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6 Handbags for Every Kind of Date

From clutches to crossbody, all the bag styles you need for your hot date.

You’ve got the man, the plan and the outfit – now all you need for your hot date is the perfect bag. Don’t just grab your old faithful handbag; depending on what kind of date you’re going on, you might want a clutch, crossbody or even a backpack. Think of your handbag as your safety net on a date – not only does it complement your outfit, it also houses everything you need, from lipstick to your phone and wallet (because yes, why shouldn’t you split the bill? It’s 2020 after all, ladies!)

Shop our favourite handbags for every kind of date right here:

1.THE SHOULDER BAG

Best for A lunch date

A shoulder bag can easily take you from your morning chores to your lunch date to afternoon shopping, since it can fit everything you need. Keep it sleek, not slouchy.

Asos Design ruched 70s shoulder bag in hot pink


2. THE TOTE BAG

Best for The beach date

Not all dates have to involve sitting down and eating – meet for a walk on the beach or a lazy day in the sun, with your trusty tote next to you.

Street Level chain link trim large tote


3. THE CROSSBODY BAG

Best for The movie date

Small enough to fit on your lap or under your seat and easy enough to carry while also balancing popcorn and a cold drink – the crossbody is the perfect movie date bag.

Ganni brown leopard print cross body bag


4. THE CLUTCH

Best for The dinner date

For a dinner date, you want a small, fuss-free bag that you can easily place on the table if needed, without it taking up too much space and without straps getting caught on your glass.

Jigsaw Eli leather clutch


5. THE BUCKET BAG

Best for After-work drinks

A bucket bag is big enough to hold your essentials during the day, while still being stylish enough to take on a date to the latest hot spot.

Charles & Keith wrinkled patent drawstring bucket bag


6. THE BACKPACK

Best for The activity date

Break out of the dating rut with a fun activity – go for a hike, ride a bike through a park or try go-karting. Either way you’ll need your hands free, which is why a backpack is just the ticket.

H&M roll-top opening backpack

Use codes MM205 or HH605 for upto 25% off

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A woman posing in a black dress

15 Must-Haves for Your Modest Closet

Workwear essentials, pops of colour, and more.

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.

TOPS

The White Shirt

A white shirt is undoubtedly a staple. Upgrade yours with this summery yet chic version that features cutwork embroidery.

White Zara Shirt

Shirt with Cutwork Embroidery, Zara

The Jersey Top

Depending on the occasion, this long-sleeved crew neck can be dressed up or down. Pair it with sneakers and denim for a more casual look.

Vogacloset  Jersey Top

Basic Long Sleeve Crew Neck T-Shirt, Vogacloset

The Polka Dot Blouse

This lace-trimmed silk blouse can slip seamlessly from the boardroom to date night with your partner. Combine it with a tweed two-piece for a sophisticated and modern feel.

Net-A-Porter Polka Dot Blouse

Polka Dot Silk Crepe de Chine Blouse, Net-A-Porter

BOTTOMS

The Black Culottes

Complete your blazer and shirt duo with a pair of wide-legged pants. Whether you are pairing them with heels for a polished outfit or dad sneakers for a street style look, this one’s a must-own.

Pull & Bear Black Culottes

Basic Culottes with Elastic Waistband, Pull & Bear

The Maxi Skirt

Replace your trousers with this luxurious gold satin wonder. This elegant masterpiece promises comfort without compromising on its grandeur.

Net-A-Porter Maxi Skirt

Lise Satin Maxi Skirt, Net-A-Porter

The High-Waist Jeans

Universally flattering are the high-waisted straight jeans that bring together the best of both worlds. And if you haven’t already, now is the time to get yourself a pair.

High-Waist Jeans Namshi

High Waist Straight Jeans, Namshi

ONE-PIECES

The Jumpsuit

Never again stand in front of your closet complaining that you have nothing to wear! This sea green jumpsuit will easily take you from the office to lunch with the girls.

Zara Jumpsuit

Belted Playsuit, Zara

The Shirt Dress

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).

H & M Shirt Dress

Jacquard-Weave Shirt Dress, H&M

The Maxi Dress

At the heart of modest fashion lies the maxi dress. This frilly version, complete with a classy belt, is sure to make you dressy in no time.

Modest Me Maxi Dress

Frilled Maxi Dress, Modest Me

OVERLAYS

The Abaya

Upgrade your abaya collection with this embroidered piece, letting its blue hue elevate your classic jeans-and-white-shirt combo – perfect for Ramadan and Eid! 

Hanayen Abaya

Blue Shade Abaya, Hanayen

The Statement Kaftan

Go on, spoil yourself with this gorgeously embellished kaftan. Pair it with drop earrings and stiletto heels to make you feel like a princess.

United Designers Statement Kaftan

Frill-Cuff Floral Lace Kaftan, United Designers

The Kimono

Wear this luxurious floral kimono as a statement piece or as a subtle way to cover up a not-so-modest top.

Massimo Dutti Kimono

Long Floral Print Kimono, Massimo Dutti

HEADWEAR

The Turban

Take your outfit up a notch with this beaded turban that features sequins, glass beads, and a front knot pattern – truly fit for a queen.

Bloomingdales Turban

Philipa Bead Turban, Bloomingdales

The Modal Maxi Hijab

The stretchy medium-thick fabric and the fact that it can be worn with or without an under scarf makes it the perfect hijab choice for all seasons.

Luxy Hijab Modal Maxi Hijab

Striped Modal Jersey Hijab in Beige, Luxy Hijab

The Lightweight Headscarf

This light, slightly sheer lime headscarf will create elegant drapes around your neck – perfect for those who prefer several styling options.

Luxy Hijab Lightweight Headscarf

Chiffon Hijab in Lime, Luxy Hijab

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4 Arab Brands That Belong on Your Radar

Meet them before they go mainstream.

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.

Touchless

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.

touchless arab fashion brands
touchless best arab brands

Emerald Clutch, AED 273.51 at Touchless

Lunae

“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.”

Lunae, Arabian fashion Jewellery
Lunae, Arabian Jewellery

Sophia Earrings, AED 110.20 at LUNAE

SEE.MAS

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

see mas
see mas, Leading Arabic Fashion Brand

The Skirt, AED 742.80 at SEE.MAS

Green Bar

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.

Green Bar, Famous Arabic Brand
Green Bar, Leading Arabic Fashion Brand

Lip Balm & Postcard, AED 80 at Green Bar

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4 (Easy) Ways to Snap Out of a Style Rut

Breathe new life into that boring old wardrobe.

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.

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50-Something, but Make It Fashion

As Carrie & Co return to our screens, meet the Dubai women who personify #stylegoals.

It’s the TV show that changed the way we thought about fashion. And it’s back – well, almost. And Just Like That, the follow-up to Sex And the City, is set to make a return to the small screen this autumn. And while the actual release date of the first episode – which famously reunites Carrie, Charlotte, and Miranda, but not Samantha – is yet to be confirmed, what is certain is that every SATC fan worldwide will be OBSESSED with the minutiae of everything they wear 23 years after we first met them and fell in fashion love. 

Navigating New York City as 50-somethings (with a variety of partners/kids/baggage in tow according to behind-the-scenes snaps), Manhattan’s most famous friend group may well be older and wiser, but they’re no less fashion-obsessed than before. Setting social media alight with images of her awesome on-set outfits, star and executive producer Sarah Jessica Parker was pictured rocking numerous showstoppers: a shimmery purple Fendi Baguette (an upgrade to the beloved version stolen from Carrie on the street in Season 6), Celine Melody tri-buckle Mary Jane pumps, a bag from this year’s highly coveted Gucci x Balenciaga Aria collaboration, and a huge feathered headpiece (much like the one Carrie wore during her first attempt to marry Big). These are just four of the big-ticket items loudly dinging our fashion radars. 

Still mixing patterns and prints to dazzling effect and accenting her vintage finds with offbeat accessories, 56-year-old SJP is proof that Carrie (and indeed all of her friends, both old and new) have most definitely still got it. And why wouldn’t they? Would we have expected any less from the women who have always encouraged us to break fashion rules and wear whatever the heck we wanted whenever we wanted? Nuh-uh, honey. And despite the fact that SATC’s original costume designer Patricia Field is not a part of the reboot (passing the reigns on to protégée Molly Rogers and co-costume designer on the Sex and the City movies Danny Santiago), the sartorial legacy she created for Carrie & Co in their fledgling years remains firmly intact.

So what of our own city’s fabulous, 50-plus fashionistas? Well, there are plenty. Look around your average mall or restaurant, and it’s clear that Dubai has numerous exceptionally stylish older women, all of whom could give SJP and her NYC gal pals a run (or maybe a fast walk, heels permitting) for their money. Below, we meet three who you should follow immediately – your wardrobes can thank us later.

WHO?

Caroline Labouchere

AGE?

57

FROM?

England

OCCUPATION?

Model and ambassador

FOLLOW HER AT?

@carolinelabouchere

How would you describe your personal style?

Definitely classic – I do love a bit of monochrome. Colour scares me a little.

When did your love affair with fashion begin?

I’ve loved fashion forever. I used to cut and drape fabric around my body when I was young to create outfits. They looked great on the outside, but my finishing left a lot to be desired. 

What’s your signature style?

I almost always wear a belt.

Whose style inspires you?

Susi Rejano rarely gets it wrong, and I love Queen Letizia of Spain’s look.

What makes a woman stylish to you?

Possibly being subtle with trends – showing that you know what’s going on in the world of fashion, but remaining classic. 

How would you describe your style uniform?

Ballet flats, jeans, and a long- or short-sleeved T-shirt.

Can you share your favourite designers or places to shop?

I’m finding brands I had never heard of before that I absolutely love – Dea Kudibal, Michael Kors, Mr Mood, Me and Em, and Wear Commando are just a few.

How has your style evolved over the years?

My style is more capsulated – I know what works and I make fewer mistakes. I also now have some key designer pieces that can be dressed up and down.

What’s your take on sustainable style choices?

I definitely don’t visit high street shops as much as I used to. And my daughter Mimi and I wear each other’s clothes, too, so that adds another layer to my fashion sustainability.

What’s your ultimate style no-no?

Cut-off trousers – it doesn’t matter what shape you are, they look awful. 

What are your five style rules to live by?

  1. Less is more.
  2. Boobs or legs.
  3. Wear comfortable shoes to the mall.
  4. Make sure your shoes are well-heeled.
  5. Always wear a belt with your jeans.

What are the key items that every woman should own?

Belts, white shirts, straight and bootleg jeans.

What are the three pieces in your wardrobe you couldn’t live without?

A sun hat, a good long cardigan, and my black pleather leggings.  

What’s the best piece of style advice that you can give?

Take one thing off before you leave the house.

What’s the worst fashion mistake you’ve ever made?

Can’t think of any!

Which local brands/designers do you love?

Ezra Couture and Master Elliott.

Which Sex and the City character’s style do you most associate with and why?

None of them!

WHO?

Emma Sawko

AGE?

51

FROM?

France

OCCUPATION?

Founder/owner of Comptoir 102 and Wild & The Moon

FOLLOW HER AT?

@emmasawko

How would you describe your personal style? 

Parisian, sunny, feminine, rock, cool.

When do you think your love affair with fashion began? 

I can’t remember exactly. I feel it was always here. I remember my friends telling me I should work in fashion, and I was still in middle school…

What’s your signature style?

I have a seashell necklace that I bought in New York and kept ever since and, because I am working part-time in Dubai, I always wear a tan and a smile in the midst of the Parisian winter. My signature style is called “summer in my heart”. 

Whose style inspires you?

I love Caroline de Maigret’s French style, Alexa Chung’s British style, and Leandra Medine Cohen’s crazy New Yorker style – but I have my own.

What makes a woman stylish to you?

Kindness, good posture, and manners. 

How would you describe your style uniform?

I used to wear heels more often, but having to run between meetings all day, I gave them up and adopted sneakers and jeans. I try to make up for it with nice tops.  

Can you share your favourite designers or places to shop? 

I never go shopping. I am a buyer for my concept store, Comptoir 102 in Dubai, and I do so during the fashion weeks. I only buy what I love and would wear myself, and therefore inevitably end up buying from my own shop. I like Isabel Marant, Forte Forte, Raquel Allegra, and Ulla Johnson the most.

How has your style evolved over the years?

Even if I always loved fashion, I suppose my style evolved a little when I became a buyer as I had to develop a keen eye. When you shop for yourself, you may be more impulsive and sometimes make mistakes. But if you shop for others, you need to think about what will work, what will look good on your clients, and what style you want to convey. 

Getting older, however, didn’t change the way I dress. Society expects women to hide their ageing bodies – what is totally acceptable for a 20-year-old girl (showing legs or shoulders, for example) becomes more and more ‘ridiculous’ or ‘shameless’ as she ages. Youth is prized, wrinkly knees and bat wings not so much. It’s very sad because getting older is wonderful. Being faithful to your style and who you are, dressing the way you feel like? That is important. 

What’s your take on on sustainable style choices?

Sustainability has always been a concern and, as a buyer, I do take responsibility. We curate brands that work ethically – some because they are supporting women with financial independence in small communities, others because they chose to use ecological materials. As the market slowly opens to these values, we started scouting for green brands and recently introduced collabs with 100% ecological and vegan brands.

What’s your ultimate style no-no?

I have three. Classic leather handbags – especially those with ostentatious branding or logos all over – worn in the elbow crease are a bad idea. You can’t pretend you have something important or meaningful to do when you have a pink leather bag hanging from your elbow, nor can you look cool with your arm perpetually bent at a 90-degree angle. ‘French’ manicures are not French and look tacky. Total looks and trying too hard are the worst enemy of style.

What are your five style rules to live by?

  1. Wearing something that fits you rather than the latest trend. 
  2. Mixing low-key pieces with more sophisticated ones.
  3. Your clothes and shoes need to be comfortable because painful feet show on your face.
  4. Your style must reflect your personality – don’t try to look like somebody else.
  5. Recycle, re-use, or donate.

What are the key items that every woman should own

There is no such thing. Every woman should wear exactly what she loves and what she feels comfortable in. I suppose 20 years ago, the answer would have been “a little black dress” or “a pair of Manolos”, but we can live without a LBD or a pair of signature heels. In fact, the people we admire most for their styles are often non-conformists. 

What are the three pieces in your wardrobe you couldn’t live without? 

I only have two: a good pair of jeans and some cool sneakers. 

What’s the best piece of style advice that you can give?

Don’t be scared to develop your own style. Wear clothes that make you feel beautiful. Don’t obey fashion and society’s diktats.

What’s the worst fashion mistake you’ve ever made?

Each time I tried to go out of my own style. But at 51, I don’t do that anymore. No matter the circumstances, I never overdress. 

Which Sex and the City character’s style do you most associate with and why?

These girls are real New Yorkers with hairdos, perfect nails, designer bags, and heels. It’s harder for a Parisian like me to associate with that, but Carrie in her ballet skirt and wild hair looked amazing.

WHO?

Silke Styles 

AGE?

56

FROM?

Germany

OCCUPATION?

Personal stylist

FOLLOW HER AT?

@silke_styles

How would you describe your personal style? 

Casual creative with a Scandi twist.

When do you think your love affair with fashion began?

At a very young age, probably in my teens.

What’s your signature style

Less is more!

Whose style inspires you? 

Jenna Lyons.

What makes a woman stylish to you? 

When she wears outfits that reflect her style personality.

How would you describe your style uniform?

In Dubai, I like to wear wide-leg trousers with a button-down shirt and most probably sneakers.

Can you share your favourite designers or places to shop?

Usually second-hand stores, sustainable fashion. Sometimes COS and & Other Stories.

How has your style evolved over the years?

It has changed a lot over the years as I’m not a trend-follower anymore. I need my wardrobe to function for me and my current lifestyle, so practicality, comfort, and nice fabrics are key.

What’s your take on on sustainable style choices

I’m trying to make more sustainable fashion choices, and wear items that I already own by styling them in different ways. I know it’s a journey, but small steps will get us there. I believe this is the future for the fashion industry. I’m a big supporter of slow and sustainable brands here in the UAE and always on the lookout for new brands to recommend to my clients. I’m very excited that now we are starting to have more second-hand choices as well as renting fashion.

What’s your ultimate style no-no? 

When you’re not yourself.

What are your style rules to live by?  

Discover your style personality, find your colours and body shape, and just experiment and have fun.

What are the key items that every woman should own

There is no rule that applies to everyone since we come in all sizes and shapes and our daily routines are so different. A perfect outfit is something that underlines your inner beauty and makes you feel fabulous. It can be a very elegant dress or the perfect pair of sandals. 

What are the three pieces in your wardrobe you couldn’t live without? 

Sneakers, blazers, linen shirts.

What’s the best piece of style advice that you can give?

Be authentic and true to yourself.

What’s the worst fashion mistake you’ve ever made? 

Ha ha, too many – that’s why I studied to become a stylist! But I guess neon leggings?

Which local brands/designers do you love? 

So many, and they are all slow and sustainable fashion brands: @emiliaohrtmannofficial, @by.m.a.r.y, @goshopia_official, @mykaftan, @onlyethikal, and @f_l_o_r_e_n_c_eowens just to name a few.

Which Sex and the City character’s style do you most associate with and why? 

Can I pick two? Carrie and Miranda.

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Your Back-to-Work Wardrobe, Sorted

Regardless of where your desk is…

Now that a return to the office is an actual thing, women across the UAE are thinking about something they haven’t even considered for a while: what to wear to work. After months at home with just a laptop for company and only a fraction of presentability required for video calls, the traditional conventions of office attire have been, well, reworked. With hybrid working – spending part of the workweek in the office, part at home – now seen as a post-pandemic norm, you need a hybrid wardrobe to match. Yes, comfort is still key à la 2020, but boring office outfits are a no-no in 2021. Need some inspiration? Here are five fab outfit suggestions for your first (super stylish) week back at work.

SUNDAY: THE CUTE SUIT

Oversized double-breasted blazer, ZARA

Wide-leg trousers, ZARA

Sleeveless knit top, ZARA

High-heel sandals, ZARA 

Earrings, TOGA ARCHIVES at H&M

MONDAY: THE MONOCHROME MOMENT

Mini dress, MANGO

Over-the-knee boots TOGA ARCHIVES, H&M

Bracelets, ZARA

Handheld flap detail bag, NEXT

TUESDAY: THE ALL-NUDE ENSEMBLE

Sleeveless sweater, GANNI at MATCHESFASHION

Tapered trousers, NOON BY NOOR

Crossbody bag, ZARA

Canvas mules, Chelsea Paris at SHOPBOP

Resin bangle, Dries Van Noten at NET-A-PORTER 

WEDNESDAY: THE SUPER-SHARP SEPARATES

Oversized shirt, TOGA ARCHIVES at H&M

Scarf-detail trousers, TOGA ARCHIVES at H&M – Available September 2

Leather clutch bag, Sabyasachi at HM.COM

Two-tone heels, BOSS HUGO BOSS (in stores only)

Chain Earrings, Laura Lombardi at NET-A-PORTER

THURSDAY: THE WEEKEND’S HERE MAXI

Maxi dress, LEEM 

Leather sneakers, BY FAR

Earrings, Ben Amun at THE OUTNET 

Gold-plated ring, Leda Madera at NET-A-PORTER

Leather bag, STRATHBERRY 

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5 Times Meghan Markle Defied Convention

And looked fabulous doing it.

Love her or love to hate her, Meghan Markle is a trailblazer through and through. Long before she made headlines for stepping back from her role in the British royal family in January 2020 and ‘that’ bombshell of an Oprah Winfrey interview earlier this year, she set tongues wagging purely as a result of her sartorial choices – who can forget the “revenge wardrobe” that she put together for all her final royal outings? Today, as she turns the big 4-0, we’re looking back at the five times she defied convention, bypassing the royal dress code and dancing to her own tune. How many of these do you remember?

1. Ripped Jeans

September 2017

According to the royal dress code, jeans are considered too casual for events and appearances, so ripped jeans are simply a big no-no. But that didn’t stop Meghan from wearing a white shirt and ripped jeans during her first ever public appearance with Prince Harry at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto. Cue the first of many shockwaves.


2. Bare Legs

November 2017

Committing her first fashion faux pas before even marrying her prince, the royal rule-breaker went sans pantyhose during her engagement photocall in November 2017. Kate Middleton, on the other hand, is all about super-sheer hosiery – she allegedly sports the Barely There Non-Slip Tights variety from John Lewis.

3. Suit Up

February 2018

Royal protocol dictates that female senior family members don’t wear trousers to official engagements, but Meghan frequently broke this tradition, too – and looked super stylish in the process. She chose to wear an Alexander McQueen suit to the Endeavour Awards in 2018, completing her look with a pair of pumps and a pussy-bow blouse. Even the colour of the suit was deemed inappropriate, but more on that later.

4. Something Sleeveless

July 2018

Sleeveless dresses aren’t normally spotted on royals, but the duchess has sported the sleeveless trench dress on more than one occasion – including when she and Prince Harry introduced their son, Archie, to the world back in May 2019. Clearly, Meghan has always been a fan of this silhouette. She wore it to the Nelson Mandela Centenary Exhibition in London in July 2018 and then again in October 2019, this time during a public engagement in Johannesburg.

5. All Black

September 2018

When it comes to the British royal family, the colour black is generally reserved for funerals and mourning periods, but Meghan has defied this norm repeatedly. Interestingly, she made headlines for not one, but two different reasons when she made her first ever solo appearance in September 2018. Not only did she wear a black dress – a stunning, sheer-sleeved number by Givenchy – but she also closed her own car door, causing a stir with this simple act. Gasp!

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A girl in swimsuit sleeping on wooden floor

Let’s Talk About the One-Piece Wonder

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 literally can’t be without because of its versatility: an amazing swimsuit. Heck, you don’t just swim and sunbathe 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 swimsuit 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 a one-piece wonder this summer since there are so many super-cool cossies out there. Here’s our top 10…

Multicoloured Emma swimsuit, MARA HOFFMAN 

Green pintuck plunge swimsuit, NEXT 

Ribbed one-shoulder swimsuit, NEXT 

Lilac belted swimsuit, SOLID & STRIPED @THE OUTNET

Red underwired swimsuit, MAGDA BUTRYM @NET-A-PORTER

Jamaica one-shoulder swimsuit, MELISSA ODABASH @MYTHERESA

Black scalloped swimsuit, MANGO

Striped high-leg swimsuit, H&M

Positano logo swimsuit, TOTEME @MYTHERESA

Charlotte lace-up swimsuit, OYE SWIMWEAR @THEOUTNET

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Girls walking with shopping bags

The Best of Dubai Summer Surprises 2021

This won’t break the bank.

Everyone’s favourite part of Dubai’s scorching summer is Dubai Summer Surprises – a.k.a. 10 weeks of flash sales, major discounts, and events that will have you OOTD-ready for a fraction of the price. Here, we’ve rounded up the best of what this summer festival has to offer. Ready, set, shop!

SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker

Calling all Carrie Bradshaw wannabes! Now you can dress like pop culture’s biggest fashion icon for a fraction of the price as SJP’s bright and playful shoe brand is offering hefty discounts – up to 80% at that.

SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker boutiques are located at The Dubai Mall, The Galleria Al Maryah Island, and Yas Mall

Bauhaus 

Bauhaus is home to the hottest streetwear brands from the underground scene, and you can now enjoy a whopping 70% off selected items. This achingly hip boutique stocks exclusive pieces from niche brands, all of which will see you one step ahead of the fashion pack.

Bauhaus is located at The Dubai Mall and The Galleria Al Maryah Island

Club Apparel x 6thStreet

Want huge savings on some of the hottest brands in the world without leaving your house? Head to 6thStreet with brands like Aldo, Birkenstock, Adidas, Nike, Sketchers, Tommy Hilfiger, Lactose, Guess – the list goes on – at 60% off! 

Get up to 60% off selected items, www.6thstreet.com 

The Face Shop

Fashion isn’t the only thing on sale this DSS – Soko beauty brand The Face Shop is joining the festivities. Everything from skincare essentials to makeup, fragrances, and hair care is up to 50% off.

Get up to 50% off all products, The Face Shop is located at The Dubai Mall and Ibn Battuta Mall

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Maria Tash ear piercing in Dubai

The Lowdown on Getting Pierced, Inside

Lend us your ears…

Gwyneth Paltrow’s ears have been adorned with some of the most magnificent jewellery in the world, she has revealed that her ear candy obsession goes way beyond wearing a statement hoop (or three) when she’s on the red carpet. Unveiling Goop’s debut jewellery collection G.Label earlier this month, the 48-year-old actress announced that she and her daughter Apple have a “little tradition” of getting a new piercing every year on the teenager’s birthday – and considering Apple turned 17 this May, that’s a pretty impressive number of holes that Gwyneth’s rocking on her A-list ears.

But she’s not alone in her penchant for multiple piercings. The ultra-adorned earlobe has emerged as one of the hottest fashion status symbols of the last five years, making the classic mono-piercing a most telling sign of being achingly uncool. But unlike other fashion capitals, finding somewhere to get an ear piercing in Dubai was a (w)hole lot of hassle – until fairly recently, that is. In fact, curating a Paltrow-perfect display is now easily doable. But where should you go to show your lobes some love? Find our list of go-to places for ear (and elsewhere!) piercings in Dubai, below.

ear piercing

Maria Tash

Where?

The Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates

How Much Does It Cost?

Earlobe piercing starts at AED 130.

The Lowdown

Maria Tash is the global destination for luxury piercing, and following the launch of her debut boutique at The Dubai Mall in 2019, the piercing guru has just opened a new store at Mall of the Emirates. Featuring private piercing rooms and a women’s-only lounge, both boutiques offer styling, piercing, check-ups for old piercings, consultations for new ones, and an array of incredible ear candy. Boasting an extensively trained team of expert female piercers, Maria Tash is known as a pioneer in the industry, providing super-personalised experience and encouraging clients to express themselves through jewellery. 

Is It Just Ear Piercings?

Nope! Lips, noses, navels, and other body parts can be pierced, too.

Get in Touch

Call 04 881 7885. 

Kyra

Where?

Building 2, Gold & Diamond Park

How Much Does It Cost?

Prices start at AED 165 for ear piercing, including a standard ear stud.

The Lowdown

Kyra is the only licensed specialty clinic offering piercing services in the UAE, using only its own jewellery in the process. Piercings are done free of charge with every purchase of its specially designed sterile and hypoallergenic pieces, and piercings are performed using the ‘Inverness Safe Piercing System’ that features fully enclosed capsules, which avoids the piercing jewellery from being exposed to potential contaminants. It can also provide needle piercings for those who prefer a manual piercing using a sterile single-use needle. There’s an array of jewellery pieces to choose from – medical-grade surgical steel and 18-karat gold solid styles included.

Is It Just Ear Piercings?

You can have your ears, eyebrows, nose, and navel pierced at Kyra.

Get in Touch

Call 04 340 6868.

N.Sefi

Where?

Building 4, Dubai Design District

How Much Does It Cost?

Earlobe piercing starts at AED 130.

The Lowdown

Tucked away in one of the city’s coolest neighbourhoods, N.Sefi Jewellery & Piercings is the go-to for fashion-savvy types. Established in 2019, its luxury jewellery is made between Dubai and Italy using diamonds and precious gemstones set in 18-karat gold with the intention of being stacked, layered, mixed, and matched. Strict legal guidelines are in place, so you have to meet a minimum age requirement for certain piercings. Clients who are at least 18 years or older must provide their ID for any service from piercers. Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a legal guardian, and both child and legal guardian must have a valid ID or equivalent on hand. And if their last names are different? Proof of guardianship must also be presented.

Is It Just Ear Piercings?

You can pierce lots of different areas at N.Sefi – not just your ears.  

Get in Touch

Make your enquiries here

Mediclinic Welcare Hospital

Where?

Garhoud

How Much Does It Cost?

Ear piercing is priced at AED 120.

The Lowdown

The Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery department of Mediclinic Welcare Hospital offers an ear piercing service in its non-surgical office using a sterilised piercing gun. 

Is It Just Ear Piercings?

Yes, just ears.

Get in Touch

Call 04 282 7788.

Armada Clinic

Where?

Armada Tower 2, JLT

How Much Does It Cost?

Ear piercing starts at AED 129.

The Lowdown

A registered nurse will pierce your ears in a medical setting using sterile instruments and nickel-free, medical-grade earrings. 

Is It Just Ear Piercings?

Only ear piercing is available here.

Get in Touch

Call 04 399 0022.

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A girl sitting on tennis court

Why It’s Time for an All-White Ensemble

Anyone for tennis?

Wimbledon, the most famous tennis tournament in the world, begins today. And while UAE tennis fans may not be able to get to the hallowed courts to watch this year’s matches – not only are we still on the red list, but access is just about as elusive as securing a golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory – we can still obsess over the fashion from afar. So what better way to celebrate one of the best things about British summertime than getting dressed in the finest Wimbledon-inspired whites we can find?

Check Out The Gaggler’s 15 to Love… Get It?

Mini cream croc bag, AED 1,815 BY FAR at Net A Porter

Crew neck sweater, AED 399, Banana Republic

Sweatpants, AED 399, Banana Republic

Arizona leather mono croc slides, AED 749, Birkenstock at 6thstreet.com

Arizona

Cat-eye sunglasses, AED 1,265 Loewe at Net A Porter

Denim jumpsuit, AED 249, Mango

Pleated palazzo pants, AED 199, Mango

Linen shorts, AED 169, Mango

Reebok x Danielle Guizio sneakers, AED 549 at levelshoes.com

Poly Parka, AED 1,600, Tommy Hilfiger 

Box pleat jumpsuit dress, AED 149, Zara

Slingback, AED 99, Zara

Gathered halter top, AED 149, Zara

Belted dress, AED 249, Mango

Cutout shirt, AED 199, Zara

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