Online Shopping Review: Simply Zeena

Simply Zeena

Simply Zeena Winter 2014

Salaams my lovelies! I hope you are doing well inshallah and that you are having a nice Friday! I typically do a Follow Friday post, but today, I wanted to make it a Fashion Friday post because I am just over the moon in love with a modest fashion clothing line that I am sure that you will love too. Have you heard of Simply Zeena? For some reason, I had heard of the line, but I never had the time to really browse and shop their site online. Another one of the challenges of online shopping is that you just don’t know how something will drape or look on you unless you try it in person. I was lucky enough to have the chance to meet the ladies of Simply Zeena at the Fashion Fighting Famine San Francisco show and see their Winter 2014 collection in person.

The Simply Zeena 2014 Winter Collection is an array of extremely wearable and flattering pieces that can work for anyone looking for a modest wardrobe that is polished and chic. As a working hijabi mom, I need quick pieces like the ones in this collection to put on and go yet still look polished. I love that the materials are wrinkle resistant because who really has the time to iron? Not me! But I also still want to look elegant and professional and Simply Zeena allows me to look my best. I personally bought the purple hoodie and the Audrey which is a classic top in the making. When I wore the Audrey, I felt as elegant as the iconic Audrey Hepburn. I paired it with slim fit black pants, ballet flats and I know I got a ton of compliments from Muslims and non Muslims alike. A mom at Trader Joe’s actually stopped me and asked, “Where did you get that cute top?” I was so happy to share my fashion secret with her and with you. Simply Zeena has clothing for anything you may need. They even sell modest active wear and swim wear. I was super excited to see that.

Online Browsing: Their site is super easy to navigate to find what you need and more. They have a super easy to locate top navigation bar that can take you directly to clothing that are Basics, Activewear (as a gym buff, I LOVE that they have modest activewear), and other categories that make sense for easy shopping.

While Simply Zeena is an online shopping destination, I can’t really give you the good details on how fast shipping is, or the buying experience, etc. However, that gives me a great excuse to go and buy more online. I will let you know how my next pieces come and how the true online shopping experience is. In the meantime, if you have bought from Simply Zeena, what did you think? Share your comments below!

Online Shopping Review: JewelsNGems

20140102-231134.jpgSalaam my lovelies! I hope you had a wonderful New Year inshallah. If you have one new Year’s resolution, I hope it is to pamper yourself a little bit more. As a wife and mom (but even when I was a single student), I used to put my needs on the back burner just to take care of my loved ones. Well, think of taking care of yourself as a way to ensure that you can keep taking care of your loved ones without burning out. So one of the things I barely do is actually buy any hijab accessories or jewelry. Everything I wear is actually given by someone else. Alhamdulillah I can’t complain, but isn’t it nice to wear jewelry that you personally picked out? I know I feel the prettiest with jewelry that I adore!

If you want to spoil yourself, there is an amazing online store called JewelsNGems that has the most luxurious and unique hijab accessories that I have ever seen. Here is my rundown of the site:

Online Browsing: Here I have to say that the company has done a wonderful job in terms of cataloging and displaying their high quality jewelry and accessories. Their tabs allow users to find exactly what they are looking for; whether it is hijab pins or necklaces or ornate Indian style fantasy jewelry.

Buying Experience:Their site is also easy to convert to different currencies and you know exactly what price each of the items are. You can keep adding items to your cart and browse. When you actually check out, it’s via Pay Pal and it is very easy to either check out as a guest or create a Pay Pal account.

Shipping:Given that my order came through during Christmas and this vendor is located in the U.K., I am very pleased with how fast these items came through! I will warn you that as with all U.K. sites that I have come across, the shipping may be more than the accessories you order so be sure to save up and order a bunch of items or share an order with a friend to ensure that you feel like shipping the items is worth it.

Once I received my package, I was struck by the care that went into not only the items, but how it was presented. Each item was bagged in its bag, and the site even sends you a complimentary chocolate (which was European deliciousness and gone in minute!).

Every accessory is the highest quality and each crystal placed on the accessories are held into place by sturdy prongs to ensure that it will stay intact for a long time. The crystals are iridescent and have an incandescent beauty. If you want to feel like a hijabi princess, this is the site for you.

Hijabi Trend: Winter Pastels

Jessica Alba pink skirt

Jessica Alba pulls off the cold weather pastel trend perfectly

Salaams my lovelies! I know I should be blogging more, but you know how it goes when you have a full time job plus a little babykins. Life basically happens and then there is no downtime to craft a good quality post for you!

That being said, I am going to make more of an effort to stalk my favorite hijabi style stars and curate the best and the brightest trends for you. Also, since Thanksgiving is coming up, expect a few recipe posts inshallah (God willing)! I actually did an amazing apple tart last night as a test run dessert, but it was devoured in minutes before I could stage and take pictures for you! Neddless to say, I will be replicating that recipe and sharing that with you before Thanksgiving.

Now that we are on full on winter mode, the instant reflex is to toss out all of our spring/summer pastel pieces in favor of darker jewel toned pieces. I adore jewel toned pieces, but I live on a real world budget and need to rely on great clothing combinations in order to avoid spending a ton of money on clothing. One of my favorite tactics is to take a page from Jessica Alba’s style book and actually pair a winter sweater with all of my pastel skirts. I bet most of you already have a pastel skirt AND a black sweater. Pair the two together with some accessories, and voila! You have an instantly chic outfit that would make any Parisian proud (or in my opinion, any British hijabi vlogger).

If you happen to be the one hijabi without a pastel skirt, please visit Hijabi-ista.com and check out their pastel pleated skirts. They are not see through and they are as comfortable as pajamas (I kid you not).

Try out the combination and let me know what you think! What are your tips for wearing pastels in winter?

Hijabi Trend: Embellished Shoulders

embellished shoulders with spikes

Embellishments on the shoulders are an emerging trend with the hijabi set.

Are you looking to change up your hijab style a little? One emerging trend from the hijabi fashion set has been to embellish the shoulders of their outfits. If you are a little fashion risk averse, this is the perfect trend for you. I mean think about it, shoulders are pretty much standard on every one so you know a little shoulder embellishment will look as good on you as it does on a runway model. It is the perfect place to take a little fashion risk without looking too foolish. Here are some tips to pull off the look:

Give it Some Edge:If you are tired of super girly pastels and florals and want to embrace your inner edge, you may want to consider putting some finishing touches on the shoulders of your abaya. The hottest hijabi trend has been to pump up the style of your abaya with strong shoulder pads, ruching, and even spikes and chains for a look that is definitely not your auntie’s style.

Make It Pretty:If you are looking for a softer feel, you can always spice things up with sequin detailing at the shoulders, or contrast color blocking too. Whatever you choose in terms of shoulder embellishments, it will be a look that will stand out from the rest.

Do It Yourself: This is the perfect trend to refresh some dated pieces in your wardrobe. Do you have an old blazer you don’t wear anymore? Bring it back to life by sewing some ribboned chains from the craft store to the shoulder, adding some spikes, or even making it sparkle with some hot glued crystals. Your imagination can run a little wild and you may end up with a cool piece without breaking your budget.

What do you think of this trend?

Online Shopping Review: Rhonda’s Collections

Kaftan

Rhonda’s Collection is a great place to shop for fully lined figure flattering kaftans for a glam look.

I am always on the look out for great places to shop for modest, yet fashionable clothing items. My latest find is an online store that sells butterfly kaftans and other modest fashion designs. Meet Rhonda’s Collections, an online store based in the UK that should be on your online shopping destinations list:

Here is a rundown of how I ordered my items through Rhonda’s Collections:

Online Browsing: For this, I feel like Rhonda’s Collection should do a refresh and add kaftans under the clothing category. All of their kaftans are currently listed under Dresses. I would click the drop down that says Clothing, then select the option that says Dresses (UK 6-12). Other than that, the images are true to what you order and there is a diverse group of options.

Buying Experience: Once you purchase your items, you will get a note with salams via email thanking you for your purchase along with a convenient tracking number that you can use to track your shipment. Very handy especially if you need the items before a big event like Eid or a wedding. They also make sure to always add a free gift with any purchase and it is typically a very pretty piece of jewelry that you can use to accessorize with your purchase.

Shipping: There is FREE shipping for all orders in the UK at special times of the year. For all other countries, shipping is a flat rate of $27! That is a lot of money, so I would suggest ordering with a group of friends, or at least ordering multiple items so you can stock up. It ships quickly and you will get an email notification of when it ships along with a tracking URL. You can track when your package will arrive which is always nice!

When I finally opened my package, I thought the kaftans looked even better in person than they did online! My mom has already told me I need to order her one and one for my sister, so I foresee a lot of shopping with Rhonda’s Collections inshallah. Make sure to check them out for the nicest butterfly kaftans and butterfly abayas around.

Follow Friday: Nura Afia

Nuralailalov

Nuralailalov is a hijabi makeup vlogger who translates extreme makeup looks into wearable looks

Salaams my lovelies! I apologize for not blogging as often, but between my regular day job, consulting, and handling a toddler, I am BEAT. I really do love blogging and want to keep this blog as a nice gathering place for you all. So I only try to make blog posts I feel are beneficial versus making my blog a place to rant and rave ha. It is Friday, which means it is time for a sneak peek into the lives of some of our hijabi social media darlings.

Today, I wanted to write about Nura Afia, aka Nuralailalov. Nura Afia is a hijabi makeup vlogger on YouTube. Nura is a testament to the fact that you can be a glamorous hijabi mom. While I may not be able to live up to that, it is nice to see another hijabi be able to juggle motherhood, working, and look amazing doing it mashallah! Her videos are not only makeup tutorials, they also are reviews on the hottest makeup products, hijab tutorials, and just fun snapshots into her life as a friend, mom, and wife.

I personally love her makeup tutorials as inspiration for ideas like how to contour and do dramatic looks for special events. Make sure to follow her on Instagram @Nuralailalov for short video tutorials as well.

Be on the lookout for a recipe post coming your way inshallah! Have a wonderful day and jumah mubarak!

Follow Friday: Saman Munir

Saman

Saman Munir is a Canadian vlogger who teaches hijabis to be beautiful inside and out.

Salaams my lovelies! Jumah mubarak to you all. It is Friday, which means another Follow Friday post. Today, I want to feature Saman Munir from Saman’s Makeuphijabs YouTube channel. Not only is she beautiful to look at, she is also a hijabi fashion vlogger who teaches her fellow hijabis how to not only look their best, but feel their best too. This hijabi fashionista is also a full time mommy and part time hijab stylish and makeup artist. If you have a chance, check out her Instagram account @makeuphijabs for the most beautiful hijabi style inspiration. She has an eye for putting together colorful yet feminine outfits that anyone can try. I call her style accessible elegance.

What I love the most about Saman Munir is her ability to connect with her viewers in her YouTube videos. While her chiseled features makes her beauty especially striking, she shares personal stories of her own struggles such as being considered the ugly duckling in her family, or her weight gain/loss journey that allow her viewers to be able to relate to her. In the end we are all the same like most hijabi vloggers, but Saman Munir has this uncanny ability to make viewers feel like she is a hijabi next door that they can have chai with and ask beauty/hijab advice.

Her online tutorials are especially helpful. If you ever need help with styling a difficult yet beautiful hijab like the Neva hijab, make sure to check out her fool proof tutorials. Her makeup tips are also easy to follow and she uses tools that most women possess (which is helpful since Sephora is like a sticky fly trap for me). I really love that her looks are never too extreme and that they always look pretty. On top of having a YouTube Channel and an amazing Instagram account, Saman Munir also sells hijabs and accessories online too. What a Wonder Woman mashallah!

Make sure to check out Saman Munir and let me know what you think!

Follow Friday: Noor Tagouri

Noor Tagouri

Noor Tagouri aspires to be the first hijabi news anchor on a major US network

Salaams my lovelies! Jumah mubarak to you all. As you know, I typically do a Follow Friday blog post on a hijabi’s Instagram account that I adore. Well I know I have blogged about Noor Tagouri before, but her Instagram account just begs to be followed. Why is that, you ask? She is a globe trotting, fearless example of a hijabi who is trying to show the best side of our faith to others. Whether she is studying domestic violence in Italy, or going on speaking engagements, Noor Tagouri’s Instagram account can serve as a inspiration to empower other hijabis to be active in their communities.

She is also beautiful too mashallah! However, she is not just a pretty face. What really strikes me is the beauty of her actions. You can really see her trying to understand where others are coming from. I feel like this is an essential quality of news anchors. If you look at the most popular news personalities, it is not their looks that make them successful, it is their ability to relate with the people that they are interviewing to get them to open up about their lives. I think Noor Tagouri will follow in those footsteps and really shine as a news anchor inshallah.

Her Instagram account is @ntagouri. Make sure to follow her for your own daily dose of community activism.

For scenes in my own daily life on food, fashion, and family, feel free to follow me @hijabilife too.

Hijabi Trends: Bras That Fit

Jockey Bra Fit Kit

Finding a bra that fits is important if you want to keep your fashion modest.

What item can instantly slim you and help you have better posture? A proper fitting bra. In terms of modest fashion, most hijabi fashion bloggers/vloggers focus more on the actual outfit or accessories, but what about under garments? No matter what your body type, having the right under garments such as Spanx, bras, or slips can actually help set the tone for your entire outfit. Think of under garments as the essential foundation of your outfit.

Personally, if you wear items that help smooth over trouble spots and wear under garments like slips, you actually stay more modest too! Whenever I see my skirt is too sheer, a slip always does the trick. As a curvy hijabi, having the right bra is important. You want to invest in one that fits properly so you can avoid jawline cleavage, quadriboob (when your cups runneth over), and back bulges. Bra shopping may be a pain because you may not even know your true size. In fact, 85 percent of women wear the wrong one, according to a 2011 study conducted by Griffin Strategic Partners.

Well if you don’t know your size, Jockey has created a new way to get fit for bras that is absolute genius. Jockey recently introduced the Jockey Bra based on a Volumetric Fit System that allows you to measure yourself at home. The bra-sizing kit, which you order online for $20, includes plastic, breast-shaped measuring cups in sizes 1 to 10, a color-coded measuring tape, a lingerie wash bag, and a $20 coupon to put toward a Jockey bra. To determine your size, you choose a cup and lay it on top of your breast. If there’s gapping, you try a smaller cup; if there’s spillage, you try a larger cup. Repeat until you find the best fit, then measure your ribcage. I actually fit myself at the local Jockey store near my home. I ended up with the most comfortable bra I have ever owned. No more back fat, no more spillage, and no more gaps! Yes, it was expensive for me to buy, but this under garment was worth every penny since it ends up making me look skinnier and that is priceless right? I am joking, but jokes aside, my shoulders, neck and back are all thanking me for better distribution of weight. Your body is a gift from God, so please take care of it and try a better fitting bra. If wearing Jockey is not your thing, you can also be fit at any Victoria’s Secret store too. Their Body collection is also very good.

If you are interested in trying the new sizing system but don’t live close to a Jockey store, order a Jockey Fit Kit here. Please note, that I did not get paid or given anything to share this with you. I just happen to really love this bra! I hope you do too.