The Middle East is buzzing with creative talent and, for every success story like Huda Kattan and Natalie Trad, there are countless brilliant designers and entrepreneurs waiting to be discovered. But before you make it really, really big, you have to start small – enter: four emerging regional brands that you may not know, but should.
Somewhere between the pandemic and the climate crisis, online store Touchless was created in 2020 by two Bahraini sisters with a passion for design and a finger on the pulse of what was needed to deal with the new normal. Starting with a 3D-printed device that helps to minimise contact with everyday surfaces – from door handles and lift buttons to shopping bags and taps – followed by 3D-printed washable wallets that carry just face masks and credit cards, the sisters quickly moved into creating 3D-printed handbags.
Lightweight, versatile, and sustainable, each of the bags are guaranteed to be 100% designed and 3D-printed in Bahrain. And they’re as beautiful and contemporary as they are functional. The designers have amassed quite the following since they launched, with pieces being snapped up by fans as far afield as London and New York.
“I was born and raised in Raleigh NC, but I pretty much make sure every person I meet knows about my Lebanese roots!” says Reem Alawar Mosleh, the one-woman show behind accessories brand Lunae. With a vision of creating high-quality, minimalistic jewellery for everyday wear, her collection is pretty, perfect for stacking, and – most importantly – ultra-affordable. “I’m a big fan of comfort in fashion. This is why the jewellery I source is always water-resistant and truly comfortable to wear throughout the day and night – I literally sleep, work out, and shower in my jewellery.”
Created by an Arab princess for women of the world, SEE.MAS offers a basic capsule of five everyday classics in its collection: the Tee, the Shirt, the Cami, the Pant, and the Dress – each of which has been designed keeping elegance and modesty in mind. Founded in Riyadh by HRH Princess Nouf Bander Al Saud after being unable to find clothes that fit her body shape nor her lifestyle, SEE.MAS was created specifically to address the needs of the modern Arab woman, using a neutral colour palette and form-flattering silhouettes as its foundation.
With an entirely female workforce, the company’s aim was simple: design smart and refined essentials that made the wearer feel beautiful, comfortable, and empowered. Sidestepping the traditional sizing system that she believed ignored the shape of women across the region, the Saudi princess developed a special fit system that’s based on real measurements of real women living in the Gulf. Ensuring the collection was not only thoughtfully designed but mindfully created, each piece is crafted from high-quality and environmentally friendly fabrics, making this a label both size-friendly and sustainably focused.
Founded by Reem Al Khalifa, Bahrain-based apothecary Green Bar is all about raising awareness of the healing power of plants native to the Arab region, and harnessing that power into effective skincare products. Offering a full range of face, body, and home goods – as well as spa experiences to rediscover the healing culture of the region – products are handcrafted using as many botanicals as Reem can source from the Arabian Peninsular. These come not only from local farms, but also Green Bar’s own gardens.
Quality-tested and bottled in small batches in its onsite laboratory to ensure that the freshest possible products make it to the shelves, all Green Bar ingredients are 100% natural and non-toxic, with only the finest botanical cold-pressed oils, all-natural fragrances, and directly sourced raw ingredients to ensure total traceability and transparency of origin.
If you’ve been keeping up with the latest trends, you may have noticed that energy fashion is having a moment. But what exactly is energy fashion? it’s is all about dressing in a way that supports your personal well-being. This trend is based on the belief that the clothes we wear impact our mood and vitality through energy.
When choosing energy fashion, comfort and functionality are key. The goal is to select clothing that makes you feel relaxed, confident, and free to move. Natural fabrics like silk, cotton, and linen are often favoured for their breathability and gentle feel. Bright colours and fun prints are also popular choices, as they can help energise and uplift the wearer.
One brand leading this new trend is KimonoGirl. Margeri Ottis, founder and CEO, is the woman behind the fashion brand. Margeri was born and raised in Estonia, and at the age of 10, she became interested in Buddhism after reading a book called Meditation for Children. As she grew older, she began to expand her knowledge of both spirituality and art. Adopting this open-minded approach to life allowed her to tap into her inner source of power.
Margeri’s journey began with a yearning for something more. After living with monks in a temple in Nepal and attending ayahuasca ceremonies, she felt called to explore her spiritual side. However, when she found herself at the top of the corporate ladder in London, she realised that the corporate world was not where her true passion lay.
For over a decade, she worked in sales and business development for some of the world’s biggest banks. In recent years, however, she became increasingly frustrated by the inequalities of the corporate world. Finally, heeding her inner calling, she left the corporate world behind and embarked on a journey of self-discovery where she found her true purpose.
When Margeri first came across a kimono, she was instantly captivated by its beauty, but it wasn’t until she began wearing them herself that she realised their true power. For Margeri, kimonos represent a unique form of feminine expression. They are a way for women to feel both powerful and beautiful.
In a world where women are often expected to conform to masculine standards, kimonos provide a refreshing alternative. That’s why she founded The KimonoGirl, an energy fashion brand dedicated to empowering women through wearing energy-infused kimonos. She launched the company in February 2022, developing it since July 2021.
We sat down with Margeri to find out what drives her passion for energy fashion and why kimonos are a girl’s new best friend and these are what we learned.
What prompted you to create a line of kimonos?
I feel like every day, we as women are faced with so many demands and expectations. We’re told we have to be perfect wives, mothers, daughters, employees… the list goes on. And it’s easy to feel like we’re not doing enough, or that we’re not good enough.
I wanted to create something that would help women remember their inner goddess — the part of them that is strong, powerful, and beautiful. Our kimonos are made with absolute integrity from exquisite fabrics. Each piece is individually created with incredibly skilled hands and blessed with love and gratitude. When you wear one of our kimonos, I hope you’ll feel like the goddess you are.
How will your kimonos help empower women?
As any woman knows, feeling good about yourself is not always easy. We all have days where we feel less than our best, and it can be tough to shake off that low energy. However, there is one easy way to help elevate your mood and feel great: by wearing energy fashion.
Energy fashion is designed to help boost your positive vibrational levels, so that you can feel more love, power, gratitude, inspiration, and worth. All you need to do is put on a kimono and let the positive energy flow!
What do you want to bring to the world through your brand?
Since we first launched our business, we’ve strived to continually improve our products and create even more value for our customers. We’ve evolved our energy-charging rituals to create even more powerful and elevated boosts of energy, and we’ve extended the range of mindfulness tools available through our fashion line.
Energy fashion has truly changed the landscape of the fashion industry, and we want to be known as the pioneers of this new style of fashion. Our most important features are our magical kimonos, which are infused with healing energy and high frequencies to balance and heal the wearer. Our mission is to provide women with the tools they need to live their best lives, and we’re grateful to be able to do that through our unique product line.
What do wearers say about their experience when they put on a KimonoGirl kimono?
They love the experience and the luxury. When you put on one of our kimonos, we want you to feel a shift in your energy field. Our kimonos are made with high quality materials and are charged with high frequency energy. This combination creates a kimono that is not only beautiful, but also elevates the wearer’s body and mood.
When you slip into one of our kimonos, we hope you feel a sense of joy, peace, and love. We believe that when you look good, you feel good — and we want nothing more than for our customers to feel their best. Our kimonos are meant to be enjoyed and cherished, and we hope they bring you as much happiness as they have us.
What values does KimonoGirl hold on to?
When it comes to our brand, the most important aspect for us is our WHY. KimonoGirl exists to provide a platform through beautiful energy-charged kimonos that will make you feel not only beautiful but also empowered and elevated.
We believe that every woman deserves to feel like a goddess, and our kimonos are designed to help you tap into your inner power. Our mission is to spread confidence and positivity through fashion, and we hope our kimonos can help you discover your unique beauty.
The right clothing can make you feel more like yourself and give you the boost of confidence you need to take on your day. That is what I want our kimonos to do for our customers. I want them to feel beautiful, strong, and feminine when they put on one of our kimonos.
We put a lot of time and energy into each one of our pieces to make sure they are not only aesthetically pleasing but also have good energy. I believe that what you wear should make you feel good not only about yourself but also about the world around you.
What’s your favourite KimonoGirl kimono?
I have to say that I absolutely love all four of the kimonos in our first collection. Each one has its own unique properties and powers, so it really depends on your mood as to which one you’ll choose for the day.
Earth Kimono: Earth is all about grounding, foundation, and substance. If you feel disconnected from your life path or like you’re not rooted in your identity, then earth energy may be what you need.
Air Kimono: Air represents intellect, mental intention, and connection to the universal life force. If you’re seeking clarity or struggling to find your place in the world, air energy can help you to see things from a higher perspective.
Water Kimono: Water is all about intuition, healing, and inner reflection. Water has long been accorded cleansing power and is regarded as the most powerful as well as the most life-sustaining element. If you’re in need of some emotional healing or regeneration, water energy can help.
Fire Kimono: Fire symbolises incredible energy and passion. Fire is the source of freedom and creativity. If you’re feeling stuck in a rut or like you’ve lost your spark, fire energy may be just what you need to get back on track.
No matter which kimono you choose to wear, you’ll feel like I’m embodying something special and powerful.
What has been most challenging about bringing KimonoGirl to the world?
I think the most challenging thing for me about explaining the kimonos to my customers is that we are creating a new concept in the fashion market. The phrase ‘energy fashion’ is something that people are not familiar with, so it is a challenge to communicate and educate people about it. People are comfortable with things they already know, so anything new — whether it is a product or a concept — is always questioned.
I try to be as friendly and patient as possible when explaining it to people so that they can understand what we are trying to do. Hopefully, once they see our products and how they can help them, they will be more open to the idea of energy fashion.
Kimonos are unique because they are specifically designed to work with your body’s energy. They are also versatile and can be worn for many different occasions. I believe that once people understand these things about our kimonos, they will be more interested in purchasing them.
Choosing your energy
We’re constantly surrounded by energy, and whether we realise it or not, that energy affects us in profound ways. That’s why it’s so important to surround ourselves with positive energy as much as possible — and that includes the clothes we wear.
When you wear clothing that have been created through a positive pathway of energy, it gives you the ability to tap into your own feminine divine — the part of you that is strong, beautiful, and capable of anything. It’s this connection to our feminine power that allows us to feel confident and unstoppable in the face of whatever life throws our way. And when we feel good about ourselves, we can show up fully in our lives and relationships and be the best versions of ourselves possible.
Every woman has the power to unlock and live her feminine divine. With Earth, Air, Water, and Fire Kimonos from Kimonogirl, you can express your unique personality while feeling magical, beautiful, empowered, and inspired. Made with love and positive vibrations, these kimonos will help you live your best life.
Your Female Email
Enjoy 10% off your first store purchase when you subscribe to our newsletter.
Black and beige may be your go-to colours, but Pantone has a slightly different preference for the year ahead. Meet Viva Magenta, now known as Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2023. A shade descending from the red family and expressive of a new signal of strength, it’s brave and fearless, promoting a joyous celebration with its exuberance. “This year’s Colour of the Year is powerful and empowering,” says the global authority on colour.
“It is a new animated red that revels in pure joy, encouraging experimentation and self-expression without restraint, an electrifying and a boundaryless shade that is manifesting as a stand-out statement. PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta welcomes anyone and everyone with the same verve for life and rebellious spirit. It is a colour that is audacious, full of wit and inclusive of all.”
Unsure of how to embrace Viva Magenta? Ease into it with pops of colour, starting with these five fashion accents that will (effortlessly) inject some vim and vigour into your look.
If you’re getting ready to take in the sights and sounds of a destination on your bucket list, procuring a travel capsule wardrobe for winter can definitely help alleviate some of the packing stress when it comes to your closet. Here’s my checklist with a few suggestions on how to build your own without breaking the bank.
First, let’s consider if and where you are travelling. It’s always best to check the weather ahead of time in order to prepare. A rule of thumb: remember all winters are not created equal. Will you need a parka or a pair of shorts? Does it require layering or will a cute top and bottom fit the bill? Don’t be afraid to do a little Google search to glance at the forecast.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Also, in doing your research about the weather, it’s nice to be considerate of local cultures and customs as it pertains to dress code. Planning to visit us here in the UAE or making a trip to another Muslim country? Grab a gorgeous abaya. This staple is an integral part of their cultural garb and many brands create them in an array of styles, so why not find one in your favorite colour to style? For instance, check out the affordable Omani abaya brand NB Design on Boksha for inspiration.
How to Style: Throw it on as a duster and make it multi-purpose as another warm layer.
Consider your agenda. Does it call for complete comfort as you backpack through the cold of the Swiss Alps? Or are you just kicking it with family? Maybe you’re fine/casual dining in cute little cafés and making visits to amazing museums?
Destination Denim: If you’re in need of a pair of trousers, go with denim in a medium and dark wash as they can easily be paired with a T-shirt or button down. Grab a basic black pair as well – it can transition from day to night with top, heels, or boots. I personally prefer the Levi’s 312 Shaping Slim fit available in all three of the aforementioned colours.
How to Style: Each pair of denim comes in several lengths and inseams to ensure great fit as well as shaping technology, creating eye-catching curves. Pair them with a great outer layer like the Luna coat and a white shirt dress from Levi’s for a playful yet polished look along with footwear of your choice. If it’s a bit warmer, you may even opt to wear the shirt dress solo (as seen in the photo) along with light scarf.
Dressed to Impress
Nothing beats a basic dress that you can wear in a multitude of ways, making it the perfect piece for a winter travel capsule wardrobe. Again, with weather considered, grab two dresses that can be worn casually but also dressed up for a nice dinner when needed.
When in Doubt, Wrap It Out: And what does that mean? Go for the amazing multipurpose wrap dress that’s known to accent every woman’s figure. Not only can the wrap dress be worn as a singular item for warmer temps, but also layered as a duster. And if it’s extra cold, then throw a cute top on underneath and a great pair of boots, and go. Check out this Ella wrap dress from Namshi in a winter shade of wine that looks great on just about any skin tone.
Lean on the LBD: We all know the power of the famous little black dress and its influence on fashion and style. Not only is it one of the best staples and in a colour known to provide warmth, but it’s also a no-brainer for your winter travel capsule wardrobe. These two black dresses from Mango definitely make the cut. First, we have the pleated ruffle dress that gives you the illusion of the wrap dress pulling in at the waist, creating a great shape, but also the comfort and style of the LBD. Then there is the simplicity of the Maggie black dress that can be dressed up or down with heels, boots, or even sneakers and your go-to travel sweater.
Your outer layers matter just as much as your inner when it comes to proper planning and packing. I suggest at least two or three great tops to pair with your bottoms and even layer over your dresses, dependent upon your destination. Let’s not forget a great lightweight sweater or even overcoat if you anticipate an Arctic kind of cold.
Top Shop: A great white blouse is forever in style, no matter where you’re going. It can be worn alone or as an additional layer as well as with your staple T-shirts and cardigans in a neutral or fun print.
How to Style: Layer, layer, layer. And if it gets a bit warmer later in the day, then just tie it over your shoulders. Did I mention the T-shirts come in a tri-pack so you can switch out for whatever colour you wish?
The Cover Up: Keep in mind the weather as well as the weight of your luggage. Go for pieces that are easily to layer, but also to remove. One good quality coat to cover up should do. Want a dash of colour? Have a bit of fun with the double-breasted green coat from Zara, especially if all of your under layers are muted neutrals. If rocking full on neutrals rings your bell, then you’ll like the aforementioned Luna or even the Lumiere from House of Devereaux; both can be custom made to fit flawlessly.
How to Style: These overcoats work with just about every look, be it casual or evening. Layer away and don’t forget your scarf, if need be.
Bag It Up
When it comes to your bags, it’s not enough to consider what bags you will carry around town, but also your luggage. I highly recommend hard-shell luggage with expandable compartments because your items will be tumbled around the airport. Such suitcases not only decrease the likelihood of damage, but can also withstand being held in wet weather on the airport tarmac (trust me, I’ve seen it firsthand).
At a Crossroads: Can’t quite figure out what everyday bag to carry? When it comes to travelling, a convertible crossbody is always your friend. Find one with a strap that can be shortened or removed all together, transforming your bag into a beautiful clutch. You should also consider the size of the bag. Are you someone whose bag is always bursting at the seams? Then make sure your crossbody comes with enough compartments inside to organise all the extra stuff, like the Coach Bandit found at Bloomingdale’s.
How to Style: Making a very cool comeback after some clever rebranding, Coach’s Bandit adjustable crossbody features a clean aesthetic that can easily shift from day to night and plenty of compartment space if needed. Keep its strap long during the day for outside excursions, and then shorten or remove it for hand carrying when headed out to dinner.
A simple outfit can be taken to new heights with the right accessories. When it comes to completing your winter capsule, your personal style comes into play by amplifying a simple outfit with small add-ons. Are you a minimalist or do you prefer statement-making pieces? It’s all up to you – just be aware of how much you choose to pack.
Pick with Purpose: Like footwear, it’s important to lay your looks out before packing and begin to pair accessory pieces that are versatile and complement your looks. Never underestimate a great pair of hoops in either silver or gold, as well as a great watch or classic coordinating bracelet. Do you have a no-fail necklace? You know that one necklace you feel goes with everything? Well, don’t forget to pack that as well as two more neck pieces that speak to your personality, but again, go with other looks.
How to Style: Loop around your neck in the classic way and, as it gets warmer throughout the day, you can tie it around your Coach crossbody’s strap.
Let’s talk shoes. Firstly, it’s important to pack shoes that aren’t too heavy. Also, consider their versatility based on where you’re going. A great pair of neutral-coloured flats, two cool pairs of casual sneakers, and two pairs of evening shoes for those nights out on the town should do just fine. If you’re beach bound, then replace those flats and evening shoes with two pairs of sandals. Plus, the less shoes you pack, the more space you have in your luggage to purchase more souvenirs (or in my case, more shoes).
Fit First: When I say fit, it’s about a couple of aspects, namely the weather and amount of walking you’ll do – breaking in new shoes is not the best during travel. So, purchase your shoes ahead of time and walk around the house in them, making sure they not only fit, but are also comfortable to explore in. Grab a few comfort in-soles and no-slip grips for the bottoms, if needed. Additionally, lay out your outfits with your shoes to ensure that they coordinate appropriately.
How to Style: If true winter weather without the snow is on your wishlist, then a great pair of boots is best. Looking for something rugged, yet chic? Go for the Legion boot by Jeffrey Campbell. If classic is more your style, then the bestselling Reserve by Stuart Weitzman belongs in your closet. And if you need a quick transition from day to night and want to give your boots a rest, then these Alexandre Birman platforms not only give proper support, but also keep your feet semi warm while remaining stylish.
Winter Is Coming
If after taking in all the tips and tricks, you still feel like you’re not prepared for winter – or you just need a little more help – you can always seek assistance. Check out the Travel Edit services from the House of Devereaux. They help you organise and streamline in order to prevent the dreaded overpacking, freeing up your time so you can focus on the fun stuff, like planning your trip. Bon voyage!
Dominique Devereaux is the owner and head of House of Devereaux, which offers variety of services ranging from custom design to closet reorganisation, personal/virtual styling, and professional brand development. Visit www.houseofdevereaux.com or @houseofdevereauxfor more information.
Your Female Email
Enjoy 10% off your first store purchase when you subscribe to our newsletter.
How to Merge Your Personal Style and Professional Persona
It’s easier than you think.
When it comes to branding yourself, it can often be confusing how to blend your personal style with your professional persona. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are my tips on how to fabulously fuse your personal brand with your profession.
Consider the Source
When shopping for ourselves, we often look to style icons, celebrities, or tastemakers for inspiration on the looks we want to achieve. However, when it comes to branding, it is suggested to take a page – not the entire book – from your favourite public figure by remembering that authenticity is key. Focus on pieces that speak to you; the idea is to be inspired, not an imitation.
And Just Like That
Sarah Jessica Parker, aka SJP, is known for her fashion and style influence. As an actress playing the iconic Carrie Bradshaw, her career as a lifestyle/fashion writer grants her the creative freedom to wear what she wishes, as well as the budget for a Hollywood wardrobe consultant. Not all of us are as lucky, so I say consider where you work and add a bit of flair accordingly with a pair of her famous pumps. And just like that, you too can look equally fabulous.
The Windsor pump seems inspired by the blue Manolo Blahniks in season three’s infamous wedding scene, but, you can own a similar version for a fraction of the cost and still look incredible. Keeping your personal brand in mind, maybe the crystal buckle isn’t for you, but you still prefer a feminine element, so try the Lucille pump with a ladylike bow in the back.
Or maybe you’re a fan of the pump, but the colour doesn’t quite capture your personality, which may be a bit more subdued. For those whose style is straight to the point, I suggest giving the Fawn – a classic pump that comes in over 27 colours and prints – a go. While I understand the ease of access that comes with online shopping, I must suggest that you visit Level Shoes or one of SJP’s storefronts in Yas Mall (Abu Dhabi), Dubai Hills Mall, The Dubai Mall, or the concept store in Mall of the Emirates and test them out to see which pump truly fits your personality.
Consider the Context and Audience
What are you trying to say through your personal style? Do you want to be seen as trustworthy? Creative? Detail-oriented? What are the top three character traits you want people to perceive when they connect with you? And how can those be conveyed through personal style? Write down those three words and then pull pieces from your wardrobe that you feel identify with those words and why. Don’t feel like your wardrobe reflects those words too well? This goes back to brand messaging.
For example, House of Devereaux shares a brand philosophy with Harry Winston (“people will stare, make it worth their while”) and holds fast to the brand motto, “it’s all in the details”. The brand emphasises words like power, feminine, and detailed, and this is reflected through product offerings in bold and strong colours, elaborate trims, and fierce leopard print lining. When people see the brand designer in any blazer, they immediately associate those pieces with the brand and the personality and brand messaging of the designer, Dominique Devereaux.
Blending the Brand with Style
Style is only a piece of the personal branding puzzle, but it’s an important element, and you can begin with your wardrobe. There may be pieces or silhouettes that you are most comfortable in, like pants as opposed to dresses. Or maybe there is a pair of trousers you receive compliments when wearing. More importantly: do they make you feel comfortable and great when you wear them? Assess the fit and silhouette, and then allow those key pieces to be your focal point.
And if you look and feel good in them, don’t be afraid to buy them in every colour that suits you. Showing up authentically is always in style. It always leads back to authenticity. Being authentic in your style allows you and others to be clear about who you are and how you want to be perceived. This lets potential clients know that you take yourself and your brand seriously. Take a glance at the House of Devereaux brand board and how it implements key elements into products, services, and personal branding.
Consider the Industry
Not all industries are created equal, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t stand out in the presence of other professionals. Modest fashion is becoming increasingly modern and allowing flexibility through fashion. You can be respectful of the country and your company’s culture while not compromising your own personal style.
Many brands are being birthed from this great country, emphasising modest modern wear. Take, for instance, Bouguessa’s Sheikha Long Trench in a gorgeous shade of green. It’s a classic cultural silhouette with a statement colour edge.
I suggest wearing all black, as seen in the reference photo and a classic black pump like the aforementioned Fawn pump from SJP. Keep it neutral. Maybe your style is a bit more understated, but with a bit of drama. The Sara Shirt Dress, also from Bouguessa, gives you a modest length of lightweight cotton with flowy pleats and darting in the back.
This dress is easy – a statement shoe that you feel most fabulous in, be it pump or flat, can definitely work. White is one of the best neutrals, and every woman needs it in her wardrobe. Whether blouses, dresses, or your basics, you can never have too many white pieces. The Sara dress is also versatile as you can open it up and turn it into a duster by pairing it with an undershirt and trousers.
Consider the Casual
Maybe your industry doesn’t require professional attire to be so restrictive. You could be the owner of a yoga studio or wellness brand, but still want to appear more approachable. There are ways you can show up polished and reflect your personal style simultaneously.
Work for Sport
Athleisure has seen a real resurgence recently, with brands like Nike, Reebok, and Adidas creating looks that can leave the gym and casually transition into a meeting with like-minded colleagues. The details of this Adidas coat dress are playful and functional as the drawstrings bring in the waist, making it flattering for all body types.
American retailer Target is known for its affordable fashions and featured collaborations with major designers like Jason Wu and Altuzarra, as well as emerging fashion influencers like Kahlana Barfield Brown. While Target does not yet ship to the UAE, unfortunately, we can still aspire to wear athleisure looks with these pieces as the perfect inspiration. Check out how to get an inspired version of the look below.
Who doesn’t love the versatility of an oversized white button-down shirt? What makes the joggers and jacket combo even better is that each piece can serve as a base for other looks. You can wear the jacket with a great pair of denim, and the joggers with a lightweight top and trainers (like the black Ralph Lauren slip-ons or the Fawn pump from SJP). Did I mention that the nylon joggers are made from recyclable material?
The most important piece to the personal branding puzzle is you. Think about who you are, your body type, the colours that appeal to you, and whether those colours work for you. We, as women, are guilty of going to our closets and often saying that we have nothing to wear. In actuality, we need a fresh pair of eyes to evaluate what we already have, what we can work with, and what we may need to replace. This is where personal stylists and brand managers like myself come in. We help you to determine how to showcase your best self.
What Shape Am I?
Unclear on how to go about growing your personal brand? Consider your body type. Identifying what works for your shape and accentuates your best features will make styling yourself that much easier. No two women’s bodies are the same, so take some time and assess what shape you are.
How to Shapeshift
Spend an afternoon out and about, trying on things that are familiar to you and outside your comfort zone. Should you find yourself stuck in a style rut, you can always book a personal shopping/styling session with House of Devereaux.
What Colours Work for Me?
Not all colours are created equal, and it is best to identify what shades and tones work best for you. They assist with changing your mood and overall brightness, and can affect how approachable you appear to others. Want a colour change? Colour analysis is a service provided under the umbrella of professional branding services at House of Devereaux and can help you identify what works for you. Other women in the local industry specifically specialise in this service, like House of Colour.
Complete Personal Package
From identifying your brand messaging to learning how to build a professional wardrobe to professional branding photos (all based on your personal style and tailored to your industry), House of Devereaux specialises in branding services that can take your brand to a new level. Establishing your brand message or even rebranding helps to have a feminine touch, so they work with Elle Laine, a professional photographer. She has extensive knowledge of branding and marketing.
Ready to Brand/Rebrand?
You can book a professional branding session if you are interested in a service that captures your personality without compromising your style.
Dominique Devereaux is the owner and head of House of Devereaux, which offers variety of services ranging from custom design to closet reorganisation, personal/virtual styling, and professional brand development. You can find her making custom magic at www.houseofdevereaux.com or @houseofdevereauxon Instagram.
Your Female Email
Enjoy 10% off your first store purchase when you subscribe to our newsletter.
No more mornings spent worrying about what to wear!
It’s 2022 and, as the pandemic is slowing down, the world is starting to return to the workplace. If you’re eager to get back out there, but have completely forgotten what it takes to get ready for a workday, allow our workwear capsule collection to relieve some of that morning stress. What is a capsule collection? It’s a selection of concise and cohesive pieces that interchangeably play well together and leave you looking and feeling presentable. This collection includes curated pieces ranging from tops to bottoms and even handbags.
All Buttoned Up
There is no better basic clothing item than the iconic button-up collared shirt. My recommendation is to have one in a classic white colour that is well-tailored, and another in a playful style for a bit of versatility in a neutral colour or a print of your choice.
Want to Keep It Classic? Check out the classic white Ralph Lauren Oxford Slim fit. It’s clean, chic, and to the point.
How to Style: A tip that works for me, as a taller woman, is to purchase the men’s version of this shirt. Not only are the arms longer, but the bodice is as well. It has a bit of stretch in the fabric, too.
Want to Change It Up? Are you looking for a button-up that is a classic white colour, but comes with a few more bells and whistles? Check out this beautiful tuxedo-style shirt from COS.
How to Style: This print is simplistic, with its impact being in colour, so it can easily pair with just about any piece from the capsule.
The Perfect Pant
Because not all body types are created equal, there is definitely an art to acquiring the perfect pair of work pants for each person. When it comes to a capsule wardrobe, the main point is to find the pair that is versatile and can be worn with all the other pieces.
Take Me Down Tapered Lane: Try these Reiss high-waisted trousers in a tailored fit and available in both regular and petite fit, as well as black and navy. I suggest selecting both colours for a range of style options.
How to Style: These tailored tapered style pants fit just about any figure as they are a higher rise and a slimmer leg, giving the illusion of longer legs. They can be paired with either of the blazers below and both the flats and bags in this capsule.
Be a Trail(Blazer)
Blazers are often the finishing piece to a professional look, bringing all the elements together in a polished way. Every workwear capsule wardrobe needs a blazer in black as well as a versatile statement-making coloured blazer.
Always Bet on Black: Want to only make a small splash in your bank account? Then take this all-black blazer from Tahari, a brand known for creating classic quality womenswear pieces at an attainable price point. Plus, it’s single-breasted (one button), so it pulls at the waist, creating a great shape.
Want to Splurge? Then try the Jabina Fundamental Blazer from Boss. The name says it all with ‘fundamental’, which makes it functional across your capsule wardrobe. Like the Tahari option, it has only one button, creating a fitted silhouette.
How to Style: Pair the blazer together with any of the aforementioned pieces, like the COS Tuxedo Shirt and the tapered pants from Reiss.
Turn Heads with Red: Looking for a not-so-basic blazer that makes a bold statement? If so, the ‘Alexis’ from House of Devereaux is an awesome option. This shade of red works with all skin tones and is a great addition to your capsule wardrobe.
How to Style: Red is such a versatile colour, working with both blue and black. The ‘Alexis’ can therefore be worn with either of the pants from Reiss as well as the button-down shirts suggested.
When it comes to a work wardrobe, you need a great pair of footwear that is not only fashionable, but also functional. A great pair of quality flats will last you a long time, and keep you comfortable and cute all day long.
Keep It Cute Cole: Cole Haan has been a footwear phenom for decades, and its best-selling ‘Cloudfeel’ ballet flats come coloured in both black as well as brush-black, along with medium and wide widths. It’s made with “cushioned Grandfoam to make you feel like you’re walking on a cloud”,with a cute little bow detail that adds a feminine touch.
How to Style: Because both flats are neutral, they can be paired with each piece, from the black blazer to the red blazer and both bags below. The black pair can be worn with either the red blazer or black blazer, while the brush pair of flats can be worn with each look.
Bag It Up and Go
One of the final pieces needed for a great capsule wardrobe is a functional bag that holds all the things you need to build your empire. It must come with compartments and be easy to carry while coordinating with your complete capsule look.
Cole”Partments: Finding great flats along with a great bag from the same brand makes your shopping so much easier. The ‘Grand Ambition’ bag from Cole Haan fits the bill of providing chic style with a bucket silhouette, functionality with multiple compartments, as well as a back phone pocket – not to mention it comes with both a top handle as well as a crossbody strap, depending on how you wish to carry it. Plus, it has feet, so it stands on its own. It’s available in three neutral colours: black, British tan, and oat.
How to Style: All three colours of this functionally fabulous handbag are neutral, so you can’t go wrong with any selection. Pair with either a blazer or trousers.
For more tips on how to style this complete workwear capsule wardrobe, check out a few of the possible looks below and how they work together. And if you need assistance in creating a personalised capsule wardrobe, the House of Devereaux and its capsule wardrobe services can assist.
Your Female Email
Enjoy 10% off your first store purchase when you subscribe to our newsletter.
Your search for summer’s hottest swimsuits just ended.
If you’re packing your suitcase for somewhere fabulous this summer, there’s one piece that you simply can’t go without : the all-versatile swimsuit. Heck, you don’t just swim and sunbathe by the beach or the swimming pool in it. You can wear it as a leotard when you’re doing yoga at dawn, under your jeans when you’re shopping, and with a sarong when you’re sipping sundowners – a great swimming suit goes so much further than your average bikini. And while there’s always a time and a place for a terrific two-piece, we’re all about the one-piece wonder this summer, especially when there are so many super-cool cossies out there! Here are our top picks.
But it’s just so bright! I’m not that bold! Would any of these colours even work for me?
These questions come to mind for many women when they consider the neon colour trend. Here, I’m going to help you figure out how to take your summer wardrobe to the next level and finesse one of fashion’s hottest trends for summer 2022. Whether you want to go full-on bold or embrace just a tiny bit of fluorescent, here’s how to do it.
My future’s so bright I’ve got to wear shades!
If you’re unsure about anything neon, try a pair of summer sunnies, like these fun options below.
Want to Splurge?
Check out the Medusa Biggie Sunglasses from Versace that were made famous by Notorious B.I.G. in the ’90s. When it comes to fashion, we’re definitely seeing a resurgence of the very recent past. These shades are available in three different colours (fluorescent fuchsia, acid green, and fluorescent yellow).
How to Style It
Pair it with a sundress, a subtle pair of sandals, and some hoop earrings. These glasses are bold enough, so there’s no need to overdo it.
Fluorescent Fuchsia Medusa Biggie Sunglasses, Versace
Are you looking for something that’s a bit more temporary, but will still raise your summer style temperature? Then don’t be afraid to experiment with extra loud shades for your next mani-pedi appointment with neon colours or nail art.
Want a Cute Little Coat?
Why not try Cote nail colours? They come in orange, pink, green, and yellow – and are vegan and cruelty-free! Cote also keeps the customer nail experience in mind, with formulas that are both long-lasting and chip-resistant.
Try a bit of nude along with a hint of neon nail art for some temporary abstract fun, like these custom gel press-on nails from En Route Nails on Etsy.
Lime Green Abstract Swirls Custom Press On Nails, Etsy
The Not-So-Basic Neon Bag
When it comes to trends, every woman wants a great bag that’s stylish yet versatile, so knowing which neon shade could work in your wardrobe is important. I find that pink is a solid bet for a beauty of any skin tone.
Want to Splurge?
Italian brand Pinko’s chain bag is the perfect size for fitting all of our stash, from mobile phones to makeup. Its pebble-leather finish also means that it’s always in style, from season to season. A take on its popular ‘Love’ bag, this beauty seems to only be found in-store in the UAE, so I would act fast!
Pink Chain Bag, Pinko
Want a Splash?
Check out this almost five-star rated and reviewed quilted crossbody with chevron detail and chain accent on Amazon. It also comes with a quaint little inside pocket – big enough to fit an iPhone!
Pair it with a clean white T-shirt and summer denim, and out the door you go!
Neon from Tip to Toe
If you’re like most women who love a great pair of shoes and wouldn’t dare miss a moment to find something special for summer, check out these brightly hued options.
Want to Splurge?
Like Amina Muaddi, Malone Souliers has made a major splash in the region – and across the world – for its dynamic shoe designs and use of PVC. The ‘Maureen’ mules are no exception, with a stiletto heel and sharp pointed toe.
Malone Souliers x Ounass Maureen 100 Mules in PVC, Ounass
Want a Splash?
Massimo Dutti is known for its classic interpretation of modern trends, and these heeled leather sandals made from Nappa sheepskin deserve be seen at your next Sunday brunch.
Wear a nice, muted dress or jumpsuit that will allow your colourful footwear to be the focal point and conversation starter.
Now, This Is Next-Level Neon
This is for our ladies who love to live out loud and use style to express themselves. Whether you choose a dress, a printed jumpsuit, or a statement blazer, these styles are definitely extra when it comes to neon extravagance.
Want to Dress to Impress?
This fluorescent green midi dress from Zara comes with a dose of extra flair, courtesy of key buttonholes on both sides.
Open button holes seem too daring? Throw a white button-down underneath and pair with medium-wash skinny jeans and heeled sandals with black sunnies to balance the look.
Want a Playful Look?
Known for its vibrant prints, Desigual creates styles for those who aren’t afraid of a bit of colour. The ‘Coral’ jumpsuit is both beach- and brunch-ready with billowy open bottoms (not to mention that it’s made from sustainable materials).
Throw on a denim jacket and chunky statement necklace for a bit more pop.
Want to Blaze through Summer?
House of Devereaux specialises in custom-made suiting, and its latest collection Tres Jolie is all about fun details for summer. Case in point: the playful fringe of the ‘Fete’ blazer in a bright, neon green paired with the ‘Ambre’ shorts. All items are made to order.
We all know that abayas are often worn in countries where Islam is the dominant religion, such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, and the UAE. However, they’re becoming increasingly popular in other parts of the world, Europe and North America included.
Abayas can be worn in many different styles, and are often decorated with embroidery or other embellishments. They’re also an excellent option for modest dressing and can be styled in various ways to suit different occasions. There are many reasons why women choose to wear abayas, including religious beliefs, cultural traditions, fashion, and personal style.
Incidentally, if you are interested in giving them a try, there are many places where you can buy one. Abayas are available at a wide range of prices, depending on the quality and style of the garment. You can often find abayas for sale in department stores, online retailers, and specialty shops. Here, we reveal the 15 best places to buy an abaya in the Middle East, whether you’re on the lookout for something traditional or modern.
A woman should always be in with the latest fashion that fits her personal style, and Hanayen is committed to inspiring you to look beautiful and stylish. The designers and sales associates work with you to ensure you look your best. Hanayen offers a good collection of abayas, as well as sheilas and gashwas. The abayas at this store come in various designs, such as the popular Swarovski-encrusted abaya dress and an array of colours.
Hanayen, multiple branches in UAE and Oman, 04 2843666, hanayen.com
2. Al Motahajiba
Al Motahajiba’s is a one-stop destination for abayas. This store has several branches spread across the UAE, especially Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Its 36 branches are located across the Middle East, out of which 10 are in the UAE. They have a wide variety of designs to suit your taste and preferences. This store offers formal abaya dresses for special occasions and trendy casual abayas for everyday wear that shoppers highly recommend.
Kashkha offers traditional design elements focused on elegance and quality. They provide a variety of styles so you can choose one to fit your body type, personality, and lifestyle. The store’s collection is inspired by Arabian heritage and exudes sophistication. Dar Al Kashkha uses authentic, Arab-inspired designs and quality fabrics to create the styles women have loved for generations. Kashkha custom makes all clothing so that each piece is unique with hand-made embroidery, needlework, and elegant embellishments. They offer diverse collections of abaya dresses that you can choose from, ranging from a casual look for the day to a sleek and chic look for a night out.
Dar Al Kashkha, multiple branches in the middle east, 04 284 0440, kashkha.com
4. Abu Hail Centre
Located in Deira, Abu Hail Centre is the leading destination for women in the Dubai looking for an abaya dress. From unique luxury designs to affordable styles, Abu Hail Centre presents you with an opportunity to get a one-stop fix for all your abaya needs and worth the trek. The Emirati-styled products are traditionally designed, hand-crafted, and beautifully embroidered. Their in-house tailors make alterations or can custom create a new abaya dress that will perfectly fit your style, taste, and preference.
Abu Hail Centre, Abu Hail Road, Deira, Dubai, 04 2669600
5. Nuna Atelier
Nuna’s abayas are loved by A-list celebrities from around the world, including model Kendall Jenner and reality star Khloe Kardashian. The abaya dress from Nuna’s collection gives traditional clothing a modern twist. Their abaya dress raises the bar on stylish, yet modest fashion. Each abaya is custom-made to fit your taste and uses high-quality fine materials. By shopping here, you can be sure that every detail of your look will be perfect for any event you have coming up. Nuna Atelier will work directly with you to ensure that each piece is precisely what you want.
Nuna Atelier, Al Sayyah Building, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 04 340 9100, nunaatelier.com
Chi-ka has provided the UAE market with a one-of-a-kind abaya dress, infusing Japanese inspired design into an Emirati establishment. The brand’s primary appeal revolves around its kimono patterns, which can be found in its classic, modern, and avant-garde collections. All of their abayas are made using craftsmanship and attention to detail, combining oriental and Arabic designs into a unique style that is elegant and versatile.
Abaya Mall offers a wide range of shopping choices for affordable, quality abayas. Located in Mirdif, you can shop freely at this mall that houses a wide range of abaya dress retailers, both large and small. The mall’s on-site tailors can even make you a personalized abaya. You’ll also discover bridal outfits and other retail establishments at the mall. Abaya Mall offers a wide range of choices. Visit Abaya Mall, and you’ll find the latest fashion trends fabricated by talented tailors. Whether you’re looking for vibrant colours or subtle styles, you can find what you need here.
Abaya Mall, 24 B St, (As Beside Star International School) Mirdif, Dubai, 04 251 4071, abayamall.com
8. Abaya Place
This well-known abaya shop is the next stop on our list of the best places to shop in Abu Dhabi. Their inventory consists of a wide range of collections and designs. They also have formal abayas with stone-studded details, ideal for special occasions. This shop has various items that you can choose from, including jalabiyas and sheilas in multiple colours. If you’re looking for quality and style, then this is where you need to be. The top-rated shop has beautiful and high-quality abayas at a reasonable price. This store has one of the largest collections of abayas in the city.
Abaya Place, Madinat Zayed Shopping and Gold Center, Abu Dhabi, 02 633 8008
9. Dazzle Abaya Boutique
If you want to buy abayas, and you don’t want to spend a small fortune, Dazzle Abaya Boutique provides excellent value for the money. This abaya shop in Abu Hail Center offers a wide range of everyday outfits for modest fashion at budget pricing. You can choose from traditional black abayas to solid shades of grey, navy, and more, or those with complex trims or lacework. According to one shopper, this store offers the most wonderful abaya shopping experience with customer service going above and beyond.
Dazzle Abaya Boutique, NMC Building and Abu Hail Center, Dubai, 05 6974 5500, dazzleabaya.com
10. VIP Lady Abaya
VIP Lady Abaya is your ultimate destination for the latest fashion and designer wear. Make your style statement with an elegant VIP Lady design, including abayas, sheilas, gowns, kaftans, and farashas. Choose from a variety of contemporary and exquisite fashionable designs.
VIP Lady Abaya, Al Wasit Center, Wasit Street, Sharjah, 054 336 2621
11. Dar Al Oyoon Abaya & Sheila Shop Sharjah
This store offers a wide range of trendy abaya dresses and sheilas. You can pick from a large selection of elegant, classy, casual, or chic abaya options in various colours, fabrics, and designs. With their vast selection of unique abaya dresses, they have a design for every occasion and budget. Their customer service will ensure you have the right look for any event or season. With a 4.6-star review on Google, you will surely love this shop as they feature beautiful designs with their abayas.
Dar Al Oyoon Abaya & Sheila Shop Sharjah, Al Habtoor Tower – Shop: 39/C, Ground Floor – King Faisal Road, Sharjah, 055 322 7796, daraloyoonabaya.com
12. Al Batool Abaya Shop Sharjah
One of the top-rated shops in Sharjah, this store has a collection of abayas in different colours, styles, and designs. They have high-quality and stylish abaya dresses and are located in the Gold Souq, Sharjah. The professional staff members are on hand to assist you in finding the perfect abaya dress that’ll flatter your body type, so you can choose from a wide selection of high-quality fabrics and comfortable designs that suit your taste. This store is loved by shoppers, having awesome collections made with quality materials at an affordable price. They also do alterations and stitching according to your need.
Mauzan is a great place to find a high-quality abaya dress that suits every frame and occasion. With a focus on elegance and femininity, these fashion-forward abaya designs feature beading, soft and flowing fabrics, and flattering cuts. The designs are delicate and beautiful and represent modern Arab women. You can find their stores in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Al Ain. Mauzan is highly regarded by shoppers.
The Al Araba Sheila and Abaya store is located at the Madinat Zayed Shopping and Gold Centre in Abu Dhabi. You can explore the latest modest fashion trends with different abaya dress styles for women, jalabiyas for men, and sheilas. If you are looking for an abaya that reflects your unique style and personality, both in fashion and tradition, this store is the place to go. After all, an abaya is more than just a piece of clothing; it represents Arab culture! This store features beautiful, emerging abaya dress designs focusing on elegance and femininity.
Al Araba Shiela and Abaya Trading, Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre, Muroor Road (East Road), Madinat Zayed, Abu Dhabi City, 02 621 3349
Louzan Fashion has various abayas to pick from, whether you’re seeking formal abayas or more practical ones for everyday wear. The Dubai-based luxury abaya dress brand offers the largest variety of abayas in the local market, carefully crafted for your style and comfort. Whatever your preference in design or silhouette, Louzan features the perfect style for you – whether it’s a printed silk abaya dress from their summer collection or one of their more traditional designs featuring prints with delicate embroidery.
Louzan, Dubai Festival City Mall, Dubai Festival City, 04 269 8545, louzanfashion.com
Your Female Email
Enjoy 10% off your first store purchase when you subscribe to our newsletter.
Emerging from the culturally rich Middle East, the modest movement has taken the fashion scene by storm. Several luxury and high street brands have released modest-friendly collections, including kaftans, tunics, and maxi dresses to quench our sartorial thirst. Here, we share our top picks to remain comfortably stylish in Ramadan – and beyond.
The White Shirt
A white shirt is undoubtedly a staple. Upgrade yours with this summery yet chic version that features cutwork embroidery.
A shirt dress is one of the most versatile items in your wardrobe – wear it over wide-legged pants as a long-line top, unbuttoned as a light coat, or with knee-high boots as a dress (if it’s long enough).
At some point in our lives, we’ll all likely be hit by a style rut. The good news? It’s not permanent, and getting your groove back only takes a few simple steps. The difficult part, though, is how to recognise a style rut. Read on.
What are the signs of a style rut?
One of most recognisable signs is that you just don’t feel good about the clothes you have, so you end up wearing the same boring pieces all the time. You also find yourself not being creative, and putting thought into your outfits becomes too much of a chore for you.
The second sign is that when you find something you feel comfortable in, you buy as many pieces of it as you can, without questioning why – regardless of the quality and whether it fits your fashion style or not.
The third sign is when you start to hate shopping, and you only buy from one trusted brand that you have been buying from for ages.
The final sign is that you stay in your sports outfit (which could be your leggings and sport bra) the whole day – even when you are not exercising – just because it’s easy and comfortable.
If you recognise yourself in more than one of these signs, then it’s time to do something about it, starting with the following four tips. After all, life’s too short to wear boring clothes!
1. Learn to Let Go
Always start from your closet. Do a closet edit and be honest about each piece you have. If it doesn’t make you happy, get rid of it. Be strict when it comes to this. If you can’t ask for help from a wardrobe stylist, it is important to carry out this step without mistakes.
2. Change Your Old Habits
A style rut means stagnation in what you have been doing without any changes. Consider your hairstyle, for instance. Why not book an appointment with your hairdresser and talk your concerns through? Together, decide on a new haircut or colour – or both! How about your makeup and skincare routine? You could stand to benefit from some changes. Maybe add a new colour of lipstick? Or even get some new accessories?
3. Learn to Shop Differently
As a stylist and personal shopper, my clients often say that they hate shopping for various reasons and, mostly, it’s because they don’t want to be lost in a pile of clothes not knowing what to buy. I recommend starting your shopping trip at your closet. Take those pants or that skirt that you love wearing most, and try to find a top or shirt and a pair of shoes to go with it. If you don’t have any, shop only for those specific items. This way, you can avoid the overwhelming feeling of getting lost between store racks. Slowly, you can even build a new wardrobe with this plan.
4. Gym Clothes Are Only for the Gym
The last thing you should do is to go for errands in your sports outfit. It is important to know that activewear is only for the gym or wherever you’re doing your workout for the day. Once that’s done, you should change into your favourite jeans-and-tee combo or pants. Leggings should never be worn as pants – that’s why they’re called leggings.
As a last word, don’t be ashamed when you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see. Know that only you can work on improving your image, but once you do, you’ll feel so much better.
Dzovig van Kleef is an Abu Dhabi-based personal stylist and the founder of Style Codes. Follow her on Instagram here.
Your Female Email
Enjoy 10% off your first store purchase when you subscribe to our newsletter.