Wearing Shalwar Kameez in Offices Can Save Your Energy Costs!

A famous saying goes like this – the clothes maketh the man.

The choice of clothes you wear reflects your status, wealth, culture and a lot of different things that are invisible to the naked eye. It helps people categorize you easily and speaks a language of its own.

They also say that one should dress for the job they want. And this is true as well.

Well… it may be true, but the insistence on following a western-cum-corporate dress code at the workplace is proving to be damaging to the environment.

And here’s why.

Suits, Ties, Shirts and the Rest Make Us Warm

You are more likely to find people who are like-minded, of a similar social class, ethnicity and so on based on what your choice of clothing is.

All of this is not rocket science. It’s common sense.

Also in common sense – turning up to work in the proper attire. If you work for a corporate or multinational concern (and chances are that you do), more often then not you have to adhere to a specific dress code.

You must be wondering what’s wrong with all this conventional wisdom?

Here’s whats wrong. In temperate countries like Pakistan, where hotter temperatures are the norm, turning up to work regularly with a tie, suit, shirt and whatnot is a herculean task.

Braving the hot weather, and the choking traffic in that garb is a battle onto hell itself.

But rules are rules and we got to follow em right? It is a matter of earning your daily keep after all.

But there is one thing many people are not privy to. This culture gives rise to using air-conditioners in full blast. And before someone says hell has frozen over, well, you better check these offices out first. Running ACs by the dozen, we don’t realize how much energy we’re consuming to keep us cool, except – we are stifled by the dress code we are following, the same dress code that keeps us warm.

And this culture, which is followed in the West, could have devastating consequences if replicated in developing markets.

What Science Says About Loose Dresses (Shalwar Kameez)

For a layman, loose dresses make you cool — and will require less air conditioning in hot weathers.

According to a research study, buildings consume 40% of the world’s energy. And the kicker? Half of this energy goes into keeping us warm or cool.

If current AC buying trends worldwide continue to keep up, we may have 700 million more ACs by 2030. We will be wasting more energy than making it (as Pakistanis, we all know this too well).

The Earth is doomed if that happens.

In temperate regions like Africa, you observe how people dress in their traditional attire, instead of the western suit when they’re at work.

Its not uncommon to see people in some Pakistani companies showing up to work in shalwar kameez. It may very well be a cultural thing, but its also important to not discount the thermal comfort utility of it altogether. By that yardstick, a casual tee and pant dress code can also suffice.

And yes, they will bring down energy bills faster than someone could say CPEC.

Concluding Thoughts

Does it make sense? Should a person turn up to work in comfy clothes that are light, breathable and perfectly what they prefer? Actually that is a discussion for another time, with fashion, culture and many other factors thrown in.

Your view may differ with ours and that’s perfectly fine.

But we’ve got to consider if our future generations are better off for it if we decide to wear comfortably and not like a stifled being, essentially keeping the AC bills down.

Putting aside issues of class and fashion, what you wear during the day also has a major impact on your environment. And it’s time that corporate movers and shakers in Pakistan had a serious discussion about it.

Via The Atlantic


  • Unfortunately! People do think negative and they consider people who wear shalwar kameex as illiterate (Villagers)!!! I personally feel more comfortable in shalwar kameex instead of that so called chaddi Bushirt:P

  • Very good yar ye article likha aap ne mai bhi aksar ye sochta tha ka humein apni offices me shalwar qameez pehenni chahye

  • This may be true, but i wont be showing up in shalwar qameez anytime soon, reason being that the other people will still be wearing western clothes and ACs will be chilling at 16 degrees and i’ll freeze my butt off. This need to happen from a management perspective.

  • Being cool depends upon what dress you are used to. I have friends who always wear coat in open even in June and doesn’t care for sweat. So depends how you are groomed.

  • I always wear Shalwar Kameez whether I am in office or at Home. I don’t know why people don’t wear Shalwar Kameez most of the time. It’s our traditional dress and represent our Culture. But if someone commenced to wear Shalwar Kameez on daily basis. People will say “Pent Shirt chordi kiya? Mullah Ban gaya?”. In my office there is a Rule from HR then we are only allowed to wear Shalwar Kameez on FRIDAY, but I don’t damn care. I wear Shalwar Kameez everyday. It makes me happy internally as a Muslim.

  • I prefer to use Shalwaar Kameez! Why? Because I haven’t found more comfortable dress than it.
    Despite of what he said(save energy thing) in this article, We shouldn’t forget our culture. Go with Shalwaar Kameez and you will find comfort in your daily work. :)

  • Wearing a decent white shalwar kameez can make you look macho amoung a bunch of tight-assed servile minions forced to wear a “pent shirt” by compulsion.

    • in ur mind every beard person and not wearing pent shirt is taliban. but remind u the most educated people r the biggest sinners and killers. All over the muslim world u know who are the biggest killers?

  • haqeeqat…… even i always wear shalwar qameez all the time and i have beared (though its hipster) but i am tottally OK with this though I always being asked ” yar kis msla he tujhe is huliye me bnda professional nahi lagta” hadd he yar


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