Raise your H factor! Hijab outfit styling tips and combos for Summer just got cooler....

Whether you are wearing hijab for the first time or the extroverts "born with it;p"....figuring out how to stay cool in hot weather and still look like you actually cared about what you put together can be exasperating. 

I've kept my family waiting, whilst I frantically dig in my wardrobe and have thrown clothes in a dog pile on my bed, hoping to try each item to see what looks best,will be hijab appropriate and will still allow me to breathe in the heat. I have ashamedly let hours pass by doing this, even to the point where they are already in the car. 

There were times when I thought "What am I doing?? .......Why am I worried about what to wear?? I need to get there on time before its over"..then this anything but classy, expression, floats in my head...."Mother Teresa didn't worry about what to wear....she had to get stuff (a less classy word was in my head) done!" fortunately for Mother Theresa, she had a uniform. 

As a Muslimah I'm not quite ready to resign to an abaya (though I am falling in love with them), I like having choices in COLOUR, STYLE, CUT etc, even if I don't always know what to choose.... comes with the territory of being a Fashion Designer I guess. 

Abayas are also ridiculously priced in SA and their cuts are definitely moving away from what an abaya is suppose to be in an aim to gain more clients (the point?), so I'll probably sew my own...Insha'Allah!

Fortunately the exasperated woman who leaves her family waiting was the old me.... in addition to a number of other useful ways which I will share with you shortly, I plan ahead, whether mentally or trying items out when we are not in a hurry to be somewhere or do something and I'm "generally" (because there are other factors that cause delays) on time . 

It has made a world of difference to my "guilty...shallow be me feelings" (iow....spend some time dressing and you are shallow, don't spend time dressing and you are sloppy...) and given me alot more time to care about more important things. 

Professonal Styling Tips:

1. When you go out, OBSERVE people around you (very briefly, no staring:), and their style and clothing combinations...(only the ones whose style appeal to you)

First determine what about the style or outfit stands out to you the most, it might be a statement necklace, a bag, makeup or shoes or the way a scarf is tied or its colour. This is what you could incorporate into your wardrobe instead of doing the whole outfit. 

Then make a mental note of the combination of items worn and colours. If there is no way you will remember, memos help. Theme outfit combos according to the style the outfit expresses such as cool, trendy, boho chic, elegant etc...This way you will be able to channel a similar style or outfit, or simply have your clothes shopping list on hand (no more buying what you won't wear).

I'm sure you got that up and down stare numerous times, it can be quite awkward. Especially around ladies in sunglasses who think they are invisible, or just talking to strangers such as shop assistants in expensive boutiques (don't mind them, they like assessing if you are there to browse iow waste their time, or actually going to buy their ridiculously priced items), not forgetting, weddings and occasions are the worst..., but then just think.... they need notes and memos too....lol!
If I saw the above...blazer, maxi, belt, oversized bag comes to mind immediately.
Now, practice with the pics below: 

2. SNAP! pics that is, it's always a good idea to take pics of your outfits, on the hanger, or laid out on your bed. Save these pics to an album on your phone called outfit combos. I have one and its definitely helped making dressing easier. You don't have to stick to wearing the same items in the same way in your pic, you could swop items out eg, if you wear a short blazer with dresses, try a long belted cardigan instead...or pull up the sleeves or wear the collar up on your blazer....

3. STYLE your outfits! don't just wear things the way you are suppose to...styling your outfits is adding  a bit of 'you' to your outfit. This would be very similar to the examples given above on the blazer. Wear it your way, and add your own personal touch, like knotting a tshirt over a skirt, or denim shirt over a dress, or other simple changes like wearing your necklace on your hijab, using a brooch on a plain shirt, or even a fascinator....the list is endless, use your imagination and be flexible(so you may want to throw out those fashion rules or limitations in your head out the window). You will also begin to notice other people's style types...which takes you to signature styles.

 Use a statement necklace that contrasts with your hijab colour over rather than under your scarf or pashmina( love this blue one) in this instance.

Try a turban style, and pastel colours (soft ice cream colours).

Change up your scarf style or colour (this mustard looks great)...see below for some pic tutorials.

4. Flex your SIGNATURE STYLE! If you think a certain combination works for you, you will find that you tend to stick with it...that is probably your signature style. I honestly love signature styles, they are another time saver but it is also very easy to fall into a rut of wearing the same style over again when you get comfortable. So keep it fresh by introducing a few style changes to your original signature style....eg. try a different hijab style, bag, or belt, use flats instead of heels, sandals instead shoes vice versa, make it more casual if it's too formal by adding a casual element like a chambray or denim shirt instead of a formal coat.

Rosie Huntingdon Whitely in her signature styles 
What is your Signature Style?

5. BROWSE the net for hijab looks or modest outfits or just outfit combos...save the ones you like. You may develop new uses for your old stuff and find Muslimahs or ladies with similar style choices. Want to wear your wide legged pants, search for wide legged or palazzo pants outfit combos....expand your search options by joining online communities such as lookbook or try new aps (lots of hijab style aps available), they don't have to be time consuming, log on only when you have a few mins to spare and be strict about the time you do spend browsing. 

6. EXPLORE new ideas, trends and styles. Years ago, I dismissed particular styles or cuts altogether as I would assume they would look awful on me. One of those styles was a peplum dress. One day I decided to try it and see what the fuss was all about...turns out it's very flattering and doesn't make you look pear shaped like I assumed. You don't need to be a slave to fashion, following every trend there is on the runway (because some looks are just meant for the runway, and look awful on anyone), but you can have fun exploring what will work for you. Always remember that major brands in Fashion and trends are largely influenced by you, the public, for instance street style. Big designers look to trends and combos that the public create everyday.... 

Here are some new Hijab styles to try including scarf tutorials

Skirt plus shirt:

Flowing maxi, belt and loose shirt

Adopt the style and choose lighter fabrics for Summer


Bright colours or soft use what suits you

Statement Necklace

Vintage accessories and nudes
Try a modest loose fitting onesie, kimonos and wide legged pants combinations:

Style your Abaya:

Look for items with interesting details like a draped skirt, asymmetrical cuts, etc:

Mix of patterns and texture

Valentino Resort: look at the collar and cuff

Beaded jacket, metallic look pants suit

Hope you find this post especially informative in becoming your own personal stylist:)

Please keep the emails coming with topics you would like discussed and I will try my best to do it justice...and in the meanwhile...don't forget to follow me (stylexplora) on Instagram and twitter and (Waseema Abdool Khader) on facebook...I will follow you right back:)

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