Hiya! A few of you were interested in a bit of a rundown of some of the dresses I’ve been wearing lately, especially whilst traveling, so attempting to provide some sort of ‘assistance’ if you will and/or suggestions for the next time you’re on the look out!


I think we’ve all been there at some point whilst trying to find something to wear [on holiday especially] which doesn’t require massive amounts of layering and still looks cutesy and modest-ish.

For those who have no idea what I’m on about, this is what I’m on about and what myself, and probably some of you mentally prep ourselves to look for whilst shopping.

Something that is:

  • light-weight
  • airy
  • not too sheer
  • not too thick
  • is it lined?
  • long sleeve or ¾ length (do I have to wear sleeves?)
  • length? (I’ve embraced my ankles but to each their own..I’m also quite tall so meh.)
  • that perfect neckline (not too low, not too suffocating)
  • cutesy (does it look cute? do I look good in it?!)
  • do I have a scarf that will go with this?

[if you’ve got others please share below lol]

I’ve personally never been a fan of sleeveless maxis just because they require so much effort to cover and often ruin whatever pretty detailing the neckline may have, and also slightly over throwing on a long sleeve over a maxi because that just looks like a top&skirt combo and so what was the point of the pretty dress then? [mind you I still do this sometimes, but def not my ‘go-to!’]

Some stores I’ve shopped at recently have been fantabulous with their pieces which require the least effort and tick all the boxes! Throw them over a pair of jeans (skinny, boyfriend, straight, whatever you’re comfortable with), tights, leggings, or bare if that’s cool with you, and you’ve got a look. Here are some of my kinda-sorta recent finds and places I’d definitely recommend looking for that ‘all-in-one’ piece!


I found these three at ‘& Other Stories’ and absolutely love loved the red dress! Bell sleeves and pockets, and an asymmetrical hemline, not to mention a gorgeous color and fit! Probably one of my faves for the summer!

I call this my tent dress mostly because it looks like a tent if I don’t draw the strings super tight lol and I lowkey also think that’s what it’s actually called..! This one didn’t come in my size and I didn’t want to risk not getting it, so picked up a size 14 and convinced myself the drawstring would make it fit. It kinda does, it kinda doesn’t lol but I love it regardless!

Don’t look at sizes when you’re shopping; I think this could be applied to any piece of clothing because each style is different and will fit differently once you wear it. Have a rough idea eg. the lowest I’ll go is an 8, the largest is a 16, maybe 18 if I want a massively oversized fit, but I wouldn’t recommend limiting your options solely based on something not being in your size. You might usually be a size 10, but a size 14 belted flatters your body a lot more or allows you to feel more comfortable etc etc etc. (you get it right?!)

H&M almost always has one or two pieces which aren’t as ‘standard’ for lack of a better word lol and those are pieces I prefer to grab. I wouldn’t say they’re super consistent, but worth popping into whenever you’re in the mall to see what’s going on! Their conscious collection is always my favorite! I grabbed this dress in the sale and was honestly attracted to the vintage-granny print on it. Turns out it was long sleeved, and long in length so picked it up asap!

Those maxi beach cover ups that always come out during the summer can almost always be modified to create a modest look and are perfect for the hot weather. Yes you’ll probably have to layer, but they’re often super thin so you’ll hardly notice.

I had seen this white cover up a few times and contemplated purchasing it to style as a dress but really really didn’t want to wear sleeves with it. A couple days prior to Jamaica I caved, mostly because there was one left on the shelf and it was a size 14 so figured we could go for an oversized loose-ish look if anything. Best decision ever! [potentially style them by going a couple sizes bigger and adding a belt!)

I always have a love/hate relationship with Forever21, not because I’m no longer 21 lol but because the quality isn’t the greatest, neither is the selection, but sometimes, veryyyyy rarely lol you’ll find one off pieces which can get the job done and I think if styled correctly, can easily transform the look of said piece.

I know this is meant to be dresses, but I also picked these trousers up at Forever21 prior to my Jordan trip as was on the lookout for something deserty-ish. These were high waisted with a cutesy wide belt and wide leg and the color and material fit the look I envisioned so yay me! -basically trying to make the point that you can find decent one-offs in F21 sometimes yall!

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This lovely jubly maxi was also from Forever 21 and I think might still be in stock! If I recall correctly it came in the yellow, a khakhi green and burnt orange. My instinct was to grab the orange, but I mentally knew I wanted a bright color to contrast against water so went for the yellow. This one has slits on the sides- nothing a safety pin can’t fix, and a bit of a lower neckline. I had a ¾ length white top with a neckline I was more comfortable with, so wore that under and threw on a necklace to somewhat hide/blend it all together, et voila! (use accessories to cover stuff you don’t really want to show!)

Topshop, Zara, ASOS and boohoo are other favorites which I like to pick pieces from so are always worth checking out!

I’d also suggest not looking for modest summer dresses or long length pieces only during the spring/summer. You’re bound to come across them during sales and other parts of the year and there’s nothing wrong with buying now and wearing later. Obviously provided you don’t spend an arm and a leg on it but again, your discretion lol I don’t like to spend more than 70$ on a piece unless it’s one of them ones I lose sleep over, but 40-70$ is usually my range I’d say and definitely a price point within which you can find something unique, of quality, and cutesy if you look hard enough.

Example: I randomly found myself in Dubai Marina Mall one day this summer and saw Koton had a sale. I remember seeing the name of the shop in Istanbul and not somewhere I’d usually shop at but went in anyways. Found this on sale for about $20, it was white which was a bonus, and I liked how it fit so got it, saved it until recently in Jamaica and felt like I’d cheated the system for finding a lovely piece at a lovely price lol (if you ever come across a white long sleeve dress, get it get it get it because it’ll come in handy one day!)

I suppose another helpful suggestion would be to be open to places you typically wouldn’t shop at because those tend to be the ones which surprise you the most. And because they might not be as mainstream as others, you’ll walk out with a piece or print that everyone and their mum isn’t wearing. Not to say there’s anything wrong with that – everyone’s probably wearing it because its freaking adorable, but in the event you’re wanting to try something different, give it a go!

Hopefully that’s given some of you a place to start or insight into what to look for when you’re shopping for modest-ish pieces. I know its August but I have a feeling it won’t be getting chilly anytime soon so there’s still time to maximize the most out of your spring/summer dresses! Let me know if you enjoyed this and if you’d prefer more posts like this in the future. I’d love to see photos of any potential shopping trips/items you find next time you’re shopping that tick your boxes and are additions to your wardrobe! xoxo

I had the pleasure of receiving this gorgeous dress in person by Fariba herself whilst in Dubai which automatically makes it more personable in being able to put a face to the brand so yay!

FARIBA is a recently launched modest fashion brand based in Dubai which caters to young women who are looking to find a balance between quality and affordability in modest fashionwear. Her collections are designed to be stylish and chic, yet affordable, without compromising on modesty.

Her mission is “to enhance self expression” and create thoughtful pieces which customers will treasure.

“We design with integrity, enabling women to express their identity with creativity whilst staying true to their values.”

This specific dress was a made to measure piece, and I absolutely adored everything about it; from the color, to the perfect neckline -not too constricted and not too low, lovely sleeve detailing and gorgeous pleating at the bottom, ugh, so so good!

I paired it with a printed turban and a pair of vintage inspired earrings which I thought added the right amount of glint to the look, and nude strappy heels! This could easily be worn during Eid or to a wedding or bridal shower; the addition of a glitzy clutch or necklace, or simply some mid-length finessy earrings. I personally wouldn’t add too much as I feel it would take away for the dress itself, but everyones style choice differs!

Be sure to have a look at their Instagram page (@faribastore) and if something tickles your fancy get in touch now in time for an Eid outfit!

I’ve always had a thing for abayas and open bisht style abayas in the Muslamic sphere and that love intensified after moving to the Middle East. Something about the free-flowing easy-breezy vibe speaks to me and it’s just another fave!

You’ll know by now that I’ve partnered up with Aab Collection to show you a couple of their pieces which are now available online and in Debenhams (Middle East) – click here to peep the first look we showcased!

When the second Aab piece turned out to be a bisht, and a camel toned one at that, my inner Muslamic was super excited!

(cue excited face..!)

Aab is a modestwear clothing company based out of the UK (www.aabcollection.com) and their pieces can also be found in Debenhams (Middle East).

I present you the Escalera Bisht (here) , a beautiful piece which features a lovely thread embroidery on the front opening and flared sleeves.

Isn’t it beautiful?!

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I’ve paired it with a plain black abaya underneath and the same Soft Nude Chiffon Silk Hijab (here) from the previous Aab look. I would totally wear this out to a hanging or to Friday prayers and it would easily entertain both. It doesn’t have a tie up or a closed fastening, but I’m down with that! If I wanted to close it I could easily take a black tie up from another abaya and it would get the job done, or even a piece of thick black ribbon if you haven’t got a tie up.

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I gave it a go with the Aab Powder Blue Jumpsuit (didn’t take a photo unfortunately!) and the contrast of the blue and camel-toned looked stunning together! Looking forward to wearing this with a massive turban and denim to embody a street-style nomadic vibe kinda sorta maybe!

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Hope you’ve enjoyed these looks as much as I loved putting them together for you! Be sure to check them out online, on Instagram (@aabcollection), and in-store at Debenhams (Middle East)! xoxo

Ola! I’ve partnered up with Aab Collection to show you some of their new additions which are oh so beautiful!

Aab is a modestwear clothing company based out of the UK and their pieces can also be found in Debenhams (Middle East). I remember attending their launch in Kuwait and falling in love with how easy their clothing was in terms of looking put together without any of the hard stuff lol

Pictured is the Powder Blue Jumpsuit (here) and Soft Nude Chiffon Silk Hijab (here). The most halal key hole detail on the jumpsuit which I think is super cute lol but the prettiest softest shade of blue which I love. You know when you go to iron clothing and the iron glides ever so effortlessly over the fabric and your heart sighs from relief and all is well in the world? Definitely experienced that with this piece lol it also comes with a matching belt which is optional of course (I paired it with the kimono below). I wanted to casj it out a bit so went with a belt bag and espadrilles which is a winner in my books!

The Floating Bubbles Kimono (here) is a lightweight digital print kimono with tones of taupe grey and hints of blue. It’s made from a fluid georgette with a drawstring tie up which you can always cinch in at the waist if you’d like.

You can easily pair this with a number of items, denim, dresses, skirts, even on its own, and its lightweight material makes it perfect for the warmer weather coming soon (it’s coming I promise!) It’s got a gorgeous flow to it, almost giving off a cape-like effect as though you’re gliding through life without a care in the world (fake it til you make it init) which is beaut!

I haven’t worn a chiffon hijab in ages, partly because I’m slightly terrified of it slipping and falling apart during the day (which has happened in the past!) and I’ve just never been a fan to be honest. This is literally just one pin under the chin and I was pleasantly surprised by how well it stayed put! (imagine what the addition of two straight pins could do lol) The softness of the material allows it to fall beautifully whilst draped definitely catering to the Aab aesthetic of stylish modern elegance.

Stay tuned for another Aab look coming your way in a couple days; be sure to check them out online, on Instagram (@aabcollection), and in-store at Debenhams! xoxo

You’re probably getting sick of seeing all my Istanbul postings on the gram, but I’m not finished yet because I’m having a grand time playing around with newfound tools and making it all visually appealing so #sorrynotsorry ! but thanks to the ones who are still showing love because it makes me feel like you appreciate the werk lol love you!x

This is a quick rundown of what our 3days kinda sorta consisted of. I don’t think I ever plan or schedule things to the T, it’s often a rough idea of a few places I’d maybe like to see or check out (I’ll google beforehand to creep) and the rest is whatevers stumbled upon on the way, but there were a couple new places I wanted to share incase anyones ever in town!


Tourist Attractions 

  • Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque

Standard (written about here and here)

  • Basilica Cistern

This is the largest of several hundred cisterns that lies beneath the city of Istanbul and used to act as a water filtration system for the Place of Constantinople.  Each time I’ve been to Istanbul I’ve always wanted to go but never got around to it, which is weird because its en route to the Metro and Gulhane Park and literally to the roadside of the Hagia Sophia lol lord knows I’ve walked past it a number of times, but definitely a really neat place worth seeing!

  • Galata Tower

This is another place I’ve been wanting to go for ages and always saw it from afar. I had heard it’s a mission to get to and so many stairs and an uphill climb that goes on for days, but it was neither. A bit of an uphill climb but that’s standard and its definitely worth it once you arrive. A friend recommended to go a bit before sunset so you could catch it whilst at the top of the tower and that was sound advice. Be prepared to queue for a bit, but theres a cutesy tram café to grab a cuppa while you wait! It also gets super crammed up top because you’re only able to do a round of the top and exit, but definitely take your time to appreciate the view and if you have to find a special spot to squat at for a bit, so be it! There wasn’t an epic sunset when we went, but it was beautiful to see everything wind down for the evening and the city light up with the call to prayer echoing from each side and seagulls crying and just ugh. Beautiful!

  • Süleymaniye Mosque

This was actually a random stumble and I don’t know why we’ve never crossed paths before. We were headed to look for something else and saw this beautiful mosque and thought lets have a look and dang! Massively beautiful with a gorgeous courtyard alongside a stunning view overlooking the city. The inside of the masjid donned this burnt-orange carpet and a similar interior to the Blue Mosque, but just super beautiful mashallah! (also I had to creep on this man outside the masjid because old people are just beautiful bless them x)

  • Dolmabahçe Palace:

I never knew this existed, but came across some photos of this intrinsic gate on Instagram, did some research, and turns out it was part of Dolmabache! Mashallah times a million for how beautiful this palace is. The architectural detail and grandeur of this place was magical and cleancut and just made me feel honored to be in its presence if that makes sense lol we didn’t go inside to the museum bit, but the grounds are still someplace worth visiting! Round the back of the palace dons the prettiest pink walls (you guys thought it was a filter didn’t you?!) and a rose garden which we were lucky enough to see in half bloom.

  • Grand Bazaar

Standard; super pretty and loads of wonderful bits and bobs with shopkeepers who speak a million and one languages which is quite impressive lol I strongly suggest bargaining a shitload if you’re purchasing something and if there’s no budging don’t fret at all because chances are you’ll find it elsewhere for much cheaper

  • Istiklal Street

another standard; kind of like a high street if you will with familiar shops (zara, Mango, H&M, Sephora etc.) but also has side alleys which are great to stop at for coffee or shisha and is buzzing at night!


Views

This was probably the thing I was most excited about locating and turning into a reality! After a lot of time spent trying to read suggestions on where I could get the best view of the city (not at any of the rooftop cafes-there are many fyi), a few seemed consistent with this place near the Grand Bazaar where you’re meant to knock on a door and ask for a ‘Mr. Mehmet’, pay him a little summin summin and he gives you access to the roof lol sounds super sketch I know, but one of the sites had a google location to the exact spot and another one had photos of what the stairwell looked like so I figured I’d have a go because why not!

Managed to get to the place, and the stairwell looked like it did in the photos but all the doors were bolted shut and there was no sign of anyone residing; more like storage behind the doors. Knocked on every door lol nothing happened but it was one of those moments where you know you can’t do anything but that motivates you to find another way because you just gotta somehow (my word choice and explanation is not its finest at the moment so apologies x ) SO, I was like Hash, you can scale the wall right, you go up and help me up lol there was one of them bushes growing out of the wall and a broken pipe so Hash managed to use them to get himself up and I followed (not as gracefully and it reminded me I have crap upper body strength), cut meself and lay there for about 5 seconds, but dang. When I got up, it was such a freaking beautiful sight to look at! And I was super excited that we had made it and that I was right (because I was on about it since before we left for Istanbul and Hash was like really, you’re not going to do it, how, blah blah) and just ahh! While we were finding a way to get on, these 2 Turkish guys joined as I guess they were also looking for Mr. Mehmet but helped them get up as well and so the 3 of us had a grand time overlooking the city and taking pictures and enjoying life until Hashmat waved at someone below like a dumb and the man started shouting that he was going to call the police and gathered a group of mandem so we jumped off and that was that!

Here is the exact location which you can always load up onto your maps (Buyuk Valide Han) if you go looking for the view lol it stops you at this 4-way crossroad and theres an arched stone wall on your right with Buyuk Valide Han written on it. Turn right and immediately to your right theres a stairwell going upstairs. Go up the stairs, and to your left there are some rusted stairs (like 6-7 steps) to a closed door. Use those stairs to jump onto the tarped material or whatever it is on your left and take on that wall. I’d suggest maybe going with someone so you can give someone a boost and pull the other up (I’m sure I would’ve found a way on my own), but that’s that! Try not to get clocked, but I promise you’ll love it (both the thrill and the view!)

Another recommendation for rooftops is high rise car parks! Walk in and take the lift to the highest floor, take the stairs, but eventually you’ll get to the highest point which more than likely will make you feel on top of the world! (kind of!)


Artsy Fartsy

  • Karaköy

Someone on Instagram had recommended munch at a place called ‘Batazar Burgers’ which was a super cool place and just the general vibe of the area itself (Karakoy) was up my alley (burgers were good too lol Hash loved it so thankyou!) Lots of street art and cutesy cafes, lunch spots, boutiques and the sort. I’d recommend going here after Dolmabache; we got the metro after Dolmabache to Sultanahmet, and my GPS signaling told me to walk…tell me why we ended up walking all the way back to where we started and had munched haha I was like hey! This is such a cool place, twice in one day well done Saira #winning! Turned a corner and went oh. We were legit right here haha #fail it was a lovely walk though so aadhee.

  • Umbrella [street]

I haven’t got exact directions for this next one, but if you stroll around the same area, or even if you ask I’m sure someone will help you, you’ll come to this alley with umbrellas hanging up top. I don’t think this is the famous one, but it got me excited so yay! I thought we could get a sick photo lol but Hash had just about had enough at this point and even the man in the shop came out with an umbrella to help get the right shot but alas. This is the closest we got to the perfect shot but I love it regardless because of the backstory lol

  • Rainbow Stairs

The Rainbow Stairs are also a cutesy place to check out for photos or just to put a smile on your face. In 2013 a man named Huseyn Cetinel spent 4 days painting the bland concrete stairs in rainbow colors simply to make people smile bless him x Unfortunately it was painted over [by the government], but people are freaking amazing sometimes and volunteers repainted them and they survived! Slightly run down now but put a smile on your face they do! If you’re heading by foot you’ll come across a set of stairs that look super broken and painted over in grey; don’t get discouraged lol keep walking and you’ll see the actual ones further up on your left! (*disclaimer: I just googled a bit myself to be sure and this is the location to the ones I managed to get to; not sure if they’re the exact same ‘famous’ steps but they were still coloured steps..!)


Food

In terms of food and munch, I can’t suggest a whole lot of places to try. wallah guys I’m not much of a food person, especially when travelling lol I love trying new dishes and eating etc. but when I’m away legit a cup of tea and a croissant or sandwich or something in the morning will usually get me through til the evening. I tend to grab and go and/or snack on streets as opposed to sit down places.

I’d definitely recommend Hafiz Mustafa if you don’t know if it by now lol for baklava and Turkish tea. The burger place we tried was good (Baltazar Burgers) Definitely fresh juice from one of the street vendors; the best orange juice ever for some odd reason lol alongside street side shawarma and roasted corn and chestnuts from the side stalls. Also love grabbing pieces of Turkish delight and chocolate mushrooms and Haribos for munching-while-walking because that’s just what I enjoy lol

Actually, if there’s one place you do go to, make sure it’s this one! Last year I mentioned we went to this place which Iman highly recommended and they only did a couple things on the menu but was so good and I didn’t remember the name, but I made a point to note it this time around so here it is: Meşhur Sultanahmet Köftecisi and I’ve got the location down below! If there’s a queue just wait lol and I promise you won’t be disappointed! I suggest a plate of the kofte with the red sauce and a salad lol so simple yet so satisfying!

This was my first time not having Lahmacun which is my absolute favorite Turkish dish (its not a dish) which is flatbread with mince on top. Add a bit of lemon juice and coriander on top, roll it and munch and you’re good to go. Super basic I know haha but I’m typically not fussy when it comes to food!


I hope that’s either inspired you to add Istanbul onto your bucket list, or given you some ideas of where to hit up if you’re ever in town, or even just put a smile on your face looking at all the pretty pictures! Let me know if this is helpful in anyway and if adding locations is something you’d appreciate in future posts; I found it super helpful when I was creeping so I hope I can make your lives a little easier too!

I miss blogging and sharing and I don’t know if you guys miss it as well lol but I’m super open to interactions and suggestions on things you might like to see or read about! Xx

Hope everyone’s winding down for the holidays and super excited for time off; I’m counting down to go home and really looking forward to seeing my family and have warm fuzzies inside lol lots of love, light, and hot chocolate sent your way! xoxo