After yesterday’s post on long white gloves was published, my assistant pointed out that the first two images were actually of the same woman. Because my schedule in India was so unstructured, I would have thought the chances of shooting the same woman twice would have been infinitesimal.


To see someone, halfway around the world, with my same passion for mixing color and pattern, made me feel an instant kinship to this mystery woman.


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  1. Lauren

    December 11, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    I noticed and appreciated that, too. Love the followup.

    • Martine

      December 13, 2014 at 10:38 pm

      How do you know its the same woman? Its the same rug on her head, sure. The handlebars look similar, but who knows if its the same woman. Come to think of it how do you really know its a woman?

      • Ashley

        December 15, 2014 at 2:50 pm

        Martine, the woman has the same bike, same shoes, same socks, and the same scarf. It’s not a rug, that is very disrespectful.

      • Asha

        January 15, 2015 at 5:06 am

        Rug? Are you serious? That is just so disrespectful, and I can’t imagine how the blogger has allowed this comment to remain online.

        If you can bother to look beyond the “rug”, she’s also wearing the same slippers and socks.

  2. Such a rich editorial!


    • Simone Fraser

      December 11, 2014 at 11:41 pm

      Yes, indeed! I think such an experience epitomises one of the most special aspects of travel: those unsought coincidences and connections to people.

  3. Boxer's Adventures

    December 11, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    And the gloves…


  4. ~ Carmen ~

    December 11, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    I thought you did that on purpose! I thought it was either the same woman or a local textile. But she did have the same socks. :] // â–² â–²

  5. Mimosas and Me

    December 11, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    I don’t want to make trouble but I’m not sure if she has a passion for mixing color and pattern. I happen to think she just wears what she has because she doesn’t have much. I could be wrong.

    • Ashley

      December 15, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      She clearly does have a passion for mixing color because her base garments are different in each shot and they are color coordinated. To assume someone doesn’t have much because they live in another country is rude and ethnocentric.

  6. Fashion Snag

    December 11, 2014 at 2:40 pm

  7. Chennchina

    December 11, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    A more interesting topic of conversation might be the need to wear all that protective gear in order to keep one’s skin white and pure as snow (or at least to not get any darker)…and to differentiate from the “unwashed masses” that are dark and undesirable…hence poor and of lower caste.
    This is so very common in Asia (and shockingly now in parts of the US where Asian communities are large) as well, with regular scenes of women with outlandishly large sun visors, poking people in the eyes with umbrellas when it’s not raining, elbow length gloves when driving or riding bikes/mopeds and most shocking of all, the full face mask (a la Mexican pro wrestlers) when at the beach (so far a China only fad, I think)!
    This, coupled with the huge industry of whitening creams and formulas in Asia (Shiseido, SKII, etc) and you have a cultish worship of lily whiteness (not of Caucasian people, but rather the color) and a very twisted mindset!

    • Christine

      December 11, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      It all depends on what the culture think is beautiful. In Asia or China white is the symbol of beauty so they try to keep themselves as white as possible. I don’t think this is a twisted mindset. It’s the same with Americans being obsessed with tanned skin and going to tanning salon every week to get tanned. It’s a cultural value not a twisted mindset. You might not like it, but that doesn’t mean it’s twisted.

      • Bruno

        December 12, 2014 at 10:30 am

        Actually I was at the beach the other day in Southern California, and I saw some folks wearing the full mask. So that’s in the U.S. now as well. Whoa! I can’t say for certain they were Asian folks (on account of the masks). But I think the sun does more than darken skin, it also damages it and increases chances of skin cancer. It could be argued that protecting oneself from the sun is as much about looking younger than looking lighter. Anyway, that’s why I cover up! It’s a pretty good idea to carry an open umbrella when out in the sun in Southern Cal or a very large brimmed hat. Some people may take it all too far, but that’s how we travel. We’re just people. Lastly, the dress and gloves of this woman may be more about religion than vanity.

        • Mankuthimma

          December 29, 2014 at 10:39 am

          It can be incredibly hot in some parts of India, and everyone would want to protect themselves with gloves, socks, scarves, et al from the searing sun!

  8. Molly

    December 11, 2014 at 3:30 pm

  9. cece

    December 11, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Yeh…this post just leaves me depressed….

  10. maria

    December 11, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Oh, and I was thinking you did it especially. She wears the same socks, same flip-flops en rides the same push bike with the sports handle bars.

    I rent push bikes in Asia and its fun to cycle around, but difficult with long dresses or wide pants. But hey, I’m from Holland I’m just to cycling ;-)

  11. Flooch

    December 11, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    The joy of wearing salwar-kameez every day. The most comfortable and convenient pieces of clothing for a woman.

    • South Asian Chick

      December 12, 2014 at 6:47 am

      Agree wholeheartedly!

      • nina

        January 2, 2015 at 1:56 am

        dis is not abt white worship!!!!the cover up is to protect skin from sun damages n skin cancer…the dress is a common traditional wear….salwar kameez , which u vl find all over India, and its d most comfortable outfit ever!!

  12. Charity

    December 11, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    It’s those little magic and mysterious encounters that make life so so cool. :)


  13. Fran

    December 11, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Hello!? Maybe she is a muslim?????

  14. milex

    December 11, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    I really use that People used more bikes in England.

  15. vinay

    December 11, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    She is wearing gloves not for cycling but bcause she is possibly a muslim

  16. Mike

    December 12, 2014 at 1:44 am

    I believe these women are very strict Muslims, who think that any display of female skin in public is forbidden. The one not wearing socks is the free thinker. This is not fashion as we think of it.

    • Asha

      January 15, 2015 at 5:09 am

      NO…it’s too damn hot to expose any skin in North India. So if you do not want to fry to a crisp, this is how you cover up. Nothing to do with religion.

  17. Atika Khan

    December 12, 2014 at 5:59 am

    hello there..I live in Delhi, India, not very far from Varanasi. This is a very common picture of a girl going for some tutions and using whatever possible clothing she has to protect herself from the scorching sun and dust. The sun does more than just darken the skin.The print and pattern mix is happy coincidence and I’m glad its on a blog as popular as The Sartorialist.

  18. Pinelopi

    December 12, 2014 at 6:03 am

    amazing! :) What an excitement you must felt when you realized it!

  19. Maggie

    December 12, 2014 at 9:14 am

    I wonder how she keeps her pant legs from not getting caught in the bike chain…

  20. Paula

    December 13, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    The long gloves are also used by women in Vietnam to reduce sunburn or more tanning.

  21. Salma

    December 15, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    The same white gloves are used here (in Egypt). They are typically worn for one of two reasons, either to protect from the sun, particularly seen on women driving (think: hands on tire all day long), or to cover one’s hands if one is too conservative and: a. does not want to show skin at all, or b. Avoid touching men’s skin when shaking hands. I thought of wearing them too in fact as an alternative to applying layers and layers of sunblock on my hands everytime I step out.

    And I like her. She seems to me to have a mind of her own. Whatever is the reason behind the gloves…

  22. Ms. Pea

    December 16, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    I don’t think her dressing has anything to do with wanting her skin to be light. I think she’s muslim and is required by her religion to be covered.

    India has the third largest Muslim population iin the world, and is home to 10% of the world’s Muslim population. An estimated 176 million Muslims live in India.

    • nina

      January 2, 2015 at 2:11 am

      and the city this pic has been clicked VARANASI is a hindu city..

  23. tami Sue

    December 22, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    I’ve seen lots of women in Yemen wear long gloves (although usually black). Often they are covered from head to toe. One reason for the gloves — Muslim women do not expose their bare arms. Some do not expose any skin.

  24. Ankur

    August 20, 2015 at 2:19 am

    simply telling…. the girl is wearing gloves and stole like that because at varanasi aka banaras has high temperature at the time when the photo was taken. So in order to protect her skin from tanning she wore like that.
    A lots of girl do that in India.

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