The Kurdish Dress: From My Closet to Yours

 A mysterious radiance illuminates the beautiful colors into a magical experience.

There was once a time where a Kurdish dress wasn’t labeled as a Kurdish dress; it was simply a dress. Casual dresses were worn around the home or for simple trips to the market, while fancier dresses were worn for special occasions. Today, older women within our community still wear the dress on a daily basis, as it is what they are accustomed to. But the younger generation no longer wear it on a daily basis. This is understandable in the diaspora community, as we are embedded within western culture, but why does this trend also occur in Kurdistan?  It is assimilation at its finest. On one end, our oppressors have worked endlessly to try and destroy Kurdish culture and on another end, western influence has swept into Kurdistan. Does this mean we are less Kurdish? Some Kurds are often criticized for not wearing Kurdish clothes. Does this mean they are less Kurdish than people who do wear their traditional garments?  Absolutely not! There are numerous ways to immerse oneself in culture. Kurdish dresses are just a mere representation and do not reflect a person’s ‘Kurdishness’.

Even though assimilation has had its effects, there is a twist to the story. We may not wear the dress casually anymore, but the value of the dress hasn’t been degraded. Rather, we have preserved our traditional clothing. Our oppressors wanted to make our clothing seem worthless and antiquated. Instead, we have held onto the dress and wear it for happy occasions such as weddings, parties and outings. We haven’t allowed our dresses to be romanticized as something of the past. We associate it with positive events because our dresses are just that: they are radiant. When you look at them, a feeling of warmth takes over you. There is fire behind the dress. The beauty behind Kurdish dresses is that there are endless combinations. This allows females to add their own artistic style to their dresses, which makes each Kurdish dress unique.

I have put together a collection of my favorite dresses to give you a little glimpse into my closet. I am privileged in that some of the garments have been passed down by my mother, which in turn allows me to intertwine traditional wear with the latest fashion trends to create my own style. Remember, these dresses are unique to me and there are a million different ways to assemble a Kurdish dress.

I hope you enjoy my collection.


[wc_testimonial by=”” url=”” position=”left”]NissyNissy Koye, a teacher in Canada, has passion in bringing justice to marginalized groups by educating through multiple perspectives while creating relevance and making connections to current events. – “The fire that I breathe is to hide the pain that exerts from being robbed; from being ripped away from my home; the home I call Kurdistan”[/wc_testimonial]/author]