Monday, March 30, 2009

what to wear at a wedding?

I have been obsessed with weddings for a long time now. Maybe the reason of my obsession lays in the fact that I did not get to celebrate my wedding. On my wedding day, I was shopping in Shibuya with a dear friend. I was wearing jeans and sweater. During the night, I had a nice dinner with my husband and that was it.
I always dreamed of having a wedding ceremony during which I would wear a beautiful dress. I even designed several in the past. Unfortunately this dream did not come true.
Now that I am hitched- and probably do not have the opportunity to get hitched again-my obsession has shifted from wanting a wedding ceremony to just wanting to be part of a wedding ceremony for the following reasons:
1- As I mentioned in early entries, my life is very plain. I usually do not go out or attend events.I do not get to dress up or wear fancy attire very often. In fact, the last time, I was at a formal event- except my brother in law wedding- was a year ago. Therefore, imagine my excitement when I get invited to a wedding or other formal gathering.
2- Weddings are so full or rituals and traditions. They bind two families together, and invite the entire society to witness it. I am not a big fan of traditions, but I can get pretty emotional when they are showcased during a wedding.
3- I enjoy sharing the love and happiness that takes place during a wedding. Everyone invited is supposed to be happy for the bride and groom. And I just want to be part of this enormous showcase of love.

As part of my obsession, I always think about what I should be wearing if I was to be invited to a wedding. Before deciding to wear the Hijab, I would definitely have opted for a knee length flowery dress with spaghetti strips and a shawl to drape over my shoulders. For me, a dress is the perfect attire for a wedding. It can make a statement without being too over the top. I understand that in western countries, wearing a dress for a wedding is the dress code. However, I do know that it is not the case for other places. For example in my country, like in may African countries as well, people opt for their traditional attire. Nowadays the traditional attire has a modern twist to it or inspiration from different horizons such as the middle east or India. That is why, if I were to be invited to a wedding now, I would definitely wear an Abbaya or Kaftan with lots of embroidery. Both styles are very lovely, flowy and can be simple or sophisticated. Yet they are very easy to wear. They do go perfectly with Hijabs.

Kaftans and Abbayas:





I would complement the look with a gold clutch ( I love gold), golden sandals and golden jewelry such as a cocktail ring, a bangle and a necklace. (If the Kaftan or Abbaya has a nice neckline embroidery, I do not recommend a necklace. Less is more)

Golden Clutch:
Nancy Gonzales Lezard Golden Clutch


Statement Heels:
Luichiny Satin Paisley sandals


Cocktail rings:



Bangles:
Yves Saint Laurant Ovale Bangle with stones


Multicolor Bangle


The idea is to get these accessories with colorful stones that mismatches or matches the Abbaya. The Hijab should be a different color from the Abbaya. And I could add a brooch to it, or just check for places that make or sell special Hijabs for ceremonies.


For all this planning, I have no idea when I will get to be invited to another wedding. yet it does not hurt to be prepared.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The search for the perfect Summer dress

Spring is in the air. Spring break- or broke depending on your wallet- already started. People are getting wild with their clothing, wearing short shorts and tank tops all over the city, and preparing to hit Galveston beach despite Hurricane Ike damages.
Spring has a different meaning for me. It means that I need to put away my winter clothes and update my wardrobe. And the best way to start updating it is to look for the perfect Summer dress.
Growing up as a tomboy, I never had a serious interest in dresses. Sure when I was a child, I wanted a princess dress but that obsession disappeared when I hit puberty. By then, my body was going through so many changes that I wanted to hide my newly found curves instead of flaunting them. I used to wear baggy jeans and baggy shirts all the time. My annoyed mothers made sure that I still own several dresses for special occasions like my Christian cousins first communions. But I was still not into them.
My obsession with dresses started a couple of years ago. One day, I woke up and realized that my closet was full of jeans and pants. I did not have a single dress to my name, except a velvety gown that one of my elders gave me. It was a beautiful gown but I never had the chance to wear it, because it was only for special occasions. Back in those days, I was still in college, using my bicycle to commute. Therefore, it was hard-even though not impossible- to bike around in a floor length skirt or dress.
Now that I was in a new university that did not require me to bike around, I thought I could get used to wearing dresses and skirts. So I started my quest for the perfect dress. I was not very picky back then. I just needed something floral, or colorful enough. The material did not matter. I just wanted it to fit me properly. Therefore, I bought myself several dresses in different materials and shapes. And two years later, I only wore one. The rest of them keep being exposed in my closet.

The reasons why they kept being exposed in my closet and not on myself were the following:
- first of all, they were sleeveless dresses. I do not have anything against sleeveless dresses. But being conscious of my body, I do not like to walk around exposing the girls to the entire world. Therefore, I found that I needed something to cover the upper part of the dress with, which I did not have at the time.
- second, the material was not very suitable for hot weathers. I bought some dresses in polyester which tends to attract heat.
-third, some of them were to dressy to be worn casually. Moreover I did not have any important event to showcase them.

That is why, I decided that I needed to put more focus into my search for the perfect summer dress. And maybe that is why I still have not found it yet. I want something floral, in bold prints, or bold geometric. I need the dress to be empire waist so that I can hide my love handles. I would also prefer for the skirt of the dress to be full and floor length. On top of that, the fabric needs to be in cotton and machine washable. Finally, some sleeves would not kill, but I can leave without them since I found the perfect cover up.

Since the beginning of this month, I went looking for that really perfect Summer dress in all my fave places (Ross, Wetseal, Old Navy, Tj Maxx, Marshalls, Forever 21).

I found these at Wetseal.com

A tie dye maxi dress in cotton for $29.50


and a floral dress in polyester and spandex for $32.50


Unfortunately I have not found exactly what I was looking for because either it did not fit me properly or it did fit but the price was too much for my wallet. After all, we are in recession. I did settle for a cotton black and white floral sleeveless floor length dress because it was almost near to my expectations. It cost me just about $17 and it is still sitting in my closet. I will have to wear it eventually on a sunny day for a walk at Herman Park or Galveston beach, who knows. I have not taken the tag out yet. I am still hoping to find my dream dress someday, then I would probably return the black and white dress.

Here are some looks that I love even though the price or fit may not be for me.

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