‘My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.’
‘Create your own style’
Obviously, it’s something we’ve all heard during our years of internship and subsequent full-time employment and even promotions in the fashion wilderness. I know I have. I mean, if the fashion wilderness were a continent, I’d have my own country in it, I’d have a whole state and streets in every district. Like it wasn’t not hard enough that I cannot shop to save my life, or that I cannot even afford my true style, or that colours scare me, I am so laid back in what I call my fashion complacency that I could not even be bothered. I was comfortable in my bathrobe that doubled as an abaya. And that was it.
Until Gaya. Ga.Ya which means ‘Style’ is an international digital modest fashion fashion magazine for the modern Muslim woman. My feature on the magazine on ‘Layering tips’, alongside other amazing women did something for my style confidence and in fact, promoted the start-up of this blog. There I met Juliana Iskandar, Co-Founder and CEO and one of the most amazing and beautiful souls I’ve met. I have an interview with her coming up soon but in her words ‘stay true to your style and tell your story in your own unique and beautiful voice’. Her vision for the magazine is to bring beautiful voices from Muslim women all around the world and inspire them to create, to dream. This has inspired me so much in creating and I hope, just like Juliana, that every woman out there goes ahead to fulfill her creative dream with no limitations or restrictions. Do you. Be you.
I can say that I am inspired. From my time in finding my style, I can say that one of the biggest obstacles to personal style evolution is affordability, because we see mainstream fashion as overwhelmingly expensive. I’ve learnt that there is thrifting though (watch this space on my post on how to thrift like a pro) and you can find amazing pieces and beautiful items in thrift stores. That somewhat, rules affordability out. It is fear. Of moving out of your fashion comfort zone of the eternal jeans and sweatshirt.
And while mainstream fashion may seem overwhelming and just a tad unrealistic (excuse me, I love coats and winter boots because they’re cute and all, but I mean, in Nigeria, we have harmattan, so there), you can absolutely up your style and find comfort in it by exploring new ways to wear old outfits, adding a vibe to your everyday apparel.
For me, as part of my independence from the fashion coma, I’m hopping on the mum jeans wagon and boy! Am I loving it!
Apart from the fact that it’s easier to throw in (sorry, I’m a lazyass), as opposed to the wiggling and hopping and cursing the gods of calories that accompanies wearing skinny jeans, I’m loving the comfy and easy fit of the mum jeans. ‘Legit’.
It’s easy to style in different ways and finding the perfect fit involves no stress at all. My friend (still in the fashion wilderness) calls it a skinny jean that doesn’t involve wiggling to get into. She might be right. But basically, what you should look out for when getting mum jeans is:
•Loose, relaxed fit;
•Wide legs (mostly folded);
•Little or no stretch;
•Real denim (not faux denim).
What’s not to love!
So with the evolution of modest fashion and my own retrenchment from the fashion wilderness industry, I can tell that bathrobe-like abayas are a thing of the not-so-distant past. Now, say hello magical butterfly with abaya the colour of a Saharan sunset (I’m still searching for this magical abaya though, so if you find it, hit me up).
But before that, I’m sticking to my mum jeans and insisting there is no clear-cut rule to styling and ‘slayage’. Do you. Be you.
You can find my piece on Gaya Magazine by downloading the magazine here (sneak peak below).
Do hurry (I might be on the next issue too, talking about being a Nigerian Muslim woman in 2018 and what it means) + watch out for my interview with Juliana Iskandar, which is now up on the blog here.
Love and light,