Miriam is the main character in the short story “A Pair of Jeans” by Qaisra Shahraz. She is a young woman of Pakistani descent, living in England. In the story, she is described as “beautiful and well educated”. She is in her first year at university, where she is studying geography, having finished high school with high marks.
Miriam’s way of dressing plays an important part in the storyline.
She dresses elegantly and tastefully for formal events, such as the hen party where Begum meets her for the first time. There, she chooses to wear traditional Pakistani clothes, such as a “black chiffon sari”, with her hair “elegantly wound up in a knot at the top of her head”, and without a lot of jewelry. This makes a good impression on Begum, who judges Miriam to be “the epitome of perfection, everything that was correct and appealing” (ll. 14-15).
In her day-to-day life, Miriam dresses casually and in a more West...