The word shameez derives in the usual roundabout way of languages and contexts from the French “chemise” which means “shirt”. The garment has had several avatars—in medieval Europe it was worn by both men and women. Through its various castings and recastings, one thing remained constant about the garment; it was worn immediately next to the skin, as the buffer between the body and its garments. As a Muslim woman growing up in the small town of Aligarh in north India, I lived