Tag Archives: maxi dress

Double Duty

This is a quick middle-of-the-busy-week post to inspire you to expand your wardrobe in a budget way. What do I mean? Well, since I’m on a shopping stop for the time being (the summer drained my modest grad student budget) I have to be creative with what I have. This means thinking of new ways to wear certain garments. Now maxi dresses – although I like how they make dressing up easy – are limiting in terms of how many different-looking outfits you can get out of them when worn in the intended way. Thus, what I occasionally find myself doing is folding the top of sleeveless maxi dresses (strapless, spaghetti, tank, halterneck) into the bottom, so that I, in an instant, have a new high-waist maxi skirt to work with. It easily stays neat if you attach a belt, and as such you can mix and match the top/jacket for a more complex outfit, which is what I’ve done in the pictures below.

Another thing I also did here is to wear a long, leopard-print kimono cardigan backwards to give the illusion of a normal top with a modest cut. Now you may think this will work out great when wearing a jacket to cover the back but then not so well without it. In fact, however, the effect of a low cut back top (over a solid long-sleeve top as I do cover) looks really cool, and so while inside teaching, I did not wear the jacket in the pictures. That’s it for now, guys. Think outside the box, even when it comes to your wardrobe.

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Pashmina scarf: Ebay, shoulder pad faux leather jacket: Pitaya, leopard kimono cardigan worn as top: Stradivarius, scarf print multicolored peplum maxi dress worn as maxi skirt: Mango

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Catching Up Big Time

I’m back in the US with a pretty stable internet connection, which means you will be seeing a lot of posts from my last weeks in Egypt (I know, I’ve been really bad with updates as I’ve been without internet on my computer for a while – check out my Instagram for more timely material). I’ll start with five outfits representing what I wore for the last days of Ramadan, with details posted below each picture. As I’ve noted in previous posts, Ramadan in Cairo is full of social activities and fun, and these last days were no different. As I spent the last part of my stay in Zamalek there were a lot of outings by the Nile, whether an after-iftar farewell party on a feluka on the river with some of the awesome start-up people there, or more calmer, good-quality dining on its banks. I also managed to get some really sha3by activities down, going to the famous El Brins in the populous district of Imbaba for an unforgettable meal (really, I never knew something as simple as rice could taste that good) as well as conducting some late night kebda (liver) and sogo2 (spicy oriental sausage) sandwich hunting close to Tahrir square. How I miss you already, ya Masr.

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Crinkled head scarf: H&M, neck scarf: Egypt, baggy geometric print maxi dress: Stradivarius, fringed bag: ASOS, ethnic embroidered belt: Urban Outfitters, shades: Urban Outfitters, shoes: Club Aldo (Egypt).

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Multicolor printed scarf: Zara, crinkled neck scarf: H&M, chiffon shirt: Vero Moda, neon shirt: Bershka, polka dot palazzo pants: Forever21, accessories: River Island

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Headscarf: Vida Hijabs, denim shirt: Ebay, sleeveless mixed animal-floral print shirt: Vero Moda, gladiator belt: ASOS, maxi skirt: Stradivarius, clutch: vintage, accessories: Ebay, Icing

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Peach scarf: Ebay, neck scarf: H&M, sleeveless pastel python print blouse: Mango, pastel python print pants: Mango, necklace: H&M

nileflowers

Scarf: Norway, floral dramatic sleeve blouse: Boohoo, denim wrap belt: taken from denim Vero Moda harem pants, maxi skirt: Zara

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The “Ethnic” One

Don’t you love it when you wear an outfit put together with pieces solely from mainstream retail stores and some stranger points out that you’re wearing “traditional” or cultural dress just because one piece happens to be generically “ethnic” looking? Yeah. That happens to me a lot. People go all “miss, I just luuuuuuuve your traditional outfit… What culture is it from,” after which I usually respond with mild enjoyment “ooooh, my maxi skirt and top? They’re from Zara/River Island/Urban Outfitters” (whichever applies). Now that always seem to perplex them.

Today – aside from my roomie and main photographer’s graduation (masha’ Allah, congrats) – gifted me with one of the “excuse me, but I noticed you are wearing your ethnic dress and I just wanted to know where you’re from”-moments. In the grocery store, after being pursued around the fruit and vegetable section by an East Asian family trying to take pictures “discretely”, some couple stopped me and asked me that exact question. “Oh, ethnic dress? You mean my headscarf?,” I smiled in an overly sweet manner.

In any case, I did go on to tell them, and they apparently had had a bet. Guy lost out. Not only am I not wearing “ethnic dress, I’m also not Persian. 1 – 0 to me. When did Iranian ethnic dress look like this, anyway?

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Oh, and today’s style tip: sometimes, a skinny belt can be too skinny, or it may come in a busy pattern you’d want to calm down. That’s when you want to wear multiple of them, like you see in this outfit (I wore two). This can also work when you have a belt that is too short or too wide. Buckle it up with another or two and you have an extra long belt that may or may fit better several times around your waist.

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Scarf: H&M, “ethnic” silky tunic: Zara, pleated maxi skirt: Gina Tricot (Norway), clutch: Francesca, sandals: Forever 21, accessories: Urban Outfitters, Icing, ASOS, Boohoo.

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Peplum Power

Long overdue as this post is, I’ve actually managed to wear this peplum maxi dress from Abaya Addict several times (in different ways, of course) before finally getting to take a picture of it for the blog. I think that speaks pretty much to the versatility of the piece, and also how much I love it.

I’ve worn it with layers and a linen hijab to school, and I’ve dressed it up with pretty heels, a clutch, and a chiffon scarf to a nicer dinner. Paired up with a tribal print scarf and multiple necklaces and bracelets it is sort of in between – not completely casual, not very formal.

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Unfortunately, it is sold out in this lovely olive color, but you can find it in black, burgundy, and red in the same flattering cut and with a really cool exposed zipper in the back.

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I wore this to a casual dinner with the girls as yesterday marked the end of the winter semester and all the papers that kept me from blogging the last week – yay! This means you will likely see more posts for the coming days and weeks. It should be an interesting summer, iA 🙂

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Scarf: Accessorize, faux fur scarf: Boohoo, dress: Abaya Addict, tiny coin purse: Mango, ankle boots: Aldo, accessories: Mango, Francesca’s, Icing, Ebay

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The Tale of Two Springtime Outfits Caught in the Storm (featuring a Zananah Label dress)

This is not really a tale, but I did happen to get caught in bad weather with both of the following outfits. Now I’ve probably mentioned earlier that I’m no fan of Michigan weather, and so I pretend as if this is not my current reality, but dressing with less material than what the weather usually requires. I’m all about dressing a certain way to feel a certain way. Dressing for Michigan springs, however, while pretending to dress for normal spring, makes you feel nothing but cold and/or soaked. I’m feeling a little less cold these days, though, so that can only be a good sign.

First off, I had recently received two beautiful full-coverage maxi dresses from Zananah Label (website here, Facebook page here) and I wanted to wear one as soon as possible. The buttons and black velvet pattern throughout this white chiffon dress made it look a little prairie-a little hippie-esque to me, and so I paired it with a fringed suede vest and a Western-style pendant with feathers. Loving the look and the feel of the garment, and so I really recommend that you check their site out for this and other models – they have a diverse dress collection with different materials and colors utilized. In any case, as soon as my roomie started taking my pictures, the sky opened and hail struck down, ending what had been an ok day thus far.

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(What I’m wearing: Scarf: Ebay, fringed suede vest: River Island, full-cover maxi dress: Zananah Label (get it here), bag: Forever21, sandals: New Look, accessories: River Island, New Look, Pitaya)

The second time around (and less than one week later), I exited my home in the below ensemble and found the weather to be really hot and humid; almost tropical. That would signalize a storm on its way, of course, but silly me did not think about fetching an umbrella. This, then, resulted in my being soaking wet within 3 minutes from stepping outside later that day – except my hijab and face which I covered with my bag, to some khaleegi guys’ great amusement. Hah, let them laugh. At least my makeup survived.

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What I’m wearing: scarf: Egypt, faux fur: H&M, the it-shirt of last year: Zara, the dungaree overall of yesteryear: Boohoo, studded wrestler belt: ASOS, studded backpack: ASOS, shoes: Aldo, accessories: ASOS)

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