Sunday, July 08, 2007

Question 4: What's up with the jacket?

Christopher asked: "Can ahmadinejad do something about the no tie with a jacket thing? it really doesn't seem to be working."

I could not agree more Christopher. While Iranian women have found a way to look fabulous even in chadors, many men dress like slobs. To be fair, neatly dressed men were harassed in the dark days after the revolution. To be well-groomed was seen as pro-Western. "I had just gotten back from the front," a taxi driver told me (he was referring to the war with Iraq) "when I was arrested for wearing jeans. Can you imagine?" (Now people wear jeans all the time. Things change)

Just as women who work in government jobs or for companies that have a public face wear conservative clothing to work, men do as well. For men that means a colorless shirt, ill-fitting pants, and stubble. No ties allowed: that's for sure.

Still, I often wondered why Iranian men could not find a neater way to show their anti-Western leanings. Why look so dingy all the time?

Now about Ahmadinejad: Let's face it Christopher, the guy's never going to be a fashion icon no matter what he wears. And he isn't going to put on a designer suit: he's a populist not a fashionista. Here look at him in this neat suit jacket:

Or in this headdress:

(Thanks to Kamngir's site for the last pic)

I rest my case.


Anonymous said...

The head dress is the funnier of the photos. What about Khameini? Does he just chill in his black robe the whole time in Qom or does he change it up?

Anonymous said...

Mrs Ahmadinejad must be searching high and low for the loose covers from her lounge chairs.

Either that or the Short Leader has just driven through a laundry line by accident.


DC/CA Reader said...

This was a brilliant question! I first learned of the anti-tie/anti-"too western clothing" government stance in Iran this past year during some pretty serious grad school paper writing procrastination one evening. A BBC article linked to this webpage where the Supreme Leader answers questions. I wonder if Bush has a page where he shares his revelations from God with the public...hmmmm....

I'm sure E&K know about this site (below) and hope they don't mind me sharing the link:

I found it to be fascinating and wasted at least two hours reading the various questions and answers. Look on the right side of the page and you will see where he has a FAQ section on sharia.

Anonymous said...

It is possible to look good in non-Western dress, just look at Hamid Karzai, he looks great all the time. He actually won an award for his dress.

Anonymous said...

Followp: look at how gorgeous Hamid Karzai is:


Esther said...

Anon, Point being that Hamad Karzai would look great in gym shorts and a torn t-shirt...

Non-western dress is not Ahmadinejad's problem. The problem is that he does not care about looking good. I am sure that a good haircut, a trimmed beard, and a designer Nehru jacket could look great on him, but he isn't going to do it.

Marie said...

An Iranian man friend told me, "The Iranian dress code is 'ugly'. If it's ugly, it's good. Anything not ugly is considered 'sexy' and 'sexy' is bad. Perhaps Iran is enjoying its reign of Puritanism right now?