A woman sitting on chair

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.


Oversized double-breasted blazer, ZARA

Wide-leg trousers, ZARA

Sleeveless knit top, ZARA

High-heel sandals, ZARA 

Earrings, TOGA ARCHIVES at H&M


Mini dress, MANGO

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

Bracelets, ZARA

Handheld flap detail bag, NEXT


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 


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


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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how to use Use Salicylic Acid

This Skincare Ingredient Can Work Wonders

But only if you use it right.

If you suffer from oily or breakout-prone skin, you probably will have heard of salicylic acid, the magical ingredient that can fight acne, clear skin, and dissolve oil. Salicylic acid is also known as a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) and is derived from willow bark. In skincare, there are two groups of acids: AHAs (alpha hydroxy acid) and BHAs (beta hydroxy acid) – and both exfoliate the skin. 

Many people make mistakes in skincare – skincare experts and aestheticians included. When I first learned of salicylic acid, I overused it and damaged my skin barrier. Now I know better, so here’s what you need to know to not make the same mistake as me!

What’s the Difference Between AHA and BHA?

BHA is oil-soluble and can penetrate through pores and decongested dead skin and oil that may be stuck there, whereas AHA cannot as it is water-soluble. AHA works on the surface of the skin by removing dead skin and revealing new skin, while BHA works on a deeper level by decongesting clogged pores.

What Does Salicylic Acid Do?

Salicylic acid breaks down the bonds between skin cells that act like glue holding the skin together. It can also dissolve skin debris that clogs pores. Some of its pros and cons include:


  • It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
  • It effectively treats blackheads and whiteheads. 
  • It exfoliates surfaces and inside pores.
  • It reduces excessive oiliness.


  • Overuse can cause sensitivity and skin dryness.
  • It could cause a burning or stinging sensation.
  • It could lead to dry or flaky skin.

How Should You Use Salicylic Acid?

I recommend ignoring what the label says and using salicylic acid as needed because when it comes to skin, one size does not fit all. Some products recommend using it daily in the morning and at night, which can work great for certain skin types, but it can be too irritating for others and may sensitise the skin. 

I would recommend incorporating the acid into your routine two to three evenings a week, and then building it up gradually. If it is a cleanser-based salicylic acid, start by using it in the morning. And if it is a cream or oil-based cleanser, start by using it in the evening. You could even begin with a salicylic cleanser and slowly introduce salicylic serum as and when you need it. In the case of salicylic acid serums, you can use it as a spot treatment in areas where it’s necessary, such as for blackheads or whiteheads.

However, if you have acne or cystic acne, benzoyl peroxide may be a better alternative for you as it is more anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, though ongoing use can cause ageing and damage to the skin, so make sure you consult a professional aesthetician or dermatologist. As always, make sure to use sunscreen, and avoid using it on the same day as when you’re applying retinol. Salicylic acid is also a salicylate, which is part of the aspirin family, so you should avoid it if you have any allergies to aspirin.

Shop the Story


SA Smoothing Cleanser, Cerave

SA Smoothing Cleanser, Cerave

This cleanser by Cerave effectively exfoliates and and promotes radiance. Its key ingredients include salicylic acid, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and vitamin D. It can improve skin texture, reduce oiliness and blackheads, and smoothen and hydrate your skin. I love that it doesn’t make your skin feel tight or stripped of its natural oils

Tip: If you don’t usually use a foam cleanser, alternate with a cream-, oil-, or, balm-based cleanser until you get used to it. 

Skinceuticals Blemish + Age Cleansing Gel

Blemish + Age Cleanser, Skinceuticals 

This cleanser by Skinceuticals can help prime your skin prior to professional in-clinic skin rejuvenating treatments. It can remove excess oil, accelerate skin surface exfoliation, smooth irregularities, and brighten the skin. Its key ingredients include glycolic and salicylic acid.

Tip: If you lather this up and leave it on for five minutes whilst in the bath or shower, it also acts as a mini exfoliating mask.


Skinceuticals Blemish and Age Defence

Blemish + Age Defense, Skinceuticals

This oil-free face serum reduces the formation of acne and clogged pores, while improving the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone. Its key ingredients include 2% dioic acid with an alpha- and beta-hydroxy acid formulation. It does tingle when applied on your skin, which is to be expected. You can spot-treat areas with it, whether it’s breakouts or blackheads, but it will cause drying and flaking if used in excess.

Tip: Follow this serum with a moisturiser with ceramides to lock in the moisture and avoid crusting when applied to breakouts.

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, Paula’s Choice

This is a great product if you’re unsure at first as it comes in two different sizes. It can improve redness, breakouts, blackheads, and enlarged pores while exfoliating dead skin cells, smoothing wrinkles, and evening out the skin tone – all while being gentle enough for sensitive skin with the perfect 2% of salicylic acid (the maximum for at-home use). It also contains green tea, which can do wonders for your skin. 

Tip: Don’t use this on cotton pads as it wastes the product, while also making it more abrasive. It’s best to gently tap it in with your fingers. 

Liquid Exfoliant Pads

Zo Skin Health Complexion Renewal Pads

Complexion Renewal Pads, Zo Skin Health 

These pads act as dual-action exfoliators that remove dead skin cells to prevent clogged pores and reduce oiliness. Additionally, it can also calm and soothe irritated or inflamed skin, and provide a clearer complexion. Its key ingredients include glycolic acid and 2% salicylic acid. I love that this product is made for us lazy girls as it’s so easy to use. Initially, I wouldn’t use these twice a day (as stated) as it could be too much for your skin, so start by using it two to three times a week, and take it from there.

Tip: These come in a pack of 60 and are pricey, but you can cut them in half and double your use. If you’re using them every few days, they will last about three months. Another hack: tip the tub upside down occasionally so that the serum is fully absorbed into the pad. The pads do actually come with a lot of serum, but you can sometimes squeeze them a little so that when you’re done, you have some extra serum to use at the bottom of the container.


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A woman posing in a black dress

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.


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


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


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


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


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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A woman applying lipstick

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.


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


“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


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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Red and yellow gift boxes

Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Your BFFs

Empty cart? Fret not.

Stop whatever you’re doing and take a deep breath – help is here. If you, like many of us, have a talent in poor organisation, you probably forgot to get all your gifts wrapped and ready to go. Fret not, The Gaggler has done your homework for you, putting together this last-minute gift guide to save you from any further anxiety.

For the Girl at the Centre of All-Night Revelry   

You know that one girl who’s always the life of the party? The one who’s the star of cocktail-fuelled adventures and countless other blurry escapades? This look is her. Gift her this striking corset dress or help her complement something similar in her closet with our recommended accessories – the statement red lipstick and seductive scent will also not go unappreciated! 

Gift Ideas for BFF
Kat & Sage

Rana Dark-Red Corset Dress, Kat & Sage

Steve Madden

Grade-R Gold, Steve Madden

By Kilian

The Dawn White Snake Clutch, By Kilian

Maison Margiela

Replica By the Fireplace, Maison Margiela

CZ By Kenneth Jay Lane

Teardrop Necklace, CZ By Kenneth Jay Lane

Agatha Paris

Earrings with Hallowed Paved D, Agatha Paris


Sephora Rouge Matte, SEPHORA

H & M

Sunset Bronze Nail Polish, H&M


Phone Ring Light, Typo

For the Beach Babe Who’s Never Far from the Sea   

If you want to find her, you don’t even need to think twice about where she might be – this BFF is all about the sun, the sand, the waves. She likes to take things one at a time, stepping away from the hustle and bustle of city life by connecting with nature. Gift her a colourful bikini, a simple cover-up, and pink sunglasses for her next day at the beach. Alternatively, treat her to the essentials: sunscreen, a bright-yellow hat, and an easy and entertaining read to keep her company.

beach costume

Full Bloom Sliding Tri Top & String Pant, Piha


White Roached Bikini Cover-Up, Elivana


Woven Straw Effect Bag, Kiabi


Matte Gold & Brown Gradient Caligola Sunglasses, SPEKTRE


Photoderm MAX Body Sunscreen Spray SPF 50, Bioderma

Bare Essentials

Wide Brim Hat, Bare Essentials


You Saint Tropez Beige, Havaianas

Sally Rooney

Normal People, Sally Rooney


Golden Chain Charms Bracelet, Desigual 

For the Girl Boss, Reincarnated 

This queen is stylish, confident, and always put together. When she’s not checking off things on her to-do list and assessing her upcoming goals, you can find her plotting her next venture. Gift this casual overachiever with a lustrous stretch-silk satin top matched with an eye-catching deep-green blazer to effortlessly pair with jeans. Prefer to gift accessories? Sleek slip-on trainers and a spacious pebbled bag will leave your girl boss BFF ready to conquer the world while being comfortable and fashionable.

girl boss BFF

Blazer with Rolled-Up Sleeves, Zara

Annine Bing

Sylvia Stretch-Silk Satin Halterneck, Anine Bing


Slim Fit Super Stretch Jeans, Gant


 Brown Pebbled Shopper Bag, Mango


Basal Leather Slip-On Trainers, Primury 


Attract Necklace, Swarovski 

Ted Baker

Sinaa Pearl Stud Earrings, Ted Baker


Kate Cat-Eye Sunglasses, SAINT LAURENT


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A lady in grey shirt and blue jeans

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.


Caroline Labouchere






Model and ambassador



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!


Emma Sawko






Founder/owner of Comptoir 102 and Wild & The Moon



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.


Silke Styles 






Personal stylist



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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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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Girls walking with shopping bags

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 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


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. 



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.



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



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


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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