Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Scarf Styling Part 1

Scarves are one of the most versatile accessories out there.
You can dress an outfit up, down or add some interest to it with them.



The ways to style a scarf are numerous and with many varying intricacies,but we will look at some of the most popular, relatively simple ones.

"Glamour "
You can rock this scarf style to keep your hair neat while you're driving in your car with the top down or just rock it with some sunglasses any day when you step out of your house feeling glamorous.



Place the scarf on your head with tails facing forward then crisscross under the chin, bring tails to the back and tie, with back of scarf layering under the tie.
Or, if you are working with a smaller scarf,simply place the scarf on our head and tie under the chin.
*This style works best with square scarves folded into a triangle or readymade triangle scarves.

"Glamour" Hijabi style

Rock "Glamour" as a variation of the Turkish style scarf, with hair tucked in completely, complete with shades.



"Hippie"
Channel the 60's with this bohemian scarf style, done very simple.
Place halfway on your head and either tie the ends into a bun or knot them.



"Hippie" hijabi style
Hippie, hijabi style
Work this style the way Yvonne Ridley does with all hair tucked in completely,the outer layer of an Amira scarf on the bottom and another scarf on top placed halfway on your head with the two tails tied in a bun or knotted with tails hanging down.



"Kuwaiti/Gulf" for anyone

Spice up your scarf with a little Gulf style.
This layered look is very elegant and looks especially great with dressy attire.



*This style looks best with the less-stiff scarves with decorated edges.

A variation of this style is a looser or even more layered version that can be worn with hair tucked in completely and neck coverage for hijabi style in the form of an outer layer of an Amira scarf or tneck and underpiece.



"Bun"
Wrap a scarf in a bun whether the occasion is casual or formal. This scarf style is super versatile and super simple.Try wearing the bun at the back or to either side for a fun variation.



"Bun" hijabi style
This style is hijabified simply by adding neck coverage with a tneck shirt or dickie, another scarf, or a high-necked top and tucking all hair in completely.



*Try a statement necklace, around-the-neck scarf or top with a detailed neckline, all of which are very flattering for this style.

"Two-Tone" for anyone
The two tone scarf style is exactly how it sounds: two-toned.
Try this style with two scarves of different colors or shades.

To create this look, wrap a scarf in the traditional way, laying flat on the head. Then, layer another scarf a little further back on the head and continue wrapping both scarves, pinned under the chin,with one set of tails brought behind the head and pinned on the side.Let the other tail hang or tuck inside top.



*This style works best with scarves that are long, equal in length and width, and are rectangular shaped.


"Turban"
Whether you are wearing it Old Hollywood style like Sophia Loren or African-inspired style like Erykah Badu, this scarf style makes a bold elegant statement.


Place a scarf on your head with the two tails facing upward(like when wrapping a towel around wet hair), crisscross the two tails at the forehead and tie OR bring to back and criss cross again and then tuck. Secure with pins if needed.
Also, you can find some turbans ready-made.

"Turban" hijabi style

As with bun style, tuck in all hair completely, add neck coverage with a tneck shirt or dickie, another scarf, or a high-necked top and keep turban at a modest height.


"Underscarf" for anyone
This simple scarf style features one key element: an "underscarf" or "underpiece".
The underscarf can be a bonnet cap, lace underscarf, under layer of Amira scarf or another full size scarf.

The underpiece is placed on the head and then another full size scarf is layered on top of it in any style.


Try this style many different ways with different kinds of scarves, secure with pins and make acommodations for hijabi style as you see fit.

"Gypsy"
The Gyspy style is a relaxed version of the bun that can be worn in the back or at either side as well.

Place scarf on head and tie two tails at the back of the neck with triangle part above tie facing down. Leave tails hanging in back or in front near shoulders.
For a slight variation, tie tails at either side of the head, letting them drape or rest on the shoulder.



*This style works best with square scarves folded into a triangle or readymade triangle scarves.For the side Gypsy style, you can also try a rectangular scarf.

"Gypsy" hijabi style
As with bun style, tuck in all hair completely and add neck coverage with a tneck shirt or dickie, another scarf, or a high-necked top .



Braiding, twisting, layering, adorning (with decorative pins) of scarves and choosing ones with great colors, textures and patterns are great ways to increase visual interest in a style. Have fun with it!

SCARF NECK STYLES

Scarves can also be worn around the neck in various ways:
Hijabis can wear these styles too, with prior sufficient neck coverage.

Hanging Loose
The simplest way to put a scarf on.
Simply put a scarf around your neck with the ends facing forward and let hang down over chest.



Keyhole Style
This style has become one of the most popular ones with celebrities.
Place a scarf around your neck, pull the curved part away from your neck then loop the end nearest the back of your neck into curved part and then pull tight and let hang down over chest.


The Once-Around
Another simple yet very warm scarf style.
Place the scarf around your neck with left end longer than right end and then loop left end around your neck. Even out both ends.



Cowboy Style
For a stylish modern look, try this style with larger scarves instead of bandannas.
Using a square scarf folded into a triangle or ready-made triangle scarf, place triangle part under neck in front and tie ends on the back of the neck or tie in back and bring to front under scarf on the chest.



That's all for now.

Up next, SCARF STYLING PART 2, Stay Tuned!

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

SATC 2 Fashion and Fashions from the East

Costume Designer Patricia Fields worked her magic again in SATC 2 and produced some very unique,colorful, fashion forward ensembles.



Fashions from, and inspired by the East, feature some bohemian style elements like flowing fabrics, scarves, rich colors,prints, headwear such as turbans and headscarves, more relaxed modest silhouettes and longer hemlines and sleeves.

Channeling this kind of fashion, here were some memorable costumes:




Miranda, Carrie, Samantha and Charlotte are rocking long dresses, headwear,harem pants and scarves in this movie still from SATC 2.

Carrie and Charlotte's ensembles are very wearable with their tasteful, classic Eastern touches. You could rock Miranda's outfit if you switched up the arm cover-up to a more subtle print or a non-print. Samantha's outfit is runway perfect, but we would need to lower the high shoulders on the jacket and switch fabrics and colors and de-taper the harem pant a little to make it ready-to-wear.

For hijabis too? Maybe, if you are brave enough to try it.
Miranda's dress could be rocked with a hip length jacket and headscarf.

Carrie's short dress could be rocked with straight leg/wide leg pants underneath plus long sleeves and a headscarf.

Samantha's harem pants could be rocked if they were in a much looser fabric with very little to no tapering on the bottom of the leg plus a jacket that comes to the knee or just above the knee, belted or unbelted.

Charlotte's ensemble could be rocked hijabi style with a headscarf in a complimentary color, a long sleeved shirt underneath the dress or a bolero jacket or cropped cardigan on top of the dress, and straight leg pants to go underneath the dress.



Does it get anymore fabulous than this on a movie set?
The rich colors and flowing fabrics in these ensembles are to die for.

Samantha's royal blue with purple scarf/cape is the epitome of elegance and is Oscars-worthy. Rock that at a formal event and look and feel super graceful.

Carrie's ensemble is very fashion forward. The harem pant jumpsuit is actually a winner (Surprise surprise. I would usually never recommend harem pants or jumpsuits because they are very hard to pull off without looking crazy)in this ensemble because the fabric is loose and flowy and the legs are not so tapered that they look like hammer pants.
However, the vest needs to go so that the pants can stand out and not compete with the rest of the outfit.

Charlotte's ensemble here has gorgeous rich colors. The printed bodice with the A-line skirt are very feminine and the scarf adds an elegant touch. But, the skirt part would have been perfect if it hit just above or at the knee or was full length; in between lengths tend to look awkward.

Miranda's ensemble has interest and bohemian flair with the printed dress and draped shawl. It's perfect as is and looks very comfortable. Awesome.

Can hijabis try these looks too?
Possibly.
Try out Samantha's ensemble with a cropped cardigan or bolero jacket in a neutral or other complimentary bright color.

Carrie's outfit? You'd have to be really brave but it could possibly work with an A-line jacket or top that hit at or just above the knee, preferably belted with a thin belt.

For Charlotte's outfit, you could wear a neutral or matching long sleeved shirt,then layer an A-line skirt in a matching or complimentary neutral under the dress for length and use the scarf around her neck as a headscarf.

Miranda's ensemble is a quick fix: simply add a cropped cardigan or bolero jacket in a neutral color to the dress and wear the shawl as a headscarf or get a new headscarf and keep the shawl draped as shown.

...

Let's take a look at ready-to-wear East-inspired fashions by a successful clothing business and an innovative clothing designer:

East Essence www.eastessence.com
East Essence provides gorgeous, affordable traditional Islamic and Indian clothing.
With prices ranging from $20 to $200 and different styles and colors, there is definitely something for everyone.

Here are some of the popular pieces:

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Purchase a piece, or two, or three and add a little culture to your wardrobe.

...

Nzinga Knight www.nzingaknight.com

Nzinga Knight is a NY based, talented, innovative designer that creates elegant high-end eveningwear for the sophisticated woman with modest taste.
Her feminine designs exude grace and poise, and you will too when you wear them.
Plus, they are currently On Sale for 30% off of the original price!



Also, be a part of the design process for the Spring 2011 collection with the Sponsor/Name A Dress event going on now. This is a great way to support the arts and keep lovely pieces of work such as these dresses out in the world of fashion.
See http://nzingaknight.com/2010/08/18/sponsor-name-a-dress/ for details.
...

That's all for now.

Up next, SCARF STYLING PART 1, Stay Tuned!

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Questions,Comments? Send me an email at emeraldbrocadeconsulting@gmail.com or comment on this post.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fall 2010 Fashion Trends: Fab or Fail? Part 2

Part 2 of Fall 2010 Fashion Trends begins!

Again, some were fabulous and some just failed...

Grey:FAB
Grey is one of those shy colors that people tend to stay away from because it looks "boring". But, what people don't realize is that grey is a powerful neutral that can be worn in many ways, all year 'round. Paired with great colors like white, purple, black and blue, you can have subtle chic.



Can hijabis rock it? Definitely.


Plaid: FAB, with caution

Taking cues from country style, plaid is very in this season in the form of shirts and shirtdresses.
The key to plaid is to do it in doses to avoid looking like you are wearing pajamas.

A plaid shirt with some jeans and a plaid headband is ok.
A plaid shirtdress with knee boots and a plaid bag would be too much.



What about hijabis? Definitely. You could rock a plaid headscarf, a plaid long skirt,a plaid shirtdress with jeans, even a plaid long dress.
Again, just don't do too much of it.

Hats/Headdresses:FAB, with caution
This season, fedoras, pageboy hats,berets and headdresses in different patterns and colors are what's in.
Headwear can be a tricky accessory to pull off, but you can do it.

For hats like fedoras, pageboys and berets, you want to make sure you have a relatively flat simple hairstyle such as a low bun or ponytail, all of your hair down etc.

As far as colors and pattern, try to pick something that will go with your outerwear and/or with most outfits; neutrals like black, tan and white or monochromatic color patterns are safe choices, but bright colors like red work great too.

What kinds of outfits should I wear these hats with?
Hats like pageboys, fedoras, berets etc are usually great for casual outfits but may also look good with other types of outfits. Wearing a fedora with a ballgown would look strange, but a fedora with a tailored pantsuit would be amazing.

However, for headdresses, you can rock those with any kind of outfit. A scarf wrapped gypsy style or turban style could be casual or formal with a simple change in fabric.



Seriously, hijabis and hats...? Yes!
We already have the headdresses down pat with all of the many different scarf styles out there, just throw a hat on top.

Make sure you have a relatively flat hairstyle as well as scarf style so that the hat will sit firmly on your head. Also,keep the colors and patterns in hat, headscarf and rest of outfit matching or complimentary to each other.

Ex: A black fedora and a black printed headscarf with a denim jacket and a black long dress or abaya.
Ex: A navy blue printed pageboy, white headscarf with a red shirtdress and wide leg blue jeans.

Cutout dresses:FAIL
I appreciate the effort to change up the little black, red or whatever color dress.
But, it just does not look good to wear a dress that looks like a 2yr old got to it with a pair of scissors when their parents were not looking.
A dress with purposeful transparency is ok if it is has a lining, but seeing bare skin in certain areas isn't ok; it is inappropriate and gives the wrong message.



Hijabis: Do we even need to go there?

Minidresses: FAB, with extreme caution

It was hot in Fall 07 and still is now.
However, you have to be very careful how you wear them.

Minidresses tend to be very short, hence the name, therefore,it would be a good idea to get a dress that falls at or just above the knee, if you are going to wear it by itself. If it is shorter, consider wearing it with leggings or slim/skinny cut pants/jeans as not to expose your unmentionables to the world.
Acessories like belts,statement necklaces long or short and long statement earrings look great with these dresses, play with it!



Is this for hijabis? It's possible.
Wearing minidresses, belted or not belted, under a cardigan or jacket of the same length, making sure that the cardigan isn't too fitted would work, if you are comfortable trying the look.

One-shoulder tops and dresses: FAB, with some caution
This style saves on fabric for sleeves, but is also very elegant and fashion-forward.
If you are an individual that is uncomfortable with their arms, this style is not for you. But,if you are ok with your arms, go for it!
One-shoulder tops and dresses look especially well with long statement earrings.

However, do not do a short necklace AND long statement earrings, because your accessories will be competing and the necklace will take away from the glamour of the one-shoulder feature.



Hijabi? Sure, the looser ones. This style top or dress will look best with long sleeve shirts, tnecks specifically, versus a cardigan to highlight the one shoulder style.

Fur: FAB, with caution
Whether real or faux is your style, you can rock it fabulously.
This fall we've got lots of fur, especially in the way of vests .

As with animal print, be cautious with fur and do it minimally.
A great vest shouldn't overwhelm you, it should fit. If it's falling off of your shoulders, it doesn't fit.

Wear a fur vest (hip length or above the knee), belted or not belted,with a long sleeved tee and jeans or knee length skirt, or with a long sleeved knee or above knee length dress.



Hijabis and Fur? Yup. Wear it belted or not belted, with a long top with wide leg/straight leg jeans/pants, with a top and a long skirt or a long dress. The vest should be hip length for dresses and skirts and knee length or just above the knee for pants.

Distressed jeans:FAIL
You should always strive to look your best, not distressed.
Jeans that are ripped and torn should be tossed or restored, not worn as part of an outfit. There is nothing cute about looking unkempt, especially on purpose.
If you want a little edge, try a studded belt or some black skinny jeans, but don't wear these kind of jeans, please.




Graphic Tees:FAB

Graphic tees are the oh so stylish version of the regular sporty tee.
Try pairing these tees with a great pair of jeans for a great casual look.
For added interest, add accessories like long necklaces, a statement ring or a hat.
For cold weather, these tees also come in the long sleeve version or wear the short sleeved ones with a jacket, cardigan or long sleeve shirt under them.



Hijabis Too? Absolutely. Some stores carry longer graphic tees, wear those with long cardigans or jackets (because some are fitted) with wide leg or straight leg pants/jeans. Try wearing the short tees with a great jean skirt.
As stated above, you can also experiment with different types of accessories for different looks.

The season went pretty well, only 5 fails. Until next Fall...

Up next: Shop Fall Fashion, stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fall 2010 Fashion Trends: Fab or Fail? Part 1

This fall there are a plethora of trends, so this post will be split into two parts.

Some of these trends are Fabulous and some just Fail...

Edge: FAB, with caution
Edge is in.
Some studs and zippers here, some black and exposed seams there and a little leather is ok... but don't overdo it.
We want tasteful Rihanna edge, not Edward Scissorhands.


Nope.


Military jackets: FAB
Military jackets are very structured and the shiny buttons/studs and sculptured cuts can add great interest to an otherwise plain outfit.
Ex: Rock this jacket with a tee and jeans and you go from casual to casual cool.

For hijabis, you can wear a military jacket with a great long skirt plus a tee underneath, worn open or closed. Or, throw it on over a long dress or abaya.


Leather: FAB, with caution
Leather bomber jackets and accessories like gloves, shoes and purses are popping up everywhere.
Bomber jackets look great with jeans and layered over tops of the same length or hip length.
For hijabis, rock a bomber jacket, again, with a long skirt or long dress or abaya. If you are lucky enough to find a cropped leather jacket,you can wear it with a long top and pants or a hip length top and a long skirt.

WARNING: Never, ever, do to much leather because it tends to look too severe.
A leather jacket and leather gloves is ok but not a leather jacket and leather pants.

Bib necklaces: FAB,with caution
They look like bibs, but are definitely not for babies.
These style of necklaces come in many different variations and will spice up any ensemble and bring attention up towards the face.


Hijabis should definitely rock these too. They look great with a tucked headscarf or tneck and wrapped/bun scarf style.

WARNING: Be sure not to wear long,large statement earrings with this necklace to avoid competing accessories. Bib necklaces are a great statement piece, so keep other accessories such as earrings, headbands and bracelets simple and minimal.


BOOTS:FAB, mostly
Boots, boots, boots! What is fall without fabulous boots?
This fall we are experimenting with boots in different rises and styles: from thigh-high to ankle to rain boots as well as different embellishments like buckles, studs and fabrics like suede.

All Boots Warning:
Socks should not be visible when wearing any type of boots, it's very very tacky.




Thigh High and Knee High Boot: FAB, with caution

Thigh high and knee high boots look great with short dresses and tights (dresses coming to just above or at the knee) or with mid thigh length or shorter dresses/shirts paired with leggings or slim-fitting jeans tucked inside.

WARNING: If you are short,you don't want to do thigh-high boots with jeans and a short shirt because your body will be out of proportion and make you look shorter/stumpier; always opt for a shirt/dress that is on the longer side for thigh highs or just wear knee-high boots instead.

WARNING:If you are top heavy and have an inverted triangle figure (your top half is larger in comparison to your bottom half) then you do not want to do the boots of any rise,- tucked-into-slim pants/jeans or leggings look at all.
Why? Instead of a slimming/more streamlined look, you will create an unflattering, unbalanced, disproportionate shape; stick with wider leg pants and jeans with boots, untucked, for a more flattering, balanced look.



Is it for Hijabis? Sorry ladies, you might have to skip the slim jeans/pants tucked into fitted boots look, for all body types, for one simple reason:
Slim cut jeans/pants tucked into fitted boots = Entire shape of leg exposed.
If you tried to wear wide leg or straight leg jeans tucked into fitted boots, or bunched at the top of the boot, it would look sloppy.

We can still wear those cute thigh-high and knee high boots, just wear them with straight leg/wide leg pants or jeans or long skirts and dresses, untucked, or wear them at private events in the nonhijabi style mentioned above.

Wellies: FAB
Wellies/Wellingtons/Galoshes are simply stylish rainboots available in many different colors and patterns.
You can wear them to keep your feet dry on a rainy day.



It is just practical to tuck your pants/jeans into a pair of Wellies on a rainy day or snow boots on a snowy day so that you don't end up with completely soaked pants/jeans when reaching your destination.

Hijabis, these kind of boots are not fitted to the leg like regular boots are, so there will still be a degree of looseness if you decide to tuck the pants/jeans(which should be a loose cut) in.
However, do what is comfortable for you.

Flat Ankle Boots: FAIL
These are a fail because no matter how you wear them, they just look bad.
The flatness of the boot combined with the shortness of the rise makes it look silly like a costume peasant shoe, similar to Quasimodo the Hunchback's shoes. It just doesn't work.



Ankle Boots with Heels: FAB, with caution
Heeled ankle boots, on the other hand, made of materials such as leather are ok because they look like actual everyday shoes.
Trying wearing these boots with straight leg, wide leg or skinny pants and jeans. They also look great only with dresses that fall above the knee or past the ankle, nothing that falls "in between".

WARNING: Do not wear these boots with skirts and dresses that are in the "in between" lengths or cropped/capri/"highwater" pants/jeans, because it will look awkward.



Hijabis, wear this kind of boots with pretty much anything because the pants/jeans, skirts and dresses that you wear will be long in length (at or past the ankle) so it will look great!

Sweater boots: FAIL
Sorry friends, these boots are a No.
I feel the same way about sweater boots that I feel about regular Uggs:
They look like animal feet.
Your feet should be able to look just as cute as the rest of your outfit when the temperature goes down, and these boots are just not flattering on the feet.




Hijabis: Same deal, ladies.

Sweater dresses: FAB
Sweater dresses are so warm, yet so fabulous. They are the perfect stylish alternative to the warm oversized grandma sweater or tacky sweaters with holiday decorations.
Rock these dresses,belted or not belted, in cold weather over jeans or leggings (with leggings only if the dress comes down to the knee or just above the knee) tucked into knee high or thigh high boots, or untucked.



For hijabis, rock these dresses belted or not belted, under a cardigan or jacket of the same length for ones that are very fitted, or without for the ones that are looser , paired with straight leg or wide leg pants and a great pair of shoes (not tucked into boots).
Also, sweater dresses tend to be long (as in falling just above or at the knee), so you may not want to wear them with a skirt to avoid looking too short or frumpy.

Animal print: FAB, with caution
Animal print can be very fabulous or very tacky, so you have to be careful.
To wear animal print, you can only wear it 1-2 ways,lightly, of the same print,paired with either all neutrals or a neutral and a bright color.




Ex: Zebra print dress, red pumps and zebra print headband, YES.
Zebra print dress,red pumps with zebra print purse, NO.
Ex: Leopard print pumps, darkwash jeans, brown tee YES.
Leopard print coat, leopard print pumps. NEVER.


Bodysuits/Leotards: FAIL, mostly

It wasn't cute when people wore them in the 80's and it's still not cute now.
A leotard and tights or leggings is not an outfit.

These pieces are just not appropriate to wear unless you are doing ballet or some other form of physical activity that requires this kind of attire in that setting.



If you are wearing a bodysuit/leotard as a top with a skirt or jeans, then it might be ok.
Otherwise, please leave them alone.

Hijabis: I think you know the answer to this one.

Part 2 of Fall 2010 Fashion Trends coming soon, stayed tuned!