October 14, 2011

Shirtdresses and Solutions, or...

...How I Made My Transition to Modesty
I really couldn't say enough about shirtdresses, if I tried.
So, this is me, not trying.
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Making the change towards dressing more modestly in public isn't easy, especially for those of us who live where the standards for modesty are...ahem, more lenient. At some point in college, it hit me that what I usually wore wasn't acually islamically modest; I decided almost straightaway that I needed to make "the change" and get rid of (donate) all the clothes that had no hope of aiding in my journey towards modesty. While de-cluttering was a refreshing experience, it left me with only a few items and hardly any options for outfits that actually worked. I gladly accepted the fact that it was time to go shopping. Now, as many of us know, complete wardrobe makeovers do not come cheap. Add to that the root problem: appropriate clothing just isn't easily found. 

Eagerness quickly turned into frustration throughout my early shopping trips. That is, until I learned I could get away with wearing dresses over pants. The dress racks on sale became my oases in stores deserted of loose-fitting, bum-covering tops.

Before I knew it, "budget-friendly" dresses had taken over my closet! But, you know all those cute prints and bright colors that get left behind by the fashion-forward? Well, to be honest, they were fine for going to class or just hanging out, but when the situation called for a more sophisticated look, I was at a loss. It's literally the difference between wearing a cotton t-shirt and a button down to a class presentation, except none of the button-downs are long enough. In cases like these, I had to choose between comfort (longer dresses) or convention (short button downs). 

I knew my dress-hunting strategy had to change. I worked my way towards the regular-priced goods, determined I wouldn't enjoy it, however. You have to understand, I was a college student on a budget; taking such precautions became a necessary habit. Like holding your breath when passing cemeteries (a silly superstition). 

But, that's when I discovered the wonderful world of shirtdresses (yes, I'm finally getting to the point). Shirtdresses are a great investment; one that I'd advise you to look into, ASAP. Essentially just long button-downs, shirtdresses allow for a great compromise between a comfortable length and a professional look since they're almost always made of crisp, structured fabric. 

They. Are. PERFECT. These days, I'll walk into a store and instinctively start scanning for shirtdresses--they are that essential.

So, here's the thing: we've been seeing shirtdresses pop-up in some of our favorite modest-minded online stores, but in a specific style. Usually I lean towards shapeless shirtdresses, but from what I'm seeing, retro-inspired shirtdresses in beautiful colors are making a come-back in the modest scene. The ones I'm checking out lately are those of Modern Mary and Haute Hijab
Modern Mary's Lilac
Haute Hijab's Cobalt Blue


Haute Hijab's cobalt blue shirtdress is part of their latest line and available for purchase. Modern Mary's lilac shirtdress will be coming out soon!
Instant Class!
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So scrumptious! The longer lengths are perfect with pants while skirts look better with shorter shirtdresses (see middle photo, above). As an aside, a simple shirtdress wouldn't look too shabby, paired with a vest, would it? ;D
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Update: Zeena is coming out with an "effortlessly chic" shirtdress THIS WEEKEND! Check out this preview & their Facebook page for more info: 

Shirtdress in what I'd call "Essential Slate"

2 comments:

Tasneem said...

I'm seriously trying to dress modestly and the place where I live isn't the best when it comes to shopping for 'modest clothes', specially in summer..so this post was um good to read. x
http://toocutetodomaths.blogspot.com/

wafa said...

Yea, I get what you're saying. That's why we need to get creative and wear things a little differently than the norm! Thanks for reading!

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