize that it is the color of 22-24 Karat gold.

Another jewelry tip. Someone, I think somewhere in this string, but I can't find it, was looking for bangles for a small wrist. I just got an email from Beachcombers saying they now carry glass bangles in sizes 2.6 through 2.12. That's happy news for people with large hands, too. I like the look of glass bangles with my salwar and saris.

I got one of the books: The Sari:Styles Patterns History Technique. It is a beautiful book with both black and white and color pictures, and describes traditional saris by region. It only has one page on draping, but is an interesting read. It is really just a nice coffee table book. I have always appreciated handloom saris, now that I know a little more about them, I will apreciate them more.

I'm feeling like its Christmas in April. I ordered some things a while ago from S2, then imediately ordered a whole bunch of kurti for my daughter. I had a ridiculously big order when you put the 2 together, and my daughter's had a time element, so mine was put on the back burner. Then they came out with their new collection and sale, and I ordered more. All of it came yesterday. It is beautiful work, every piece. Now I'm almost like you with saris, Maggie. I have 26 salwar kameez. I never counted before today. Everything from casual bum around the house to serious party wear. I have western clothes, too, but they generally just take up space in my closet.

My husband and I are planning on going to India in August if my health permits. We are going to Pune, where S2 is, and are planning on visiting there. Suma and the design team say they are looking forward to showing us around, and that finally she can show me the answers to my questions instead of trying to explain something totally unfamiliar to me in an email. Cross your fingers that I'm not too tired and weak to go. Isn't that exciting?

#320 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: April 12, 2007, 05:37 PM:

India in August? You are brave Anne! It's funny you bring up going to see Suma I had a great conversation with Suma last night via e-mail and I mentioned my husband and I are hoping to go to India in the next couple years and I made sure to find out (again) where S2 was based and Suma invited us to come and visit LOL. Talk about weird timing. Anne I have all my fingers and toes crossed that you'll be able to make the trip you'll certianly have to fill us all in on the trip when you get back. I finished up my order with Suma last night and sent the payment so now I am just trying to stay calm until the package arrives LOL I am SO excited to finally get my patiala salwar I just can't tell ya how excited.

26 salwar kameez? WOW I don't think I have that many but I am sure working on it lol I still have probably 5 to sew I ordered 3 from S2 plus my churidar pants and I found one on Amazon that I am very interested in. Problem is the seller is a new seller and has no feedback to go on and they charge a "minimal charge" for sewing it. It's just beautiful though it's a printed cotton salwar kameez in mainly blue but with purple and orange highlights it seems to have a bandhani design to it definately an eye catcher. The seller is Kharidari for anyone that wants to take a peek. I have a long way yet before I have as many salwar kameez as saris but I am sure to have fun getting there LOL.

I've decided to go through my Western clothes (especially the ones that don't fit) and just get rid of them if I can't incorperate them into my wardrobe. Small shirts if they are nice enough can be worn under a sari like the Maa Durga one I have but there's really no point in holding on to clothes that I have no intentions of wearing whether they fit or not. Now if I could just get my mum to stop buying me Western clothing for presents.

Yeah I agree Anne I think most Westerners think that the darker yellow gold is imitation gold. It's amazing what you can find at dollar stores too Anne, there is one right by Little India in Toronto and they always have beautiful jewelery in there from India all for a buck gotta love it. I love glass bangles too the sound is different then that of the metal ones I just have a harder time finding glass bangles here. I haven't ever sent for some because I figure they'll probably get broken before they reach me.

That book sounds really nice Anne, I've gotten more into the traditional and handloomed saris too. I'll be so proud to wear kota doria or bandhani saris and be able to say that I do know where they are from etc.

#321 ::: litlnemo ::: (view all by) ::: April 12, 2007, 09:56 PM:

I have an estimated shipping date for my s2 order -- next week! I'm excited. :)

Regarding western clothes that look like salwar kameez, I had a sort of interesting experience with that. A couple of years ago I had to go to Hawaii for a beachfront wedding. Dress code was "island-style." I had no idea what to wear. I'm not a dress wearer, but I figured jeans were too informal.

So I was looking at beachwear at Fred Meyer while thinking about this. I saw a pretty blue sarong and a really pretty blue a-line dress (about knee-length) that was meant to be a beach cover-up sort of thing. I went into the dressing room and tied the sarong around my waist as a long skirt, and then put the dress on over that.

I was shocked to see in the mirror that the combination actually worked, and it looked rather like a salwar kameez in shape. (At the time I didn't own any salwar suits, but I'd been lusting after them since reading Teresa's post here.) It looked really pretty good! So I wore that to the wedding.

Then, last year, I got a deep blue silk salwar kameez at a thrift store. I brought it home and noticed it matched my Hawaiian outfit perfectly. I put the dress on with the silk salwar and it's perfect! The dress is the same shape as the a-line sleeveless kameez style, and the proportions are perfect. And the sarong serves as a dupatta! If I'd only had the salwar when I went to the Hawaiian wedding, I would have worn the whole outfit like this. :) (Though I do wish it had some sleeves...)

The only strange thing is that the "kameez" is in a Hawaiian print. But it looks really cool.

#322 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: April 12, 2007, 10:30 PM:

Yes, India in August. It is hottest now, says Suma. In late July the monsoons begin, and it cools down. I won't get as tired with less heat. And don't forget I live in the Mojave Desert; thats why I started wearing salwar kameez in the first place. It is desert clothing. It often tops 118 degrees F. in the shade here in August. It will actually be cooler in India. How odd that we came up with the idea of visiting Pune at about the same time, and because S2 is there? Turns out that there is a lot to see in the area; it will be a great trip.

#323 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2007, 01:27 AM:

Hey litlnemo, I am so excited for you please let us know how your order is when you get it. That's so cool about the sarong, dress, salwar thing I totally love that. It's so strange I had a salwar kameez and a really nice (oddly enough) lengha choli and never once thought of getting more up until these last three years DUH!@me lol. I still kick myself for cheaping out for my cousin in law's wedding last year I get invited to so few weddings too :( Now I just got to hope someone else I know gets hitched because I am all ready for a wedding now hehehe.

Anne what I've read about India in August and the monsoon is that it just makes it more humid. I can't remember where I read it but they were saying it starts getting real hot now, then it starts the monsoon and it gets hot and wet like a permanent sauna. We're hoping to go probably Jan or Feb because at that time of the year we're more used to those temps. I said to Suma last night I'll be living on lassis and kulfi oh and PAKOLA!! omg has anyone else tried that pop? If you find it it's a green can and it says ice cream soda it's so good it tastes more like rose water to me. Everytime we're in Toronto I have to get some to bring home but since the cans are much thicker then what we have here they're very heavy hehehe.

That is strange that we were thinking about visiting Pune at the same time, I am trying to figure out how to work it into our trip. We're trying to sort out if we're just going to book a tour for our first trip to India or what. Being Hindu I am trying to work it so that I can visit some of the holiest places while we're there. It's going to be a pilgramage/sight seeing/SHOPPING! trip hehehe. Suma is such a sweetheart though I'd love to show up at S2 wearing my patiala salwar I just ordered. Are you doing all the planning and such yourself Anne or are you going with a tour?

#324 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2007, 11:08 PM:

Maggie- we are planning the trip ourselves with the help of a friend who's a travel agent and Suma's advice about the weather. I'm never going to get well, so putting off the trip might be putting it off forever. I have hope of being stronger in August, but this is incurable. I'm not sure if I want to wear salwar or saris in India. My son who works on a high end cruise line says that his multinational friends and people he has met say not to wear local ethnic clothes while visiting. I'll have to ask Suma, who seems to know all. Or at least whom to ask.

The other book came yesterday- Saris:An Illustrated Guide to the Art of Indian Draping. It is a very thorough ethnography of sari draping. The author tried to find as many different ways of draping a sari as possible, from recreating what she saw of ancient drapes from sculpture and paintings, to asking elderly women on the street how they draped their sari. She then gives illustrated step by step instructions. There is very little on modern drapes. Two pages on the Nivi drape that we all know, and then more pages on drapes related to it, but they wouldn't be appropriate to wear out today. They are often associated with a particular caste or village or time in history. But it is fun to play with as many of them as possible with a 6 metre sari. Some take up to 11!

#325 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2007, 04:37 AM:

Anne, I will keep my fingers crossed for you hun. I am somewhat in the same situation about going as soon as possible, I am going blind so I want to make sure I can see everything while I am there. Then again I also don't know if I'll ever be able to afford the trip if I put it off now. Luckily right now I have some money so that's why we're trying to get things sorted out. That's cool you have friend's to help you out with planning the trip.

But no Indian clothes in India? That's really strange. I don't wear Western clothes here so I certianly wouldn't start over there. Besides once you get into Western clothing it's very easy to wear something that wouldn't be acceptable there such as shorts that would be fine here might be very unacceptable there. You also have to remember if you're visiting any religious sites many of them will have you wear traditional clothing or at least very modest Western clothing. So you might as well wear traditional clothing, you know you'll be covered and still be cool, because pants just wouldn't be an option in the heat. I just think that's really weird advice, I've talked to alot of people at my temple and outside of it about going to India and they've never once told me not to wear my regular attire infact they've all joked with me about all the shopping I'll be doing and how surprised people will be in India to see me wearing a sari correctly lol. I suppose each to their own, but perhaps you should ask why these people are suggesting you don't wear Indian clothing in India.

From the sounds of it I'll skip "Saris: An Illustrated Guide to the Art of Indian Draping" I was looking for different drapes that I could actually wear. I am sure the village and the caste drapes are beautiful and neat to know but whats the point if you're just going to look out of place? I'll stick with the nivi and the Gujarati style (sometimes it's also known as Bengali although I've found two different Bengali styles, one like the Gujarati and one without any pleats at all). Alot of the people from my temple are from N. India so I see the Gujarati style pretty often, it's a very nice wrap although somewhat more open then the nivi which can be nice on a summer day.

I just ordered 6 petticoats from Suma, I have to replace all of mine because I've had to add a panel on to them so they look kinda funny under sheer saris and they were shortened to wear my sari below my navel and now I wear it above. I also wanted the 100% cotton for this summer apparently it's supposed to be the hottest ever! Suma is just the sweetest doing all this work for me and I still can't get over her prices my goodness!

#326 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2007, 08:35 PM:

Maggie #320> Sorry I'm a bit late on this but I know the salwar kameez you are talking about that Kharidari is selling.

My advice is to not buy the salwar off Amazon, but buy it directly from their website - www.kharidari.com. It's cheaper there (last I checked at least).

I had also e-mailed their customer service to ask how much it would be to customize the salwar suit and was told $5 US.

Hope this helps!

#327 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2007, 02:09 AM:

Tabby you're a life saver :) I was just trying to find out how to ask how much it was through Amazon lol. Thank you so much for the help you were more help then what I got from Amazon :) Oh and before I forget anyone checking out Amazon you'll find "Sams sequins" that's the same as echarming that I had all the problems with just incase I hadn't mentioned it. Again thanks Tabby.

#328 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2007, 02:34 AM:

Maggie- We made Suma blush with all the nice things we've been saying about her here. She says that we need to remember the rest of the S2 design team, the artists, and the tailors. That nothing could be done without everyone doing their part. She's right. Her boss found this blog and read it out loud to everyone. He seems to be a very nice person, too.

Tabby- thanks for telling us about the kharidari.com site. I checked it out, and it has some very nice things. Unfortunately, no plus sizes- their salwar kameez are premade, and then altered. It has some other things of interest though. Beautiful shawls and reasonably priced jewelry among many other things. I have my eye on one of the huge embroidered pashminas. I wish I'd had it this weekend. Suddenly cold and rainy here.

#329 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2007, 10:24 AM:

Anne - Uh oh, the "premade and then altered" thing makes me nervous. I'm not plus-size, but I'm 5'11" and most premade suits are just not long enough, kameez and salwar-wise. Utsav Sarees has the same suit, but I've heard too many not-so-great things about them.

Maggie - You're welcome! I feel awkward saying this, but it's great finding another person with severe fibromyalgia. People always tell me "your cousin's mother-in-law has fibromyalgia" etc., but the people I hear about are able to work and do almost anything they want. So it's nice to feel like I'm not the only person in the world who is severely limited by fibromyalgia. :)

#330 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2007, 01:33 PM:

Tabby- it seems that there are several of us here who have chronic fatigue for one reason or another. Its one of the reasons I started wearing salwar kameez. You can lie around in them and then answer the door without looking like you are in your pajamas. They are just as comfortable as P.J.s, but so nice looking.

The suits at kharidari.com are already sewn, 40 inches across the chest with 3-6 inches in the margins for alterations. kurta lengths tend to be between 38 and 42 inches, and salwar between 40 and 44 inches. I'm 5'8, with relatively short legs, and get a 40 0r 41 inch salwar. They also have what they call "free size" with no dimensions given. I'm sure not comfortable with that. I've had some bad experiences with Utav Sarees, but at the same time gotten some nice things there. I still occasionally order things from them, but its fingernail biting time. My latest order for sarees, sat around for a couple of weeks before they got around to notifying me that one was no longer available, and the others were available "with slight changes of color and design", and if I would confirm my purchase, they would send them to me in a week. When I asked for a photo of the changes, the peach saree was red, and the kota doria was the same general colors, but less vibrant. I didn't want either of them and chose new items. That was a week and a half ago, and I haven't heard a word from them about anything. I don't think i want to go through this aggravation again.

#331 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2007, 03:33 PM:

Anne - You read my mind! I was just going to say that I'm thinking of getting more salwar suits so if the doorbell rings, I at least look dressed. In the spring/summer, I've been wearing t-shirts and men's boxers around the house and I get some interesting looks from the UPS guy and solicitors!

Ugh on your current experience with Utsav Sarees! I like a lot of their stuff, but since their measurement form only goes to 45 inches for kameez and salwar length, I don't think they're an option for me. A 46-inch kameez is right below the knee on me and I need a 46-inch salwar, minimum.

#332 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 11:48 PM:

Hey Tabby,
I know what you mean about the FM, you hate to hear about others that are in the same situation but it's some what comforting because then at least you know you aren't losing your mind :). I had someone that *used* to be related (I actually disowned them) tell me that I was lazy and just wanted to collect a cheque every month because I can do so little. "There is a woman at my work, that's right SHE works!! and she has fibromyalgia" I even had problems with another women with FM mildly, she couldn't believe that I was in a wheelchair at the time because of the FM because her's was never that bad. We'll have to e-mail about our experances I think it might do us both good.

Well some of the suits at kharidari.com are premade (of course the kota doria ones lol) but the one I was looking at is free size. I don't have a problem with free size because pretty much all the ones on e-bay are sold as free size. Those premade altered ones worry me, they give the measurements at the chest but they don't tell you the hip measurement and that's where I really have to worry. I think I'll probably get a kota doria saree from them and that suit but then again I misscounted how many suits I've got to sew so I might just go with the saree for now who knows lol.

Anne I know what it's like to order something then get told it's not available order something different and then not hear from them, that's what happened with me and my last eshakti order. I find it kinda rude personally, you never know if they get your order or if the new choices are acceptable etc.

I am still trying to remember to open a flikr account and get some pictures of me in my salwar kameez ones I've ordered and ones I've made. I have such a bad memory grrr.

#333 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2007, 01:45 PM:

Hi Maggie - You are so right about the judgment calls people make. I recently had a friend tell me that she works with a woman who has fibromyalgia and her symptoms are completely under control because doesn't eat any processed food and she exercises. I know her intent wasn't to be mean, but it came off like I just lay in bed all day and eat McDonald's and ice cream all day long, which is not the case. My own doctor thinks I should see this quack doctor who thinks CFIDS and Fibro sufferers cause their own diseases! But yes, e-mail would be great!

The thing that really struck me with Anne's order from Utsav Sarees was that they didn't even provide photos of the slightly different sarees. You'd think a clothing merchant would know that no woman buys clothing without knowing exactly what it looks like.

#334 ::: Kat ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2007, 10:31 PM:

I just got an email from Beachcombers saying they now carry glass bangles in sizes 2.6 through 2.12.

I actually wear a 2.4 in bangles...I wear a 2.6 in glass bangles though. I have tiny wrists, extremely so, but my hands are closer to normal size (still small, but closer to normal), so my wrists/hands are actually not in proportion. My wrists could definitely take smaller bangles if I could get them on! I have to wear the larger in glass though or I break them just trying to put them on/take them off--and boy are those cuts on one's knuckles nasty! Because of the breakage factor (both for putting on/off, and because I just tend to break them--managed to break a few once when my ex, not realizing I had them on, grabbed my wrist to get my attention. Luckily I didn't get cut...unluckily it was the first time I'd ever worn them!)

Tabby and Maggie, my mom also has fibromyalgia. Among a ton of other things like arthritis, asthma, type 2 diabetes (yep, like I've said before, she's overweight, but it's hard to exercise when you can't breathe and have arthritis in your knees so badly that you can barely walk, y'know? So not much that can be done about that), thyroid problems, had breast cancer several years ago, etc. etc. etc. She's on disability now (lost her job about a year and a half ago and obviously no one else was going to hire her; she says now she's not sure she would've been able to continue working much longer anyway with the way her health went downhill). Much of what you're saying sounds familiar to me!

#335 ::: Kat ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2007, 10:35 PM:

Ha, and I just remembered. A few months ago my boyfriend was in the hospital (the trick of the amazing exploding appendix) and he got up and went to the bathroom, and as he came back I looked at him and started laughing. See, he was wearing a gown and hospital PJ pants, and he looked an awful lot like he was wearing the "kurta pajama" men's version of a salwar kameez. I tried to explain to him but he didn't get it.

He was awful cute in it, though...

#336 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2007, 12:20 AM:

LOL Kat, my hubby owns I believe four kurta pajama now. He actually wore one to his cousin's wedding I was pretty impressed. Yeah I know how your mum feels too I have thyroid problems, asthma, arthritis, bursitis (spl?)in both knees, torn rotator cuff (thanks to the transit system here) at the same time I torn the bicep, lumbago on the left side of my back and a problem with the sacroilliac joint on the right side of my back I think that's everything LOL. Yeah I know about the "well if you just get up and excersise and lose some weight and eat all organic non processed food etc etc" it's apparent that the people suggesting these things to someone with severe FM or any other medical problem hasn't ever experanced the problems themselves. As you said Kat it's hard to lose weight when you can hardly climb stairs or walk to the store because you're in so much pain. The processed food thing I have to say would probably help but I know that it just doesn't always fit into my life because my husband is going on disability because he has extremely bad knees, two surgeries in two years to fix them then one surgery to take out the screws from the previous surgeries and the only thing they fixed was keeping the knees from going out of place he's in a ton of pain all the time. So there are days that neither of us are up to cooking so processed food is the only choice unless we have the money for good delivery food (Indian or Mexican).

Tabby I've heard about alot of Dr's that think it's all in our heads too I think I saw a few of them before I was diagnosed lol. It's so hard to be diagnosed with FM as I am sure you know because there really are no hard evidence tests they can do. It's not like there is a blood test or something so some doctors seem to think if you can't prove it with a test then it's obviously not real. Makes you wonder if someone in their family ended up with FM or another "unprovable" illness' if they'd call their own family members crazy. One theory I hear about alot up here lately is that FM is causes by come kind of trama, and for the life of me I can't possibly think of something that happened when I was around 10 or 11 that would cause this. Sometimes you can't help but feel like a cancer patient with all these wack jobs out there saying one thing or another causes FM and then they try to sell you something that isn't going to help your health.

I wrote to Suma last night because I got out some of my better suit material, I want to get them sewn before it gets too hot to sew and I discovered something really weird. Two of my good suits have a line of boarder down the one side of the fabric but no where else I had no idea what I was supposed to do, I thought perhaps it was supposed to be used down side to make a kinda asymetrical strip but I thought if I did that and it was wrong I'd like like a total idiot. Turns out it's supposed to be trimmed off and then added to where ever you want it on the kameez or even at the bottom of the salwar (the salwar material on my suits match the boarder though). But Suma was telling me about the latest trend in India and I swear I had thought about doing it before but had wondered if I'd look silly. The fad is if you have salwar kameez material that has a printed material that is supposed to be for the kameez and a plain material for the salwar to switch them and use the pattern for the salwar instead. I think it's a great idea, it's something different and you can decorate the kameez more if it's plain perhaps make the sleeves out of the patterned material or take strips of it and add it on or make it the boarder or something. I have at least three suits that have the plain with the patterned material so I think I am going to try it out.

Of course I still don't have my flikr account or any pictures (you almost get the feeling I am camera shy lol) but when I do....yeah I know I've said it before.

Speaking of glass bangles I got a great deal on Tuesday I went to the local "new and nearly new used good stuff" (that's their logo I swear) store. The head office for this store is in Toronto so every so often they will get in a sari or two, bangles, bindis, jewelery etc. I even once found a peice of kameez material with an embrodered neckline. Well on Tuesday I went in no saris :( but I got two sets of glass bangles one set was .99 cents the other was $1.49, also got a Tibetian necklace with real turqiose stones for $5. I think the best find I've ever had there was an art silk sari with lots of gold buttis, heavily worked pallu and fringe for I think I paid $10.00 if that probably less. Then again I also got a Japanese sari for .99 cents and it folds up to be the size of a deck of cards. So it really pays off to look at second hand stores.
Oh yeah learnt today best thing for getting glass bangles on and off..body butter. I usually have a habit of breaking mine too but with the body butter it's so easy, I think I'll buy more glass bangles now that I've learnt the trick to them :)

#337 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2007, 03:07 AM:

Tabby and Maggie- We've all been through the "you must be crazy routine with doctors. And my collection of diseases is proveable with lab tests. Nobody thought to order the right ones until 3 years ago. Now they all take me very seriously except ER Drs, who say nobody could have all those diagnosis at one time. What really bugs me is they don't call the number on my Medic Alert bracelet, or make much effort to get in touch with a doctor who's familiar with me because they are so sure I'm nuts. Once, the guy in the ER accidentally saved my life. I'd been having severe muscle spasms, and eventually started having trouble breathing. He'd decided that I was hyperventilating because of anxiety, and gave me IV Valium. My pulmonologist said that actually the muscle spasms had spread to my diapgram, and the Valium stopped them and let me breathe normally. That convinced the ER guy that I was a mental case.

Still haven't heard anything from Utsav Sarees. I'm emailing every contact address they have and asking for a refund. This has been ridiculous. I don't care how much I like their inventory, its just too much of a pain to order from them. And Tabby, you're right about the photos. I'm not very likely to comfirm a purchase without knowing what i'm buying.

Finally figured out how to sew really nice salwar. Takes twice as much fabric as Arabella's, but they look really nice. The trick is to fold the fabric in quarters, then measure off the length of your salwar minus 5", plus 1 1/2" for the cuff facing on the fold. The width is the width of the fabric. Measure down the selvage side 7-9 inches, depending on your waist to chair measurement. I have a long torso, so I need at least 9". Then draw an angle from the bottom of the salwar on the fold to the bottom of the measurement on the selvage. Make sure that you draw the reverse angle for the cuff facing! That gives you the legs. For the yoke, cut a piece the width of your hips plus 5" and 8 1/2 inches deep. Go ahead and piece if you have to. Use heavy interfacing for the cuff, about 1" deep; when you hem them do some rows of decorative stitching through all layers of fabric. When you atatch the leg pieces to the yoke you can either gather or pleat them. Look at a pair you already own for the spacing of the gathers or pleats. I made a buttonhole where the string or elastic goes in. I hope this is understandable. I made a very nice pair today this way. There was a half off sale at my fabric store, and I got some very nice fabrics. I'm going to be sewing for a week! I was thinking of using the patterned fabric for the salwar for one suit- I had bought all that was left on the bolt, but it wasn't enough for the length of the kurta I was thinking of. If you use a plain fabric for the kurta, you not only can use scraps from the salwar for trim, but you can do some simple machine embroidery around the neckline, too. I bought a suit that has an inset in the V neck that has simple diamond shapes sewn on it, and a sequin and bead inside each diamond shape. It also has ribbon trim around the whole neckline. Very simple to do, and it looks great. I think I'm going to copy the idea on the next suit I do.

Glass bangles go on with liquid soap, too. Anything to make your hand slippery. I prefer the soap method because its easier to rinse off. The only time I've ever broken any was when I tried to put them on with soap or lotion.

#338 ::: Kat ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2007, 09:38 PM:

I definitely turn on the faucet, use a ton of soap, and put my glass bangles on VERRRRRRY slowly! I still break them sometimes, though. They are saved only for very special occasions (a couple times I got out all my red, green, and gold ones and wore them for Christmas Eve at church)

Last summer I was in Chicago and made a trip to Devon Ave. I bought...was it three sets of bangles? All were too big! It was a hot day, so my hands were swollen up and it was hard to tell the sizes...at one store, I picked out one set and then asked the lady the size of another and she told me they were the same size. Were not! The second set were at least a 2.8 (the first seem to be a 2.6). At the second store, I think I asked outright for a 2.4 and still got some that were too big.

#339 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2007, 03:22 AM:

Anne you're a genius! I hadn't even thought of the V neck on the plain with an insert of the patterned DUH!@ me lol Haven't gotten to sewing anything yet my back for some reason has been giving me hell but I might have a go at it in awhile. Anne I so could not visualise what you were saying lmao but that's ok as long as it works out for you. The ankles sound like what I do, as does how you're going to do the gathers. I won't even try to explain how I do mine then again I cheated partly by buying the pattern and then just fixed the pattern to work for me.

I didn't mind using the body butter with the bangles just because my skin has been really dry and it smells like melons hehehe. I got a couple more pairs of bangles up at the same store tonight not glass but still really nice. I am lucky with bangles my hands are very bendy (if that is a word) so I can usually get into small bangles if need be. I usually take a 2.8 but I have a pair that I would swear is a 2.4 and I can still get them on...off is abit more work. I learnt real fast you can't be in a hurry to put on or take off glass bangles although I think there is probably a reason and lesson in it, to slow down take your time and enjoy dressing and decorating yourself (for Hindus we're literally dressing the Goddess when we get dressed).

Yeah Anne I know doctors can be such jerks sometimes. It's like they don't believe we can remember all that's wrong with us and that we could ever be as sick as we say we are. I can't stand doctors sometimes their additudes remind me of certian people from the military (and I have some in my family) they know more then us. It's just annoying, meanwhile we've probably done as much if not more research then they have in their medical schooling. Bunch of jerks!lol

#340 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2007, 01:51 PM:

SHAME ON YOU....for using the expression "THIRD WORLD"!!!!
Be progressive and considerate....use DEVELOPING NATION....
You probably voted for BUSH!!!

#341 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2007, 02:35 PM:

Ginger- the person who used the phrase "third world" is the CEO of a clothing company that makes salwar kameez. He has posted two diatribes about the people on this blog for no apparent reason- the only post referring to his company before his rants was positive. He lives in Europe, so he I don't think he voted for Bush, but his arrogant and elitist attitude makes me think he would if he could! Next time, make it clear you aren't referring to the rest of us, who have a great deal of respect for the people living in developing nations. By the way, not everybody posting on this blog is from the US!

#342 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2007, 03:12 PM:

The vibe I've gotten from a lot of doctors is that they are not interested in helping people; it's like a prestige or money thing with them. But there are some decent ones out there - hiding. :) I have major surgery scheduled for this fall and my surgeon is wonderful. Not arrogant, always willing to answer questions, doesn't assume things.

Anne - I know exactly what you're talking about with a plain kameez with print sleeves and v-neck. I'm a beginning sewer and actually have a kurta pattern exactly like that. Very cute! :)

#343 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2007, 04:52 PM:

Tabby- I talked to Suma the other day, and she said the latest in India is plain kameez and patterned salwar. I bought some beautiful green cotton- perfect for summer here. I have enough for both salwar and kameez from it. I also bought a coordinating print; I'm deciding if I want to make salwar or kameez out of it to alternate with the plain. I could also use scraps to put patch work like the v-neck option on the green kameez, or leave it plain with an interesting neckline. Decisions, decisions! I'm leaning toward making salwar out of it. It's a floral with red and grey-blue with green leaves and a cream background. If I make salwar out of it I could use my red or cream dupatta with it. Any suggestions?

As for doctors, I have 5 specialists working as a team, and they are all great. They really care, and call me at home if they are worried. They spend extra time explaining everything to me. That's why the ER guy was such a shock. I'm not used to not being believed. And you'd think that just to cover his rear, he'd want to talk to anyone familiar with my case because it is so complicated. Go figure.

#344 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2007, 07:28 PM:

I've finally had it with Utsav Sarees. Today I gave them my alternate choices or the option of a refund. I asked for a confirmation email, and said I would report them to PayPal if I didn't hear back. And I will, if I don't hear in 2 days. I really dislike this kind of thing. I'm a pretty laid back person, and threats just aren't my style. It makes me mad that I have to resort to them to get a response. We'll see if this works.

#345 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2007, 02:00 AM:

Hey Anne, sorry to hear about Utsav. I know how you feel about not usually resorting to threats and such I ended up having to do that with echarming. Last time I didn't get any response to my e-mails was from eshakti and then I got my order with no word from them. I mean I know it takes time to make things but geez to let you know where you stand with an order is the least they can do, Suma goes beyond the call of duty.

Yeah Suma is where I heard about the coloured/plain salwar thing. It's certianly not the kind of info that is easy to get so Suma definately helps in that area.

Tabby I know what you mean about them being out there, my husband's surgeon is great about answering questions and such. I've had one or two good doctors but like you Anne I've found ER docs aren't the nicest people on the planet. Before I was diagnosed with the FM my parents took me to the kids hospital and this ER doc poked around making me even more sore (tender points) then says "Well it's nothing that's going to kill you in the next 24hrs go home" he wasn't even going to give me something for the pain until my mum made the point of asking. I mean come on! It took at least 6 trips to the ER to be diagnosed with asthma and it was the same hospital as the "not gonna kill ya" thing too.

Well I got another two pair of bangles from the same shop thought they were both metal until I tried putting the one pair on in a hurry yesterday LOL. No cuts luckily and I only broke one but it was abit of a surprise. Still haven't ordered that suit or sari from Kharidari.com that'll probably be this week and probably my last order for awhile I seem to have a very good supply of clothing. Although I am sure you all can understand the "urge to splurge" when it comes to some of these salwar kameez and saris ;)

Oh and Anne I second what you said to Ginger lol pretty much exactly what I was thinking. Great minds and all.

#346 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2007, 11:26 AM:

Amazing!! I got a response and apology from Utsav Sarees in my mail this morning. They said they would process the order as soon as possible as well. Lets see! I ordered two very nice salwar kameez and a sari.

I'm wearing a suit with plain top and patterned salwar today. I have three like that. I had no idea I was so fashionable. They all have just the tiniest bit of trim from the salwar on the tops. One of them is one of my favorites.

#347 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2007, 02:56 PM:

Anne - Glad to hear Utsav Sarees finally got back to you! I had e-mailed them last week with a question, so hopefully they'll get back to me soon.

Maggie - If you do order the suit from Kharidari, let me know what you think. :)

I think I'll be ordering from S2 soon. I've been looking for some nice, casual cotton suits for awhile, so I was happy to find a site with such a good rep.

#348 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2007, 01:55 AM:

I finally got to wear my churidar salwar from S2 today. I was starting to think I was never going to get to. Only little problem was I tried breaking in shoes in the outfit (mind you it's white churidar) instead the shoes broke my feet in so the ankles are just slightly stained with blood :( it's not bad enough to notice I don't think. It is such a comfortable suit I couldn't believe it the cotton is just wonderful! I am just counting down the days until my next order arrives from S2.

That's great Anne, so glad that Utsav got back to you but it's a real shame when you have to threaten them before they'll do anything. As I said the exact same thing happened with echarming and just like you I finally got something done after threatening them. It's a real shame there are companies out there like that. :(

I'll definately let you know how it turns out Tabby. I've tried talking myself out of ordering it a couple of times worrying about buying too much etc. but that purple/blue suit is just too beautiful and being all cotton it's even better. I had one awesome cotton suit back a couple years ago even though it was ready made it was my favourite just because it was cotton and so comfortable in the summer heat but it doesn't fit anymore (damn this hips of mine lol) so I am looking forward to having another one. I have a cotton suit to sew but it has mirror work and such so it's abit dresser.

#349 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2007, 06:02 PM:

Hey Anne,
I just took a good look around utsav.ca and found some great saris and a suit or two, I was wondering would you suggest someone ordering from them since your experances with them? Their kota doria collection is the largest I've found and the most reasonably priced I've found too. Since I know you've had business with them I thought I would ask before placing an order :) Thanks alot!

#350 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2007, 08:57 PM:

Maggie- that's why I keep ordering from them even though they are a pain. They have great selection, something for everyone, and at just about any price. Just be prepared for delays, last minute "minor changes in pattern or color" and varied fit. In the same order I've gotten things that fit perfectly, too big and too small. I think every tailor there has his or her own system for interpreting measurements. I've started adding extra measurements in the further instructions box, and have gotten better results that way. Things like the armhole measurement, and around neck (the prednisone made my neck swell), and high shoulder point to waist. If you aren't perfectly to their formula, add extra measurements for your individual shape. Be very specific in your instructions if you are buying cloth and not something already styled. Otherwise, you will get something very plain. If they say there are minor changes in pattern or color, ask for a photo. I find that my definition of minor is different than theirs. I've always opted to choose something else. If you do that, email every day until you get a response. After all my griping about them, some of my favorites are from Utsav Sarees. Just be glad you know how to sew, in case you have a size problem.

#351 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2007, 03:48 AM:

Me again :) Alright I put in my order with Kharidari their measurement page is abit of a head scratcher, I've never had to measure an outfit I already own to give another company the measurements so I added in some of my body measurements just incase (thanks to Anne's idea :). Then I went to Utsav picked out a kota doria went to the checkout and they want to charge me more for shipping then the sari w/choli was going to cost so I cancelled that order for now. I just think $26.00 shipping is crazy on a $16.00 sari. I am going to do some looking around and see what I come up with if I find any good sites I'll keep you updated.

#352 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2007, 10:07 AM:

Maggie- Utsav says they charge what shipping actually costs. When you add a second item, the shipping goes down in proportion, because it is X amount for the first so many ounces, which is more than a sari weighs, and then less for the next weight unit. So if you get 2 saris, the shipping per sari is a lot less. Or if you get a sari and one of the salwar kameez you've been admiring. I often experiment with the things in my wish list- add them to my cart and go all the way to the step before checkout where they give you your final total, and decide what i'm getting according to shipping cost.

#353 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2007, 02:40 PM:

Hey Anne & Maggie-

Just got back from a doc appt. I've applied for gov't disability (I'm in the US) and the gov't decided I need to see 2 doctors. Saw the neurologist who said "I don't know if Fibromyalgia is the right word, but you've got something brewing in you". He was all concerned about my purple fingers (Reynaud's) and my flushed face (fibromyalgia).

What I've noticed about some Indian salwar kameez and saree manufacturers is they'll ask for measurements of a salwar you already own. I've heard that some times you get better results giving garment measurements rather than body measurements, but this can be difficult to do if you've gained or lost weight. Someone told me that Utsav Sarees does better with garment measurements, but still their tailoring isn't very consistent (like Anne said).

I've seen the first so many grams is X dollars and each additional amount of grams is whatever amount too. It would seem to me that they're adding a surcharge for supplies and time, even though they're saying they're charging only for costs.

I e-mailed Utsav a week ago today. Still waiting for a reply. :)

#354 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2007, 05:38 PM:

Tabby- be sure that when you get turned down for disability, you appeal. The policy is to turn everyone down the first time they apply. You are much more likely to get it on appeal. Hang in there, and good luck! I'm glad you got a doctor who seems to care and believe in fibromyalgia both. He's a treasure.

I agree that Utsav's shipping costs must be part profit. They are at least as high as the shipping on the $1.99 suits on e-bay.

#355 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2007, 06:39 PM:

Hi Anne - This guy I saw today was actually picked by social security for me to see. I thought he was going to be really difficult, you know, the type that tries to get you to admit that you're really just lazy and don't want to work. But he was really easy. :)

My actual doctor is another story. I had to see her today for a non-FM issue and she doesn't believe I can't work at all. She told me to get a job working from my home (nevermind I spend a good portion of the day lying down and the only work-at-home things I found were scams). I'm just happy I go to a clinic that specializes only in FM and are wonderful and don't have to deal with my actual doctor for FM-related care.

And yep, I've got an attorney for my disability stuff. :) So we're definitely in it for the long haul with this.

The higher shipping rates have to be something: surcharges for shipping supplies, PayPal/credit card middle man fees, etc. My one suit was only $14-something for India to US via DHL.

#356 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2007, 05:59 AM:

Hey Guys,
Tabby I wish you so much luck and send you all the extra strength I can spare. In January I finally got accepted by the government disability (I know it's Canada but your disabilty sounds alot like ours) it took me 2 & 1/2yrs to finally get it and like you I had to get a lawyer involved. It was a definately struggle and very stressful, now my husband is applying and I can just imagine what that's going to be like. At least with him and unlike us with FM there are actual tests and X-rays etc to prove his condition. However we got the papers back from the surgeon today and he says it's only going to last for a year or less...my husband hasn't been able to work in four years! Some doctors are so dippy my god makes you wonder what they are getting paid $150.00 for when they fill out those papers (luckily paid by the government). I never realised the flushed face was part of the FM I just thought I was frighteningly pale LOL.

Well I ordered with Utsav one kota doria and one that was on "today's specials" it's beautiful and I had to have it LOL. I spent more then I wanted to but I've never seen anything like the second sari it's black but the bottom two feet or so is red and the pallu is yellow and the whole thing has a printed pattern that looks like lace (the sexy kind of lace not the Grandma kind LOL). I had the blouse stitched with the second sari too it seems too fancy to wear just a plain black choli with. And I have to agree the shipping does go down the more you order but it still seems pretty high $42.00 for two saris and one choli but I couldn't have found the black sari and possibly not the kota doria in Toronto so what the heck. I decided on only one kota doria because they have to be starched and ironed and as I know you guys understand that on alot of days that can just be too much work. I'd get the iron plugged in and that would be my entire day LOL.

Oh and here's something strange remember Multifab on e-bay? The automatic sari thing? Well I just got two e-mails from them they've been kicked off of e-bay and paypal because of bad feedback (they claim it was mine that broke the camels back I read the feedback...it wasn't just me 9 in the last month alone not counting mine). So they asked me to follow up my feedback on AOL so they can get their accounts back and give me my partial refund thing is...I already got back $25.00 but I have to admit that wouldn't have been enough to get the sari, choli and petticoat altered and it's certianly wasn't enough on a $150.00 order either. With any luck I'll get abit more back I'll keep you updated...weird though eh?

#357 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2007, 02:57 PM:

Hey Maggie,
It's really unfortunate that the gov't makes it so difficult to get disability payments. I understand there are people who lie and cheat and that they're trying to screen those folks out. On the other hand, if you're truly disabled, the forms and the visits and everything else can be way too much. So it seems to me they are forcing out the truly disabled while the cheaters probably stick around (because they have the energy to jump through the hoops).

Heehee - I'm really pale too. But since I've had fibro, I flush horribly. I looks like I'm drunk or embarrassed and it takes awhile for it to calm down. When I asked at my fibro clinic, they said it's caused by an unstable central nervous system, which is basically the cause of fibromyalgia. But docs who aren't very familiar with fibro think it's lupus (nope) or rosacea (nope).

This is just my take on the Multifab thing, but something isn't right here. They get kicked off of eBay and PayPal and they want you (and probably others) to follow up on AOL so they can get their accounts back. They must be extremely naive because eBay, at least, usually won't give people their accounts back. Even if eBay screwed up and knows it, they won't re-open the accounts. I guess I would bug them to give me the money back first, then I'll follow up on feedback.

I had something like this happen last year where I filed a complaint first with PayPal, then with my credit card company (PayPal wouldn't do anything for me). When I filed with my credit card, the seller's account was temporarily suspended. He contacted me, wanted me to close the dispute and then he'd give me all my money back. I told him he needed to give me a full refund and then I'd close the dispute. He said he would, but never did. I did get my money back through my credit card company, but then had massive problems with PayPal (do not trust those folks EVER).

So, if you withhold the follow up feedback, you have quite a bit of leverage. But that's just my opinion. :)

#358 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2007, 08:35 PM:

This was a horrible week to order stuff! I just got an e-mail from Utsav just as you predicted Anne the one sari (kota doria one) is available but with a slight alteration, so as you suggested I asked for a picture and I am waiting on their reply. Then I got an e-mail from Kharidari saying that the suit I so dearly love is out of stock and that all their cotton suits are so they'll have to send me a link to their new stock in 2-3 days :( and I really wanted that suit too. I'll let you know what happens in both cases.

Yeah the multifab thing is really strange and I have to wonder how much of what they said is the truth. However the one part that makes sense is that they can't give me my money back until they get their paypal account back because I went through paypal instead of giving them my credit card info. It's funny the complaints on the other feedback for them is all about the same problem I had which was they didn't make any of my order the right size, even people who left positive feedback said they had to fix the sizes on their order. If I hear anything else from them I'll relay it to you guys, don't want anyone on here to have to go through something like this.

#359 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2007, 11:02 AM:

Hi Maggie,

That is a bad week! I can't stand internet shops that leave out-of-stock merchandise up on their sites.

I checked Multifab's feedback yesterday on eBay, just to see what had happened. It looked like the last 10 negs were from one person in the US. But you're right: I saw a lot of positives that said the suit or saree was the wrong size, but they could fix it.

I'm not so sure Multifab will ever get their PayPal account opened again. PayPal seems to love to lock accounts for as long as they can. If they've permanently lost their account, PayPal won't open it again.

As far as the suit on Kharidari, Utsav has it - if you want to deal with them again. :) Otherwise, I wonder if S2 could make it or something very similar for you?

#360 ::: litlnemo ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2007, 08:47 PM:

My s2 order arrived today! I put pictures of the two suits on Flickr -- here and here. The green suit is the one that is green with pale yellow pants and dupatta on the S2 site; I told Suma I wanted a dark color (because, hey, pale yellow on my calves is not the best thing ever, although I do love that color), and she chose maroon -- it is lovely!

It's kind of weird I got two sort of muted color suits, because I love bright colors! Next time I will get a pink kameez, I think.

The service was good and the fit is just fine, so I will definitely order from S2 again sometime.

#361 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2007, 03:32 AM:

Hey Tabby,
Yeah it's pretty annoying when they leave stuff up, but from what they said they got my order and then just after found out everything was out of stock. I'll take them at their word but it's still annoying. They said they'll send me the link so I can pick something else out instead of putting in a whole new order, being kinda positive that I'll want to order from them again lol, I'll give the new stock a look and with any luck they'll have the same suit. I know that some of the suits eshakti has posted for this year are the same ones they had last year complete with the same pictures. Thank you so much for finding that suit at Utsav for me Tabby that was very nice of you *hugs* I am just finding staying at the computer too long is causing some severe eye pain so I haven't been able to track it down myself. Hopefully when I get the glasses back that I picked out today I won't have that problem anymore. I may go with Utsav for that suit but you also had a really good idea about S2 as well we'll see what the new stock brings. My luck if I ordered that suit from Utsav it would only be available with "slight alterations" LMAO. ;)

I got an e-mail from Utsav saying they couldn't send me a picture of the alteration in the kota doria sari I ordered but they stressed it was minor so I am taking a leap of faith and taking them on their word and just hope it's not going to be some hideous shade of baby diaper green LOL.

I am not too worried about Multifab I did get some money back from them perhaps not as much as I'd like but it's better then nothing. Although you'd think if they were that worried about giving people their money back they'd at least ask for people's information in an e-mail and send it that way (don't know how many would go for it but it would show and effort on their part). With all the feedback both negitive and positive complaining about things not fitting on e-bay that'd be enough for me to close their account if I were e-bay too. When you send that much money and send measurements you kind expect stuff to fit.


Hey litlnemo,
I am so happy you like your order from S2. Suma told me they are getting really busy with tons of orders coming in, I couldn't be happier for them they really deserve it. Your suits look beautiful on you. Suma is a wiz at colour and design. S2 is by far my favourite place to shop. Suma is more like a friend to me now then just someone I shop with which I think adds more comfort to the whole shopping experance. My order from S2 is supposed to be sent May 4th so once they come in I'll get some pics, I have a flickr account now just no pictures of my salwar kameez LOL I am just going to have to make it a whole day experance taking pictures of them all and getting them uploaded on there. I just had to add another petticoat to my order with S2 too to go with the black sari I bought from Utsav and they are so wonderful that they're going to have it done in time to come with the rest of my order.


Anne,
I was wondering (and I am not sure if you mentioned it before so just stick with me on this lol) how is Utsav's shipping? Has it been fairly quick for you? I need that black sari by the 24th of May so I am crossing my fingers that you say the shipping is good lmao.

#362 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2007, 11:17 AM:

Speaking of Utsav shipping, I tried something yesterday. I randomly picked a salwar kameez on their site and checked shipping for both the US and Canada. Shipping to US was $17 and some cents, but to Canada it was $30 and some cents. That's so weird, considering these are countries that border each other.

Maggie - Yeah, instead of the suit being blue, purple, and golden yellow with bandhej print, it'd be black and halloween orange with flowers. Haha - just kidding. I hope the sari you ordered truly only has a slight variation too. I'll track down the item number of the bandhej suit at Utsav for you and post it. Finding stuff on their site can be pretty difficult.

litlnemo - Thank you so much for posting your pics! I'm planning on ordering from S2 soon, so it was nice to see pics of the work they did for someone. Both suits look beautiful on you. :)

I'm already impressed with S2. I e-mailed yesterday, late afternoon, and woke up this morning to a reply from Suma. :) I've decided I want a lime green kameez and white churidar, so I just need to pick out which suit I want mine modeled after. (And then somehow corral my busy husband into doing my measurements!)

#363 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2007, 02:23 AM:

LOL Tabby,
Your poor husband is going to feel like mine ;). I always get him to do my measurements I have them written down but so many different sites want different measurements sometimes there are just ones I don't have, plus every few months you have to do them over again incase you lose or gain weight. I was shocked last time I did mine I had lost alittle bit.

Utsav's shipping is strange the prices of the clothes seem to be similar for the US and Canada but the shipping wow they must be making a fair bit there. Thank you so much for posting the item number for me I tried looking for it last night and after 43 pages I still didn't find it...OMG can you imagine if it's only available in the US LMFAO.

I sent off the picture of the sari to Suma and let them decide what colour petticoat would be best I got my answer and the invoice for it today. Suma is really good at keeping up with her mail. It's funny when I first put in the order for the petticoats I had thought about getting a black one but then I thought "na I only have one black sari and I can get away with any dark colour under it" and wouldn't you know it I would get this new one. I wouldn't have worried so much about the colour of the petticoat except that some parts of the sari the black is so light you'd definately be able to tell any colour difference. Got a shawl and new purse to go with that sari yesterday so it better be here in time lol.

#364 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2007, 05:22 AM:

Tabby-that's the spirit! I wanted a peacock blue and yellow one for spring, and got that. It is so fun to wear.

Maggie- Once Utsav gets around to finally shipping, they are pretty quick. Its the getting around to it that takes so long. They may send it tomorrow, or a month from now. I got one order in about 10 days and Ive been waiting for the current one since the first week of March. I wish i could give you better news but thats how it is.

Good night, more tomorrow -Anne Bremser

#365 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2007, 10:18 AM:

Hey Maggie - Your and my favorite salwar suit is sold out! :( There was another bandhej print that was on my wish list and that's gone too.

I'd actually have my mom do the measurements, but she's really busy. She retired about 5 years ago, but got another job working as an on-call occupational therapist. At this point, she's busier than she was working full-time. So my husband gets to figure it out. :)

Anne - I just figured out recently that I can wear more colors than I thought, including lime, some reds, and some pinks. So why be boring, right? I was also inspired by Maggie's post about her blue and orange suit. Plus, I'll now have a churidar to wear with messed up kameez (the churidar is long gone on this one).

So S2 does sarees and petticoats too? I'd love to try a saree, but I am too tall (it wouldn't go floor length on me).

#366 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2007, 09:34 PM:

Hey Tabby,
It's sold out? LMAO I must be a curse. I guess it was everyone's favourite suit. If you ask Suma about sari's and petticoats they'll do them. Suma was telling me that they will eventually be putting the saris on the site. You're too tall for a sari? Wow you must be tall, I find if I wear my sari too high then it's not long enough but I find wearing it just above my belly button seems alright. I don't usually wear mine floor length just to the tops of my feet, and then I still step on it once in awhile lol. I found that the automatic sari was pretty long so you might want to look into that as an option. I am so glad you're getting into colours, I can't say enough about colour. Even if you feel like crap, put on some colour and it fools people into thinking you're fine ;) I wore my red bandhej sari out today got attention (probably not good attention I look too "ethnic" for this city in my duller saris let alone this one. But no flying hamburgers today do that's got to be chalked up to a good day) and of course got my least favourite question "What are you?" I just hate that question it's so rude. If someone was to ask "Hey are you Indian?" or "Ethnically speaking what are you?" that would be a different story but no it had to be "What are you?" so I said "Canadian". lmao Sorry for that little rant.

Oh gosh Anne! They better have that sari to me before the end of May or I am not going to be very happy with them I mean two sari's and one sari blouse shouldn't take them that long. I'll be ragging on them if it takes too long I had to wait all that time with echarming I am not going through that again.

Still no word yet from Kharidari I am pretty close to just getting them to cancel my order and I'll give them another shot some other time.

#367 ::: litlnemo ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2007, 09:45 AM:

Follow-up on my S2 order for those who are interested:

The construction of both outfits is good. Seam allowances are sewn finished or serged. The fit is perfect, including the ease at the hips which is often a bit tight on ready-made kameez. (My eShakti outfit, with the same measurements, flares a bit oddly at the hips, but that may be because of the fabric.)

The churidars don't quite look right, but the fault doesn't appear to be S2's, as they are the correct size as requested. It seems that perhaps I just don't look right in churidar-style pants, as I have big muscular calves and ankles to go with my wide feet. (I blame the figure skating.) So now that I know that style doesn't suit me, I will get something different for next time.

Some nice details: the dark blue kameez has a lovely embroidered pattern of swirls, and it is in variegated thread (which can't be seen well on the website). It looks very nice. Also, the floral pattern on the green kameez is yellow flowers and green leaves, with yellow dupatta and churidar -- on the website. Mine has maroon instead of yellow, and the flowers on mine are maroon and green to match. That was a nice detail I didn't catch at first -- that the flowers changed to match my dupatta and churidar.

Shipping from India to Seattle took only 3 days. It did take nearly a month total from the day I ordered until the suits arrived.

I might order a kurta or two next. I have one coming from eShakti as well (well, one of their cotton voile shirts, not really a kurta), and there is definitely a difference from S2 -- I got an e-mail confirmation of my order, but haven't heard a word since. I hope that shirt comes soon.

#368 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2007, 10:15 AM:

Litlnemo - the cotton voile tops on eShakti are really cute. I've been just a bit nervous to order from them because they don't ask for measurements on some things. Like, for upper arm size, the options are small, average, or large (or something along those lines). I'm worried whatever I bought wouldn't turn out well.

Maggie - It's me, it's me - that's why your suit sold out!;) I have a hard time making decisions, so once I decide I really want it, it's gone. I looked at the other bandhej print suits they have, but to me, they weren't really bandhej print.

Yep, I am tall - 5'11". I had talked to the owner, Mel, at Pardesi Fashions. She said sarees will generally fit up to a 5'10" woman and I can't remember what the plus size was. She has some women who are over 6' and they sew an extra piece of fabric on one end to make it longer (wider? taller?), but then you sort of need to camoflauge that addition. She's working on getting sarees made from wider (I think?) fabric that will fit most tall and most plus-sized women.

So you've had a lot of problems with wearing ethnic clothing in public? To be honest, I haven't had the guts to wear a salwar kameez when we go out for Indian food, but I've worn it out in public in general. I've had stares, but I usually get stares for being tall (I wear heels), for having pale skin in the middle of summer (I've had nasty remarks from both white and black people), and for having a husband shorter than me. So I usually don't know what the deal is exactly.:)

The only story I have is when I wore it last May. I was out with my mom for tea in this tourist city. We walked into a shop owned by a Tibetan couple and I seriously got followed all through the shop. Evidently, salwar kameez is worn in Tibet and the wife was literally tickled that an American woman chose to wear one. But they were very nice, just too much attention for me. :)

So now you have to tell me the flying hamburger story. :)

I also checked out Kharidari this weekend and I think the new cotton suits are up. Didn't see the favorite suit though.

#369 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2007, 01:06 AM:

LMAO Tabby, it's not your fault I swear it's me! I have a history of this kinda thing, the first restaurant my hubby and I had our first date in closed down, then just recently the restaurant we got engaged in closed down. Where we met at work is teetering on bankruptcy lmao. See I told you it was my fault. However just like you I have a hard time making a decision too hehe omg you should see me with a bubble tea menu I take forever.

That is cool about the Tibetan couple, I get that alot around here with people from India and Pakistan. When I first started wearing saris (as I mentioned before I started wearing saris before I ever owned a salwar kameez) I went to a local multicultural festival in town here and there was an Indian man and a Tibetan man running one of the booths and they were really cruel to me I couldn't believe it and even after all this time I am still so shocked over their behaviour towards me. I of course now I know that I won't get treated like that all the time but I tell ya I came close to hanging up saris for good right then. They made fun of me in Hindi (I believe it was Hindi), they said "Namaste" but since I didn't understand what they were saying (this was like a week maybe two after I started wearing saris so I knew nothing about Hinduism or greetings) they laughed at me, then they asked me if I was pregnant (no I am just fat) and pretty much laughed me right out of the their booth, it's still kinda hurtful I have to admit.

Alright the hamburger story (by the time I am done you'll never want to come to London, Ontario heck I don't even want to live here lol) last year while I was in a sari (with my red bindi very obvious on my forehead) my hubby and I were out going to the store and we had our little dog with us. The dog stopped right near a light post so I was just kinda looking around not paying any attention when I felt this breeze past my arm, I looked down at the ground and there is a hamburger laying in front of me and the car it came from went speeding off. I was in such shock I didn't know what to do I couldn't even yell anything at the guy. I mean to through food at me is one thing but beef? It was probably one of the worst incidences of racism and religious intolerance I've ever experienced. There have been some people that will right out laugh at me, even following my husband and I into a store to point and laugh. This city is very conservative and very white and not very open to other religions other then Christianity. So a white girl wearing something not native to her own culture and wearing a symbol of a religion other then Christianity are two very strong strikes against me. I've gotten used to the attention, laughs, stares etc depending on the situation I usually put it down to people being stupid LOL. There was this one time my husband was in a kurta and I was in a sari and this older Indian couple stopped right infront of us and started an impromptu quiz about the names of our clothes (choli, kurta etc) then asked my husband if he knew what the symbol on his kurta was and of course he knew it was "Om" LOL it was so funny they were so impressed and so happy to see us embracing Indian culture and Hinduism the best part is that this couple goes to my Mandir and the lady has become my "Auntie". As I said before I get stares and comments and negative attention when I wear Western clothing anyways so I might as well wear what I am most comfortable in and get some positive attention and meet some wonderful people. Honestly there are days that it gets so hard to deal with that I get real close to giving it all up but you just have to do what makes you happy. One of the most recent things was more of a religious thing then clothing but to cut the story short it was a show of religious intolerance from a Muslim girl who couldn't have been more then 12yrs old. It broke my heart and then made me VERY angry. It made me angry not at the girl but at whoever the adults are that she learnt that type of intolerance from. Her comment behind my back was "Yeah she's Hindu like I am Christian". Those are some pretty big words for a little girl. The worst part was it happened in the only middle eastern/Indian area of this city, most of the shops out there are owned by Muslims and I've become good friends with them so for that to happen there was just...heart breaking.

I never heard about tall women having to add to the width of the sari before wow that's interesting thank you for sharing Tabby, I am so sorry that it's so hard for you to find one that fits. That'll be awesome when you get one to wear though I am sure you'll love them.

You've had comments for being really pale? You know it's things like that, that really get me going. I mean first it's not like you choose to be so pale and second of all do these people just put others down to make themselves feel better? That's just low. If I were with you and that happened you'd have the cops dragging me off to jail LOL I can't stand when people treat others with absolutely no respect.

I looked at Kharidari on the weekend and I think they had two pages of cotton suits then last night they had only 3 suits up. I don't know what the deal is but as I said I might just cancel for now and try them again some other time. I saw a couple on e-shakti I liked maybe I'll get something from them...I really wanted that suit though :( lol

#370 ::: Star ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2007, 03:36 AM:

Hi, may I chime into the conversation? I don't know if this is a private message board so please let me know! I found the thread because of the Utsav discussion. I have ordered from them three times, the first was last year and the item was too tight but that may have been problems with the measurements I sent so I just had it enlarged and went to a seamstress to get measurements for the next order. The second time I ordered, I had some of the similar experiences in that some items fit wonderfully and some were too tight. They had to re-do one top for me it was so bad, and it couldn't be let out. The third time I ordered...well I ordered beginning of March and I'm still waiting (and crossing my fingers). They were out of an item that I had chosen but didn't tell me for two weeks, it was the second item they couldn't do in my order, it's been very frustrating but I like their designs so...what can I do? Also their fabric is divine in my opinion. Tough call.
I ordered from S2 today, I hope things turn out well and that I get the outfits before end of summer...I do agree about Suma's replies to emails, she has always answered my questions which is really nice.

I have two saris, one Assam silk (gorgeous), I'm too chicken to wear them out right now. I will some day when I'm in a more cosmopolitan area. I hear what you are saying about conservative areas and feeling uncomfortable wearing these beautiful bright outfits out. I am slowly working my courage up to not give a flip. Life is too short you know? Plus I'm a fabric nut (which is why I love saris) and so....I can't just buy these things and let them sit in my closet.

I am reading Madhur Jaffrey's memoir " Climbing the Mango Tree" right now, it's very neat to read about how her mother took such painstakingly careful care with her saris, "...a very special treatment was reserved for the dressier sarees. My meticulous mother would first get rectangles of heavy cardboard, all cut to the same size...she covered each with sturdy brown paper. She would then take a saree and fold it into a very long rectangle the same width as the cardboard, place the cardboard in the center of this rectangle, and fold the saree over it in thirds. That was not all. Muslin, bought by the bolt, had been cut into large squares. Each folded saree was then enfolded again in the muslin...We, her daughters, have most of her sarees now. They are all in perfect condition." What a legacy to bequeth to one's daughters!

Thanks for this discussion!

#371 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2007, 04:24 AM:

Hey Star,
Welcome to the board! As far as I know this is a completely open board (even to the likes of CEO lol). Sounds like you and Anne must have put your orders in at the same time since you've both been waiting since March. I have to say Utsav let me know about the slight alteration on the one sari I ordered I believe the day after I sent in my order which wasn't too bad. I really hope the blouse I had them make fits, I've ordered custom made cholis twice, sent in my measurements twice and neither of them fit! So I guess I have to keep my fingers crossed about Utsav too. I need my order by the 24th of May so it better get here lol. I can just about guarantee you will have your order from S2 probably by the end of May.

Yeah conservative cities and towns really suck when you're more of a multicultural type of person. You keep working on getting up enough strength to wear your saris Star I am sure you'll look great in them. I think most of us have mentioned about getting looks, attention and questions from Indian and Pakistani (and some Tibetans) but from the sounds of it you're ready for anything. Saris are by far best appreciated when worn. Although I have one sari I've only ever worn once and don't have any plans to wear again anytime soon but that's because it's Varanassi silk. Just think of how beautiful you'll look walking around in such bright and beautiful clothing while everyone else looks hum-drum in their jeans and t-shirts ;)

BTW the book you're reading sounds great Star, I think I've actually looked at that one last time I was at a book store maybe I'll have to pick up a copy. Talk about taking care of a sari eh? My Varanassi silk is currently folded up in a plastic bag in my closet, I make sure to refold it every few months but a plastic bag is probably not good for silk.

#372 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2007, 05:53 AM:

Hello, Star. It's my publicly accessible message board, and I'm the moderator. Be welcome. I leave this thread open for comment because the people here seem to be enjoying the conversation (with one exception, and he left); also because it can take a while to track a salwar kameez deal, and I figure other readers get the benefit of the information exchanged.

#373 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2007, 03:02 PM:

Hi everybody- I've had a relapse of the myasthenia, and something else is going on; lots of tests,etc.So I haven't been following the conversation here for a while. Welcome, Star. I haven't had the courage to wear my saris out, either, because of the conservatism of our town. I love to wear them at home, though. My most interesting interaction was when I went to an Indian grocery wearing a salwar kameez. The girl at the counter, who was about 20, asked me why I wore it. I told all the things we all all say- comfortable, attractive, practical... She said that she wasn't brave enough to wear hers in public. I was wearing a very nice , very fashionable one from S2, and she asked me where I got it. I gave her their card. She said that maybe she would start wearing them if someone like me could do it (read white American). I ended up giving her the URLs of a couple of sites. We must have talked for an hour.
I've read reviews of the Jaffrey book, and they are all positive. I will read it eventually, but right now I reading about Maharashtra, history, culture, and religion. It is very interesting. The Moghuls were pushed out by a Hindu warrior with a lot of ideas about how things should be. His name Was Shivaji, and he lived in the 17th century. He made Maharashtra Hindu, and over the years Maharashtra has produced religious poetry,and several Hindu Saints. There are all kinds of myths about Shivaji himself.
I am a bit tall myself- 5'8". I'm just about the maximum you can be to tuck in enough fabric for a sari. My problem is that I am large in the tummy, and the sari is a bit too short. I need and extra yard or so to make enough pleats. If I want more then a foot of palu when I'm done, I have to limit my pleats to three or four max. I've thought of sewing a yard of matching fabric on the end for the first wrap.
I got an email from S2 saying that they have gotten behind because of a sudden increase in orders (all of us, maybe?) and a thunderstorm that knocked out the electricity and transportation for two days. They couldn't get anything done. They were apologizing. I don't think that an apology is necessary-we all know you can't sew without electricity to run the sewing machines. They are all feeling bad because they aren't living up to their promises. I wrote Suma,and told her that I understood, and not to worry about my order. I know it will come as soon as they can manage.

#374 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2007, 04:27 PM:

Hey everyone!

I first want to thank Teresa for keeping this message board open. I am very isolated at this point, so it's nice to chat with others about a subject I'm interested in.

Star - Welcome! My husband has one Jaffrey's cookbooks; it was a Valentine's Day gift from me. We haven't cooked much from it, but I like it because most of the recipes are not for items available at local restaurants.

Speaking of books, I have two authors to recommend. I really enjoy both Jhumpa Lahiri's and Monica Ali's books. I seriously could have read Ali's "Brick Lane" in one day (it's over 400 pages long. The character development was so terrific, I felt like all the characters are real people, still living their lives somewhere. I occasionally have problems with reading comprehension and staying focused, but this book was both an interesting and easy read.

I've read Lahiri's "Interpreter of Maladies", which is a collection of short stories, and just started "The Namesake". Her writing style is similar to Ali's. "Interpreter of Maladies" was especially good because the stories were all so bittersweet and moving.

So now I'll have to get a hold of "Climbing the Mango Tree". :)

Conservative cities - You know, I do not live in a cosmopolitan area, but after reading everyone's comments, I sort of feel like I do. :) I live in the Twin Cities area (Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN) and for the most part, people are fairly polite (at least the native Minnesotans are). A native, even they hate what you're wearing, if forced to make a comment, will probably say "it's unique" or "it's different". Of course, there's nasty people everywhere, but most people won't go past staring at you. We have one of the largest Somali populations in the US, so I think people are somewhat used to people dressing differently.

But I do have to apology for what you went through, Maggie. Just because the reactions of those people were so wrong. I really wonder if the reaction of the Tibetan and Indian man were basically Eve teasing? They hamburger thing, well, that's just assault (you can't throw objects at people).

The 12-year-old girl comment is very sad because you just know she's going to grow up to be a judgmental, ignorant woman. What really hit me with her comment is how so many people think India is a homogeneous country; it's really not. There's what, 16 languages spoken there? And most world religions have adherents living in India: Jews, Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains. I remember watching something on TV where this Indian woman was a Catholic nun, working in France, wearing a saree. :) So salwar kameez or saree does not equal Hinduism.

Thanks for telling us about the problems S2 is currently having, Ann. It's terrific that Suma took the time to explain what had happened. (Hint, hint, Utsav Sarees - work on your communication!)

#375 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2007, 04:31 PM:

Sorry for the double!

Anne, my thoughts are with you on your relapse of the myasthenia and the additional tests. May everything turn out okay for you.

#376 ::: Kat ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2007, 07:53 PM:

Anyone else been to JoAnn Fabrics recently? I see that right now they have some gorgeous polyester brocades with gold borders that'd make lovely saris if you could find a way to make a pallu on them. And, they're made so they'd be reversible too (always did love the reversible saris). If I had anywhere to wear a sari, and knew what to do for a pallu, I'd totally get some....definitely worth checking out though.

#377 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2007, 12:51 AM:

Welcome back Anne! So sorry to hear about your current health crisis, I hope that everything turns out alright for you (as best as they can at least). Thank you for letting us know I know that myself at least was starting to worry because you hadn't posted lately. I'll keep you in my thoughts. That is great about the girl you told about S2, I love when I end up having those kinds of conversations with people it makes going through the bad incidences worth it for me.

I'd also like to thank Teresa for keeping this thread open, I think alot of us have found friendship or at the very least useful information on this thread and I couldn't be happier that it's still around.

Tabby I'll have to remember those books you mentioned, I am going to have to start a list LOL. A few weeks ago I finished a book called "The dancing girls of Lahore" it's a difficult book because it's non fiction. It's about the "dancing girls" who are actually "ladies of the night" and it includes stories about very young girls going into this trade. I finished it in about four days.

I would say that perhaps the Tibetan and Indian men were just joking but it seemed to be really mean spirited, although I suppose it could have been a cultural misintereptation but since then I haven't come across anyone man or woman that treated me in that matter so I don't know. Yeah that hamburger was really far too far besides being against the law. I've always known this city was very conversative but not to that point and I am embrassed by my city and I am ashamed to live here. I grew up in a small country town and I thought that was bad, this was so much worse. My husband and I still talk about moving to Toronto even for a year just to go somewhere that is large enough and open enough for us to be accepted. I have more friends in Toronto then I do here in London and I think that has alot to do with the openess of Toronto and it's people.

The comment from the Muslim girl was even more of a shock when you start thinking about all the trouble Muslims have had since 9/11 being attacked, abused and being judged by the majority of the world. So for one of them to turn around do the exact same thing to someone else seems completely unthinkable. I had a Muslim friend once and we were at her and her husband's place and we started talking about religion and of course Israel came up and her husband was saying he couldn't understand how the Israeli's and Jews treat Palestinians and how it's illogical. As he put it "If I had been slapped across the face and knew how much it hurt I wouldn't turn around and do it to someone else." And to me what that Muslim girl did was exactly that, and of course she had to learn it from someone else who is obviously spreading that kind of intolerance and hate. As you said Tabby India is not a homogeneous country. I saw a documentry once about how Indian nuns and Indian Hindus work together in India to help the sick and poor and they both wore the same clothing lol.

On Sunday with that "What are you?" question the woman was ahead of us in line at the store and we had spoken to the guy working because we know him so she gets to the till and says to him quietly of course "What is she?" and he says to her "Ask her" so she did and our friend said "why? do you like what she's wearing?" and she says loudly "Well I guess it's ok". Like OMG you don't like it but you still had to be a rude, nosey b*tch about it? Those are times that I wish people would just leave me in peace to wear what I want. I don't have a problem answering questions if people ask politely and are respectful but this is twice I've been asked "What are you?" in a rude manner and both times the person asked someone else before asking me (the first time the girl asked my Husband).

#378 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2007, 02:00 AM:

Hey everyone,
I was searching for that salwar of Tabby and my dreams and I came across an article that we should all keep in mind while shopping.

"...Handloom cotton is in and proprietor Kiran Patel who has travelled the length and breadth of the country sampling weaves from villages all over is its biggest believer. “There is nothing quite like cotton for the summers.” The saris range from Rs 500 to 1000 and the suits from Rs 400 to 2000 depending upon the embellishments and creative strokes involved."

Sunday, May 28, 2006 The Trubune, Chandigarh, India

Rs 400-2000 is roughly $11.42-$51.14 CND. The arguement of the price of shipping can't be used because shipping is a completely different charge on an order. I can only think of a few sites that fall into that range and S2 is one of those. Just thought I'd share that bit of info with everyone since it was taken directly out of a newpaper in India and it was only written a year ago.

#379 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2007, 03:53 AM:

Thanks for the good wishes, everyone. Its been a rough week, but I seem to be improving in some ways. I still have double vision, its still hard to walk. My family makes sure I'm in bed or on the couch. I'm wearing one of those thin inexpensive salwar kameez that was in the article. Perfect for warm days. I got it at utsav, though, so it was 11 dollars plus 10 to sew it, plus their shipping, so 0ver $30 for a little summer dress. Its one of my favorites, so if you count the number of times you wear it and divide it into the cost, you get the actual cost per use. Its a fun game. Something really inexpensive that you like, but don't wear that often, is more expensive than the embroidered cotton silk you got, because you wear the cotton silk way more often. I've got some very "inexpensive" clothes thinking this way. I always ask myself how often I will wear the new clothes, and often pass up things I like, but probably would wear once or twice.

#380 ::: Star ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2007, 04:12 AM:

Thank you all for the warm welcome, it is really great to be able to chat with other people going through the same types of clothing adventures I am! Thanks Theresa! Anne, I talked to Utsav tonight, they sent me an email last Friday saying they'd ship the 30th but tonight I talk to Hemant and he says they hope to ship by the end of the week...I very much hope I can get my S2 things earlier because it doesn't look like I'm going to have much salwar to wear for summer otherwise. :/ I wonder if this happens every spring, if it's a supply meltdown or an order swamp or what, I haven't gotten a direct answer from Utsav on that one.
Actually the one Indian book I really love and that makes me laugh a lot is Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy...I know it's long but it's so wonderful. I can't stand soap operas here in the US but for some reason I don't mind reading funny ones if they're Indian, lol! I'm also reading The Spender of Silence by Indu Sundaresan, fiction, love story so far.
Maggie, I think I understand more and more as I get older how really um, well stupid and careless some people can be. I don't so much worry if someone wants to know what I am, because I'm Buddhist and no-one thinks of that right? It's not iondicated by clothing (unless one is a monk or nun or teacher or something). But I agree that it is very tactless for someone to make such a comment in front of another...sort of like someone talking really loud in front of someone that may not speak the language but can hear perfectly fine. Just ignorance and carelessness.. The hamburger...besides the (significant!) fact that someone threw something at you...I wonder if they weren't trying to get the attention of the dog? From your post I thought you meant that the dog was doing his business...perhaps they were throwing it at him? Reason I say that is that I wonder if someone ignorant enough to throw something at you would even know enough to know that Hindus were vegetarian...::shrug:: just a thought. I watch TV here and read the Internet and marvel at what people don't know....stunning really.
The Muslim girl...I remember Junior High and well, the kids were no deep thoughtful people. Unfortunately children repeat the views of their elders. The important thing is that you know who you are and the rest can do whatever. I say that bravely but I stll don't wear a sari out, hmm, lol. Speaking of that...have you gotten any adverse comments from Indian women about dressing in a sari? I ask because I had a lot of exposure to another ethnic group in my college days that was very aware and sensitive to "cultural appropriation" and "wannabes" and so I'm nervous about that more than anything. Sort of like "you're already from the dominant culture and now you want to be like us?". Has that ever been a problem?

Sorry if these topics are controversial...it's just that the mocking at wannabes stuck with me and makes me think about that. Cultures do melt together though, nothing is going to stop that. I experience Chinese tea, Thai noodles, Korean Zen, Indian spices, Japanese pop music (and manga, yay!)...to me I am grateful for the ability to experience all these wonderful things in my life and it's a celebration of their each respective cultures to me.
Also, BTW...I wore a couple of outfits to my allergists' office in the last month, and though one salwar kameeze is very bright (orange kalimkari print, wow) she just said "Oh those are the cutest outfits!!" So that was nice though I was feeling shy and daring for sticking out like that. My overiding reasons for wearing salwar: 1) I'm a plus size and short...so it's tough to find anything on a rack that looks OK on me. (Especially pants) I can get things custom made this way, and I can pick the fabric, how cool is that? 2) The colors and patterns are gorgeous and I'm a fabric nut even though I don't know how to sew. 3) Salwar are comfortable and give me lots of room to move 4) They look feminine without me having to wear a skirt. 5) I don't have to show yards of skin to be pretty. I'm not young anymore and well, the sag has started to set in in some places, you know how it is. ;) I have always preferred long sleeves anyhow.

Thanks to everyone! Wonderful conversation. I don't have much to say about the health problems, I've had some relatively minor issues, I sympathize and salute those of you who are exhausted all the time, it takes so much courage and effort to get things done some days. I do have depression ups and downs from time to time so I know how that is..."can I get myself to stick my nose out the door today?" - different feeling but still, I applaud you for the little successes as well as bigger ones.

-Star

#381 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2007, 01:47 PM:

Hi!!

Looks like I should be able to order from S2 tonight or tomorrow! My camera didn't want to cooperate with taking a nice photo of my lime green top (my camera prefers to make the color a celadon green), but I found a photo online of a top that's the same color.

So, I'm stuck between S2-C3-CK08 and S2-C4-CK22 for my green kameez and white churidar. But for sure, I'm doing S2-C4-SK01, but with a dark pink kameez and I'll let Suma decide what color the salwar should be.

I'm sorry - I should have been more specific about the Eve teasing remark. :) Eve teasing is basically sexual harassment (or sexual assault in the cases where there's grabbing) that occurs in public in India. I take part in another message board that focuses on Indian culture and we had a big discussion about this last spring/summer. I'm just wondering if the men thought you were fair game or something with the saree on?

So, about the "if I wear a salwar/saree, will Indians be angry about it?". On the same message board I mentioned above, there's been a discussion about this for a few years. From a few Indian women and a white American who has worn traditional Indian attire, I've learned that most Indians will not mind if you wear a salwar or saree or even a bindi. However, you may get long stares or asked "why are you wearing this?" because some Indians think it's strange that an American, who can basically dress however she wants, chooses to wear traditional ethnic dress. Like with the Tibetan shopkeepers, they asked why I wore a salwar, but it was done in a nice way. (Actually, they originally thought my father was Indian, which still cracks me up because I'm so pale.)

But like most of you, I'm very dismayed about how ignorant and closeminded some people are. For example, I will never wear a salwar in front of my in-laws because if it's not American, it's bad and/or wrong. It's fine to not like how people dress, but keep it to yourself.

Hey Star, I had the same thing happen to me that you had happen with your allergist. We went out to eat and the hostess saw my salwar kameez and said, "That's the cutest outfit I've ever seen!".

And Anne, my mom and I do the same calculation you do with clothes. Like, "This is so cheap, even if you wear it only a few times, you'll get your money's worth out of it". Or when I was a teenager, "If I buy this for you, you better wear it all the time!" (i.e. - this is expensive). I still have my leather bomber jacket from 7th grade because of the above remark - heehee!

#382 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2007, 11:24 PM:

Hey Star,
It had crossed my mind for a second that perhaps they hamburger was aimed at or to my dog until I realised she was not even close to me. Whether it was the luck of the draw that it was beef or if they really knew about most Hindus not eating beef (some of the higher castes ate beef and some Hindus still eat meat such as myself) doesn't make a difference to me it was just an obvious show of intolerance. Like my husband says it takes a stupid person to be racist but it takes a special kind of stupid for someone to be racist towards clothing lol. I mean I still have people yell at me from their cars with insulting remarks about my clothing. Truely people don't care about others I just wrote a huge rant about this on myspace a few weeks ago lol. I understand what you mean about the Muslim girl and I am comfortable with who and what I am however I can't help be get very angry at that type of additude it's not acceptable and not just because it was directed at me but because I have a few Muslim friends and that little girl's comments and whoever taught her that are responsible for the misconceptions about Islam and Muslims as far as I am concerned. People like her and whoever taught her that give other Muslims a bad name. It almost boarders on if they want respect then they better learn to give it to people of other religions and walks of life but that goes for all people. I promise though that if that ever happens ago (I have a feeling I will see those kids at that mall again) I will speak up and say something to her and her little brother who was younger but just as rude and if they don't like it I'll tell them to get their parents and tell the parents what I think of them and what they've taught their kids. Not only would that be standing up for myself but it's also culturally acceptable (no one bats an eyelash in the East if someone else helps you out with your kids or corrects them). I just think that, if I can stop that kind of hate from coming to full blossom then that's my responsibility (and everyone's responsibility as far as that goes). I am completely with you on every reason you wear salwar kameez, I also find Western clothing very uncomfortable and a super ^5 for reason 5 if only the rest of the Western world would catch up with us on the skin showing thing. I hated having to buy a new bathing suit this year I wish hotel pools would let you wear a salwar kameez in the pool.

As for comments from Indian women about being in a salwar or a sari I've never had anyone say anything negitive about it infact I get compliments from them, now other white people that's another story. The first time I was wearing a sari I tried to drape it from instructions online and I didn't have it exactly right I went into an Indian grocery store in our market and the lady took me into the corner completely unwrapped me rewrapped the sari, pinned it and put a bindi on me and was just tickled pink lol.

You know Tabby I had never thought of Eve teasing (thanks for the explaination too btw :) that is very possible, I knew about it in India but it just never occured that, that's what it was. I would hope they weren't that stupid though my husband was with me. The other message board you mentioned sounds really interesting would you mind giving the link here or e-mail doesn't matter. I love everything Indian and I am very interested in the cultural aspect of it all. I looked at the suits you're interested in Tabby
S2-C3-CK08 is the first one I ordered from S2 LOL I love it it's very comfortable. S2-C4-CK22 I love it's really pretty something I'd pick
S2-C4-SK01 is nice too. The order I am waiting for now has a few other things but I got S2-C3-SK10 and S2-C1-TT12 plus the copy of the one I found on TV and the churidar pants and the petticoats. That's so funny about the same salwar. So sorry to hear about your inlaws, my Mother in law isn't the biggest fan of my Indian clothes but she tolerates it my Father in law (they're divorced he's an a**hole) is very racist as is his new wife last time we ran into them it was right before I believe Diwali maybe Holi and we were out shopping so I was done right up sari, earrings, bangles, bindi even tikka and you know up until our huge blow up with his wife a couple of weeks ago we hadn't heard from them since then and that was a good two years ago. Now when we're out where we know we might run into them I make sure I wear something Indian and a big red bindi lol I know I am a sh*t disturber.

Wrote to kharidari last night because of the whole shipping thing asking them if I was actually going to get that suit and if I am not then could I just cancel my order and get my money back and I haven't heard from them at all. I think I might write Utsav and see if I can get a time guarantee on those two saris because I seriously need them I already bought a new evening bag and shawl to go with that sari. Their customer service couldn't be worse then e-charming LOL.

#383 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2007, 03:48 PM:

Hi all,

Maggie, you story about wearing a sari and having a lady correct it for you reminded me of a story I read in "Marie Claire" magazine once. They had someone who worked for the magazine wear a sari for a week and then write about her experiences. She talked about how on the first day, she hadn't draped (wrapped?) it correctly. An Indian man stopped her and showed her how to drap it correctly. She also said many Indian men and women gave her looks of approval and respect.

The other message board I'm on is www.pardesicommunity.com. Pardesi is where I bought my first and only good-fitting suit. It's a bit quiet currently, but there's lots of older threads that are interesting. You are also open to discuss other salwar shops, but you cannot just randomly recommend a shop. So, "I went through ABC and the communication was horrible, but salwar is terrific" is okay, but "XYZ Sarees is the best around and you should shop there" is not (unless you have personally shopped there).

Yay for me, I finally made a decision today! ;) I ended up ordering from S2:

~S2-C4-CK12 with lime green kameez, short sleeves, and white churidar;
~S2-C4-SK01 with dark pink kameez. I told Suma that if the green shown matches with my dark pink, that's great, but if it doesn't, she can pink a different color.

You know, we really do have similar tastes because I have S2-C1-TT12 on my favorites list. I like the embroidery because it reminds me hand embroidery my German great-grandmother did.

I checked Kharidari a day or so ago and they had lots of new cotton suits up (5 pages worth, I think). No bandhej or even our favorite suit, but some pretty cute stuff.

Although Utsav Sarees has probably the largest selection of sarees and salwars, I don't think I'll ever order from them. The fact I e-mailed them a question over 2 weeks ago and they never responded really irks me; just can't trust them IMO. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you that you get your sarees from them soon.

#384 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 04, 2007, 02:52 AM:

Well I heard back from Kharidari today didn't seem like they got the just of my e-mail to them they still say that I won't be getting that outfit (then why is there shipping info?) and that they didn't take any money from my credit card and that I can pick from the new suits as long as it's the same price. I took a look there is now 5 pages of cotton suits now and even though they are cute I don't think many of them will be at all flattering on me. I love a couple of them that look like a dress over churidar pants but since they are sinched (spl?) in at the waist that will only make my tummy and hips look big. I told them in the e-mail I didn't like any of the suits and just wanted to cancel if there was no way of getting our favourite suit apparently they really want to make the sale.

Thank you for the link Tabby I am going to have to check out those pages it sounds really interesting I've looked at pardesi before but I never realised they had boards.

I think you picked really nice suits off of S2 I am sure they'll look great on you. It's always so hard to pick suits off of S2 I've wanted one of them ever since I found the site but I was unsure how it would look on me, now that I know how good Suma is at changing things I'll probably pick it up in the next order. I think my order is going to be shipped today (the 4th) I can't wait! I'll let you know what S2-C1-TT12 is like when I get it. I see they've changed the picture for it but I still love it. I think looks nice, crisp and clean really nice for the summer.

I wish I had read that article in Marie Claire is sounds like it would have been really interesting. I am sure it mirrored alot of our experances. You know what I've always wanted to do? I've always wanted to try the different "steps" of Islamic clothing and go out and see what the reactions are like. Knowing that this is a conversative city I think it might be pretty interesting, that type of writting is right up my alley.

Well I haven't heard from Utsav but from the sounds of everyone else's experances I shouldn't be too surprised about that. I've still got my fingers crossed that it makes it here, if not I do have other saris and salwar kameez to go with but I ordered that sari for that particular reason. I'll keep you updated if I hear from them and what I do about kharidari. Hope everyone is feeling well and having a good day.

#385 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 04, 2007, 10:58 AM:

More praise for S2 and Sula. :) I put in my order late afternoon yesterday and woke up to an e-mail confirming measurements today (and the colors I picked are do-able). S2 just understands the process so well: with the confirmation e-mail, there was a little note about this is routine and please bear with us. I'm sure South Asian women know this, but other women may not. So cool!

I'm like you - I'd like to try wearing traditional Islamic clothes for a week or so. There is definitely variation in how Somali women dress: some wear the abaya and hijab (the cloak and the head scarf), others wear long skirts and kameez-like tops with a hijab that goes down to their upper thighs, and others wear a short hijab (sort of like a babushka scarf) with Western clothing.

I've always thought the women with the long hijabs look so beautiful and sleek. It's sort of like trad. Indian clothing: they mix all sorts of colors and patterns in an outfit that most Americans would never mix.

At this point, I don't know if I'd be gutsy enough to wear an abaya right now. There's so much hate for Muslims plus people view the abaya and hijab as "bad things".

I really think women should be allowed to wear what they feel comfortable in. If that's an abaya or salwar kameez or Daisy Duke shorts, that's fine. But there shouldn't be laws telling someone they must dress this way or that. Personally, I love dresses (not the church lady ones, but fun dresses), long flowy skirts (the best in hot weather), and salwar kameez. I've actually had a feminist co-worker come up to me when I was wearing a dress. She told me that it's casual day and how could I wear something like a dress?? I should be wearing jeans because feminists don't wear dresses and skirts. I told her I was a feminist: feminism to me is a woman does what's best for herself.

So sorry about Kharidari. :( Hopefully they'll refund your money soon.

#386 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 03:12 AM:

Way to go Tabby! I give you a ^5 for what you said to your co-worker. I completely agree if another feminist is going to tell you what to do then she's no better then an oppressive man. I believe in a woman's right to choose however I don't always agree with the choices some women make, including myself when I was younger. As I've gotten into Indian culture and was expose not only to the Indian cultural beliefs on women's clothing I've also been exposed to religious beliefs on clothing. The Muslim friend I mentioned earlier the same night as we talked about Israel etc her and I went off to their room so she could show me her mountian of salwar kameez (I totally drooled ;) she told me what the Quran says about women's clothing and why it says what it does (according to her particular beliefs, much like the Bible and every other religious book everyone believes that it means something different to them) and I couldn't help but completely agree with them. I suppose partly I believe in a woman being more covered up because of situations I was in when I was younger and my belief that part of the situations were perhaps invited by how I dressed (which was very provacutively). I don't think that being more covered is against women I think especially in the times we live in is protection, I also believe that a woman should be valued for her content and not valued for how short her skirt is.

Went out this evening in my red bandhani sari to the upper end mall in my city..well that was a bad idea. By the time we got off the bus to transfer both my husband and I gave a couple of brats the finger. They were old enough to know better and it was so degrading I can't even describe it. The entire time these two laughed their asses off at me (they were sitting right infront of us) I know it was at me because I looked them right in the eye everytime they turned to look at me before they burst into laugher. Perhaps the finger was abit much but at the time I was at the breaking point. I have to go back out to that mall tomorrow and I had thought "well maybe I won't wear anything overly "ethnic"" but you know what? Screw it I am not changing who I am for anyone if they don't like it that's their problem not mine and I will get mouthy if need be. Grrrr lol

Tabby I am so impressed you know the terms of Islamic clothing better then I do, I know the hijab but I really didn't know the names for the rest of it. I had figured personally I would start off with just the hijab and western clothes then the hijab and a salwar kameez, then the hijab and the abaya and finally the abaya, hijab with veil and gloves. I think the final outfit might put people right over the edge since up here one of our provinces (Quebec..how I wish they weren't part of Canada) is having a huge debate over how much of the Islamic women's clothing is acceptable. Muslim women had to show their face to go vote in last month's election which I think is completely unacceptable. I realise the hatred against Muslims right now and that is partly why I want to dress in Islamic clothing to experance just how strong that hate flows in this city and possibly other cities if I ever had the chance. I really think it's something that needs light shed on no matter how uncomfortable it is for people to admit they are partly racist. I believe so strongly in our right to freedom of religion and religious expression that I would put myself in danger if I had to, to defend it and if that means putting on a veil then so be it. I think alot of people view the abaya, burqa and hijab as bad things because that's all they've been protrayed as after 9/11. Everyone was told that it was women being oppressed and in some situations I suppose that's true however the majority of the time if given the choice a woman will keep her burqa because it's more about following their religion then it does being "free". I just don't freedom comes in the form of tube tops and daisy dukes if anything that puts women back hundreds of years because we are then protraying ourselves as nothing more then peices of meat.

LMAO sorry for the continuous rant, I totally love this topic if you couldn't tell. I think you and I Tabby have alot in common.

Well supposedly Kharidari didn't take any money from my credit card yet, I'll check and make sure though. I wanted the one pink kota doria salwar kameez but it doesn't have enough seam allowance for it to fit if I let it out :(. Still no word from Utsav...anyone suprised? LOL

#387 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 05:25 AM:

Tabby- I have all three, S2-SKC3-CK08, S2-C4-CK22, and S2-C4-SKO9. I got all creative with SK09, Changed the neckline with a tiny strip from the dupatta, beaded it to match the design down the front, and voila! fun new dress. That was last fall.
CK22 is one of my absolute favorites. I get compliments all the time. And CKO8 is one I'd been admiring for a long time before I finally ordered it. I like it very much too- especially the simple painted design at the neck. We do all seem to have similar taste. Maggie, I have the purple Om Shanti Kameez, and wear it for peace vigils. I can't say I have the blue and white, but it is very nice.


Tabby- you could be mistaken for a Northwestern Indian. In the far north people have light hair and blue and grey eyes. Remember their closest neighbor is Afganistan.

I have gotten to the point where salwar kameez look like ordinary clothing. My landscaper greeted me with a namaste the first morning he saw me in one, and he's a good ol' boy from Misourri. You could have knocked me over with a feather.

I'm checking out all kinds of books on India and Maharashtra getting ready for the trip. One, called "Culture Shock: India" says within the first three pages to wear Indian Clothing in India; that it is much appreciated.

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, but I've had a relapse of myasthenia gravis,and have been in the hospital getting plasmapheresis. The nurses there know me; I've been going for treatment on that wing for a year and a half. They've made me promise to wear a different salwar kameez everytime I come. That's two more times next week. I think one of them is working up her courage to buy her own.

#388 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 08:12 PM:

Hi Maggie,

I have to say something here. I hope this does not come off as harsh because I do not mean it that way. I just feel very strongly about this.

Whatever way you dressed when you were younger, it was not your fault that somethings happened.

I say this because way too many people blame rapes and sexual assaults on the victim. "Oh, I bet she was wearing almost nothing, that's why this happened" and so on. Sex offenses are a result of the offender's need for control, power, and degradation; it's honestly not about sex.

Or think about it this way. 1 in 3 women in the US have been sexually abused/raped (either as an adult or a child). So if provocative clothing caused rape, that means you have a whole lot of children dressing provocatively, which I doubt. Additionally, the vast majority of rapes are where the offender and the victim know each: family, friend, co-worker, etc. It doesn't make sense that a friend would just all of a sudden decide to rape because you had a short skirt on.

Sure, non-acquaintance rape occurs, but Dru Sjodin was raped, murdered, and dumped in Crookston, MN. But she was kidnapped from a shopping mall parking lot in North Dakota in December; clothing had nothing to do with that.

Unfortunately, in countries where women are completely covered, like Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, rape still occurs. The abaya or the burqa or the hijab doesn't stop it.

I'm all for women wearing what makes them feel most comfortable. But no woman should be forced to pick what she wants to wear based on "will this get me raped today?" To be honest, if I had a daughter, I'd let her dress scantily as long as she was over 18. But I'd warn her that people will stereotype you based on what you wear and interact with you based on those stereotypes.

But I agree with you that women shouldn't be judged mainly on their looks and body. The hard thing for me has been realizing that many men will tell you how liberal they are when it comes to women's rights. But these same men will then make comments denigrating certain women's bodies (like Anna Nicole or Tyra Banks) or women who dress conservatively or won't "put out". They think they are so special, but really they are no different than any ultra conservative man.

Maggie, I'm so sorry with what you went through yesterday. If it helps, I really think you are so strong and wonderful because these fools don't stop you from being yourself. :)

Hi, Anne,

I didn't realize that NW Indians are as light as I am. I love learning stuff like this. :)

So was S2-C4-CK22 (the orange and red churidar suit) as bold and bright as the photo shows? I know the descriptions says brown, but it really looks like a burnt orange kameez with a tomato red churidar.

Sorry to hear about all your hospital visits. At least you get to show off your salwar kameez. :)

#389 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 09:19 PM:

Tabby- S2-C4-CK22 is way better in person than in the picture. It is a south cotton, so it is made of two colors; it looks like orange on the verticle, and a maroon or red brown on the horizontal. The result is more orange that brown, but its a very nice orange, not in your face, you can wear it to work orange. The salwar and dupatta are maroon. It is my very favorite salwar kameez.

Don't feel sorry for me for the hospital visits. I've been doing this for going on a year now, and know all the staff. We girl talk and do our projects, and I get to get a nap. I'm just there waiting for the blood to go through the tubes and and come back in without the evil, triatorous B-cells that want to destroy me rather than protect me from infection. I get the biggest kick out of watching them take the bag of them out of the room with a big biohazard sign on them. They are one their way to incineration. I suppose I anthropomorphize them when I think about them.They are like the Empire's army or like the foes of Frodo and Sam.
Tabby and Maggie- What Tabby said about rape is true. It is not a sexual act, but a violent one. It doesn't matter if the victim is old or young, attractive or unattractive, or how she is dressed. I grew up in a small town with an incredible big library built of stone downtown. We went there often as did almost every one else in town. There wasn't that much else to do. We had the main librarian, who was the absolute epitiome of the stuffy, strict, be quiet, don't hold the book that way, bookish, maiden lady. She seemed old to me when I was a little girl. Everyone loved her dispite of or maybe because of her ultralibrarianishness. She could have been a librarian super hero. When I was in college, she was raped and savagely beaten. She was chosen because she was there. She was nearly 80. It shocked the town like nothing had for years. It reinforced the message that no woman of any age is safe, regardless of how they dress or carry themselves. No one could believe that our beloved, prim elderly librarian had been raped.

I think that women should be as covered as men are. I think it is a matter of personal dignity. I don't think Maggie felt dignified when she was wearing her old wardrobe. Our clothes say a lot about us, and very revealing clothes say that we are not equal to men, that we have to dress provocatively to get their attention, and get what we want or need from them. It is far better to dress with some dignity and earn the respect of men as equals. Look the next time you go out at the crowd. See how much the average woman has her skin covered compared to the average man.

I'll let you know the interesting stuff that I learn as I read about India and especially Maharashtra.

#390 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 01:32 AM:

Tabby I didn't take offense but I do know about rape and I agree that alot of times people want to make it seem like a girl brought it on herself, I also know that clothing isn't the main reason but you have to admit that dressing like a "whore" invites negative and at times dangerous attention and there is no getting away from it. Men think of it as "Well if she's willing to show it all off then I bet I know what else she's willing to do" and they will try and find out. And whether it leads to full out rape it will almost always lead to sexual harassment. If I had a daughter there is no way I'd ever let my daughters dress the way girls dress now or how I dressed not even ten years ago. There is no logical reason for a woman to show that much skin. When I wore what I wore, I wore it because I thought I looked good because I thought everyone else (men and women) would think I looked good and all those other stupid ideas youth have it had nothing to do with dignity I naively thought that women's rights came packaged in tube tops and micro mini skirts as many other women still believe. I've heard of many cases of old, bed ridden, ill, healthy, young, covered and exposed women being raped believe me I know alot about the subject as I was molested as a child and then raped once as and adult and had at least two attempted rapes (my mother was also raped) but as I said no one here can tell me that dressing or being nearly undressed doesn't invite interest.

I believe that alot of men are the way they are and treat women how they treat them because of A) what they were taught as a child by their fathers and B) what the media shows as acceptable. We can't possibly expect men to treat us with anymore respect when we still allow things like "Girls gone wild" or the booty shots in Hip Hop videos to continue. Of course some self respect goes a hell of a long way. If women would stop putting themselves out there being too drunk to think and taking off their clothes for any guy with a camera, or dressing skanky because she wants attention and envy. If we would come together and stop treating other women as competition and with one voice say "NO!! You're not going to treat us like this anymore" then maybe we'll see some change. However in the culture we live in now it'll never happen as women we're bred to dispise other women to put them down at every chance we've got ("OMG she's so fat hahahaha"). I think we have a very serious problem on our hands and no one seems to want to talk about it, boys learn how to treat a woman from their fathers first and from the media around them second so if fathers could lead by example then maybe that would be half the battle won. These are not excuses for the behaviour just simple fact.

Went out in my orange salwar from eshakti today had one or two people make comments but generally it was good, an older Indian woman and I would assume her mother were in one store I was in and I could see the woman say something to her daughter and her daughter turns to me and said I looked great in it. Everyday it's something different lol if everyone could just hate it or just love it it might make things easier because sometimes it's like a mental and emotional rollercoaster just being outside of my house.

Anne you know my favorite thing that happened in a hospital? I was going for a bone density test (the old kind) and the tech came out wearing these huge work gloves carrying a lead box that had biohazard all over it, took out a needle and injected me. I realise it's because they work around the stuff all the time but I just thought it was funny. BTW the new book sounds great I'll have to pick up a copy.

#391 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 07, 2007, 03:23 PM:

Hi!

We lost electricity yesterday for 12 hours (and when I was trying to reply yesterday, our broadband connectivity was zilch). I was going to do a bunch of stuff yesterday, but couldn't due to the outage. So, I'm behind with stuff (and run down from being out of the house for at least half of the outage) and going to try to write this quickly.

"Well if she's willing to show it all off then I bet I know what else she's willing to do"

To be honest, I had just as much problems when I dressed scantily to when I dressed more the norm. I still had way too many guys who were more interested in getting in my pants.

Most of the problems I had with men leering or yelling suggestive comments out of car windows were when actually worse when I wore business wear (i.e. nothing tight or short or low-cut). It was pretty common to have one of the above happen when I was walking to or from the bus or coming or going for lunch during the day (this occurred in downtown Minneapolis).

My sexual assault and rape (two separate incidents) happened when I was dressed in baggy clothing. The assault that occurred at work (I had a co-worker grab me and attempt to drag me into the freezer) was with me wearing athletic warm-up pants, a baggy polo shit, a hairnet, and really ugly baseball cap. The co-worker had never seen me in anything other than this outfit.

I believe that alot of men are the way they are and treat women how they treat them because of A) what they were taught as a child by their fathers

Somewhat, but remember the saying "the hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world". I've seen an awful lot of mothers who think their sons are the most innocent things in the world. Part of the problem is if a wife lets her husband (or boyfriend) treat her like dirt, her children (both male and female) will grow up to think this is normal behavior. Trust me, I grew up in this environment and it took awhile for me to realize that love is not threats, not control, etc.

My point here is that there needs to be some middle ground between being completely covered and wearing Daisy Dukes and a tube top.

Personally, I wear salwar kameez:
1) They flaunt my figure (I generally get mine made to be form fitting) in a classy way (I believe you can be sexy without looking cheap);
2) My entire waist area seems to react to heavy material as pain (jeans can be an issue), so the light fabric used in salwars doesn't create problems.
3) If I'm having a bad day fatigue-wise, but need to be dressed up, a salwar kameez is much easier to get into than pantyhose and dressy jacket and skirt (business suit).

But just as an aside, I have shorts that are mid-thigh length, lots of form-fitting tanks and tops, lots of lower neck tops and tanks, some skirts that are low thigh to knee-length, and jeans that are form-fitting in the butt and thighs. I like my breasts, my legs, my hips, and my butt. I dress the way I dress for myself, not anyone else.

#392 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 08, 2007, 01:53 AM:

Well I believe we're to the point we should just agree to disagree because it appears we're at two opposite ends of the scale when it comes to our opinions on how women should or do dress (and why). And knowing who I am and taking an educated guess on who you are Tabby I don't think either one of us is going to change our opinions lol. I just don't see the point of argueing about something that isn't going to change.

#393 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 08, 2007, 02:26 AM:

Tabbie and Maggie- I'm not taking sides. I'm coming from a competely different place. I've never been raped; the worst thing that ever happened was mild sexual harrassment in the workplace (a State Park; I was wearing 19th century work clothes for the living history program). I never dressed scantily, and was always known as a "good girl". But for me, it has gotten to where there are so many people of all shapes and sizes in those tube tops and Daisy Dukes. They look so undignified. I don't think the notion has ever crossed their minds. I have several friends who have been guest workers in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia. They all said that being covered was great- since everyone looked the same, you were judged by your words and actions. And one friend, who lived in Saudi Arabia said that the burqa was great- if you were running late in the morning you could throw it on over your pajamas and take the kids to school. Nobody had any idea what was under there. She said the same thing about people having their first impression be her words, not her clothes or her hair, or what style she was. I'm not suggesting that we all wear burqas, but I am suggesting that being more covered is a very good thing. And comfortable, too. You aren't having to adjust so you don't fall out. Salwar kameez are a good alternative. Not too covered, but covered enough, and at the same time elegant, graceful, and together. We also look like women with curves. Much more interesting.

#394 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 08, 2007, 09:36 AM:

Hi Anne - I like your story about the burqa. My husband works at a plant that makes bakery goods (he's the IT/IS guy). Everyone, including the office staff, wears a uniform of blue pants and a white shirt with a sewn on name badge. I've always told him that when I'm able to work again, I want to somewhere with a uniform because of the same reasons your friend had.

I think I get where you're coming from about certain types of clothing being undignified. I've noticed that at least in the US, a lot of people don't get the meaning of "dress appropriately". You go to a very nice restaurant and there's way too many people in jeans (or even dirty, ripped jeans) and sweatshirts. Heck, I got married almost 2 years ago at a country club and at my entire mom's side showed up in khaki pants and short sleeve shirts that aren't even work appropriate.

Hi Maggie - Agreed. Still like you. :)

Not sure if anyone else here likes to garden. I'm not a very good gardener, but it's fun to watch stuff come back after the winter. It rained very hard for about an hour yesterday and some of our plants seriously grew an inch or so overnight.

#395 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 08, 2007, 09:20 PM:

Tabbie- love to garden, but not allowed because I am immune suppressed. They are afraid I'll get a fungus or something else hard to treat if I dig in the dirt. I am allowed to pick the flowers,and we have loads of roses this year. We are landscaping the back yard including a small stream bed and a large Chartres Labyrinth- 90' in diameter, and I hope wheelchair accessible. The pathways are divided by small plants and herbs and flowers. Now how do I fit salwar kameez into this comment? The people I know that wear salwar kameez also like gardens and cats.That includes our friend Suma, whose new name appears to be Sales. Very sad. What is the world coming to - so commercial that we rename our workers "Sales". Do you think the person sitting next to her at s2 is called "Delivery"?

#396 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2007, 12:59 AM:

Hey Anne welcome back! That is very cool of your friends that talked about being covered. You know I had never thought about the burqa over PJs LOL that's a great idea. And I couldn't agree more with them and you, I like that my words and intelligence are what I am going to be judged on not on how much skin I am showing. As you said so many people have taken to wearing the tube tops, daisy dukes or (ewww) skin tight tube dresses. I personally don't like any of the clothes but it looks worse on people who don't have the body for it (either too skinny or too large) and they have no dignity and no self respect. And what's this about sales? Suma doesn't have a name anymore? Oops I just wrote her an e-mail with her name, she's always going to be Suma to me.

I like gardening (and I still like you too :) too but like you Tabby I am not good at it and of course I can't do much of it. You know what's a great plant for people like us? Peppermint. I am such a fan of mint that it's one of my nicknames from my hubby LOL. I like it because it spreads like wildfire, takes very little work and you can use it for Moroccan mint tea (mmmmmmmm *drool*). Of course mint has so many benefits especially for people like me with horrible tummy problems. Went to the Dr's today got a new pill and it's not covered by my disability coverage so I guess it's back to the Dr's for a new prescription because there is only so much mint and other brews can do.

Oh and Tabby I hear you about what people wear to a wedding we got married almost 4yrs ago. Girls I grew up with came in jean skirts (not even good enough to go out "clubbing" in) and my not Mother in law shows up in some god awful long skirt and top combo it was like going to the grocery store, or going to pick up your dog from the vet clothing and this was to her own son's wedding. It still bothers me to this day that she couldn't be bothered to try and look abit nice that day. Meanwhile my mum was in a gown...you'd swear my Mother in law had just walked in off the street.

Still haven't heard from Utsav (anyone surprised? I know I am not). Kharidari cancelled my order last week and were very nice about the whole thing so when they get something that I love and will fit I will definately order from them. I am so concerned about my saris getting here in time from Utsav that I've put in a bid for a sari on e-bay from Uniquessentials it's black with red roses I just hope I win. I know from previous experance with Unique's auctions that winning one can be a challenge (and an expensive one at that). I couldn't possibly be lucky enough to have both saris to go away with LOL. It seems my Mum is coming around about the salwar kameez somewhat, she's still going on about the orange one from eshakti apparently she really likes their tailoring, she just had to pick the expensive suits ;)

#397 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2007, 03:13 AM:

Hey Guys,
I just found a great way for Utsav to answer..their live chat. I tried it and got my answer in under 7 mins. The person I chatted to was really nice even told me not to worry lol. I told him when I needed it and he said it would be here. When you're done the chat you can have a transcript e-mail to you as proof of what they said. I just thought that if you hadn't tried it and still hadn't seen hide nor hair of your orders you might want to try it, it's not like you have anything to lose.

#398 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2007, 06:32 PM:

Hey everybody! The reason Suma's name at S2 has been changed to sales is because she's been bumped upstairs. She's mostly designing now, and is leading a small design team. They thought it more honest to change the email address so we wouldn't think we were getting Suma all the time. We can still reach her there, but isn't it great for her to be moving up?:)

#399 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2007, 09:01 PM:

Hi!

That's great Suma's been promoted! Best of luck to her in her new position!

Your yard sounds beautiful, Anne. Too bad you cannot garden though. :( I think I fit your criteria for liking salwars because we have 3 cats (2 boys, 1 girl - all surrendered or strays).

You know, peppermint is touted for helping digestion, but the smell of it makes me so nauseated. What I like is mukhwas - yum! I finally found one that is only fennel too (the ones with sugar or candies are high in carbs. But you're right, Maggie, if you pick plants that are hardy and sturdy, you can garden with a chronic illness. Hope your tummy problems ease up soon!

So, to make this legal - If you'd really prefer to sew your own salwar kameez, both utsavsarees.com and realvalueshop.com will sell you fabric only. Real Value Shop also sells on eBay, but only accepts PaisaPay (a real hassle if you live outside of India), so I'd recommend their actual website.

#400 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2007, 01:40 AM:

Hey Tabby,
Thank you for mentioning realvalueshop.com I've never heard of it before, I just took a look and it looks like a really good place to shop for fabric, sarees or heck their charge for making a suit is great too. I'll have to try them sometime in the futre. I have to say I've never had a problem with paisapay all the times I've used it but maybe I am just lucky.

I guess I fit into the salwar/cat thing I have two and a dog (do dogs count?). I'd love to take more in from the neighbourhood but hubby won't let me (might have to do with there being a ton of strays and we live in a small place).

Definately cheers to Suma moving on up she deserves it. As I said I wrote to her last night and got my reply today my order is going to be shipped Saturday so it should be here in plenty of time for my trip.

I don't know if I've ever had a good mukhwas (heck I didn't even know the name until your post Tabby lol), I am going to have to look for a good one. Paan is an after meal thing too but the betel nut is a stimulant still tastes pretty good though if you don't mind chewing a bunch of seeds and nuts and a leaf lol (evidently some paan makers use mukhwas as a filling for paan).

I have most of a salwar done and I had to do some shifting in the way I cut the fabric to give myself some extra material for pleats and apparently I gave myself too much extra :) but that's ok I like them nice and full. I have one picture of a salwar I made, I'll add it to flickr once I have this other one done and I'll give the link here then. Well I am going to figure out what to do with all this extra material lol take care everyone.

#401 ::: Anne Bremsera ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2007, 04:35 AM:

Hey everybody, we're famous! Sort of. Another blog from an indian clothing site I'd never heard of until tonight says we are having an interesting discussion, and includes a link! The store is called Salwar Kameez India. I took a look, and it is very
expensive. Their budget dept. started at about $125 USD. I'm glad they think we're interesting, though.
Maggie-it definately includes dogs. Gardens, cats, dogs, and salwar kameez. Our garden is taking shape; instead of a fountain or a waterfall, we put in a low running stream. There is an island in it that you can get to by a flagstone bridge. I will be putting my toes in this summer! The labyrinth is almost done, too. It just needs planting. We are using low growing herbs and flowers to delineate the paths. It is 90' in diameter. When I look out the kitchen or bedroom window, that's what I see. As the plants go in it gets prettier and prettier. Even though I'm not allowed to pull weeds or dig in the dirt, I can prune the roses, and will be able to maintain the labyrinth. We want some of the herbs to grow into the paths so they are stepped on and release their aroma. I am soooo looking forward to it being finished.

#402 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2007, 10:27 AM:

Hi!

Yay, us! That's pretty cool that Salwar Kameez India thought we were having a cool conversation. I've checked our their website before and although they have a huge selection, I agree with you that they are fairly high on prices.

Real Value Shop has some cool fabric, but I'm sort of mixed with using their tailor services. I ordered a sleeveless kameez with churidar suit from them about a year or so ago. Their measurement list was very short (I've learned this is a bad sign) and did not ask for any leg/knee measurements. They shipped very quickly, but once I wore the suit a few times, I realized there were major problems with it. The churidar wasn't long enough to create really any bangles and was so tight, I couldn't bend my knees without a lot of pain (I asked another seller about this recently and she said the churidar were cut as an extra close fit). The kameez fit like a maternity top because they had added 4 inches to the waist and bust and over 1.5 inches to the shoulders (the form didn't ask about cut like S2's does). Because the shoulders were too big, the armhole actually was on my upper arm. My upper arm is slightly larger than where the armhole usually is, so it was uncomfortable to wear. There wasn't enough loosing on the churidar to let them out, so I ended up throwing them away. :( The cotton fabric had sizing on it, but once I got it off the kameez, it was pretty nice fabric (soft, but still had structure to it).

I'm currently trying to take the shoulders down to the correct size, which is going okay. I ordered a white churidar from S2, so I'm hoping to wear that with the Real Value Shop kameez.

The thing I don't like about PaisaPay is when I used it almost 2 years ago, if you were outside of India and purchased over 700 or 800 Rs (under $20, I believe), I think, you had to fax them a release form saying they could charge your card plus a Xerox copy of both sides of your credit card. I don't have access to a fax machine that I could fax outside of the US and I just didn't feel comfortable faxing a copy of my credit card.

Mmmm, mukhwas. :) We have 3 Indian restaurants in the city I live in and we've been to two of them. 1 is very authentic Indian in every respect and the other is more Midwesternized and Americanized; we usually go to the authentic one. Next to the cash register, they've always had this big bowl of what looked like seeds and a big spoon. I was too shy to ask what it was and I didn't want to just try some and find out it wasn't meant to be eaten or something. Well, we went to the Americanized place a few times and they had a sign that explained what it was: a mouth freshener and a digestive. So I tried it and loved it because it somewhat settles down my digestive system and it's like a bath for your mouth. The ones I've had have fennel seeds, some tiny candies, and large-grained sugar. I bought some this weekend and the ingredients said the 3-in-1 or 4-in-1 container I have also contains cardemon (sorry for the spelling), rose petals, and betel nuts. I guess some have dates in them.

I've never heard of paan - thanks for explaining it to me. :) The only thing I knew about betel nuts before you posted was from a book called When Heaven and Earth Changed Places. It's basically an autobiography of a woman who lived through the Vietnam War and then immigrated to the US. The book talked about how a woman's stained teeth (caused by chewing betel nuts) were considered a sign of prosperity because betel nuts were expensive.

#403 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 11, 2007, 01:58 AM:

Anne your garden sounds wonderful and what a great idea about stepping on some of the herbs to release their scent. That's pretty cool about that other site though lol.

Tabby that might explain why I didn't have a problem with PaisaPay I never spend less then $20 LOL. I am definately going to have to look into mukhwas it sounds like if you can find a good one it could become addictive :)

With paan alot of men and women (who eat it often) get stained teeth from the red dye they add to the paan it's not actually from the betel nut. I don't know why they add the red dye to the paan. In little India in Toronto you'll often see red blotches on the sidewalk even in the winter you can see where it's stained the sideway red from people spitting either just the juice or the whole paan out. It's a personal choice to either spit it out or swallow it as far as I know unless there is tobbaco in it, it's ok to swallow because it's just herbs and spices. However some paan also has tobbaco in it so it's a double wammy for raising your risk of cancer. MMMMM cardamom probably one of my favourite spices.

What a horrible experance with the tailoring from realvalue Tabby that totally sucks I am sorry to hear you ended up having to throw away the churidars from the suit. I think with that info I'll just buy saris and the salwar kameez material from them when I get the chance to put in an order.

#404 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 11, 2007, 09:08 AM:

Hi Maggie,

Oooh, I think I worded that one part wrong. I meant that I think the limit (700 or 800 Rs) isn't even $20 USD, so anything over that 700-800 Rs mark, you have to fax a copy of your credit card in. But if you've bought from people on ebay.in and haven't had that problem, maybe they got rid of that requirement.

Yeah, it definitely was a bummer with Real Value. Unfortunately, it arrived and I tried it on and immediately left feedback saying I loved it. I wore it more and thought, "Something's not right here". They do have really good feedback on eBay, so maybe my experience was not the norm.

The kameez, other than the shoulders, does fit fine at this point. My body is massively confused right now and acts like it's 14 or 15 years old again. So, I originally thought I'd need to take in the waist a bit, but it's now just flowly instead of being maternity top-like.

I was going to mention this yesterday, but forgot (of course). S2 now has a little line underneath the item description that says who that kurta or salwar suit was designed by. Right now, they all pretty much say "S2 Fashions", but I'm wondering if we may see Suma's name (and other folks too)? (My memory is bad, so if this designer tag is not new, my apologies.)

If anyone is into kurtas, S2 has tons of very cute casual kurtas right now. Once my order comes I'm in, I'll probably order a few of these.

#405 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 11, 2007, 01:46 PM:

Yesterday, when we were leaving for my day in the hospital, what should I find on my front door step but my latest order from S2, almost all kurti. So, Tabby, I can tell you that they are great. The fit is perfect. The nurses all wanted to know how I found such a great fitting top. I had asked for major changes on a bunch of them too- there was a light yellow top that had a gorgeous painting of mango blossoms on it, but it was designed for someone much younger, and certainly more svelte than I am. So I asked for a top with short sleeves and a simple neckline. What I got was more than I expected. Besides the mango design, they had also painted the neckline with a narrow design of mango pollen. It is very attractive. So go for it,
Tabby, the kurti are more than fine.

I got a message from Utsav that at first got me thinking, finally, that order is coming. I made the order March 18. But it turns out that they want to charge me $15 USD extra because "in normal size fabric such large size cannot be processed". They've known my size for some time, and in nearly 2 months and a change of orders there was no mention of an extra charge. No one else has charged me extra for being a plus size, or if they have, they've let me know from the very beginning. I think I will ask for a refund. This is just too much. And supposedly my order had been expedited because of the earlier delay in telling me that my first choice was sold out, and my others weren't available in the colors or patterns shown. I wish they were more consumer friendly, they have such good things.

#406 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 11, 2007, 06:21 PM:

Hi Anne,

Yay! Now I just have to make a decision about what I want as far as S2 kurtas. :) I'm very impressed with their prices because if shopped locally, I doubt I could find a washable silk top that was embellished for under $20 (or sometimes $15).

I'm so sorry about Utsav Sarees - that's so rotten. I agree - if there was going to be some sort of issue about size, they should have warned you right away. Even better, something should be put in the actual item description. I see this on eBay all the time: max. bust size is this; we cannot make this suit above size whatever.

You're right they probably have the best and largest selection plus their website looks very professional. But that will only get you customers, not necessarily keep customers.

Speaking of sites with larger selections, has anyone tried 786 Shop (www.786shop.com)? They're out of Pakistan and not only carry women's and men's clothing but also shoes and home decor items. I like quite a few of their salwar suits, but I haven't found any feedback about them.

#407 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 12, 2007, 03:19 AM:

Hey Tabby,
I just looked at 786shop they do have some nice looking things don't they? You keep finding us all these great sites. If you order from them let us know what they are like. As I said they have some beautiful suits that I wouldn't mind owning. You can get a good idea which designs are Indian and which are Pakistani. I saw one suit (that I loved) which I could automatically tell was most likely Pakistani because the design was just like Arabic henna designs. Although you'll see those designs used in henna in India they aren't as popular they are still more fond of the "lace glove" effect (I can't say that I blame them, besides it's easier). I also agree about what you said about the kurtis from S2, I know in Toronto the Indian shops all carry basically the same "60's" design very simple no paint and they are about $20 and up but they are also readymade and tend to run small like most Indian readymade clothing. Even if the kurtis at S2 are more expensive I think the extra is worth getting one that fits the way it should fit but that's just my opinion. I know the Ganeshji kurti I ordered with my first order from S2 fits great and looks beautiful. And you're right about Utsav's website it does look good but that'll only attract customers their lack of customer service and our comments won't let them keep many I bet. I learnt with echarming that a website doesn't always tell the whole story.

Anne! That's horrible about Utsav my God! As you said they've had your measurements all this time and they are just getting around to telling you about this crock new "plus size fee". I think that's just insulting personally. As Tabby mentioned I've seen it posted all over e-bay about sellers not being about to go above a certian size and a few months ago eshakti was going to bring in an extra 10% (I believe might have been more) for plus size orders but they got so many complaints they said they would eat the extra cost and not charge the customer any extra. I am just waiting to hear that they have a problem making my choli because my chest is too big or something. I would do exactly what you mentioned Anne I would cancel the order and ask for a refund because that isn't right. I still have my fingers crossed that the sari will arrive in time to take on the trip if not I'll either take something I have or just go to Little India and buy something new (since I am going to be in Toronto anyways and it's a good excuse isn't it? ;).

Got an e-mail from S2 today they are just checking quality etc so I figure they'll send it tomorrow (the 12th my tomorrow your today lol).

#408 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 12, 2007, 05:05 AM:

Hi everybody- I wrote Utsav and said I was canceling the order. You're right, Maggie, it was insulting. Its hard enough being sick, but something has made me put on 30 pounds or so of edema. I only have a couple of pairs of sandals that will fit over my swollen feet. So I'm bigger than I was 6 months ago. The doctor says that when they figure out where the edema is coming from, I'll lose it fast and be my own size again. But the last order from Utsav came after the edema, and they fit. No extra charge. This whole thing is just depressing.

Anyway to cheer me and everyone else up, I decided to take the leap at 786shop. I ordered 3!! salwar kameez. They say it is 14 days to sew, and 4 days to get to you by DHL. Shipping is expensive. It was $50 for 3 suits. But they are so nice, I got them anyway. We'll see how they are when they get here. The total for these was $50 less than the Utsav order, so I figure as long as the refund goes through, I'm ahead. They look like they are good quality from the photos- none of those awful prints, and the fabric looks good. So long to wading through tasteless prints at Utsav until you find something good stuck in there. Even though they had good stuff for less, you had to wade through a lot of wild prints to find them. At 786shop I ordered a blue embroidered suit, a green one, and really nice maroon, all with salwar. The strange thing was, when I first went to their site, and tried to register, they said they already had that email. There was an account set up for me, with my email and a password I sometimes use. Is that strange, or what? I don't remember ever having seen their site before, and with a name like that, I would have remembered. Conspiracy theories are rolling around in my head.

#409 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 12, 2007, 05:32 PM:

LOL Anne that is very strange, maybe they had ESP and knew you were coming to order.

I completely understand what you're saying about sizes changing rapidly and it being from health issues. I've put on probably 80lbs since I met my husband (5yrs ago) it's a combination of being on depo provera and my fibro getting so bad that I am alot less active then I used to be. My favourite salwar of all times I bought two years ago and now the kameez doesn't go over my hips, not even close to covering them. When I was in Toronto last time looking for a salwar kameez to change into from the automatic sari it was so degrading because nothing fit everything was too small, meanwhile my favourite salwar is a readymade that I got in Toronto. Charging extra because a person is plus sized (no matter the reason why) is really hurtful and it is very depressing. It's up there with going to the mall and trying on clothes you love that don't fit.

You'll have to let us know what your order from 786shop is like. As I said they had some beautiful suits there I was pretty impressed.

And now for yet another Utsav update, as I said the other night I used their live customer support and I was assured that my sari for my trip to Toronto would be here by the time I leave well I just got an e-mail from them saying that my order has been delayed and will be shipped on the 17th and since I need to have it to pack on the 23rd (I leave at 7am on the 24th) I have a hard time believing it's going to get here on time. And since I was assured it was going to be here on time in the live chat I let the sari up for auction on "UE" go. Do you think they can get my saris here in 4 business days?

#410 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 12, 2007, 08:33 PM:

Maggie, you made my day with your comment about me finding great sites! :) Since I usually have too much time on my hands, I sometimes make a goal to find a certain item. So I googled "salwar kameez" one day and found 786 Shop about 3-4 pages in.

Some nice things about the 786 Shop site:

~You get bonus points for each item you order (points depend on how much you spend) and I believe you can use them on future orders;

~You can makes changes to the suit design, including the basics (sleeves, pant type, etc.), the color (they have a color chart), and fabric type (I think);

~They have a wishlist, like S2 and Utsav Sarees, which I love;

~If you're into jeans, they have quite a few suits that are all denim or have denim bottoms;

~They have TONS of unique and different salwar kameez.

They have a bunch of cotton khaddar (sp?) suits. I'm not sure what khaddar is, but these suits are really cute and casual. I'm just tired of "the eBay salwar kameez": you know, every seller has it with a bit of variance in color and embellishment. eBay also seems to lack casual, cotton salwar kameez too.

You know, the big thing that bothers me about women's plus size and tall clothing is that it costs much more than standard misses clothing. From what I've seen with men's clothing, the big and tall stuff is the same price as the regular men's stuff. If they can charge the same price for men's, why not women's?

We must all be on the same wavelength. Last night, I got all upset. I had bought these denim shorts last July or August. Can't wear em anymore - too small. Since the fibromyalgia really set in (Sept of 2004), I've gained nearly 20 pounds. Most of my diet consists of fat-free dairy (milk and yogurt), fruits, veggies, and whole grain bread products; I drink mostly water and skim milk. I'm just so tired of replacing clothes every season. Pants never fit correctly (the front abdomen part always bags) because they are basically sized for a woman who is 160-170 pounds and 5'4" or so. I'm 5'11", so obviously my weight is spread out differently. I know people are reading this and saying "exercise more", but sitting up for more than 45-60 minutes drains me of energy, so I don't have a choice in adding more exercise at this point. I'm just so frustrated at this point, but it's nice to know I'm not alone. :)

Maggie, I hate to say this, but I don't know if Utsav Sarees could get the sarees to you in 4 days. I'm assuming they would have to go with a quicker shipping service, which would cost more. Knowing them, they wouldn't think, gee, we promised this woman something and didn't deliver, maybe we should just eat the extra courier service fee; they'd probably try and make you pay the difference. I am so sorry and feel horrible for you about this. I'm still hoping this turns out okay for you though.

Anne, I agree with you about some of the weird stuff on Utsav Sarees sites. Lots of weird prints (sometimes two prints that never should be put together) and weird styling (the spaghetti strap on one shoulder and a long sleeve on the other). Sometimes I look through their sale page and think, who decided to carry this??

#411 ::: Anne Bremsera ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2007, 01:18 AM:

Maggie- I tried using Utsav's live chat, and it didn't work; then I tried Yahoo Messenger, connected, and they weren't available, and it was 11:00 AM IST. On a business day. So I sent a regular e-mail to the last person to write to me. They don't have all those addresses up anymore. There were once addresses, phone nos. and emails for all kinds of people at Utsav. Now that's gone. Maybe you can talk to them for me!LOL I don't know if I got the right person; I suppose I could go back and check old mail to see if I can find anything helpful. I could just send a cc to anyone who ever wrote to me from there-that ought to find someone to do the right thing.

Thanks for the tea and sympathy on the weight gain and rudeness. It just makes it all so much harder when people are rude about things we have no control over. Blog-friends make it easier.

#412 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2007, 03:27 AM:

I am happy that we're all in the same boat (well I not happy the other people have to go through it but well you know what I mean lol) I've had so many people tell me "Well eat less or excersise more" and as you mentioned Tabby that is just not an opinion with FM. Sure they all say regular activity makes the fibro ease..yeah sure if it isn't severe. When you can hardly walk to the washroom I find it hard to believe that even attempting any type of workout would make things better.

I hate how they design plus size western clothes I know up here it seems like all the designers expect people who are plus sized to be 6 feet or more tall...I am 5'6. Not only that but the fit always sucks no matter what. I bought a nighty (nice to have sexy stuff for my hubby again..it's been probably 3.5yrs since I had anything that fit nicely) and a pair of cotton PJ capris came home tried on the nighty...knickers are perfect but the bra top is so huge for once I am not big enough in the top LMAO, then I tried on the capris and they are way too tight! Same size, both exclusive Wal-mart brands and they fit completely different. Can't someone get their act together at these companies and say "hey lets make clothes the same size that are the same size".

I agree Tabby about men's "big and tall" (a much nicer term then "plus size") being roughly the same price and our clothes being way more expensive. Heck most of the time they don't even carry the same outfits in regular and plus size which is a pain and if they do once again the price is outrageous.

I've lost most hope about Utsav getting the saris here on time, they say within 5 days my luck it'll come in the afternoon after I've left LOL I don't think my Mother in law is willing to drive to Toronto to deliver it. Well I guess that means I can go buy yet another sari woohoo lol. You have a good idea Tabby about eating the extra shipping costs and sending it to me express or something.

Anne I say go for the cc to everyone who has ever written you from Utsav surely one of the addresses has to work. Sucks about the live chat though, I was shocked it worked for me because I am still on dialup.

I know what you mean about people making comments over things we can't control. My maid of honour and I (I've disowned her) had a big fight (that included many more disowned family members who were also part of the wedding party) and during this big fight which all happened online on my MSN blog she said every nasty thing about my weight (some that didn't even make sense), about me being lazy, faking how bad my fibro is etc etc. Luckily for me the comments didn't hurt as much as I think she might have liked because honestly I couldn't care less about the whole lot of them. It still remains that their and many other's make comments about these things before they know anything about us or they assume they know us and make the comments based on their assumptions. I am just glad we have this board and each other to talk about these things, even though I only know you guys from posts on this board I thank you and feel blessed for having you as support and as friends. (How corny eh? lol I do mean it though).

#413 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2007, 03:38 AM:

Tabby I totally forgot to ask, have you noticed since you FM set in that it makes colds/flu a million times worse? I've developed a doosy of one of the other and it just seems to be putting me through the ringer so I was wondering it if was a "special" FM thing lol. Thanks hun!

#414 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2007, 04:44 AM:

Maggie-the one difference between the two of you and me is that what I have is proveable. For years before I was finally properly tested and diagnosed, the doctor just said, like I had a cold, "you have fibromyalgia, don't worry about it". He's not my doctor any more.

Uninformed people say the same thing to me about excercise- that not only will I lose weight, but I'll have more energy and feel better. It isn't possible to excercise when you don't have enough (to put it simply) nerve receptors in your muscles. I use them up by mid-day and have to go lie down. I'm not going to waste them jogging when I need them for basic activities like taking a shower, getting dressed, and walking into the living room. And yes, making my own lunch.

I understand that fibro can feel the same way. Some days are better than others, too, which is a bit confusing to some people. But in the end, at least they believe me. Its pretty hard at this point to deny, edema is rather visible. Its even changed the way my face looks, and I'm going to have to have my wedding ring cut off after 30 years.

All my chudidar are too tight, because its worse in my lower legs and feet. I'm mailing Suma and asking for salwar to go with all my new things. I would make them, but I don't have fabric to match. It's kind of ironic, because this order I had asked for all chudidar, because my husband seemed to like them. When I get better (not if) I will have 2 looks with every outfit.

I'm not going into sizing or fit- you've said it all.

#415 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2007, 06:33 PM:

So, just from reading about the disappearing contact info plus no CSR folks available on a business day, I wonder what's going on with Utsav Sarees? I know last month, they sent me two e-mails with a code for 10% off in a relatively short period of time (I'm registered with them because of their wishlist). It's not a big deal to get e-mails for discounts, but usually businesses don't set them so close together.

I do actually exercise. I have a 10-minute stretching routine I do almost daily plus I walk for 3-5 minutes outside 4 times a week. Exercise is supposed to make your body release beta endorphins, so you basically just feel a bit better. But if you overdo it, your just digging yourself a big hole.

I'm pretty limited with what I can do physically because I have pectus excavatum. Basically, shortly after birth, my ribs and sternum started growing abnormally. Instead of having a chest shaped like a half circle, mine is shaped like a M. So, my outer rib cage is very high and then it plunges down with my sternum being at the lowest point; my lungs and heart are very crowded at this point. I'm in pain all the time and movement using my arms excerbates the pain. I started having shortness of breath last fall suddently (even when I was really sick, I didn't have any breathing issues). It's a very scary feeling because one time I was out walking and all of a sudden, I just couldn't catch my breath and felt like I was suffocating. Unlike your average person, it's not going to improve by continuing to walk that much (if that makes sense). Once I have my surgery in October and heal up, I should be able to do a bit more.

The thing that bothers me is your average person assumes exercise means running 5 miles a day, 5 times a week or something. If you're chronically ill, exercise means to keep moving enough so your body releases beta endorphins, but doesn't make you flare. What really pissed me off was when I read some article on fibromyalgia at webmd.com. Some doctor wrote that FM patients need to stop feeling sorry for themselves and just go out and exercise. Umm, no. You first need to be stable enough to exercise and then you need to find something suitable (i.e. - no high-impact stuff, nothing that requires repeated extension of your limbs, etc.) and a duration that's not going to make things worse. And sorry, Mr. Arrogant Doctor on WebMD, I've never pitied myself and all I've ever wanted was to go back to living a normal life.

Another interesting thing I just read. Eating foods with hot peppers in them can also cause your body to release beta endorphins. When I started eating Indian food, I told the nurses at my clinic that I swore the hot peppers were easing my fatigue and pain for a short period of time. Turns out I was right. :)

Maggie, I'm so sorry about how your maid of honor behaved on your blog. Some friends recently have gotten this attitude that I'm not really ill. I went to a gathering a few months ago where it was a party/demolition of a bathroom event. I had told the host that I would like to come, but I couldn't do any sort of demolition work at all; she was okay with that. Well, we go and there's this attitude from other people there, like I'm just too good and too lazy to help. Everyone there knows I haven't worked in nearly 3 years due to illness. It turned out to be a surprise birthday party for me also, but maybe 2 people actually wished me a happy birthday and the rest just glared at me. One of the people there later e-mailed me and told me basically that I'd be perfectly healthy if I didn't eat processed food at all (whatever - that's not an approved treatment protocol) and exercised (thanks, already do that). Blah.

Anne, I was so sad when I read that your wedding ring has to be cut off. :( I feel so bad for you.

But I agree, it's so nice to be able to talk to you both because you really understand. Healthy people can say they understand, but they don't really.

Sheesh - almost forgot (I gardened for a half hour today and I'm so wiped out now)! Maggie, I do get really sick from minor colds and all that. Like, some virus will be going around and most people have it for 3-5 days, but I'll have it for 7-10 days. I think when you're chronically ill, your body is already so stressed, anything little thing on top of that just breaks the camel's back.

Another thing I've noticed with fibro is I absolutely have to be on the birth control pill. Before I was diagnosed, my lame primary care doctor said it was the pill and I had to go off. All my symptoms were worsened. Once I got back on the pill, my symptoms improved (not completely, but any improvment is better than none).

#416 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2007, 11:25 PM:

Hey Anne,
Yeah I agree I suppose for you it might be abit more easy with people since you can show them test results that are undeniable. With fibro it's like "Well they say I have fibro but I have no way to prove it 100%" which doesn't help with depression because at times you start to think you're losing your mind. As you say it's impossible to excersize if you have to save up your energy to do simple things for me it's usually climbing the stairs to the washroom. Everything is an effort, and when you're already working so hard to get dressed, brush your hair etc excersizing is really not that high on the list. I try and do abit of yoga every day I don't always get it done but I make sure to do it when my back is at it's worst because it seems to help it abit. Yes the ups and downs of fibro is confusing for everyone including the person with it. One day someone will see me in the wheelchair and like two days later I am walking and they of course start to wonder if I am faking it. I always say I wish I could either stay walking or stay in the wheelchair because the back and forth thing is just too much. Luckily I haven't been in the chair for a bit but then again A) I don't leave the house on days I would have to be in it and B) there have been days that I've been out that I should have been in the chair because it wiped me out for days.

That is so sad about your wedding ring Anne I am so sorry to hear that it'll have to be cut off especially after all that time. I have to get my wedding rings sized again because they are starting to cut into my fingers. I suppose the one good thing is that your last order was from Suma so you can get the salwar pants to go with your new suits without any trouble. I am sure your husband will love you in salwar or churidar pants.

Well I read Utsav's delivery thing and apparently their shipping works on Saturdays (S2's does as well) so that gives them an extra day to get my saris to me, it doesn't appear that there is an express delivery option or else I would have paid more or suggest that they pay. It is weird that we're having all this trouble with them and they've had questionable actions lately. Maybe they aren't able to keep customers like we suggested.

You are totally spot on Tabby about spicy food, my favourite thing on a bad day is to get chicken kickers from Dominoes pizza and drown them in Frank's red hot and a touch of ranch dressing I swear it's like some kind of illegal drug. I can feel the affects spread throughout my body, if it's a bad day I try to make sure I only eat them infront of hubby because of the noises I make :x LOL

Tabby I am so sorry to hear about your birthday party what a horrible thing for you to have to go through. The one that e-mailed you obviously had no understanding of FM and should perhaps do abit more research before sending you things that are completely unproven. Not eating processed foods is as much of an unproven hypothesis as drinking only reverse osmosis water. And yeah excersise again is great if your FM is fairly mild but if it's severe you have much more important things to do with the little bit of energy you've got. I just think that person, the doctor you mentioned (I will avoid reading that article because it'll just make me angry) as well as those people I disowned all seem to have the same problem which is lack of empathy for others. It seems to be a larger and larger problem now a days if it doesn't affect someone in their daily lives then most people don't care. I think it affects things on a larger scale too but I won't go into a rant LOL.

When I first started showin symptoms of FM at 12 I started to feel sorry for myself because I was having doctor and doctor tell me and my parents that I was crazy and that all the pain and me sleeping 14hrs at a time was all in my head. However once I was diagnosed and taken seriously I've come to terms with it and I believe it's my burden to carry in this life and there is a lesson to be learnt from it. Makes you wonder though what these same people that make all these comments about us would say to their own child if they started showing the same symptoms we have. Would it still be just from feeling sorry for themselves?

I also agree that healthy people say they understand but they really can't especially if your illness is or is like fibro where it's a day to day thing. Alot of people are fine if you're sick all the time or healthy all the time but they don't know what to think or what to do if you're fine one day but the next day you can't feed yourself. My hubby had bad health too so he does understand better then healthy people luckily but my mother even though she's been with me all throughout my trouble with FM still has trouble understanding and taking into account that I can't just wake up early and go when she wants me to or do something for her when she wants it done.

Tabby I am glad you've renforced my belief that having fibro makes having a cold or the flu so much worse then healthy people. The last few days I swear I felt like I was going to die my pain flared up so bad, I had the chills, headache you name it I had it. It's starting to get better but I am still having major "fibro fog" so I hope this post makes sense ;). My mother in law said on the phone today "Well it's a cold you will get over it" and I was thinking "It doesn't feel like it, stop telling me it's no big deal". So now I am on "Cold Fx" and "Tylenol cold & flu" I don't usually take meds I don't like putting crap in my body but when I feel this bad they are welcomed with open arms.

I am on the depo because I have endometriosis so it helps with the cramps (no monthly, fewer cramps) and because we're not sure if we want to have kids or not yet.

I have yet to finish that salwar I've been working on for seems like forever. I have the pants pleated and pinned ready to be sewn and the kameez is ready to be hemmed and all but blah!

#417 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2007, 03:12 AM:

Well, I guess I've got a lot to say,too. First, I ordered 3 summer suits from an e-bay store-Fromindia4u. They are really beautiful -white embroidered georgette for 2, and a dark blue dressier suit in case I get invited to a do.lol I ordered around 4/21 and hadn't heard anything, so I emailed last night. Tonight there was an email saying I should get it tomorrow, at the latest, the next day. They get points for quick sewing and delivery, and their quick reply to my email. That already says a lot. Tomorrow or the day after, I'll find out the quality. They don't have a big collection, but what they have is nice, and plus size friendly. If I remember right, their sizes go up to 7x without an increase in price. They are one of those places where you pay a very little for the product,and a lot for shipping.

Utsav sent me an automated email saying they'd received MY email. That's it so far. Their robot knows about the problem. At least its something.

Both Tabby and Maggie- the reason chili makes you feel better is that is has a natural anti-infamatory in it, as well as a pain reducer.
Capsicum oil, put in a cream base, can be rubbed on a problem area DAILY!!! It blocks the pain receptors there. That's how some people can pour on the hottest hotsauce, and others can barely eat a few drops. It takes constant daily use for this to work. The more you use, the more chili you can have tomorrow.

It is also an anti inflamatory. That's why you bot feel better after eating it. Its one of nature's pharmaceuticals. Maggie- you were right on the nose with deciding it was the chili. There are other natural anti inflamatories. Ginger and garlic are two of them. Maggie- that's why a plate of eating Indian food makes you feel better. The spices all have different properties for making you better, including helping your digestion and freshening your breath. Eating a plate of Indian food is like taking a dose of good medicine.

I've developed a recipe (if you can call it that) for ginger ale to help get more ginger in me. I can't have Tylenol, or any other over the counter pain relievers because they are worried about my liver because I had Hepatitis A I only have the hard stuff, which I don't really want to use
unless it is really bad. Here's the "recipe" : get a bunch of really fresh fresh ginger. Peel it. Grate it on a ginger grater, or slice and put it into the food processor and buzz away until it is chopped very, very finely. Pour the juice into a refrigerator or freezer container. Take the pulp, and squeeze out as much juice as you can. If you want to (it makes is nicer), you can strian it through cheesecloth. Add to soda water with sugar to taste in a tall glass with ice. For fancy, put a sprig of mint in it. I use about 2Tblsp per tall glass, and I'm not sure about the sugar, but it kind of like making lemonade. Start with a tblsp. and add sugar or ginger juice to adjust the taste. Better than a couple of Tylenol.

I've been asked by a number of people, including my doctors and religious leaders to write a book about how I've coped with this and remained happy. I said I would think about it, but now, with you two, I'm feeling more motivated. I never though of myself as a writer, but I do need to tell people how to be sick and stay happy- to avoid bitterness, hopelessness, self denial...you know.One way is doing this. I would never have thought of wearing salwar kameez, would never have known Suma or you two, and one or two others in far away places. Even though I'm sick and practically house-bound, I've made all kinds of real friends this year. From my hospital bed- one of the nurses that did the plasmapheresis. From the tea shop I stop at on the way to the doctor- the manager. The chaplain at the hospital, and a student nurse. There are people I knew slightly that I know well now- I count those as new friends. Being "isolated" doesn't stop you from emailing, snail mailing, calling someone up...last night I called an old college roomate, and we talked for two hours. It was great, we probably are better friends now than we were then. Having a support system of friends that will stand by you is very important. Anyway, I'm not going to write the book here. I don't even know if I'm going to do it. But I do have a lot to say on the subject.

Now I can't wait for tomorrow. My package is coming. I'll let you know what I get.

#418 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2007, 10:36 AM:

Wow! So many ideas and thoughts have been posted, I have to mentally gnaw on it for a bit. :)

I just wanted to post that I bought a salwar kameez through Ladies Den on eBay. Utsav Sarees had the exact same suit last summer and eShakti had it earlier this year; both were gone before I could make a decision. It's printed crepe - sort of that Indian print you see on lots of skirts that have come out in the past 2 years or so. It's navy blue, aquamarine, and orange; I've been inspired by Maggie's love of blue and orange. :)

Once I get this suit and the two from S2, I'll do some photos of those and my one from Pardesi too.

#419 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2007, 01:35 PM:

Wonder of wonders! Miracle of miracles! Utsav sent me an email today saying they are sending my things within the week and that because I have been an old customer there will be no extra charge for the fabric. I can live with that. Lets see if they follow through. They also apologized very nicely.
I'm a sucker for a good apology. But to any salwar kameez companies reading this, that doesn't mean its OK to treat your customers badly and then send an apology. We really will take our business elsewhere. We have found plenty of companies that are very good. One of them is Chennai Bazaar. They keep me notified of progress, and are very prompt. I ordered 2 saris from them this week. Both are very attractive- simple georgette in muted colors, one green, one gold. I'll let you know how they come out, but I'm sure they will be good. They also provide a storage bag for a sari, and send really nice bindis with the order, too. It felt like Christmas last time I ordered from them.

#420 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2007, 04:15 PM:

Yay! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they do follow through. But if they plan on charging customers if they are above a certain size, they really need to communicate that in each and every listing/item description.

I agree with you on the apology bit. Apologies are for oopses; ignoring your customers' e-mails or live chat sessions are not oopses. (And Utsav Sarees, I e-mailed you about 3-4 weeks ago now - no response still. I will not be buying anything from you all ever.)

I remember looking at Chennai Bazaar awhile back. They had some very nice stuff and at good prices. I liked two or three of their salwar kameez, but they were all the type where the fabric is perfumed basically. My sense of smell (and hearing) is bizarrely sensitive at this point, so fragrant stuff doesn't work well for me. The fragrance is supposed to wash out eventually though.

#421 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2007, 07:00 PM:

Tabby- the things I got before from Chennai Bazaar had no fragrance. They did have a dept. of fragrant clothes, but they were a seperate collection. I don't think you have to worry about that. I have a sensitive nose, too, so I would have picked it up.

In their apology, Utsav Sarees explained that the fabric I had chosen had a narrower width, so they have to use more. I, like you, am much larger than the average Indian. I really need a longer width. To get a reasonably long pallu, I can only have 4 or 5 pleats. I am so looking forward to losing this weight. It came on so suddenly that I didn't know how to walk with it, I don't know how to put on shoes with buckles or bows, just moving is a huge project. I don't know if I'll get used to it, or become anorexic and just quit the habit; wouldn't it be nice if we could go cold turkey?

#422 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 15, 2007, 05:41 AM:

Fromindia2u sounds great Anne, fast response is always a good sign but even faster sewing and shipping is the best. Definately let us know what your suits are like when you get them. If they are good I'll put them on my favourite sellers list lol. At least the robot at Utsav knows about your mail, pretty bad when you have to rely on a robot instead of a person anymore.

I have abit of a different opinion on the spicy food thing, FM hasn't been shown to cause inflammationso I believe the relief that Tabby and I are experiencing are from the endorphines that are released into the body after you eat something spicy. I have no doubt that spice also works as an anti inflammatory though.

I love the recipe Anne thank you so much I am going to have to try it, it sounds yummy. I love ginger I learnt all about it years ago when I first started having GI problems.

I think you'd do well to write Anne especially if so many people are suggesting you do it. I believe that if it's something you truely know about (like you do about this subject) anyone can be a great writer. Last year I wrote a letter to the local paper out of desperation and it ended up being printed as a article and I was paid for it (first time I had ever been paid, far from first time writing lol). I never thought I was that good of a writer but if you have the passion then it's a good idea even if it's just to get it all out of your system.

Apologies only go so far with me anymore, when it came to multifab a "we're sorry nothing fit" just didn't cut it, I mean even the bangles were too small! If it seems true then I am willing to give just about anyone a second chance (some exceptions of course) but if it seems rehersed or like they've said the same thing to other people then forget it. I am definately not buying Utsav's apology to me about things being late perhaps it's because they didn't offer to compensate me for it either with express shipping, discount on next order (though I probably wouldn't use that) something, anything.

Scented clothing? Now that I am going to have to look into, how strange! I only seem to have problems with the smell of wood smoke, and any detergent aisle laundry, dish washer it doesn't it gives me a headache.

I think having weight problems are probably the worst because it's not like you can just stop eating especially if you already have severe health problems. It's not like you have to smoke, or have to drink or have to do drugs to live.

BTW Tabby let me know what you think of the blue and orange :) pics would be great too!

#423 ::: litlnemo ::: (view all by) ::: May 15, 2007, 07:32 AM:

Heh, 422 posts and still going...

I put in an order for a couple of tops at S2. The order went in 5 days ago, and now it's in quality assurance mode already. Much faster this time. :) My eShakti voile top should be here soon, too. In contrast to S2 (and to my previous eShakti order) I didn't really get any status reports. I ordered the eShakti top on April 17 and heard nothing after the order confirmation. I e-mailed them yesterday to ask what the status was, and they sent back a shipping confirmation mail saying it shipped yesterday. Hmm! :)

#424 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 15, 2007, 10:27 AM:

Litlnemo - That's just so odd that eShakti isn't telling people when they ship. At minimum, a seller/company should tell people when their item has been shipped. Definitely helps to build trust with the customer.

So, here's the suit I ordered yesterday:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=ADME:B:EOIBSAA:US:11&Item=170110900367

I really love the print. Ladies Den contacted me to confirm measurements and clarify some things about my measurements. I was glad they did because I view this a mark of a good custom salwar kameez business.

http://www.cbazaar.com/Clothing/product.asp?ctgintid=792&mList=4&spId=243

The above is a link to Chennai Bazaar's aromatic suits collection. The two suits I like the most off this site are in their aromatic collection.

You're right, the not being able to go cold turkey is what makes weight loss hard when you're chronically ill. I've noticed that if I don't eat about every 3 hours, I feel really wiped out and act like a toddler who needs a nap. But I'm still going to ask at my fibro clinic next week if we can work on some plan where I'd lose 5 pounds and then maintain that weight.

Anne, I think your book is a great idea. I had an appt with a psychologist last week for my disability application (evidently, the gov't sends just about everyone to appts like these). She was explaining why I was sent to see her and I asked if was depressed. I told her no and she looked shocked. But I was being honest. Although I'd much prefer to be completely healthy and have a normal life for a early 30s woman, I've accepted my situation and am content at this point. I've learned that being happy all the time in life is not going to happen, but being content the majority of the time is something that's possible.

Yep, Maggie, no inflammation with fibro. I'm always amazed when I see a new doctor and they talk about using Tylenol or Advil for fibro pain; doesn't work. Then when I say the clinic has taught me pain management, they assume I'm on narcotics, which I'm not. Everyone has to make decisions about what is best for them and narcotics for fibro pain is not an option for me. Narcotics seem to just knock me out and further distance me from life itself and other people.

My favorite pain reliever is called White Flower Embrocation No. 1. I got this at our local Asian grocery. It's an oil that you rub into the affected area and it'll numb that area for quite awhile. It's got quite a smell to it (it has camphor, menthol, and eucalyptus in it), so I generally use it at night when my legs are killing me or if I'm going to be home all day.

#425 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 16, 2007, 01:06 AM:

I LOVE that suit Tabby!! Its so beautiful, we definately do have the same taste because I would have bought that in a heart beat lol. I like a couple of those aromatic suits too especially the black one on the last page I'll have to remember those. I wonder how long the scent lasts.

When it comes to weight loss, for me it's more like sure I'd love to lose weight but it's not going to happen or if it does it's going to be very slowly and it's just nothing I change. So why worry about it?

I had at one point been told to see a psychologist but I never did, what's the point? I know what's wrong, I know my issues heck my husband is the best person to talk to about things so why go out of the house? lol I suffer from depression some days worse then others but I think I have a right to it I am 24yrs old I've had this since I was at least 12, and I am at the age where I am seeing people I grew up with go off to collage or university, buying a house, a car and starting a family and I don't have any of it and some of it I never will. I just got in touch with people I went to grade school with and the common question is "So what do you do?" and I swear everyone I responsed to saying that I can't work hasn't said another word to me. At my age and the way our society works (at least here) is if you don't work you're lower then dirty and worthless and I've had my own Grandmother tell me the day I came back from my honeymoon that I should be ashamed of who I am, that I don't work and be ashamed of where I live. As I said some days are better some are worse but I am just lucky to have my husband there with me through it all even if it does cause some arguements at times.

For the FM pain I went to a pain program (no drugs) it did nothing, I tried the Tylonal/Advil route which of course didn't work, I've tried rubs and creams, and tried straight codine when I was first diagnosed (at 16) which also did nothing. I will admit to trying another (illegal) pain reliever but I can't honestly tell you if it worked on the pain or if I was just too high to notice. I hated how I felt on it (hubby had it for pain after his second last surgery and was trying to help me) I think there must have been a reaction to my other meds because I felt like I was living in a dream world. I would rather be in pain and be in my right mind then be a space cadet. My great Grandfather used to say he was happy when he felt pain in the morning because it meant he was alive, it seems like pretty logical to me :)

I got my e-mail from S2 today about them shipping my order, it was shipped a couple days late but I am sure it'll be worth it. I figure mine took longer just because it's such a big order 2 salwar kameez 1 patiala salwar 1 pair churidar pants and I think 7 petticoats.

Found a couple of new saris up at my local second hand shop yesterday, one was obviously kota doria but it was just such a horrible print (gaudy 70's green and yellow flowers..like those horrible curtans lol) so I didn't get it. The other is a peach colour with beading, embrodery and fringe I ended up getting it. I also found material for a salwar kameez, really pretty with hand painting but they priced each peice seperately although for $12 all together that isn't too bad so I am still thinking about it.

Also didn't mention day before yesterday I was in a salwar and I had two conversations with people about it. One woman was married to an Indian man and wears salwar kameez herself etc. And the other one is moving down to N. Carolina and was thinking salwar kameez would be great for the heat so I gave her S2's website and Suma's name. It was pretty nice to be out and have good conversations.

Litlnemo,
That is really weird about eshakti, they better not be turning into a crappy seller all of a sudden. Let us know how the voile top turns out, I know for myself I've been worried ordering from there western wear because of sizes.

#426 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 16, 2007, 02:56 AM:

Alright then! Just got off the instant chat thing with Utsav. Remember I got the e-mail saying my order was delayed and would be shipped the 17th? Now they are saying they *hope* to send it by the end of the week. It's not going to make it in time, they didn't come out and say that but it's pretty obvious. Next Monday is also a holiday here so no one works so there is one less day shipping. Grrr I feel like I am back dealing with echarming. Remind me not to shop with them again. My luck it'll come in while I am gone and they'll charge duty on it and it'll only be my mother in law here pffft.

#427 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 16, 2007, 11:46 AM:

Ugh! I just got off the phone with my mom, who drives me to my medical appointments. I'm very limited as to where I can drive due to my haziness. Generally, I can make it to the dentists, who are about a mile away, one way, but sometimes the trip back is a bit difficult. My brain likes to cut off concentration and focus while I'm the road, so not a very good thing.

Anyhow, I was reminding my mom that I have an appointment next Wednesday and she says that she'd really like to see me driving more. I said that even though my fatigue is down right now (I still have to pace and stay on a routine to keep it down though), I'm still very hazy.

I had to get off the phone during our conversation, but called back later. I told my mom I'd give it another shot. She then said that her sister (my aunt), who doesn't even live in the same state as us, is telling my mom that she's enabling me to not drive. So now my mom feels guilty.

I told my mom that people know people with fibro who work, so then they make assumptions that all people with fibro aren't heavly affected. So since I have a severe case of it, it makes it hard on me because people make all these assumptions. Folks, fibro is no different than a lot of other chronic diseases. Just Montel Williams (a talk show host in the US) can still work and looks all healthy doesn't mean all people with MS can do that. There are people with MS who are wheelchair-bound and are severely limited and people in between also. Seriously, I'd much rather like to drive where ever because I could be by myself and come and go when I want.

Grrrrrr!!!!

Maggie, I'm amazed at how similar our tastes are! The black suit on the 2nd page is one of my favorites at Chennai Bazaar along with the green and white on the first page. There's another suit I sort of like too (Utsav Sarees and eShakti used to have it also), but the salwar is a flower print and I'm just not big on flower prints.

You're younger than I thought you were, which is a compliment. :) You come off very poised and like you know what you're doing (most people in their early to mid 20s don't have those traits). So, be proud of that. :) I feel bad that you're younger because at least with fibro hitting in my late 20s, I had time to be young and crazy and work for a bit. The bad thing with me is that I was sort of hitting my prime when I got sick, so I do feel like I'm missing out on things. I try to focus on the fact that life is your own race and the idea is to the best you personally can. As long as I'm still running that race, I'm doing just fine.

I envy that you have Indian fabric stores near you. We just have Joann Fabrics (not too bad) and Hancock Fabrics (totally sucks), but I'd love to have a store that just handled Indian fabrics (Joann had some about 2 years ago, but not really anymore).

I actually wore my salwar kameez yesterday. It was my husband's birthday, so I went with him to get his hair cut and then out to a new (to us) Indian restaurant. We get our hair cut at the same place, so my stylist came over to say hi. In a five minute conversation, she told me 3 times how she loved my outfit. :) This was the first time I've worn a salwar kameez to an Indian restaurant and that went fine too.

You know what Utsav Sarees reminds me of? It's like the boyfriend who promises to propose or actually set a wedding date, but keeps changing dates. Like, "we'll get engaged once I get that promotion"; he gets promoted, but it gets pushed off again. It's like that old saying about being on or off the pot: either you are or you aren't.

#428 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 17, 2007, 03:42 AM:

Tabby- that suit is really nice. I think we all have similar tastes around here. Maybe that's a cultural thing? That our tastes are largly determined by our culture? Not that every American or Canadian has the same taste, but in general there are patterns and color combinations that we might find familiar unconsiously. Even when we are choosing blue and orange. The three of us obviously have some tastes in common, or we wouldn't be here. We are all unconventional, and a little adventurous. Not everyone has the ability to wear something so different. Most people are happiest in the current uniform- like jeans and T-shirt.

I checked out Ladies Den, and bought 2 suits- a gold Banarasi silk with Resham weaving, and a very nice brown block print kameez with blue salwar and dupatta. I love the combination of brown and blue.
I don't know where I will wear the silk one, but what the heck- I'll make an occasion.

I've been busy the last few days driving quite a distance to doctor's appts. I'm too complicated for the doctors up here, so I drive for about an hour and a half. Today one of them said the edema will start going away-over the next 6 weeks or so I should lose 30-40 pounds. Thats my kind of diet. And if he's right, that means I can keep my wedding ring. Hooray!!!

As the oldest here, I'd like to say that all of you are very poised and more mature than most your ages. I think having to deal with adversity does that. We start thinking about life, the universe, and everything at a much younger age than people who have few hurdles to overcome. Maggie has become Hindu; at 19 I became Catholic. We were thinking about how and why the Universe is the way it is, and about the human condition. Most people that age are thinking about where the next party is. I imagine Tabby has had some thoughts along these lines as well. Maggie, getting fibro at 12 would either make you a deeper thinker, which it has, or made you a depressed mess. You aren't depressed because you appreciate the small things -you have gratitude. You have put things in perspective. You have accepted what you can't change, and don't waste emotional energy on that. You look for what you can change, and what is beautiful or interesting. There's a world of things to do, to learn, to experience even with fibro or autoimmune disease. And this is one of them.

Thought you'd like to know- Teresa posted on my blog (right after I put a link to Making Light on it) that this is the longest running thread on Making Light, and that she's glad we're enjoying the conversation. I think it will get much longer!! Thank you, Teresa!

I have an order with S2 for 7 salwars to go with my chudidar suits because of the swelling- and because they are cooler in the desert heat. Loose clothing is the most comfortable here. Now it sounds like the swelling won't be so much of an issue. They are only charging $7 apiece for them. I really love that place, and everyone in it.

#429 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 17, 2007, 03:47 AM:

((((tabby)))) it sounds like your aunt is under the same misassumption as my brides maid was. You're right all kinds of condition are on a person by person basis. Heck there are all kinds of people with cancer who work but there are others that can't does that mean that the ones that don't are just lazy? I poised the same question to my brides maid she had no answer. I seriously can't understand why it's so hard for people to understand a day by day and person by person basis. I've even run into other people with FM that couldn't understand why I was in the wheelchair because it "never bothered me that much". Your Mum really needs to think about this on her own, does she really want you behind the wheel when your mind decides to go off and do it's own thing? You could end up causing an accident and kill yourself or others or both. "Fibro fog" is nothing to mess around with, it's a huge problem for me too so I can understand where you're coming from. If you don't have enough faith in your ability to drive then I don't think it's right for your Mum to push you. Enabling you not to drive? It's not your Mum that's doing it, it's the FM. And it's nothing you can change, that's just how FM works. If we had control over it then obviously we'd control it enough to have normal lives to feel like everyone else. But we can't. That is just rotten of your aunt to be like that Tabby I am so sorry to hear about that, family members can be a real pain in the ass. Especially the kind that don't take the time to fully understand our situations.

Great minds must think alike when it comes to fashion Tabby! lol

Thank you for the compliment, I get the same thing all the time LOL. I've always been taken as older then I am (was great for getting into bars lol). Having so many health problems all my life, and being an only child probably helps my maturity level. I can only imagine what it was like to just get going with your life then get hit with the FM. I suppose in some ways it's better to get it when you're younger because you don't get used to have a "normal" life, you never know what you're missing. I've had bits of a normal life a few times when the symptoms ease up for awhile but apparently I had too much "normal" time because they've really set in the last few years. I was able to work briefly so I got to know what it was like to hate your boss LMAO actually its where I met my husband my first day at my first job and we've been inseperible since then.

I suppose I am abit lucky to have a shop or two in town here but they are so over priced it's almost not worth going to them unless you have to. The second hand shop is great when they get a sari or two in or salwar material but it's only once in awhile (their stock comes from Toronto) so you really have to be up there once a week to check it out, and apparently with the saris at least there is one woman who always goes there to buy her saris and she's told the whole class she attends so it's turned into a competition lmao.

Happy belated birthday to your husband Tabby, how strange though it was my husband's birthday too!!! I am so glad you got to wear a salwar kameez to an Indian resturant. How was the new resturant?

Well I am still really unhappy with Utsav GRRRRR. Oh and you know what he told me last night? (same guy as last time) that next time I want to check that I should write to them...and we all know how well that goes over. I have a sari or two I could use it's just that black one was so sexy and different :(.

And to top off the day I destoyed my white churidar pants from S2...I put them in the wash with cholis I thought were colour safe and that had been washed before...they weren't. So now I have pink and white churidar pants. I don't want to bleach them but I don't have much of a choice if it doesn't take out the colour maybe I'll just dye them, guess I'll have to order another pair. I also noticed that last time I wore my last readymade salwar (the overly expensive one) we had Indian and I missed my mouth and I hadn't noticed so I am just hoping the tumeric comes out (probably won't it's really good at staining). And I still have to finish my suit and a bunch of other stuff, I just wish I had more energy.

#430 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 17, 2007, 03:48 AM:

Oh, Tabby- I really like that green and white suit at Chennai Bazaar, too, but I think I'm a little old and (at least right now) fat to wear it. It looks so fresh- like spring. Perfect for May.

#431 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 17, 2007, 04:21 AM:

Maggie- those people have never experienced chronic illness, and as I said earlier, probably haven't given it much thought. They really are clueless. I try not to be angry at people who say or do stupid or hurtful things like that because it comes from their ignorance. I just think "what a shame she is ignorant" and let it go. Some people are open to learning about it, but if they aren't, then just give it up. Don't give it any emotional energy. Its not worth it. I also feel sorry for those whose ignorance robs them of compassion. They can't be terribly happy people.

#432 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 17, 2007, 11:05 AM:

I forgot to mention this yesterday, but this aunt is an occupational therapist and has been for probably close to 30 years. So, it's one of those things that just irritates me more (if she was an accountant, I'd say well, all she knows about is the tax code, but with a medical person...). Awhile back, she sent my mom this crazy article about FM where this woman (who was an OT and had FM) talked about women with FM need assertiveness training, a no carb diet, and shouldn't practice energy conservation!!?? First, has anyone seen two women more strong and assertive than Maggie and I? Second, carbs helps to make serotonin, which helps with decision making, mood, and energy. Third, how are you going to handle fatigue if you don't learn how to pace yourself and manage activities appropriately? This article was in an OT journal too! Yikes!

My mom also is an OT and has been for almost 40 years. But she's just different than my aunt: not pushy, not judgmental, very open to different views (part of my not being conventional probably came from my mom). She gets that when someone says they are fatigued, it means exhaustion and malaise, not I'm a bit sleepy right now.

But Anne is right, I just need to let this go as fast as I can. I was really tempted to call her and say, "you need to back off and leave my mother alone!". But I knew that would just make things worse. The bad thing is I have to see this woman next month at a wedding. (I bought a regular Western gown for the wedding, but really wished I would have bought this Indo-Western suit from S2. Oh well.)

Anne, you're also right about our tastes. I bet it is a mix of our Western cultures plus us being unconventional and adventurous. Most of my real life friends are pretty conservative and my husband isn't unconventional, so it's nice to have you guys who get it. :)

I think having a tough childhood and adolescence made me very introspective at a younger age than most. I was born a Catholic, but I sort of renounced Jesus to my parents when I was 15 (they weren't impressed). I started reading Tao Te Ching (sort of the Bible of Taoism) at that same age. So as much as people say I'm copping out here, I'm not religious, but I am spiritual. I'm also interested in the philosophical aspects of Buddhism.

Maggie, don't toss your white churidars yet! I have stuff that may get the dye from your cholis out and is fairly gentle (I used it on a cream-colored, gauzy peasant blouse to get rust stains out and it didn't damage or bleach the top at all). It's called Yellow Out and I got it a local grocery store. It can take awhile (I spent most of a day on my peasant top) and it doesn't smell great (but won't stink up the garment much), but if you really love something and want to keep it, this is probably your best option. Hopefully, it's available in Canada!

You know, I'm really glad I wore my salwar kameez out because I had forgotten how comfy they are and how they make me feel like an Amazonian princess. The restaurant was really good: beautiful decor, good service, good food - they even made a dish especially for my husband that wasn't on the menu.

Maggie, I'm also technically an only child (I have half-sisters, but they are 20 years older than me and I've disowned that entire side of the family, including my now deceased father). It's funny our husbands have the same birthdates; you wouldn't happen to be a January baby?

I'm so excited! I got an e-mail from S2 that stitching is finished on my suits! So I should be seeing them relatively soon!

#433 ::: multifab ::: (view all by) ::: May 17, 2007, 11:48 AM:

Hi All,

Was browsing through and saw few comments on our webstore. First of all I unconditionally apologise to Maggie for any inconvenience caused to her. I thank her for supporting us to get us back on eBay.
We are comparatively new to online selling and we are learning from our experiences. You all can go through our eBay feedback page and you will find people praising for a perfect fit to our Salwar Kameez and Cholis. We are pioneer in bringing new and innovative features, which are immitated by other sellers across the world. We introduced AUTOMATIC Sari Service, then MULTIPACK, SWIFT, WELCOME Kit and so on. We include a VCD tutorial of "How to wear a Sari" with each of our Sari. Apart from that we have most widest range of Salwar Kmaeez on our webstore. We are saying this because we are genuine manufacturer, not reseller. Our brands like INDIGO, DIVA, FIORA and BLISS for salwar kameez are recognised worldwide. INDIGO brand is the salwar kameez for beginners and I bet if someone can find as many syles and patterrns as we offer in this brand.
As for Stitching part, one has to keep one thing in mind that buying online has certain limitation in compare to buying in person. Major concern in online buying shall be on quality of fabric as you can only see a fabric before you buy, you can not feel how good the fabric is. Any cheap quality fabric can look good in a digital picture, but when you get it in your hands you come to know about it. PERFECT Stitching will always remain elusive in an online shopping experience.
Anyway, I hope you people accept my apology and I assure you despite being a very small player in the field of online selling I will always be at your service with innovative ideas and most creative range of products.

Regards

Vikram Gandhi
For Multifabrics Corp.

#434 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 17, 2007, 02:47 PM:

Thank you, Mr. Gandhi, for your gracious letter. I have never bought anything from Multifabrics, so I can't be the one to accept your apology, although I would like to. I have never even looked at your site, but I will now.

I am curious about your offerings. I am interested in how the automatic sari works. Making the pleats came naturally to me; they've never been a problem. My problem is that I am very large. I'm tall-68", not as tall as Tabby, but more than average, and because of medication rather large around the middle. It is hard to find a sari that is really long enough for me to have more than 3 or 4 pleats, and still have a pallu that is long enough to be attractive. I don't think an automatic sari would work for me. But I will look at the site.

Tabby- It is amazing what professional medical people don't know. I think I have explained how a nerve synapse works to every nurse in every hospital I've been in, and often they still don't get it. And I learned it in Biology 101 in 1972. That's 35 years ago!

Here's how it works-brain decides to move toe. Brain sends chemical messenger also known as a neurotransmitter down through the spinal cord (like an electrical trunk line) and through the nerve pathways to the toe. There it meets the muscle that is supposed to be moved. Here's the interesting part-the nerve doesn't connect to the muscle. They don't even touch. They are just kind of close. The muscle has a molecule that is like a lock, and the neurotransmitter is like a key. The neurotransmitter is ejected by the nerve, crosses the gap to the molecule in the muscle called a receptor, and unlocks it, which tells the muscle to contract, or move. In Myasthenia Gravis, there are antibodies that kill the receptors. So now there are a limited number of receptors in the muscles. As the person uses muscles, the receptors (locks)that are left fill up with the neurotransmitters (keys) when there are too few receptors left, it becomes difficult to use the muscle. There aren't enough locks (doors) to be opened to let the muscle know what to so. The only thing to do about this is rest. When the muscles aren't moved, the receptors that are left eject the used key (neurotransmitter) and wait for the next command from the brain.

When this happens to me, I'm not sleepy tired either, although I might look like it. It takes muscles to keep eyes open. Droopy eyelids are characteristic of myasthenia. The character "Doc" from Disney's Snow White was modeled on someone with myasthenia. Any repetitive movement will use up what receptors I have much faster. This also includes the diaphram. If I use up the receptors in my diaphram I have trouble breathing; the muscle isn't getting the message from the brain. I can't tell you how many nurses, paramedics, and even a doctor didn't know this, and kept trying give me an alburterol inhaler. It can't work, because it has no affect on either the lock or the key. If the breathing proplem gets very bad, the person is intubated. Breathing can stop any minute, and it only takes a few minutes for brain damage or death to occur. I've been in the hospital in a breathing crises, with no nurse to be found. They think its like asthma, and it will give them warning. If I die because some nurse wasn't paying attention out of ignorance, I will be tempted to be exceedingly angry.


Like you, Tabby, when I say I'm tired, it doesn't mean I'm sleepy. It means I can't move another inch until I get a chance to lie down and rest. Even my mother has trouble with that. I'm 52 and she's telling me to go take a nap. But I love her anyway, and she has good intentions. FM is often misunderstood because there isn't an obvious cause; myasthenia is misunderstood because it is so rare. And the nurses weren't paying attention in biology!

You are right Tabby in making the distinction between religion and spirituality. Religion without spirituality is dead, and I fully understand why you would leave the Church- my husband is from Wisconsin, and the first time I went to Mass there I couldn't believe it. I don't know how many people were there because they wanted to be, but I bet you could count them on one hand. Nobody participated, and nobody seemed to understand what they were doing and why, including the priest! I'd leave, too.

Lao Tsu was a spiritual genius, and the Tao Te Ching was a good thing to read. I read it at about the same age. I never lost the Buddhist in me either, so I'm something of a hybrid. I just realized I never said I was raised Buddhist. The Buddhist Temple we went to was about as spiritual as many Catholic Curches. Most people went for social reasons, and the Sensei used to say that if it weren't for my parents, there wouldn't be anyone to teach. You get the same phenomenon in all religions. The average person doesn't dig very deep. You went right to the heart of Taoism, and you probably did the same with Buddhism.

Christianity has a comparable spiritual tradition, but you only find it in monasteries and books. A fifteen year old will look at their shallow experience and reject it, just like I rejected Buddhism. Isn't that ironic? The thing is, you can never really lose the core values of the religion you were brought up in. So I am Buddhist/Catholic,and you are probably a Catholic/Buddhist. It is not a contradiction, because Buddhism is really a way of life- Siddhartha Gautama said that whether or not there is a God, living this way will bring a person enlightenment.

The Dalai Lama has said that it is best for a person to remain in the religion of their childhood, because you will be able to go deeper into the spiritual tradition of your own culture. I wasn't raised in the religion of my culture, but I chose it for that reason among many others. It was the right choice for me.

#435 ::: Kat ::: (view all by) ::: May 17, 2007, 06:47 PM:

Help, I can't find the post with the URL for S2 in it!

LOL, we need to make this thread into a whole message board!!

I am still anxiously awaiting when it will actually be warm enough to wear my salwar kameez...I hate Michigan! Neither of my kameez have long sleeves, and while I've done the "wear a long-sleeved shirt underneath and wrap a couple dupattas around," I feel like it looks pretty stupid. And, I need to wash my black sweater coat--luckily it's exactly the length of my blue kameez, which has black churidar, so it matches pretty well, but it needs washing badly.

As far as women dressing provocatively...I have to agree that the victim shouldn't be blamed for things like sexual assault. But, what a lot of women (and actually usually teenage girls) don't understand is that certain clothing sends a certain message--there are a lot of girls who don't dress much differently from hookers and then they wonder why the boys (and everyone else) think they're easy. Or they dress provocatively because they want the boys they like to look at them, and then they get mad when the boys they don't like look too, as if they think they have this force-field around them that makes the boys they don't like think they're wearing a burqa but the boys they do like can see it's a tube top and micro-mini. Certainly clothing has nothing to do with rape and it's ridiculous to say it does, but it does have to do with how people see you--it's the same reason I dress professionally at work rather than in my pajamas, don't go outside in the nastiest old clothing I own, etc. People ARE judged by their looks. People CAN consciously dress to send a certain message, so if they are judged negatively according to what they wear they really have no one to blame but themselves--I mean, as many of us here have said about Indian dress, we know we may get weird looks, but we don't care--we know we're sending the message that yeah, we don't dress like everyone else and we choose to send that message because we ARE different. I don't dress provocatively because I don't want anyone but my significant other looking at me in that way (HE can look all he wants :) ). Hell, I won't say I don't wear tank tops or shorts that are shorter than mid-thigh, because I do. And yes, there is clothing I have that I've stopped wearing in public because it attracted too much attention (like my short denim skort--it looks REALLY cute on me, but it also looks like a miniskirt and I vowed to never wear it outside again after I got whistled at once in a parking lot. Mind you, I'm not a girl who would be considered pretty or "hot," so it was definitely the skort). I don't show up at work in ripped jeans because I don't want anyone thinking I'm a slob. I dress like a hippie sometimes because I DO want people to see me that way--and if I don't want to give off that image in a certain situation, I wear something else. Etc. I know a lot of people have gotten pissed at me in the past for my "take responsibility for how you look" viewpoint, but 'tis true.

I'd love to work somewhere with a uniform--no worrying about what to wear, did I just wear this the other day, etc. Easy. And if you forget to do the laundry and wear the same shirt twice--who's gonna know??

Oh gosh, did I ever get flamed once on a message board for suggesting that those who, uh, are not suited to scanty clothing not wear it. I just don't understand why folks dress to show off their worst features! I mean, I have no boobs, so I don't wear low-cut stuff that emphasizes it. I have a big butt, so I don't wear tight pants and skirts. I mean, it's not even a matter of saying "how come only the skinny built folks get to show off their bodies?" It's more like "maybe we should all wear what's most attractive to us." There's stuff I can wear that chubbier women can't. There's stuff they can wear that I can't (like the low-cut stuff).

That said, I think men should cover up too...I've definitely seen plenty of guys out there that need to put a little something more on!

Uninformed people say the same thing to me about excercise- that not only will I lose weight, but I'll have more energy and feel better.

GAH, people say that to my mom too! Yeah, I'm sure many of her problems are exacerbated or caused by her being overweight, but for heavens sake...the woman has fibromyalgia, asthma, and almost no cartilage left in her knees! She can barely walk ten feet! She uses a walker sometimes!! Not like she's about to go running or biking to lose weight, geez.

I'd love to have Indian fabric stores around, too...I mean, I can go to a fabric store and try to pick out some fabrics that match that I could make a suit from, but there's not really much with an ethnic-type print or any sort of embroidery or anything.

#436 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 17, 2007, 07:53 PM:

KAT- You'd be surprised if you went and really looked. I did at Joann, and not in their Indian collection, which is rather large here. I have a very cute pink and white suit from Chennai Bazaar. It is made with pink on white eyelet on the front, and a plain cotton back. Its lined with cotton. Its plain exept for an insert at the V neck, which is simple machine narrow satin stitch (think like a button hole line, only with the stitches closer together) crosshatch pattern with a sequin in each square, and silver lace edgeing with a few silver beads outlining the lace pattern. The salwar are plain white. I've gotten more compliment on that one than any other, and its all readily available fabrics and trim. I've already copied it in blue for a friend.

I also found something that at first looked like a red bandana print, but when I looked more closely, the design was in stripes, and incorporated traditional block print patterns that you don't see on a bandana. It made up into a cute sporty chudidar kameez.

And if you look in the quilting section, some of those patterns are Kalamkari prints. So if you don't mind wearing simple cotton decorated simply-i.e. contrast bias from the salwar around the neck and down the front ending in a point. You can bead the design if you want. I did that to the plum dress with the big green dupatta on S2's site. Thats all that dress is. Think simple but attractive. Look at unusual necklines on ebay. Use a plain fabric and run two ribbons down the front from the shoulder towards the neck. Put a line of pretty sprarkly buttons running down between them.Use the scallop stitch on your sewing machine to decorate around the cuffs of your salwar using a contrasting color, then do the same to the ends of your dupatta. For that, you need a special stiffener for machine embroidery, but they sell that everywhere. Make a plain kameez with patterned salwar. Suma says that's really fashionable right now. Go for it! Look at the S2fashions.com site to get some ideas. If I sound like a mother, its because I am- to a gaggle of 20 somethings that like to hang around here. So use your imagination, the possibilities are endless. I wish you were here and we could go shopping together! And its hot here, you'd like it for a couple of days. You could wear your thinnest cotton and still be warm. Oh well. But do go look with a fresh eye.

#437 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 17, 2007, 09:09 PM:

Hey ladies,

I'm a bit worn out, so this will be short (I'll post more tomorrow morning).

KAT - I'm in MN and you know what tends to be a really warm fabric for me? Lizy bizy, a cotton-poly (or some synthetic blend) fabric. It doesn't breathe very well, so it seems to keep me very warm. I generally can't wear it if the temp is above 60. Or cotts wool (cotton-wool blend) may work.

Have you tried a poncho or shawl over your salwar kameez? I found some cute shawls and ponchos last night at (sorry, tried to hyperlink these and they wouldn't work):

http://www.dollsofindia.com

Or, if you're an eBay shopper:

http://stores.ebay.com/conscious-clothing


The link above is run by some very nice friends of mine. They have mostly fair trade stuff from Nepal (they might not have ponchos and shawls up right now or not many).

OK, I sound like a sales person, so I'll stop.

Anne - What state are you in? My Joanne Fabrics had cute Indian fabrics about 2 years ago, but doesn't have much now. However, they do seem to have a lot of batik print fabric in the quilting area.

I had bought a bunch of this Indian cotton voile material. It's tie dyed turquoise and sort of greenish-brown with zari work (I think? It's self-embroidered with gold thread). I made a top and a big old long skirt from it (get compliments on the skirt all the time). I wore it to our usual Indian restaurant and the Lady (the only woman who works in the place, if she's not there, it means service will be pretty bad) checked it out. I'm wondering if it's saree fabric minus the pallau(sp?)?

I get the feeling we've become the BBB of saree and salwar kameez!!

#438 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 18, 2007, 02:22 AM:

I'm in Southern California. But before you start thinking surfing and movie stars, I live on the other side of the San Bernardino mountains from all that. In the Mojave Desert. Actually, we are only on the southern edge of the desert, so we aren't in the middle of nowhere. And there are several hundred thousand people who live in the Victor Valley, including a growing Indian Community. It started with doctors, and now we have a restaurant and a couple of shops with groceries and DVDs. Our Joanne's carries jewel colored matched sets of crepe and chiffon, with woven gold borders. Thats all I've seen that looked deliberately Indian.

#439 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 18, 2007, 10:19 AM:

Another place if you're looking for Indian fabric:

http://stores.ebay.in/Evergreen-Enterprises

I noticed last night that they had batik (the real thing, not print) unstitched salwar kameez fabric sets; they'll stitch and customize it for a fee (probably small). I've never ordered clothing from them, but they are professional and quick to ship. They do ship by registered mail, so it can take a few weeks for your item to reach you.

Anne, the Victor Valley sounds familiar, not sure why (I've never been to CA). My in-laws are in the Atlanta area and I wonder if I could get my hands on Indian fabric that way (Atlanta is supposed to have a quickly growing Indian population).

The Dalai Lama was probably right about sticking to the religion of your childhood. When I originally read this, I thought, well, I really don't know much about Catholicism, to be honest. But then I thought about it and realized I probably know more than I realize. When you're raised in a faith, I think you pick a lot up without realizing it.

There are good things about the Catholicism. A lot of nuns and lay people are very dedicated to social justice and helping others without judging. We have a Catholic church in this area that runs an AIDS hospice, accepts gays in the parish with open arms, and teaches about preventing AIDS (by using condoms). Unfortunately, the Vatican is not OK with the last one and this church has been slapped down like misbehaving puppy.

I also like that it has lots and lots of saints, including female ones. The Catholic church is such a male-orientated thing, it's nice to have some balance with the female saints and the Virgin.

Lastly, the Catholic church is just more pomp and circumstance. Not really sure how to say this. There's just this feeling of grandeur, especially in churches that are physically older. I've never had this feeling when attending Methodist or ELCA (the most liberal branch of the Lutheran church) services.

Awhile ago I was reading a message board on IMDB and somehow the topic got onto religion. Someone posted that Christian religion isn't like those Eastern religions because we don't do all that ritual stuff (that's the attitude they had). I thought that was so ignorant and funny because we have dye Easter eggs, we buy new outfits for Easter, we buy presents for each other on Christmas, etc. With Catholicism, Lent is filled with rituals and I don't know what else you'd consider baptism, first communion.

I think the big reason why I've had problems with Christianity and religion in general is that it was forced down my throat from a very early age. What's worse is that it was presented as "these are the rules of life, you will do this, you will do that". My mom says I've been stubborn and strongminded since birth, so I have no problems with rules, but there must be a reason as to why these rules are there. I have a bad habit of blowing things off that don't appear to have a reason or any logic to them.

Then, the priest at our parish was just a jerk, in my opinion. When I was under the age of 5, my mom didn't take me to the church nursery, but instead just took me to Mass with her. She'd often times let me bring my doll or coloring books to keep me from fidgeting or being disruptive. I think she probably was trying to introduce me to the general flow of Mass and all that. One Mass, we were in the front and I was pretend feeding my little doll with a doll. The priest gave me this horrible, evil eye look throughout Mass, which I still think is out of line and nasty to do to a little child.

This same priest did my first communion. Before we went up on the altar to actually do it, he talked to us somewhere else in the church privately. I remember it was me and about 4 boys and he said, "do you want to shake my hand now"? All the boys said yes and did, I said no and glared back at him. Then I skipped down the altar steps after it, much to the embarrassment of my mom.

Then I had my maternal grandparents who told me I was going to hell because I wasn't going to Mass. This was when I was in first or second grade. I never had a close relationship with these grandparents because to them, Catholicism wasn't a choice, so my refusal to accept Catholicism was a baaaaaad thing.

Thanks for bringing this up because it's definitely been interesting to read and write about!

#440 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 18, 2007, 05:05 PM:

Well, ladies, I got my order from fromindia4you. They were fairly quick, about 3 weeks. They don't keep you up to date on progress, but when I emaile to ask when to expect them, I got an answer the next morning, saying they had already been shipped. They are well made, although their cut is very loose. I took them in a bit to give them shape. One of them is all white with pink embroidery around the neck and pink buttis on the front. I feel a little angelic when I wear it. Especially outside. The wind blows my white dupatta up into the air like wings. My only disappointment is that their dupattas are rather skimpy. They measure 20"x78". I've been using ones I already had that fortuantely match well.

Tabby- Another thing from the Catholic church that you probably still have is an understanding and apreciation of symbolism. The Church is full of it, from the liturgy to the way the church building is decorated. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. I was lucky; it was a good priest who helped me prepare for baptism, and then I went directly to college.

There, the campus ministry was very good, the "church" was two small houses linked together by a wide hallway, the two small backyards put together to make a nice informal garden space. We had Mass in the very large family room of one of them on folding chairs, and often we'd take up the chairs afterwards and use the room for a potluck or dance. The priests were nice, engaged with the students, taught us a lot, especially about liturgy (the pomp and circumstance), so we understood the symbolism.

There are too many people in the Church that think it is about rules and obligations. They think that if they just follow all the rules, show up when they are supposed to, they've got their ticket to heaven.

30 years ago, when Vatican II changed a lot of the rules, people like that were really confused, because they thought that the rules were their religion. How can you change the rules, then? What they didn't understand was that the rules were meant to be either a reminder or insurance. Insurance that communion is received at least once a year,and that a person has done some self reflection (looked inside themselves and done an emotional and spiritual housecleaning). As reminders- for instance, the no meat on Friday one. That was originally aimed at the very wealthy. Most other people could't afford meat on any day. It was meant to remind the rich about how everyone else lives.

Today, we could do something of the same thing by having a single bowl of rice or porriage-that's what the majority of the people on the planet get everyday. We are so rich here; we need something to remind us of the poverty of billions. We have no idea. The no meat on Friday rule was abolished because it had lost its meaning. So the rules can change, depending on the needs of the time.

Although the meat rule is off the books, there still is encouragement to continue it or something like it to be in solidarity with the poor, and to remember that sacrifice should be an act of love. This is one example. The Church is full of symbols and actions that are intended to make us think and remember, ultimately make us understand that it is all about love. If you haven't learned the symbolism, it would be like not knowing the language in a foriegn country.

The more of these things you know, the less important the inadequacies of the priests and the institution become. Priests are people, with all the weaknessess of anyone else. The institutiion is also made up of fallible human beings. Jesus made that very clear when he chose Peter, the country fisherman, who denied him 3 times, and who, at the Council of Jerusalem, lost to Paul on the issue of whether new converts needed to become Jewish and follow Jewish Law. This was an impefect person. So I don't think too much about the institutional church. It exists to carry the message. And somehow, despite all it's inadequacies, it still manages to do so.

If I had been in the same situation as you, I would have left in skinny minute. But instead, my first introduction to Catholicism, or Christianity in general, was through the Catholic Worker newspaper. I started to read it at about 15. I read about regular people who gave up their personal security to really live out Gospel values. They modeled what Christianity should look like. So for me, the externals matter very little.

#441 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 18, 2007, 06:55 PM:

I really should have put the proper URL for From India 4U in my last post. Here it is: fromindia4u@rediffmail.com

#442 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2007, 04:01 AM:

Well I am going to give this another shot, I had a long reply to EVERYthing that was up yesterday but my computer had other ideas and it dissapeared before I could hit post. So I'll start on today's posts and work backwards LOL.

Alright I have to say first of all Christianity and Catholicism is far from the only religion with symbolism every religion has it. The rules on how a religious building should be built has been around for thousands of years and you can't help but believe that Christanity and Catholicism got it from "other" religions as with many of it's other symbols. I am not attacking anyone or anything I am just simply stating that all religion has symbolism because really what else can a faith have? No one actually has God/Goddess in the flesh all the time so we have to have symbols.

I deeply respect and love the Dali Lama but I completely disagree with him about sticking to the faith of your childhood. You wouldn't (or possibly you would) believe how many people go to my temple simply because that's what they were raised to do, they learnt to do the rituals through their parents who learnt it through their parents and so on. There are very few people who actually know what their religion is about, it's a sad but true fact. My temple offers classes about Hinduism what it is etc and it's a very popular class, I went to it once and I have no need for it simply because I went out to look for my own faith and I learnt all that I could about it before choosing it as my own. I personally think everyone should be made to go out and find their own faith. You can't learn much as a child about your family's religion if they don't know anything other then the actions. I was raised Christian but like the rubber and glue comparision it didn't stick. My mother is Christian as is my grandmother and I have no problem with it, it's just it's not my thing. I know what it was like to go to church Sunday morning and I know the actions (usually meaningless and contradictory of the religion itself) but it never touched my spirit and my heart. I know some of the verses from the bible but I've had to learn them by heart to defend myself and my religion when both are being attacked (which is pretty often). I believe that when someone goes out to find their own path they come away from the journey with a more open mind, open heart and far more intelligent then people who just go to church or the temple because that's what they are told to do by whoever (parents, priests, family..).

Glad to hear about your order from "from India 4u" too bad about the dupattas though. It's good that you had ones that matched, my closet is over run by dupattas and not all of them have matching salwar kameez (yet). Last time I was in Toronto I was talking to an Indian lady and she was telling me about all the dupattas she has and how annoying it is lmao.

Tabby Evergreen is a great place I had a salwar kameez made by them I think the stitching 7 USD but I could be abit off. They were pretty fast at getting it to me but that could have just been luck :)

Alright now onto yesterdays posts (and there were so many :'(.

I would like to clear up something that I feel has been misunderstood and it's about the direct connection between rape and what a woman wears. I stated my orginal post that it was in the Quran that it gives a direct link and then tells women to dress modestly, the latter of the advice I 100% agree with women should cover up more. You must keep in mind that when the Quran was written we didn't have psychologists and we didn't have doctors that studied the behaviour of rapists. So to me A) they get credit for even broaching the subject and B) it was written to protect their women which is very honourable. Women should take responsibility for what they are wearing and realise that yes if you dress like a hooker you're going to get treated like one (and I don't know why a woman dressing like a hooker should be treated any better then one as far as that goes). These women should also try to have some self respect because believe me no one is going to respect you if you don't respect yourself first.

Hi Multifab, nice to see you online again. Yes I accept the appology I believe it's heart felt but I believe you can also understand how frustrating the situation was. Are you back on e-bay?

Tabby that article just cracked me up. How ignorant must a person be to believe that what worked for them when they "had" FM is going to work for everyone? Not only that but as it's a day by day illness then how does she know that she's just not on a long up swing? LMAO You're comment about assertiveness training was spot on OMG even my husband laughed at that.

Anne you did a great job explaining myasthenia, as I've mentioned my ancle had it I wish I could have found such a simple explanation when I did all the research to find out what it was when he had it.

Tabby thank you for the tip about "yellow out" I'll keep my eye out for it up here. As I said if the colour doesn't come out I'll just dye them pink I am sure I have something they'll go with.

Definately look at every fabric shop you've got, you'll be surprised once you know what Indian prints and designs look like just how much you'll find in "regular" shops. When Walmart brought out their Indian line last year it was so over priced and very non Indian, earlier this year it went down to a price I could handle so I bought some up but it's still far from looking really Indian. I've found some really great fabric in the 1.98 bin at Walmart and luckily I had dupattas that matched. My only drawback on being more creative with my suits is I haven't learnt how to hem or turn over a fancy neckline so usually end up with a U neck, slit or a V lol@me.

Utsav still hasn't shipped my order; when I was ordering I had second thoughts about ordering the choli to be made. I have a black choli, or I could have had it made here OR better yet if the shirt peice had been at the right end I could have left it on and had more room for more pleats. *shakes fist angrily @ Utsav*

The tracking is up and working with my order from S2 I am thinking it'll be here Tuesday (because Monday is a holiday here no one works) it left India for here in Ontario today. I am sure the order will be just as wonderful as we've come to expect from S2.

Oh and Tabby you're off by two months hun I am a March baby. My birthday is exactly 2 months before hubby's.

Well I think I've caught up if I missed anything please let me know.

#443 ::: multifab ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2007, 07:58 AM:

Dear Anne and other ladies over here,

Thanks anne for contacting us through our website. Infact I was giving link to my webstore in my first post, but I felt like making an advertisement may not be appropriate for the sanity of the forum. But now as you have asked for here is the URL of my webstore:

http://stores.ebay.in/Multifab-Online

Now I would like to add few notable things about my offerings:

1. We are genuine manufacturers, not a reseller.
2. Our major thrust is on quality fabric and innovative services.
3. You can notice the transperency by the size of the pictures of the items and our listing description.
4. as far as Salwar Kameez are concerned we have four brand for it namely INDIGO, DIVA, BLISS and FIORA, ours is best, biggest and widest range for Salwar Kameez.
5. We have various brands for Saris too.
6. Stitching is done by professional designers and we have very high degree of quality control over it. You may check our feedback page and see the comments.

...and lastly the explaination for our being kicked out of ebay [though we are back in record time], we were suspended due to a non delivery of item to one buyer named foreverblessed64 , the parcel got struck in customs and the buyer raised the alarm, eBay gave us warning, and asked for POD, they do not accept Proof of shipment, they only accept proof of delivery. As the parcel was struck in customs we could not do anything and we got suspended. The issue is now settled and I would like all you people to please go to the comment left by this buyer id foreverblessed64 and click on her id and see how big she is our customer, she bought almost 500 items form us. You will see only our name on her feedback page. Anyway, Now I will sign off.

Regards

Vikram Gandhi
For Multifabrics Corp.

#444 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2007, 02:03 PM:

I really hate getting into this again, but anyhow...

While it's true that you should dress appropriately for the occasion (i.e. - dress professionally for work), that doesn't mean there isn't a time for a less covered look. I think it's sort of hypocritical to say, "I wear a salwar kameez and blow off dirty looks from people and I don't care what they think! But if you wear a low cut blouse, my goodness, you should really care what some fool on the street thinks or says!"

As I said before, when I was working, I worked in a corporate office. I was always dressed appropriately and STILL got hooted and hollared at (as my Southern husband would say) from men passing by in cars. Folks, last summer I had a baggy, ankle-length cotton dress and had a group of men in a pick-up truck hoot and hollar while I was bent over at the waist turning on my outside water spigot.

Secondly, Islam has huge issues with treating women like they are lower than a mangy dog. Honor killings, beating women because of their dress, doing nothing justice-wise when a woman is raped, forced marriages, etc. The only muslim countries that seem to give any sort of rights and freedom to women are the ones that have moved towards a more secular society.

I just have a real issue when people think women need to protected. I'm never sure what exactly they need to be protected from; other women seem to be a woman's worst enemy sometimes. Sometimes I think some men need to be raised differently: to respect women, to not behave like they are the king of everything. I give my mother-in-law credit because my husband is respectful and kind to women and doesn't behave like a macho a$$.

Thirdly, every person deserves to be treated with basic respect. Doesn't matter if they are a prostitute, a homeless person, a crackhead, whatever. Everybody needs to respect another's choice in dress, beliefs, etc.

So now that I have that out of my system...

While I believe that the Dalai Lama's belief is true, I don't completely agree with it. I think everyone needs to do whatever gets him/her through the night, so to speak. I gave Catholicism a second chance (and tried Methodist and ELCA churches a shot) in my 20s, but it just didn't speak to me. I had some really tough times and others told me to pray to Jesus and he would comfort and help me. It didn't work for me, didn't make me feel better.

What's helped me the most during tough times including my illness has been philosophical stuff. Things like "it is what it is"; "death is a natural part of life, it's not a bad thing"; seeing life as the seasons; mindfullness; etc. I'm pretty much agnostic/atheist: if a higher power exists, it's not a person, it's just there: not caring, but not uncaring; not vengeful, but not nuturing.

I have no issues with people being religious, as long as you don't shove it down my throat or treat me like I'm a horrific person. I think many agnostics and atheists are harsh towards religious people because that's how we are often treated by others. I'm completely closeted, so to speak, when it comes to my agnosticism/atheism. My mom knows, hubby knows, but I just pretend to be Christian to everyone else. We send greeting cards at Christmas and when people ask me if we've already decorated for it, I just say yes (we don't, but if we had kids, we would for their sake).

So there ya have it. :) My S2 salwar kameezes are now in the inspection phase (that's not the right term, but stitching is done and they are making sure all is okay before shipping). I'm excited to get them! The one suit I'm planning to use partially for gardening. Today I ended up gardening in a cotton, Indian embroidered, long dress with a baseball cap. Heehee.

#445 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2007, 12:54 AM:

Tabby- I don't want to shove my religion down your throat, I just want you to understand that it is very different than what you describe. I am a monastic- a Benedictine Oblate. Some of the phrases that you used, I could use to describe my experience of faith- mindfulness, for certain;being aware of the seasons, the phases of the moon, the rhythm of days, as I pray the Liturgy of the Hours; and most certainly that death is a part of life, just as illness is, both are natural, and illness is inevitable for most of us. Philosophy is very important. Meditation in a form called Lectio Divina. And a God who is Love, not a vengeful one. It is much, much, richer than what you experienced. I am sorry if I gave the wrong impression. I was simply engaging in interfaith dialog-I'm very interested in Maggie's embrace of Hinduism. I would love to hear what captured her heart.

On to the subject at hand. Suma says that for our trip to India in September to bring dark synthetic salwar kameez. Thats means not much S2- they do mostly cotton. I just ordered several things, and they aren't dark, except for the cotton ones! Here's the URL of one I ordered from CozmicFusion on ebay:
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200096637307&sspagename=ADME:B:AAQ:AU:1

I also ordered the red and black and white one from ChennaiBazaar on page one of their fragrance collection. The one you like, Tabby. I'm getting it with salwar, though, because I have too much edema in my legs for churidar.The only dark one I ordered is one I think both you and Maggie would like. Its URL is:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170110900931#ebayphotohosting
It is from Ladies Den. I'm looking for 3 more; that would be enough to see me through the week.

#446 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2007, 01:04 AM:

Alright obviously my clarification got some feathers ruffled all over again and no it doesn't seem like it bothered anyone to get back into this after I only tried to explain myself since I was feeling attacked for what I posted here. Then again it's hypocritical to say you don't want to get back into this and then type a small novel. All I have to say is don't take North American propaganda as honest truth about Islam, because not everything that shimmers is gold. I think it foolish to follow along with what CNN and the white house has been shoving down your throat during their "war on terrorism". Especially when it's obviously just a war on Islam and Islamic countries (backed by another very anti-Islamic/anti-middle east country who will for the time being remain nameless). Some of the truth of Islam is that in the beginning (and for many years after) women were not only allowed to pray side by side with the men, women were also allowed to become Imams. Women hold a very special place in Islam dictated by Quran and by Mohammed himself (peace be upon him). If one was to actually read the Quran they would be quick to learn that the only women who were supposed to be separated from the men during prayer were Mohammed's (pbuh) own wives not ALL women. It's only a modern belief that the separation is supposed to apply to all women and that it's ok to treat women lower then dirty (which is as I mentioned completely against Islam and the Quran). If you learnt about Islam yourself instead of taking Westerner's words for the truth you would have already known this. If you're so willing to not just take other people's word for it about your religious beliefs why would you do it when it comes to a religion that is not your own? Just because a country or religion doesn't do things they way you want them to do it doesn't make them wrong it means A) you obviously haven't taken the time to learn why they do things and B) they are different not wrong. Might is not always right. I have to wonder where people get these ideas about a religion whose name when translated means "Peace".

And by the way I never said that anyone should care what anyone else thinks about them on the street I was simply expressing MY own belief and feelings, and in doing so I've been repeatedly attacked so forgive me if I am coming across abit "testy".

Oh and one other point about the Quran was that it was written in a time when women were believed to be less then a man mainly because we are for the most part more emotional, physically we have less muscle mass especially in the upper body which made it much more difficult to do the same jobs the men did which included fighting off an attacker (including rapists). This is why there is the belief that women should be protected then again the Bible is written along the same lines (remember we came from Adam's rib, and we got Adam kicked out of the garden of Eden by "making" him eat from the tree of knowledge). People really need to stop looking at Quran like it was written yesterday it was written around 650 AD.

Agnosticism and Atheism are very different in their beliefs and I find them to be at completely different ends of the spectrum from each other so I am curious how one could put them together as if they are nearly the same belief system.

BTW my utsav order is f*cked.

#447 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2007, 05:47 AM:

Maggie,

I think you need to be a little slower to take offense in this thread. People can disagree with you without you having to feel attacked.

Many people, particularly many people on this thread, don't agree with your feeling that women who dress minimally are somehow more legitimate targets for sexual harassment. Tabby highlighted a contrast between that and a different form of clothing-based harassment that bothers you. I agree that you're being inconsistent, though I don't know that it quite hits the level of hypocrisy.

As for the issue with Islam, it is all very well explaining how the current oppression of women in some Islamic countries is not in keeping with the original text or culture of the religion. Many of us are aware of that. But we're also aware that it's happening, right now, and that the people who perpetrate it use Islam as their excuse. Those of us who are Christians are well aware that our religion is also used badly, and we feel that it's our job to counteract that rather than denying it occurs. Muslims should be doing the same. At a certain point, otherwise, people will apply the view that "actions speak louder than words", and judge Islam's view of women by its treatment of them.

Overall, calling people who disagree with you ignorant and ill-informed is not likely to persuade them of your point of view. It's much more likely to get them to stop wanting to listen to you. And that would be a shame, because you have a lot of interesting things to say.

I am sorry your Ustav order is fsked, but please don't take your frustration out on us.

#448 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2007, 07:07 AM:

thank you Abi- you took the words right out of my mouth. Lets all take a deep breath here and relax. If we talk about religion, lets try and keep it on an intellectual plane- look at it objectively. I have felt attacked, too. One thing that is true of all religions is that there is the popular, or cultural understanding of it, and a more thoughtful and philosophical understanding held by those who are most educated in their faith. So the understanding of a baker or a policeman or a farmer will usually be different than that of a Zen Master, Imam, Monk, Pandit. There is often a very big difference. The covering of women in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East is cultural-women have always been covered there, and so when they read the word modest, it means something different to them than to us. Even if the leadership said it was Ok not to be covered, many people would continue to do it. It would feel like walking around without a shirt on.Changes in cultural practice are very difficult and slow.That is true everywhere. And the other thing is that we often aren't able to separate cultural beliefs from religious ones. Sometimes its impossible, they are intertwined so tightly. That is one of the reasons for the Dalai Lama's statement, I believe. So unless we are prepared to talk about religion objectively and intellectually, let's not do it.

I've been on line all night looking for salwar kameez with dark salwar, and are they hard to find. Especially because I'm a bit picky about prints. I can find what I want at Utsav, but with Maggie's experience and my own, I'm a bit leery. I just checked at Utsav, who said they would be shipping within the week, and my stuff is apparently still under construction. That's one blue and orange sari, and two art silk salwar kameez. I feel like telling them to just send them as is , and I'll finish them.

#449 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2007, 08:15 AM:

I can't believe this thread has gone on so long without a sonnet. Let me correct the matter...

Religion is the warp on custom's loom
(And warped it sometimes is, for we are frail.
We fumble in the dark, and often fail
To see our own faults clearly in the gloom.)
And culture, common practice, makes the weft.
Our actions and our ethics jointly weave
Like tabby, twill, jaquard. What we believe
And what we do cannot be clearly cleft.
It goes against the grain to pick a thread
And say, "This doesn't represent the whole."
We live with strands that we cannot control,
And cut our garb to fit our cloth instead.
And so, in peaceful spirit, can we please
Discuss dupattas and salwar kameez?

#450 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2007, 10:34 AM:

abi @ 449... this thread has gone on so long without a sonnet

Who is to blame? You were making yourself scarce, thinking it was more important to find another job in another country, and then finding a house in that new country. Some people have no sense of priorities.

#451 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2007, 11:02 AM:

Serge,

Actually, this thread has run as a world apart from the rest of the site for some time now. It's been an interesting microcosm to follow, with a unique character (and some unique characters).

This is the second time I've jumped in to add my voice to the forces of civility when things have gotten a bit too heated, when people have taken things too personally. Putting a sonnet in the thread is, in a way, reminding us that we are on Making Light, with all the cultural implications that go along with it.

The key one, for regulars of this thread but not the rest of the site is, keep it civil. Feel free to go off-topic, but stay interesting, stay talking, and be polite. (Note that I am not the owner of this site, or one of its admins. But the consensus on this site creates its culture, and that applies even here.)

#452 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2007, 11:34 AM:

abi... Agreed on all counts. Yesterday was a bit of an aberration for me. I hope. I could blame it on a body temperature that had gone to 100.8F, but that'd be a lie.

#453 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2007, 11:35 AM:

Serge, Abi, thank you for keeping an eye on things. I've been off trying to write a chapbook on moderation -- yes, ironic, noted -- and I thought this thread could be relied on to stick to fiber content, seam finishes, and delivery times.

#454 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2007, 11:37 AM:

Serge,

Your aberrations are more civil than some people's best days. I don't recall you doing anything that needs a fever to excuse it.

#455 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2007, 11:45 AM:

Teresa,

You caught me. I've been playing moderator without portfolio on and off on this thread for a while...I'm glad I haven't overstepped any bounds in the process.

Why a chapbook? Do you mean that in a physical sense, or does the term refer to the quantity of text?

And (if it's not ironic to ask this of an editor) when do you think it'll be done? Your public is waiting.

#456 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2007, 12:03 PM:

abi @ 455... Of course your questions to Teresa about her chapbook have nothing to do with a possible bookbinding project.

#457 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2007, 12:18 PM:

Anne - The "shove religion down my throat" thing was actually more of a general statement, definitely not directed at you. :) I enjoy hearing about what made your convert to Catholicism and your feelings about it in general. My comment was more towards this general trend in the US where certain people feel to the need to "save" everyone else.

For example, after we had elections for representatives at both the state and federal level, a woman who was voted out told the incoming representative that he really needed to accept Jesus as his savior (he's Hindu). Even when this woman was called on carpet for her rudeness, she used that whole "I'm trying to save others" line.

So that's where that comment came from. I don't think you're trying to make me accept Catholicism at this point, I think you're just showing the other side of it (which I rarely saw).

I think the black salwar you have purchased will look nice with a salwar instead of a churidar too (if I bought it, I'd do a salwar). The black synthetic one you purchased from Ladies Den actually looks like the navy synthetic one I just bought from them. They also have a maroon one too.

Maggie-

1. I've never supported the war in Iraq. EVER.
2. My information on treating women like dirt doesn't come from CNN or the White House. Sorry, didn't vote for either of the Bushes. It comes from Link TV, which is a liberal news and documentary channel available on satellite TV. It also comes from "The Bookseller of Kabul", by Asne Seierstad; this is a non-fiction account of a Norwegian account of her stay with an Afghani family. It also comes from an article by Jane magazine about Muslim honor killings in Germany (this was before Jane magazine got a different editor who made the magazine into yet another copy of Cosmopolitan). This also comes from news stories from the AP about sharia in Nigeria.
4. The hypocritical comment was directed at KAT because of this remark:

...so if they are judged negatively according to what they wear they really have no one to blame but themselves--I mean, as many of us here have said about Indian dress, we know we may get weird looks, but we don't care--we know we're sending the message that yeah, we don't dress like everyone else and we choose to send that message because we ARE different.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander. If you can dress how you want and can ignore crude comments and stares, then other people should be able to do the same.

5. Islam today in Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria treats woman poorly. You can call me ignorant, you can make me out to be some Bushite neo con, but I'm not going to okay honor killings, lack of education, lack of the right not to be forced into marriage at a young age etc. I'm only concerned with what is going on currently, not eons ago. The sad thing is that prior to the Iraq war and the embargos, Iraq was a fairly progressive nation (I'm not Hussein was a great, kind leader because he wasn't) and contrary to what the White House says, not a traditional Muslim society. Unfortunately, the war has now opened a huge can of worms and the country may not return as a progressive nation anytime in the near future.

So, you basically just went off on me for something that you was not even directed at you, Maggie.

Additionally, I've found different definitions of atheism. I've found some atheists who define it as someone who does not believe any current religions are the "truth", but still believe there is a higher power, although it is not yet represented in a religion; they put someone who believes in no higher power as a nihilist (sp?). I've found others who say atheism means that you must believe in no higher power and there is no afterlife or rebirth. Agnosticism is the belief that god may or may not exist, but either way, the person doesn't really care. I vacillate between the two.

This is coming from memory, but I believe when Afghanistan was ruled by king and queen (50s, 60s, 70s?), it was more western-orientated and most people were wearing western-style clothing. I believe the Russian invasion in the 80s brought in the Muslim apparel.

I'm also well aware that not all Muslim countries have a horrible women's rights record. For example, Somali women are allowed to work outside the home, but do not have to contribute any of their earnings towards their family.

#458 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2007, 07:02 PM:

Abi- thank you for the sonnet-and the reminder about where we are. I'm not much of a poet- poetic prose is as close as I get. But let me see....

Three women were writing of salwar
enjoying it all, they all were,
when to their dismay
they went astray
And each needed Abi to tell her.

#459 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2007, 07:15 PM:

No reason for strife or for worry,
let's talk here of clothing (or curry);
be polite, remember
to cool wrath to an ember,
and if you get mad the word's 'sari'.

#460 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2007, 07:40 PM:

That was great! Sari, everybody!!!!! Speaking of which, I spent all night looking for a nice kota doria. Most of the sites carrying it were selling only in India, but the one with the best selection is right here- in Oregon. Its called SariSafari, and has a great collection of block print, tussar silk, kalamkari, Ikat....all in colors and patterns I think everybody will like. Too bad they don't carry salwar kameez. They don't sew blouses, though, and the kota doria I'm looking at doesn't come with a blouse piece. I think I'll ask S2 about a blouse to match. You really should check this place out.

#461 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2007, 05:16 AM:

Anne,

You only have to say sari if you've done something that sarong.
</puns>

I wish I lived someplace warm enough for fabrics like kota doria. Most of the women here who wear salwar kameez wear long cardigans over them. (Personally, I think that you could do a nice salwar in a light suit-weight wool, but it would have to be lined.)

#462 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2007, 05:29 AM:

Abi- I don't see any reason why you couldn't make a salwar out of wool, as long as it was lightweight and as you say, lined. You do have to have some drapiness. I think I just made up a new word. I like it. I think I'll keep it. So I fessed up to living in the California desert-that't why its warm. Where do live that it is so cold? Its already the end of May. Now that I think about it, a wool blend might be warmer, because synthetics trap your body heat.

#463 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2007, 05:32 AM:

Abi- and by the way, great pun!

#464 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2007, 05:37 AM:

Anne,

I currently live in Edinburgh, Scotland (which is the home of five or six fantastic Indian and Pakistani fabric shops - if I were to get a salwar kameez I'd get it tailored at one of them).

I am originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, which makes the chill of Edinburgh all the harder to bear.

In July, though, I start a new job in Amsterdam, and my family comes over to join me in August.

So I'm kind of all over the place.

I am surprised that the local Indian and Pakistani women here don't make their kameez of wool or wool blends. The fabric shops sell wool for Western clothes, but none of it is suitable for - or sold in sets for - salwar kameez. I think a silk or wool crepe salwar and a woven wool kameez with embroidery would look stunning. But maybe my tastes are too Western.

#465 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2007, 10:35 AM:

Awhile ago, I posted that I didn't think I could wear a sari because of my height. I was looking through Ladies Den and found a really pretty (silk?) sari. They had the width (breadth?) listed and it was 45 inches. 45 inches is the length of my salwar, so I figure if I can find out from the seller what the width is before buying, it may work out okay for me.

I agree with Anne's statement about synthetics (and some cotton-synthetic blends) being warmer also - at least for me.

Abi - I'm guessing that Edinburgh is pretty damp, making the cold worse? There are some vendors on eBay who currently have cots wool (cotton-wool blend) and wool; Ladies Den is the one that comes to mind.

I've heard mixed things about cots wool. A seller told me that she stopped carrying it altogether because her customers didn't like how it draped. But then I was told by someone else that they had cots wool suits and really loved it. Didn't think the drape or the texture (itchiness of the fabric) was an issue.

With wool, I'm sure you could line the kameez, but I'm not sure about getting the salwar lined. I would think that the lining would affect the drape of the salwar.

I think embroidery on wool would look really nice. Especially with a lot of padded stitches that would match sort of the thickness of wool.

#466 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2007, 11:59 AM:

Tabby,

I really can't wear synthetics, particularly on my torso - they make me feel smothered. That would be a problem for a wool kameez, of course, since I'd have to line it with something natural.

And yes, the damp really does make the cold worse. I've long noted it.

#467 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2007, 01:44 PM:

Abi- I have several kameez with natural cotton linings. They are very comfortable, absorbing moisture and very soft. You might think about cotton batiste. It would help with the moisture problem, too.

and with apologies to A.A.Milne, now beyond this mortal plain...

Maggie, sweetheart, come out and play.
You've been gone for more than a day.
I think that you have plenty to say
You've been gone much to our dismay!

Maggie, sweetheart, come out and play.
I expected to see you today.
And what is it that has kept you away?
Is it the lovely flowers of May?

Maggie, sweetheart, come out and play.
What could be keeping you away?
Who'll tell us of saris, kameez, and hey!
Maggie, my dear, come join us, today.

#468 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2007, 02:35 PM:

Abi - I know what you mean. I actually prefer cold over heat, to an extent. But when it's rainy and cold or about to rain/snow and cold, it's like it's eating through my bones.

Hopefully, Amsterdam will have a better climate.

Anne - Thanks for refering me to Sari Safari. I checked them out and they have a great website. I noticed that they said that sari widths vary from 42 to 49 inches, so there's still hope I can wear a sari at some point!

They also answered a question I had. At our last visit to our local Indian grocery, the shopkeep had her sari wrapped in a way I had never seen before. I checked a website that had photos of different sari styles, but couldn't find it there. Evidently, she had it draped into pants, called a kaccha. I didn't realize you could wrap a sari into pants - I'm pretty impressed with that.

I think my favorite sari style is the Gujarati style where the pallu goes from back to front. At any rate, I'll have to buy a cheap sari that I can practice on and see if I like it. It sounds like the folks at Sari Safari would be helpful in steering me towards something that would be 45 or more inches wide, so I'll have to try them at some point.

#469 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2007, 04:28 PM:

Ooo - my suit from Ladies Den arrived today! Since I ordered it last Monday, I really did not expect it to arrive this quickly!

I'm beyond impressed with it. This is my first suit made of crepe and it feels so nice against my skin. I love the navy blue background with orange and other secondary colors, spices it up nicely.

I also now know that I don't need anything longer than 45 inches for my salwar; definitely long enough since it drapes around the ankles. My other suit I ordered 45 inches for the salwar, but it's quite a bit shorter than this new one. I've been told that fabric is cut by hand in India, so the finished product can vary a bit (I'm assuming that's the reason for difference in the two salwar lengths).

So I definitely give Ladies Den a perfect score and would recommend them to anyone.

#470 ::: litlnemo ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2007, 07:54 PM:

My S2 order arrived on Friday, only 10 days after I ordered the shirts! I got S2-C3-TP16 and S2-C4-TP50. The only changes I asked for were to make the shirts slightly longer so they don't end right at the widest part of my hips. They might be an inch or two longer, but it's just right. The fit is good as usual. One of the shirts is South Cotton and it's quite pretty. I haven't washed it yet so I will see how it looks after laundering. The other shirt is viscose and much darker and less purple than the photo on the website, but that's OK. (It's weird how the colors on the website seem to be true except for things in the dark dark navy, that photograph as a purple color and much lighter.)

I got my eShakti order on the same day. That one took 29 days to reach me. But the cotton voile shirt is very nice. This is the one I got, but I asked for short sleeves. I did get short sleeves with no ruffle (which is good) and the shirt is very cute.

I will get photos of the actual goods up on Flickr sometime this week, I think.

#471 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2007, 10:56 AM:

litlnemo - It's interesting about how our tastes overlap because both of the S2 shirts you got are on my wish list. This is a good thing since I get an idea of what the top or salwar kameez looks like in real life.

#472 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2007, 07:49 PM:

Hi- Can sure tell you both are from northern climes. I like those shirts, too, but oh, do they look hot! I've just bought several, white with mango blossoms, peach with a floral motif, orange, with a golden sun, all much cooler, fit great and look good,too.

#473 ::: litlnemo ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2007, 08:39 PM:

Heh, that purple shirt I got is very lightweight cotton. Not much warmth at all. Of course, it isn't a light reflective color, but I bet it would be fine in a warm climate. :)

#474 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2007, 09:04 PM:

Heh - I'm a wuss when it comes to heat. If it's above 70 degrees, I usually have a tank top or sleeveless top on.

I've been trying to stay away from white tops. According to What Not to Wear on A&E, if you're light-skinned, white and cream won't brighten up your face and complexion like other colors would do. But to each their own.

I have some problems WNTW because it seems like they are trying to dress everybody exactly the same. I don't know if it's necessarily true that something is completely bad taste or good taste, fashion-wise because it's so subjective. And I get this feeling that if you went on that show and had salwar kameez or saree in your wardrobe, they'd toss them out.

#475 ::: Star ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2007, 07:50 PM:

Abi: "You only have to say sari if you've done something that sarong."

Groan! It's bad enough that I've been having to listen to my husband say "Sari" this and "sari" that...;)

I dropped out of the conversation because of the "issue"...I have some blunt feelings on the matter, not rude or name-calling, just blunt, and I didn't want to get into bad feelings. I would like to just point out one thing though, not taking away from what Tabby in #457 said...there are honor killings in Hinduism and in a lot of other cultures in the middle-east/south Asian countries. A couple of weeks ago a 17 year old girl was stoned in Kurdish Iraq for having a Sunni boyfriend...she was Yazdi which isn't even close to Islam, Christianity, or the other big religions. So I would tend to agree that the religions have been used to give reasons for the cultural abuse of women and what I would consider to be an unhealthy attitude towards women and their sexual objectification (different than the west but still there). Anyway, enough from me about that.

I did get my order from Utsav about a week ago. It was astounding. 1) Everything actually fit. I gave them larger measurements than my actual measurements in my arms and chest though, so that may have been why.
2) Pretty much everything was wearable out of the package. The only complaints I had were that one of the sets they switched around the salwar and the kameeze colors and it looks a little strange to me. Also another had a neckline that didn't quite close (it was an artsy neckline, not an ordinary one, sort of lattice-work) but I fixed that with a bit of silver chain.

I would say that if one wants to order from them be prepared for possibly a lot of frustration. I had one item canceled on me (because it apparently got damaged-the cloth I guess, so they weren't able to make any of them) and one got canceled because they "sold out" of it, the same sort of thing where it was on their site when I ordered it and then they said they sold out. The main thing that really really annoyed me was that they didn't write to me proactively and tell me there were these problems, I had to write to check in and then I found out...both times towards the end of the two week period. So it took me about a month or a little more to get my stuff.

I did order again though from them, I just can't help it because I like the clothes. I just have to have a strong constitution I guess.

My order from S2 will be here probably next week. It'll be nice to have some cotton things for the heat, though they do look like they wrinkle quite a bit. I also ordered two of one outfit so I have something to do Tai Chi in...I can't take my fancy Utsav ones to class, lol. They're NOT plain and simple. Suma was very communicative throughout the whole process and I was very happy with that, very different from Utsav. I ordered Suma's most expensive dress, that black one with the sequin and stone work, it looks just gorgeous in the picture, can't wait to get it. It's ironic that I probably wouldn't order one that expensive from Utsav since I don't trust them yet to get the fitting right.

Now about this "I'm too old to wear that pattern" issue...I've been debating that to myself. I bought a black top with sort of an Indian sparkly pattern in a Catherine's about two years ago...the sales woman said "well you'll be able to get away with wearing that for a couple more years..." and I was thinking "wow, hadn't thought in those terms." But I really don't want to start wearing, er, "old people's " patterns, you know, the flowery big prints that scream cruises in the twilight of our lives etc. I'm 36 fer cryin out loud, not 86. I've never really worn mini skirts or things like that, so that's not going to be a trap for me as I get older but what do you all think...Indian patterns aren't exactly "conservative" to begin with. My friend says wear whatever clothes make you happy, just be aware that if you wear bright clothes you will attract attention. I don't have a great body, I am quite overweight, but I refuse to wear a gunny sack, lol. What do you all think? When's "too old" for salwar? Or is it just the pattern?

May we all be filled with loving-kindness,

Star

#476 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2007, 09:19 PM:

Star- You are NEVER too old for salwar kameez. You just might have to start watching the colors in a few years. You also won't want to have the cute pigtail look they have on S2 when you're 50. I know, I'm 52. I wear a lot of color, but try to stay away from the obviously little girl stuff. My friend Kris, who is also of a certain age, has just started wearing salwar kameez, and she solved it by choosing something simple- patiala and a kurta with short sleeves and embroidery around the neckline. It is from S2's party collection- shown in burgungy crepe with lavender embroidery, but she got it in white with pink, yellow and light blue embroidery. Please don't say I'm too old for salwar kameez. What about all the elderly women in India that wear them?

I'm waiting for an order from Utsav, too. They sent me a letter beginning of last week saying it would be done and shipped within the week. Last I saw, the website said it was still under construction in Jaipur... Its time for another letter asking about progress.

"Also another had a neckline that didn't quite close (it was an artsy neckline, not an ordinary one, sort of lattice-work) but I fixed that with a bit of silver chain."-Star

I got a suit from Utsav once that was supposed to have a V pattern on the yoke with contrast fabric. It had contrast fabric, but wasn't a V shape. I had to take it off and figure out how to make the V go from the sleeve to the yoke- and then do all that edge stitching to put it back on. What a pain; but it is a flattering suit now that its done properly. That's the thing about Utsav- they have some very nice designs. It keeps you going back, hoping the service has improved.

#477 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2007, 01:23 AM:

Well I came back ONLY because I promised Anne I would. Apparently I didn't miss ANYthing important while I was gone. I mentioned that I felt I was being attacked for stating a fact from Islam and then what do I get? Obviously attacked way to go!! Wow aren't you guys doing a good job making people feel invited and free to say what they want. Not only that but abi, in one line say that people can disagree with me without attacking me and then attack me. Then in your next line you call me a hypocrite? People in glass houses dear...

It's become very clear that I am not wanted on here or that if I stay I should keep my opinions and my knowledge to myself because if I don't I'll have a bunch of people down my throat even though they've obviously not read my posts fully or don't understand them.

As it is, Anne I am more then happy to stay in touch with you through e-mail you've been very kind and very insightful. That said I won't be posting on here again.

#478 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2007, 01:50 AM:

I have to apologise abi, apparently I misread your posting to me. I don't see how I am being inconsistant with what I've typed but either way I am sorry. I suppose I proved myself wrong when I said I wouldn't post again LOL. I have to say I've loved this board ever since I found it because I am the only white women in a city of 360,000 that not only wears a salwar kameez but also wears a sari and I've found a community here of others that understand what it's like and heck you've all had some great tips on shopping.

Honour killings are again a cultural belief it's not one from Islam. Again if you had more knowledge about Islam you would know this. What happens by different goverenments or what is ok'd by a Imam is not always what Islam or the Quran says just like Jamestown isn't a very good example of what Christianity is or what all Christians believe. However going by what a government or community does on it's own and judging it to be Islam and what it stands for is ignorant (unless the meaning of ignorant has changed). Ignorance isn't always an insult as everyone here has taken it, it simply means you just don't know any better or you lack knowledge in that area it's not always bad. In Hinduism we believe that most everyone is ignorant. What's the saying "He who claims to know everything, knows nothing"? I can very happily say that I am ignorant about some other religions I don't know much about Jainism and I don't know as much as I would like about Sikhism it's only because I lack the knowledge not because there is something wrong with me.

I agree that the treatment of women in some Islamic countries need to change however that will only happen when the people there realise that how their women are being treated is wrong. It does very little for outside forces to continue to push these countries to change because it will almost always be precieved as an attack on Islam or at least that is how their governments will explain it to the mass population. Another serious problem with Islam and people twisting the message is that the Quran is written in Arabic which surprisingly most Muslims can't read. In Pakistan many "extremists" will take young boys in feed them, cloth them and claim to teach them the Quran however what they are really teaching them is a twisted message no where near what Islam really is. The boys will sit and rock for hours reading the Quran outloud however the words they speak are only learnt through the sound of the words not by the actual meanings. These boys do not learn Arabic because if they did that would destroy the entire purpose behind these sick people taking them in. The reason they do this is to train them to treat women lower then dirt, to brainwash them into thinking that the rest of the world is trying to kill them, their families and to kill Islam. These are the same boys that will go off and kidnap Westerners and behead them.

I've never once said that there are no faults with modern Islam and I dare anyone to point out where I did. However I will not sit here and let lies be spread about a great and nobel religion.

#479 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2007, 04:17 AM:

Maggie,

Thanks for coming back, and for coming back twice.

The key thing to remember is that when we disagree with your views, that doesn't mean we disagree with, or dislike, you. As with the Hindu belief about ignorance (which I did not know about - a fascinating titbit), there is no shame in having a different view than someone else.

We reacted poorly to your comment about ignorance, though, because we aren't necessarily ignorant. We do have information; we have simply drawn different conclusions from it. You were dismissing considered views as uninformed, and that feels very insulting.

When you're talking about a complex, multifaceted thing like a religion, it's practically impossible to have identical views, really. Some people prioritise one thing in that religion over another.

So one thing that I see is that Islam is being used as a tool to abuse and oppress women. That may be like using the Mona Lisa to stop up a draft - a bad use of a great treasure, and damaging to it besides - but it is being used that way. What I would like to see is more Muslims working to correct that, and being willing to say that it is an abuse of Islam. I don't see that. Where are the theologians, the imams who are calling for these changes? Where is the equivalent of the Catholic Church's Liberation Theology movement, for instance? Where are the prominent Muslims in public life calling, not for the West to excuse these things, but for these things to stop altogether? I agree that change has to come from within Islam, but that isn't happening.

At a certain point, what a society does not speak up against, it can be adjudged to consent to. Qui tacit consentit.

That doesn't change the respect I have for Islam as a force to motivate millions of people to live better lives, to contribute to charity and help their fellow people (Who can look at the hajj and not be staggered?). Nor does it eliminate my appreciation of it as a historical force of knowledge and learning - Islam was the light of the intellectual world when Europe was dark; much of what we have of Greek and Roman culture was preserved there. And they didn't just sit on that knowledge, either - they integrated it with things they already knew, nurtured it, made it grow. Mathematics and chemistry are full of Arabic terms (Algebra. Alkaline.) because they were such great scholars in those areas.

So please, now, tell me where the lies were? Or, alternatively, how is the order with Utsav going?

#480 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2007, 06:39 AM:

Star @475:
there are honor killings in Hinduism and in a lot of other cultures in the middle-east/south Asian countries. A couple of weeks ago a 17 year old girl was stoned in Kurdish Iraq for having a Sunni boyfriend...she was Yazdi which isn't even close to Islam, Christianity, or the other big religions. So I would tend to agree that the religions have been used to give reasons for the cultural abuse of women and what I would consider to be an unhealthy attitude towards women and their sexual objectification (different than the west but still there).

I agree. But I'm also aware of a much greater degree of open communication in, say, India, about addressing some of these issues than in, say Pakistan (living in Britain, these are the "minimal pair" cultures whose debates I see the most). Hinduism seems to be more engaged in the debate, in policing itself. I respect that.

As I said to Maggie, when people use religion to justify bad behaviour, then I look to that religion to police those people. Where else would we look for moral leadership?

But if we can't discuss these things peacefully, let's not. I'm happy to agree to disagree. Like I said above, different priorities, different opinions. Not personal.

Now about this "I'm too old to wear that pattern" issue...What do you all think? When's "too old" for salwar? Or is it just the pattern?

I think that as we get older and keep wearing the things we wear, we redefine what someone of n years of age "would wear". Remember when wearing all black was pretty much the province of the adolescent? I do - I was one of those adolescents - and now there's a whole legion of matured goths and a lot of nicely tailored black clothing for us to buy!

#481 ::: litlnemo ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2007, 06:18 PM:

(Carefully avoiding religion discussion...) I finally got pictures posted of the S2 shirts I got last week. See here, here, and here. (I didn't say they were good pictures...) Anyway, this should give you an idea how they came out in comparison with the pics on the S2 site. I like the drape of the rayon one much better than the south cotton, but neither has been washed yet. I really like the neckline on the rayon shirt, with the wooden beads! I didn't like that detail much when I saw it on the S2 site, but I really like it now.

It is a very plain shirt, which is the only flaw, yet on the other hand it makes it quite versatile.

Anyway, both shirts fit perfectly, which is nice as RTW clothing never does. It's always too long in the sleeve, too narrow in the hip, too big on the chest, and often too narrow on the upper back. So it is a joy to get clothes that automatically fit. If S2 were to expand and make other styles as well I might buy everything there from now on. :)

#482 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2007, 01:08 AM:

Ok, everybody. Time for a comparative religions lesson. Maggie is using the term "ignorance" in a specific way. It doesn't have the ordinary definition. It is a term used especially in Buddhism; also in Hinduism. Here is the definition from the Buddhist dictionary:Delusion (Ignorance)

"Delusion (ignorance)refers to belief in something that contradicts reality. In Buddhism, delusion (ignorance)is ... a lack of awareness of the true nature or Buddha nature of things, or of the true meaning of existence. "

According to the Buddhist outlook, we are deluded by our senses-- among which intellect (discriminating, discursive thought) is included as a sixth sense.

Consciousness, attached to the senses, leads us into error by causing us to take the world of appearances for the world of reality, whereas in fact it is only a limited and fleeting aspect of reality." (The Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen.)

So, Abi, She wasn't saying that you were uneducated, she was saying that you didn't understand the reality and consequences of it.

We have the same concept in Christianity when Jesus, on the cross, says Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." JThey know what they are doing in a literal sense, but not the absolute reality and consequences of what they did.

So Abi, she isn't calling you uneducated. She is saying that you don't know the deeper consequences of what you were saying. There is a big difference. For more on ignorance, type Ignorance + Buddhism or Ignorance + Hinduism and do a Google search. I think you will feel differently about what Maggie said.

The other important concept that people are missing is that culture and religion sometimes get intertwined. That is true in North India, an historically Hindu place that was conquered by the Mogul Empire. During the time of occupation Muslim/Persian law and modes of behavior were required. The treatment of women that everyone here is decrying is Persian/Arab, not Muslim. When the Moguls left India, It became Hindu and Sikh, with a very small population of Muslims. Some Hindus continued the practices of the Persian/Arabs. Honor killing is not Hindu; it is an Arab cultural practice that was left behind. The parts of India that were never conquered by Muslims do not have the same sensibilities, even though they are all Hindu.

I hope this is clear; "ignorance" is a key word in Buddhism, but not with the common definition.

#483 ::: Canny Xia ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2007, 01:12 PM:

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#484 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2007, 03:36 PM:

Anne @482
Thank you for the clarification about ignorance. I accept that Maggie wasn't trying to dismiss my comments by calling me uneducated or thoughtless.

I still stand by my points, though - at a certain point in time, if a religion (or any organisation) knowingly permits itself to be used to a particular aim, and does not speak against that use, it can be held to account for support of that aim. Qui tacit consentit.

This is the case even when the aim in question is a distortion and an abuse of the organisation or religion. I say this as a Catholic and a Christian; my own organisation and my own religion does not have clean hands in this area either.

(For instance - the various pogroms and persecutions against the Jews of Europe were tribal and economic rather than truly based on religion. That doesn't mean that the churches whose doctrines were used to excuse them have clean hands - they should have spoken up, should have policed themselves.)

My concern is partly due to the fact that these customs, tribal though they are, are spreading to areas where they were never traditional. Women in Indonesia and Malaysia are finding themselves increasingly required to dress to Arabic standards of modesty - alien to local practice and custom.

This does not ever mean that I think that Islam is a bad thing overall. Religions are too complex to sum up like that. But it's an area that concerns me.

#485 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2007, 07:11 PM:

Hey guys I am back from my awesome trip away.

I want to thank you Anne for filling people in on what I meant by ignorance while I was gone. Other then shooting from the Hindu standpoint rather then Buddhist it's exactly what I would have written LOL.

I wanted to make a point about Muslims not standing up against the poor treatment of women, this is not true from the majority of Muslims. In fact all around the globe and from many different Islamic communities there are calls from both men and women decrying how women are being treated by the modern interpretation of Islam. Right now in Lebanon the government is fighting Islamic radicals and trying to crush them before they can take over the country. The treatment of women is not the only issue that the government and the majority of the population are against with these radicals but it is one of them. Pakistan is currently in a war against these radicals and if I am not mistaken Somalia is currently fighting Islamic radicals too. A good author to read is Reza Aslan and his book "No God but God" he has a very good understanding of Islam from it's beginning to its most likely future. Another example of Muslim's speaking out against the poor treatment of women is here in Ontario back a few years ago, some Muslim men wanted Ontario to support and implement Seryia law when a cause involving Muslims arose. This issue was hotly debated and thousands of Muslims (mainly women but many men as well) stood against this law and the issue was finally struck down by the government of Ontario because Seryia law is to a point oppressive towards women and tends to favour men. So the change is there, Muslims are raising their voice against these atrocities. However I find most Western media tries to hide or completely ignore when it happens because it goes completely against what the media has been trying to force feed us against Islam since 9/11.

#486 ::: Star ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2007, 02:19 AM:

I received my order from S2 today, I have to say that their service was wonderful, and the little personal note she put in with the package was very thougthful too. I liked what I got but I have a bit of a problem and wonder if you all could give me advice...I bought a couple of white/cream items (one was the whole outfit and one was the salwar) and they were somewwhat see-through, especially the salwar (they were very thin) So ah...what do you all do with that? I feel awkward about a bra showing even a little bit (that's just me) and a camasole top would defeat teh cool aspect of the clothing so...would it work if I bought a flesh-toned bra? And what do I do with the salwar? I just feel a little shy about that. Any ideas?

I LOVED the maroon/green outfit that I got though (S2-C2-CK08). The others are cotton and I've never bought cotton sets before, that could be part of my issue with these. For those of you who have bought cotton...do you just wear it wrinkled or do you iron it every time or what? Thanks for any advice you can share..

-Star

#487 ::: litlnemo ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2007, 05:32 AM:

Star, I do have a flesh-toned bra and it works well under the thinner clothing. I also have some suits with very thin camisole slips to wear under the kameez, and they are still quite cool because the fabric is tissue thin.

As far as the salwar goes, if the fabric for it is a bit thin, it hasn't been a problem because the length of the kameez covers up the upper part of the salwar. With the two layers of fabric it isn't see-through.

As far as the cotton goes, it depends... some of them wrinkle more than others, so some I have to iron and some i just hang up after drying and they stay relatively unwrinkled. I haven't washed my s2 cotton kurta yet so I can't really tell yet how the south cotton will be.

Wow, S2-C2-CK08 is beautiful! Which other ones did you get?

#488 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2007, 05:48 AM:

Star,

We all have our own standards of modesty - I won't share the details of my bras with the world either, so I wear camisoles under sheer shirts.

But an alternative suggestion might be a white athletic bra, one of the ones that almost looks like a tiny crop top. The sort of thing that people wear on the treadmill (at least in pictures...I'm not a gym person, and can't say from personal experience.) It depends on how much shaping you want from your bras.

#489 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2007, 06:13 AM:

Maggie @485
Awesome trip away? Where did you go?

Thanks for the information, particularly for the pointer to Reza Aslan.

Most of the things you wrote are hard to Google for - do you have any more names or tags that might make it possible to do further reading in these areas?

#490 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2007, 04:26 AM:

Hey Star,
Another idea that I've seen lately with sheer kameez is wearing a choli under the kameez if you have one that goes with it either in a matching or if you wanted to be daring in a colour that will show through. You can also drape the dupatta more Northern India/Pakistani way in which is covers the breasts completely, pin it at the shoulders and there you have it. I have a very thin cotton salwar kameez I made before I went away but luckily it's a very busy pattern and rather dark so you can't tell but I can imagine white and off white might be a problem.

We went to Toronto Abi, only for three days and it's only two hours away from us but omg it's like going to another planet. Of course I went and got more saris, more salwar kameez material and SHOES! LOL. While there we ran into "desifest" and a set up on Islam (strange timing eh?) I haven't had time to review any of the information they were giving out, like any Christian group or church each bunch of info is going to be different but it's worth a read.

I'll try looking up some of the things I mentioned for you abi and see if I can get some links or even just key words to search for. I know the case of Seryia law in Ontario might be difficult to find since it was defeated and it was a few years ago but everything else should be straight forward. Once I look over the Islamic things from Toronto if there are any links or anything I'll send those too.

Oh I forgot to mention my S2 order it came in while we were away. I had a patiala salwar made from a picture I got off the TV it's wonderful. It's my first pair of patiala and I am definately going to get more, if I was on a plane going down I wouldn't have to worry if I was wearing patiala they'd work great as a parachute LMAO. Also got a pair of "boot cut" trousars they're awesome very bell bottom-y which I love. As for the south cotton and wrinkles I find it to wrinkle pretty good so you may have to give it an iron or at least steam it before you wear it. The kameez and kurti I got from S2 are both sitting waiting to be ironed as we speak as is some of the items that just came in. It's a pain to have to iron it all the time but being cool in the heat is a good trade off if you ask me.

Still don't have my order from utsav partly it's my fault but the comment about my order being well "not good" ;) was because I had been told all that time I would have the black sari to go to Toronto and that they were stitching it as I chatted with them well I got an e-mail saying that the entire order of that particular sari was ruined and I couldn't get it. So I am still searching the site for something to replace that sari with. It just really bugs me that they obviously lied to me the entire time, they can't be stitching the blouse from a sari that is unavailable. They have the same sari in a different colour completely but it just doesn't have the same affect. Utsav has so many abstract saris right now too and as I've mentioned I HATE them with a passion so it hasn't been easy. I think I have a list of at least 20 to pick from but none that really stand out.

#491 ::: Nancy C ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2007, 09:59 AM:

alternate spelling of seryia is sharia, for googling purposes.

#492 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2007, 01:17 PM:

Hi, everyone- I'm back from my awesome stay at posh Methodist Hospital in Arcadia, CA. (LOL) No great saris there, but they did have these cute little blue and white dresses with occasional ties down the back. Unfortunately, I was unable to bring one home with me. The food was interesting, too, although I found there was more whine than wine. I've been unable to keep up with the conversation because for some reason they are not wired for internet access in all the rooms, and my cell phone was not up to the task. I am feeling much better for the long rest.

Star, another solution to your modesty problem- ask S2 to make you a slip to go with your dress. It will be of extremely light weight and cool cotton, and they are always made to match. I have S2-C2-CK08 as well. It was one of the first I bought.

And, to beat a dead horse-
#884-Abi-I still stand by my points, though - at a certain point in time, if a religion (or any organisation) knowingly permits itself to be used to a particular aim, and does not speak against that use, it can be held to account for support of that aim. Qui tacit consentit.

I agree with you absolutely but for one thing. There is no central authority in Islam to make a definitive doctrinal statement, or to take moral responsibility for error the way there is in Christianity. Each community has its own lay leaders that are the most educated in the faith and respected by the people. Even the imams of Shia Islam are voices with opinions, not the final word for all Shia Muslims.The final word remains the Quran. So you could say "Qui tacit concentit" only for the individual community, not Islam as a whole. The problem, I think, is an international fear of syncretism as a result of globalization that is leading to a rise in fundamentalism in other faiths as well. It is a way of resisting homogenization. Many people are so afraid of a postmodern world that they are willing to give up freedoms and choose a more extreme expression of their faith in order to hang on to familiar values. I can certainly understand the fear of the values offered by Western Media. I find it scary, too. I just resist a little differently, as I'm sure you do, to. All of us here are rebelling against the mainstream in our own fashion, so to speak.


#493 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2007, 02:57 AM:

Anne!!! So great to see you back, I was starting to worry again since I hadn't heard from you. And again I agree with your points on Islam and religion as a whole. The problem with Islam is the same with most religions as there aren't central voices that will make a statement on behalf of the whole religion. Then again even with the Vatican it doesn't speak for all of Christianity. I have to say that my heart does really go out to Muslims it's impossible to deny that they've had a rough time since 9/11. Perhaps they have more extremists simply because the religion is much more then going to church on Sunday and praying before each meal (some Christians do even less then that) so when they see what they perceive as an attack on their values (such as a relaxed view about prayer 5 times a day or women choosing not to cover their heads) as you said Anne they hold on even tighter. However many countries have proven you can be Muslim in 2007 and not fall prey to the lunatics. As I once heard in a stand up routine when they talk to a Muslim in Iraq or wherever to find out how they feel about the attacks and such they always seem to talk to the village crazy it would be like talking to the head dragon of the KKK to get the general opinion of Westerners LOL. I've found one link about Shariah law and Ontario, it's a brief look at it however it does outline my point. I haven't found my stuff from Toronto about Islam yet so I can't tell you anything about it anyways here is the link;

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2005/09/09/sharia-protests-20050909.html

Hubby bought a dhoti in Toronto and haven't found very good instructions online so we're going to order the sari:an illustrated... and he's going to help me pick out a sari so I can get my Utsav order.

Anne still so great to see you back!

#494 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2007, 09:59 AM:

Maggie- Thanks for the warm welcome back! Its good to be home. I've found that the least expensive place to buy the Illustrated Guide to Sari Draping is at Sarisafari.com. You'll save a bundle buying it there. Yesterday I ordered a beautiful, unusual block print kota doria sari from them. They have some south cotton saris that I love, too, but Suma strongly suggests I buy those in India when we go. We will be staying right where they are made, in Pune.

I really like south cotton, even though it needs ironing.And I really iron it, with spray starch, because a cotton sari looks so nice and fresh that way. Its also easier to finger press the pleats down to the hem when it has some starch in it. I'm the same way about my cotton suits. The thing I love about south cotton, besides the light weight, is the way colors are achieved by weaving 2 other colors together-it makes the color change depending on the angle of view.

I had to laugh when I read the discussion about ironing. You all sound like my daughter, who loves the kurti I bought her from S2, but you should have seen her face when she realized they need ironing! Back in the day, we ironed sheets, too, so I don't think the little ironing these take is much of a deal. Ironing tips for neophytes:first, get a good iron with some weight to it. Rowenta is very good, but they are expensive and can suddenly decide not to work anymore for no apparent reason. The Black and Decker digital is almost as good, and much less expensive. Second, iron the clothes when they are still slightly damp, or get a spray bottle of water, mist them all over, roll them up, and wait a half hour or more. They will be much, much easier to iron. Use spray starch or sizing. It makes the ironing easier and also makes the clothes look brand new. South cotton is very easy and fast to iron if you do it this way. For the painted cottons from S2, either iron them inside out or use a press cloth, which can be any piece of cotton you have about. Put it over the area you are ironing. You just don't want to iron directly on the painted parts. It melts and smears the paint. I got careless one day and ruined a lovely blue kurta that way. I agree with Maggie; the cotton feels so cool and lovely on a hot day that it is worth the extra effort.

#495 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2007, 02:21 PM:

I just got my order from bunthun on ebay, two lovely linen salwar kameez with embroidery and mirror work, one peach and one lavender. The fit is perfect, and they are every bit as pretty as they were on the web. They will be very cool and comfortable this summer, and I think they will be favorites. They took some extra time getting here because a computer problem that lost measurements that needed to be replaced, but once that happened, things moved along fairly well. Today is going to be a lavender day, as the temperature is supposed to rise into the mid nineties.

#496 ::: Kat ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2007, 10:16 PM:

Tabby, I think you're misreading what I wrote. I wasn't saying people couldn't judge us for wearing salwar kameez but could judge folks who dress scantily; the point was that we know that we might be judged for what we wear yet don't complain about it, and if we didn't like that people see us as unusual, then we wouldn't wear it. Period. Like I said, I often dress in a slightly-unusual way. I know the message it sends--hippie, goth, however I'm dressed that day. That's the message I mean to send; if I didn't, I wouldn't wear it, y'know? So to complain about the message one's clothing sends--that one is promiscuous--well, sounds pretty ridiculous to me.

The other day I took my blue outfit to visit the boi--well, did my trick of wearing the kameez and dupatta with my black cargo pants. We decided to go out to an Indian restaurant, and I forgot until we got there what I was wearing it. The guy working there was asking me stuff like have I been to India, where did I get my outfit, etc.

Unfortunately the boi doesn't like the outfit...says it looks like I'm wearing scrubs ("yeah, why do you think I laughed when you were in the hospital?"). I mean, that outfit doesn't help; the kameez IS sort of a scrub shade of blue, and it's very simple (just a small embroidered motif at the neckline). He just thinks it's weird. I'll have to try my other one out on him, the one that has more embroidery and THE BRIGHT RED SALWAR (which I'm absolutely in love with. The top is okay too, I like the embroidery and such but tan is not my color and red and tan together never really did anything for me).

#497 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2007, 11:33 PM:

Kat- While of course you are right that we are judged by what we wear, its not something I particularly like. I'm not deliberately sending any message other than I like dressing comfortably in something that doesn't look like I just came from the gym or rolled out of bed. I wish that people didn't make assumptions about me based on the perceived ethnicity of my clothes- they are almost always wrong. So, while I'm aware that what you are saying is true, I don't really like it, and in the best of all possible worlds, we could all wear what we like without judgement, as long as we are clean and appropriate for the occasion. It is annoying that the guy at the next table in the nice restaurant who is wearing shorts, an old t-shirt and a baseball cap doesn't draw stares, but my salwar kameez does. I have decided to just learn to live with it, its worth it.

#498 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2007, 04:02 AM:

Ok I think I must be having a fibro moment so bare with me lol. Kat as I said maybe I am reading wrong but your last post came across when I read it that you dress a certain way to send a certain message depending on what you want to say that day but you don't think that people who dress like skanks shouldn't be judged as such? If I am wrong please correct me and I apologise, however if that's what you mean that does seem kinda contradictory. People who dress skanky almost always know exactly how they are dressed and what message it is sending (granted some people are just oblivious). I agree we shouldn't be judged on what we wear but we have to realistic we are and always will be. "First impression is everything" and of course a first impression is going to be based on clothing, skin colour, religious symbols if there are any and accessories. Even people who say the first thing they notice is a persons eyes are still going by what they see. I still stand by my belief that women who dress skanky are going to attract that type of attention and be treated based on their clothing.

Kat it's too bad about the blue salwar looking hospital-ly. I hear ya about those questions I used to get them all the time, now since I live in a small city those questions happen less and less. At least you're getting positive attention instead of having to duck flying hamburgers lol.

Alright I read most of the info I got on Islam while I was in Toronto (once I found them) and it seems like pretty good information and makes some really good points that I can't believe I never thought of LMAO @ me. My favourite was that Islamic clothing laws are no different then the laws most every country already puts on it's people (indecent exposure etc) so to put Islam down for it is well in my own words hypocritical. Anyways they do have a website and this is the link. www.whyislam.org And I will admit this is only the opinion of one group of course but they do base their opinions and beliefs on Quranic passages of which they give the chapter and verse. The "extremists" can't say the same about their beliefs and opinions. Then again the difference between the two could definitely be in the fact that most of the people from "whyislam" can actually read Arabic and have honestly translated it into other languages for others to read the true Quran where as I've mentioned before alot of "extremists" rely on the fact that the people they brain wash into doing terrorist acts can't read Arabic and of course the "extremists" won't give them a true translation.

Anne so happy to hear about your order being perfect, it's always such a relief when things are made right. I've had a few orders that just aren't the right size and I know how upsetting it can be, heck some of the things that don't fit still bother me.

We ended up buying the book from sarisafari mostly because I trust that site more then some of the other sites I came across even though I did find the book for $18.00. I'd rather pay extra and feel safe then spend money and never see the book. I saw a few saris at sarisafari I loved but I find some of them over priced however if I want to try some of the sari drapes that call for a 9 yard sari I will probably order from Melinda.

Well Hubby helped me shrink down my list of saris from Utsav to replace that black one but I still haven't made a decision on what one to order. I saw a faux crepe de chine that I liked (hubby doesn't) and I was just going to order it separately for $25.00 but once I saw what the shipping was going to cost I changed my mind. I saw true crepe de chine in Toronto on sale for $20.00 there is no way I am going to pay $61.00 with shipping for one from Utsav. They have some strange sale on now too where they have one deal a day but they are only putting their most expensive saris on sale which doesn't help me in the least. I just wish I could find one that stuck out like the one I am replacing did because right now it's like I am trying to pick the best of the mediocre. And OMG I HATE those abstract saris and they have SO many!!

#499 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2007, 02:46 PM:

The orders for our trip are starting to come in. I got two suits from Cosmic Fusion on ebay yesterday, and two saris from cbazaar (chennaibazaar) today. I sent Cosmic fusion the finished measurements istead of my body measurement, hoping for a perfect fit. They have to have thought they were body measurements, because the shoulders were so wide it was funny. I briefly considered football pads before I got out my scissors and sewing machine. They were fine from bust through hip after I cut the shoulder back, in fact, a very nice drape. One is a white embroidered crepe, lined with cotton, and the other a faux georgette, in a browner than usual mustard with print. I like it very much.

The saris are great, too. I think I'm on a roll. One is a fawn synthetic crepe with red and black block print, the choli black with mostly gold with a little red trim. The other is a very light weight peach/brown cotton with elaborate woven borders in brown. choli is the same.

A very odd thing happened with this order. I ordered a suit at the same time (synthetic, for the trip) and was sent an email saying that they were sold out. When I responded, they said the email didn't come from them. The result was I delayed in sending my measurements, so it is coming seperately. Very strange.

#500 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2007, 01:31 AM:

Wow Anne, I wish I had been that lucky with that suit I went on and on about LOL. I am glad you're getting all your orders in. I think tonight's the night I am going to choose my replacement sari I am sure if I wait much longer Utsav will give me trouble. Went out in my patiala salwar today and OMG was it fun! It was abit windy today so you can just guess what happened. I just love patiala salwar I already told Suma I'll be ordering more. I had a few more glances and even had a Muslim girl ask me what was with the Indian clothes (respectfully of course).

Here's weird for ya, I've found that wearing my sari Gujarati style is cooler (we've had some good hot weather lately) and I am able to cover my head to avoid anymore sunburns. Last year when I wore it like that my mother hated it and said it made my butt look big (well duh it is) the night before last she turns to me and says "You know the way you had your sari the other day with it covering your head just that bit looked really pretty." I think I am wearing her down!! WOooHooo lmao

Anne I got some info from disability earlier today I might be going to India much sooner then expected, you're definately going to have to let me know how it goes hun.

#501 ::: Kat ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2007, 07:34 PM:

Nope Maggie, what you said was exactly what I was saying. They must know what message their clothing sends, and if they don't like it, they should choose something else.

But like I said, some folks honestly don't think about it...usually the teenage girls. "I don't understand why all the boys think I'm easy" they say as they hike up their skirt a little shorter, y'know? HELLO, girls!

Or like a comedian I saw once put it...he was talking about how he was at a club and saw a woman in a ridiculously short skirt. She saw him looking, got mad, and snapped "what are you looking at?" He was thinking, "YOUR VAGINA!!!"

#502 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 01:30 AM:

LMAO Kat great minds must think alike then! I have to agree some people are just completely oblivious to anything outside their own little bubble including what their clothing says about them. And I agree whole heartedly if someone doesn't like how they are being treated based on their clothing or the message it's sending wear something else. If any of us were uncomfortable with how we were treated wearing a salwar kameez or a sari I highly doubt we would continue to wear them and just continue to complain about our treatment because I believe most of us here would take responsibility for our own choices and make different ones if we felt we needed to. Last week I was on the bus and I just couldn't get over how desperate some girls are to get as much attention as possible by showing as much skin as possible. There was a young (teenage) girl who was wearing a very short jean skirt but apparently it wasn't short enough because she had to roll it up just that much higher. It's sad too because you have to wonder where the mothers of these girls are because isn't it partly a mother's job to teach a girl what is and isn't acceptable and what might happen if they choose to wear something that makes her look easy?

Speaking of oblivious it reminded me of a documentary I saw a couple months ago and it was based around the "hip hop" culture and lifestyle and if it was a good or bad thing for the African-American/Canadian community. At one point they were talking about what young men that are involved in this life style attitudes are towards women and how young women involved in the life style dress and what they think and they found that the young men have a very, very low opinion about women and have no respect for them what so ever and alot of times have no problem with the idea of raping a girl but they also found that the young women were more likely to dress very scantily and when they were asked about the lyrics in alot of hip hop music about women (bitch, ho, rape my bitch etc) you know what the girls said? "Oh they ain't talkin' about me." I couldn't believe it!! I realise it was slightly off topic and I apologise but I think it goes to showcase how alot of young women think, whether it's to protect themselves emotionally or if they really believe that these guys aren't actually talking about them and I am starting to think that it's not just women involved in the hip hop culture that are so naive or ignorant. Anyways just a thought :)

Oh I know most of you on here are in the US but I wanted everyone to know that the 2007 Gerrard Street Indian Bazaar Festival (yes they need a shorter name lol) is happening in Toronto August 18-19th if anyone was interested or was going to be in the neighbourhood feel free to come on up. I am hoping that I'll be able to make it, maybe I'll even see some of you guys there :)

#503 ::: Star ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 03:50 AM:

Hi folks, just a short note, sorry I haven't gotten back to you respectively, but I've been having some lower back/hip issues, been pretty sore the last week or so. I'll write more next week...just got another order from Utsav, mostly OK (some beautiful) but I don't know what the point of me giving them specific directions is if they're not gonna follow them, grrr...Utsav is "like a box'a chocolates..." ;) Bless bless..


Star

#504 ::: litlnemo ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 09:13 AM:

Hi folks,
I finally got around to uploading a picture of the cotton voile tunic I ordered from eShakti. Here it is. It is a see-through tunic in pink and orange with silver, and they also sent a slip to wear with it if I am not daring. :) I like it a lot, and it's much nicer than my previous eShakti outfit which I don't like at all. So this experience was good enough (not as good as S2, though), and I will order from eShakti again now that I have a better idea what works.

Thanks for the ironing tips above. I am from Seattle, which is the "least-ironed" city in the US (it's true, someone did a survey a few years ago). We are informal here, and despite our love of natural fibers, Seattleites aren't big on ironing. I actually had never used starch in my life. Ever. So I tried some spray starch with my South Cotton clothing and -- voila! It really does work! I'm glad, because you should have seen my purple tunic when it came out of the wash... it looked about three sizes smaller. (This was after using the hand-wash cold water mode in my front-loader. So it shouldn't actually shrink.) When I ironed it it seemed to grow several inches on all sides. Those were some serious wrinkles.

#505 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 07:03 PM:

ltlmemo- That is a very cute Kurta. I love the colors, and they look very good on you, too. We have similar coloring, but my hair is a bit darker. I'm glad the ironing tips were helpful. My mother taught me all that when I was eight, and it made me feel so grown up to be able to help. That was before permanent press sheets and shirts.

Star- at least you got your order from Utsav. Mine still hasn't arrived, and its been weeks since they promised it would only be about 5 days before they were shipped. They sent me an email asking about the length of the kurta over a week a go, and I thought maybe that meant progress, but no. I'm going to have to get aggressive again, I think. I wish they didn't have such a good selection. Its kind of like waving candy in front of a kid and then saying you can't have it.

#506 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 01:07 AM:

Hey Star,
Good to see your post so sorry to hear that you're in pain I know what it's like. Thank you also for your mention about Utsav and their ignoring your instructions that and the warning about measurements Anne has given me about Utsav stopped me from buying a lehnga choli from them. As much as I would love to own one I would want to make sure I ordered it from someone that I know will tailor and design it so that it suits me and my body type. Which really if you think about it describes S2 LOL. Yeah Suma will probably get an e-mail about this in awhile hehehe. I am starting to think if I was Indian in a past life I had to have been from the North.

litlnemo,
I hear ya about eshakti, I got those two suits back a few months ago they were pricey but they really hard made beautifully and the tailoring is very flattering so it kinda made up for that cotton suit I wore to the wedding last year (omg I still can't get over how horrible it looked). My only problem with e-shakti still is their price however my last suits are made from really nice fabric and they both came with slips too so I guess I can't complain too much.

Anne my dear you still haven't received your order from Utsav? Wow yep you better pull out your most "Grrr" additude and stick it to them. I completely agree too though that it's a shame since they do have such a huge selection. You know though I've found a flaw in their pricing that kinda irks me, any sari no matter what the material is if it's really pretty or more likely to sell they seem to jack up the price. I've found pure georgette saris in less then attractive prices and with some fairly nice work on it for a lower price then a faux georgette that is rather plain but in a colour that is more popular (such as black). It seems like abit of a jip to me. And yes I am still searching their site I just can't bring myself to choose a sari the ones in my price range are nice but none of them are standing out to me right now. Then again I have a real problem making decisions lol utsav is not a good site for me hehehe. I am still so sick of these abstract saris, I wonder if anyone actually wears them or if they are even really in style in India right now. I haven't seen anything about them anywhere that I keep up with my Indian fashion.

#507 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 09:22 PM:

Another day, another letter off to Utsav Sarees asking about my order. This time I went through Paypal's resolution center. I placed the original order March 18! Here it is, almost 3 months and 3 excuses later, and I still don't even have the part of the order they haven't said anything about, presumeably because they have it, and its sewn. I'll even choose something different, if that's what we have to do, but I want clothes or my money back. I'm sure glad I'm not a bride with a wedding date getting closer. I liked the Utsav is like a box of chocolates line, but sometimes its an empty box.

#508 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 01:25 AM:

I completely understand what you're going through Anne, that echarming episode put a bad taste in my mouth and it sounds like Utsav might have taken a lesson or two from echarming.

I had a question for the board about caftans. I've seen some beautiful ones online and in Little India that I would love to own but here's my question, Does a caftan indicate a religion? I realise they are worn often in Middle Eastern countries and by many Muslims, however saris are worn mostly by Hindus and Sikhs but they are not from either religion is this also true with caftans? I've tried to look it up but I've had no luck so I was wondering if someone on here would know. I am looking in your direction Anne LOL :)

#509 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 03:16 AM:

Well I finally picked a sari from Utsav the item number is SGS314B if anyone wants to take a look. I asked that the blouse not be made since A) I have cholis for that sari and B) I am sure it'll take them longer if I wanted it made and I just want my order. So I guess we'll see how my order from them turns out.

#510 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 02:27 PM:

Maggie- Caftans were originally men's clothing from the Ottoman empire. Now, they are mostly worn by women in Turkey and Morocco. They are also worn by some Orthodox Jewish women, and versions of them are sold in North American stores for beach cover-ups and lounge wear. So I would say that they are not especially associated with a particular religion, but are of middle eastern origin. As long as you don't wear it with a hijab, I don't think anyone would think you were of one religion or another. There are some very lovely ones on the web. I've been looking at them, too. I have one made of rust colored cotton gauze with gold embroidery that I wear as a cover-up, but I wouldn't mind having more.

#511 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 02:35 PM:

Maggie- BTW, caftans were very popular in the 1960s, and were worn by all women particularly for entertaining at home, but by fashion rebels for just about anything. I have a book on how to sew from my "hippie" days that has directions for a beautiful caftan. They were so nice they went mainstream.

#512 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 06:55 PM:

Thank you Anne, I knew you'd know :) My Mum bought two while we were in Toronto for around the house since she's going through biopsies etc and can't wear a bra so she wanted something loose. She got some that are really pretty and they just look so comfortable. The ones that caught my eye on here are at eshakti they are from Morocco and just so pretty. I suppose if I continued to wear my bindi while wearing a caftan it would be enough.

I had an idea about my ghagra choli thing, I was looking for one with a kurti length top (as you'll see more in the Punjab) so I had been looking through my favourite sellers on e-bay and came back to Ladies Den I had completely forgotten that they'll make a salwar kameez with a skirt instead of pants if there is enough fabric. They also have bandhini with mirror work fabric (very traditional for a ghagra) so I am thinking I'll write them to see if they'll make the top shorter then a regular kameez to go with the skirt. Seems most places I've found ghagra cholis they have the short choli and are usually premade and they are mostly bridal or at least formal with alot of work on them. I know ghagra's are traditional daily wear for the tribes up north so it's really annoying when it's so hard to find "normal" ones.

#513 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 09:59 PM:

Oooo, kaftans. I *heart* kaftans. I have a rayon one that was purchased by my mom in the Caribbean. You could fit three of me in it, but it's so comfy.

I don't think you'd have a problem being mistaken for a Muslim woman if you wore one, Maggie. They've sort of been non-mainstream popular in the US, but not like they were in the 60s, definitely. They seem like they are slightly mainstream popular this summer because I found a few in my Victoria's Secret catalog and also a Newport News catalog (I think). You could always accessorize with a slouchy belt or something if you wanted to make it look less kaftan-like.

Earlier this year (maybe March or so), a seller on eBay had some really cute kaftans (the Muslim word for it begins with a "J", but I can't remember it). The eBay store's name is evening chic, I think, but I can't remember the seller ID. eShakti also had some, but I think they are down to just one color/style.

#514 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2007, 03:39 AM:

LOL Tabby funny you mention Evening chic I was just there last night but I didn't see any caftans. Go figure I wouldn't know that caftans are a big deal this year with the city I live in ;). Well now ya'll got me thinking of buying at least one. The work on them is so beautiful and they look very comfortable. One of my Mum's is just a printed cotton one from Toronto it wasn't even ten bucks but just like saris even the cheap ones are pretty. And even better it wouldn't take much to get dressed in the heat if you're wearing a caftan. I am going to check on those e-shakti ones because those are the ones that caught my eye.

#515 ::: Star ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2007, 04:06 AM:

Just a quick question-I've been looking at pictures of ordinary people wearing salwar kameeze in India and I am noticing that sometimes the person will take the dupatta, fold it in half or in fourths lengthwise, and drape it from one shoulder so it falls in a panel in front and in back of one shoulder (example here http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/1197463011028711569UzPQWo where she is draping it off the left shoulder) The thing is, sometimes I see it on the left and sometimes I see it on the right. Does anyone know what this specific style might signify if anything, is it a religious thing or a regional style? I've just noticed it and thought I'd ask.


Star

P.S. Maggie, would you please post a link to one of the sari prints you can't stand on Utsav? I'm really curious now, I know some of their stuff doesn't appeal to me but I'm just...very curious now, lol. Thanks!

#516 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2007, 10:18 AM:

I finally got a reply from Utsav Sarees this morning. They said that "due to some unfortunate incidents" part of my order would be impossible to fill. They gave me the choice of choosing something to take its place, or just take the completed part of the order and be refunded for the one that can't be made. I chose the refund. I am curious as to the unfortunate incidents. They seem to be seriously interupting business.

#517 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2007, 03:47 PM:

Hey all,

Here's another photo with instructions of the dupatta style Star is referring to:

http://www.pardesifashions.com/SalwarKameez/DupattaTutorial5.aspx

So, Mel (the woman who owns Pardesi Fashions and is the lady in the photos) says it's a modern style, which I read somewhere else. I expected her to say to drape it from either shoulder, but she specifies the left shoulder. I know her husband's family is from northern India, but I'm not sure if the left shoulder is a northern thing or not. I can ask around though.

I watched a special on the Travel Channel last week that had to with traveling to India. I saw a few women where they had their dupattas around the neck like you wear it when it cascades down your back. But instead, at least one of ends was thrown over the opposite shoulder, but just the very end, not the entire side of the dupatta. I like how this looked, but have never seen anyone in real life wearing it this way and wondered if there was a significance to it.

That's too bad evening chic isn't currently selling caftans, Maggie. I wonder if when I caught them (which was maybe in March), they were doing a winter clearance (these were long-sleeved ones) because they were starting out at 99 cents. They were so gorgeous though; I think you'd really love them. Maybe if you buy one in the meantime and like it, you can check back with ec closer to winter time. The eShakti ones are very nice too though.

"Unfortunate incidents"...I really don't want to say too much, but something has to be going on with Utsav Sarees. I just really feel it for a lot of reasons. Maggie, did you ever get your sarees from them?

So, are churidar supposed to exceedingly baggy in the rear and thighs? Mine are, but I don't want to alter them if they are supposed to be like that. I'm a strange lady and I wanted to wear my babydoll tube top with my churidar and then use my duppata as a shawl so I'm not so exposed (you can laugh - I know this is a bizarre combo of clothing). But my top isn't quite long enough to cover the very baggy thigh part of my churidar (I'll have to try it - maybe it will do anyhow), so it wouldn't look right with tight calves and very loose thighs. Thoughts?

#518 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2007, 06:27 PM:

Hey Tabby,
I've found that my churidar are all really baggy until just above or below the knee I just assume they're supposed to be that way for ease of movement. The only change I've ever made on mine is to tighten the calf and ankle because I seem to have really small ankles compared to the rest of me. If you find out differently let me know though. I also haven't gotten my saris from Utsav, I just picked a replacement for the black one (that I wanted to much) and I haven't heard from them so I may have to make sure they got my second choice and hope that they don't have anymore "unfortunate incidents". I see what you mean about eshakti and the caftans there is only one left it's beautiful so I think I might order it. I am abit worried that off white and my butt aren't going to get along but I'll only know if I order it.

Star,
I know exactly what dupatta style you mean I wear it usually when I have a mandarin collar but I've never given a thought to which side I wear it on and I've never had anything said to me about it. I know that in the Punjab you'll usually see the women wearing the dupatta almost like a curtain topper (lmao @ my description) I am not exactly sure how they do it but it looks like they accordian fold it small and then pin it on each shoulder with the ends hanging down the back and then letting the middle fall on their chest. My description must leave much to be desired if I find pictures I'll let you know. Another thing you might see with dupattas is that alot of Indian women will tie the ends together in a knot and each where it to the back or at times I've seen it worn like a sash with the knot at the hip. I find if the dupatta is really slippery the knot helps or if I am doing alot of bending over (shoe shopping lol) it'll keep the dupatta from completely falling off.

A good start for the ugly saris is
http://utsavsarees.ca/sarees.asp?cid=1&range=0-50

Pretty much anything that says abstract are the ones I can't stand, with the exception of one or two.

Anne,
I am so sorry to hear about Utsav and your order, you'd think any half decent company if they're having problems with your order would actually tell you and before 3 months have past. Let us know what happens with this order.

#519 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2007, 03:43 PM:

Maggie, I think I know what you're talking about with the "curtain topper" dupatta. I like this style if I want a fancier look. I take the dupatta and put it on like I want it cascading down my back. Then I take the front part and pull it gently down to wear I want to have on my chest where I separate the fabric so you get the folded look. But you're right: you absolutely must pin the dupatta on both shoulder to make it stay put.

So is the difference between a ghagra choli and lengha choli the skirt (the ghagra seems fuller to me) and the color choices/styling?

Anne, have you gotten your 786 shop suits yet?

litlnemo, you do such a good job photographing your kurtas and salwar suits. I really like the eShakti top much better in your photo than their photo. And I adore the Craftsmen-style woodwork in your house.

#520 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2007, 06:09 PM:

No 786shop clothes yet. A CBazaar silk sari with matching choli came today. The fit is perfect and the color is stunning. I'm so glad I ordered it. Customs managed to cut the garment bang in half while they were inspecting it.I'm not impressed at all.

#521 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2007, 06:10 PM:

No 786shop clothes yet. A CBazaar silk sari with matching choli came today. The fit is perfect and the color is stunning. I'm so glad I ordered it. Customs managed to cut the garment bag in half while they were inspecting it.I'm not impressed at all.

#522 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2007, 12:57 AM:

OMG Anne!! Can you do anything about customs? Can you hold them responsible for the damage or anything at all? How horrible, you poor thing. And silk of all fabrics I am so sorry to hear that.

LoL Tabby I am so glad someone figured out what I meant lol I read it over a couple times before I posted it to see if I could word it better to no avail. I've also noticed that if you wear your dupatta like that or at least folded in half so that it covers your breasts it's seems to be at least that you'll get more smiles and nods of approval from Muslims and people from the Middle East. When I am going to our Indian shops I tend to do this because they are almost all run by Muslims and alot of the food shops are Middle Eastern.

I actually was just talking to Suma about the difference between lehenga cholis and ghagra cholis is only where they come from.

"The dress you are talking about is a a type of Lehnga Choli. Ghagra, lehnga are all different names for flared long skirts. Ghagra is a name from Gujrat Rajasthan side and Lehnga is from Punjab, Haryana side." -Suma

There is also the chania choli (sometimes spelt with a "y"). I haven't noticed much difference with these either although they seem to be more traditionally tribal and the choli has a string on the back to close it with (I can't imagine wearing one if you have to wear a bra) however I have found ones that look exactly like lehengas and ghagras. While looking for one myself I've noticed that it's difficult to find places that make them to measure (at a good price), and that it's much easier to find bridal lehengas then anything else.

Oh yes I got a mail from Utsav today they've updated my order and were quick to add that I owe them more money LOL. Still thinking about the caftan I am worried that on someone my size it'll look more like a "moo moo" and I've already had a problem with that when I was in a sari.

#523 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2007, 10:42 AM:

I'm guessing the US Customs IQ rate is fairly low considering the whole "guy with TB allowed to the cross the US-Canadian even though he was on the 'no entry' list" and they slashed your garment bag open. About 12 years ago, I was coming back to the US from Europe and I had some Customs worker threaten to cut my winter jacket open because she thought I was drug smuggling. Why did she think this? Because my luggage was temporarily lost. These are the times I enjoy being tall because she, at 5'2", tried to intimidate me and me, at 5'11", intimidated her right back into the hole she crawled out of. (And no, I wasn't smuggling anything.)

You can always try to get at least an apology from Customs.

You know, Kharidari has some chania choli that are more casual and very cute. But like you (Maggie) said, they're ready-made. I can't remember the sizing, but I know on other sites I've looked at, they tend to run small (largest bust tends to be about a 34-36).

I'm increasingly amazed at Utsav Sarees. If you are going to charge more for certain sizes, fine, but you need to tell people that upfront. I just don't get what their deal is there.

I think you look fine in the caftan, Maggie. They seem to be like salwar kameez in that they look nice on every shape and size. :)

#524 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2007, 05:21 PM:

LOL Tabby you must be a mind reader I took a look at Kharidari last night after I posted lmao. I had forgotten they had any chania cholis until then. I went to the website and it says that all of them can be made to measure which is good, I wrote them and asked them if I could have the choli lengthened as well I'll let you know what they say. They do have some really nice casual ones I agree Tabby and some super traditional ones too. I kinda think though that with some of the really traditional chania cholis they'd look good at a certian time and place (say India and in the Thar desert) maybe I am just not used to that much colour and design. I have to say that Kharidari is well priced too so with any luck they'll be able to make them how I'd like them to be.

When it comes to customs thus far I haven't had the problems either Tabby or you Anne have had *knocks on wood* the biggest pain in the butt I've had with customs is having to pay duty lol. Oh I didn't mention but last week I got a bill from TNT (the service Ladies den uses) for the duty they had to pay on my order from months ago. I am wondering if I am going to get one of these bills from my S2 order too. I heard Canada is trying to talk India into a free trade agreement now that would be cool :)

#525 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2007, 08:31 PM:

Hi everyone- thanks for the sympathy. I can't in good conscience let you keep thinking that customs slashed the sari. It was just the garment bag. I think it was pure luck that the sari came through intact. It looked as though it was slashed with a knife or box cutter, not cut with scissors. There is no way the customs officer could have told what he was cutting. I wonder what made them search that particular package, or if it was a random thing.

After the last email from Utsav asking if I wanted a different choice or a partial refund, I haven't gotten anything else, like notice that they've shipped the part of the order that was completed. More unfortunate incidents? That shouldn't prevent the partial refund.

#526 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2007, 08:47 PM:

I get what you mean, Maggie. I'd love to have a chaniya choli/ghagra choli, but the colors just aren't something I could pull off. I did find one (can't remember if it was eBay or Kharidari or where), but it was a deep pink and I could do that. However, the choli was too small for me.

Also, I think I have a somewhat solution for you if you can't find a longer (non-midriff-bearing) choli. With lenghas/chaniyas/ghagras, you can wrap the dupatta from your waist up, sort of like you do with a sari. I saw a women do this once and it looked pretty and even though her dupatta was very gauzy, it still covered skin well (unless you were right up next to the lady). I'll dig a photo up for you tomorrow.

I found another place today with chaniya cholis: http://aaneri.com/shop/category/apparels_&_accessories/womens_wear/chaniya_cholis/paging/0 . Looks like theirs are alterable too.

Even though it's just the plastic bag the sari came in, Anne, it's still disturbing. Usually you can just sort of open those without any effort (they have the self-adhesive tab thingie).

Canada does seem to charge more in duties. I've ordered tons of stuff from overseas and only one order was charged duty. I think that was charged because it was a commercial (for resale in the US) shipment and was marked that way. The bad thing was DHL charged my husband an extra amount for paying the fees in advance for him. But like Maggie, the duty bill didn't come until a month or so after the shipment actually arrived.

#527 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2007, 11:36 PM:

Tabby- not to go on about it, but it was more than a plastic bag. It was a nice fabric garment bag, pink with white trim. Its one of the things I like about ordering from Cbazaar. They always send things in a nicely sewn garment bag usually with a velcro closure. They are the exact right size for a folded sari. It makes storage that much easier.

I've only had to pay customs once, and as you said, the bill came a month after the shipment. I will really be irked if I have to pay for the wrecked bag!

#528 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2007, 01:31 AM:

Tabby,
Thank you so much for that link, I totally love their stock as well actually the first two are probably two of my favs and pretty good prices too. I can't believe I had forgotten about wearing the chaniya choli the way you described I had actually been hoping to wear it like that so a long choli wouldn't make much sense at all. Aaneri seems to have larger waist sizes on theirs as well. I totally agree though some of the colours at both places would be just too much, I don't mind a bright colour at most two but if all the colours are bright then it's not so good.

Well Anne I suppose it's better then the sari itself but all the same it's a shame you had to lose the garment bag. I have to remember to find some pillow cases to put my silk saris in right now they are both in plastic and I have learnt that's a really bad thing to do.

You know what duty really got me? I had to pay duty on an order from krishna.com which is based in the US, I thought we had a free trade agreement?

I am putting in another order with eshakti tonight they have kota doria suits and a blend in a very cute style I'll post the item numbers later so you know which ones I mean. I heard on the news that they think the Canadian dollar might be over valued (up to .93 US tonight) so I figured while our money is worth more I should get some ordering done.

#529 ::: Star ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2007, 04:09 AM:

Regarding caftans, I was looking at some gorgeous ones at Renukasilks the other day, here are some that caught my eye. They're a bit more expensive than you all are talking though.

Has anyone had any experience with them?

http://www.renukasilks.com/listProducts.asp?productid=394&subcat=50&idcategory=75&curPage=61

http://www.renukasilks.com/listProducts.asp?productid=1792&subcat=50&idcategory=75&curPage=10

http://www.renukasilks.com/listProducts.asp?productid=1795&subcat=50&idcategory=75&curPage=28#


-Star

#530 ::: Star ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2007, 04:41 AM:

Also, while surfing around, I found this page that has sewing patterns for some of these garments on it, for those of you who sew. The abaya pattern looks very easy and could approximate a kaftan for lounging around the house etc.

http://www.geocities.com/imatu/index.html

#531 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2007, 10:47 AM:

Hey Star, those are really pretty caftans. Even though they are more expensive that some of the caftans I've seen, they may be worth due to the amount of handwork in them. I also like the fact that Renuka has tall sizes. It always puzzles me how large the petite selection is in department stores, but the plus selection is tiny and the tall selection doesn't exist. At least in the US, I think the average size is a 12 or 14 and I'm amazed at the amount of teen-aged girls who are my height or taller (when I was that age, there weren't many tall girls or women at all).

Ohhh, Anne, that's even worse. I assumed that it was just one of plastic bags that good salwar vendors put your outfit in. Since this was an actual garment bag, not a plastic bag, that's really bad. I think I'd complain to high heaven about that (if Customs will even return your e-mail or call).

Maggie, I was going to mention the kota doria suits at eShakti, but of course forgot. They are really cute. Glad I could help with finding some chaniya choli for you! There used to be a seller on eBay, Indian Dealz, who had some gorgeous casual chaniya choli, but when I checked recently, they didn't. Anyhow, Indian Dealz is a pretty good place to find cheap kurtis, salwar kameez fabric, saris, and other good stuff.

That's bizarre you got charged duty for a package from the US. Was it just clothing or jewelry or?

#532 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2007, 02:17 AM:

Star,
Those are really interesting patterns thank you for posting the link. She has a great idea with the mini patterns. Renukasilks is a very interesting website too, some beautiful clothes and not all of it was overly expensive. Having the plus and tall sizes is a definately gold star (no pun intended) on their part.

Tabby,
I have Indian Dealz on my favs on e-bay now (at least I think I saved them I can always check later). From what I saw I didn't see any chania cholis but I'll keep my eye out. That's so funny that you were going to mention the kota doria suits, great minds think alike you know :). The order from krishna.com was two cholis and a nose ring and a bunch of bindis (they are really cheap there and they have some beautiful ones) so I still can't see having to pay duty perhaps it was the nose ring because it was 22K gold.

Oh Tabby remember I told you about disability up here and how hard it was for me to get on it? Get this, they kicked me off! As of Monday I an no longer getting any money from them because of a inheritance I got. So the salwar kameez might be the last order I am able to get for awhile but I am going to continue looking for chania cholis and keep my fingers crossed that I might be able to get one before the summer is over.

#533 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2007, 02:25 AM:

Oh duh@me I forgot to post what I ordered from eshakti lol.

Fuchsia diamond print set (23605)
Kota doria floral motif print set (6677B)

I changed the neckline on the Kota to a sweetheart but everything else I left alone.

#534 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2007, 12:12 PM:

786shop emailed today- they shipped my order yesterday. They said one of the suits needed to be resewn. So I should be getting them on Monday. Ladies Den said they are shipping today, so I should be getting quite a bit the beginning of the week. I was late getting my measurements in to Ladies Den because I was in the hospital. Jaswinder was great, said to send them in when I was ready. Then he emailed and said he would have them done in two days, then shipped. I can't help but compare with Utsav, who still hasn't even answered my last email.

#535 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2007, 02:38 PM:

Oh, Maggie, I'm so sorry. I would have thought that they just would have reduced your monthly payment or something. Are you allowed to appeal?

I think Indian Dealz had chaniya choli this past winter maybe. I just remember trying to decide if I really wanted to buy one or not and then just forgetting about it. The women who owns Indian Dealz, Monika, also owns another store on eBay. It used to be Blushline, but I think she changed the name of it and I can't remember it.

Another place for both caftans and chaniya choli is www.shalincraft.com. My experience with them is although they are not cheap, the quality is very nice. I believe their clothing is handmade by artisans. The only thing is that their stuff is ready-made, no custom clothing.

I really, really like Ladies Den. I wore the suit I got from them to a wedding shower a few weeks back and it was a huge hit. I was so embarrassed because the bride's mother and bride wanted photos of just me because of the suit.

Ladies Den does tailor a bit different then Pardesi Fashions (my all-time favorite) and S2 (my casual favorite). Body fitting with the above two means the kameez is fairly curvy: 2-3 inches added to the bust and waist. With my Ladies Den suit, 3 inches were added to the bust and 5 inches were added to the waist.

This is not a bad thing at all, but just a reminder, for women new to the salwar kameez, that tailoring can vary from vendor to vendor.

#536 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2007, 02:48 AM:

Anne,
Sounds like Christmas in June at your place next week lol. That's great to hear that most everything is coming in next week. Still so sorry to hear about Utsav, I haven't checked in on my order I probably should do that I can't imagine much having to be done since I asked that the blouse not be made.

Tabby,
Yeah it totally puts a damper on everything, we've received alot contradictry information from disability so we've gone to one lawyer and sent papers away asking for a review of the decision, and papers for interm assistance. If the review turns out the same then we can take them to the tribunal (which could take months). The lawyers we're using right now do this kind of work with charging the clients however they haven't been much help with some really important and serious questions we've had in all of this so we're thinking of spending a couple hundred bucks and going to a real lawyer to see if we can at least get some answers. It is so tempting to just go out and buy a bunch of stuff online right now just to cheer myself up.

www.shalincraft.com looks pretty nice, I'll have to take a closer look. I'll check out Pardesi too thank you for the warning about the difference in tailoring too. I am looking at Seasons India and I've often wondered about them but they seem so expensive. A few months back they had a salwar kameez with churidar pants and the material for the churidar was just abit see through so they really reminded me of tights and a kurti I thought it was great for them to be trying to stay Indian but keep up with Western trends too. For tailoring when it comes to casual I agree with you Tabby S2 is my fav when it comes to more formal suits I like e-shakti.

The fuchsia diamond suit is probably what I'll wear to a uncle in law's birthday party next month. Last time I went to a get together at the in laws I made the mistake of wearing a sari...I was the freak show all day to the point of no one wanting to sit next to me I had three chairs on either side of me empty, people were sitting on the grass before they'd sit next to me. Oh yeah I am so looking forward to the party...

#537 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2007, 10:54 AM:

Yeah, Pardesi is my favorite for fancier suits. Since there are some problems with someone else using their name on eBay (Pardesi Fashions is trademarked), make sure you go to www.pardesifashions.com . Their clothing is not cheap like S2, but most of it has handwork and their fabric quality is very high. Mel, the owner, is super helpful and nice.

Well, I have a wedding this afternoon so I need to get moving. I was trying to get my stuff together yesterday, including getting a nicer purse ready. I didn't think it looked formal enough, but I thought that was the nicest I had. What's really weird is I had a dream last night about this other more formal purse that I forgot I owned. Found it this morning, exactly where I had dreamed it was.

#538 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2007, 04:16 AM:

Thank you for the direct link Tabby they do have some nice suits there and not too badly priced either. I hope the wedding goes well. Isn't that something about the purse? Sounds like astro projection to me. Glad you found it though. Are you wearing something Indian to the wedding? If so, how did it go over?

Well I am still debating buying myself something else, bought hubby a dhoti from krishna.com tonight. He bought one in Little India tried to wrap it tonight and it's too small (short and in length). We got "Saris: An illistrated guide..." Friday so he was finally gonna give it a shot and then found out he's just too tall. With shipping to Canada the dhoti came out to 33USD not too bad I suppose but this one is suggested for tall men.

Girls I wanted to let you know eshakti is having an overstock SALE!!! Lucky for them it's not on anything I just ordered lol. But they do seem to have alot of suits on sale. It's only 30% off but it still brings some of the suits down to a pretty reasonable price.

#539 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2007, 11:51 AM:

I had a first experience. I bought a western style dress. Its a classic summer sleeveless, knee length summer dress that is really flattering. But when I put it on to wear it out, I felt so uncovered, having worn only salwar kameez or long pants lately.I was completely taken by surprise, and wound up wearing a nice embroidered salwar set instead. I'm going to try again for Father's Day- he would like to see me in 'regular clothes" instead of "Sogdian finery". Only a history teacher would come up with that! You can look it up, or maybe I'll tell next post.

Maggie- I got in on that sale at eshakti. They had some nice things. They also have a new collection of white western shirts that is fabulous. There is something there for just about every taste with lots of hand work. I've noticed the summer collection is selling out quickly. There were several things I was looking at a few days ago that are gone, now.

Does the Canadian disability system work the same way it does in the US with annual check-ups and review? Is that what happened to you? It can be appealed? I just found out our insurance company is being replaced by my husband's employer. Its really throwing a wrench into my treatment plan. The old company doesn't want to pay for my biennial drip, and we'll have to start the request for approval process all over with the new one. I'm already over a week late getting it. Fie on bureaucracies!

#540 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2007, 02:29 PM:

Hey all,

I'm very tired from the wedding, even though we left a little before 8 pm. I knew that would happen and that's just life when you have a chronic illness; gotta enjoy life when an opportunity appears. So if I am not around a lot this week, don't worry, I'm just recovering.

So here's the funny part about the wedding yesterday. We went to the wedding Mass and then to a hotel bar nearby where some of my relatives were staying for the night. As were walking through to the bar, we see a huge Indian wedding reception going on. It was really wonderful because this is the most white American women I've seen wearing saris (and a few salwar kameez) ever. A relative asked one of the American women if she dressed herself and she said, "no, one of the Indian ladies did". Anyhow, we were impressed because at 3:00, they had a food line going. When we walked back through around 7:30 or so, they were having a sit-down dinner with bhangra music playing. It looked like such a good time and it was cool that both American and Indian elements were mixed together (evidently it was an Indian bride and American groom).

But no, I wore a regular semi-formal dress and was glad I did. I got lots of compliments on my dress and one person asked if it was custom made.

I was talking to my uncle's new wife at the reception and told her I was thinking of wearing a salwar kameez (I wore one to the wedding shower), but didn't. She said that she loves different styles of clothing and would have worn something like that. Then I found out she has a sari at home and she's going to give it to me (she used to be a travel agent, so I'm assuming she picked it up on one of her travels). So I'm thrilled because I can practice with it and see if I like wearing a sari or not.

Good luck to Maggie & Anne in battling the powers that be! :)

#541 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2007, 01:27 AM:

Anne,
LMAO omg you had the "uncovered" feeling too huh? It's probably another reason I find it so hard to wear Western clothes because I do tend to feel so uncovered especially after wearing a sari because wearing it regular nivi style it comes right across your neck.

Our disability system is a bit confusing, there is a disability through the government of Canada but this system is based on how long or how much time you've worked at your last job and I didn't have enough time so I had to go with the provincial. Each province has a different disability system. Ontario's disability can have a disability review every few years where they bring you in give you paper work and your doctor has to fill it out saying you're still disabled, however some disabilities such as mine is lifetime and there is nothing that will help or cure it so when I was granted disability it was without the disabled reviews (thank God). There are however financial reviews at random, this is where you go in with bank statements, proof of any debts over $500.00 (such as a credit card) sometimes they want proof you've paid rent, hydro etc and proof of assets. Assets are money in your bank account, property you own other then the house you live in, cars you own other then your main car (owning two cars unless you have a good reason is basically a no no), any money invested, retirement funds, education funds for your kids...I think you get the idea. If you're found to have assets over your "prescribed" limit (for a couple without children it's $7,500) they can cut off your financial assistance which is what they did to us. We've already asked for an internal review which means someone else will look at our situation and make a decision to stay with the original cut off or to over turn it, or to put our cheque on suspension until we have our assets below our limit. The thing is when it comes to getting money from an inheritance they are supposed to give you six months to put it in a trust so that you're not in charge of the money and can only access it when you need to (or take $5000.00 every 12 months) they gave us three months which was not enough time to get a trust so we may end up getting more time to put the rest of the money in a trust but it's really up to the government. If the internal review says they're going to keep us cut off we can take them to a tribunal which is what I had to do to get disability to start with. At the tribunal you'll be stating your case to a non judge, judge who will make the final decision however there will be someone from the government there defending their decision to cut us off and to keep us cut off. The only hope you have after a tribunal if they decide to keep you cut off is that there was a miscarriage of justice (which is what happened when I was trying to get on to disability). During all this time you can request interim assistance which is a cheque they'll send you until they make their final decision if they keep you cut off you have to pay the interim assistance back if they reinstate the assistance then all is well. We're getting in touch with everyone tomorrow (hopefully) because there are far too many questions we have to leave up in the air. Getting help with this type of situation seems to be like pulling hens teeth so we're probably going to have to end up paying for a consultation with a real lawyer. So there it is, I am sorry if it's long I realise it's confusing so you can just imagine what it's like when you're new to it and get cut off lol.

Tabby,
So glad to hear you had a good time at the wedding. I would have loved to have seen the American/Indian wedding you're so lucky. I think most of us here will understand you being worn out from the wedding, I tend to really over do it if I am doing anything. I use the logic I am going to be worn out and sore no matter what so I might as well make it worth while.

That's really cool of your Uncle's new wife to be giving you a sari you'll have to tell us all about it. When you start wearing it you'll notice it takes a lot more time to put on then a salwar kameez and in the beginning it may seem a bit warmer, a nice light petticoat will help with that. Good luck with wearing it if you need any help we're all here to help you.

#542 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2007, 10:37 PM:

Utsav Sarees emailed today and said they've shipped the two items they were able to make, and are ready to send my refund. I should have it by the end of the week. They apologized profusely in both emails, for the great inconvenience they caused me.

I got a phone call today from eShakti, because they noticed I'd made a mistake in my measurements. I'm hard of hearing, she had quite an accent, and she was so patient with me it was quite amazing. She was not going to hang up until she got the information she needed. Wow. That is service. I had ordered some things to wear in India from them.

#543 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2007, 12:35 AM:

It's about time Anne! My god Utsav should do more then refund the part of the order they couldn't send they should be refunding the whole order just for the hell they put you through. I can't stand places that say their sorry but still plan on getting paid even if they don't deserve it. I haven't heard from them yet, I tried to e-mail them and see when mine might be shipped but I got the e-mail back.

That's is so awesome about eshakti, I can understand the hearing part too Anne I have a hearing aid as does hubby, and I can certianly say that accents don't make it any easier. But heck accents sound so nice. I have a friend in Georgia when he calls up here by the time I am off the phone with him I am talking with a twang. I wonder if either of us will end up with a Indian-ish sounding accent by the time we come back Anne.

I am getting so excited for you and your husband Anne, your trip is coming up so soon. I can't imagine how you must be feeling about it. If you can you'll have to post or e-mail us while you're there and keep us updated (and let us know you're ok). As I said because of this problem with disability I may end up going on our trip sooner even thinking about it scares me LOL I know I am a chicken.

I just wanted to let everyone know that over the next few weeks (starting after Thursday) I don't know how much I'll be on. My Mum's biopsy results came in today and it wasn't good news. We don't know what treatment they're going to suggest when we see the doctor Thursday but I am going to try and stay in touch as best as I can.

#544 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2007, 01:52 AM:

Ok I know I just posted a short time ago but I got an e-mail from Utsav. Anne I guess they were saving up all the orders to send at once because both my saris are on the way. They expect them to be here by the 22nd. I also just put in another order with eshakti I wanted to wait to get better measurements of my Mum but OMG those suits are going fast so I just picked something and filled in the measurements that I had of her I hope it fits alright (if not I can always alter it). I suggest anyone looking to get in on the sale better do it quick the one cotton suit I had picked out is gone and I only picked it out yesterday lol.

#545 ::: litlnemo ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2007, 08:05 AM:

Maggie, good luck with the disability fight. I was on disability for a few years awhile back (car accident injuries) and they cut me off right as I arrived at college -- I had decided that since I wasn't working anyway, I would go back to school and finish my degree. I had a very difficult year, but the following June, they reinstated me and paid me back benefits as well, so it did work out OK. (And a year later I was able to get off the disability for good.) It was very, very hard that year, though. I hope your situation works out, and faster than mine did.

So, I just took the sewing machine and scissors to some of my S2 outfits. :) Why, you ask? Well, first, I decided that S2-C4-SK25, while gorgeous, is just too long on me. I am 5'2", but also long-waisted and therefore short-legged for my height. I decided that the default length for the kameez made me look as if I have no legs at all. (Compare this picture on the S2 site with this one of me wearing the same suit.)

I shortened it by 6 inches, to about the same length as my S2-C5-CK29 suit, which comes down to the base of my kneecap. It looks much better as far as I can tell.

The other task I had was to adjust the churidars. I ordered both suits with churidars, but told Suma "please be sure they aren't too tight on the calves." Perhaps I shouldn't have said that. :) Because, as you can see here. they don't look like churidars at all. They almost look like salwars! Even snapped closed at the hem, they kept sliding down over my heel as I walked. So they are way big. I double-checked the measurements I gave S2, and they are right, so all I can think is that they were trying to obey my wishes and not make them too tight.

My legs are not tiny so churidar was probably not my smartest option, but the pants could go a little tighter than this. :) So I took them in by more than 2 inches on each leg. And they could still be smaller. (To give you an idea, they no longer have snaps, but I can still easily get them on and off.) They look a lot better now. I still have the "churidar effect" at the ankles, and the legs look slightly more shapely.

Next time I might just get trousers, or salwars. Or just have them cut the churidars smaller.

Those of you who wear churidars, how much ease do you typically have in them from the base knee, calf and ankle measurement?

#546 ::: litlnemo ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2007, 08:20 AM:

Oh, and I forgot to add: Maggie, I hope your Mum will be OK!

And the other thing I keep forgetting to mention -- my husband is going to be going to India soon for work, to Pune. And I don't get to go along. *sigh* I already have clothes to wear! :)

#547 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2007, 02:15 PM:

ltlnemo- I wear chudidar with about an inch or inch and a half ease. Just enough so they aren't skin tight, and are comfortable to move in. Most places tend to make mine too tight- my legs aren't so small, either. I find with a longer top and darker chudidar, they are attractive on me.

We are going to Pune on our trip, too. We're going to visit S2 while we are there. Its still a while away, the first week of September, but we are pretty excited. We are reading everything we can find on Pune and Maharashtra. There will be so much to see! I'm hoping I'm stronger by then, but either way, we'll take my wheelchair and make the best of it. My biggest concern is passports. There is such a backlog because of the Canada/Mexico policy that it is taking months to get them, and we can't even buy plane tickets until they are in hand. Grrrrr. Bureaucracies!

Maggie, I feel the same way about Utsav, but right now I'm just glad I'm getting my stuff. Its supposed to arrive the 21st. Its funny, my tastes have evolves since I ordered the sari, and I'm not even sure I'm going to like it. The suit is still lovely, a beige embroidered art silk.

#548 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2007, 06:14 PM:

The order from 781shop came today. What a disappointment! You're all familiar with the very thin cotton made cardboard stiff with sizing. It is all that, and I can already see that it will be limp when washed. These dresses are more expensive than S2 Fashions, and about the same as eShakti. They also forgot to include the khussas I ordered. It took them over a month because the dresses needed to "be resewn", and when I tried them on, they were all too tight in the arm, even though I had given a slightly large measurement to make sure they fit. Too bad, because they would have been nice for the hot summer.

#549 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2007, 01:52 AM:

Ok lets try this post again LOL

Litlnemo,
I can see why you shortened the kameez, my mum has the same problem she's 5'1. I ordered her a salwar from eshakti last night and got the top hip length to make sure it wasn't too long. I've always had problems with churidar myself I've mostly given up on them because I just can't get used to them and it's hard to know exactly how they're supposed to fit. I stick to trousars, salwar or patiala now.

I hope this diability thing gets over quickly it's definately not a stress I need right now. I am taking paperwork down to them tomorrow but I've still be unable to talk to a lawyer..ANY lawyer. No wonder these guys have a bad rep.

Sorry to hear you won't be able to go with your hubby to Pune I bet you'd have a blast, too bad you couldn't at least go visit him while he's there.

Thank you for the encouragement. It's stage 2 breast cancer on one side, right now we think she'll be facing removal of the lump and then radiation we'll know more tomorrow though.

So there's the warning to all of you girls on this board do self exams if you think you've found something go to the doctor even if you are scared because you'll be even more scared if you end up having to face complete removal of the breast. If you're old enough go for your mammograms too!

Anne,
I am so sorry to hear about 781shop, what a crappy way to learn they suck. Thank you for warning us about them though.

This whole passport thing is just crazy and getting closer to being paranoid (both in the US and Canada). The rules for Canadians going South just got postponed for 6 months because of the backlog here and there. I hope you're able to get them quickly so you can get your tickets soon. Are you just staying in Pune and Maharashtra? When we go we're thinking of going with a tour group so that we can get to North and South, as you know part of my reason to visit is religious and there are important sites in both. Not to mention the tigers in the South and everything else that I love in the North. You'll have to let me know how it goes with the wheelchair, I am hoping hubby won't have to take a walker when we go but if he does it'll be good to know what we're looking at.

*crosses fingers and hopes this posts this time*

#550 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2007, 02:50 PM:

M aggie, I'm so sorry about your mom. And fingers are crossed for you with disability. I know a good lawyer down here, wish it helped. There are good ones out there- keep looking.

We're just going to Pune because we have friends and a place to stay. We wish we could stay longer. Maharashtra is the state Pune is in, and includes Mumbai and lots of historical sites. There will be plenty to see in depth if we stay in one place longer with people who know the area. They are already working on a list of places we should see, and we are doing the same as we read up on the area. Our visit isn't religious, so history is big for us. I do wish we could go to Punjab because that is where most of the expatriate community in Yuba City, near where I grew up, is from. I know I would recognize smells and foods, and be fairly at home there, but we don't have time.

My order from Utsav Sarees came today. The art silk salwar kameez is beautiful and fits nicely. I like the blue and orange sari more than I expected, but the blouse is a bit big. I will add darts and move the hooks a little. It really looks great draped Gujarati style. I usually like that drape best anyway, it is a good line for me.

#551 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2007, 01:38 AM:

Thanks Anne that means alot hun. Went to the cancer clinic today and they think it's just going to be removal of the lump and radiation but my Mum has to have another ultrasound and another biopsy on another site that showed up on her MRI she had done on Monday. However my Mum does have the choice to have the complete breast removed if she wishes.

I can totally see why you're staying around Pune having friends where you're traveling definately helps, I did that when I went to Holland. That's great that they are helping pick out places that you might not find in a book in the US. I know you'll make the most of your trip while you're there no matter how little time you have. I am really hoping this diability thing doesn't affect our trip or at least the funds for it because they could make us live off of the rest of the money until it's gone. However if that's what they wanted I'd just go pre-pay the entire trip and we'd go this winter. We still really haven't decided what route we're going to go however we haven't talk to anyone at the mandir either and I know at least Anne know how wonderful and welcoming Indian people are so you know what we'll hear from everyone at the temple when they find out lol "I have family in ....you go stay with them" "OH my family is in...please stay there" etc. There is actually one woman at the mandir who I love dearly and have ever since I met her I call her "Auntie" I would just love to go to India with her and her husband but her heart is so bad she can't travel even the 2hr trip to Toronto anymore :( Such a lovely woman too.

Wow the choli is actually too big Anne? You know I've never had that happen lol. I know personally I perfer when something is too big alot easier to take in then add on. I am glad you like your whole order though. I checked on my package it left the UK at 10:30am so it should probably be here tomorrow.

And I have to apologise Anne, I must be blind (oh wait..lol) I hadn't noticed until tonight when the page was loading that your wrote a poem about me when the board was in umm "transition" that was so sweet of you. Thank you hun I guess there is a reason I saw it tonight it definately brightened up my day. (((hugs)))

#552 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2007, 06:36 PM:

Maggie- Every now and then, we need to remember where we are, this is a literary blog-lol. Not that I'm particularly good at poetry or even bad doggerel. But the sentiment is there. I didn't want to loose you. You add a lot to the board. (((hugs)))back to you.

I got my order from Ladies Den yesterday. It was spectacular. Everything fit perfectly. I had given measurements for the finished dress, and it worked just right. The shape was just what I wanted, too. There were two synthetic suits for the trip, one of them a black version of the one you got, Tabby. I really like mine. One was a hand block printed cotton, full of individualism and character, kind of a mocha and deep turquoise blue, with red and mostly gold print. The last is a beautiful olive Banarasi silk, plain salwar, really elaborately woven dupatta. It is going to be a favorite. It, and the two party dresses from S2 Fashions are my favorite for special occasions. I have S2's S2-C5-CK02 and the original version of S2-C6-SK22, with a brown-maroon kameez and peacock blue patiala, embroidery down to bottom of the armholes, and a more elaborate dupatta. I added beading to it as well. Anyway, I was very happy with Ladies Den, and Jaswinder, who seemed to be very thoughtful and kind. I got some jewellry, too, I feel like a princess with it on, but honestly don't know how often I'll wear it. They included the nicest bindis I've ever seen. I'm all set but for my order from eshakti; now all I need is my passport. There are horror stories about then in the paper every day. You would think a couple of months would be long enough, but I'm not so sure anymore. I hope that our September travel date puts us after the rush.

#553 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2007, 01:39 AM:

Anne,
So glad Ladies den worked out for you, I totally agree too that their bindis are just beautiful.

I actually had a question Anne, since you've ordered from utsav before while tracking have ever seen "Available on payment by recipient" on their tracking site? Utsav told me I should have had it by Friday so I checked in to see where my order was and that's what I found and not only that but it's still in Toronto. I've e-mailed the shipping company but haven't heard back yet.

I got an email from eshakti last night that my first order has been shipped so now I am wondering just what will get here first Utsav or Eshakti. And wouldn't you know it as soon as I put in a second order with Eshakti they send out an e-mail with tunics that I just love LOL. Did anyone else get an email from S2 about their silver jewelery? I haven't taken a look but I am just so happy they're expanding.

Tabby, hun are you still with us? It's been a week I hope you're alright.

#554 ::: Anne Bremsera ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2007, 04:38 AM:

Maggie- I've never seen anything like that from Utsav. It doesn't sound very good. Their stuff usually gets here pretty quickly once they ship it off.

I got the notice from S2 about the jewelry and bought a few pieces. Its a good thing I did it early, because I notice that the ones I got are sold out already.

eShakti must not love me, I didn't get the notice about the tunics.

I think Tabby is resting up after the wedding. She mentioned that she might not be around for a week or so. If not, I may have to write another poem(lol).

#555 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2007, 02:43 AM:

Anne,
Yeah I didn't think it sounded good either, I really don't want to have to call them so hopefully I'll hear from them tomorrow with some kind of answer. It doesn't make any sense if they're holding it "ransom" in Toronto when my shipping information clearly stated I live in London, Ontario. I'll keep you posted as to what happens with it. I had an awful thought about it earlier, I was starting to think that Utsav really screwed me over and took the money not only for the saris but the shipping and told the shipping company it was COD. If that's what it is I won't have to write here on the board you'll all hear me! lol *knocks on wood*

My Eshakti order is in NY so I am expecting it tomorrow or at the latest Tuesday.

I decided I wanted to finish some more of the suits I have waiting for me to sew, I haven't cut them out yet because A)I don't know any other necklines an I'd like to do something different and B)I don't know what else I want to do with the suits lol. They are really pretty suits too, I really must find a good place to take pictures so I can post them on flickr.

I best get to S2 to take a look at the jewelery if I want to at the least see what they have/had.

Well it's been a week with no Tabby, so Anne start getting your poetry juices flowing lol.

#556 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2007, 10:29 AM:

I'm here. :) I've just been lurking since it's been really difficult to write (my brain knows what it wants to say, but it doesn't cooperate with me actually writing it out).

That whole "available on payment by recepient" does sound like COD (I didn't think you could do COD on international shipments). I wonder if when someone entered your package into the system, someone checked the wrong box, Maggie? Hopefully the shipping company will get back to you soon and get thing settled.

Speaking of Utsav, I've noticed they're trying to change their clothing or something. All the sarees and salwars I've seen in the last few weeks have been pricy, most over $100, and fancy. Then today I got an e-mail where they added a designers' section that contains clothing that's in the high 100s. Sort of like they are pulling a CEO and only marketing to those with "high class" (or something). To be honest, they'd be better off strengthening their customer service skills, including follow-through.

I've gotten two e-mails from eShakti about the scarf print tunics. ;) I'm so disappointed because they gave me a $15 gift certificate, but it expired months ago and I didn't realize it (there's a suit over there I really like).

#557 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2007, 03:43 AM:

Welcome back Tabby!!!
Well I got my order from Utsav today it was a COD but only for the duties ($26) it wouldn't have been so high had Utsav valued the saris closer to what their worth and not what they sold them at. I love the Kota doria sari talk about light wow the second one, it's not exactly the colour in the picture and I don't know the work on it is far from what I was expecting (as in I was expecting better). Not only that but I ordered the Kota sari in either a blue and white or a pink and white they wrote me when I first ordered and said there was a slight difference so I asked for a picture they couldn't give me one but the assured me it was slight. Well I don't know about any of you but browns and earthy greens aren't even close to what I picked. I wanted young and girly and I got, well nice but just not what I was going for.

I definately agree Tabby Utsav seems to be trying to bring in the dough rather then sell good clothes to honest people like us and if my second sari is any indication of their "higher" end saris they're going to fall flat on their faces. They definately need to take all this energy their putting into the designer line and put into avoiding more "unfortunate incidents".

In other news hubby got his dhoti today and on his first try drapped a classic dhoti beautifully, you'd think he's done it before. He still has to get used to wearing draped clothing though lol.

Got abit of news on the disability thing from the lawyer today. I have to either spend the money down to 7,500.00 or put it in a trust by Aug 31st. We also found out that disability was going to completely close our file (meaning kick us completely off) without any notice to us. And disability is completely lying to the lawyer about part of this case. I am just real happy for the rest of the world that no one tried to p*ss me off today. Talk about stress.

Still waiting for the Utsav order but as I said I won't be surprised it's in tomorrow although tracking says it's still in NY and has been all day..I hope there isn't a problem with this order too. *crosses fingers*

Oh Tabby I almost forgot hun, if you write to eshakti and explain you didn't realise the $15 had an expiry date they may issue another one since they'll see you haven't used it.

#558 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2007, 11:07 AM:

Maggie- I know what you're talking about withtsav's apparent policy of "bait and switch", advertising one thing, and then, when you are getting desperate because it hasn't arrived, offer you something with "slight" changes. My definition of slight and theirs are miles apart. My policy ever since the first time has been to choose something new when that happens, or, as I did in this last order, ask for a refund. The quality of the tailoring they do is quite variable. In one order you may get too big, too small, and maybe even a just right. I'm choosing not to order from them again. I just hate making that decision. This last order was almost perfect except for the missing salwar kameez.

#559 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2007, 03:09 AM:

Well I got my first Eshakti order today and all except the one pair of pants it's a great order. This order had the Kota Doria suit and the sleeveless fushia one. The only problem with the pants to the fushia set is (I can't believe it myself but..) TOO big!! It's been awhile since I've said that LOL. And the strangest part of all it was delivered by the same company with duty to pay but that's because eshakti valued the suits at their true cost not their retail value. I am definately happy with this order and am more then happy to order from Eshakti again.

Anne I couldn't agree with you more, Utsav has a great looking stock and a great webpage but as you said it's totally bait and switch. The Kota doria sari is beautiful but it's totally a different colour then I wanted and the other sari is not worth what I paid. The sequins are done seperately then sewn on the sari, how lame.

I am so jealous of my hubby I am almost green, he's picking up the folding for his dhoti faster then I can do a sari (and I've been wearing a sari for three years)!! We've already moved on to another wrap of the dhoti, next I am going to try the fishtail sari since it's in the dhoti family.

I wanted to let you guys know though if you order a Kota doria salwar from eshakti order a slip or have something to put under it because it is very see through (which I suppose is kinda obvious when it's Kota). I tried it out with a cream choli underneath and the salwar pants alittle lower then usual, it looks good as far as I am concerned. Then again it's so hot up here I don't care what anyone else things lol. I have to say though if I was going to wear the suit out (other then going for groceries or simple stuff) I'd probably have the dupatta "Punjab style" covering the chest and draped kinda like a window treatment (you know what I mean don't give my post that look lmao).

#560 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2007, 02:18 AM:

Where did everyone go?? *sad face, puppy eyes* LOL

Has anyone here tried any other sari drapes other then nivi or nivi related? We got our copy of "Saris; an illistrated..." and there are just some cool drapes in there and I wanted to see which ones you guys have figured out lol. I am off to sarisafari to buy hubby another dhoti and a 9yd sari for myself. I hope you guys come back soon I miss you.

#561 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2007, 03:00 PM:

I'm here! :)

I hope this doesn't sound like too dumb a question, but Maggie, how are your salwar too big? I know the churidar I got from S2 seem to be too big in the butt - like I could put them on and carry a bag of groceries back there. Is that sort of what's going on? BTW - I finally found your fuchsia suit on eShakti - very cute and retro looking. :)

#562 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2007, 03:28 PM:

Maggie-I'm here, just not much to say. I haven't bought anything in a while, but am waiting for for my order from eshakti. I did buy some pretty cool stuff, but from the opposite side of the world. I found a goreous Guatamalan Huipil. Its amazing what can be woven on a backstrap loom. The biggest news for me in salawar kameez is that I went through my closet and pulled the ones that don't fit. I think if I get smaller again, I can just take the ones I've got left in. Besides, in the beginning, I made a lot of mistakes-I bought things that were too young for me, and some things that are too fancy. I had a closet full of things that weren't really wearable. Now I'm wondering where to take them; I know the Goodwill will separate the pieces, and not have the slightest Idea about what they've got. Any suggestions, anyone?

#563 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2007, 07:17 PM:

Anne, I think I'd try eBay, if you've got the energy to list. Otherwise, there's a seller there who sells used salwar kameez as a fundraiser for a school in Dallas (the store's name is Mystic Lotus, I think). If you're not concerned about making money off your unwanted suits, maybe she'd be willing to take yours and any profit made would go to a good cause (in my opinion, at least).

Just brainstorming though. I think you're right about most charity or thrift stores not knowing what they're getting and separating it.

#564 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2007, 02:39 AM:

Anne,
I know exactly what you're talking about, my fav thrift shop gets alot of stock from Toronto and they've had the 3 peices of material for a salwar kameez and they've seperated them and priced them each on their own. They also place saris in with material so I am sure somewhere someone has preformed the greatest sin of all...cutting up a sari. I have to say I agree with Tabby those would be my two ideas too if she hadn't been so clever and beat me to it LOL.

Tabby,
Well the problem I am having with it being too big is that I left the pants as they are (straight legs) and the waist band is way huge and if I don't take it in the pants fall off LOL. It's going to be a trick to try and take it in because if I don't want a funny line I'll have to take the waistband off and take the pants in then take in the waistband and put it back together and these pants are lined. However since I left the kameez above the knee I'll probably just keep the funny line. It's just so strange to have something too big. I found the only problem with eshakti's churidar pants is they don't take in the leg hardly at all so the one pair I have, I've pinned the ankles and they kinda look like thin salwar pants I've thought about shortening them and just make them straight pants as well (I'd lose some of the design though).

I finally ended up with two saris from sarisafari and a choli and got hubby a 5.5m dhoti. How weird is it that a short dhoti takes more material? Anyways I got a 9yrd sari so I can try out some of the other drapes including one that is worn by Shiva temple priests and a non Brahmin caste of craftsmen. It's a really amazing drape as it definately invokes Shiva since half of the drape looks like a man's dhoti and half looks like a woman's sari, the lower boarder also appears 5 times in the front which is associated with Shiva. I am totally excited, it's really amazing how much I am getting into this book. I also got a South cotton that is close to the dhoti I bought hubby. Don't ask how much the order was when I was done LMAO. Hey disability says I have to get rid of money, I can do that ;) I am keeping my fingers crossed that the sarisafari order gets here before the end of next week because our only cultural festival is starting Thursday and I would love to surprise some Indian friends by showing up in a completely different drape and know not only about the drape but about where the sari is from too.

My second eshakti order is taking abit longer because the one suit I ordered ships in 20 days but I definately have enough to get me through.

#565 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2007, 10:27 AM:

Utsav Sarees evidently has decided to spam e-mail addresses on this blog. Interesting how they choose this blog since recent posts have said nothing positive about them.

#566 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2007, 11:55 PM:

Tabby, do you think its just us? I was planning on mailing them back, saying the 10% sale doesn't make a bit of difference to me, as they gave me a lifetime 10% off for the first order, which had a big mistake. You can't combine discounts and sale prices, so all I ever get is 10% off the price of the fabric. It would take so much to get me back! They are wasting their time. Somehow, they would have to prove good faith for me to shop there again. I liked the things that came with the last order, but 3 months and 2 changes of the order, not to mention the little to-do over the extra charge that almost was; fool me once, shame on you, Utsav, fool me twice, shame on me. And I ordered from them several times, never without a problem of some sort.

I got my jewelry from S2fashions.com today, and it is very nice. Much nicer than it appears in the picture. Everything was of a much higher quality than similar pieces we see here; I was really surprised when I opened them up. Each item came in an padded, embroidered silk envelope, and those went into a silk bag with a ribbon drawstring. They were bigger than I expected- even though I read the measurements, usually that length is obtained with a longer ear wire, etc, these had larger and nicer stones than the similar looking imports I have seen elsewhere. There are some beautiful things still there- I'm looking at a pearl pendant and earring set and wishing. Right now we are trying not to spend so that we have more for the trip.

#567 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2007, 02:22 AM:

Grrr Utsav!!
Good point Tabby, you have to wonder why they'd pick us and it's probably because of our recent comments about them on here. They can keep their 10% off (trying to stay polite lol). Like Anne I've had enough of them, great stock, great pictures but poor delivery when it comes to quality. I am still unhappy with my order the kota doria sari still bothers me because it's simply not a colour I would have picked and they refused to send me a picture of the changes and I like a fool trusted them. And the second sari just was not worth the money I spent on it and it wasn't even close to what it looked like on the site. I don't think they can bring me back as a customer I think the only thing that would change my mind is if they get that black sari in again even then I'd have to think about it for awhile before ordering.

Anne that's great to hear about the jewelery from S2 I am going to have to keep an eye on it but hopefully they'll start carrying traditional sets too. I don't wear silver very often (except my anklets and toe rings of course). I certianly understand why you're not ordering much at the moment either, I am going to have to back off on some of my buying too. My Mother is no longer able to work so we're having to support the three of us on my inheratance. I have a bid in on a sari on e-bay and I have my eshakti order coming and some essential oils coming for my henna but I think that's going to be about it. Besides the big cultural festival is starting Thursday and there is an Indian couple there that always sells kurta pajama for hubby and saris and salwar kameez for me so I know I'll be getting more saris later this week. I still wouldn't mind ordering from seasons India but they are just so expensive.

I've totally fallen in love with wearing my sari like a dhoti out for walking the dog and such they are just so comfortable (even if they are for men). I also just learnt that if you want a sari that is going to take folds and draping beautifully get a cotton and silk sari I wore mine for the first time last night it was great. Or at least until I lost my pins and I had to become creative lmao the sari ended up looking like a skirt and belt (take the part of the sari you throw over your shoulder in the nivi style and just twist it into a rope and wrap it around your waist and tuck it in, it stays and it makes it so easy to deal with).

#568 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2007, 01:58 PM:

You know, I'm not sure if Utsav just spammed us or anyone and everyone on here that has posted their e-mail address. I'm registered on their site under a different e-mail address and the day I received the spam, I also received the same e-mail at the address I have registered with them. I've just noticed in the past month, I receive multiple e-mails weekly from them, announcing new stuff or giving me 10% off.

The issues with Utsav are definitely not only with you guys. I had talked to another woman about them awhile back and she said that they ignore anything written in the special requests (or whatever it's called) section and that their tailoring is not so good (the armhole was way too small and she had to take the whole thing apart to fix it).

I'm looking at buying a used salwar kameez on eBay. The seller doesn't realize it's a salwar kameez, so I'm hoping that throws off the usual salwar bidders. I e-mailed the seller two days ago to ask for additional measurements (the seller only included bust and length - NOT very helpful) and she/he hasn't responded. It massively bugs me when eBay sellers sell clothing without all measurements included. When you don't include as many measurements as possible, you're just opening up the door to negs and tons of returns.

#569 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2007, 10:59 PM:

I agree Tabby, I've noticed alot of sellers on ebay and even some shops include one or two measurements and expect it to be enough. I know for myself I have to have the hip measurement to know if it's going to fit and most times you won't get that measurement.

I've also noticed ALOT of e-mails from Utsav about sales and such, I just ignore most of them because they are so not in my good books.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that my order from sarisafari comes in by Friday because I would love to wear my new saris to the cultural fest here in town which starts tomorrow. I found out that a band we've befriended from India won't be here this year :(.

I also think I've made up my mind that I am going to put in an order with Seasons India expensive or not. At least with Seasons they have it on every page that the prices include shipping and alterations upto "normal" sizes and that they add an extra fee (can't remember how much I think 14 CAD) for plus sizes. I don't like paying extra but I can certianly understand when you look at the fabric they are using and heck at least it's not a surprise like Utsav. I'll let you guys know how it goes.

I hope all of my American friends here had a good Independence Day!

#570 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2007, 12:37 AM:

Tabby- The tiny armhole problem at Utsav is pretty common. I've taken apart 4 dresses and enlarge the armholes. I've been trying to imagine the sort of person who would wear this cut. I think you would have to be from someplace out of this world.

I'm expecting a package from eshakti. Are they good about notifying you when they ship? It says two weeks plus 3-5 shipping days. Order was placed June 16, so according to their schedule it should be coming any day now.

#571 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2007, 10:57 AM:

I totally understand, Maggie. With clothing made in South Asia, I need to know the shoulder measurement because I've found that South Asian ready-made clothes tend to run extremely narrow through the shoulders (15 inches seems to be about the biggest you'll find in RTW). If the sleeves are long, I need to know the measurements for that because I have very long arms. I have to watch hip measurements too because even though I lost weight, my hips haven't really gotten that much smaller. I'd rather have larger hips rather than smaller hips any day though.

My only wish for the 4th was that it was on a Friday or Monday so my husband could have a 3-day weekend.

Seasons may be worth the money, from my look at their website today. Their clothing is heavily embellished and embellishments can drive up the price quickly and easily. You'll have to let us know how everything goes. :)

Speaking of embellishments, S2 has new clothing out! A lot of the salwar kameez are much more embellished than previous ones. I've already fallen in love with 3 of the casual ones, but I feel guilty buying a new suit because I don't wear the ones I have that much (that's a whole other topic though).

#572 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2007, 04:05 AM:

Anne,
The last order I got from eshakti I got a message when they sent it as well as tracking info however the package before that I am not sure if they told me when it was sent. I am pretty sure they've gotten better at that kinda though lately. The seem to have cleaned up any rough edges they had.

OMG Is anyone else on here on facebook? Utsav sarees added me on facebook!! LMAO how strange!! I was just wondering if anyone else has had that happen.

Tabby, I guess us Canadians got lucky this year since our b-day was on Sunday alot of places got the Monday off LOL. S2 has new clothes out? Oh I'll have to take a peek there.

I had to share this story with you guys. As I think I mentioned my cities once a year culture festival (it's the only time this city has any culture lol) started today so hubby and I went down. First booth I found was some friends that do henna and sell saris and salwar kameez and I found some saris I just love one is true bandhej so I'll probably get that. Anyways the second place was this guys booth who was there last year and he carves goard shells they are just beautiful. Well last year hubby and I were much more broke then we are this year and I totally fell in love with his work and I had a henna pattern on he liked so he gave me a pencil and a shell and asked me if I could draw the henna pattern on the goard and of course I could. So once I was done (and it was real free hand) he actually gave me one of his carved goards. So this year he reconized hubbys and I and had us wait a sec so he could get out the goard I drew last year he had carved it! OMG it was so amazing I almost started to cry right there. I asked how much but he won't sell it and told me ALOT of people have wanted to buy it but he won't part with it. So this year we've made a new deal he gave me a much larger goard shell and asked me to copy the same pattern on this shell and if I do he'll give me the little one from last year. Talk about karma. I already have the big one done and it's much nicer then the little one.

Sorry it was a long story and way off topic but I just had to share it with you all. When you live in the world we live in now a days when you find someone so genuine it's like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. He has renewed my faith in mankind even if it's only a little faith LOL.

#573 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2007, 02:26 AM:

Hey everyone,
I got my order from sarisafari today I just love it, the only little mishap is that hubby went to put on the dhoti I ordered him and once he had it pinned it ripped. Anyways nothing else new to report except I got an e-mail from eshakti they have more caftans in. Hope everyone is having a good weekend.

#574 ::: snehalcreation ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2007, 11:48 AM:

Snehal Creation is a design house of Ladies Garments like Indian kurtis, Printed Crepe Kurtis, Lenin Kurtis, Georgette Kurties, Cotton Kurtas, Designer Kurtis, Traditional wear Kurties, Embroidered Kurtis, Salwar Kameez, Churidar and Children Wear. We have wonderful collection of Indian kurtis and crepe kurties. Indian Kurtis are all the way comfortable yet elegant and easy to wear stuff. Indian kurtis are the latest trend in Indian fashion, Some are embellished with gergous embroidered work in pleasing designs, they manage to look smart enough to be worn for casual family gatherings, or even for a wedding cermony. Our designs are created keeping in mind the trends fabrics and colors of the season. You can view all product's range at www.snehalcreation.com

#575 ::: snehalcreation ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2007, 11:48 AM:

Snehal Creation is a design house of Ladies Garments like Indian kurtis, Printed Crepe Kurtis, Lenin Kurtis, Georgette Kurties, Cotton Kurtas, Designer Kurtis, Traditional wear Kurties, Embroidered Kurtis, Salwar Kameez, Churidar and Children Wear. We have wonderful collection of Indian kurtis and crepe kurties. Indian Kurtis are all the way comfortable yet elegant and easy to wear stuff. Indian kurtis are the latest trend in Indian fashion, Some are embellished with gergous embroidered work in pleasing designs, they manage to look smart enough to be worn for casual family gatherings, or even for a wedding cermony. Our designs are created keeping in mind the trends fabrics and colors of the season. You can view all product's range at www.snehalcreation.com

#576 ::: j h woodyatt sees possible spam ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2007, 12:18 PM:

...though I wonder if #574 and #575 aren't entirely unwelcome spam. Surely, two copies of the message is excessive.

#577 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2007, 01:16 PM:

Two is definitely excessive. The spammer appears to be a wholesaler since you have to inquire about the prices. Not incredibly helpful (or really welcome) since no one here is in the business of retailing ethnic clothing.

The new kaftans at eshakti are pretty cute. The thing I like about theirs is they give tons of sleeve options. I just can't wear 3/4 or long sleeves in 90+ degree heat.

#578 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2007, 10:31 AM:

Out of curiosity, I went to Yahoo Answers and asked anyone from India what they thought about Westerners wearing Indian clothes while visiting. All 3 answers I got in the last half hour have been negative, with on person saying that I would embarrass myself, and another saying pretty much the same thing only more kindly. Nothing positive at all. Pretty discouraging.

#579 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2007, 02:01 PM:

But the real question is: were the people who answered actually South Asian (Indian) or just Americans being shortsighted? Or just people being mean like some people tend to do when they are online?

From the responses I've seen on other boards that deal with traditional Indian clothing, I'm getting the exact opposite impression. But to be honest, I'm at the point where I don't really care anymore what other people think about what I'm doing. Having fibro and all the judgments that go with it has taught me to do this. But this is just my opinion.

#580 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2007, 02:20 PM:

Sorry for the double - I forgot to mention this before.

About 1-2 months ago, I watched something on the Travel Channel about traveling to India. The show featured an American couple with various Indian tourguides. One of the guides made the wife buy a salwar kameez (although she didn't really wear it) because she thought it was the proper thing to do.

I just found your question on Yahoo. :) I'm not sure I agree with the person who said most people in India wear Western clothing. On the show we saw, the vast majority of women were dressed in salwar kameez or sari although the men all seemed to be in khakis and polo-type shirts.

It looks like you have 6 answers to your question now, with only 2 being negative. :)

So here's my question for the day:

I always thought a salwar was a salwar. But when I ordered from Ladies Den, Jaswinder asked if I wanted a regular salwar or Punjabi salwar, which was a very baggy salwar. I picked the regular and I recently realized it's a much slimmer cut than my S2 salwar, which is very baggy. Has anyone else heard of this (or am I just slow on the uptake)? ;)

Anne, how do you iron cotton with spray starch without getting small water-type spots? When I try to use it, I get pea-sized spots that foam and then stain the fabric. Any tips for me?

#581 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2007, 02:57 PM:

Tabby- the more positive answers came after I added the explanation about how and why I wear salwar kameez here, and that I'm comfortable in them. As far as Punjabi salwar goes, yes, they are fuller. Patiallas are from Punjab.

And-for ironing with spray starch, use a fresh can, shake it often, and spray from at least 12" away from the fabric. If you wait a minute or two for it to soak in a bit, you are less likely to get starch flakes on dark fabrics. Good luck!!

#582 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2007, 04:40 PM:

Aha - punjabi is just another name for patialla. :)

I'll have to try giving the nozzle on my spray starch a good soaking and see if that helps (I'm wondering if it's slightly clogged). I actually like starched clothes - my German host mother starched every load of laundry and it was great.

Ahh - adding the explanation explains why the answers were more positive at the end. I still think the person who replied first to your question was just being a snot. Another thing I forgot to add was that I think younger Indian women (those in their 20s) wear a lot of Western clothing, but I don't think this is necessarily true of women who aren't very young.

Personally, I think one is always better off mirroring the dressing habits of the area they are visiting. For example, I was a host student in Germany in the early 90s and at this point, I wish I would have tried to follow their habits rather than American habits. Jeans were really expensive, so not everyone wore them like they do over here and it was always the very young who wore them. People didn't wear American-style tennis shoes, but younger people did wear Chuck Taylor All-Stars (those canvas sneakers with the chunky soles); a lot of people wore leather dress shoes. Nobody wore shorts and everyone was usually dressed pretty nicely - not super casual like the style here.

So, I think if you try to mirror the local culture, you're less likely to make a spectacle of yourself or offend/irritate the locals. I really think you are on the right track with wearing your salwars. :)

#583 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2007, 02:38 AM:

Yeah I have to say if you got negative answers on Yahoo those people are only being snots like Tabby said Anne. I know here especially this past weekend my hubby and I got so many compliments he even had his picture taken by an Indian man and young Pakistani girls when he was wearing a kurta pajama. I've had conversations with many Indian and Pakistani people and they all LOVE the fact that I keeping their culture alive. Infact one older Indian man this weekend was telling my husband that he's lost most of his Indian heritage and because of us wants to get it back. We talked to a cab driver Saturday night who was a young Pakistani man (grandparents went to Pakistan after 1945) and he was just amazed at our knowledge and said he felt kinda guilty that we knew more then he did. I have to agree Tabby when it comes to travel you should dress how the people where you are visiting dress. Especially in India if you are wanting to visit any kind of religious place you have to be dressed a certian way or you won't get in. Shorts are totally obsence in India and everything I've ever read about going there says it's best to wear traditional Indian clothing. I figure A) you won't offend anyone and B) they live with their weather all the time so who better to know what to wear.

Like you Tabby after the FM and all the judgements you get based on that and all the crap that goes along with it I couldn't give a rats left leg if people like what I wear or don't. I am going to be comfortable and if wearing saris and salwar kameez makes me comfortable then that's what I am going to wear.

Besides Anne you got 2 negitive answers out of a country with over a billion people in it I hardly think that is enough to change your wardrobe over. Don't worry if it's too much while you're in India there are lots of places you can buy Western clothing.

Tabby as you were saying about Germany I was the same way when I was in Holland 7yrs ago. I ended up going to the spa for the day with my ex's mother and sister and in Holland well they aren't exactly as picky about clothing as we are in our spas LOL so when in Rome...

Oh before I forget Tabby I know you have a hard time with saris being too short for you, I bought a cotton sari from sarisafari and it was REALLY tall so you might want to try there. If you write Melinda she'll be more then happy to help you out she's great!

Sorry for being MIA guys I've was at that multicultural festival all 4 days and I was always wiped right out so I haven't been online much.

#584 ::: litlnemo ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2007, 07:36 AM:

Quick question, hopefully not too off-topic -- my husband is going to Pune in a couple of days (without me, sigh!), so is there anything in particular I should make sure he buys me while there? I will give him my measurements so he can have a salwar suit made for me, perhaps. What else should I have him look for?

We are going to a wedding in August and I would love to have something made to wear to it, but since I won't actually be there to select it I don't know if I should have him do that or not. I wonder if S2 would let him pick up an outfit? If I were to order one and have him bring it back, I'd get it in time for sure.

#585 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2007, 08:33 AM:

litlnemo @#584: The standard gold over there is 20-carat or so, and very inexpensive. A Pakistani friend picked me up some gold hoops and a beaded pashmina when he was in Karachi and together they cost about $50. Gold bangles are really inexpensive as well.

For a summer wedding, a pashmina might be a bad idea, but it's nice in the winter!

#586 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2007, 09:31 AM:

Hey all,

Maggie, it's funny you mentioned Holland today. I just read an article about how the US used to be the tallest (as far as human height) in the world, but no longer is. They were saying that Holland is now one of the tallest with the average man being 6' tall. I thought, wow, I really need to move there because for the first time, I'd actually just be normal for height! Seriously, even when I was preschool age, I was a good foot taller than the other kids.

I just get the feeling that there's a lot of people on Yahoo answers who are under 18 and just running their mouths without having their brain turned on. I don't think I mentioned this yesterday, but the first comment to Ann's question was from someone who calls herself Lilly and she said something along the lines of "don't make a fool of yourself by copying another country's culture". From that one line, I think this person is American. Someone mentioned this before on this blog, but there's a certain culture in the US that really does not like when its culture is adopted by others outside their culture. Lilly's comment just really seems to come from that standpoint. I think most other cultures in the world are really honored if you choose to adopt or adapt an aspect of their culture. For example, a long time ago, I went to buy a cheongsam at a mall. The store owner just seemed really thrilled that here's this big, pale American and she wants to dress like an Asian lady. Same thing with the Tibetan shop owners who were just stunned (in a good way) that an American was wearing a salwar kameez.

Maggie, you know, I still need to pick up that sari from my uncle's wife. That's going to be my trial sari to see if I like having one on. Sarisafari seems cool, but I'm just concerned about finding a choli and petticoat since they custom make them (not sure if they have ready-made ones or not).

#587 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2007, 11:34 AM:

Hi everyone- Yes,I found out that Lilly is an American. There are loads more answers this morning, and the general opinion seems to be only wear them if you are comfortable in them- that it only looks funny when people are self conscious wearing clothes they bought for the first time on the trip. That wouldn't apply for me. And yes, there are lots of very young people who shoot off their mouths and can't imagine someone of my age doing anything interesting.

As far as what to get in Pune, south cotton is from there- there is a beautiful local handloom south cotton sari style from Pune. Suma said to be sure to pick one up. Look at sarisafari- they have some nice examples. You can have a choli made to go with it somewhere else. I would bet CBazaar might do it for you. Or ask Jaswinder at Ladies Den. He's pretty nice. I second the idea of getting jewelry. There are some really nice silver and semiprecious stone things, too.

#588 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2007, 03:22 PM:

The self-conscious thing is definitely a given, I think. With any item of clothing if you are not comfortable wearing it, it will show and I think you will appear as if you have no self-confidence or self-esteem. I also got the feeling that some of the people assumed you were 19 or so (not sure if that's a good thing or not!).

But I think both you (Anne) and Maggie are very interesting people who do interesting things. No offense to anyone else on here - I just feel like I know you two the best.

So I was thinking about buying a washable silk salwar kameez from S2 (suit S2-C4-SK26). If you enlarge the photo for this one, it looks like it'll be much prettier in person. But I was wondering what others' opinions were as far as silk? I really like crepe and poly viscose, but I definitely won't order another cotton one (too much work with the ironing). I want to make sure that washable silk is minimal upkeep (ironing and all that) and that it would fit in a variety of situations (from very casual to somewhat dressy occasions). Any thoughts?

#589 ::: litlnemo ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2007, 09:22 PM:

The quality of answers on Yahoo! Answers is often really, really low. Ask MetaFilter is much better in that regard. But you might not find as many people from India to answer the question on Ask MeFi.

Wow, I wish I was the one going to Pune, because I am sure my husband will have no idea what to get. And I don't know if I want a South Cotton sari, because I imagine the ironing would be hell. :) But I am sure it is gorgeous!

I am not one who typically wears gold; silver is my metal. So I am glad to hear there is nice silver as well.

#590 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2007, 09:38 PM:

Tabby- I have that salwar from S2 made out of the rosy brown washable silk. It is the easiest thing to take care of out of everything I have bought there. It doesn't wrinkle easily, and the wrinkles that do happen hang out well. Ironing is a snap, like the poly viscose. It is one of my favorites. I think you should go for it if you like it and upkeep is the only thing you are worried about.

Hey ltlnemo- I hear you about husbands choosing things in distant places. Mine is the same way. I have to give him a shopping list- he is the first to admit how clueless he is. Check out S2's jewelry line. They have some very nice silver things that you could show him by way of example. Or you could ask for a set of silver bangles. That would be hard to screw up.

When it comes to ironing cotton saris, I believe in using a cleaners with a laundry. Saris are fast and easy with a press, and cotton ones aren't too expensive to have done that way. The idea of 6 yards of starched cotton is too much for me to even think about.

#591 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2007, 01:18 AM:

Don't know if I mentioned but I got a South cotton and just LOVE it, I haven't ironed it myself yet I got hubby to do it the first time LOL. I agree cotton is a pain in the butt because of ironing but it does look nice when it's done.

I definately have to put gold bangles on my list of things to get in India when we go I had no idea it was so cheap, I was worried that if I wanted cheap gold I was going to have to take a day trip to Dubai. My only experance with silk is that it doesn't breath so it can get really warm but it maybe different when you're talking about washable silk.

Anne I am sorry I didn't think of it sooner but if you want true answers from mainly Indians go to ammas.com it's full of answers to all kinds of questions and it's free to join. This is the board where I am one of the top fashion advisors for Indian fashions (don't worry I won't answer you on there lol you already know my opinion).

I am still waiting for someone to make a comment about betraying my white-ness or something one of these days. There are some truly stupid people out there. The incident with that young Muslim girl still bothers me only because I know she has brainless parents who taught her to be like that. And I agree with Tabby that I find people who embrace other cultures are the majority of the time appreciated by people of that culture.

I was seriously concidering buying an African outfit at Sunfest on the weekend it was so beautiful but I have no idea how to wear it, although I suppose the only way to find out is how I found out how to wear a sari. Oh I didn't mention it but while I was buying two saris at Sunfest there was a young girl (17 or 18 younger then me) who had henna done and was watching me buy the saris so she started asking about it and ended up going to the ATM to get money for one of the saris she liked so one day I might see another white girl in a sari here :)

#592 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2007, 02:05 PM:

Anne, you got me addicted to Yahoo answers now (heehee). I set up my account over there and have been answering questions like crazy.

But yeah, my main worry about getting a suit in silk was that it would be too fancy for anything and would just end up in my closet. If silk doesn't breath well that may be a good thing, Maggie, because I could wear it in the fall and winter. I usually wear my lizy bizy (cotton blend) suit in the fall and winter (except for today because it's nice and cool out) because it actually keeps me fairly warm since it doesn't breath well.

Maggie, I know you wear Indian clothing year around, so how do you cope with winters? I'm assuming Toronto has a somewhat similar winter climate to mine in the upper midwest, so I'm interested to hear any tips or advice. My big problem has been that salwars seem to go best with chunky heels or little loafer-like flats, so if there's snow on the ground or my entire foot needs to covered, it makes it difficult.

I have to agree with Maggie on the ammas site recommendation. I think I checked it out awhile back and I found that the people on the site were very friendly and helpful, especially with American women who were hesitant about wearing traditional Indian clothing.

Maggie, I think a converted another white women yesterday too. I wore my crepe Ladies Den suit (gosh, do I just adore this suit) to my fibro appt and then out to lunch with my mom. The waitress commented on the kameez when we were seated and then we ran into her as we were walking out. She told me how gorgeous the outfit was, wanted to know where I got it from, and said she was going to get one for herself. Pretty cool. :)

#593 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2007, 08:23 PM:

Tabby- I'm sorry. I got addicted to answers last winter when I was so sick. Its a fun thing to do.


Silk is an interesting fiber. It seems to be warm in winter and cool in summer. If you want it warmer have it made with a lining or slip, and put long or 3/4 sleeves on it. But it really is an all-seasons fabric.

I have people ask me where I get my clothes all the time. I ran out of Suma's cards, and now am using my own. But then I live in California, and to people are a LITTLE tolerant and more adventurous. I know of 3 people who have actually bought suits or kurti, and many more I never saw -again, so I don't know. My sister-in-law says I'm on to someting here. I hope so.

What's going on? all of a sudden the gang's all here today. Its really nice.

#594 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2007, 01:20 AM:

I agree Anne it's so nice to see everyone back again I miss you guys when no one is around. I think it's nice to have a good support system especially when you have a negative experance that day.

Winter my most hated season...because it goes on forever! LOL Well with saris and light salwar kameez I use "long underwear" they make some really nice ones for us ladies (I've got two pair I used as leggings), sweaters overtop of either. There are a couple women at my temple that while in saris in the winter will wrap the bottom part of the sari put on a sweater over the choli and then bring the pallu end over the sweater, I've also seen women at the temple in salwar kameez wear a matching or complimentry coloured long sleeve thin sweaters under the kameez. For footwear I have some "granny" style winter boots they are short and stylized so if you're wearing regular salwar pants you can just pull the pant legs over the boots and it just looks like shoes. I have a pair of fuzzy boots that are longer and tried to wear them once with a sari and it just looked like I had HUGE legs that needed to be shaved badly LMAO. I also have some sweater cholis, and I find cotts wool suits are good for the winter too that's how I found Ladies Den.

I am so happy to hear about all the non Indians we're converting perhaps we will one day put an end to super low rise jeans LOL. I think there are alot of women out there that are looking for salwar kameez but just don't know it and if they do unless they see us they probably would never try to wear it out because most people figure they aren't allowed. I really think if we're (US and Canada) are going to be seen as tolerant countries then this is going to be a step in the right direction. Unlike alot of other countries we're letting other cultures know that they don't have to give up or hide who they really are when they come here.

LMAO@me I am writing about Indian clothing while listening to Samba music. You could really tell I was a Canadian at Sunfest I said "Namaste" a few times and then went to a Latin food vendor and used what very little Spanish I know while trying to fight the urge to speak some French (just cause they sound very similar). You know you're from North America if you can speak alittle of a few languages ;)

#595 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2007, 10:27 AM:

Ehhh, I'm here trying to not think about stuff going. My appeal to disability was denied yesterday, so now we're off to do the administrative hearing bit. It's like they didn't even read the paperwork I sent by the answers I get back from as far as why they they think I can work. So now it's a 22-24 month wait for that. I asked the paralegal at my attorney's office if it was worth it to keep going and she said something like 90% of people who go to the hearing get approved.

Silk sounds like a good option for me then. Now I just have to figure out a fabric color or let them pick for me. What exactly does your rosy brown silk salwar look like color-wise, Anne? I have major problems with the colors on S2's website, but not with other salwar kameez merchants' websites.

Yep, I agree with you, Maggie. If you're from the US or Canada, you don't speak many languages, if even anything beyond English (in the US at least). Compare that with my host student from Germany who spoke German, English, French, and Spanish fluently and was learning Russian when I was in Germany. I have a real talent with foreign languages and spoke fairly well at one point (not anymore, unfortunately), but also know some Spanish and French. I'm like you: if I try to speak Spanish, French comes out with it, but not vice versa. And if my brain can't find a word in German, for example, it will insert the appropriate word in French or Spanish. Like, Moechtest du poulet? (Poulet is French for chicken, the rest is German.)

Of course, having a language talent in the US is like being able to tie cherry stems into bows with your tongue: interesting, won't usually get you a job unless you were raised speaking multiple languages (like many immigrant kids). It's a shame because I think knowing a foreign language well just enriches your life.

I'll have to get a pair of granny-style boots this winter. I have knee-high boots and boots that look good with jeans, but I don't know if either would look good with a salwar kameez. Guess I should just try it out one of these days. :)

#596 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2007, 02:15 AM:

*hugs to Tabby* I am SO sorry to hear about disability hun I know just how hard it is. It doesn't sound like the Canadian and American systems are very different. It's basically the same up here about going to the tribunal (our fancy word lol) most people who continue to fight all the way to the end will get approved. I also know that here it's extremely hard with someone with fibro to get on and most times it ends up going to the tribunal. Stay strong hun, if you need to talk I am always here for you and I know the board is too.

You lapsing into French from German reminds me of my ex's mother she was from Germany and her husband was from Holland and they settled in Holland and her husband and my ex always teased her because she'd be speaking Dutch then all of a sudden start speaking German. I of course never noticed LMAO. However by the end of the month I stayed in Holland I was able to pick up on the conversation and continue it in English. I picked up one or two words in Dutch but nothing really stuck. Melinda (from sarisafari) was telling me she can speak, read and write Hindi, I am still jealous. I know some words but nothing much more then clothing and food. I suppose it doesn't help that I listen to Bhangra music which is all Punjabi, but I can sing along to alot of it now hehe just don't know what I am saying LMAO. I really want to learn Hindi though it would be very helpful and I agree Tabby it does enrich a person's life.

Oh I have another possible convert from today. LOL She saw me at Sunfest on the weekend loved the sari I had on, saw me tonight at the mall loved that sari so we started talking and I ended up giving her S2's website and sarisafari's.

I would be interesting Tabby to see what women further up in the mountians wear in the winter on their feet. It seems however that we seem to worry more about how things look with a sari or salwar kameez then most Indian women do. I've seen running shoes and a salwar kameez but I wouldn't suggest it.

#597 ::: anne bremser ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2007, 04:44 AM:

Tabby- they didn't read your appeal. The policy is to go to hearing; they lose a lot of eligible people who give up at this point. They are dumping people from SSI- and this way, they don't have to give an explanation about why they dropped an obviously disabled person; they just say that the person didn't persue the appeal, and so must not have really needed it. This administration is opposed to the whole notion of public funds for the disabled. They think the private sector should take care of it. They can shrink the program this way without the political fallout of a vote in Congress. You will almost certainly be reinstated if you follow all the way through.

The rosy brown is less pink than in the picture on S2's site. It is much more subtle; and its crosswoven, so you get pink, then dark beige highlights when you move. It can be nice casual or dressed up with jewelry, it can be party wear here. The embroidery on mine is in brown, beige and cream. You can get all the silk colors by going to advanced search, entering "washable silk salwar kameez' and then "washable silk chudidar kameez", etc, and everything made of silk will come up. There are lots more colors than I had realized. The thing to remember about colors on s2's site is that they shift toward red- so pinks are pinker, blues look purple, oranges are more intense-less mustard, greens can look almost black. Remember your color wheel when you were a kid? You can mentally correct the color by subtracting some red.

My last few things for the trip should be coming from eShakti tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to these after all the nice things you've said about them.

Maggie-I followed your advice and posted my question on ammas.com. They really run a tight ship! I've gotten several answers that sound a lot different than the ones on answers.com They are very positive, every one, about Westerners wearing salwar in India. The upshot was, what if you saw someone from India in jeans and a t-shirt? Not a second glance. While I was there, I gave one of my recipes for spaghetti, and got rated 4 stars for it! This east/west exchange is a lot of fun.

#598 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2007, 06:29 PM:

Eep - my memory is so bad! I swore I had written something today, but obviously hadn't!

Maybe I should check out ammas.com again. I like answering questions on Yahoo, but there's a lot of troll questions (people specifically trying to stir up trouble or push other's buttons) and too many teeny boppers sometimes (no offense meant).

I appreciate all your support on this too. :) It's frustrating that the gov't sets up SSDI (which is what I'm applying for) and SSI to discourage people. I had coverage through the private sector and it was junk. The diagnosing doc referred me to the clinic I go to, but the private insurance co said that was not appropriate care because my clinic is a RN and NP and they kicked me off. They claimed I had to get treatment from a rheumatologist, but at least in the US, rheumatologists have decided as a national group that they will diagnose, but not treat FM (it's up to the rheumatologist if they want to treat and many don't, including my diagnosing rheumatologist). My case manager didn't even have a medical background, yet she was spouting medical advice which was usually incorrect. She called a ton and the conversations were usually pretty harassing. She told me she was going to kick me off because I decided I couldn't work because I couldn't stand most of the time at that point; she said a doctor had to tell me first I couldn't work before going on a medical leave of absence! She then refused to accept all the leave of absence paperwork I had had signed by doctors stating they agreed I couldn't work due to medical issues. Private insurance companies are worse than the gov't because the $$$ is always the bottom line.

OK, onto to something nicer. :)

Maggie, you're right that a lot of native salwar kameez wearers pretty much do whatever as far as shoes, jackets, etc. At least in the US, there's this supposed fashion rule that your coat should be longer than your top/dress. But most South Asians in salwar kameez wear jackets (like those puffy quilted parkas) or short cardigans, etc.

eShakti gets talked a lot about and ordered from, so I was wondering what exactly everyone thinks of them?

I think we all agree Utsav Sarees is not a terrific place to get Indian clothing, but if you like some of their cheaper salwar kameez, check out Renuka Silks printed salwar kameez section. I saw a lot of stuff I liked on Utsav Sarees in that particular section on Renuka Silks site. The prices seem to be comparable to Utsav Sarees (mid-$20s to mid-30s USD).

Have a great weekend!

#599 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2007, 02:03 AM:

OMG Canada or at least Ontario must have become part of the US because I swear disability here in Ontario and rheumatologists here are doing the exact same thing! This is unbelievable we come from different countries but are all treated the same. It is so sickening how the government treats us. There was just recently a note in a disability group I belong to that disbility is calling (more like harassing) doctors to get them to change what they've written on forms for special diets and anything else extra. This is of course illegal but their the government so unless some of us get very vocal nothing will change. Last weekend at Sunfest there was a human rights group there and they were handing out booklets that contain the universal human rights and once I was done reading it I could not believe how many of our basic human rights are being ignored and violated by government. As someone in my disability group said we're on disability because we can't function at the level of the general population but they want us to function on a level with collage and universaty students to be able to stay on disability. Indeed Ontario's disability makes the process of getting on disability so hard that most people will give up because it's just so stressful. I don't know if I ever told you guys about a woman up here with FM trying to get on disability had such a hard time and it went on for so long she had a complete mental breakdown and THAT is what got her on disability within two weeks. Isn't that discusting? You government will make it so you have to go into the psych ward before they'll help (haha I don't know about the rates down there but disability rates up here are rather low) you. Oh and the rheumatologist that diagnosed me with FM refuses to treat me for it, in fact I don't have a doctor currently treating my FM because no one here will deal with it. Once you're diagnosed it's up to you to treat it basically.

Anyways yes moving onto something more positive (I am still of course shocked that I am reading the same stories from down there that I hear and read up here).

Anne I am SO happy to hear that ammas.com was able to help you, I have to check my account on there because I didn't get your question lol. Hubby and I have said the same thing that you see people of all different races and backgrounds wearing jeans and T-shirts and are never hassled over it and yet we wear something of another culture and it's like it's the most outrageous thing ever. Ammas.com is a great resource for all kinds of questions, when I am not able to get to the temple I post alot of questions about Hinduism on there and there are a couple Pandits who answer questions. I actually found that website while searching for Amma the hugging Hindu saint, it seems kinda fitting that I would find something so helpful while looking for her. Another thing about ammas.com is you can get paid for your answers it may take forever but heck one day you might get a cheque.

As for eshakti it is definately my Mum's favourite seller for suits for me. Their tailoring is VERY exact. Unlike alot of other salwar kameez the suits have darts and are very well tailored opposed to the regular straight kameez. I love my regular kameez but for my body type tailoring really does me good. I can't wait for my next order it's taking forever but that's my fault I bought a suit that takes longer then most to ship. I just hope it's here before I go to Toronto again (July 26-28 incase I forget to mention that I'll be away).

I have to go buy a new kota doria sari, hubby was being so sweet and was ironing my saris for me and had incense burning and well you can guess what happened. He feels so bad because it was the one from Utsav that I hadn't worn yet and the burn is at the pallu end so I can't hide it very well. Oh well it's another excuse to buy more saris hehe. I am off to sarisafari after this ;)

Have a great weekend everyone!

#600 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2007, 03:55 AM:

I just got my first order from eShakti today, and I second Maggie's opinion. It is very well tailored and sewn; even the neck fits, which is very unusual in a mandarin collar. I usually don't order them because they are too tight, but this one is perfect. For printed fabrics, I think eShakti will be one of my favorites places to shop. They are a bit pricey compared to what I usually spend, but I got value for the extra expense. When I think of what I spent at 786shop and compare, it makes me want to weep! I still like S2 Fashions, Ladies Den, and CBazaar.

#601 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2007, 03:19 PM:

A question for the regulars on this thread:

Have you purchased- or seen the possibility of purchasing- ordinary, non-dressy clothing made of silk from these companies? This would be casual clothing of two types:
1. simple blouses, shirts, vests, or pants for traveling.
2. clothes that could be used for working around the house or garden, or as pajamas.

Some of the styles I see seem adaptable for these purposes, although for casual use I'd be requesting plain (and sometimes thicker or raw) silks.

Because the particular companies mentioned in this thread are experts at complex pieces, they might not be the ones to ask about simpler clothing. But do they have subsidiaries or partner companies for that?

Now that summer is here, I'm remembering how much I like silk better than any other fabric. But during my limited shopping time, I'm seeing clothes that are too expensive (and dry clean only), or clothes at discount stores that aren't particularly well-sewn (or too thin to last, or labeled "silk" but likely not silk).

#602 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2007, 06:13 PM:

Kathryn - eBay is your friend! :) I would try searching with the words custom and silk to see what you end up finding. I know I've seen sellers who are in China and do custom-made pajamas. I have one seller bookmarked, but I just checked their site and they don't really have anything simple or casual. Otherwise, you could try S2 Fashions at www.s2fashions.com. They seem pretty flexible about requests from potential buyers. I've never purchased anything silk from them, so I cannot vouch on the thickness of the silk they use.

Anne, I'll have to keep eShakti in mind then. Even with your color wheel trick for S2, I'm still having problems visualizing what most colors are in real life on there. I'm seeing way too much pink-purple and deep blue in the photo that's described as gray in the description. Since I'm fairskinned and am limited in what colors look good on me, I'm afraid of taking a chance and getting something that makes me look like a corpse. :( With my last two suits, I picked the colors for both kameezes; one came as a very close match, but the other wasn't (wanted dusty rose pink, got dark orchid purple). So now on S2 I only pick stuff that I'm sure will look good (even if the color varies).

Maggie, I'm sorry to hear that you can't find anyone to treat your FM. I have a really great FM clinic, but I had to try and reject 3 different primary care doctors before I finally found an excellent one. To people without FM, it may sound like it doesn't matter if your primary doc understands and accepts FM as a legit disease, but it's a huge deal. If you have a doc who doesn't believe in FM or has some messed up view that you caused it or that the women who have it are just hysterical, it affects your medical care as whole. For example, I've been showing signs of digestive tract bleed for about 6 mos. It took me 3 mos to get the courage to go to my primary doc because I've had way too many docs in the past few years not believe anything I say. Well, she blew me off and told me my symptoms are the result of eating too much oreo cookies (which I rarely eat anyhow). I had to goad her into do anything and her diagnosis plan for my symptoms wasn't even rational. During this appt, the real her came out and she went into this big spiel about how FM patients don't go on disability, Social Security wasn't going to believe me, etc. Her basic belief about FM is that it's caused by the patient and I guess if you have a severe case like me, you're just a whimp and/or hysterical. I really believe she blew off my other issues because I have FM, FM is a bunch of junk, so all my medical complaints are a bunch of junk. Nice, huh?

Just to clarify from my previous post, I don't have a problem with rheumatologists not wanting to treat FM patients. Since most of the research in FM shows it to be a neurological disease, neurologists should really step up as far as diagnosing and treating, which isn't happening in the US at least. But it bugs me when insurance companies and other doctors don't have their crap straight and start telling patients/clients that they have to be treated by a rheumatologist when it's been decided that rheums don't have to treat FM, only diagnose. Does that make sense? I guess I'm just mostly fed up with the misinformation surrounding FM that gets passed as fact, when it's fiction.

#603 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2007, 06:30 PM:

Kathryn- Welcome! As for your question about silk, I would go to S2fashions.com. They have a nice washable silk that is just right for casual clothing. A number of things in their casual collection are made of it, as well as a bunch of kurtis, so you have your blouse there, too. It washes up easily on the gentle cycle of your machine. I haven't tried the drier, so I don't know about that, but ironing isn't difficult either.

As for the color problem, when I'm in doubt, I email them and ask for a worded description. I've told them my skin tone, because certain greens and yellows make me look like I'm going to keel over and die. So far, this system has worked very well, and I'm not getting anymore surprises. Once, I got an email warning me that the green in one dress I wanted was the Baaaaaad color and would look terrible on me, and was given some suggestions for a different color.

I haven't found any washable silk on ebay, just dry clean only. That hasn't stopped me from getting it, but I wouldn't buy it for casual everyday wear. You might ask Jaswinder at Ladies Den if he knows of any. Oh-you can ask S2 to make dresses you like out of different fabrics if the drape will work. You can subtitute any color of silk for a silk item you see, or ask if the design you like can be done in silk. I don't know of any other reliable company that is this flexible, with such reasonable prices.

Good luck!

#604 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2007, 05:10 AM:

I wish I could jump in on the silk issue but I keep my silk garments to a minimum for my own and my husband's religious reasons. Sorry I can't be of help.

Tabby I so hear ya!! If you tell a doctor you have FM anything that comes out of your mouth after is completely ignored because they think you're crazy. I don't know if I mentioned but one of the last visits to my family doctor he told me I was lazy for not getting a blood test done. Lazy is NOT a good word to use with someone with FM and with financial restrictions. I've got alot of other medical conditions (like most everyone with severe FM) and the other conditions are hardly taken care of. I've started developing sleep apnea but I am not going to the doctor because I know he'll say I am fat and lazy and that's why I have it, even though it's very common in people with FM. It's almost to the point you have to tell a doctor everything else you have first and then drop the FM bomb. I have to say that one thing you guys in the US are lucky is that you have doctors to pick from most of Canada and especially the city I live in we are way low on family doctors if I hadn't married my hubby I wouldn't be seeing the doctor I have now. And to think this doctor is an improvment on my old doctor. I just wish someone...anyone would step up and treat the FM because there are just so many symptoms that I think they should all be addressed and at least managed or overseen so if something does change they'll know. Oh you know what my doctor's favourite trick is? If I go in with something new and non FM related he'll just act like it's part of the FM and he can't do anything about. I don't know how many times I've had to really stress that I know my FM and that this is NOT FM related. Tabby I tell ya hun us FMers have to stick together even just for abit of sanity. Oh and you can tell your doctor that yes people on FM do go on disability and that you have a friend on it (you don't have to mention I am in Canada lol) even if it just shuts her up. Still omg stomach bleeding and she says it's from orea cookies? We've been going to our doctor time and time again for my husband's knees it's to the point he's using a walker (he's 35) and the doctor still hasn't referred him to a rheumatologist so next time momma bear is coming out. How can these doctors just turn a blind eye when people are in so much pain and it's within their grasp to help them or at least send them to someone that could help?

Anne,
I am so happy your eshakti order fits so well, I completely agree about the mandarin collar too. I don't know how they fit the collar so well but I know my orange suit has a mandarin collar and it fits like dream. My Mum mentioned again today how my orange eshakti suit is her fav they have the same suit in red now it's actually crossed my mind to order the same suit in red.

#605 ::: M.C.Agarwal ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2007, 06:58 AM:

Snehal Creation is a design house of Ladies Garments like Indian kurtis, Printed Crepe Kurtis, Lenin Kurtis, Georgette Kurties, Cotton Kurtas, Designer Kurtis, Traditional wear Kurties, Embroidered Kurtis, Salwar Kameez, Churidar and Children Wear. We have wonderful collection of Indian kurtis and crepe kurties. Indian Kurtis are all the way comfortable yet elegant and easy to wear stuff. Indian kurtis are the latest trend in Indian fashion, Some are embellished with gergous embroidered work in pleasing designs, they manage to look smart enough to be worn for casual family gatherings, or even for a wedding cermony. Our designs are created keeping in mind the trends fabrics and colors of the season.

#606 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2007, 03:54 AM:

Hey everyone,
So I had actually decided against buying from Seasonsindia I don't know why but there were just a few little things that just didn't sit right (women's intuition or something) maybe I'll order from them one day but just not right now. I was looking at ordering the match to my orange suit from eshakti but I worried about the red of the suit being too much with my red hair and pinkish skin. So I found another suit that is the same style but a different print, I was going to order it tonight but I kept putting it off and it was a good thing I did. I just got an e-mail from eshakti saying that the one suit that I ordered from the overstock sale was unavailable so I had to pick something else. I wrote back to ask the price of the first suit and within ten minutes I got a response that not only told me the price but also thanked me for replying immediately. So I sent them the code for the suit I had picked out and within probably 3 mins I got a thank you e-mail telling me that they are going to update the order and give me a time to expect the order to be shipped (I had mentioned I was going to write tonight to see when the order was expected to be shipped). I don't know about you guys but I think this is kick a$$ customer service WOW! I am totally impressed by eshakti.

I also received an e-mail from Melinda from sarisafari tonight to let me know that she had done her book keeping for June and discovered that I had overpaid for shipping by $13 and that she was refunding it. Another WOW! I hadn't even noticed that I had overpaid for shipping.

If I could I would give these companies (and S2) 5 gold stars for customer service. These are definately the companies I don't mind spending money with. Just awesome!!

#607 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2007, 04:00 AM:

Hey everyone,
So I had actually decided against buying from Seasonsindia I don't know why but there were just a few little things that just didn't sit right (women's intuition or something) maybe I'll order from them one day but just not right now. I was looking at ordering the match to my orange suit from eshakti but I worried about the red of the suit being too much with my red hair and pinkish skin. So I found another suit that is the same style but a different print, I was going to order it tonight but I kept putting it off and it was a good thing I did. I just got an e-mail from eshakti saying that the one suit that I ordered from the overstock sale was unavailable so I had to pick something else. I wrote back to ask the price of the first suit and within ten minutes I got a response that not only told me the price but also thanked me for replying immediately. So I sent them the code for the suit I had picked out and within probably 3 mins I got a thank you e-mail telling me that they are going to update the order and give me a time to expect the order to be shipped (I had mentioned I was going to write tonight to see when the order was expected to be shipped). I don't know about you guys but I think this is kick a$$ customer service WOW! I am totally impressed by eshakti.

I also received an e-mail from Melinda from sarisafari tonight to let me know that she had done her book keeping for June and discovered that I had overpaid for shipping by $13 and that she was refunding it. Another WOW! I hadn't even noticed that I had overpaid for shipping.

If I could I would give these companies (and S2) 5 gold stars for customer service. These are definately the companies I don't mind spending money with. Just awesome!!

#608 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2007, 04:05 AM:

Ok then I don't know how that got posted twice, sorry guys.

#609 ::: Anne Bremser ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2007, 11:59 PM:

Maggie- I wrote E-Shakti 2 days ago and haven't gotten an answer. I wrote again today. They DID write to ask me if they could use my comments, though. I hope they answer soon.

Things are falling into place for the trip- the passports came; mine only took a week. Now for the visas. It is coming so fast!

#610 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2007, 03:25 AM:

Woohoo Anne! A week? WOW you got really lucky there hun. I am so happy for you! Ok and maybe abit jealous lmao.

Well that sucks that eshakti hasn't written you back yet, they actually haven't written me to told me when I can expect my order to be shipped but since I just picked a new suit I don't expect it to be anytime soon.

#611 ::: anne bremser ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 04:30 AM:

Okay- where did everyone go? Deep in a fibromyalgia slump? That's the only good excuse! Sorry, (sort of) Tabby and Maggie; sometimes it just comes out.

I still haven't heard from eShakti about my order. Its been about a week since I started emailing. I expected better of them. This is the last order I am expecting before the trip which is coming right up.
I asked about wearing salwar kameez in India as a Westerner on an Indian questions site. Everyone who answered (all Indian) said of course its all right- one person said "what would you think of an Indian wearing a t-shirt and jeans?" Good point, for all the Americans that have been telling me not to. They all also said I would be appreciated, more respected, and able to enter temples, etc, because I would be dressed appropriately. It was overwhelmingly positive. I got all kinds of other advice about visiting India, how to be a good guest there, and what not to miss. I'm so glad I found all this out. I've been saved from being a total barbarian.

So, really, how is everybody? Do I have to write a poem again? That's a threat!

#612 ::: Tabby ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 11:31 AM:

I've just been busy. We're having a bad run with mechanical things. My husband's American-made car always has problems (starting with when the thing was only 3 years old and about $10,000+ worth of repairs since then) and we just put over $500 in that. Then our garage door opener quit working all together. Then our American-made, less than 3 years old coffee pot stopped working correctly. What is it with American-made stuff now days? (That's completely rhetorical.)

Otherwise, my surgery is less than 3 months out now so I should be hearing from my insurance company soon, I hope. I really want to buy some tops from S2, but because my chest is being re-shaped, I've been holding back because I'm not sure what my bust and band measurements will be after the surgery.

That's a good point about the jeans and t-shirt thing. It really goes both ways. With your Yahoo answers question, I was just amazed at the amount of Americans who answered when you specifically asked for Indian viewpoints. So, I'm glad you finally got some helpful and worthwhile feedback at ammas.com and I hope you have a wonderful trip!

#613 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 01:55 AM:

Sorry Guys,
I've been checking in but haven't had much to add really. I haven't heard back from eshakti either.

We got the results of my Mum's second biopsy and it was good news! However she's decided to have a full mastectomy and she goes in for that on the 30th. We've already reserved the hotel and got our train tickets for our trip to Toronto next week. We get back Sunday evening and she goes in Monday morning. It's definately much sooner then I wanted and had really wished they could have pushed back the surgery date because with the way my Mum is and as bad as Hubby has gotten I'll be carrying/lifting/dealing with all the lugage and Hubby's walker the entire time we're there so you guys can just guess what shape I am going to be when we get back. :( Stupid FM, I feel completely useless and I am not looking forward to Monday simply because everytime we come back from Toronto I am in crappy shape but I can't have Hubby take care of Mum the whole time either for many reasons.

Anyways enough whining about that LOL. Suma has designed two really nice outfits for me but I haven't been up to replying to her I feel like such a jerk but there's been so much that has to be done before we go away. I am in the middle of making tandoori aloo for tomorrow we have a potluck Birthday party for Hubby's Uncle and at last check we're looking at 6hrs worth of sleep but we're not even close to getting to bed. Well I am starting to whine again and my potatoes are almost done so I should go. Take care everyone

Tabby good luck with all those mechanical things maybe they saw Transformers and now they all want to be just like Optimus Prime (we've seen it twice already hehehe).

Anne I really hope those suits get to you soon, you definately don't want to have to pack right before you leave. I am glad you got so many positive responses though :)

Take care everyone.

#614 ::: anne bremser ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 07:45 PM:

This week I'm going to dive in and make 2 salwar suits. One out of an authentic set in aqua blue and gold poly, and the other out of a lovely paisley, mostly royal blue and rust, with rust colored salwar and dupatta. If I have enough of the paisley, I'll sew a band of it arount the edges of the dupatta. These fabrics are decoration enough. They are both beautiful in color and drape. I might do some patchwork on the neck of the paisley one, but I don't plan on embroidering or beading everything. Given my previos attempts, they should take about a day per suit to complete. It will be good to see my fabric stash get smaller. I'm feeling a lot better, so maybe I'll get lucky, and stay this way for a while. BTW, I'm using a very well fitting kameez for a pattern, and I've gotten a diagram of the salwar ages ago from a dancer's website, and then altered them.

#615 ::: anne bremser ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2007, 04:00 PM:

EShakti responded that my order is in the mail. I wonder if they were sewing like made those days wirhout an answer. I'll get the 2 they had in stock tomorrow, probably, and the new choice a few days after that.

I've gotten the fabric out for the ones I'm going to make, but haven't started sewing yet. The poly silk is pretty slippery, so I'm going to be doing a lot of basting, and I'll have to be very patient. I'm not feeling particularly patient today, but I think I can at least cut it out.

Hope you all are relatively well.

#616 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2007, 01:59 PM:

Hey y'all-- the July 2007 issue of Vanity Fair has an article about Diana, Princess of Wales, and her post-divorce relationship with a British heart surgeon from Pakistan (she wanted to marry him); it has some lovely pix of her wearing shalwar kameez around that time, but unfortunately none of those are in the online edition of the magazine. I just saw this magazine in my doctor's waiting room earlier this week, so I don't know whether it's still available on newsstands although your local library may have it.

#617 ::: anne bremser ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 03:16 AM:

Julie- welcome! And thanks for the tip. I'll see if I can find that.

I've been sewing a bit here and there between other obligations, and came up with a very servicable pair of salwar. I hadn't bought quite enough fabric because I had been using another, less attractive pattern that called for a smaller amount. I ended up doing a lot of piecing- that part doesn't look as tidy as I would have liked, but it won't show at all, so I suppose it doesn't matter. My sewing teacher would have had a fit, though. I'm just not feeling patient enough. I keep thinking of other things I need to do.

#618 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 02:12 AM:

Alright some technical problems over here but I wanted to write and tell you that I am back. Mum goes in tomorrow it's supposed to be day sugery so I should be around if I am not you know why.

The trip to Toronto was wonderful, I found out how many good friends I really have down there and we made more while we were there.

Like clock work my Eshakti order came in while we were gone I tried it all on tonight and just LOVE it! I am so happy I picked the new black one to replace the clearance black one it looks really nice and feels so soft.

Anyways I am pretty drained in all ways possible so I am going to go. Before I forget guess what I saw in the Eaton's centre today that made me think of all of you? A Muslim woman wearing her PJ's under her abaya LOL.

Take care!!

#619 ::: anne bremser ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 12:30 PM:

Maggie-thanks for writing- I was starting to get worried. I'm glad you like your stuff from eShakti. I didn't get my order yet, so I'm expecting it today. They are both sale items.

I love your story about the woman in her PJs. I've had a couple of friends who lived in Saudi Arabia while their husbands worked there. They both said they wore PJs under them-great for when they were in a hurry taking the kids to school. One said jokingly (I think) that you could be naked under there and no one would know. She loved them. Bad hair day? No problem...

#620 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2007, 02:14 AM:

Hmm naked under one? Now we know how they keep the passion alive in their marriages ;).

Just wanted to write you guys know that my Mum's surgery was a sucess as far as the doctor could tell. We will have results on the lymph nodes on the 16th and we'll know then if Mum has to go for chemo. I tell ya, I was ready for the surgery but I wasn't ready for the reality of the surgery. When we came home last night it was just my Mum and I and I asked about how it looked and she showed me and I broke right down. I am still having trouble computing it all.

Anne you'll have to let me know what you think of your order when it comes in. I wrote Eshakti to thank them for the order and they've asked for my permission to print my review so I sa