Saturday, December 29, 2012

My Wardrobe Staples

Although I'm a summer girl who loves everything about summer, I can not deny the fact that the only nice thing about winter is that it's easier on a hijabi's wardrobe. We can layer all we want without worrying about choking from the heat :-).

For years, my style hasn't changed, and I enjoy wearing the same clothes in winter, and the same clothes in summer by playing around with my accessories here and there. I've simplified my life by wearing mostly black in winter, and white in summer. It sounds simple and a bit boring but it all depends on how you style everything.

I love contrast in fashion. I love the juxtaposition of dressy with casual, vintage with modern, classy with simple. My favorite wardrobe staples year round (except when it's extremely hot) are jeans and blazers.

I adore my boyfriend blazers. I like combining them with a nice hijab, and a pair of jeans. In winter I like wearing them with boots, and in spring with platforms or sandals. I like the juxtaposition of a formal blazer with jeans.

The picture is not very clear, but below I'm wearing a long black boyfriend blazer, 7for all mankind jeans, Henri Bendell silk scarf, and my huge Pour Le Victoire bowling bag. Oh, and Mr. Nutcracker, well, he's just there doing his job :-)

What are your winter wardrobe staples?

Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia

Monday, December 24, 2012

Traveling in Style (Winter Edition)

Since winter break is around the corner, many of us might be traveling. Here are a few tips on traveling in style!

  Shades- Ever wonder why celebrities are always photographed at the airport in shades? It’s not because the lighting is too bright, but sunglasses are a great way to hide your restlessness. While traveling, especially on long flights, we tend to get bags under our eyes due to the lack of sleep. Sunglasses are a great way to hide them until you do catch up on your sleep!
Ray-Ban 'Large Original Aviator' 62mm Sunglasses (available at Nordstrom)

Scarf- Even if you do wear the scarf full time, you can still bring one because of its versatility. Scarves provide an extra layer to keep you warm, and you can always roll it up into a pillow!
Tory Burch 'Reva' Print Wool Scarf (available at Nordstrom)

 Weekend Bag- These bags are great because they are so big. You can fit everything you need without having to carry multiple bags.

MICHAEL Michael Kors 'Hamilton Silvertone Chain - Large' Vertical Tote (available at Nordstrom)

  Comfy Boots- Boots without heels are great for winter travel. Make sure you can easily remove your shoes if needed. Boots with fur on the inside are a plus, because they will keep your feet extra warm.
UGG® Australia 'Bailey Button' Boot (available at Nordstrom)

Cardigan- Cardigans are the best piece of clothing to wear to the airport! They are comfortable and keep you warm at the same time. You can never go wrong with a long, oversized cardigan.

Armani Collezioni Wool Blend Cardigan (available at Nordstrom)

You don’t need to wear six-inch heels and a pound of jewelry to look stylish. Wearing loose and comfortable clothing is the best way to go!

Stay Modest, Stay Stylish!
Gusta Iren for HijabiTopia

Friday, December 21, 2012


One of our favorite stores, Zara, is starting it's winter sale EARLY!!  Yes, you read correctly!


So either head to your local store today, or shop from the comfort of your own home.  The best thing about shopping from home:  FREE SHIPPING AND FREE RETURNS!  WAHOOOOO!

So, what are you waiting for?  Get a move on, shopoholics!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fashion and Islam | A topic debated over and over again

How do fashion and Islam come together? Its a question that crosses many minds.

So you're designing fashionable clothes? Wait, but isn't the point of modesty to conceal beauty? If you wear colors over just solid black, aren't you going to attract attention? So doesn't that defeat the purpose of modesty?

If you're in the fashion business or designing and you get questions like this or you yourself think this to yourself at times, then you're on the right track. This is because as a fashionable Muslim woman, you want to make sure that your intentions are always set straight and you questioning yourself is always a sign of either improvement or staying on track without diverting onto the wrong path.

This is a topic that has also been mind boggling for myself for quite some time and after weeks of serenading over the topic and doing a little bit of research, I came to a few conclusions.

Islam is about beauty and we all know that god loves beauty. The prophet's favorite color was green. I believe that it is of special importance to the Muslim women population to be able to garment themselves with modest and FASHIONABLE but also concealing clothing.

Picture this scenario: Two veiled muslim women walking into a cafe. The first of those wearing a long cream knee length sheer shirt paired with a black blazer with detailed work on the collar and wrist along with a pair of jeans and finished with a beautiful emerald green scarf to cover her hair. The other muslim woman walks in with a very baggy sweater and long to cover her behind and thighs layered with a raggy long white undershirt and pleated sweats. Not to forget the black scarf which is, btw, a necessity in every Hijabi's closet. Which one do you think is more likely to be approached to be asked questions about Islam?

I vote the emerald green scarf Muslimah.

Not because of her shiny scarf but merely because she is well put together. Professional, well dressed, and in a presentable manner. It's just like getting dressed to go to an interview. The only thing about being a hijabi Muslim woman in the streets of the US is that you are ALWAYS at risk of being questioned/interviewed by others. Not in a creepy, interrogative way but instead by folks who are interested in knowing more about this religion. People who see mere stereotypes on the media and end up resenting the religion but then saw you: The well put together, professional, kind and yes, fashionable, woman. Of course they're going to ask questions and right THERE is our opportunity for dawah.

Therefore, if im not mistaken, modest muslim woman + intelligent woman + fashionable clothes(non-revealing and modestly lose) = DAWAH!

In conclusion, I believe that YES, as a Muslim woman living in the 21st century and in the US, it is necessary to dress in a way that will please allah as well as be inviting for others to ask about my religion, my mind and my goals.

My Hijab is my way of Dawah.

"We are not here to be accepted. We are here to be respected." - Dr. Tariq Ramadan

-The girl in the emerald scarf ;)

Ndaa Hassan for Hijabitopia

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


We recently came across this video by fellow hijabi

Noor Taguri. We liked the message she shares of following your dreams, no matter how large they might be.

What are your dreams?

Nazreen Hassan for HijabiTopia

Monday, December 10, 2012

Target + Neiman Marcus Collection

Have you seen Target's latest Collection? Target is having a collaboration with some of the top brands such as Tory Burch, Marc Jacobs, Jason Wu, Oscar de la Renta, Marchesa, and a lot more! They have a wide variety of items, from clothing to accessories.  

Tory Burch Lunch Box

Tory Burch Printed Beverage Container

Oscar de la Renta Tote

Marc Jacobs Scarf

This is for a limited time, so hurry to your local Target to get these great deals!

Gusta Iren for HijabiTopia

Saturday, December 8, 2012


We recently came across this edgy layering piece while surfing the net.  It immediately caught our eye because of the high-neck.  We are always looking for high-neck pieces because it makes it easier to drape our hijab without worrying about how we're going to cover our necks!  Check it out!

We love the spikey studded detailing at the neck and shoulders. 

This would be a great piece layered under long cardigan sweaters, or under a boyfriend blazer.  This top is available in black and mint at Forever 21.  Click here to order yours today!

Nazreen Hassan for HijabiTopia

Friday, December 7, 2012

Hijab in the House of Commons, UK

A Historic Speech wearing Hijab in the House of Commons in

the United Kingdom

Maiden Erlegh Sumaiya Karim speaking in the House of Commons

Hijab first for House of Commons

By Jon Nurse

A student is 'honoured and humbled' after her historic appearance wearing a hijab in the House of Commons.

Sumaiya Karim, Wokingham's Member of Youth Parliament (MYP), led a winning debate in the chamber on Friday, November 23.

The 16-year-old is believed to be the first person to wear a hijab while speaking at the despatch box in Parliament.

"It was absolutely brilliant and a fantastic experience for all of us," Sumaiya said.

"This was one of the best things I've ever done - something I'll never forget for the rest of my life.

"I was feeling a bit nervous, but I've been told that didn't come across."

The Maiden Erlegh School Year 12 pupil, who is hoping to study medicine at university, has decided to wear a Muslim headscarf for most of her time at secondary school.

"It was a decision I arrived at myself," she said. "I did a lot of reading when I was growing up and decided it was time to start wearing the headscarf."

"It's such an honour [to be the first to speak in Parliament wearing a hijab] and I've been humbled by the response from everyone. I've been getting loads of emails and phone calls."

"Parliament should be representative of the population and there are so many Muslim women in the UK. I want to show we are into politics and are part of the future of the UK."

Sumaiya, from Lower Earley, opened a debate calling for the national curriculum to be overhauled to include wider life skills.

"This is something I feel really passionate about," she said. "I think it's really important we address this and it's the perfect time to do it.

"It's really important we have access to education and diverse cultures have the same opportunities. It's about engaging young people and getting them involved in these issues and engaging them for later in life. A lot of our education makes us the people we are and we are the future."

The A-level pupil was greeted with applause at the close of her speech, after she asked why her favourite chocolate bar had risen in price from 10p to 20p.

The national curriculum motion was one of five debated by the UK Youth Parliament at the event, chaired by the Speaker Rt Hon John Bercow MP, and received 154 of the 295 votes cast.

Sumaiya will step down as Wokingham's MYP after deciding not to reapply for December's election.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

5 Essential Winter Must Haves In Your Purse

Yes, there are some crazy things going on with the weather this year. I observed a drop from 70 degrees to mid 30s the very next day in the greater Chicago area. So how do I keep warm with hydrated skin?

Other than the obvious coat, boots, and leg warmers, there are a few thing I believe must always be in your purse and that I personally always have in my purse.

  • Pashmina Scarf: I always have a pashmina of some sort in my purse to wrap around my neck (in addition to my hijab) when it gets a little extra chilly. Because I do a lot of walking, it tends to get a little warm after a bit so having an extra scarf in my purse allows me to take control of my body temperature. Also, a bright pashmina is a good way to add a little color to your winter outfit. 
  • Gloves: Personally, I enjoy a unique pair of gloves. Leather gloves will go with any outfit and are very elegant. A little fur trim won't do you wrong either :) If you're carrying a few bags around in the city, having a pair of gloves in your purse would not be such a bad idea.
  • Hand lotion: Ladies, keep that skin soft and silky smooth. The cold will push your skin to scream for hydration. Over the years, I've tried a bunch of moisturizers and I've been with Nivea Soft for quite some time now. They even have a small cute size to fit in your purse :) how convenient!
  • Lip Balm: Now don't go caring for your skin and forgetting your lips. Dried dehydrated lips means you biting on them because the peeling bothers you and this means a pair of bleeding lips. Keeping lip balm on at ALL times is a good way to keep your lips hydrated. Cute packaging is a plus for EOS Lip Balm
  • Vaseline Lip Therapy: If your lips start cracking, then pull out your Vaseline lip therapy for instant relief.
Those up north, stay warm and those down south, enjoy the 60 degree weather...siggghhhhh

Ndaa Hassan for Hijabitopia

"Fashion Show Coordinator, fashion blogger, and designer/owner of Écharpe à la Mode line, Ndaa Hassan is an Egyptian American fashion fanatic with a passion for art, design, fashion, decor, sushi, chocolate and other random things. She aspires to bring the beauty of modest wear to light along with inspiring the youth to follow their dreams to becoming whatever their hearts may desire. whether thats a fashion designer, lawyer, doctor, teacher or an amazing mother."

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sweet Sweaters

Want to stay warm during the winter, but don’t want to spend money on a whole new wardrobe? Layering is the best technique to recycle your summer clothes and still stay warm and cozy during the winter! Basically you can take any tunic or dress and add a sweater over it. If your dress is patterned then pair it with a solid colored sweater. If your dress is a solid color, then you can pair it with a solid or printed sweater. A great option, if you can find it, is a sweater dress. J. Crew, Forever 21, and Topshop (at Nordstrom) have the cutest sweaters.
Sequined Heart Pullover (available at Forever 21)

Cable Knit Raglan Sweater (available at Forever 21)




Sweater (available at H&M)
Topshop Necklace Sweater (available at Nordstrom)

Topshop Nordic Knit Sweater (available at Nordstrom)

Topshop 'Cat-Tastrophe' Sweater (available at Nordstrom)

Here are a looks…

Gusta Iren for HijabiTopia

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

American Hijab Design Contest Shaz Kaiseruddin

Ndaa catches up with Shaz Kaiseruddin of the American Hijab Design Contest. Here's what she had to say to a group of insightful questions...

Who is Shaz Kaiseruddin? Attorney? Fashionista? Both? Attorney and Fashionista by profession. How did those two come together?
I became an attorney because one of my greatest passions is to help empower those who have been disempowered.  As unpredictable as it may seem, my interest in working with fashion came from the same goal, as I discuss below.

Inspiration behind American Hijab Design Contest?

I noticed that more and more women of all backgrounds that I meet seem to be seeking more covered chic options, but the mainstream fashion world is not quite keeping up.  I hope to work with all types of covered chic fashion, but am starting with hijab, because I know most about it and because it breaks my heart that many women who want to wear hijab don't because they are tired of being perceived as foreign.  Or because they fear the discrimination and violence that many hijabis have faced.  Or because they feel they cannot be stylish and beautiful while wearing hijab. I knew I wanted to do something about these issues, but the credit for the specific idea goes to Dr. Sherman Jackson who stated the need for this type of contest during a powerful speech. And I am grateful that my husband, Ahmed Minhaj, and family supported my excitement in acting on it--they too inspire me.

Goal of AHDC and estimated time frame for the competition?

I hope that we as a nation will move towards a broader definition of what beauty looks like, a broader definition of what American fashion looks like, and a broader definition of what an American looks like--definitions that better reflect the incredible diversity of our nation. Like any art form, fashion can break down barriers and make the unfamiliar familiar. And I'm hoping the impact of the contest will help defeat the unspoken rule that Muslims are currently the only ones in America towards whom you can openly be racist and against whom you can wage a loosely-defined international war. The contest has launched.  Entries will be accepted through the end of January, finalists will be announced in February, and the winner will be announced in March.
Any other fashion-forward projects?

I am working on a covered chic fashion publication which I hope to complete early next year.

With so much on your to do list, how do you manage to balance your personal life, work and fashion?
I've learned from my husband to question doing things in the expected or typical way and have found life to be much more manageable as a result.  I've minimized housework and errands and almost completely cut out my commute. I am also blessed with flexibility at my full time job.  My primary task is research and writing, and thus I can choose which hours and where to work. I have the invaluable support of my husband, as we have been partners in supporting each others' goals. And finally I pray that God increases the productivity in my time, as I know without that, all the time in the world would be useless.
Where do you see the Muslim fashion industry in the west as of now and where do you hope to see it in 5 to 10 years?

Right now I see the Muslim fashion industry in the West picking up steam and taking off, and it is quite exciting.  But at the same time, I see that the mainstream fashion world severely underrates its importance.  In 5 to 10 years, I envision that the mainstream fashion world in the West will acknowledge the Muslim fashion market's size and strength.  I envision that images of American hijab styles will be so commonplace that even non-hijabis will experiment with it in their wardrobes, perhaps choosing to wrap their hair for a night out, as is already happening in Belgium.  And I envision that will help all types of covered chic fashion gain momentum.

The importance of the youth taking on roles in the fashion industry?

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from Dr. Jackson.  I really wanted to do drop out of my Religion PhD program and go to law school to do human rights work.  But I felt that we needed more Muslim American scholars, particularly female, and so I was feeling guilty about dropping out.  But Dr. Jackson said, what we actually need is more excellence--no more mediocrity.  And you will achieve excellence in that which you love.  So go for what you love and achieve excellence in it.  Thus I believe it is important for youth to follow their passions, and if that is fashion, then we as a community need to support that.  Because by achieving excellence and doing great work, we do a service for all of humanity.

Many may tell you that empowering the muslim fashion industry is irrelevant and of less importance than other issues like politics for example, what do you have to say to them?

No two arenas are ever completely independent of each other, and thus our thinking needs to be more sophisticated.  Fashion can be very political and politics can be very fashionable.  Trends, pop culture, fashion statements--all can greatly influence the masses--and politicians must answer to the masses.  Sometimes art can trigger, and has triggered, the most profound change for the better. Also, good politics are rooted in strong communities and families.  But many families are torn apart because a woman wants to wear hijab, but her husband or parents do not want her to, because they fear the negative consequences it has in America right now--violence, discrimination, and the misperception of being foreign.  Marriages end in divorce.  Parents and children become estranged.  This contest seeks to change the misperceptions and help eliminate this type of destruction in families and communities. And finally, the less hijab is seen as foreign to America, the less all Muslims will be seen as foreign to America, and the closer we as a nation move toward upholding everyone's civil liberties and human rights.

What are you most passionate about?
Pleasing God by helping to empower those who are disempowered.

Contact info and how can those interested in the Hijab design contest participate?

All contest entry information and contact information can be found at

Ndaa Hassan for Hijabitopia

"Fashion Show Coordinator, fashion blogger, and designer/owner of Écharpe à la Mode line, Ndaa Hassan is an Egyptian American fashion fanatic with a passion for art, design, fashion, decor, sushi, chocolate and other random things. She aspires to bring the beauty of modest wear to light along with inspiring the youth to follow their dreams to becoming whatever their hearts may desire. whether thats a fashion designer, lawyer, doctor, teacher or an amazing mother."

Saturday, November 24, 2012

DIY: Miu Miu Inspired Shoes

Have you ever seen a pair of shoes that were perfect, but when you saw the price tag your mouth fell open? That's exactly what happened with these Miu Miu shoes I saw at Nordstrom. 

Miu Miu Glitter Crystal Toe Sneaker (available at Nordstrom)

These shoes retail for $595! Totally not worth it, but don't worry we have a DIY that costs about $10. All you need is a pair of solid colored shoes, converse, flats, or oxfords.

If your shoes have laces, you should remove them to prevent them from getting stained with paint or glue.
You will need scissors, tape, glue (super glue or hot glue works the best), a ruler, spray paint with the color of your choice, gems and stickers to decorate, and ribbon is optional if you want to change the shoe laces.
Tape off the section of the shoe you are going to spray. Make sure to lay out a newspaper underneath to prevent stains on to the platform.
Hold the can about 6-12 inches away from the shoes and spray each shoe individually.
Wait for the shoes to dry completely before you decorate.
Decorate with anything you like! Make sure to glue each piece on, even if it is a sticker. You don't want your hard work to fall off.
Taadaa!!! You now have a pair of shoes that look better than the actual Miu Miu shoes!

If you try this DIY out, we would love to see pictures. Upload your picture on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, with #diyshoeshijabitopia.

Gusta Iren for HijabiTopia 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Valentino: Master of Couture Exhibit

Valentino: master of couture exhibit opened its doors to the audience early November to feature a wide array of haute couture designs. Valentino's 50 year career is brought to display with over 130 dresses

    "Each of these dresses has a beautiful story. The atelier crafted each so diligently by hand, taking hours, sometimes days to complete. The details are incredibly intricate. Though outside the runway shows and events, the dresses have rarely been seen. To be able to showcase these designs at Somerset House, where they can be seen in great detail by the public, is very unique." - Valentino

The exhibit will run for three months and features three sections: History of Valentino, The Catwalk and The Atelier. The runway will include gowns worn by Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren, as well as Jackie Kennedy's wedding dress that she wore to marry Aristotle Onassis in 1968 alongside Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece's pearl-encrusted ivory silk wedding gown from 1995. 

This exhibition is a great opportunity to see Valentino's work in detail. It is set up in order to enable the audience to take a deeper look at 50 years of art, design and couture as each viewer is taken through each of the sections. It is truly fascinating to be able to see a designer's work put together along a timeline. It adds appreciation and value to the eyes of the viewer. 

Somerset House itself will be turned into a 60-meter catwalk along which visitors can walk. Although Valentino himself retired 2008, the Valentino Brand itself still lives on to bring the world more elegant and classy designs by the day. 

Ndaa Hassan for Hijabitopia

"Fashion Show Coordinator, fashion blogger, and designer/owner of Écharpe à la Mode line, Ndaa Hassan is an Egyptian American fashion fanatic with a passion for art, design, fashion, decor, sushi, chocolate and other random things. She aspires to bring the beauty of modest wear to light along with inspiring the youth to follow their dreams to becoming whatever their hearts may desire. whether thats a fashion designer, lawyer, doctor, teacher or an amazing mother."