Tag Archives: Fashion

Awesome Headscarf Wrap

Wholy crap it’s December. Finished your holiday race, elbowing through the others in the herd yet? Ah well, there is still 20 days left I guess. Personally I usually attempt to be out of the malls for the entirety of December. My risk of being trampled is significantly decreased. But there are always a couple of last-minute candies to pick up. I have a sweet tooth and they’re the only things worth buying.

Enough of the rant. On with the Urban Wrap. This is also a good one for you ladies wanting to try covering without drawing unwanted attention. You’ll more likely get a, “Nice head scarf!” than scary questions.

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Cold Weather Survival

Winter is either here, or fast approaching. It is always a bit easier to find something conservative to wear in the fall and winter but here are my essentials.

Boots

  • Kamiks. Knee and calf length. If you have to deal with rain, these will get you through.
  • Sorels. I don’t see a lot of snow but when I do these things keep me warm and toasty. I can walk anywhere and be comfortable.

Long Johns

Silk-weight, boot-cut long-johns.  Worth every penny. Why silk-weight? They fit underneath my cotton tights. You could go for the merino ones. I haven’t found them in the shorter length and since I wear boots while wearing my long-johns I went for the cheaper, shorter alternative.

Woolies

You’re likely not allergic. You might have sensitive skin. There is also a good possibility that you’ve only ever touched the crappy stuff. Embrace it.

  • Hand-knit, knee-high wool socks. These are my number one survival item. If you don’t know how to knit but know someone who does go suck up – now. A pair can take 20-45 hours. If you’re a beginner knitter, socks aren’t that hard.
  • Sweaters or cardies. If you can get a hold of a vintage wool cardi they’re awesome. They’re very thin and light but very warm. I can fit mine underneath my blazers.
  • Toque! Get one or two in wool.
  • Mittens of course.

Outer Wear

  • Heavy, woolen overcoat. I have a hip length one and one knee-length one. The most useful one is the knee-length coat I picked up at the second-hand shop for $30.
  • Pashmina. Not “pashmina styled” scarf. Pashmina. This would be my number 2 item. Pashmina is another word for cashmere. Look for deals. Pick them up at the end of the season with all the sales. When I was Greater Vancouver I got 2 for $40. I wrap these up over my toque and around my neck, similar to hijab, when it’s cold and blustery.

So get out there and embrace the weather!

My Scarf Wrap

Yes Fashion Friday has had a distinct head wrap theme as of late. And today will not be different.

This is a great style to try covering. It really just looks like a classy version of a bandana to the casual observer. It’s my all time favourite. This woman wraps her scarf almost exactly like I do. There are two major differences.

  1. I don’t use bobby pins. I keep my scarf in the same position by putting a bit farther forward to start. It covers my hair-line and the line of force is such that it isn’t slipping back. This is helped by using cotton instead of synthetic scarves.
  2. I too have a miniscule bun when all is said and done. I don’t use the scrunchy. I’d never thought of it. I find that if my bun is wrapped less flat and more out, with a cotton scarf this can usually be enough to keep it put the entire day. If I’m worried or it’s a slippy scarf, a long hat pin will fix your problem. Weave it in and out of your wrap and make sure to get under your bun hair tie. You’ll never have an issue.

Hijab for Earings

The non-Muslim hijabi shows how she wraps her hijab to show her earings here.

Simple Head Wrap

Quads

I ice skate and I also live for my Quads (geek for roller skates).

The Fitness Dilema

I’ve been on a bit of a mission to find clothes I feel comfy in and can exercise in. Not the easiest. I will likely have to break a four-year “dry spell” and purchase pants.

I currently roller skate in “workout tights” and an above the knee flounced skirt. I wear a high-cut neckline and long sleeves. The sleeves go under the elbow and wrist protection so the gear doesn’t get quick as  . . . pungent.

I am going to start going to the gym next week – personal trainer is all lined up. I got a hell of a deal (reads: free). I’ve got the longer cotton shirts but I’ll need to start doing something a bit different than a frilly skirt over snug leggings. The thought of pants is still making me a little crazy. Shorts somehow feel better. Being budget conscious I also want these leg coverings to work for ice skating.

Yes, ice skating. My husband grew up playing the oh-so-Canadian Pond Hockey. He loves to skate. So in an effort to find something to do together I ran out and purchased my very first pair of recreational figure skates. I’ve skated on ice before with varying results but figure the recent resurgence in roller skating will at least help me with some more muscle control and some of the techniques cross-over (I can do those) but my goodness the blades seem really thin when switching from quads (geek for roller skate).

I digress.

The hair thing is fairly easy when it comes to roller. I wear a running hat underneath my helmet. Ice skating lends itself well to a toque. I figure for working out I can use the same running cap to keep my hair out of my face. I’m a tad worried about pilates, which the trainer recommended I do for balance and core work. I’m sure I’ll figure something out. Any suggestions would be helpful.

Smoking Lily Find

For any of you who don’t know the Smoking Lily it’s all kinds of dangerous, expensive fun. Beautiful screen printed garments and accessories – And local to boot.

While at Smoking Lily this past Sunday, my friend, Skate Coach, and I had a lovely chat with the woman working there. It turns out you can get any print you like on any shirt you like at no extra charge. I didn’t ask but I’m hoping that this means I can get the singular large prints that usually appear on the front on the back.  How fantastic would that be? Beautiful prints and no one staring at my torso!

Anywhoo, that is somewhat besides the point. While in the tiny pit that has long tried to lure vast sums of money from my wallet, Skate Coach happened to find a bin of scarves. $8 scarves. Below are the two that I followed me home. I went to Smoking Lily, bought two things, and spent only $16. Miracles occur everyday people. You just need to know where to look. On Sunday, that miracle could be found in my bank account balance.

Cultural Modesty Standards – Part 2

Well it’s better late than never or so they say.

This is a response to Part 1 of the post.

I am not sure how I would deal with having to uncover to meet a cultural/political norm. I am uncomfortable with the idea of having to remove my head covering in any situation where there are boys to whom I am not related. This LiveJournal entry was the most thought-provoking post or article I’ve seen in quite some time.

Hotcoffeems has been put between the proverbial rock and hard-place. Family is important. In  this instance I feel like the political statement is more important. My mom and I may have friendly and irritating debates about the fact that I don’t run around without my hair covered, but it isn’t complicated by the fact that I’m also making a contradictory political statement. Even if I were, I don’t live in a country where things are so polarised.

There was an interesting comment about how the Jewish community or communities would look at an issue such as this.

My question about this is, are there no legitimate religious opinions in Islam that hold that a full hijab scarf is unnecessary? I know that in Orthodox Judaism it is pretty normative that hair covering is required, but different communities and different sages have disagreed about HOW to cover your hair. In fact, there are some rabbis who have even posited that it’s no longer a requirement in this age and place! There is disagreement about WHO is a legitimate Jewish law decider, but generally in our religion it’s understood there are often various (sometimes vastly differing) religious opinions on a topic that are all valid. For instance, Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews do things very differently but often see what the other group does as religiously legitimate… for THAT group. Plus we tend to follow our rabbi’s opinions and if they reach a legitimate conclusion from serious study of the texts, it’s okay if that opinion isn’t exactly the same as someone else’s. There are still community norms, but when you travel from place to place they vary quite dramatically. I don’t know how it is in Islam, but in Judaism, context and culture and tradition can indeed matter when making religious decisions.

In Orthodox Christianity this could fall under Pastoral Guidance or Economia. Perhaps, in the Protestant denominations, these lines would fall down denominational divisions as opposed to two different congregations of the same denomination having practical differences.

So what is the answer? I have no clue.  I hope that Hotcoffeemsis able to find a way to cover to her satisfaction that also satisfies her family and her political associations.

And what are your thoughts?

My question about this is, are there no legitimate religious opinions in Islam that hold that a full hijab scarf is unnecessary? I know that in Orthodox Judaism it is pretty normative that haircovering is required, but different communities and different sages have disagreed about HOW to cover your hair. In fact, there are some rabbis who have even posited that it’s no longer a requirement in this age and place! There is disagreement about WHO is a legitimate Jewish law decider, but generally in our religion it’s understood there are often various (sometimes vastly differing) religious opinions on a topic that are all valid. For instance, Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews do things very differently but often see what the other group does as religiously legitimate… for THAT group. Plus we tend to follow our rabbi’s opinions and if they reach a legitimate conclusion from serious study of the texts, it’s okay if that opinion isn’t exactly the same as someone else’s. There are still community norms, but when you travel from place to place they vary quite dramatically. I don’t know how it is in Islam, but in Judaism, context and culture and tradition can indeed matter when making religious decisions.

Cultural Modesty Standards

This entry is from the Live Journal community Modest Style and is reprinted with permission from the LJ user “hotcoffeems.” (Thanks again!)

This entry and the comments were facinating. This was one of those modesty issues that had never occured to me. What if I went somewhere in the world and my way of dressing was the same as a group with an opposing political or religious view to my own? Would I change?

Minimal editing has been done for context. Comments do not have usernames attached as their permission was not saught.

The entry was entitled: Changing Styles of Modest Dress

I’ve been hijabi for a while now, here in the US, from religious conviction.I just returned from a three-week trip to Algeria. While there, I got engaged. My fiance is a Kabyle.

Of note: In Algeria, there is a fairly sharp distinction culturally between those of Arab and those of Kabyle descent, particularly with people who are tribally identified as Kabyle (as Billal is). This extends to manner of dress. Women of more Arab tradition are the ones who wear hijab as we know it here; Kabyle women almost never cover their heads, although some older women wear a kerchief that leaves the neck exposed. Some of them actually wear quite-fabulous traditional Kabyle clothing; it was nice to touch down at Houari Boumediene Airport and see this, I was going, “OMG! Lookit the clothes! How cool!”

Actually there’s a wide spectrum of dress style in Algerie, from Western, often-revealing clothing, to full niqab. This in a country where 98% of the population is Muslim.

But: Wearing the hijabi style I’ve become accustomed to in the US in Algerie marks one as of the more conservative Arab tradition. Hanging around my fiance and his family and friends, it would have been inappropriate for me to do this, so I didn’t, only covering my head for prayer. I did continue to dress modestly, just not with full headscarf. Especially with older members of his family, it felt like a matter of respect, given the sometimes really contentious rift between Kabyle and Arab (of note: my fiance is a veteran of Algerie’s Civil War; he has strong feelings against the conservative “arabiste” style of Islam, for good reason.)

I have found that basically when we marry, I will be considered also tribally Kabyle. And the likelihood, right now, is inchallah I will be moving there, not him moving here.

So the thing is, I’ve had to kind of recalibrate my notions of hijab with certain cultural mores, because it’s a cultural identity issue. Given the amount of thought I’m putting into this, it’s not a matter of “hijab on, hijab off” fashion or convenience. It’s interesting though, because I *am* having to rethink my expectations.

Has anyone else had to adjust and adapt their modest dress conventions for cultural or identity reasons? Did you have difficulty doing so, or reconciling it with your religious beliefs? I don’t feel I’m compromising my religious beliefs, especially as my fiance and his family are just as good Muslims as anyone else, but it’s a rather jarring adaptation to make, mentally. But still, it has become part of my self-identity living in the US as a Muslimah, so it’s giving me a lot of food for thought.

I’ll share  my own thoughts in Part 2 next week.

Some comments on the entry:

These have been removed. It was pointed out that I only asked the poster of the original entry and not the posters of the comments. I appologise if I violated anyone’s sense of privacy or security. It will not happen again.


    You’re thoughts?