Photos by: FotoMaster
A little over a year ago, Anniesa Hasibuan made history at NY Fashion Week when she debuted her collection. As part of her collection, each model to take the runway wore a hijab. Other fashion lines like Neicy, Amara, and Louella represent the push for more diversity in mainstream fashion, including representations that are inclusive of Muslim women. So, what is modest fashion and what is the, so called, modesty movement? I caught up with one of my favorite fashionable friends, Mina Rasheed, to discuss her personal style, fashion and the hijab, and her take on the modesty movement.
Mina describes her personal style as “relaxed chic with vintage flare”. Read more from her interview below.
What does hijab fashion or the “modesty movement” mean to you?
Modesty isn’t just about the clothes you wear. It’s a conscious lifestyle choice that encompasses how you carry yourself and how you interact with others. So this isn’t just a fleeting fad movement for me…it’s how I try to live my life.
Have you always worn a hijab? How has wearing the hijab shaped your views on fashion over the years?
Hijab is an Arabic word meaning barrier or partition. It’s a broad term that includes principles of modesty for men and women. The most visible form of hijab is the khimar or head covering that Muslim women wear. I’ve worn the khimar since late elementary/middle school and it’s been a part of my fashion choices since then. For me, it’s an extra accessory that I get to shop for and incorporate into my daily dress. I take pride in learning different khimar styles and trying different fabrics and patterns.
How do you feel about the use of the hijab as a fashion statement?
I have mixed feelings about this new “hijabi/modest” fashion trend. While I appreciate being able to find more modest pieces and seeing more inclusive representation of Muslim women, this whole movement feels like a fetishizing of the modest lifestyle. The big name-brand companies are cashing in on this trend without fully appreciating and understanding what it means for those of us who live this life.
Where do you typically shop? What are your favorite clothing lines designed by Muslim fashion designers?
I shop at a mix of consignment/thrift stores, recognizable retailers (i.e.- H&M, NY&Co., Old Navy, etc.) and online stores. Ibtihaj Muhammad, the African American Muslim Woman who was on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Fencing Team, has a modest fashion line, Louella, that is one of my favorites. I like putting together pieces from different stores to create unique looks.
Mina’s wardrobe staples include “khimars, kimonos/long cardigans, cropped pants and vintage jewelry.” See more of her looks below.
I appreciate diverse representations in fashion, especially those that are inclusive of women who are historically underrepresented (e.g. by race, religion, lifestyle, or intersections of multiple identities). I hope you enjoyed this insight into modest fashion. Many thanks to Mina Rasheed for sharing her perspective! As always, thank you for stopping by!
- Work with Clashing Patterns – Stripes and circles look really good together.
- Identify similar patterns.
I did my first fashion interview for the Carter’s Blog. It was so much fun to talk about fashion and my personal style and I am honored that Sabrina selected me as one of her favorite fashionistas to give style advice.
After reading the article I started to think more about style, where it comes from, and what it means to be “stylish”. When it comes to developing or improving your own personal style, it’s helpful to learn ways to coordinate pieces and how to accessorize, but it is also important to embrace a style that is your own. When I developed the tag line for my blog, “Make your Statement”, I wanted to emphasize that style is more than chasing the latest trends. When you develop a sense of style that is your own, everything flows together effortlessly. The tagline also reflects my love of bold and unique pieces.
This look was captured during my trip to New Orleans for Labor Day weekend. It is one of my favorite cities and I marvel at the unique culture marked by the music, language, cuisine, and customs. With each visit, I am still much like a tourist, captivated by activities that please all of the senses, from the colorful buildings to the sounds of street performers.
Appropriate for a day time stroll through the French Quarter, I kept it cool, comfortable, and chic with this safari-inspired look. I wore this olive jumper and carried the neutral color scheme through my accessories, adding a few pops of color. The suspenders on this jumper are removable, which means more ways to style and wear it.
Accessories can transform your look and I used my accessories to add some bold accents. I wore block heels, a comfortable alternative to wearing flats. The design on the heels and the colors were the perfect compliment to the colors on my top. The hand woven basket purse, with detailed embroidery, and my straw hat complete the safari look, but were also functional parts of my outfit (hello NOLA heat).
I always get compliments when I carry this bag. It was a purchase during a trip to Thailand, but I found a similar one, also made in Thailand and available for purchase through the UNICEF Market. Since proceeds from the market support artisans from around the world and UNICEF’s work to improve the health and livelihood of children, it is a great way to find unique items while also supporting a good cause.
Thanks for stopping by! Whether eventful or restful, I hope your holiday weekend was exactly what you needed! You can also read my responses to the fashion interview I referenced, along with two other daringly stylish women, here.
Whether you are climbing the career ladder, chasing after children and nurturing your family, pursuing personal passions, or all of the above, it is common for women to pour into everything else and leave little time for self-care. Add the hustle and bustle of our daily schedules to all that is going on in the world and I find it even more important to take some time to nurture myself. As mundane as it may seem, getting dressed is a part of my day where I can take time to focus on myself. While there are certainly days when getting dressed is the least of my interest, for the most part, getting dressed is part of my daily self-care routine.
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” -Audre Lorde
Since my schedule does not always allow for the perfectly planned outfit, it is essential for me to have a few go-to pieces in rotation that I know I will feel amazing in. This dress is one of my go-to dresses for the summer. The backless cut and plunged neckline are timeless. It is also impeccably made, and even after years of wear, it still looks and fits like new. I also love that the collection of dresses in this line provide a flattering fit on every figure.
Getting dressed is like creating art and when putting a look together, it is fun to consider an overall theme or vision. Since this dress is free flowing and “hippyish”, the flower petal earrings and simple flats were the perfect addition.
Even when I am short on time or when my schedule is hectic, I still like to adorn myself in the morning. For me, it is the icing on the cake, an extension of self-care that can brighten my mood as I start the day.
Outfit Details: Dress: Onion Cut and Sewn || Earrings: H&M
Last week, I explored Arizona. My trip was filled with beautiful scenes, ranging from the mountains in Sedona to majestic views of the Grand Canyon. We marveled at ancient ruins and “castles” and even volcanoes that erupted over one thousand years ago. In short, Arizona is great way to explore the beauty in America’s western terrain.
Sedona, a serene and artsy town, was my favorite stop. So, what did we do in Sedona? We did what all tourists do and searched for vortexes in the mountains, of course. We visited some shops and hiked to Devil’s Bridge. We also enjoyed a wine tasting (Sedona is right in the mix of Arizona’s wine country) and ate at the ChocolaTree, an all organic vegan and vegetarian restaurant.
Upon arriving in Sedona, we were welcomed by the infamous Red Rock vistas. We stopped at a lookout to enjoy the views and the mountains provided the perfect backdrop for a high desert photo shoot.
The floral off the shoulder crop top I wore is beautiful from every angle. The summer months may be coming to an end, but I am still enjoying summer fashion. Ruffles are in full effect and I am intrigued by this take on the ruffle sleeve. The low cut of the back also kept me cool.
Crop tops and high waist bottoms are one of my favorite combos right now. I paired the top with these comfortable high waist pants from H&M’s Conscious clothing line. They are unbelievably soft and made from Tencel® lyocell, a material with fibers derived from raw material wood (very cool!). The fabric is light and breathable, which was also perfect for keeping cool in the hot Arizona temperatures.
I would love to visit Sedona again soon! You can see a few of my favorite sites from this trip below.
Within a few months of blogging and a few decades of purchasing clothing, I sometimes find myself asking, “Where are all of the black designers?”. Representation matters within the world of fashion, as in other forms of media and industry. As contributors across the fashion industry in innovation and trends, and far too commonly the victims of appropriation, I want to honor Black women in the fashion industry.
You may recognize the name Samantha Black from season 11 of Project Runway. Her clothing line, Sammy B., is spunky, fresh, and full of color. Her pieces are for everyday wear with flare and her way with sleeves earned a place in my heart. My first purchase from her collection was the Anita Flounce Sleeve Top – a fitted, wine colored, off-the-shoulder top with exaggerated flounce sleeves. It is as good as it sounds.
It is no surprise that she transformed the simple white t-shirt into anything but basic. Keeping in the tradition, the white tee also has flounce sleeves. The top, which can be worn casually or dressed up, fits perfectly into the wardrobe of anyone who prefers a little flare.
I decided to dress it up for my Saturday events and wore it with a green pencil skirt and multicolored cloth mule sandals. These shoes are bold and statement shoes, with unique designs and other embellishments, are one of my favorite ways to accent an ordinary or casual look. My accessories collectively tell a story of travels – a pearl necklace given to me as a gift from China, a summer clutch I found at a market with items from Southeast Asia, and a bracelet handmade from African prints. The bracelet is from my sister’s jewelry line, Nani.
Who are some of your favorite designers?
As always, thanks for stopping by!
(Ode to Tim Gunn)
Most people have clothing in their closets that they haven’t worn in years. If this does not apply to you, have you ever received a gift from someone and knew it was something that you would absolutely never wear? In situations like this, it seems like there are a few choices: Give it away, throw it away, or let it sit in your closet. But, there is another alternative.
I mentioned before that as a teen, I spent a lot of time shopping with my mom. Although my teenage years are long gone and my mom lives hundreds of miles away, it is still somewhat of a normality for me to come home to a delivery box, packed with a few new clothes handpicked by my mother (she is very thoughtful). Recently, she sent me a box with clothes she picked out from one of her favorite stores. Inevitably there were some things that I did not care for. Does this sound familiar to anyone else?
Well, this post is dedicated to making it work. We don’t always need to shop for new things, but should also learn to work with what we have. It is also evidence that where we shop is just one small piece of the puzzle. Ultimately, how we pull the items together defines the look. All of the clothing in this post were gifts purchased from Steinmart.
The expression on my face says it all. As is, this is something I would never pick out for myself. Overall, it felt it bit frumpy. The top is a printed tunic. It has gold chains attached from the back of the shirt with tassels on the end. The original outfit was paired with these stretch fit, ankle length pants (I love the color of the pants, by the way).
Here is where the transformation began. My mom also sent a stretch fit, pencil skirt. Instead of wearing the tunic with the pants, I opted for mixing prints and paired it with the skirt, which had similar patterns and colors. I did not like the cords/tassels on the tunic or the neckline so I removed them and also altered the look of the shirt to make it off the shoulder. I wore the top tucked in to shorten the length and brought the skirt up to create a high-waisted look. I completed this look with accessories: a pearl necklace, white pumps (purchased a few years ago from Steve Madden), and my favorite summer bag, a blue and white striped clutch from The Limited.
Overall, this look feels fresher and younger.
You may have things in your closet that you feel are outdated or gifts that you’ve never worn. Try looking through your closet this week for ways to restyle those items. I have cut up old dresses when I loved the pattern and needed to create a crop top. Or maybe its an old pair of jeans that would make a cute pair of shorts for the summer. You may be surprised with what you put together.
Thanks for reading! Have a great 4th of July!
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Though summer is a still a few weeks away, for most people memorial day marks the beginning of the summer season. And if you are anything like me, you are heading to or dreaming of heading to a beautiful beach in a distant location. Even if an exotic vacation is not in your travel plans for this summer, you can still dress like you are there.
Whether you are strolling through Sao Paulo or spending a night out dancing, a little (or a lot of) ruffles on your skirt are the perfect summer addition.
I love the layered ruffles on this skirt. The colorful and bold pattern is reminiscent of a childhood memory, watching Bahian women walk through the streets of Salvador de Bahia in their traditional dress. I am inspired by the full, bright skirts I saw in Pelourinho over two decades ago and can still recall the taste of the coffee the women offered visitors as they passed by businesses. Fashion communicates a story in that way.
I wore this skirt with a yellow off the shoulder crop top, which is another style favorite of mine. The skirt and top are recent purchases and were both very reasonably priced. I found my bag at an outdoor market in Savannah, Georgia a few years ago.
Outfit Details – Lace up sandals: Nasty Gal|| Crop Top: H&M|| Ruffle Skirt: H&M (The skirt and shirt are not listed online, but I’ve seen them in stores in a few different cities.)
Thanks for stopping by! Stay tuned for more summer fashion!
In a few words I would describe my personal style as bold, creative, feminine, and versatile. How do you describe your style?
Thanks for stopping by!
March is my favorite month of the year. It begins with my birthday and ends with my favorite season. Naturally, spring is a time for renewal. I’m fascinated by all that happens during the spring… flowers blooming, longer days, warmer weather and in fashion it brings lighter colors and an influx of pretty floral prints. But there is more to love about spring fashion, like brightly colored handbags and flowing pieces. Tunics, for example, create beautiful silhouettes and there are a variety of ways to style them. I love that this top is modest in its length and fit, but the slits at the hip add some allure. The overall feel of this look is retro inspired so I wore the top with wide leg jeans. You can create a completely different look by wearing the tunic with shorts or culottes, which I plan to explore in the coming months.
Shoes: Nasty Gal|| Top: Nasty Gal|| Jeans: The Limited|| Bag: Thailand
Whenever I travel I make it a point to find unique pieces to bring back home and this basket purse was one of my most prized fashion finds during a trip to Thailand a few summers ago. The woven pattern and the color make it perfect for warmer months.
These tan strappy sandals were a steal, for under $30. They are made from a faux-suede material and I purchased them during one of Nasty Gal’s recent sales.
What are your favorite things to wear during spring? Share your thoughts on this look below and subscribe for regular updates!