MODEST SUMMER FASHION

modest summer fashion

I can’t tell you how excited I am for Summer. Although our winters in Johannesburg have been quite bearable, there’s nothing quite like basking in the afternoon sun just because. What I don’t particularly like is Summer fashion. It’s against my faith to bare-it-all like most do in Summer, so I have to come up with ways to stay modest but still cool and fresh. Not the easiest task, when crop tops are all the rage. So after a bit of research (and trying to find items that we actually have in South Africa!) I have a few styling tips/ideas on how to be covered up and gorgeous for the next couple of months. Bonus- most of these looks are Hijab friendly; you’re welcome!

KIMONO CARDIGAN

floral kimono cardigan

Seen in: River Island, Cotton On

The Kimono cardigan has to be my favourite Summer 2014 trend. It’s non-form fitting, the perfect length and often comes with longer sleeves. Plus, I am such a fan of printed clothing so this is ideal. Pair with a tighter pants, or something that tapers at the ankles to avoid looking frumpy.

LONGER LENGTH COTTON CARDIGANS

Seen in: Zara, Cotton On

These long length cardigans have been causing quite a stir amongst Hijabi’s. They’re absolutely perfect for summer as the long length and loose fit covers up the shape of your body, but still keeping to a fresh, summer theme. Love!

MAXI DRESSES/SKIRTS

Seen in: Forever New, Mr Price, Cotton On, Zara

Maxi dresses and skirts are extremely easy to wear. Most Maxi dresses are sleeveless, but a simple long sleeved top thrown under can make all the difference. I love that these are not form fitting, but still flattering.

SUMMER KAFTANS

Seen in: Fordsburg actually, if you really look! and River Island

Summer kaftans is a modest girls dream; it’s loose fitting, flattering and comes in amazing prints. I highly recommend getting a few made if you can’t find them, or better yet, shop online!

MIDI SKIRTS

Seen in: Mr Price

Midi skirts are the Meryl Streep of all skirts; classy beyond measure. It’s the perfect length to still be modest and summery all in one. If you’re looking to make this look more Hijab friendly, leggings underneath still look great without taking away from the look. I love these particularly with jersey cardigans draped over your shoulders. Sheer gorgeousness!

 

How do you get by in Summer whilst staying classy, covered up and modest but still summery and cool?

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WHAT’S IN MY MAKEUP BAG | EVERY DAY MAKEUP PRODUCTS

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I have previously done a what’s in my bag post, and thought it would be quite interesting to do a post on what’s in my makeup bag. I’ve decided to focus on the bare essentials; the kind of products I’d use on a daily basis if I was headed out the house. These create a very easy, clean look that’s light enough for summer use. If you’re not really a makeup person or don’t really know what you should be investing in, this is a great start. I tried to stick to drugstore products instead (the kind you’d find at Clicks) so it stays budget friendly as well.

L’Oreal New Nude Magique Blur Cream (Clicks)

I’m not much of a fan of primers. I really feel like it makes my face feel so sticky and goopy instead. When I tried this blur cream, I was a bit skeptical. I have HUGE pores, albeit having non-oily skin. This genuinely makes my skin look flawless, especially in photos. I only use it on my cheeks and on my nose, and love the effect.

Sorbet BB cream (Clicks)

I’m always on the look out for a good BB cream, so decided to give this one a try. I use the colour light and I find it slightly too dark and too pink for me initially, but once it settles into the skin it looks great. I also found that it gives a lot more coverage than normal BB creams, which is great!

Maybelline Coverstick (Clicks)

I only purchased this concealer recently, and absolutely adore it. It covers up and brightens my skin so well, and actually stays put all day which is great. The consistency is pretty thick but blendable, and so much cheaper than other concealers.

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MICA BEAUTY COSMETICS (online store)

I was actually sent this Mica mineral blush some time last year, and have been using it ever since. It’s absolutely amazing. It’s a loose powder, and a little goes a long way with this product. The colour payoff is insane, and it lasts all day. I use the shade Wild Rose, which is a slightly shimmery pinkish shade. Love!

CLARINS BRONZING POWDER (Stuttafords)

I actually purchased this product a long time ago, and it’s still lasting. It’s a slightly shimmery pressed powder that I have been using in the hollows of my cheeks lately for a bit of definition. I love that it’s more brown than orange like most bronzers, and you can build up the product from light to dark.

NYX ULTRA PEARL MANIA (Clicks)

I have seen the NYX products at Clicks for quite some time, but only decided to try it out after seeing a few beauty blogger videos using them. I opted for the Ultra Pearl Mania pigment in Pearl. I love this product as a highlighter on my cheeks. It blends in so well and the colour is absolutely perfect. Great option if you want a budget friendly powder highlighter

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MAC FLUIDLINE IN BLACKTRACK

I’ve been using the MAC gel liner ever since gel liners became a thing. I love the consistency of the product, but I do want to try other brands out. I’ve heard Inglot makes an amazing one; any recommendations?

INGLOT FALSE LASH EFFECT MASCARA

I wasn’t a fan of this mascara initially, as I felt it was too clumpy. However, I realized that a little goes a long way with this product, and it needs to be build up to get mega lashes. And mega lashes you get indeed. I love it now, and would repurchase it in a heartbeat. Great if you want super long looking thick lashes

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REVLON COLOURBURST MATTE BALM (Clicks)

I recently saw a Huda Beauty video on these matte balms, and she seemed quite impressed so I decided to give it a try. I love the colour payoff, and how it stays put for quite some time. I chose the shade 205 Elusive, which is a pretty pinkish nude colour, perfect for every day wear.

BABY LIPS (Clicks)

I think I have spoken about how much I love baby lips before so I had to include it. I love the Cherry Me shade, and generally apply this immediately as I get out of the shower before I even start any of my other makeup to keep my lips super soft

L’OREAL LIP GLOSS (Clicks)

Depending on whether I want a glossy lip or a matte lip, I sometimes juggle between sticking to just the matte balm or topping it with this lip gloss in 101 Rose Melody. It’s also a pinkish nude tone, and compliments the balm perfectly, as well as keeps my lips slightly more moisturized.

 

So that’s it! My makeup bag/every day makeup look in a nutshell. What do you keep on you for everyday use?

RANTS, AND, WELL, JUST LIFE.

As I do not have to explicitly point out; I have stopped blogging. Well, rather not stopped per se, but I definitely have cut down. I blame it on all types of things when followers ask where I’ve been: my WiFi connection is too slow, campus takes up too much of my time, I don’t have clothes I like, or (I love this one) I need to wear this outfit a couple of hundred times before I can actually blog it.

Not one of these things actually impacted my blogging before, so I can’t understand why it should now. To be vaguely honest, I slipped into a comfort zone. I had so much going on in my life, that I let slip by something that made me so happy, and in a way, defined me. Not to say that I didn’t care about my blog that I grew and nurtured, but I simply drew happiness from other areas in my life.

One of the reasons I stopped as well was hormonal weight gain. I simply didn’t look great in photos anymore, so I wouldn’t do outfit posts at all. In fact, I’d even barely dress up unless I really had to. I stopped wearing heels as often, and just didn’t care much for fashion at all. What took 6 weeks to put on, took an entire year to get rid of (oh hi there, Murphy). While I’m back to what I used to be, it also took a huge knock at my confidence level. People would make ridiculous comments (on Instagram and other social media platforms) and no matter how many times people comment nice things, that one nasty thing always seems to stick in your mind more.

And I went through a stage where I simply didn’t feel like what I had to say was good enough anymore. I would often admire international bloggers: their high standards, their quality pictures and how they would jet set across the world for launches and fashion weeks. I simply felt not good enough to even be called a blogger. My little reviews and sometimes blurry pictures seemed so mediocre and not worthy of being put out there. Blogging became such a task; I’d post about a launch or product more out of courtesy rather than because I was excited about it. When I actually did get excited about something, I wouldn’t bother blogging it, because I figured “I haven’t blogged in forever, it’ll just seem so random”.

I was actually inspired by my friend Rohab to write this post; she reminded me how in first year I used to dress up daily. My makeup was perfect- even for 7:30am lectures. I would blog 5 times a week without fail, and always have interesting content. I’d hit milestone after milestone, and grow rapidly.

But everyone falls off the bandwagon now and then. Life happens, and we can either accept It, learn from it and take a step in the right direction, or stay stuck in the rut because the rut started getting a little too comfortable.

And with that, I’m all for getting back to blogging: to make that effort, and do it 100% for myself no matter what I’m going through in life. Here’s to a Secrets and Stilettos come back; let’s hope it’ll only grow bigger from here.

BANANA REPUBLIC SANDTON | LAUNCH

 

One of my favourite parts of being a blogger is the events I get to attend, mainly because of the people I get to meet. I have made so many great friends along the way with other bloggers, media and brand spokespeople.

One of my favourite PR firms is 4ElementsMedia, and owner Lorinda Voges. Earlier this week I attended the phenomenal launch of Stuttafords in Rosebank, and today I got to attend the launch of Banana Republic.

I have always loved Banana Republic clothing. Their quality of their garments is phenomenal (I have a jacket by them since I was 16 and it still looks brand new). Although trendy, most of their clothes have a classic element to it. I am such a sucker for quality clothing, and Banana Republic delivers just that. I particularly am a fan of their menswear range; It’s hard not to find something you absolutely love.

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Inside the menswear section of the store | so clean and uncluttered

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Naayrah {LISOF student} | Me {PS: scarf isavailable from me} | Ranaa {from rmfashionary}

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Gorgeous Lorinda {owner of 4Elementsmedia} | stunning and stylish Aaleya Omar {from the 4Elementsmedia team}

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Little details

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Got  print outs of our pictures seconds after it was snapped up! Leanne {from Arumlilea} |  Irina {from Illtakeitall}

SECRETS AND STILETTOS DRESS COLLECTION | UPDATE

I was absolutely overwhelmed at the amazing response I got on my range. Thank you all for your immense support!

I have just a couple of dresses left and a few scarves.

Do contact me on 081 715 9193 for more information. Dresses are R800, scarves are R100. Sizes are listed BELOW the picture.

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SIZE: Medium/Large

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SIZE: Medium/Large

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Size: Small

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Size: Small/Medium

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Size: Large

SHADES OF NGWENYA | JOIN US THERE!

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As part of my LISOF Fashion Buying and Merchandising assignment, myself and 4 friends are going to be selling gorgeous scarves, loom band kits, midi rings and much more! Come and support us and fellow LISOF Students at Shades of Ngwenya in Muldersdrift for the day! Contact Rowena on 081 715 9193 for further information.

See you there!

SECRETS AND STILETTOS | DRESS COLLECTION

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It’s finally here! After much anticipation, my range is on sale. Dress detailing is shown below, and stock is very limited for exclusivity. Dresses will be sold by appointment only.

Email rowenasaloojee@gmail.com or call/message on 081 715 9193.

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OUTFIT POST | NAUTICAL

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As the month of Ramadhaan is upon us, I always try to make a conscious effort to don the Hijab. Not exactly perfectly, but it is an attempt (note: longer cardi!). It’s a lot easier in winter, because sleeves are automatically long (and coats! glorious coats). My outfit is unfortunately nothing that I purchased recently. I simply cannot see sense in paying sky high prices for below average fashion that is currently offered in South Africa. Anyone else share these sentiments?

 

Thanks Rohab for the photography!

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WHAT’S IN THE BAG

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The handbag of a women is a pretty standard item, like shoes and underwear. However, the contents almost always vary; according to profession, stage in their lives (biscuit-crumbs-at-the-bottom-of-your-bag mums, we feel you), and your overall personality. I love reading posts like these; it absolutely fascinates me seeing a glimpse of what a person may be like from the things they use on a daily basis.

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1. A gorgeous bag from the #givemeAldoSA launch. A black standard bag goes with everything, and this one is great because it’s a pretty decent size, and the gold embellishments add character.

2. A smaller bag. This is a flat clutch from Forever New, and slips perfectly into almost any bag. I love putting important items into something smaller. It makes it easier to just transfer that when changing bags, and if your headed out for an errand or caught with needing to go out in the evening, you have it on hand.

3. A bright wallet always makes me happy. It’s easier to find when in a rush, and I particularly like this one because it’s flat and compact.

4. A diary. Whilst most things get stored on my phone, it’s sometimes easier to have a pen and paper to stay organized, or brain storm. This particular one was categorized for me, and holds sentimental value with a small inspirational message to remind me not to fall apart (and not to ever stop blogging!).

5. A fine liner pen. I prefer these over ball points because of it’s universal use and lasting power. Writes on clothes, cardboard, CD’s, etc. And it’s way more fun to doodle with.

6. Hand sanitizer spray. A small little spray bottle from Oh So Heavenly is a must have in your bag. It isn’t as sticky as the normal gel sanitizer, and dispenses the perfect amount.

7. Hand cream. Especially for wintery months, it’s never a bad idea to have a small miniature cream on hand (see what I did there?) I absolutely love the Victoria’s Secret creams (or anything Victoria’s Secret, really!)

8. Lip Balm. My go-to lip balms are now baby lips. The two I have both smell amazing, and, depending on whether I want a red tint or a nude lip, they give off a subtle colour, appreciated in winter.

9.  Powder foundation. I particularly like MAC Studio Fix, because of it’s staying power and coverage. At the end of a long day, no one wants to reapply liquid foundation, so a dusting of this readds a bit of colour to skin, without looking caked.

10. Red lipstick. You have no idea how useful I have found this to be; whether it’s to slyly add a dot to my cheeks for some colour, or a full on red lip for a pick-me-up. I really love MAC Russian Red, or MAC Viva Glam. They’re both matte lipsticks, so last all day (even after you’ve eaten a burger, I’ve tried!)

11. Pepper Spray. I live in Johannesburg, and as a woman, safety can sometimes become an issue. Although I have yet to use it, I like knowing that I have some sort of mild protection to keep my mind at peace.

12. Keys. An obvious one for your bag, but I keep these in the outer zip of the small bag. It makes it so much easier to locate, and you’ll almost never forget them with your mini traveling purse.

13. Perfume. I am obsessed with this Roberto Cavalli perfume (Acqua), it has such a lingering scent, and works well for both day and night.

14. A USB memory stick. I got this one from Celio, and love it for it’s fun shape, bright colour and it’s size, because I have a knack of losing these things. Whilst it’s main use it for campus (and series!), I’ve found it particularly useful in random occasions as well.

15. A hairband. I hate having hairbands on my wrist because it gives me something to fidget with, and inevitably lose. This and a bobby pin or two definitely come in handy.

16. Cellphone. I considered leaving this out, because it’s virtually always in my hand or in my pocket because I hate having that mini heart attack hunting for it in my bag. (And with the amount of bag snatching these days, I prefer it that way!)

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There you have it. What fun/essential items do you have in your bag?

ICE CREAM PARTY | ROHABS 21ST

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Often when it comes to creative students such as those in fashion, their creativity seeps over to other areas of expertise as well. So when Rohab decided that she is going to have a party for her 21st this year, I knew it had to be something out of the box and spectacular.

 

After initial bread-and-butter ideas that have been commercialized, I came up with the concept of an Ice Cream Party. The theme didn’t really fall into place until I designed the invitation. It looked pretty bland against a pink and white striped background (yet synonymous with vintage ice cream parlors), until it was replaced with a chalkboard background, which was the base of the theme thereafter. (PS, I love how the smudged out address and contact details look like it was wiped off the chalkboard!)

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Welcome drinks and while-you-wait popcorn was served initially, coinciding with the vintage theme that ran throughout the decor

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The tea station was kept simple: ribboned up cups, and wooden cutlery that gave the feeling of popsicles on a hot day. Instead of a traditional box, we decided to peg the different tea flavours together, opting for a more rustic feel.

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cones and toppings for the ice cream bar

 

The ice cream bar was kept simple, with a few exciting key elements.

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Instead of bowls, we decided on a free standing “tree” that held buckets to be used a fun alternative to cups

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And for the savouries, all of them were displayed on a huge mirrored frame. Ceramic spoons for the chutneys and sauces added a unique element. We kept it simple with delectable Jalepeno Samoosas, moons and pies, catered by Barbie (Contact details below). These were by far some of the nicest savories I have ever had, and cheaper than other suppliers.

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The dessert table would not have been as adorable as it was if it wasn’t for Sadika (contact details below). I simply gave her the theme, budget, and she delivered in the most efficient, gorgeous way possible. I was obsessed with the cone cupcakes (that doubled up as edible props!)

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As a whole, it turned out to be an absolutely incredible affair. There’s nothing as exciting as helping a best friend plan a 21st, and this was definitely one for the books! Happy Birthday Rohab!

 

Supplier Contact details:

Savouries: Barbie: 082 646 8687

Cakes: Sadika: 083 645 3306