It’s official!!! I’m 30 today…Yaaaayyyy. And what better way to celebrate my birthday than to launch a fashion/lifestyle blog. Before I go full throttle with the pictures and posts, let me share my experience and drive for doing this.
My journey towards becoming a practicing muslim was filled with struggles due to misconceptions I had about reconciling fashion with my faith. Before 2010, I never imagined myself dressing up conservatively as I was (and still am) an admirer of exceptional style. Despite being born into a muslim family I didn’t practice the religion, and my fashion sense did not convey any notion of religiosity. I was the quintessential open-minded fashion enthusiast, who marveled in experimenting with many fashion trends and hair styles. Think of fashion trends…minimalist, rock chic, bohemian inspired, tribal, futuristic…I tried it. And I dabbled with these styles while trying to maintain class and edge. In summer 2010, I went through a series of difficult life events and found solace in practicing the islamic faith. As life had it, and with the gentle push of a friend, I made the decision to start ‘covering up stylishly’ in October 2010.
Transitioning from a fashion loving gal to a conservative yet fashion loving person of faith came with some challenges and several benefits. The difficult aspect of dressing up as a muslim woman was the struggle to find stylish and decent clothing. There were instances where I had to layer clothing to get the ‘right’ modest look. Imagine having to cope with layers (5 at times) when you’re used to wearing a top and skirt…or a dress. This was a very tough time for me. I sometimes found myself drifting back to my previous style. As frustrating as this time was, it was an opportunity for me to reflect and question why I felt the need to look stylish. The best part of dressing modestly was that I observed a positive difference in how people interacted with me. I quickly noticed a surge in the eagerness to have more insightful conversations.
It was obvious…I had a tough time reconciling fashion with faith. In my attempt at embracing my style and faith, I was faced with two groups of critics: the self-righteous religious folks and the ‘sell out on values’ camp. The thing is some purists frequently misconstrue fashion enthusiasts as shallow and self-indulgent individuals. But to feel that a lady is selfish because she loves to beautify herself is rather close minded. On the other hand, individuals that don’t see modestly as a significant value find it easy to belittle people who feel otherwise. The reality is that we are way more complex, awesome and exciting to be labelled in a restrictive sense. And in respecting the values of others, we learn to respect ourselves. I’ve come to be at peace with how people (at work, religious gatherings, volunteers) perceive my passion for looking stylish. I’ve come to understand that we all have different paths to self discovery and mine is through faith.
Contrary to what the media pushes, I believe being modestly fashionable is empowering and beautiful for women.
In essence, I’m kicking off my blog to serve as a resource to empower young women by suggesting elegant and conservative style ideas. I will be posting my work outfits on Wednesdays and Fridays (except while I’m on vacation) and other lifestyle contents every other Mondays.
I hope this blog helps some lady struggling with the thought of dressing stylish yet modest…it is definitely doable!
I’m a project manager by day and a fashionista/style enthusiast always. I have a diverse range of contradictory interests…fashion vs activism, ice cream cake vs spinach salad…but I love & proudly embrace them all.
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