Hijaab...by Calvin Klein

I think that people often overlook the Middle East as a seat of sartorial elegance or couture know-how. And, with considerably less freedom of dress than in more liberal countries, it's hardly a surprise that Milan, Paris, and New York weigh in somewhat ahead of Amman. It should be noted, however, that from the hijaab-wearing to the rich and westernized, Middle Eastern fashion can be as complex and coordinated as some of the top designs from Philip Lim, Marc Jacobs, and [insert your favorite designer here].

Remember the old aphorism that your shoes should match your belt? Jordanian women seem to know this all too well and, indeed, have taken it to the next level. Yesterday was the first day of regular classes at the University of Jordan and, to be sure, everybody was dressed to impress. And by dressed to impress, I mean incredibly color coordinated. This means the hijaab, the long trench-coat that many women wear here, the shoes, the bag, and sometimes even the shoe laces will match. It's overwhelming, to say the least, and, without question, a fashion faux-pas in other parts of the world.

Ok, so maybe Marc Jacobs would never remix 80 different shades of blue (with blue zebra-striped jeans, no less) into a single outfit. But then again, he never had to incorporate a hijaab and full-body coverage into his designs. I think, therefore, that it's safe to say the Middle East is trying its hardest. Jordan may be a bit behind on the most vogue of European trends and they may have never gotten the memo that your eyeshadow shouldn't match everything else in your outfit, but for now, I can hardly complain about all the fashion ogling the first days of school are providing. Some of the outfits are quite tastefully done and I've seen more than a few pairs of D&G sunglasses tucked into hijaabs. And as for some of the shoes peeking out beneath those trenches...well, let's just say I'm more than a little jealous.

I apologize beforehand for the photos. What can I say? I had to be on the sly.

purple, purple, everywhere, but not a drop to drink
unfortunately, lime green is a very popular color here.

even the shoes are a shade of eggplant.

please note the abundance of peach.

these women even match eachother. this is hardly an uncommon theme.

Sartorially Yours,