April 30, 2014

[Workout Wednesday] Wick-It Good

I've been getting a lot of requests for the origins of the tunic workout top I wore at the Nike Women's Half Marathon in DC this past weekend (the one where I scored some Tiffany's bling!).

Ladies and ladies, it is none other than the Athleta Wick-It Wader Cover Up, seen here and here! Athleta carries a few different styles of their Wick-It Cover Ups. These tops are great and currently my most favorite product from Athleta. They are meant to be worn as bathing suit cover ups, but are made with their sweat-wicking material, making them ideal for modest exercise clothes! The cover ups all fall past the normal waist line, providing ample rear coverage, and in a rich array of colors for every mood.

They're on the pricier end, retailing at $69, but I got mine on sale for around $40 - well worth the price, I thought.

 Click on all of them to see them in every color!

April 28, 2014

"Pain is Temporary, Tiffany's Lasts Forever"

The blog title is my favorite sign from along the course at this weekend's half marathon.

There were definitely a few others I chuckled at along the way, but I've forgotten most of them. (Of the ones I can remember, a Breaking Bad reference, "Jesse says, 'Run, b***!', a guy holding a sign that said, "Your pace or mine?", another guy with a sign that said, "I like your stamina, call me!", a sign with a picture of a cow that said, "Bessie says keep Moo-ving!")

A half marathon is a 13.1 miles, for those of you wondering, and I ran the Nike Women's Half Marathon in DC. Nike has a Run Women's series where the emphasis is on female runners and their accomplishments in the running field. Instead of a medal, the runners receive a special edition Tiffany & Co necklace - which after a few races, those medals sit forgotten and overlooked in a box, so the functionality of the necklace is very much a plus.

My Little Blue Box - a Tiffany's necklace for finishing the Nike Women's Half Marathon DC
As a Muslim woman who grew up with a Pakistani heritage and culture, I experience that the fitness for women was discouraged either through jest or simply the mindset that it was "too hard" or "too dirty". In many cultures, isn't there an idea that women shouldn't sweat? The mindset was fully a result of the culture the immigrants brought over from their originating countries and passed down to some of their first-generation kids.

Thankfully, my parents weren't like that. I played soccer and pursued my beloved sport, gymnastics, for years, sometimes at the dislike of my parents (sports = their time + money) though they never say "no" to any of my fitness interests. As a result, I developed a lifelong belief that a person is meant to move.

After college, I picked up running as a way to combat the ortho issues I was seeing manifest in my aunt and mom - issues that were hereditary, but also preventable. Running was also a way to get myself back down to a more acceptable body weight (I'd added a few pounds in college), and overall to stay healthy. At first the goal was to run a few minutes without stopping, and slowly a few miles, until now...when I plan to run my third full marathon in November (a full being 26.2 miles).

There have been a number of challenges along the way: backhanded comments from members of that immigrant and first-generation community about being "too fit", backhanded hospitality to overeat foods without quality nutrients at social gatherings, and of course - finding modest clothing to wear while running or lifting weights.

However, there's also been a lot of support, primarily from women who've been victims of the mindset I managed to escape. For the many reasons I keep doing this, it's also with the hope to inspire them to lace on a pair of sneakers and set out for a mile-long run, even if it feels slow or they're teased as they head out the door.

(Various photos of me running over the years)

At 31, I'm fit, happy, and confident. I can physically and mentally propel myself on my own two feet to cross 13.1 or 26.2 (and many distances in between) miles, a gritty mindset I can apply to other challenges that seem "too hard" for women. I'm proud to be the type of woman who earns her own fortune, rather than has it handed to her.

April 23, 2014

[Workout Wednesday] Clothes That Run

Back in November, I signed up for a half-marathon for this coming weekend, thinking, "April? That's PLENTY of time to train!" Unfortunately, I'm a wimp when it comes to the cold, so I was indoors a lot more than I would have liked to be during the training period.

I've done a few half-marathons before but not really since May 2012. At least this time around, I find myself more confident about the clothing I plan to wear. Distance running clothing is a strategy. You want to be warm when you start, which means donning extra layers. By the time you hit mile 2, your body temperature has risen from the exercise and you find yourself shedding those layers. This is why you often see distance runners in tiny, thin layers - their body is pumping so much blood, they're keeping from overheating.

Finding modest running clothes has been one of the biggest challenges of the sport. Most workout clothes are fitted, curve skimming, which on some level I understand the necessity of design. Too much fabric and you're reserving unnecessary heat. However, with performance materials, modest exercise clothes are possible and available more easily! Exercise fabrics are now created to vent heat, pull away moisture and sweat; it's why I champion wearing performance clothing over cotton any day.

For this weekend's half-marathon, I'll plan to wear my pair of Adidas Adifit pants (seen here) with my Athleta Wick-It Coverup (seen here) and a long Nike sports bra tank. Sunday's weather is predicted to be in the high 60s, so those two layers should be plenty. The Wick-It Cover up is tunic-length, and has rounded hems that are split down the side. This allows my legs to push the top out of the way and prevents it from from getting caught by friction in my...front.

If you're in need of your own outdoor modest exercise clothes (tops and pants!), see a few of the options I pulled together. Click on the item to be taken to the retailer!

Modest workout tops and tunics (don't forget to click on the side arrows to see more finds!)

Modest workout pants (don't forget to click on the side arrows to see more finds!)

April 20, 2014

Style Farrah's Graduation Outfit

I bought this dress many years ago - my first Asos find and perhaps what set me off on midi dresses as the maxi dresses of now.

I've worn it on birthdays and to baby showers, and now, it's going to be my graduation dress! I'm pretty excited to wear it; it's definitely one of the most favorite things I own which doesn't find enough occasions to make its way out of my closet.  In the past, I've modest-ified it with boots and a teal H&M shirt underneath, but boots scream "fall" and I want this to be a spring affair.

I'll be wearing these shoes, Wintee by Jessica Simpson, to freshen up the look with a new shoe silhouette.

But now I need something for my arms and legs. Should I go with a blouson, with drapey sleeves? Or a sleeker lace-sleeved look? (Cast your vote on Facebook or in the comments!)

Like what you see? Need to see it in more detail? Click on the images below to be taken to the retailer.

I'd prefer to have opaque tights for my legs - something with some texture but you can't see through. Am I too late for wanting those with this spring here?

FAVORITE FIND: Pants with Bow Detail by Asos

In my previous post, I posted these bow pants, which are SUPER cute. Let's review:
  • Pleated front (which for a while I thought was a terrible look but I've come back around)
  • Bow detail
  • Muted spring palette
  • Ankle length
These pants are great for the spring and summer - lightweight, but with structure. Think of all your spring events coming up - baby showers, bridal showers, frolics in the park! These are the pants for you. They're a departure from the skirted leg-norm that spring and summer seems to mandate on us modest-dressing women, and a welcome one at that.

The loose front also provides a little more modesty for those who don't need to share with the worth EXACTLY how long your inseam is, which goes the same for the rear.

These pants are also a great way to incorporate the cropped top look, kind of like the model (but with less midriff). Or, tuck in your favorite roll-tabbed split-neck blouse.

Either way, these pants are the modest fashion on-trend piece for the spring.

Now you're just a shopping bag I used to know

I almost hit the "confirm" button on these items, tempted - INCREDIBLY tempted to buy buy buy - but I took a look at my Evernote list of things I "want", and feel like I should focus on procuring those items, crossing off that list, before moving on to more clothes.

But in the meantime, take a look. Maybe you'll find something you like!

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.

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.