September 21, 2013

The Definitive Modest Maternity Shopping Guide - Tops, Dresses, and Skirts

Even though I'm a shopping blogger, I tend to be careful with my purchases.  Each of my purchases must pass a fairly scrutinious test of "how much do I love this?" in which the items admitted to my closet are, from a scale of 1-10, rank an immediate million.

I also agonize over purchases for a while (did you read my post about this Anthropologie skirt?), so when I pull out the plastic, I plan to keep the item until it's akin to a rag not even Cinderella would touch.  This can make maternity clothing shopping a challenge, as you're 1) only purchasing for a 9 month period and 2) should you keep your maternity wardrobe, there's no guarantee that you'll be pregnant in the same timeframe and 3) buying a whole new wardrobe is pricey (not that I'm pregnant!! There are a ton of other things that need to happen first!).  My blog partner, Naima, is (Make tons and tons of dua for her as she's been having a tough first pregnancy!) and has been holding out on buying new maternity clothes for these reasons.

I hear you, my friends, and want to help - especially if you're a modest dressing pregnant woman.  You still need clothes for every occasion - casual, formal, business, and in between.  Here's a number of tops that'll get you started.

Make sure you check the shopping site for additional discounts - for example, Gap clothes are an extra 25% off on all sale items.  Considering that most of these items are on sale, it means extra savings on more clothes!

September 20, 2013

Zeena Curdoroy Skirt

I know I've been all skirts and fancy-free lately (there are lots of other daily outfits that can't be skirts, I know) but it's hard at the end of summer not swipe them all for yourself ("Super discounted and versatile?! Don't mind if I do!")

I just want to take a moment to draw your eye to another skirt - on sale! - for $42 from Zeena.  These lightweight curdoroy skirts come in three colors - oatmeal, navy, and steel - and are perfect for autumn strolls on the apple orchard.

Why apple orchards?  Well, because I love them (one of my greatest friends' family owns one here in Virginia) and I can't imagine a more romantic outfit to wear for those fall photos on the apple farm.

Zeena Curdoroy Skirt

Zeena Curdoroy Skirt by farrahkhan83 featuring a brown corduroy skirt

September 18, 2013

Jilted by Anthropologie

[Updated] Anthropologie issued a price adjustment, which means I spent $50 on this skirt AND with the cash back I receive from my credit card, it was actually about $43!

I have been eyeing this skirt for WEEKS. Weeks.  Seriously, weeks.

I watched, dared not touch, because I wasn't going to buy a $168 skirt.  Sorry Anthro, I don't believe your products are as valuable as a weekend plane ticket to New York.

This feather-light maxi skirt conveys the airy coolness of whipped creamy mint chocolate swirled ice cream, almost non-existent against your skin - and I was willing to drop the dough (in the form of a very generous gift card from my best friend) when the price dropped to $89.95.

And literally the day after I got it, the price dropped to $49.95.

Don't get jilted like me.  Get this skirt.  And get it for $40 less than the original sale price.

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September 15, 2013

Reader Request: Curse of the Cropped Pants

Our reader, Sameera, emailed with this request:

"I recently bought a pair of cropped silk jacquard pants I fell in love with. They are definitely too short on me, and show too much leg when I sit down.  Standing up, right above my ankle...and about three inches short when sitting.  How can I wear them properly without sacrificing style?"

Sameera's polka dot skimmer pants from J.Crew.  Love the pants, dislike the extra skin!
The curse of the cropped pants!  I know that all too well!  The perfect length when standing, but (unless they're tapered) rise an inch beyond propriety (for a modest dresser).

So how do you avoid this?

Boot them!

It's the perfect time of the year to pull out those talls boots (you might remember them from our 7 Basics in Every Modest Dresser's Closet page) and pull those pants over the boots.  We've seen some various pant-over-boot styles over the last few years.

My other idea - and bear with me because I don't have a good photo.  Cropped pants are meant to show some skin - but doesn't mean they have to without losing the silhouette!

Slip on a pair of navy blue tights or navy blue knee socks (something without texture or bulk) before putting on the pants and pair your favorite booties (in Sameera's case, either a light gray, taupe, or black).

The idea is to maintain the silhouette that cropped pants are meant to give without flashing that extra skin that makes these pants unwearable for modesty.

What do you think?  Leave your comments and thoughts!

[Under $50] Starting Line Pants

I ran one of the coolest 5Ks this weekend - Dulles Day: On the Runway - which was a 5K (3.1 miles) that allowed runners to race ON the airport's runway.  While no planes took off or landed while we were running (it was likely designed like that for safety reasons), it was cool to see Dulles from an angle I usually only see while hoping the plane takes off soon or rushing to deplane.

Best joke heard while waiting? "If you see a plane, run perpendicular!  You can't outrun the plane!"

September 7, 2013

Blazin' into Fall

It's going to take me some time before I can fully accept the oncoming of fall into my life.  Don't get me wrong - autumn is by far my most favorite season - but there is something doleful about the passing of summer into fall that doesn't plague the other season transitions.

One thing that makes the passing palatable is the classic fall blazer.  Now, many years out of college, I am a firm believer than all women, especially those who are college-aged, should have a blazer in their closet.  While it's an article of clothing synonymous with business, it's also a telltale sign of academia and belongs on a college campus, along with insta-ramen and hoodie sweatshirts.

Whatever your impetus may be, a blazer is a must-have for a fall wardrobe and especially as a modest dresser.  It's a versatile cover-up to sleeveless shells or tank tunics.

Find your favorite at under $50!

More blazers

Get More for the Maxi

Maxis, in the form of dresses and skirts, may be one of the greatest American trends for the modest dressing woman.  As a Muslim woman, I used to grieve summers as they meant pants, 100% of the time.  It was hard not to feel the swoosh of the breeze against my legs, and then maxis happened.  And the rest is history.

As we breach the cool autumn air, maxis don't have to fade into the waning daylight.  The first stop?  Getting them at a great deal!

Things We've Been Wanting to Share: Piperlime & Nordstrom

A Piperlime post, after all this time, should come as no surprise.  They have excellent start-of-new-season (remember, I refuse to call it the end of the summer!) sales where you can pick up some trendy hits for great prices.  Double bonus?  Oftentimes, they subscribe to a European look, which means modest style, modest wardrobe, and Muslim-friendly looks!

Nordstrom too also likes to clear out their summer things for great deals (ones not often advertised as well as their signature sales!)

Here are our finds from these two stores.

Things We've Been Wanting to Share: Asos

Guys, I don't know if it was a user error or if ShopStyle/PopSugar Shopping really was working on their community features, but you've maybe noticed there was a long absence of our posts.  There are reasons all related to technology (and likely user error!) but it doesn't meant I haven't been thinking about you.  I have.  And I've been wanting to share so much!!

So for starters, here are our latest Asos picks!  Everything at Asos is 10% off this weekend with code WOW10.

Soft pleats and peg legs are in these days - almost like a  classy way to wear sweatpants!  Here are our modest in style and modest on price picks!

Looking for a few good tops?  The dresses included can double as tunics, to be worn over or under another layer.

And finally, skirts and dresses!

Modest Swim Tops

As it goes, there are few things more depressing to me than "end of summer" sales.  It means the passing of a season of slow movement, frozen everything, and easy strolls along sun-dappled streets.

But a shopper, it means jackpot on a number of items for preparation of the next summer, including swimwear.

While Islamically-oriented swimwear is now easily attained, I still find it lacking in some basic qualities - namely, cost comes to mind.  In the interim, until production meets the quantities of scale (sorry for the super nerdy econ words - I am also an MBA student, after all!) to reduce price, I find substitutes in the more common rash guards.

We've listed one, the prAna "Felicity" rash top, available at Nordstrom or for only $38.  These tops provide long coverage over swimwear, blend UPF sun-protection, and fall well past the waist to a comfortable level of fun-in-the-sun protection.

Stay tuned as we'll be posting more great swimwear sales!

September 2, 2013

Modest Marvel: Noha Hamid (ISNA 2013 day 3)

While the bazaar had a lot of Modest Marvel hits, from previous years, I recall seeing some gems hanging out on the upstairs level of the convention center, so I took a break - and was instantly rewarded with meeting Noha Hamid.  What I especially loved is that when I asked the initial, "can I take your picture" question (it tends to make a lot of people skeptical, even timid - completely understandable!), she JUMPED at the opportunity - even letting me pose in a few times before moving into the interview phase.

Name: Noha Hamid
Background: This aspiring photographer is a world-traveling adventurer with an eye for fashion - and she's still in college!  Noha was at ISNA, visiting from Atlanta.  Ethnically Egyptian, Noha spends her summer vacations to go abroad as often as she can, capturing the world in rich colors and shades of light (her Facebook page is available here).
What we love about her style:  She likes to keep it interesting, with on-trend printed skinny denim combined with a white tunic blouse and deep navy blazer (two must-have staples!).  Rather than the standard heels, Noha opted for suede saddle shoes in a neutral tone and some sparkly pearls to tie it all together.  What's great is that while this outfit is a definite win, it's one of a kind and Noha's friends know they'll never see it again; rather she'll remix these pieces for a whole new modest style!
Favorite pieces: Printed pants and blazers are Noha's wardrobe must-haves!
Your no-limit gift card would be to...?: ZARA.  "I love their style," she says, "but they give you privilege to make their style your own."

Modest Marvel: Hira Jamil (ISNA 2013 day 3)

I spotted Hira Jamil's shoes first and knew that the rest of her had to be a "Modest Marvel."  She was walking through the ISNA bazaar with some friends and her sister, spending the weekend celebrating her sister's birthday.  The entire group had big smiles, evident they were enjoying their weekend, and making the most of their time together.

Name: Hira Jamil
Background: This college sophomore, who grew up in Northern Virginia, is currently studying global affairs.  Her eyes are on a career in international relations.
What we love about her style: Even amongst all the well-dressed ladies of the ISNA bazaar (and there were a ton!), Hira's outfit easily caught our eyes.  She clearly knows how to put an outfit together that's both edgy and feminine.  The fashion-forward harem parents ("from Turkey!") paired nicely with a classic loose blouse, in a color scheme every girl could put goether.  Her strappy gold wedges to give her petite frame some extra lift, all tied together with a bit of sparkle around her neck!
Favorite pieces: Hira gravitates towards long, flowy blouses, but especially loves blazers.
What are you looking to achieve in an outfit?:  With a sunny personality, Hira prefers her style reflects her similarly.  She steers away from dark colors, and generally wears things that reflects her mood.
Your no-limit gift card would be to...?: H&M!  "They have different styles for everyone, and a lot of their stuff can be made "halal" easily.  It's all affordable too!"

September 1, 2013

Modest Marvel: Hanane Yeslam (ISNA 2013 day 3)

The weird thing about this segment, at least for me, is approaching perfect strangers and asking them to take their pictures.

"Um, you don't know me, but I run a blog - can I take your picture for the internet? - See, I run a blog - it's about modest fashion and where to find modest style! - and you've got great style! - so can  take a picture of you?"

Sometimes you see someone and think, I want to take their picture, but they're busy or probably won't respond well.  And then you see someone like Hanane Yeslam, who was on the phone when you first spot her and her printed palazzo pants with color block button down, and hope that you she doesn't notice the number of times you're walking by, hoping she'll be done with her conversation soon.  And then you get lucky and run into her later (when plan A doesn't pan out).

Name: Hanane Weslam
Background:  A woman of law, Hanane recently graduated from undergrad and is now a paralegal at a DC-area firm.  She's also a woman after my own heart - a photographer and fashion blogger herself.  You can find her here at - in fact, I highly recommend it because I just got lost in her blog for about an hour myself.
What we love about her style:  Hanane carries off mixed printed palazzo pants with a colorblocked button down.  Ordinarily, that would be a fashion trend overload, but her play with subtle colors and separating trends between articles of clothing and regions where they're worn just plain work.
About her style: Hanane says she rotates her look often, depending on her mood.  "Sometimes it's grunge, sometimes it's business-like, sometimes it's Americana."
Your favorite pieces:  She gravitates towards tops and loves a good pattern.
What do you want your look to say?  For her day to day styling, she wants her clothes to relay that while she is a hijab-wearing Muslim woman, it doesn't preclude her from having edgy style and changing looks.
Your no-limit gift card would be to...?: This one she thought about for a while, but ultimately chose ZARA for their clean European look.  For a second, she teetered on Free People, citing her love of their long and flowy Bohemian-inspired pieces, but that took a second place seat.

Modest Marvel: Nada Osman (ISNA 2013 day 3)

One of my favorite things about scouting out Modest Marvels is the discovery of meeting a sweet soul behind the style, which is exactly who Nada Osman is.  While we only chatted for a few minutes, it was evident how sweetly kind soft-spoken she was - always giving her friend, Henane, an opportunity to answer before I requested a response from her.  She wore one of the biggest trends at ISNA 2013 - animal print - and a pairing of warm colors gave her some

Name: Neda Osman
Background: This college sophomore, who also works at her school's MBA office, is working on her accounting degree.
What we love about her style:  While Nada claims she gravitates towards darker, muted colors, this is clearly a woman who knows how to add some sparkle and pizazz to her look.  The long black sleeveless cardi over a draped scarlet top and dark skinny jeans was livened up with a leopard print scarf and gold-toned sandals and jewelry.
Favorite pieces: Nada's closet staples are tunic-length tops, and she's working on bringing more patterns into her wardrobe.
Your no-limit gift card would be to...?: "Macy's," she cites, saying every time she's in the market for new clothes "they always have something!

Modest Marvel: Huda Saeb (ISNA 2013 Day 2)

We kick off our Modest Marvels for ISNA 2013 with Huda Saeb, a fresh-faced sophomore from Atlanta, whose shimmery secretary's top caught our fancy.

Name: Huda Saeb
Background: Huda, a sophomore from Atlanta, is at ISNA for the first time.  While she claims not to have any hobbies, she is one the founding members of UpLift, a youth organization aimed to bring together masjids in Atlanta with the intention of motivating youth and bringing them together.
What we love about her style: The soft colors caught our eye as Huda browsed through one of the booths.  She had an easy movement through the crowd, which gave way to her calm presence in the hustle and bustle.
Your Favorite pieces: Huda seeks longer tunic-length tops.  As she says, she likes "solid colors" and is firm about the waistline falling below her waist.
About your style:  She says her style borders on "formal" or "dressy", and rarely ever wears t-shirts.  She often shops at Forever 21, Macy's, and Charlotte Russe.
What are you looking to achieve in an outfit?:  (What message do you like to send out with your look(s)?)
What makes an outfit? Huda looks for simple, classic, clean attire - "not over the top"
Your no-limit gift card would be for: [We forgot to ask her this!]