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Friday best!

It is Friday and it can only mean one thing for Muslim people: it is Jummah day. It is the day that all of us go to the mosque and pray. Senegal, which is a country with a majority of Muslim people is no exception. And it also means that Senegalese people tend to wear traditional attire on Friday whether they go to the Mosque or not. It is actually interesting to see people in their Friday best. People in my country do favor the traditional garb even if by now it has been updated umpteen times and looks less and less like the original one. Therefore you would see people wear it for work or running errands on the daily basis. But on Fridays they wear their best ones.  Being stuck in town on numerous Fridays during Prayer time, I did notice a kaleidoscope of colors and fabrics and prints rushing to the Mosque.  The crowd is mostly men for few women tend to attend Mosque on Friday.

As a self respecting Muslim and Senegalese, I do wear traditional attire when I am home on Fridays.  I do not attend the Masjid (shame on me, I know!) but I try to dress up.  This Friday I am adorning this newly tailored dress.  I purchased the fabric during my shopping spree for my business in India. I was drawn to the color I do not possess, the print I found lovely but also the fact that the fabric was in cotton. I had wanted to sew a Kaftan but at the last minute I decided to wait until I arrive home to see what the latest fashion would be. Apparent it is all about dresses or "Robe"  as we commonly called it. Everywhere I look women are wearing this type of dress with empire waist and ruffled hem. They favor cotton as a fabric because Summers in Senegal can be pretty hot. But they add all kinds of embellishment to it.  I went the simple route and asked my tailor to make me something a tad embellished but basic.  He came up with this dress.

Scarf ( came with the fabric of the dress)  M. G. Road
Dress -  Taylor made
Shoes -  Zara
Necklace - some fair in Pune

I really like the embellishment consisting of adding what we call here "Jour"  but also some pleats. My only problem is the sleeves I find big and I am not a big fan of the ruffle at the cuff. It is the style here but I wanted something more simple so I could wear the dress even abroad.

When I tried it on,  my husband (my very own fashion police)  said that the dress looked like a dress his Grandma would wear. He was right for this was the fashion years ago, starting during colonial times. Mix raced Christians used to wear them but soon enough the entire country followed. The dress was known as Gourmettes then named after the women who wore it originally.

Gourmette style dress - source: 

The style went away but came back again in the 90s. I actually owned a similar dress in black with embroidered pink flowers gifted to me when I was a teen. I have not worn it in years. But  I think I could still wear it today and be trendy. Fashion trends come in cycles. What was outdated yesterday can become trendy today.

So what do you think of my latest dress? I am thinking of adding a few more to my collection using fabrics from India. What say you?


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