Online Shopping Review: Kohl’s

Salaams my lovelies! It has been a while. I have been trying to be more “in the moment” when it comes to spending time with my family, I have been working on my fitness routine (more to come!) and lastly, just working. As a working mom, it has always been a challenge to publish blog posts, but I promise that I will get more consistent.

One reason I don’t publish as often is that I want to ensure that what I am writing about actually benefits you and that it makes sense from a Hijabilife perspective. I have been looking at sharing things that I personally enjoy versus promotion. Anyhow, with that being said, I will say that as a curvy hijabi, it is super challenging to find flattering trendy clothes.

How do I even begin to describe how I feel like I belong in a Chiquita banana ad when I wear bell sleeves? However, in spite of my initial reservations, I could not help but be tempted by this gorgeous chambray top by LC Lauren Conrad from Kohl’s.

Minara

I have never really shopped at Kohl’s before, but I was convinced by a friend to shop there and that line is amazing! In the picture above, I am wearing head to toe LC by Lauren Conrad line. The top and leggings are both affordable and modest fashion-friendly. The line featured clothing that is double-stitched and from beautiful fabrics. Imagine trendy clothing at Forever 21 prices with the quality of a Banana Republic line.

I ordered my pieces online since I know the selection is wider and I know my sizing. I wear a size Large for this particular line (it runs bigger than most lines). That means that if you wear a Medium, you may want to try a size Small. The shipping was fast and easy and you get email notifications with tracking numbers and an ETA. If you are looking for some spring clothing on a budget, give Kohl’s a try!

Please note: I was not compensated by Kohl’s or LC Lauren Conrad for this review. I purchased all pieces reviewed in this post.

Follow Friday: Mora_Hijabi

Monira Uddin

Monira Uddin translates hijab trends with a modern mom twist.

Salaams my lovelies! I hope that you are doing well inshallah. It has been ages since I have done a Follow Friday, but this one is super special to me. It is a Follow Friday on my big sister Monira Uddin! I love all my hijabi fashionistas on Instagram, but it has been rather challenging to find popular Instagrammer hijabis that are petite and curvy. That is why I love following my big sister @Mora_Hijabi. She is athletic and a mom so she takes modest fashion trends and is able to translate in a more every woman way for me. Just look at her rocking a fur vest with that plaid shirt. I will admit that I ran to Target to buy a vest because I love copying my big sister.

She is the hijabi next door that you would want to be friends with and have chai with. She also knows how to throw some amazing Pinterest worthy parties. We all know that being a Muslim mom who works can be a juggling act, so she recently launched her own blog about being a working hijabi mama over 35. Check out her blog here.

She is an amazing person inside and out. I am so lucky to have had a big sister like her to look up to and now I get to share her talents with all of you. Let me know what you think. Do you have a big sister that you just love? Let me know in the comments below.

Curvy Hijabi Brand To Watch: Styled by Zubaidah

Styled By Zubaidah

Styled By Zubaidah offers plus size hijabis stylish yet modest clothing options.

Salaam my loves! It really has been a long time since I have blogged. This time, it is because I am stuck in the throes of being a new mama to the most wonderful little boy alhamdulillah. Between working full time and taking care of two little ones, it doesn’t leave much time for blogging.

However, now that I am a second time mom, I have noticed that the weight I gained from this pregnancy has not been coming off quite so easily. As a result, I am now plus size. Yes, I can honestly admit that I am a size 10-12 instead my usual size 6-8. It hasn’t been too hard on me to recognize that, but what has been hard is trying to dress modestly without wearing a tent-like mumu.

Enter Styled by Zubeidah. Zubaidah Abdul-Hakim, founder and sole designer for Styled by Zubaidah says, “My product is designed for the Curvy Muslim Woman who has always found it difficult to purchase clothing that fits her well, maintains her modesty, and still makes her feel unique and beautiful.”

She founded the line in 2013 for plus sizes 12 and larger. While her line is targeted for plus sized hijabis, she also designs for hijabis with curves in mind. Her pieces are not just larger versions of what is already out there. She uses fabrics that are stretchy but not clingy, fabrics with fun patterns, and other design techniques to ensure that plus size hijabis look beautiful in a tasteful modest way.

So if you are a curvy hijabi looking some modest fashion options without the hassle of layering, check this line out. I will be styling her cream abaya on Instagram soon, so keep an eye for it inshallah.

Hijab Trends: Kimono Cardigans

Kimono cardigan

Kimono cardigans are great layering piece for modest outfits.

Modest outfits pulled together by stylish hijabi bloggers have never been hotter. One hot hijab trend for summer has been the kimono cardigan. It is lightweight and skims over areas where hijabis tend to be modest. I personally love the kimono because it allows you to layer without adding too much bulk which is especially nice for curvy hijabis. Let’s be real: curvy hijabis have to be a little more creative if we want to translate what most hijabi bloggers wear into our own closet.

Kimono cardigans are versatile. You can pair the kimono cardigan with a jumpsuit, jeans, flowy palazzo pants and even layer on top of maxi dresses. It adds a layer of texture and interest to an outfit. For more of a fitted look, you can add a belt like the image above. Lengths of kimono cardigans vary, but I personally prefer longer ones since I am a petite hijabi. When I wear longer cardigans, it tends to lengthen my whole body versus cutting the visual lines and making me look too squat. I love that the kimono cardigan can work for any body shape.

It is also a great piece for a hijabi in any age group. When I was rocking my kimono cardigan, my mother in law loved it so much. So I surprised her with her own kimono and she rocks it all the time now alhamdulillah. Since the kimono is more of a trendy piece, I tend to stick to more affordable options.

Here are my top affordable picks for a kimono cardigan:

Urban Outfitters Floral Kimono

Forever 21 Eyelash Lace Kimono

Forever 21 Long Floral Lace Kimono

Zara Flowing Kimono Jacket

Are you rocking the kimono this summer? What are your favorite kimono cardigans? Let me know in the comments below:

Has Hijabi Fashion Gone Too Far?

Hijab Fashion

Does modest fashion have to be so serious?

Salaam my lovelies! I hope you are all doing well inshallah. I know I haven’t posted in a long time. It is not because I don’t love to write; I really do. I LOVE that my writing has resonated with so many readers and that I get the most lovely comments on my posts. However, the divisiveness in our little hijabi blogger community has left me shaken. As you remember, I viewed being a hijabi blogger as a chance for Muslim women to regain our narrative back. Modest fashion is a part of that, but I also wanted to blog about other Muslim American topics such as raising good Muslim children, having a healthy Islamic marriage and even where to get good halal food.

However, it seems that there are a lot of trolls who persist in tearing hijabi bloggers to shreds. I have written about this before, but I will actually share an incident that has bothered me immensely. We all know how I have my Follow Friday posts on Hijabi Life. I actually posted a Follow Friday post on a sister named Imaan Ali who used to blog on a blog called The Hijablog. We all know hijab is an extremely personal experience and that there are ups and downs in everyone’s faith. So for hijabi bloggers to document our lives is very hard to begin with. So you can imagine how much backlash Imaan got for making the very personal decision to take her hijab off.

Here is the thing: She is still the same person. She is still a human being. Do you really think trolling her or any bloggers who admired her will really change the situation? I know she is not the first hijabi blogger to take her hijab off (Winnie Detwa also received backlash for taking her hijab off too). However, I don’t expect her to be the last. How terrible is it that we are so quick to bash the bloggers we so ardently adored? Personally, I don’t want to be adored. I want to be able to share my own thoughts and feelings in the hopes that it provides some souls a little comfort in their own lives. I think it is wrong how we have quickly made hijabi bloggers the end all be all. Please avoid taking bloggers on as idols. I don’t think a single blogger wants to be idol worshipped like a celebrity is in Western culture. And if there is a shred of pride from cult status, then we as bloggers need to be aware that showing off is so dangerous that it’s like the black ant on the black rock in the night with no moon. It can sneak up on you like this.

And here is my quandary: Should I keep blogging about hijabi fashion? I feel like it has taken on more baggage than I was aware of. It also limits my writing. I want to be able to write and help others. With the situation in Gaza, I can’t help but feel silly to write about just modest fashion. I would like to share more Islamic/DIY/political posts though. If you agree or disagree, please let me know. I am not asking you readers to all agree with me, but I do think that we need to have some more tolerance and forgiveness in our own hearts. The way we treat others in this world is how God will treat us when we meet him. Let us have more mercy.

Modest Swimsuits for Summer

Madamme BK Modest Swimwear

The Hijablog rocking a Madamme BK modest swimsuit.

Salaams my lovelies! I hope you are all doing well inshallah. I know that since summer has arrived, I have seen my spare time shift to spending more times outdoors, in the sun, and even by the pool. Yes, I wrote the pool. Contrary to what some hijabis think, you can spend time at the pool or beach and still be modest. Long ago, I remember that I had to resort to wearing long sleeved shirts and quick drying workout pants in order to “swim.”  One of the saddest things I can confess is that since I wore hijab at such an early age, I never really learned how to swim! I could never find a modest outfit that allowed me to swim or learn to swim properly. Inshallah, I plan to learn to swim soon since swimming is one of the activities the Prophet (saws) recommended all believers should know (along with riding a horse and archery). When the burquini came on to the scene, I viewed it as an opportunity to learn the skill I so badly wanted to learn.

Alhamdulillah, we have come a long way from one hijabi friendly swimsuit line to a medley of modest swimwear options. Here are some great hijabi swimwear options if you are looking for the perfect modest swimsuit:

  1. Madamme BK: Seen on the likes of Yaz the Spaz, the Hijablog, Indahnadapuspita, and other hijabi fashion icons, this modest bathing suit is perfect for the fashionista type who doesn’t want to compromise her sense of style  or modesty while she is out at the pool or beach.
  2. Simply Zeena: This line of swimwear are for the practical hijabis who need a suit that is functional and not too frilly. This line is perfect for young hijabi moms who don’t want their kids tugging on their suit.
  3. Modest Sea: A line of swimwear for the athletically inclined. The aerodynamic suits with racing stripes and sporty details are ideal for a hijabi who loves to work out and play hard.
  4. Burqini: I couldn’t ignore the original modest bathing suit for hijabis could I? An old standby and the brand trusted by Australian lifeguards.

Do you have a modest bathing suit that you love? Share the love and let us know in the comments below!

 

Follow Friday: Ascia AKF

Ascia AKF

Ascia AKF is a Kuwaiti blogger who shows us you can have great style all the time…even pregnant!

Salaams my lovelies! I hope you are having a good day today inshallah. Well even if you aren’t, the bright spot is that today is Follow Friday on Hijabi Life! The hijabi blogger for today’s Follow Friday lives in Kuwait and is a masterful mix of bold, bright and beautiful ensembles. Ascia AKF, aka Ascia Al-Faraj exploded onto the blogger scene and is credited with bringing the turban style into a mainstream staple. Ascia AKF’s blog, The Hybrids follow the fashion diary of not only herself, but her husband Ahmad too. The couple calls themselves “hybrids” since they are both of mixed heritage. The results are just stunning mashallah.

An expert at deftly layering clothes, Ascia AKF’s look is more of a citizen of the world. She combines high low fashion in a way that is not only accessible, but transcends age, ethnicity and even gender. Even during her recent pregnancy with her newborn son Adam, we never saw the lovely hijabi blogger ever resort to scrubby looking sweatpants (which makes me love, yet hate her haha!) even during her last trimester. A big believer in the idea that your mood affects your style, Ascia AKF has said, “When I don’t want to talk to anyone I wear black clothes and black dark eyeliner so no one would enter my world of thoughts. On the other hand, “sometimes I would wear colors with the best accessory and bright colors to express my mood.”

Ascia AKF doesn’t purport to live a charmed life even with all of her successes as a fashion designer and blogger. Ascia is very open about sharing her own struggles as well as her style. She shared her troubles of fertility with her fans last year as well as the sadness she felt with losses in her life. However, she still continued and continues to inspire us all. If there was ever a blogger who was proof of how there is ease after hardship, it is Ascia. She lives up to her namesake’s name.

While I am not a devotee of the turban style for my own personal hijab style, I think @ascia_akf (her account on Instagram) is just a wonderful account to follow for modest fashion ideas. What are your thoughts? Do you have a hijabi blogger you would like me to cover in the next Follow Friday post? Let me know.

Follow Friday: @Honeyfordays aka Hanan

Honeyfordays

Hanan aka Honeyfordays is the epitome of California cool.

Salaams my lovelies! I hope you are having a wonderful day inshallah. As you know, today is Follow Friday where I recommend a stylish hijabi on Instagram to follow. Today’s Follow Friday hijabi @honeyfordays (Hanan) is not only stylish and beautiful, but she also gives back to the community. I had the pleasure of meeting Hanan at the Fashion Fighting Famine San Francisco show in Jan 2014. I can vouch that she is not only stunning in photographs, but also very beautiful in real life too mashallah. @honeyfordays was modeling for FFFSF while I was MCing the show. I personally think it is wonderful when we see have hijabis who are trying to make a difference in their local communities. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to connect too much that day since we both were focused on making Fashion Fighting Famine SF successful, but I was struck by her poise and beauty in person for the brief moment we did meet! Actually, it was nice to meet a whole collective of stylish hijabis in the Bay Area overall. However, when @honeyfordays was on the runway you could literally hear a pin drop because all eyes were on her. She rocked her outfits like no one else because she has an effortless beauty about her.

@honeyfordays not only has killer style, she is a fresh faced beauty that can pull off dramatic eye makeup or trendy lip colors without looking overly done. Whether it’s a smoky kohl eye or a velvety plum lips, @honeyfordays can make trendy makeup looks more accessible. I love following her Instagram account if only to get ideas on how to wear makeup trends well. She is not a big accessory girl, but when she does wear accessories you know it. From bejeweled headbands to cinched belts, she wears accessories to complement HER, not her outfit.

Make sure to check out @honeyfordays on Instagram and while you are there, feel free to add me too @hijabilife!

Key Learnings From The International Muslimah Fashion Week Scandal

IMFW

International Muslimah Fashion Week quickly turned into a scandal where rumors of a scam erupted.

Salaams my lovelies! Happy Friday to everyone. I typically do a Follow Friday post, but I wanted to address the rumors of scandal regarding a  modest fashion event called International Muslimah Fashion Week. Unfortunately, what was promised to be a few days of bonded sisterhood fun, has quickly turned into a scary situation because of what seems to be either poor planning or bad intentions. Allah (swt) knows best as to what truly did happen, but I will say I was very sad about the sisters who invested so much money and time to be part of what could have been a great event. So many vendors, bloggers, and Muslims were planning to attend and to be told it was cancelled is one thing. However, it is whole other thing to wait till the last minute to cancel. Countless bloggers traveled from all over the world to attend this event and were ultimately stranded in a foreign country! My heart truly does go out to these hard working ladies. However, I am sure they will find the kindness of Muslim Americans can be felt wherever they go. I feel even WORSE for the sisters who scraped and saved to spend over a hundred dollars just to attend this event and meet inspirational hijabis. They may have even flown cross country or internationally to attend. What is their recourse?

When it comes to events, we should demand that they be put on with some professionalism and organization. Last year, I attended a Halal Fest here in the Bay Area and it was chaos! I truly wanted to support a Muslim event, but we need to start expecting that they are organized like all events should be. Melanie from Haute Hijab wrote a great piece on the fallout from the IMFW scandal here that highlights just that. It is time for the Type A Muslims to come forward and start organizing Muslim events that are timely, affordable, and accessible to all with good intentions.

I will make a confession: I was tempted to attend just so I could meet some hijabi bloggers I truly admired and to get the word out about Hijabi Life. I may not be a glamorous hijabi blogger, but I wanted to ensure that my readership got the scoop on all things modest fashion. However, I am really selective about which events I attend and my OWN intentions. If I find it digresses and I am just feeding my nafs for “fame” in the modest fashion scene, I actually pull away. For example, I did MC for Fashion Fighting Famine SF because it was a good cause, but I didn’t want to use it as a means to promote myself. It was more to ensure we helped a local charity in the community. Since I had no such basis for IMFW, I personally did not want to attend it because it felt like I was digressing from my true intent of this blog which is to support my fellow Muslims sisters.

I really do hope for the best for all the ladies involved. Let’s all make dua and think of a better event that inshallah will take away the confusion, hurt, and hate this one may have caused. Perhaps we can have a redo of this event, but at a lower cost per ticket and also with a charity or cause we can all be proud of. OR we can just use this as more reason to BACK organizations like Fashion Fighting Famine who do modest fashion shows but are legitimate and help others. Let’s learn from this and truly come together as a community.