Accoutrement: The Gold Jumpsuit

Jumpsuits are finally having their moment. I like to think of them as dungarees’ more glamorous cousin, and while I wouldn’t completely pass on dungarees (there are some quite sophisticated pieces out there, if you have the time to look), I’ve been something of an admirer of the jumpsuit, albeit from a distance. It was just too much out of my style comfort-zone for me to plunge into that particular trend.

But then, a few days ago while I was browsing Superbalist, I found this gorgeous gold jumpsuit, and decided to just go for it. I liked that the leg is a wider cut so it proportions the body well without revealing too much shape. As luck would have it, it was only available in my size and if that wasn’t enough to convince me, it was also on sale😊 (Unfortunately, I may just have snagged the last one, since I tried to link it to this post, but I don’t see it up anymore.)

Pic credit:

I was so apprehensive about this one when it arrived, to be honest, and was actually ready to give it away if it didn’t look right on me, but once I tried it on, all my misgivings faded away. To make it hijab-friendly, I’d place a plain black open-front abaya or kimono over it, with a complimentary headscarf. The top is adjustable to allow for less skin to show, which I really like about this design. Accessories would be minimal, since the fabric itself is a beautiful dull-gold with a slight shimmer, and that on its own exudes understated elegance-just the look I’m going for. Heels are a must for this ensemble.

Some handbag options: Which would you choose?

Now there are a few upcoming ‘ladies-only’ functions I have coming up, so I’m hoping I can wear this very soon! 

On Courtesy and Etiquette: A Little Big Rant

Over the years I’ve bought, and sold, a lot of things online. Previously it used to be new and unusual items I sold either via Facebook, Instagram, or Whatsapp, but most recently the things I’ve sold have been mainly on sites like Gumtree and  OLX, to get rid of some baby paraphernalia that I no longer need. In doing so, I’ve dealt with various people, but I’ve found a disturbing commonality amongst many whom I’ve dealt with-a complete lack of social/professional etiquette.

Yesterday, for me, had been a particularly frustrating episode, whereby I had arranged to meet with a prospective buyer for some item I had advertised. Now I’m way out of the city, so to sell my items I usually have to travel 2hrs+, and arranging meetings are no easy feat because I have to plan my trips as practically as possible. Yesterday, I was due to travel to Durban, but after a previously bad experience, I decided to confirm with my prospective buyer that I would meet later that afternoon. And I am so thankful I did that, because said buyer did not even have the decency to acknowledge my message or call, let alone renege on our arranged meeting. I didn’t mind her not being able to make it to the meeting, or even that she may have changed her mind about purchasing the item- that’s her prerogative. But at least have the courtesy of letting me know, so that I don’t make the unnecessary trip, which would waste my valuable time and cost me money. Leaving a person hanging and waiting on you is just not good manners.

This has happened a number of times, and I’m left wondering when people stopped being courteous to others. Have we really stooped that low? A simple smile, ‘hello’, and ‘sorry’ can make such a difference to a conversation. When did we lose the ability to interact with respect and common decency? In this age of texting, we have become abrupt in tone, the use of proper grammar (good grammar is always proper and respectful, especially in business) has left us, and in doing so, rudeness has become the accepted norm. When did this happen, and why do we allow it to continue?

Remember: Just because you don’t have to be, doesn’t mean you should be impolite. It’s not nice. 

Accoutrement: The Lengthy Slit Dress

After a few bad experiences, I tend now to shy away from purchasing clothing from unknown Instagram or online stores. I’d much rather shop for items that are real and tangible, where the feel of the fabric, the quality of the garment construction, and overall attractiveness are apparent. 

I’ve had Hanamira on Instagram for a while now and often admired the clothing they advertise, but due to my wariness with regard to purchasing online, was too reluctant to place an order. So it was an absolute pleasure to see their clothing firsthand at the Al Ansaar Souk a few weekends ago, and admiration turned to impressed when I saw the clothing in actuality. Unfortunately I was unable to purchase anything at the souk, (suffice to say children and shopping do not a-successful-trip-make) so I placed an order with them via WhatsApp the following day, and promptly received my parcel not long after.

What I love about this particular dress is that it has so many possibilities. It’s red in colour, so it’s vivid and striking, though without being crass. The side slits allow for a very practical fit, yet at the same time offer some sort of interest to the garment and also allow the wearer some leeway when it comes to trouser choice. Now I know most women would probably pair the dress off with a skinny-leg trouser, and it does admittedly look very good, but the silhouette of a wide-legged trouser just does something to the whole look of the outfit that I just love, and a bonus is that it manages to slim down the figure-especially the midsection-which I’m finding my most problematic area of late, and the focus of the dress is set a bit lower towards the bottom, which reaches my calves. A contrasting-colour trouser, like cream or ivory, works really well. With the long sleeves and high turtle-neckline , this dress is definitely one to look out for if you’re planning on a more modest look.

(Pics are credited to Hanamira)

My Home-Lasering Journey: {Part One} How It Began

Living away from the city, in a predominantly rural area, has its charms, but also has many, many drawbacks. One such instance is the lack of convenient facilities, such as a decent supermarket, English-medium schools, or full service banks etc. One thing I really miss about city-life is the ease of being able to visit professional beauty salons easily, especially when it comes to things like laser hair removal, which I’ve been wanting to do for a while now, but just can’t find the time to get to the city for.

So I did the next best thing. If I couldn’t get to the laser salon, I would bring the laser ‘salon’ to me, so to speak. After a bit of research, I decided to purchase a home laser kit, which I’ve been told is quite effective in hair reduction, and I eventually settled on the Tanda ‘MĒtouch’ elōs laser machine. This one comes with 200 000 pulses, (although on the box it says 300 000, so time will tell) so it should be more than enough for my requirements.

I had actually bought the machine last year on Takealot, who from time to time offers them at discounted prices under their daily deals. (I believe the prices have soared since then.) By the time the machine had arrived I had discovered I was pregnant, and would not be able to use it until after I gave birth. So now, six months after my baby was born, I finally began my home-lasering journey. For the first six weeks I’m required to laser once a week, thereafter pushing it down to once a month, and then maintenance as and when needed. I have to say I’m looking forward to seeing if this machine works for me. 

To prepare, there isn’t very much to do except trim or shave the hair (I was a little apprehensive about this) but it states in the booklet that as long as hair is shorter than 0.5cm, it should be okay to laser without shaving. So I did away with the shaving. Donning the protective eyewear that is included in the kit (which I found to be quite irritating as it kept moving into my eyes-I’m opting for sunglasses for the next session), I began, initially on the lowest setting, but since it didn’t feel too bad, went up to medium which was pretty comfortable. I started off with my arms and face to see how the machine fares on different skin sensitivities. The pulses are not painful at all although on my face I did feel the heat slightly-more like a hairdryer held close to the skin kind of heat-so it was very bearable and comfortable. 

Since it is still very early days, I can’t say for certain what’s supposed to happen, but I believe the hair should start falling out within a week of lasering. I’ll be posting updates as my journey progresses, so keep an eye on the blog for them!

Closet Basics: The ‘A’ Line Abaya

When it comes to abayas I’ve always been very fastidious. Fabric is important, not just for the way it feels or drapes on my body, but also for the way it washes; how well it’s able to hold its colour, and also how durable it is-it must be able to last me a long time. As you may well know, abayas (esp good quality abayas) don’t come cheap, so if I’m going to splurge on one, it has to be worth buying on every front. Design, of course, is equally important-after all, it is the aesthetic appeal that draws us in to purchase the garment in the first place.

When it comes to the basics of a wardrobe, these rules still apply-even more so, I think. The basics are those items I can revert to in the event I can’t choose any decorative pieces, and this is why I’ve picked the plain black ‘A’ line abaya as part of my capsule collection. It is versatile on so many levels, can be dressed up or down, can be worn literally anywhere, anytime, and the best part is that the style is flattering to any body shape.

After looking at various options, I settled on the Hayati plain ‘A’ line abaya. These come in different colours, but my own preference for abayas is black. I chose this for its simplicity and cut, but most of all because the fabric is of great quality and I know this is going to last me a good few years, making it an ideal basic.

Plain ‘A’ line abaya: @hayati_worldwide on Instagram

Rethinking Fashion

In my previous post I spoke about my closet purge, and to be honest with you, I have been caught in something of a fashion quandary. You see, ever since I gave birth, I’ve been trying to shed the extra weight I’d put on. And I even managed to get down to almost my original weight -except- I can’t anymore. Those final 2 kilos have given me the biggest headache and I’m now resolved to embrace the elusive couple. So my problem is this: do I give my much-loved-but-too-small clothes away, or do I store them away until the day (hopefully) that I may fit into them again?

And then there’s something else to consider. I recently read something about how we dress in relation to our religion. We all know that, as Muslims, we need to cover up our bodies, and that to dress immodestly is a sign that our Creator is displeased with us (think about Adam & Hawa {AS} and when they were exposed after their sin), so I’m rethinking a lot of my clothing that is sitting in my closet right now. While I do aspire to it, I’m not a perfect hijabi-I sometimes wear figure-flattering clothes, but I really do want to look towards more modest clothing. I think what holds me back the most is my fear that I’ll end up looking frumpy and lose my sense of style. I have a petite frame and not tall, so I have to take extra care with regards to proportion and sizing. So I’ve decided to stop and reassess my entire style for now, and as I go along, I’ll post up here on the blog when and how I’m evolving my personal style into something more befitting hijab while maintaining the essence of Me.

My focus is to build up a solid capsule wardrobe with versatile but stylish pieces that can be worn anytime, anywhere; a basic workable collection that will take me from day through to night, and then from there I can begin adding the more ‘decorative’ accoutrements.

Let me know if you have a few ideas on how I can achieve this, either below in the comments, or on my Instagram/ Facebook pages.

Back To Basics

I love fashion, and I won’t deny it. But sometimes, and I don’t know if this happens to you, I just get so caught up in what’s trending that I need to take a full step back and reassess my style. It sounds easy but let me tell you, it can be quite overwhelming. One morning I opened up my closet and suddenly nothing in there appealed to me. It wasn’t a case of not having anything to wear, but rather not wanting to wear anything I had, anymore. It was a somewhat distressing experience, so I made the conscious decision to sort it out.

I’m the sentimental type, and hold onto things for goodness-knows-what, so the first rule I made was: Be Ruthless. I emptied out everything and began sorting it all into piles of what to keep and what had to go. In case you’re wondering, all I kept were those items that would be difficult to replace (like great fitting jeans) and of course, some ridiculously-expensive items that I couldn’t bear to part with just yet. And somehow, I managed to narrow my closet down to just one and a half cupboards (from four) and filled up boxes to donate.  

My second rule was Donate Immediately. I knew if I had waited, I would have probably returned about half of the clothing back into my cupboard, and I wasn’t having any of it. So off they went. I already felt lighter, and surprisingly happy at the thought of a minimalised closet. 

At the moment I’m trying to stay within my ‘minimalist’, ‘less-is-more’frame of mind, but I am looking forward to laying the foundations of my closet into something I can be excited about!

That said, I thought I’d do a series on the blog regarding closet basics, and I’ll do it step-by-step, as I find those elusive pieces to fit into my style. Should you be looking to do something similar, let me know!