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Create the Life of Your Dreams with Kanchan Kulkarni

“Be kind to yourself. Do the things that you say you want to do. It’s the smallest steps that bring you to the big goals and results. The only thing you can control is what you do.” Says Kanchan Kulkarni.

Multi-talented, self-taught designer who ventured into fashion after more than twenty successful years in the real estate industry, Kanchan Kulkarni is so much more than a dedicated professional who shows us how it’s done. Fearless, wilful and determined, Kanchan has never wanted to fit in. Although industry norms and society dictate what we should do, how we should dress and conduct ourselves, Kanchan knows that in order to succeed in such an environment, you have to be yourself. Her prêt-à-porter evening wear is feminine and modern yet has a strength of a bold, unstoppable woman who knows exactly what she wants.

Kara is far more than just a fashion label; it represents a lifestyle, a mentality and a way of being.”

While her designs are distinctive, timeless, and absolutely stunning, they are also comfortable and easy to wear.

Her podcast, “Unapologetically KK”, gives answers to some of the deepest life questions. From health and fitness to happiness, trust and self-appreciation, she finds inspiration in stories she hears and questions she has on various topics. She is an avid reader with an inquisitive mind and does not miss the opportunity to pick up the latest book recommendation.

Besides being a dedicated mum, wife and entrepreneur, Kanchan is also a philanthropist. Her Kara Foundation funds regular projects in India that help crop farmers send their children to school.

We love the message you’re sending to the women out there. What inspired you to start your podcast?

Over the last year or so, I wanted to share some thoughts, ideas and conversations, things I wanted to talk about and people I wanted to meet. It’s more like an inner voice that you want to let out. This idea was on my mind for a very long time and at a yoga retreat in Bali last year, after a deep meditation and conversation I had with my teacher, she said to me, “If it keeps coming back to you again and again, you have to do it.”

If it keeps coming back to you again and again, you have to do it.”

You obviously take very good care of yourself. How do you manage your time and what do you do to make sure you always take a moment to yourself to nourish your body and rejuvenate your mind?

You have to have your “me” time. There is no pressure on me to do certain things that I do not want to do. I won’t conform to doing things that won’t make me happy. When my kids were younger, I didn’t feel the need to travel and go out, I wanted to be with them. At that time, I was ready to step back from work and I was OK with it. I have a very supportive husband and it makes a big difference to have somebody who understands your journey and is fine with you doing whatever you want to do.

What are some beauty products you can’t live without?

My moisturizers. I take very good care of my skin. I do change my brands and I find that I haven’t been brand loyal because I do experiments with whatever works for my skin at a particular moment.

Do you shop online and what is your favourite online store?

I usually wear my own clothes but I do purchase bags and shoes online, it just depends on what catches my eye. I do love online shopping and I think that’s the way forward, but I also enjoy going to a mall, and as a creative I love finding what people feel comfortable in. Somebody who wears their clothes comfortably is somebody who understands their body.

What about your favourite brands?

I love Carolina Herrera, I absolutely love her designs, and that’s where I shop if I do shop. I’m always in malls, usually in Zara where you can find something that is casual and easy to wear.

When it comes to brands, I am a person who really likes to look at something, try it on and see how it makes me feel. So, that could be a high-end brand or a brand no one’s ever heard of.

Where do you find inspiration in Dubai? Any hidden gems you’d like to share with us?

I live in Business Bay and we have an amazing community here. Just being able to go down and sit on the grass makes a big difference. I am bit of a tree hugger and I’m also an energy healer. A walk in the park is amazing, you get to see how wonderful nature is. Just sitting outside and allowing your mind to go where it wants to go is something I want to do more of this year.

For my creativity, I love to just walk the streets or spend time in malls. That gives me an idea of what people like to wear and what they enjoy.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who is just starting out and in unsure of their purpose and goals?

Be kind to yourself. Do the things that you say you want to do. It’s the smallest steps that bring you to the big goals and results. The only thing you can control is what you do.

Unapologetically KK

Our life isn’t one thing or the other. It’s miraculous and mundane, messy and perfect, calm within chaos, all things at once. In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang describe how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. We are all interwoven into the energy that exists on Earth and therefore are affected by several things around us either consciously or sub-consciously. Let’s explore these connections and how they affect us one conversation at a time.

Unapologetically KK
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Building a Winter Capsule Wardrobe

Your Capsule Wardrobe for Winter Starts Here

High Heels, Farfetch

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.

Final Destination

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. 

Abaya design by Boksha

NB Design Abaya, Boksha

How to Style: Throw it on as a duster and make it multi-purpose as another warm layer.

Bottoms Up

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. 

 three woman standing

Denim Bottoms, Levi’s

a women wearing a coat

Coat Dress, House of Devereaux

woman wearing a white shirt dress

Shirt Dress, Namshi

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.

woman wearing a red dress

Wrap Dress, Namshi

woman wearing a ruffled black dress

Ruffled Black Dress, Mango

woman wearing a sleeveless black dress

Black Dress, Mango

Over and Out

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.

three different colored tshirt

T-shirt, Namshi

woman wearing a yellow cardigan

Cardigan, Namshi

woman wearing a grey cardigan

Cardigan, Namshi

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.

Coat, Zara

woman wearing a black coat

Coat, House of Devereaux

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.

black hand bag

Handbag, Bloomingdales

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.

All Accessories

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. 

gold earrings

Gold Earrings, Bloomingdale’s

silver earing

Silver Earrings, Bloomingdale’s

gold and silver colored earing

Double Earrings, Bloomingdale’s

gold and silver necklace

Necklace, Bloomingdale’s

How to Style: Can’t quite decide between silver and gold? Then go for both with Aqua’s double hoops. You can also be on trend with the initial necklace from Kendra Scott available in both silver and gold.

Next Level Layer: Never underestimate the versatility of a scarf. As a lightweight layer that can also save weight in your luggage, this Crerra scarf in a neutral black and brown is a cute accent.

rolled scarf

Scarf, Namshi

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.

Fancy Footwork

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. 

black heeled boots

Boots, Bloomingdale’s

high knee boots

Boots, Stuart Weitzman

High Heels, Farfetch

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 @houseofdevereaux for more information.

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A model raising her right leg

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.

Sarah Jessica Parke sitting and smiling behind a collection of shoes
SJP By Sarah Jessica Parker 
Windsor Pump High Heels

Windsor Pump High Heels, SJP By Sarah Jessica Parker

Lucille Pump High Heel

Lucille Pump High Heels, SJP By Sarah Jessica Parker 

Fawn High Heels

Fawn High Heels, SJP By Sarah Jessica Parker 

How to Style

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.

Brand Board by House of Devereaux
Brand Board by House of Devereaux

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.

MODERN-ity Wear

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.

https://bouguessa.com/collections/fall-winter-2022/products/sheikha-minimal-long-trench

Sheikha Long Trench, Bouguessa

How to Style

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. 

Sara Shirt Dress Front

Sara Shirt Dress, Bouguessa

How to Style

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.

Black Coat Dress

Black Coat Dress, Adidas

Right on Target

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.

Kahlana for Target
Recycled Nylon Jogger Pants

Recycled Nylon Jogger Pants, Yoox

Red Marni Jacket Yoox

Marni Jacket, Yoox

Cotton Relaxed-Fit Shirt, Yoox

Steve Maden High Heels

Steve Maden High Heels, Yoox

Slip-on Runner Sneaker

Ralph Lauren Kacie Slip-on Runner Sneaker, Yoox

How to Style

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? 

Consider Yourself

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.

Body type chart by House of Devereaux
Body Type Chart by House of Devereaux

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.

Elle Laine Photography

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 @houseofdevereaux on Instagram. 

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Workwear Capsule Collection

Suit Up with This Workwear Capsule Collection

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.

Garment-Dyed Oxford Shirt, Ralph Lauren

Garment-Dyed Oxford Shirt, Ralph Lauren

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. 

Tuxedo-Bib Shirt, COS

Tuxedo-Bib Shirt, COS

How to Style: What makes this shirt so cool is not only the tiny accordion details down the front, but also the drawstring detail at the waist, making it adjustable and creating a feminine silhouette.

Want a Bit of Colour? You can always bet on blue when it comes to a bit of neutral colour for your capsule wardrobe, like this Ralph Lauren Striped Knit Oxford.

Striped Knit Oxford Shirt, Ralph Lauren

Striped Knit Oxford Shirt, Ralph Lauren

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.

Black Slim Leg Tapered Trousers, Reiss 

Black Slim Leg Tapered Trousers, Reiss 

Navy Slim Leg Tapered Trousers, Reiss 

Navy Slim Leg Tapered Trousers, Reiss 

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. 

One-Button Blazer, Tahari

One-Button Blazer, Tahari

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.

Jabina Fundamental Blazer, Jabina

Jabina Fundamental Blazer, Jabina 

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. 

'Alexis', House of Devereaux

‘Alexis’, House of Devereaux 

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.

Footwork

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.

Black Cloudfeel All-Day Ballet Flat, Cole Haan

Black Cloudfeel All-Day Ballet Flat, Cole Haan

Brush Cloudfeel All-Day Ballet Flat, Cole Haan

Brush Cloudfeel All-Day Ballet Flat, Cole Haan

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.

Black Grand Ambition Bucket Bag, Cole Haan

Black Grand Ambition Bucket Bag, Cole Haan

British Tan Grand Ambition Bucket Bag, Cole Haan

British Tan Grand Ambition Bucket Bag, Cole Haan

Oat Grand Ambition Bucket Bag, Cole Haan

Oat Grand Ambition Bucket Bag, Cole Haan

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.

LOOK 1

LOOK 2

LOOK 3

LOOK 4

LOOK 5

LOOK 6

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Guide to buy One-Piece Swimsuit

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 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.

Emma swimsuit, MARA HOFFMAN 

Emma swimsuit, MARA HOFFMAN 

Estelle floral-print swimsuit, Zimmermann

Printed recycled one-piece swimsuit, Yoox

Nina belted swimsuit, SOLID & STRIPED

Nina belted swimsuit, SOLID & STRIPED

Underwired swimsuit, MAGDA BUTRYM

Underwired swimsuit, MAGDA BUTRYM

Jamaica one-shoulder swimsuit, MELISSA ODABASH

Jamaica one-shoulder swimsuit, MELISSA ODABASH

Scallop-textured swimsuit, MANGO

Scallop-textured swimsuit, MANGO

Recycled Poly Off-Shoulder Swimsuit, Yoox

Positano logo swimsuit, Totême

Positano logo swimsuit, Totême

Charlotte lace-up swimsuit, OYE SWIMWEAR

Charlotte lace-up swimsuit, OYE SWIMWEAR

Rico Eco One Piece Swimsuit, Bond-Eye

Rico Eco One Piece Swimsuit, Bond-Eye

Coral One Piece Swimsuit, Maygel Coronel

Coral One Piece Swimsuit, Maygel Coronel

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Neons trend summer 2022

Who Says Neons Are Impossible to Pull Off?

This summer, we’re embracing standing out.

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

Acid Green Medusa Biggie Sunglasses, Versace

Fluorescent Yellow Medusa Biggie Sunglasses, Versace

Want a Sleeker Look?

If gold lion heads aren’t your thing, but going bold is, then branch out with this bright-green option from Boohoo on Voga’s Closet.

How to Style It

Like with the Versace picks, simplicity is key when wearing such a bold accessory. 

Boohoo Thick Frame Sunglasses, Voga Closet

Take a dip in the neon nail pond 

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.

No. 114 Neon Orange Nail Polish, Cote

No. 113 Neon Pink Nail Polish, Cote

No. 115 Neon Green Nail Polish, Cote

No. 116 Neon Yellow Nail Polish, Cote

Want to Blend Natural and Neon?

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

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!

Pink Crossbody Bag, Amazon

How to Style It

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. 

Heeled Leather Mule Sandals, Massimo Dutti

How to Style It

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. 

Buttoned cut out dress, ZARA

How to Style It

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). 

Coral Jumpsuit, Desigual

How to Style It

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.

Fete Blazer, House of Devereaux 

How to Style It

Keep it crisp and clean with a white linen shirt, high-waisted medium-wash denim or shorts, and a coloured stiletto pump for full-on flash.

Keeping Neon Cultural

Modernity and tradition can blend seamlessly this summer with abayas in bright, beautiful shades.

Want a Streak of Colour?

Based out of The Galleria Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi, Strass Abaya designs pieces with subtle details and rich fabrics, like this lime-green version with pearlescent beading. 

Lime Green Abaya, Strass Abaya 

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15 Places To Buy Abayas Across the Region

Traditional, trendy, embroidered – it’s all here.

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.

1. Hanayen

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. 

Al Motahajiba, multiple branches in the region, 04 2840046, almotahajiba.com

3. Dar Al Kashkha

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 

6. CHI-KA

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. 

Chi-ka, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz 1, Dubai, 050 744 5911/ 04 345 0000, chikacolleection.com

7. Abaya Mall

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.

Al Batool Abaya Shop, Safari mall, Industrial Area, Muwailih Commercial, Sharjah

13. Mauzan

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.

Mauzan, multiple branches, 03 781 0424, mauzan.com

14. Al Araba Sheila and Abaya 

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

15. Louzan

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

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Ghaliah Amin

At Home with Saudi Model Ghaliah Amin

Meet a woman on a mission.

In a world where impossible body types (read: skinny) are glorified, regardless of the cost, International No Diet Day is a celebration that deserves more recognition. Marked annually on May 6 to promote body acceptance and body shape diversity, it aims to help both men and women worldwide to appreciate their own bodies – a mission that Ghaliah Amin is all too familiar with.

She is widely hailed as Saudi Arabia’s first plus-size model, but in the process of breaking boundaries and defying stereotypes, prefers simply to be known as ‘a model from Saudi Arabia’. The Dubai-based model and TV host is also an outspoken body positivity activist – and full of surprises. For starters, she has a master’s degree in Art History and Museum Studies, a fact reflected in every inch of her eclectic apartment, where we spent an afternoon discussing filters, photo retouching, family pressure to lose weight, and the often-unseen resilience of Saudi women.

She also founded the Ana Ghaliah (I am precious) social media initiative to promote body positivity after first-hand witnessing the lack of diversity and inclusion in the fashion world. “Beauty is all about becoming the best version of you,” she says, setting out to remind all women that they’re precious, regardless of their shape or size. And because the correlation between a positive body image and improved mental health is undeniable, we’d be remiss not to celebrate this model – and role model – for her self-love message on International No Diet Day, today.

Watch The Video: Ghaliah Amin Gets Candid

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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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A woman applying lipstick

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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A girl awaking from sleep with sleepwear

Sweet Dreams: This Sleepwear Brand Is Not Like the Others

Meet entrepreneur Natasha Inman.

As yet another challenging year draws to a close, we’re continuing our series on female entrepreneurs, recognising the female entrepreneurs who turned an obstacle into an opportunity. Case in point? Natasha Inman, who moved from the UK to Dubai in February 2020, just as the pandemic struck.

Like countless women around the globe, she spent a lot of her time during lockdown in her pyjamas and was therefore inspired to create something that looked sophisticated and elegant, but was super comfortable to wear – et voilà! Luxury sleepwear and loungewear brand State of REM was awakened. Today, Natasha is all about focusing her business on the things most important to her: living a healthy lifestyle, raising awareness around mental well-being, and treating oneself to things that elicit joy.

Natasha Inman

WHO?

Natasha Inman

FOUNDER OF?

State of REM

AGE

31

What was your ‘lightbulb moment’?

I don’treally recall having a lightbulb moment. I remember thinking I wanted to try to create something better than what was in the market already in terms of sleepwear, as well as make a brand based around community, self-care, and wellness. I don’t have any experience in textiles or fashion design, but I’ve always been very interested in business and entrepreneurship. I’ve also always wanted to create something bigger than myself, so I saw this as a challenge. Now, my vision is to be the number one place globally for sleepwear, loungewear, and gifts, all of which are sleep-related. I want to use my brand to raise awareness of mental health and the support that is out there for people.

What makes your business unique?

I like to think of State of REM as a community, not just a brand. We create luxury sleepwear and loungewear investment pieces. We source the best materials and ensure every item we produce passes the most stringent of quality checks. I want my customers to be blown away with the quality and service and, so far, I’ve had a lot of happy customers.

Above all, I want to support a positive change in the world, and for me to use my brand to raise awareness of mental health and financially contribute to mental health support is an amazing feeling. State of REM is a platform where people can get self-care tips and quotes, discover ideas on living a healthy life, and even engage if they’re struggling with their mental health. And I don’t think there are many brandsin the region that are doing this right now. As the brand grows, this emphasis will only get stronger.

What has been your proudest moment as an entrepreneur?

Seeing some well-known regional influencers buy my product felt great – people I’ve been following for a while and whose style I’ve admired are now wanting to wear my pyjamas. Also, being able to donate AED 2,500 to Al Jalila Foundation after only 12 weeks was a proud moment. Building your own business is about making money, but being part of a positive change in the world is so satisfying.

Which other entrepreneurs do you admire?

I admire anyone who puts themselves out of their comfort zone and executes. It’s easy for a lot of people to have an idea, but to take it right through to execution and have that resilience and patience to keep going takes a lot of character. I tend to follow Reece Wabara (founder of Manière De Voir), George Heaton (founder of Represent Clo), Grace Beverley (founder of Tala & Shreddy), Rokeya Khanum (founder of Khanum’s), Conna Walker (founder of House of CB), Nicola Elliott (founder of NEOM). I admire them because most have founded something from nothing, creating a community and core cult following through just being a great brand. They live and breathe their businesses, like I do. They inspire me and I learn a lot from these people.

Are you a part of any mentor or support groups? 

Not officially, but I’ve managed to grow my network considerably since starting State of REM, with lots of entrepreneurs and I connecting via social media. We share ideas, successes, and failures. I prefer to learn from podcasts and books. I think it’s amazing how I can listen to an inspiring entrepreneur on Spotify for an hour whilst he offloads 20 years of experience onto me.

Who is your biggest female business icon, and why?

I have lots of favourites, but I’d say Jo Malone. I’ve read her book and listened to lots of her podcasts. She’s a true inspiration – so many setbacks, yet an amazing amount of resilience. Whenever I think times are tough, I remember people like her have been through a lot more and it really drags me through. Not to mention, she created a globally recognised brand and has now started another.

What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?

“Never give up” is what keeps me going. There are so many examples of brands in every industry thatinitially struggled and arenow aspirational. Victoria Beckham didn’t make a profit for 11 years, Amina Muaddi is the most desired shoe company at the moment, yet she had a couple of failed businesses before that. Conna Walker had a failed jewellery brand, but is now every woman’s #girlbossgoals. There are so many examples, but the common denominator is that they never gave up and kept on going. An overnight success isn’t a feasible thing; everything takes time and effort.

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