Online Review and Giveaway! The Taffeta Tree

The Taffeta Tree

The Taffeta Tree sells a variety of stunning hijabs like this beautiful NEVA scarf.

Salaams my lovelies! I hope you are having a wonderful Ramadan so far inshallah. Since it is Ramadan, I am sure a lot of us are spending more time in the masjid or at home donning a hijab even if we don’t wear one normally. Or, if you are a regular hijabi like me, you want to look your best while you are doing extra acts of worship. So what is a girl to do? One quick way to help look your best this Ramadan is to refresh your hijabi wardrobe with a few new hijabs. Since there are not many hijab stores where I live, I tend to resort to buying hijabs online. While some sisters are nervous about online hijabi clothing, I have found most Muslim vendors are not only legitimate, but go above and beyond for their customers.

The online hijab store The Taffeta Tree decided to send me a few scarves to try out. Please note that I will always let you know when items are gifted to me, and I will not review all companies who gift me items unless I absolutely recommend them to my readers. The hijabs that were sent by The Taffeta Tree were not just stunning, but also very comfortable. In fact, I am wearing the NEVA shawl in Ocean Blue as I type this blog post. I was also sent a jersey hijab in Dark Purple, and two vicose hijabs. All of them are light and easy to wear. They are also true to the pictures posted to the site. They ship items using Priority Mail, so if you live in the United States, you can be rest assured to get your package fairly quickly. Make sure to stay up to date by following the Taffeta Tree Facebook page here.

All in all, The Taffeta Tree should be a shopping destination for all hijabis. In fact, I love my scarves so much, I want to give one away to a lucky Hijabi Life reader! If you are on Instagram, make sure to tag @hijabilife in your welcome Ramadan photos and you could win one of the beautiful hijabs sent to me from The Taffeta Tree! I hope you all enjoy your Ramadan and wish you luck in your Ramadan goals and this giveaway!

Hijabi Style: Great Gatsby Inspired

Great Gatsby Hijabi Style

Flapper style meets hijabi style in this collage!

Salaams my lovelies! I hope you are all doing well inshallah. I have been dying to see the movie The Great Gatsby. It is a complex novel with no real heroes or heroines. Just extremely wealthy but human characters who make sometimes fatal mistakes. One of the things that drew me to the recent film adaptation was the dazzling array of fashion looks worn by the characters. It makes me want to go back in time just to wear some of the clothes!

That being said, then reality struck me. First off, there were no such thing as flapper style hijabis back then. The Prohibition brought out the worst in people, there was the impending Depression coming, and you need to have a stick skinny body in order to actually look good in flapper fashions. Good thing there are newer options for hijabis to embrace the fashion from The Great Gatsby without looking like you traveled back in time. As you can tell from my styled collage, curvy hijabis can work the flapper look with a fishtail gown and a nice shrug in a contrasting color.

I was inspired to create this look based on what Amena Khan from Pearl Daisy wore to a tea party a few weeks back. Here is her look:

PearlDaisyGreatGatsby

Amenakin blends the old with the new in a lace dress and silver accents.

As you can tell, I modified the dress for a curvier hijabi. I also took liberties to add a more flapperesque headband and an art deco lariat versus a traditional Hyderabadi satlada.

What is your favorite look at the moment?

Meet The Brand: Sixteenrscarves

Nancy Hoque is a trailblazer looking to empower hijabis worldwide with her brand Sixteenrscarves.

Nancy Hoque is a trailblazer looking to empower hijabis worldwide with her brand Sixteenrscarves.

When I first started wearing hijab in 1994 in New York City, I have to say we did not have any options for hijabis other than a plain black triangle hijab. It was a very challenging time for a hijabi to have any sense of style, let alone think about hijab style or hijab fashion as a stand alone concept. I remember having to make the trek from Queens to Brooklyn to even find a hijab that had any color in it or wait until the Muslim Day Parade came around in the late spring. I am so glad that times have changed and we have wonderful designers who have taken the time from their lives to help enhance the wardrobes of hijabis every where!

One such designer is Nancy Hoque, the whiz behind the hijab brand Sixteenrscarves. If you are a hijabi who doesn’t follow the pack (but which hijabi really does?) then this is the brand for you. Her designs are artistic, yet very wearable. Considering the ethnic mix here in the Bay Area, I can see a hijabi hipster totally rocking a scarf from her brand in the Mission right here in San Francisco. I got to meet with Nancy and ask her a few questions to get to know the woman behind the brand. She is just a lovely woman mashallah and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us lucky hijabis next. Here is my interview with Nancy. Read on for more about the brand, how she got her start as a designer, and what every hijabi should have:

1) What does the name sixteenrscarves stand for?
I used to live on the corner of 16th and R street in Washington DC. Thats where sixteenR came from.

2) How did you get into design and modest fashion?
When I started wearing a headscarf and even before that, I always tried to dress modest and have it look cool at the same time. I’ve always been into the arts, sketching almost everyday, painting, creating crafts. I would flip through fashion magazines and be inspired by the different ways women can dress. Of course the way Muslim women approach dressing is very different from how we see dressing presented in the mainstream fashion world. That aspect of this “under ground” modest fashion movement which has been underway with Muslim women the last 5 years is what inspired me to start designing and create sixteenR.

3) What is the most important piece of advice about design that you have received?
Knowing what type of material you use for a scarf is really important. Whether or not it is easy to wrap or not.

4) If you could collaborate with any designer who would it be and why?
This is a really hard question because I love too many designers! I would collaborate with Prada, because I love their creativity on how they present their clothes. They look into the past and take certain design elements, but their designs end up looking into the future. I also love Diane Von Furstenburg. Her story and stance on feminism is very inspiring and would totally be awesome to work with.

5) What are your top 3 essentials that every hijabi should own?
1. Under scarf. Either a headband or inner scarf.
2. A hair band to tie the hair.
3. A lot of self-confidence

6) If you could dress anyone, who would it be and why? (could be someone who is not alive)
I would love to do a photoshoot with Yuna Zarai and style her. I would also love to dress Ibtihaj Muhammad or Nour Tagouri.

7) What part of our faith that inspires you the most?
The part where it teaches you to be confident with your faith despite what others may think or say. The part that encourages to connect with your Muslim sisters and be a part of the community and to contribute.

8) You’re not only a fabulous designer, but a mom too. How do you balance work and family?be
Time management and going to bed really late. 🙂 My family supports me and gives me time to work. Otherwise it would be impossible to do. I am blessed allhumdulilah.

9) What is one thing your fans may not know about you?
I’ve lived in 5 different cities, in 3 different states, in 2 different countries the last 5 years.

10) What beauty product do you swear by?
Black pencil eyeliner.

Follow Friday: Aisha Liinaa

Salaam my lovelies! Jumuah mubarak to you all. It’s been a hectic week, but expect a few more exciting blog posts in the next few days. I recently did a guest blog post for the amazing blog Haute Hijab on how hijabis seem to be bullying each other on social media platforms, and I plan to do a very special Meet the Brand blog post on Sixteenrscarves soon inshallah. Designer Nancy Hoque is just amazing woman and I can’t wait to share her insights on hijabi fashion, style, and wardrobe inspiration.

Okay, now that you know some of my updates, I wanted to share a very cute vlogger and Instagrammer with you. Her name is Aisha Liinaa, and she does the cutest hijab tutorials that are not only clearer than most, but also very funny. I happen to think she is a dead ringer for Amenakin from Pearl Daisy, but she does have her own unique sense of style which is why I think she warrants a “one to watch” status in my book. She is also mindful of selecting very accessible pieces and pulling them together in very beautiful outfits. She reminds me of the cute hijabi next door look with a dose of ethnic chic. Hailing from the UK, she even has that adorable British accent. Is it me, or does it seem like all the stylish hijabis are from the UK? I am from the U.S. so I may have to do some digging to find a cute American hijabi.

Well, make sure to check out Aisha Liinaa this week and follow her on Instagram for cute makeup and hijab tips @aishaliinaa.

Note to self: Feature an American hijabi for next Friday!

Online Shopping Review: Abaya Addict

Abaya Addict Solidify

Abaya Addict Makes Amazing Clothing for Hijabis

Salaams my lovelies! I hope you are having a great week. With the Bay Area heating up to almost summer temperature, I really can’t complain. However, when it comes to what to wear, I never know quite what to wear. I want to look nice, but I also want to be comfortable too. I always end up in jeans or a maxi skirt, but I always feel too hot in jeans with this nice California weather and maxi skirts get annoying because most of mine need a lining. I just want a piece of clothing that I can slip on and go and do my thing!

Luckily for me, Abaya Addict has the perfect pieces that look stylish, but are made with comfort in mind. I ordered the Solidify Abaya in Caramel in a Medium size. I wish I could say more about the shipping, but I think I had the unlucky timing to order my items when the force behind Abaya Addict was ready to deliver her baby! I will say that the customer service is superb because even though I had a few ordering issues, once they realized my items had not shipped, they just shipped it along with extra scarves! I had originally ordered a Solidify in Denim, but that piece was no longer available so they asked me to pick another one. I am glad when it came because it fit well. It was modest, well tailored and can be dressed up or down. I dressed my abaya up with a sparkly belt when I headed out to halaqa last week. All the ladies kept asking me where I got my abaya from. Thank you Abaya Addict!

I also like how I can wear this to my office and make it a part of my work wardrobe. I would just throw a blazer on top. It literally is a piece you can wear a million ways and if you feel lazy like I do sometimes, you can just throw it on by itself and go.

I wore one of Abaya Addict’s hijabs yesterday in the California heat and it was so lightweight that I didn’t get my usual headaches from the heat. Plus, the print was so festive that everyone in my office stopped and commented on how nice the hijab looked too.

This online shopping destination is one that any stylish hijabi should visit. Once you do, let me know what you think.

Follow Friday: Dina Toki-O

Dina Toki-O

Dina Toki-o has a funny sense of humor, but is stunning in her high fashion ensembles.

Jumah mubarak my lovelies! I know today is a tough and somber Friday. I promise to write a post with some gravity soon. However, I wanted to brighten up your spirits with a very funny and very colorful hijabi that you should follow on Instagram. Known as Dina Toki-o to her fans, her Instagram handle is @dinatokio. Her actual name is Dina Torkia. She is biracial with an English mother and an Egyptian father. While some hijabi fashionistas are more serious, Dina pokes fun at herself and uses endearing terms like “bideo” and “blang blaang” to sort of poke fun at slang we all know and use.

While some hijabis may find her too irreverent, I think some of her hijabi extremes actually translates to striking ways to wear hijab. I sort of view her style as the Vogue extreme. While it looks stunning, it may not work for most women but can be translated into something wearable for the rest of us. She has a background in fashion and really started putting a focus on hijabi fashion after she did some coursework in textiles. No wonder she knows how to mix her fabric textures so well mashallah!

Regardless of what you think, I still think her Instagram snaps are just so visually appealing that even if you don’t like her style, you will still smile. Let me know what you think! As always, you can follow me @hijabilife.

Online Shopping Review: Shop Rayan

20130418-202455.jpg

As a hijabi, it can be challenging to find stylish modest clothing. Most chains carry maxi skirts or dresses, but they are either see through or have no sleeves.

Well the great thing about social media is that we can find online hijabi friendly clothing.

One line that is particularly stunning is Shop Rayan. I ordered their Minna dress shortly after Fashion Fighting Famine.

I will say that even though their line is not low priced, buying one of their dresses is far better than my wasting money on lots of stuff from the mall. The stitching and the bow belt really made the Minna dress pop!

I will warn my curvy hijabi readers to order a size up because I ordered a size small and it fit every where but my bust!
Well okay, it fit but you know you are in trouble when your Hubster takes a look at you and asks if you are wearing a dress intended for indoor versus outdoor use! I need to keep this stunner for dinners inside with the Hubs. 🙂

Next time, I will make sure to order a size up though so I can rock some more Shop Rayan soon inshallah.

Shop Now: Fashion Fighting Famine

Fashion Fighting Famine

Fashion Fighting Famine 2013

Salaams my lovelies! For all of you ladies who want to feel as good as you look, you can actually shop for a cause now. Fashion Fighting Famine has partnered up with some of the most amazing hijabi friendly designers around to offer you discounts and have a portion of of your purchase help New Star Family Center. How can you not love that? Fashion Fighting Famine had a fabulous fashion show in Irvine, CA on March 31, 2013. If you missed it, check out their Instagram account @fashionfightingfamine for behind the scenes pictures. They invited the fabulous Amena Khan from Pearl Daisy, Yasemine from Yaz the Spaz, Winnie Detwa, Nura of BabyLailaLov and Imaan Ali of The Hijablog. Even though I live in California, I missed it and while I feel just awful about that, I will try to make it next year inshallah! At least those of us who missed the show can at least shop the show and look great for our future special events.

Here is a list of all of the designers who are featured in the Fashion Fighting Famine Shop for a Cause.

ABAYA ADDICT
Visit http://www.abayaaddict.com to see products, email your order to info@abayaaddict.com, and mention FFF in your email.

HIJAB HOUSE
Visit http://hijabhouseonline.com.au, email orders to sales@hijabhouseonline.com.au, and mention FFF in your email.

INAYAH
Shop at http://www.inayahcollection.com and enter FFF in the reference field upon checkout.

MADAMME BK
Shop at http://coutureswimnsport.com and mention FFF in special instructions upon checkout.

MOHAJABABES
Shop at http://www.mohajababes.com and enter promo code “FFF2013” at checkout.

NISAA BOUTIQUE
Free shipping from the UK! Visit http://www.nisaaboutique.com, email orders to nisaa.info@gmail.com, and mention FFF in your email.

RAYAN
Shop at http://www.shoprayan.com and enter promo code “FFF2013” at checkout.

SIXTEENR
Visit http://www.sixteenr.com and enter promo code “FFF2013” at checkout.

ZEENA
Visit http://www.simplyzeena.com, email orders to customerservice@simplyzeena.com, and mention FFF in your email.

Happy shopping! I will be updating the blog with reviews for a few of these designers soon inshallah, but let me know what you think I should buy!

Hijabi Find: Non See Through Maxi Skirts!

Mango Maxi Skirt

Mango Maxi Skirt

Is just me, or does it seem like all the recent offering of maxi skirts are completely or partially see through? I know some of you lovely readers are crafty enough to sew your own linings, but what about the sewing challenged (like myself)? I often have to recruit my mom or a tailor to sew an extra lining for me for maxi skirts I purchase at places like Forever 21, Target, or Sears. I mean it seems like everything from tops to bottoms are purposefully see through. While some companies have wised up that see through is no good (see Lululemon’s see through yoga pant recall), it seems like a fashion that is not going away. What is a hijabi to do?

Well I have some awesome news. There are lightweight satin maxi skirts now available at Mango stores right now that are not see through. They come in a variety of fun bright colors that you can wear all spring and summer long. Just make sure to thank me when you are strutting your stuff (see through free)!