A Roadmap for Modest Apparel and Shopping

Welcome to Greater Lengths! We strive to make the average, every day shopping experience easier for women who seek modest style and fashion without compromising on price or convenience.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

FAVORITE FIND: Luxe Geo Palazzo Trousers from Dorothy Perkins

I've really been feeling the ultra-wide pants lately (did you see the post and inspiration on palazzo pants here?). Trends that toe the edge of fashion are sometimes slow on the uptake in most US stores, so I'll look at our friends across the Atlantic for shopping finds.

These palazzo pants are everything I like in a fashion-forward modest style item: bold pattern, eye-catching color, and of course, discounted price. If you weren't able to grab the wide-leg palazzo pants from Anthropologie last week, check out Dorothy Perkins' option below!

Click on the item to be taken to the retail site.

[Workout Wednesday] Covering my tail with an extra #WorkoutWednesday post!

Because I've been slacking lately on the Workout Wednesday posts, I decided to give you all a two-for-today deal.  See the earlier post here, which focused more on long workout tops. It's almost like I'm covering my own tail.

Spring is elusive but here at last, and which that comes fewer and fewer long pant options for outdoor workouts. Check out the modest workout pants shown here for your spring and summer workouts. Almost all of these are made of performance material, offering sweat-wicking and quick-dry capabilities. These pants are great for those summer walks, gym workouts, and chasing the kids (your own or your nieces and nephews.)

Click on the items below to go straight to the retailers site. Remember, color and size options vary and typically sell out quick!

[Workout Wednesday] A New Crop of Long Length Workout Tops

As I sit here, eating the last of the Lovely Candy Co caramels received at a recent conference, I have to wonder what business I have posting a new Workout Wednesday. I am eating bon bons and talking about fitness fashion. Though what puts one more in the mood for a good, sweat-dripping workout than new clothes?

The focus is on long workout tops today, as requested by my sweet, loyal friend and Greater Lengths follower, Kate. Kate's got the body of a model - made of height and legs and lean muscle. She's a recent CrossFit convert, a running inspiration (she's completed 4 Marine Corps Marathons!) and made a beautiful bride last year to a very lucky guy. In short, she's awesome. Oh yeah, and she's a Rodan + Fields consultant - check out her page here.

Such a woman still has her needs and one of them is tunic length modest tops to reach past her waist. She wrote,
"You recommended a New Balance tank which I am obsessed with. I should have bought 10 of them but I didn't so now I'm on the hunt for a tank that covers my bum."
FYI - she's referencing the blue New Balance tunic running top shown in this post.

Because it's spring (well, except for today, if you're on the east coast - brr!) and because that's as good a reason as any to pick up your spring workouts, here are long, modest workout tops for anyone. Keep in mind that the sleeveless options can be layered with shorter, cropped longer sleeved options to maximize your modesty preference.

Click on the items below to go directly to the retailers page. Remember, if you like the style but not the color shown here, the retailer may have additional color options.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

[Style Series Africa Edition] Drifting in Marrakech

Today's post is inspired simply by my wanderlust and my Moroccan mint tea. Three months since the start of the trip passed by so quickly.

Wondering what I'm talking about? Click on the labels to the post to read more about my trip and time in South Africa and Morocco.

Feel a bit like dressing like Morocco yourself? These items have been inspired by Moroccan prints, tiles, art, and colors.

Monday, March 31, 2014

REMIX: The Arthur Fonzarelli Style of Modest Style

The epitome of cool has always been to be able to wear an outfit baggy and pull it off with sass, style, and class. Sure, a neatly tailored skirt and a tucked in blouse looks pretty, but it's too...proper. And says things about me which are untrue, like I answer my emails immediately or that my car is never running under the "E" symbol on the gas gauge.

I like to have a little Arthur Fonzarelli in my modest stylecase; I skew to the Prince Harry side of the royal rebel spectrum, at least in my wardrobe.

Find the balance in the cool versus unkempt battle of the baggy look requires the right fit of the slouch. The key in this is is that you find loose fitted clothes, NOT oversized. I repeat, NOT oversized.  I'm going to repeat myself: DO NOT BUY OVERSIZED CLOTHES. It will make the difference between looking like you meant to dress like the mean streets of modest style, rather than throwing on things from the bottom of the hamper.

The tomboy look above is a great start to the slouchy, cool look. Pull together a pair of boyfriend chinos with a tunic button down and loose-fit tunic cardigan.  Everyone has something like this in their wardrobe that they can cobble together. Pair with lace-up oxfords and a statement necklace.

Looking to add on a few pieces? Check out our under $50 finds below:

[Under $50} An Anthropologie Splurge Kind of Day

The last few days of the month usually marks the stream of emails flooding my account from various retailers, highlighting the new monthly collections. Zara does it, Banana Republic does it, Asos does it...but I usually end up taking a look when Anthropologie does it.

Anthro is one of those places that I LOVE to look but rarely get the merchandise. If it was rated by a Yelp of retailers, it would have three dollar signs. However, when they put things on sale, the number of dollar signs go WAY down. Anthro is also one of the most modest style friendly places I've ever come about - styles that have interest and are more than a basic block-color tunic. For women who are interested in modest style (or Pentecostal or Hijabi or what have you styles), sale-priced Anthropologie is the way to go.

So again, when the email came in this morning and I hit up their Sale section, these items instantly caressed their long tentacles towards my credit card.

My favorite are these Prospect Pants, which I think would be awesome for the spring as socializing or work pants. Click on the images below. The tops and sweaters have more color options, so make sure to check it out if you're in the market for brights.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Reader Request: Jumpsuits

A few years ago, Naima posted on the jumpsuit trend, cleverly titled We've Got A Jumper!. At the time, I was a bit hesitant; aren't jumpsuits the classier cousin to the overalls? (which, by the way, I rocked heavily and in frequent rotation from 7th - 9th grade)

You saw my personal intro to jumpsuits in South Africa, but these modest fashion street style photos are also making me take a second look.

I kind of wish I had jumped (ha! get it?) on board with her recommendation earlier. Given that my most recently reader request was also for jumpsuits, I'm giving way to a statement piece that should be in every modest dresser's closet.

The jumpsuit is the modest girl's answer to the work dress.  It's a one-piece attire that you simply need to add a blouse or jacket to, and voila!, you're dressed! Granted they cause a hassle going to the restroom (you feel like you have to undress!) but that's a small price to pay.

When choosing a jumpsuit, especially if you're seeking it as a modest alternative, find one that is has a loose, billowy fit. You don't want the pants to bunch up or feel tight in rise (aka, to be indelicate, the crotch).

These are my favorite finds (linked below!):

Farrah's favorites:

Here are a few different jumpsuits to suit to your needs, grouped in darks, colors, and prints. Click on your favorites!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

[Workout Wednesday] Wick-It Coverup from Athleta

Athleta, Gap's high end workout response to Lululemon, has been picking up steam in the retail market and with good reason. I find their clothing to be more diversely styled and with more applications.

My favorite find from them is their Wick-It wader coverups, last seen here. They've redesigned it a bit and - lucky us! - it's on sale for $29.99. These long-sleeved, long tops fall past the waist, providing coverage over your bottom. They are not quite tunic length, but still a modest option for the gym. The material is meant to pull sweat away from your body, providing a comfortable exercise experience.

As with most things I post, these are few in inventory and sizes, so get yours now!

**P.S. I know it's not quite Wednesday but I've missed the last two weeks so consider this a catch-up!

Monday, March 24, 2014

In love with my boyfriend...jeans

Throughout this blog, I've documented how I tend to be a jeans snob. My younger brother worked at Nordstrom for a few years and urged me to trade in my Express and American Eagle denim for luxury denim, namely 7 For All Mankind. For many many years, those have been all I've worn, with a New York and Co. pair of jeans sneaking in for yard work wear.

Recently, I wanted a pair of boyfriend jeans and wasn't in a position to fork over up to a hundred (I like my luxury denim on sale) for a pair. Since I work full-time, jeans don't rotate through my daily wear as often as I'd like. After browsing over and over, I settled on trying Gap's 1969 Sexy Boyfriend Jeans.

I've never been so happy with a purchase. I wear them ALL. THE. TIME. Boyfriend jeans, since they are meant to hang off the hips and sit loose through the thighs and calves, are universally flattering. They don't hug and define many curves, creating an opportunity to mix in shorter, cropped-waist tops - because who wants to wear tunics all the time?

The Gap jeans I purchased are on sale for only $28. I'm considering buying another pair. If you're considering boyfriend jeans at all, I highly recommend them for their fit, their quality, and their versatility.

Cutting Loose...Footloose

It's the endless winter. I'm sitting in my house, waiting for yet another round of a snowfall. It's March 24, guys, and the official start of spring was 4 days ago. Perhaps it's for this reason that I haven't yet been inspired to shop or plump up my closet, and thus uninspired to post. I love finding you guys things - especially when I hear from you about it! - but we're all tired of winter wear.

It's why I was happily piqued with excitement for an outfit from The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Did you guys see the entrance/tribute to Footlose that Jimmy and Kevin Bacon did last week?

What about this is inspiring? Look again.

Whoever dressed her deserves some made props, because that floral on blush outfit definitely garners a spotlight. Midi skirts are back for the spring, with a little extra midi to the skirt, and entering the business world. I like the idea of a midi skirt with booties (and likely tights) as stylish, modest work attire. The one pair of booties I own are a bit higher on the ankle and tend to be too tall for the few cropped pants I wear them with, so a midi skirt of this length would be a perfect pairing.

Want to dress like the dancer on The Tonight Show?  Here are a few under $50 options below:

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Add-to-All Essential Modest Style Layer

Find me a cooler wardrobe piece than a denim jacket. They are effortlessly cool, extra emphasis on effortless, with the added bonus of edging up any outfit. If there's ever an addition one should make to their wardrobe, especially one that works with everything, it should be a denim jacket.

Because they work with everything, a denim jacket is this spring's go-to item for the perfect modest fashion wardrobe. Top a tunic with a denim for casual chic, like this wide-leg linen look from Anthropologie. Or pull a Jessica Alba and add a denim jacket over a maxi dress for a casual day out with the kids.

Unfortunately, denim jackets seem to be my white whale. Ideally, I'd like to find the one that Naima's mom gave me after I fell off the see-saw. THAT would be my perfect jacket, though 23 years of body change may make the jacket fit a little differently.

I've scouted these jackets below as a potential THE ONE. The current denim jacket trend is cropped, a great look to create a defined waist-line for all the floaty, long tunics that sometimes look like oversized bags. The cropped jacket also adds some interest to jersey maxis.

Check out the options below and find your perfect denim jacket!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

[Workout Wednesday] A 2-for-1 Kind of Pant

I've been seeing these more and more lately - skirted leggings. I think the modest fitness trend is picking up; that or women just really like skirts with leggings.  Either way, these could be a win-win for the modern women looking for a little extra rear coverage for her workout

(Sorry for such a short post today - I've been under the weather for the past few days with a nagging cough and cold that has zapped every ounce of energy from my being. I haven't been sick in FOUR years. Coupled with the few inches of snow we just got [why is it snowing in March?!], I'm just trying to make it to spring in one piece.)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

[Workout Wednesday] Cold Weather Wear

The winter weather in DC and the rest of the east coast seems like there’s little hope for abatement. We were teased with a few days of temps above 50 and then this “little chance of snow” has turn into a half-storm.

When I work out, I prefer to be outdoors. There’s something about being physical under open skies that appeals to me much much more than any promise fitness machinery will ever make. To entertain a winter workout outdoors, bundling and layering is important.

To entertain a winter workout outdoors as a modest dressing Muslim woman (but really, anyone who prefers modest clothing), tunic lengths and loose fits are vital. I encourage all women out there to wear performance fitness clothing. A former victim of the t-shirt/sweatshirt workout combo, once I transitioned into sweat-wicking material, my exercise experience – as well as my health because you don’t want to retain sweat against your body in cold temps! – improved drastically.

Check out these pairings for modest fitness clothing inspiration. Click on the links below each photo to be taken directly to the retailer.

Like what you see?  Click on a link below to be taken directly to the retailer.

Multi-Color Tunics
1. Nike 'Epic' Long Training Shirt
2. Adidas Tiro Speedkick Pants

1. New Balance Heather Tunic
2. New Balance Anue Mantra Yoga Pants
3. New Balance All Over Heather Pant

Nike Epic-ness
1. Nike 'Epic' Dri-Fit Wool Crew
2. Nike 'Epic' Training Pants
3. Nike 'Epic' Dri-Fit Wool Crew
4. Nike 'Revival' Dri-Fit Woven Pants

Pink Gear
1. Champion Loose Fit Yoga Top
2. New Balance Boyfriend Stripe Tank
3. Under Armour 'Icon' Pant (also available here for less)

Mulberry Galore
1. Nike Dri-Fit Wool Hoodie
2. Reebok Dance Woven Cargo Pants
3. Moving Comfort All Over Vibe Shirt

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

[Style Series Africa Edition] Majorelle Jardin in Marrakech, Morocco

Towards the end of three weeks of constant movement through Africa, Andrea (my friend with whom I traveled) and I were in the mood to lounge. An overwhelming number of people (thanks Halima!) had emphatically suggested we get away from the commotion of Marrakech by spending a peaceful afternoon at Majorelle Jardin.

Majorelle Jardin is the beautiful botanical oasis in the middle of the desert.  Designed and owned originally by French artist Jacque Majorelle, who owned this artists' escape in 1920s and 1930s, it was later purchased by Yves Saint Laurent, the French fashion designer, in 1980.  Now it remains as a visitors paradise, and a treat for a fashion-centric person like me.

Channeling my needs into my outfit, I combined a warm (it was a bit nippy), soft jersey (jersey may have been a theme this trip) striped Hive and Honey skirt (featured here).  The sweeping skirt felt as breezy and lazy and unencumbered as I wanted to be that day. Because the colors of the skirt were neutral and muted sand and black, I chose to wear a similarly neutral, sequin shirt with a 3/4 length stretchy cotton top (the t-shirt had short, sheer sleeves) (featured here).

If I wasn't as hungry as I was at that point, I could have spent another hour just sitting at Majorelle Gardens. A lover of colors, I could not stop snapping pictures of the rich, bright, fresh colors that created the theme - lemon yellows, sunset oranges, watery blues.  Fun fact: the blue that was populated throughout the site is a specific color called Majorelle Blue.

Love the chevron skirt or the sequin t-shirt?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Widening Your Horizons in Spring 2014's Latest Trend

Sometimes style skips a generation. We've seen the revival of 80s glam and 90s glitz, but now the 60s are making a coming back in the very welcome form of palazzo pants.

Likely a predecessor to the 70s flare legs (which were also a late 90s, early 2000s trend, that ahem, I may have participated in), palazzo pants are the ultimate chic in combining the comfort of a skirt with the coverage of trousers - modest fashion without meaning to be, creating a look for a woman seeking American modesty without styling too hard.

The super voluminous bottoms looks balanced when partnered with a more fitted top - a lady-like blouse - but evidence proves that a draped hi-low top or slouchy sweater also make a fitting pair.

Polka Dot Palazzos Big Red  Geometric Palazzo Pants

A great look, no matter how windy the weather.

Printed palazzo pants:

Solid color palazzo pants: