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The Complete Guide On How To Dress For Your Body Type

How To Dress For Your Body Type

And nail it every time.

Nowadays online shopping has become a true necessity and we have learned over the last three months of staying at home during coronavirus that selecting the right clothing pieces is an art to be mastered. Especially when choosing your essential clothing items. As practical and convenient as shopping online may be, it can also generate a roller coaster of emotions and make us face unnecessary disappointment.  Why, you wonder?

Because the items you visually fell in love with when browsing your favourite retailer’s e-commerce website were simply not for your body type.  Most of us are oblivious of the ‘body type basics’ which is why our expectations of sizing and fit aren’t met by our purchase.  Well, the Gaggler is here to reassure you that all is not lost, you can master online shopping and you can love your purchases when they arrive.  

As part of our online shopping series, in this post, we are going to share some precious advice on how to dress for your body type. This way, the process of choosing and adding things to your shopping cart will be easy and, dare we say, delightful.  But you need to follow these tips when making your final selections in what you add to your shopping cart. Ready?

The Basics on Shopping for Your Body Type

Being knowledgeable about your body type is a powerful tool.  By applying the ‘body type basics’ you can dress your body in a way that creates visual balance and opportunities for accessories to optimize not only the fit but the impact of your outfits. Styling your outfits not only makes you look good; it also makes you feel great and boosts you with the confidence to take on the world and knock ‘em dead.  There is power in fashion.

Some basic concepts we need to consider when dressing our body type are:

  • Your body type has nothing to do with your size. ‘Body type basics’ are all about the proportions between your bust, waist and hips. It’s the playing up and down of your proportions that is going to help create a more balanced visual of your shape.
  • Bright colours, busy patterns and details such as pockets and ruffles tend to emphasize and maximize the appearance of things, while dark colours tend to minimize it.
  • Focus on your strengths and accentuate your features. This helps make the process much more enjoyable and rewarding.  You have unique assets, it’s what you do with your assets that matters.

How to determine your body shape and how to style

Your silhouette is your body type. Traditionally, there are four body types. But, we aren’t much for following tradition so we’ve added a fifth body type especially for our petite gals out there (we won’t forget you!). There are a few tips specifically for petite women that can be beneficial.

Let’s begin by exploring your vitals first because these are important to better understand your body type.

STEP 1: Measure

Use a cloth measuring tape to get precise measurements. If you only have a metal measuring tape at home you can certainly use that but we find the cloth tape easier to use. Your measure tape should be neither too tight or loose; it should be snug to a point where you think it will slip (but it won’t) and this gives you the most accurate number. Start with your bust and move down your body with your measurements.

Bust

Here you need to measure the fullest part of your bust. It’s essential you stand straight before you do this. Place one end of the tape at the fullest part and wrap it around from under your shoulders and bring it back to where you started. Here you want to ensure you don’t have too tight a grip so the tape should just graze your chest to get the right measurement.

Waist

Standing as straight as you can, without slouching your stomach or pulling it in, start at the slimmest part of your waist above your belly button, and below the rib cage, this is your natural waistline. Wrap the tape around your stomach and bring it back to where you first started.

Hips

Here you need to measure the circumference of the fullest part of your buttocks to get the measure of your hips. Start from one side of the hip and take it around the rear towards the other hip. Bring it back to the starting point. You are best standing in front of a mirror when doing this so you know the tape is leveled throughout.

High Hips

This measurement is taken from a different place than the one above. Here you need to place the tap on the upper swell of the hip over your pelvic bone. This is not the widest point as you are taking the measurement at the top of the hip curve.

Once you have all your measurements, feed it into the Body Shape Calculator provided below to determine your body type.

Body Shape Calculator

STEP 2: Watch to learn all the tips you need

Our lovely Debora Sulca shares all her top styling tips you need to dress your body type to its best in this video.

WATCH THE VIDEO: ONLINE SHOPPING FOR YOUR BODY TYPE


STEP 3: Apply our styling tips to select the right products for you

APPLE SHAPE

Apple shape body type

This body shape has little to no definition on the waistline and tends to hold most of the weight around the bust and torso while showing thinner hips, legs, and arms. People with this body type usually have broad shoulders, bigger bust line, and that’s why it feels like the weight gathers around the midriff.

Celebrities with this body shape include Drew Barrymore, Kate Winslet, Jessica Simpson, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Apple body type celebrities

How to Dress the Apple Shape

When dressing an apple-shaped body type, life couldn’t be sweeter! As an apple or inverted triangle shape, you look your best when playing up your full bust, amazing legs, and/or arms. In general, silhouettes that don’t rely on a traditionally structured waistline are your hardest working pieces.

Tops:

Your power pieces include:

  • Breezy A-line silhouettes
  • Flowy tunics
  • Relaxed, boyfriend button-ups
  • V-neck anything

If you are looking for more structure, select a substantial fabric such as raw silk, linen, tweed and thicker cotton that will streamline your look from your bust through your hips. We suggest avoiding jersey as it’s a thin fabric.

If you have been working those push-ups hard at the gym and want to show off your sculpted arms, go strapless or sleeveless with your tops. If covering up makes you more comfortable, go for a fitted sleeve to balance your full bust and midsection. If you are quite curvy, lengthen your neck with a deep (or shallow, if you are feeling a bit modest) V-neck or scoop neckline.

Dresses:

Strapless styles look great on you if you have an apple-shaped body type. Other flattering styles include maxi dresses with a lower neckline and wrap dresses. If you are looking to show off your legs, do go for a mini dress. If not, then a knee-length shift and sheath style will look great on you! If you are a curvy apple, A-line styles are great. And when in doubt, diagonal stripes and darker colors are always slimming.

Jackets:

With jackets, where your jacket hem hits your body will make all the difference – irrespective of which body type you are. Vests or jackets that hit at the hip or upper thigh work best on apple shape body types. A-line coats or straight, knee-length trench styles (minus the belt) or ponchos will be very flattering for your body type.

Trousers

With trousers, take your pick! On your apple shape, skinny jeans and leggings will look great, especially when paired with a breezy tunic, oversized sweater, or roomy button-down shirt. If you want to elongate your silhouette, opt for flares with heels. If you have long legs, try bootcut or flared pants with flats. Remember, the hem should either come to the top of your heel or all the way to the ground, not in-between.

You can pretty much pull off any trouser fit…classic, cropped, ankle. As a general rule of thumb, if your top is very oversized, you’ll want to select a more structured or slim-fit trouser to balance your overall look.


PEAR SHAPE

Celebrities with this body shape include Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys, and Cynthia Nixon.

Celebrities with Pear Body shape

How to Dress the Pear Shape

Yes, the fruit analogy continues! The name of this dress-up game is playing with proportions that elongate your body. Pear shapes look fabulous in statement tops that draw the eye upward and highlight the waist, back, or neckline.

Tops:

When it comes to fun tops, the world is your oyster. If you love bright colors and bold patterns or enjoy mixing patterns, you’re in luck. Your power pieces are:

  • Plunging V-necks
  • Cowl necks
  • Bell-sleeves
  • Scoop necks

For better definition, the more fitted or structured the top, the better definition you can achieve around your narrow shoulders and draw attention to your narrow waist.  If you are on the curvy side, this is even more true, make sure to show it off!

Dresses:

As a pear-shaped body type, you will face no shortage of dress options! What suits your fancy? Plunging and embellished necklines, open backs, statement sleeves, and belted styles will all play up your more slender upper body. A-line styles will also look fantastic on you. Any hemline that hits right below the knee will lengthen your frame and slim hips and thighs. Maxi styles work well too with the added bonus of being super comfy!

Jackets:

A-line and princess cuts, waist-length jackets, and any piece of outerwear that hits mid-thigh, are most flattering on pear-shaped body types. You can also indulge in boxy coats, but as a good rule of thumb, you’ll want to go for a cropped style to emphasize your waist.

Trousers

Since the best tops for your pear-shaped body are printed, patterned and in bold shapes, it’s a good idea to select subtle and dark colours if you want to go with a trousers. Bootcut and flare denim styles are great go-to’s that balance proportions. Remember, to let the hemlines graze the floor and pair with heels if you are looking to make heads turn. For those on the petite side, bootcut and classic trouser fits serve to elongate your silhouette.


RECTANGLE SHAPE

A lean, well-balanced figure with little to no waist definition. Your torso is straight down to the waist and hips. An elongated silhouette, opposite to the curvy type. This is a fairly straightforward body type.

rectangle body type

Celebrities with this body shape include supermodels such as Kate Moss, Gisele Bundchen, Megan Markle and actors like Nicole Kidman and Gwyneth Paltrow.

celebrity body types

How to Dress the Rectangle Shape

The key to dressing a rectangular or athletic shape is to balance your broad upper half by accentuating your legs and other curves.  It’s all about remembering this easy rule of thumb: keep the volume on top or bottom. If you go for a breezy top, keep the bottom skinny or structured. With a more form-fitting top, pick a loose or oversized bottom.

Tops:

An athletic body shape looks its best when the focus is on drawing attention to your muscular arms, defined shoulders, and showing off your waist. Your power pieces are:

  • Halter styles
  • Racerback styles
  • Scoop & round necklines
  • Strapless anything!

As with all body types, there are variations to the main shape. If you are curvy and athletic, play up your shoulders, your collarbone, and/or your arms. If you’d rather downplay your shoulders or lengthen your neck, choose a narrow neckline like a crew, cowl, or v-neck. If you want to add an illusion of curve to your waistline, select tops that can be tucked in; belted tops also help create the perception of a more slender waist and fuller hips. If you have a fuller bust, opt for styles with statement collars of embellished necklines. Pieces with a high neck and an open back (halter anyone?) are super flattering on you.

Dresses:

You are in luck….because you can literally wear any dress style you set your heart’s desire on. It’s all about figuring out which feature you want to play up. Love your legs? Hike up that hemline. To play up your bust, choose strapless (with a great push-up bra, of course) or plunging necklines. To minimize anywhere, stick with darker colors, vertical stripes, or A-line styles. To create more of a waistline, grab a thin belt.

Jackets:

With your athletic body shape, you will find that peacoats, dusters, bomber jackets, and flowy outerwear look best on you! Try a fitted, structured style if you have a slender silhouette. If you’re looking to create more shape around your waist, opt for cropped or elastic waist styles to help accentuate your waistline. A-line cuts and hems that hit at your hip or just below your knee, do wonders to minimize your waist.

Trousers

Here we have a simple rule of thumb: pick the trouser style that best complements the shape of your top. If you’ve gone oversized up top, grab a skinny jean or structured trouser style, to create balance. Want to create the illusion of more height? Put on floor-grazing flares or bootcut styles with heels that are both slimming and elongating. If you’re on the petite style, you can balance your frame with flowy and wide-leg styles, gathered waists, and even cargos. If your torso is on the long side, you might want to pick a mid-rise jean. High-waisted trousers could be a little tricky though for your body shape as your midsection is straight. If you find a style with stretch, you could make it work.


HOURGLASS SHAPE

hourglass body type

The most proportional body type. Extremely feminine with an equally broad bust and hip line, well-defined waist and well-defined curves. You know when you’re an hourglass body. Yours is a body to die for, so flaunt it and in the right way.  

Celebrities with this body type include Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, Salma Hayek, and Kim Kardashian

dress styles based on body

How to Dress the Hourglass Shape

If you are an hourglass body shape, then you know you have amazing curves – and it’s time to embrace all of it in form-fitting silhouettes and pieces that hit you in all the right places. With an hourglass form, you need to focus on two aspects: defining your waist and showing off your lovely feminine shape.

Tops:

We have a mantra for you that will make dressing up every day so much easier. Fitted, fitted, fitted! It’s all about celebrating your waist and highlighting your neckline. Your power pieces include:

  • Form-fitting jersey knits
  • Wrap tops
  • Peplum blouses
  • Tailored tops with ample room in the chest
  • V-necks, round necks or boat necks

You have the ideal shape to pull off structured, more tailored silhouettes. The beauty of it all is that your curves are already well balanced in a most feminine form. Whether you go for the most basic pieces (like casual tees) or more structured button-up shirts, all should be fitted to show off your narrow waist.

Dresses:

We are having a Marilyn Monroe moment with this one. Your hourglass figure was made for dresses, particularly wrap dress or fit & flare styles. These shapes will naturally enhance your best features. Be cautious of dress styles that are overly flowy, they can add quite a bit of volume in all the wrong places. If you are in love with a loose-fitting dress style, simply add a belt to make it right for you.

Jackets:

You’ll need jackets that show off your waist! Classic trenches, fitted blazers, cropped silhouettes, and bomber jackets with elastic waistbands will look stunning on you. However, do be cautious of boxy styles. We don’t think they will do your natural curves justice as a silhouette that draws the eye to the most narrow part of your frame will show off your best assets.

Trousers

To accentuate your narrow midsection, opt for high-waisted, floor-grazing flared trousers and your favorite dancing heels. Stretchy skinny jeans and leggings are perfect to show off all your curves. Fitted jumpsuits can also be a great alternative and look incredible on you. Remember to go for styles that flatter your waist and avoid extra details such as large pockets that can add unnecessary bulk to your silhouette.


PETITE FRAME

This is our addition to the traditional four body types as there are specific aspects of styling petite frames that women need to be mindful of. Women who fall into this category are those who are shorter than 160cms. You can be a combination of the different body types already mentioned and also have a petite size.

Celebrities in this category include Eva Longoria, Victoria Beckham, Vanessa Hudgens, and Reese Witherspoon. Your goal is to lengthen your body and make yourself appear taller.

dressing for body type

As a petite body shape, you will want to avoid wearing oversized pieces, large accessories, or long maxi dresses or skirts. The idea here is to elongate your frame and not have it be swallowed up by too much fabric. You do want to opt for pieces that draw attention to your waist whenever possible. Playing with colour can be useful as well – monochromatic looks help to trick the eye and make you appear taller.

Being self-aware and most importantly informed about your body type can solve a lot of your shopping nightmares, particularly online. By embracing the uniqueness of your body shape, working with your individual assets, and more than anything understand that there are outfits that are meant for all of us, we just need to know how and where to look!

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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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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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4 (Easy) Ways to Snap Out of a Style Rut

Breathe new life into that boring old wardrobe.

At some point in our lives, we’ll all likely be hit by a style rut. The good news? It’s not permanent, and getting your groove back only takes a few simple steps. The difficult part, though, is how to recognise a style rut. Read on.

What are the signs of a style rut?

  • One of most recognisable signs is that you just don’t feel good about the clothes you have, so you end up wearing the same boring pieces all the time. You also find yourself not being creative, and putting thought into your outfits becomes too much of a chore for you.
  • The second sign is that when you find something you feel comfortable in, you buy as many pieces of it as you can, without questioning why – regardless of the quality and whether it fits your fashion style or not.
  • The third sign is when you start to hate shopping, and you only buy from one trusted brand that you have been buying from for ages.
  • The final sign is that you stay in your sports outfit (which could be your leggings and sport bra) the whole day – even when you are not exercising – just because it’s easy and comfortable.

If you recognise yourself in more than one of these signs, then it’s time to do something about it, starting with the following four tips. After all, life’s too short to wear boring clothes!

1. Learn to Let Go

Always start from your closet. Do a closet edit and be honest about each piece you have. If it doesn’t make you happy, get rid of it. Be strict when it comes to this. If you can’t ask for help from a wardrobe stylist, it is important to carry out this step without mistakes.

2. Change Your Old Habits

A style rut means stagnation in what you have been doing without any changes. Consider your hairstyle, for instance. Why not book an appointment with your hairdresser and talk your concerns through? Together, decide on a new haircut or colour – or both! How about your makeup and skincare routine? You could stand to benefit from some changes. Maybe add a new colour of lipstick? Or even get some new accessories?

3. Learn to Shop Differently

As a stylist and personal shopper, my clients often say that they hate shopping for various reasons and, mostly, it’s because they don’t want to be lost in a pile of clothes not knowing what to buy. I recommend starting your shopping trip at your closet. Take those pants or that skirt that you love wearing most, and try to find a top or shirt and a pair of shoes to go with it. If you don’t have any, shop only for those specific items. This way, you can avoid the overwhelming feeling of getting lost between store racks. Slowly, you can even build a new wardrobe with this plan.

4. Gym Clothes Are Only for the Gym

The last thing you should do is to go for errands in your sports outfit. It is important to know that activewear is only for the gym or wherever you’re doing your workout for the day. Once that’s done, you should change into your favourite jeans-and-tee combo or pants. Leggings should never be worn as pants – that’s why they’re called leggings.

As a last word, don’t be ashamed when you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see. Know that only you can work on improving your image, but once you do, you’ll feel so much better.

Dzovig van Kleef is an Abu Dhabi-based personal stylist and the founder of Style Codes. Follow her on Instagram here.

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50-Something, but Make It Fashion

As Carrie & Co return to our screens, meet the Dubai women who personify #stylegoals.

It’s the TV show that changed the way we thought about fashion. And it’s back – well, almost. And Just Like That, the follow-up to Sex And the City, is set to make a return to the small screen this autumn. And while the actual release date of the first episode – which famously reunites Carrie, Charlotte, and Miranda, but not Samantha – is yet to be confirmed, what is certain is that every SATC fan worldwide will be OBSESSED with the minutiae of everything they wear 23 years after we first met them and fell in fashion love. 

Navigating New York City as 50-somethings (with a variety of partners/kids/baggage in tow according to behind-the-scenes snaps), Manhattan’s most famous friend group may well be older and wiser, but they’re no less fashion-obsessed than before. Setting social media alight with images of her awesome on-set outfits, star and executive producer Sarah Jessica Parker was pictured rocking numerous showstoppers: a shimmery purple Fendi Baguette (an upgrade to the beloved version stolen from Carrie on the street in Season 6), Celine Melody tri-buckle Mary Jane pumps, a bag from this year’s highly coveted Gucci x Balenciaga Aria collaboration, and a huge feathered headpiece (much like the one Carrie wore during her first attempt to marry Big). These are just four of the big-ticket items loudly dinging our fashion radars. 

Still mixing patterns and prints to dazzling effect and accenting her vintage finds with offbeat accessories, 56-year-old SJP is proof that Carrie (and indeed all of her friends, both old and new) have most definitely still got it. And why wouldn’t they? Would we have expected any less from the women who have always encouraged us to break fashion rules and wear whatever the heck we wanted whenever we wanted? Nuh-uh, honey. And despite the fact that SATC’s original costume designer Patricia Field is not a part of the reboot (passing the reigns on to protégée Molly Rogers and co-costume designer on the Sex and the City movies Danny Santiago), the sartorial legacy she created for Carrie & Co in their fledgling years remains firmly intact.

So what of our own city’s fabulous, 50-plus fashionistas? Well, there are plenty. Look around your average mall or restaurant, and it’s clear that Dubai has numerous exceptionally stylish older women, all of whom could give SJP and her NYCgal pals a run (or maybe a fast walk, heels permitting) for their money. Below, we meet three who you should follow immediately – your wardrobes can thank us later.

WHO?

Caroline Labouchere

AGE?

57

FROM?

England

OCCUPATION?

Model and ambassador

FOLLOW HER AT?

@carolinelabouchere

How would you describe your personal style?

Definitely classic – I do love a bit of monochrome. Colour scares me a little.

When did your love affair with fashion begin?

I’ve loved fashion forever. I used to cut and drape fabric around my body when I was young to create outfits. They looked great on the outside, but my finishing left a lot to be desired. 

What’s your signaturestyle?

I almost always wear a belt.

Whose style inspires you?

Susi Rejano rarely gets it wrong, and I love Queen Letizia of Spain’s look.

What makes a woman stylish to you?

Possibly being subtle with trends – showing that you know what’s going on in the world of fashion, but remaining classic. 

How would you describe your style uniform?

Ballet flats, jeans, and a long- or short-sleeved T-shirt.

Can you share your favouritedesigners or places to shop?

I’m finding brands I had never heard of before that I absolutely love – Dea Kudibal, Michael Kors, Mr Mood, Me and Em, and Wear Commando are just a few.

How has your styleevolved over the years?

My style is more capsulated – I know what works and I make fewer mistakes. I also now have some key designer pieces that can be dressed up and down.

What’s your take on sustainable style choices?

I definitely don’t visit high street shops as much as I used to. And my daughter Mimi and I wear each other’s clothes, too, so that adds another layer to my fashion sustainability.

What’s your ultimate style no-no?

Cut-off trousers – it doesn’t matter what shape you are, they look awful. 

What are your five style rules to live by?

  1. Less is more.
  2. Boobs or legs.
  3. Wear comfortable shoes to the mall.
  4. Make sure your shoes are well-heeled.
  5. Always wear a belt with your jeans.

What are the key items that every woman should own?

Belts, white shirts, straight and bootleg jeans.

What are the three pieces in your wardrobe you couldn’t live without?

A sun hat, a good long cardigan, and my black pleather leggings.  

What’s the best piece of style advice that you can give?

Take one thing off before you leave the house.

What’s the worst fashion mistake you’ve ever made?

Can’t think of any!

Which local brands/designers do you love?

Ezra Couture and Master Elliott.

Which Sex and the City character’s style do you most associate with and why?

None of them!

WHO?

Emma Sawko

AGE?

51

FROM?

France

OCCUPATION?

Founder/owner of Comptoir 102 and Wild & The Moon

FOLLOW HER AT?

@emmasawko

How would you describe your personal style? 

Parisian, sunny, feminine, rock, cool.

When do you think your love affair with fashion began? 

I can’t remember exactly. I feel it was always here. I remember my friends telling me I should work in fashion, and I was still in middle school…

What’s your signaturestyle?

I have a seashell necklace that I bought in New York and kept ever since and, because I am working part-time in Dubai, I always wear a tan and a smile in the midst of the Parisian winter. My signaturestyle is called “summer in my heart”. 

Whose style inspires you?

I love Caroline de Maigret’s French style, Alexa Chung’s British style, and Leandra Medine Cohen’s crazy New Yorker style – but I have my own.

What makes a woman stylish to you?

Kindness, good posture, and manners. 

How would you describe your style uniform?

I used to wear heels more often, but having to run between meetingsall day, I gave them up and adopted sneakers and jeans. I try to make up for it with nice tops.  

Can you share your favouritedesigners or places to shop? 

I never go shopping. I am a buyer for my concept store, Comptoir 102 in Dubai, and I do so during the fashion weeks. I only buy what I love and would wear myself, and therefore inevitably end up buying from my own shop. I like Isabel Marant, Forte Forte, Raquel Allegra, and Ulla Johnson the most.

How has your style evolved over the years?

Even if I always loved fashion, I suppose my style evolved a little when I became a buyer as I had to develop a keen eye. When you shop for yourself, you may be more impulsive and sometimes make mistakes. But if you shop for others, you need to think about what will work, what will look good on your clients, and what style you want to convey. 

Getting older, however, didn’t change the way I dress. Society expects women to hide their ageing bodies – what is totally acceptable for a 20-year-old girl (showing legs or shoulders, for example) becomes more and more ‘ridiculous’ or ‘shameless’ as she ages. Youth is prized, wrinkly knees and bat wings not so much. It’s very sad because getting older is wonderful. Being faithful to your style and who you are, dressing the way you feel like? That is important. 

What’s your take onon sustainable style choices?

Sustainability has always been a concern and, as a buyer, I do take responsibility. We curate brands that work ethically – some because they are supporting women with financial independence in small communities, others because they chose to use ecological materials. As the market slowly opens to these values, we started scouting for green brands and recently introduced collabs with 100% ecological and vegan brands.

What’s your ultimate style no-no?

I have three. Classic leather handbags – especially those with ostentatious branding or logos all over – worn in the elbow crease are a bad idea. You can’t pretend you have something important or meaningful to do when you have a pink leather bag hanging from your elbow, nor can you look cool with your arm perpetually bent at a 90-degree angle. ‘French’ manicures are not French and look tacky. Total looks and trying too hard are the worst enemy of style.

What are your five style rules to live by?

  1. Wearing something that fits you rather than the latest trend. 
  2. Mixing low-key pieces with more sophisticated ones.
  3. Your clothes and shoes need to be comfortable because painful feet show on your face.
  4. Your style must reflect your personality – don’t try to look like somebody else.
  5. Recycle, re-use, or donate.

What are the key items that every woman should own

There is no such thing. Every woman should wear exactly what she loves and what she feels comfortable in. I suppose 20 years ago, the answer would have been “a little black dress” or “a pair of Manolos”, but we can live without a LBD or a pair of signature heels. In fact, the people we admire most for their styles are often non-conformists. 

What are the three pieces in your wardrobe you couldn’t live without? 

I only have two: a good pair of jeans and some cool sneakers. 

What’s the best piece of style advice that you can give?

Don’t be scared to develop your own style. Wear clothes that make you feel beautiful. Don’t obey fashion and society’s diktats.

What’s the worst fashion mistake you’ve ever made?

Each time I tried to go out of my own style. But at 51, I don’t do that anymore. No matter the circumstances, I never overdress. 

Which Sex and the City character’s style do you most associate with and why?

These girls are real New Yorkers with hairdos, perfect nails, designer bags, and heels. It’s harder for a Parisian like me to associate with that, but Carrie in her ballet skirt and wild hair looked amazing.

WHO?

Silke Styles 

AGE?

56

FROM?

Germany

OCCUPATION?

Personal stylist

FOLLOW HER AT?

@silke_styles

How would you describe your personal style? 

Casual creative with a Scandi twist.

When do you think your love affair with fashion began?

At a very young age, probably in my teens.

What’s your signaturestyle

Less is more!

Whose style inspires you? 

Jenna Lyons.

What makes a woman stylish to you? 

When she wears outfits that reflect her style personality.

How would you describe your style uniform?

In Dubai, I like to wear wide-leg trousers with a button-down shirt and most probably sneakers.

Can you share your favouritedesigners or places to shop?

Usually second-hand stores, sustainable fashion. Sometimes COS and & Other Stories.

How has your styleevolved over the years?

It has changed a lot over the years as I’m not a trend-follower anymore. I need my wardrobe to function for me and my current lifestyle, so practicality, comfort, and nice fabrics are key.

What’s your take onon sustainable style choices

I’m trying to make more sustainable fashion choices, and wear items that I already own by styling them in different ways. I know it’s a journey, but small steps will get us there. I believe this is the future for the fashion industry. I’m a big supporter of slow and sustainable brands here in the UAE and always on the lookout for new brands to recommend to my clients. I’m very excited that now we are starting to have more second-hand choices as well as renting fashion.

What’s your ultimate style no-no? 

When you’re not yourself.

What are your style rules to live by?  

Discover your style personality, find your colours and body shape, and just experiment and have fun.

What are the key items that every woman should own

There is no rule that applies to everyone since we come in all sizes and shapes and our daily routines are so different. A perfect outfit is something that underlines your inner beauty and makes you feel fabulous. It can be a very elegant dress or the perfect pair of sandals. 

What are the three pieces in your wardrobe you couldn’t live without? 

Sneakers, blazers, linen shirts.

What’s the best piece of style advice that you can give?

Be authentic and true to yourself.

What’s the worst fashion mistake you’ve ever made? 

Ha ha, too many – that’s why I studied to become a stylist! But I guess neon leggings?

Which local brands/designers do you love? 

So many, and they are all slow and sustainable fashion brands: @emiliaohrtmannofficial, @by.m.a.r.y, @goshopia_official, @mykaftan, @onlyethikal, and @f_l_o_r_e_n_c_eowens just to name a few.

Which Sex and the City character’s style do you most associate with and why? 

Can I pick two? Carrie and Miranda.

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Your Back-to-Work Wardrobe, Sorted

Regardless of where your desk is…

Now that a return to the office is an actual thing, women across the UAE are thinking about something they haven’t even considered for a while: what to wear to work. After months at home with just a laptop for company and only a fraction of presentability required for video calls, the traditional conventions of office attire have been, well, reworked. With hybrid working – spending part of the workweek in the office, part at home – now seen as a post-pandemic norm, you need a hybrid wardrobe to match. Yes, comfort is still key à la 2020, but boring office outfits are a no-no in 2021. Need some inspiration? Here are five fab outfit suggestions for your first (super stylish) week back at work.

SUNDAY: THE CUTE SUIT

Oversized double-breasted blazer, ZARA

Wide-leg trousers, ZARA

Sleeveless knit top, ZARA

High-heel sandals, ZARA 

Earrings, TOGA ARCHIVES at H&M

MONDAY: THE MONOCHROME MOMENT

Mini dress, MANGO

Over-the-knee boots TOGA ARCHIVES, H&M

Bracelets, ZARA

Handheld flap detail bag, NEXT

TUESDAY: THE ALL-NUDE ENSEMBLE

Sleeveless sweater, GANNI at MATCHESFASHION

Tapered trousers, NOON BY NOOR

Crossbody bag, ZARA

Canvas mules, Chelsea Paris at SHOPBOP

Resin bangle, Dries Van Noten at NET-A-PORTER 

WEDNESDAY: THE SUPER-SHARP SEPARATES

Oversized shirt, TOGA ARCHIVES at H&M

Scarf-detail trousers, TOGA ARCHIVES at H&M – Available September 2

Leather clutch bag, Sabyasachi at HM.COM

Two-tone heels, BOSS HUGO BOSS (in stores only)

Chain Earrings, Laura Lombardi at NET-A-PORTER

THURSDAY: THE WEEKEND’S HERE MAXI

Maxi dress, LEEM 

Leather sneakers, BY FAR

Earrings, Ben Amun at THE OUTNET 

Gold-plated ring, Leda Madera at NET-A-PORTER

Leather bag, STRATHBERRY 

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meghan markle smiling

5 Times Meghan Markle Defied Convention

And looked fabulous doing it.

Love her or love to hate her, Meghan Markle is a trailblazer through and through. Long before she made headlines for stepping back from her role in the British royal family in January 2020 and ‘that’ bombshell of an Oprah Winfrey interview earlier this year, she set tongues wagging purely as a result of her sartorial choices – who can forget the “revenge wardrobe” that she put together for all her final royal outings? Today, as she turns the big 4-0, we’re looking back at the five times she defied convention, bypassing the royal dress code and dancing to her own tune. How many of these do you remember?

1. Ripped Jeans

September 2017

According to the royal dress code, jeans are considered too casual for events and appearances, so ripped jeans are simply a big no-no. But that didn’t stop Meghan from wearing a white shirt and ripped jeans during her first ever public appearance with Prince Harry at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto. Cue the first of many shockwaves.


2. Bare Legs

November 2017

Committing her first fashion faux pas before even marrying her prince, the royal rule-breaker went sans pantyhose during her engagement photocall in November 2017. Kate Middleton, on the other hand, is all about super-sheer hosiery – she allegedly sports the Barely There Non-Slip Tights variety from John Lewis.

3. Suit Up

February 2018

Royal protocol dictates that female senior family members don’t wear trousers to official engagements, but Meghan frequently broke this tradition, too – and looked super stylish in the process. She chose to wear an Alexander McQueen suit to the Endeavour Awards in 2018, completing her look with a pair of pumps and a pussy-bow blouse. Even the colour of the suit was deemed inappropriate, but more on that later.

4. Something Sleeveless

July 2018

Sleeveless dresses aren’t normally spotted on royals, but the duchess has sported the sleeveless trench dress on more than one occasion – including when she and Prince Harry introduced their son, Archie, to the world back in May 2019. Clearly, Meghan has always been a fan of this silhouette. She wore it to the Nelson Mandela Centenary Exhibition in London in July 2018 and then again in October 2019, this time during a public engagement in Johannesburg.

5. All Black

September 2018

When it comes to the British royal family, the colour black is generally reserved for funerals and mourning periods, but Meghan has defied this norm repeatedly. Interestingly, she made headlines for not one, but two different reasons when she made her first ever solo appearance in September 2018. Not only did she wear a black dress – a stunning, sheer-sleeved number by Givenchy – but she also closed her own car door, causing a stir with this simple act. Gasp!

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A girl in swimsuit sleeping on wooden floor

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 literally can’t be without because of its versatility: an amazing swimsuit. Heck, you don’t just swim and sunbathe 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 swimsuit 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 a one-piece wonder this summer since there are so many super-cool cossies out there. Here’s our top 10…

Multicoloured Emma swimsuit, MARA HOFFMAN 

Green pintuck plunge swimsuit, NEXT 

Ribbed one-shoulder swimsuit, NEXT 

Lilac belted swimsuit, SOLID & STRIPED @THE OUTNET

Red underwired swimsuit, MAGDA BUTRYM @NET-A-PORTER

Jamaica one-shoulder swimsuit, MELISSA ODABASH @MYTHERESA

Black scalloped swimsuit, MANGO

Striped high-leg swimsuit, H&M

Positano logo swimsuit, TOTEME @MYTHERESA

Charlotte lace-up swimsuit, OYE SWIMWEAR @THEOUTNET

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The Best of Dubai Summer Surprises 2021

This won’t break the bank.

Everyone’s favourite part of Dubai’s scorching summer is Dubai Summer Surprises – a.k.a. 10 weeks of flash sales, major discounts, and events that will have you OOTD-ready for a fraction of the price. Here, we’ve rounded up the best of what this summer festival has to offer. Ready, set, shop!

SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker

Calling all Carrie Bradshaw wannabes! Now you can dress like pop culture’s biggest fashion icon for a fraction of the price as SJP’s bright and playful shoe brand is offering hefty discounts – up to 80% at that.

SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker boutiques are located at The Dubai Mall, The Galleria Al Maryah Island, and Yas Mall

Bauhaus 

Bauhaus is home to the hottest streetwear brands from the underground scene, and you can now enjoy a whopping 70% off selected items. This achingly hip boutique stocks exclusive pieces from niche brands, all of which will see you one step ahead of the fashion pack.

Bauhaus is located at The Dubai Mall and The Galleria Al Maryah Island

Club Apparel x 6thStreet

Want huge savings on some of the hottest brands in the world without leaving your house? Head to 6thStreet with brands like Aldo, Birkenstock, Adidas, Nike, Sketchers, Tommy Hilfiger, Lactose, Guess – the list goes on – at 60% off! 

Get up to 60% off selected items, www.6thstreet.com 

The Face Shop

Fashion isn’t the only thing on sale this DSS – Soko beauty brand The Face Shop is joining the festivities. Everything from skincare essentials to makeup, fragrances, and hair care is up to 50% off.

Get up to 50% off all products, The Face Shop is located at The Dubai Mall and Ibn Battuta Mall

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Maria Tash ear piercing in Dubai

The Lowdown on Getting Pierced, Inside

Lend us your ears…

Gwyneth Paltrow’s ears have been adorned with some of the most magnificent jewellery in the world, she has revealed that her ear candy obsession goes way beyond wearing a statement hoop (or three) when she’s on the red carpet. Unveiling Goop’s debut jewellery collection G.Label earlier this month, the 48-year-old actress announced that she and her daughter Apple have a “little tradition” of getting a new piercing every year on the teenager’s birthday – and considering Apple turned 17 this May, that’s a pretty impressive number of holes that Gwyneth’s rocking on her A-list ears.

But she’s not alone in her penchant for multiple piercings. The ultra-adorned earlobe has emerged as one of the hottest fashion status symbols of the last five years, making the classic mono-piercing a most telling sign of being achingly uncool. But unlike other fashion capitals, finding somewhere to get an ear piercing in Dubai was a (w)hole lot of hassle – until fairly recently, that is. In fact, curating a Paltrow-perfect display is now easily doable. But where should you go to show your lobes some love? Find our list of go-to places for ear (and elsewhere!) piercings in Dubai, below.

ear piercing

Maria Tash

Where?

The Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates

How Much Does It Cost?

Earlobe piercing starts at AED 130.

The Lowdown

Maria Tash is the global destination for luxury piercing, and following the launch of her debut boutique at The Dubai Mall in 2019, the piercing guru has just opened a new store at Mall of the Emirates. Featuring private piercing rooms and a women’s-only lounge, both boutiques offer styling, piercing, check-ups for old piercings, consultations for new ones, and an array of incredible ear candy. Boasting an extensively trained team of expert female piercers, Maria Tash is known as a pioneer in the industry, providing super-personalised experience and encouraging clients to express themselves through jewellery. 

Is It Just Ear Piercings?

Nope! Lips, noses, navels, and other body parts can be pierced, too.

Get in Touch

Call 04 881 7885. 

Kyra

Where?

Building 2, Gold & Diamond Park

How Much Does It Cost?

Prices start at AED 165 for ear piercing, including a standard ear stud.

The Lowdown

Kyra is the only licensed specialty clinic offering piercing services in the UAE, using only its own jewellery in the process. Piercings are done free of charge with every purchase of its specially designed sterile and hypoallergenic pieces, and piercings are performed using the ‘Inverness Safe Piercing System’ that features fully enclosed capsules, which avoids the piercing jewellery from being exposed to potential contaminants. It can also provide needle piercings for those who prefer a manual piercing using a sterile single-use needle. There’s an array of jewellery pieces to choose from – medical-grade surgical steel and 18-karat gold solid styles included.

Is It Just Ear Piercings?

You can have your ears, eyebrows, nose, and navel pierced at Kyra.

Get in Touch

Call 04 340 6868.

N.Sefi

Where?

Building 4, Dubai Design District

How Much Does It Cost?

Earlobe piercing starts at AED 130.

The Lowdown

Tucked away in one of the city’s coolest neighbourhoods, N.Sefi Jewellery & Piercings is the go-to for fashion-savvy types. Established in 2019, its luxury jewellery is made between Dubai and Italy using diamonds and precious gemstones set in 18-karat gold with the intention of being stacked, layered, mixed, and matched. Strict legal guidelines are in place, so you have to meet a minimum age requirement for certain piercings. Clients who are at least 18 years or older must provide their ID for any service from piercers. Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a legal guardian, and both child and legal guardian must have a valid ID or equivalent on hand. And if their last names are different? Proof of guardianship must also be presented.

Is It Just Ear Piercings?

You can pierce lots of different areas at N.Sefi – not just your ears.  

Get in Touch

Make your enquiries here

Mediclinic Welcare Hospital

Where?

Garhoud

How Much Does It Cost?

Ear piercing is priced at AED 120.

The Lowdown

The Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery department of Mediclinic Welcare Hospital offers an ear piercing service in its non-surgical office using a sterilised piercing gun. 

Is It Just Ear Piercings?

Yes, just ears.

Get in Touch

Call 04 282 7788.

Armada Clinic

Where?

Armada Tower 2, JLT

How Much Does It Cost?

Ear piercing starts at AED 129.

The Lowdown

A registered nurse will pierce your ears in a medical setting using sterile instruments and nickel-free, medical-grade earrings. 

Is It Just Ear Piercings?

Only ear piercing is available here.

Get in Touch

Call 04 399 0022.

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Why It’s Time for an All-White Ensemble

Anyone for tennis?

Wimbledon, the most famous tennis tournament in the world, begins today. And while UAE tennis fans may not be able to get to the hallowed courts to watch this year’s matches – not only are we still on the red list, but access is just about as elusive as securing a golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory – we can still obsess over the fashion from afar. So what better way to celebrate one of the best things about British summertime than getting dressed in the finest Wimbledon-inspired whites we can find?

Check Out The Gaggler’s 15 to Love… Get It?

Mini cream croc bag, AED 1,815 BY FAR at Net A Porter

Crew neck sweater, AED 399, Banana Republic

Sweatpants, AED 399, Banana Republic

Arizona leather mono croc slides, AED 749, Birkenstock at 6thstreet.com

Arizona

Cat-eye sunglasses, AED 1,265 Loewe at Net A Porter

Denim jumpsuit, AED 249, Mango

Pleated palazzo pants, AED 199, Mango

Linen shorts, AED 169, Mango

Reebok x Danielle Guizio sneakers, AED 549 at levelshoes.com

Poly Parka, AED 1,600, Tommy Hilfiger 

Box pleat jumpsuit dress, AED 149, Zara

Slingback, AED 99, Zara

Gathered halter top, AED 149, Zara

Belted dress, AED 249, Mango

Cutout shirt, AED 199, Zara

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