Moroccan Mocs | What Are You Wearing? | Chicago Reader

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Moroccan Mocs

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Morgan Thoryk, 23, spent seven months in Marrakech last year teaching English to children.

Tell me about your outfit.

I am wearing what is the perfect winter cocktail dress. I am really into wool and brightly colored tights. I got the shoes in Morocco last year, I bought them in the Marrakech medina for about $20. They are Berber women's shoes, who are the native population of North Africa, but I have never seen Berber women wearing them, so I think they might just be for-tourist shoes.

Did you get any other clothes in Morocco?

Scarves the size of blankets. A bootleg Kappa soccer hoodie that I love. These blanket/towel/tapestry/napkin things that are worn as capes and/or dresses. And some caftans.

Did you have to dress differently?

I had to maintain a certain amount of modesty at all times, but it was especially important because of the nature of being a teacher and living in the medina--a traditional neighborhood. So no short sleeves, which meant in 120-degree heat I was wearing cardigans and jackets. I wore long shirts that went past my hips, that were very loose, never anything that revealed my figure. I really had to project chastity with my outfits.

How did that affect you when you came back to the U.S.?

I kept dressing really modestly. I would button my collared shirts all the way up to the top button. I got this straight office job when I got home, and in buying my business casual I went for the idea of modesty equals respectability--the bulkier, the better. So as a result I have a bunch of really ill-fitting office clothes. Now I wear really short skirts, but I still like to always have my shoulders covered.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Carlos J. Ortiz.

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