Monday, December 23, 2013

Hijab-friendly workout wear

I often have hijabis asking me where they can find hijab-friendly workout attire.  While there are workout clothes that are long sleeve and come in beautiful colors, finding something that's long and modest can often be challenging.

I have had really good luck with the website,  It's one of the many sites owned by the Gap parent company.

Here are two of my favorite finds, and both are currently on SALE!!!!  Trust me when I say that both of these tops are super high quality and super modest.

First up, the Spinnaker Sun Jacket.  In addition to the hot pink featured below, it also comes in poseidon blue, white, and asphalt.  Right now, it's marked down from $89 to $34.99.

Next we have the Wick-it Wader cover-up.  I know it may sound strange to wear a cover-up to workout, but trust me when I say, this is one of the best options out there.  Last May, I did the MS 150 bike ride, which is a 150 mile bike ride over two days for charity.  The following top kept me cool and covered for a total of 150 miles on a bicycle in the hot Texas sun!  I love the fabric's moisture wicking capabilities.  Get yours today for the sale price of $54.99.  You will not be disappointed.  Trust me, this top is high quality, tried and tested!  And it also comes in several other amazing colors.

Nazreen Hassan for HijabiTopia

Sunday, December 22, 2013

BCBG Sale Alert!!!

One of our favorite stores, BCBG, is having a sale!!  Right now, they have up to 60% off already, and for a limited time, they are also giving an extra 20% off of the already reduced prices! We love BCBG especially because we always find high quality, high fashion hijab-friendly pieces in their collection nearly every season.

Not only do they have fabulous clothing, but their accessories are ROCKIN'!  We loved the following clutch.

Originally, $118, marked down to $70.80, with an additional 20% off comes out to $56.64!

We also LOVED these rhinestone-embellished leather mini gloves!

Click here to enter the sale.

Now, here's a surprise for you, our loyal readers.  If you type in the promotional code BCBG10 at checkout,  you will save an extra 10%!!!

You're welcome!

Happy shopping!!

Nazreen Hassan for HijabiTopia

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


We were recently interviewed by Emily Sims from the SMU Fashion Media Department. We are ecstatic to have landed on their blog. We love the title!!! Go Team HijabiTopia!!!! :-)


By Emily Sims
As a child in Turkey, Elif Kavakci witnessed her mother, a university professor, forced to choose between her career and her religion when the Turkish government banned the wearing of the hijab — the headscarf worn by Islamic women — due to complete separation of church and state.
Today Kavakci, the founder of Kavakci Couture, is not only an internationally known fashion designer but also a pioneer for hijab fashion and an inspiration to Muslim women around the world.
“I would put outfits together as a teenager and later on that turned into a more serious hobby and then finally it became a professional job,” said Kavakci, who’s clientele consists of powerful women like the wife of Turkey’s prime minister.
After moving to the United States when she was 12, Kavakci appreciated the religious freedoms the country offered but realized finding clothes that were conservative yet fashionable was nearly impossible.
Kavakci’s fashion hobby led her to take fashion design classes over a period of 10 years in which she also married and had children. Her love of styling eventually turned into a job and she began styling for fashion shows. Although the conception of her label was unintentional, the revolution she wanted to cause was.
Elif Kavakci via Kavacki Couture
Elif Kavakci via Kavakci Couture
“I had a hard time being a Muslim girl who chooses to wear the religious headscarf, finding clothes that would cover my body. Living in the U.S. where fashion kind of means showing more skin and dressing sexier makes it a little difficult for girls who want to dress conservatively,” explained Kavakci.
“We wear knee-length dresses as tunics because all button down shirts come above the hips and we have to layer our clothes instead. I had a hard time finding something I could wear and still express myself and look chic but still abide by my religious dress code.”
It wasn’t until 2007 that Kavakci’s career really took off.  The Dallas-based women’s organization Peace Makers International approached Kavakci about showcasing her designs in a fashion show fundraiser. Even though she didn’t have a label, the organization liked Kavakci’s style and asked if she would be interested in featuring her designs.
“They felt it would be interesting to see conservative-wear on the runway,” said Kavakci. “At first I thought, I’ve done a lot of styling for fashion shows since 1993 and I’ll maybe put outfits together, but then I thought, I can’t put clothes that don’t belong to me on the runway–now that I’m a fashion designer I have to actually make my own collection and come up with my label.”
Over a period of six months, Kavakci designed her first collection and had the pieces made by a tailor in Turkey. Her first show, Covered in Fashion, took place on SMU’s campus in November of 2008.
According to Kavakci, Covered in Fashion received a lot of media attention since a fashion show where all the models wore hijabs had not been done before. Although Kavakci’s label received a lot of hype, she says the fashion show was not a business strategy but her start to making a difference.
“I was one of the first designers to put the headscarf on the runways,” said Kavakci. “There is so much negative coverage in the media about Muslim women and about women who dress conservatively so I wanted to send a positive image and do it through an art form. The models that walked the runway were not professional models but they were women from the community. So when the audience saw the outfits walk down the runway they knew this was a real Muslim girl.”
Photographer Nicole Queen met Kavakci after Imam Kavakci, Elif’s father, said her Shahada, her declaration of faith, when she converted to Islam. Kavakci approached Queen and asked if she would be willing to do a photo shoot of her designs and since then, the two have become close friends.
“Working with Elif is not work. It’s two friends who share a similar passion for Islamic fashion and feeling empowered through our faith.  I love Elif’s ideas and designs and her attention to detail.  Her clothing is always modest and always stylish, something that is rare in the Islamic fashion industry,” said Queen. “I feel inspired by her vision and empowered to use my abilities as a photographer in a way that also benefits my religious beliefs–this was all so new to me.”
Kavakci isn’t the only member of her family who receives a lot of media coverage.  Kavakci’s older sister, Merve, is an internationally renowned women’s rights activist. She returned to Turkey after finishing school in the United States to run for Parliament and lift the ban of the hijab. Although she won the election, the ban prevented her from taking her oath. Her refusal to back down keeps Merve regularly in the press and in need of styling, which she receives from Elif.
After news of Kavakci’s label spread to Turkey, Kavakci picked up another prominent client, the wife of the Turkish Prime Minister.
“I had styled and designed for my oldest sister who is in politics in Turkey. She’s in the media a lot and everyone automatically picked up the last name and recognized I dressed her. When [the Prime Minister’s wife] read about my fashion show at SMU she thought, ‘Oh, my gosh. I know her and I need outfits designed.’ They always have occasions where they need something to wear, and so she contacted me, and I have the pleasure of working with her and their daughters,” said Kavakci.
After her career took off, many Muslim women inquired about purchasing her clothes. However, Kavakci Couture is a couture fashion line–nothing is mass-produced and everything is made by hand. Currently, Kavakci has a private clientele that she styles and designs for. Although her line wasn’t available to the general public, Kavakci felt she needed to give something to these women who were reaching out.
Kavakci started her blog, Hijabitopia, as an arena where she could give fashion advice to Muslim women. What initially started as a fashion blog quickly turned into a lifestyle blog, filled with inspiration and role models for Muslim women.
Elif Kavakci via her blog Hijabitopia
Elif Kavakci via her blog Hijabitopia
Nazreen Hassan, co-editor of Hijabitopia and Kavakci’s best friend, moved to Dallas from Johannesburg, South Africa, when she was 7 and met Kavakci when they were little girls taking classes at their Mosque. When Kavakci came to her with the idea of the blog, Hassan was fully supportive.
“I consider [Kavakci’s] family, my family.  She’s been my best friend for over 20 years and we’ve experienced the ups and downs of life as hijab-wearing women together. So naturally, when she had this idea to start the blog, she pitched the idea to me, and I, of course, thought it was a fantastic idea and jumped onboard,” said Hassan.
Like Kavakci, Hassan grew up struggling to find conservative yet fashionable clothes and dealt with the prejudices that can come from being different.
“Wearing hijab is not easy,” said Hassan.  “I grew up being the first one to ever walk [into] my junior high school donning a headscarf.  It scared people, I think.  To be honest, it sometimes scared me, only because of reactions I got and mean kids.  But I knew in my heart that it’s what God wanted me to do, so I did it for Him.”
For Hassan, the only person she had to turn to was Elif. Now she feels as if the digital age has opened the door for Muslim women everywhere to find support, which is what she wants Hijabitopia to be.
“At the time, I didn’t have a big social network to turn to for encouragement or questions or help with what to wear [or] how to deal with mean kids who would pull my hijab off.  I really just had Elif,” said Hassan. “With today’s digital age, information, support groups, blogs, you name it, are readily available through the click of a mouse.  And there’s so much comfort in seeing other people like you out there, facing the same struggles and challenges.”
According to Queen, she believes the blog reaches out to women in a way that wasn’t previously done.
“[Elif] was a catalyst in that sense,” said Queen. “Now there are all types of Muslim fashion blogs and girls claiming to be Muslim designers, but Elif still continues to pave the way to be ‘the real deal.’  The blog connects with every woman’s instinct to want to be beautiful while also maintaining a balance between that beauty and our faith.  This is a line so fine you need a magnifying glass to see.  Hijabitopia never ‘sells out.’  They never push anyone towards making sexual appeal or materialistic things more important than their sense of faith. Plus, I love her segments like ‘Superhijabi’ that showcase powerful out-of-the-box veiled women.  It never ceases to impress.”
According to Hassan, she and Kavakci both write and edit pieces for Hijabitopia. The women post pieces that they hope will provide readers with information, advice or guidance.
“Our readers want to read about any superhijabi in the news, such as Ibtihaj Muhammad, the U.S. World Fencing Champion, convert stories or interesting things relating to Muslim women in the media, and finally, fashion trends and how you can modify them to fit into your hijab-wearing wardrobe,” said Hassan. “Our goal is to inspire our readers and the world by showing them that it is possible to be modern and stylish while still following the tenets of our beautiful faith, Islam.”
Hassan and Kavakci both feel that it is hard for young Muslim women, especially in the U.S., to have a prominent female figure to look up to. By posting stories about Muslim women in the media around the world, they hope to give young women now what they didn’t have.
“I feel in America they don’t really see role models on TV that have their religious views.  When they see Miley Cyrus on the TV, they can’t relate to anything,” said Kavakci. “I thought, what if I start a blog where we can share some information and promote being a good Muslim girl and being religious but at the same time it’s fun.”
Queen has lived on both sides since she grew up as a non-Muslim.  She says that deciding to wear the hijab after converting to Islam changed her life for the better.
“I was invited to stay a month in Jordan and I had this idea that everyone there would be dressed in hijab and that if I wanted to fit in I needed to wear it, too. So I packed my bags full of Islamic attire and took off for Jordan,” said Queen. “For 30 days I wore hijab and spent my time with Muslims. By the time my trip was finished I knew there was no way I could detach myself from my new modest image. It felt too good to give up. I felt respected as a woman, like I didn’t have to compete anymore, I was just a modest religious girl now. It was a good feeling, coming from someone who was very vain and physically obsessed with attention and opinions of my image.”
Now as a Muslim woman who chooses to wear the hijab, Queen believes that wearing the hijab is important for more than just following religious practice.
“It’s important because our society is completely breaking down all around us. Yeah, wow, that’s quite a reason.  Well, look back in history and women’s clothing compared to the amount of respect given.  Women of history fought hard and sacrificed everything so we could have rights in the ‘free world.’  They picketed and were arrested and persecuted so we could have the right to vote, own corporations, get a college degree in the same school a man could. The list is endless and slowly we are just walking around naked, with endless freedom and no sense of when we have gone too far,” said Queen.
“They fought for our right to be heard, but today our voices are clouded by our desire to ‘twerk’ our way to the top in the most revealing way possible.  If you want to be at the top, you have to be willing to go as far as any other.  I ran away from all of this and into the arms of my faith, and dressing modestly never made more sense.  The real question: Why wouldn’t someone want to wear it?”

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Super Hijabi Ibtihaj Muhammad visits Dallas....and takes home GOLD!

Over the weekend we had the pleasure of spending a little bit of time with super hijabi fencer and US Olympic team member, Ibtihaj Muhammad and her also super hijabi younger sister Faiza.  What beautiful muslimahs they were masha'Allah, both inside and out! We're so glad our daughters have them to look up to as role models, alhumdulillah.    

We, of course, took them to our favorite restaurant Noodlewave, where we dined on delicious Thai eats.  Singapore Noodles anyone?  Siracha beef bowl??  YUMMM!!

The next day, we went to watch them compete at the North American Cup at the Dallas Convention Center. It was truly awe inspiring to watch these two skilled hijabi athletes compete in their sport.

Just before the final round, Ibtihaj and Faiza faced off.  The night before we asked them if this ever happens, and they said it was rare, but that on occasion it does happen.  It reminded us of champion tennis sisters, Venus and Serena Williams.  Emotions ran high, but Ibtihaj  triumphed at the end.
Here is the video of Muhammad vs. Muhammad :-) 
Ibtihaj on the right, Faiza on the left fencing against each other.

Ibtihaj let's out a loud scream having taken gold at her first competition of the year. Well Done!!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Chanel takes Dallas ----->>>>>> YEEEHAW!

The king of Chanel, Mr. Chanel himself, aka Karl Lagerfeld was in Dallas last night along with his whole fashion entourage that included Anna Wintour, Alexa Chung and all the rest of the famous people we can not seem to remember or keep up with :-) 

Well what do we owe the honor of his excellency Mr. Lagerfeld flying alll the way down to Texas, to enjoy a barn show (fashion show in the barn, cause that's where all us Texans live :-), you ask? There was so much drama about the show in the barn with hay and Karl in his black suit, white shirt and black sunglasses that we have seen him wear since, well since I can remember and I'm older than you think, that we had to search and look up why he actually was here. The social media was blasting with photographs from the show and how Anna Wintour and Karl and Andre Leon Talley sat in a convertible with a huge Drive-In sign as fans and friends snapped their photos, to be honest it was hilarious. The image that New Yorkers and Europeans have of Texas hee haw was a bit degrading to the point. Yes we are proud Texans but seriously, we don't all live in barns, drive convertibles and go to drive ins.

It was so funny to see famous city people act like they've gone to MOO-MOO land snapping selfies in a barn. Hey grab some hay while you're at it. In Texas we all eat hay! Just kidding.

Anyway, going back to the whole event, social media blasted snap shots of Kristen Stewart in front of the same convertible as the face of Chanel, wearing the ugliest outfit the world has seen (almost posted her photo, but it was not conservative enough for the blog). Personally, I did not like the whole set up for the show or the theme. Dallas can do classy. There is so much more to Dallas than the audience seating, hay flooring, flag hanging, rodeo spanking space that was chosen for the show. 

One minute you see all these fashion celebrities wearing Chanel drinking vine at the most prestigious Chanel store in Dallas, the next minute they are seated in an arena staring at models walk on hay.

I think it would have been more entertaining if Karl were to wear a nice black cowboy hat and black cowboy boots, or if we saw a snap shot of Anna in her Texan attire. If you're yee-haww-ing like Texans you might as well go the whole way. The event looked disconnected and like a bunch of royalties came to observe the simple lives of us texas drawl-ing commoners. All that brouhaha and all us Texans got was a lot of traffic in Dallas. 

In any case, you decide for yourself if it was all that it was pumped up to be. 

Chanel's Paris-Dallas 2013 M├ętiers d'Art Collection 

Photo Credits DMN

Now on a more serious note, to why this event actually took place. Lagerfeld was inspired by Coco Chanel's historic visit to Dallas for this year's Chanel's Metiers d'Art traveling fashion show. In September 1957, Chanel arrived in Dallas to receive a Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion. He wanted to recreate the aura of Chanel's then visit and so he did :-) In addition, Mr. Lagerfeld is receiving the same award today at Neiman Marcus, Dallas.

Coco Chanel with Stanley Marcus in 1957


Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia

Monday, December 9, 2013

Heels in, heels out.

Wax on, wax off.  Channeling our inner Karate Kid with this post today.  Haha!

Anyway, how many of you go about carrying a pair of flats in your handbags just so you can make it through the day??  Whenever I travel (especially to a big city) I make sure to have my flats handy, especially if there will be a lot of walking.  I absolutely love wearing my heels or wedges, but sometimes it's just not practical or fun for my feet!  Or how about those times where you want to go from work, to a night out with the girls, or even your husband?  I know I"m always carrying an extra pair of fancy-heeled shoes in the car.  It can get extremely cumbersome.

Enter Tanya Heath, a Canadian women with a great idea to solve this common women's problem.  She invented shoes with interchangeable heels.  Over 120 heels are available, and they can be snapped onto any and every shoe she makes, with her fascinating snap-on/snap-off (Karate Kid again!) technology.

We loved the Francois Punk Black heels shown below.

To get the full scoop on this innovative idea, please watch the following video.  ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!

Nazreen Hassan for HijabiTopia

Saturday, December 7, 2013

We love CANADA!

OH CANADA!  Have we told you how much we love you and your acceptance and tolerance towards hijabi muslim women?  Remember this post we recently did featuring a hijabi in a Canadian ad?

Well, Edmonton police recently approved a hijab design for female officers wishing to join the force.

Photo courtesy of Edmonton Police Service

In any event, Edmonton police decided to be proactive and collaborate with a hijabi tailor to design this head gear so that any potential hijabis would feel welcome to join their police force.  They currently do not have any hijabi police officers.

For the full article, please click here.  TWO THUMBS UP,  CANADA!!!!

Nazreen Hassan for HijabiTopia

Friday, December 6, 2013

19 hilariously funny but real questions Hijabis get asked

We had a great laugh reading through these questions. Ofcourse if we were to list several of our own questions the list could go on and on but this made us laugh.

Please click below link and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Introducing Hijab wear Brand: KAYRA

Have you heard of the Turkish Hijab Wear brand Kayra?

Well if you haven't here is what you're missing out on.

We recently bumped in to a few online photos of their latest looks and thought they were amazing, and too good not to share on our blog with all of you.

According to  website they take online orders. Their prices are also not outrageous. Their clothes are 100% hijab appropriate and look elegant, stylish, and trendy. We are not sure about the shipping costs or procedures but they are a very well known company that has been one of the leading brands in hijab wear around the world.

Here are some of the looks that we picked out for you

To see more KAYRA products please visit their website:

Or their facebook page:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

TREND ALERT: Stripe it up!

Photo Credits Refinery29

One of our favorite trends for fall is using striped pieces in our wardrobe. Black and white, black and ivory, navy and white or ivory adds a preppy look to your outfit. 

Here are some of our picks.

available on Ann Taylor Loft. com

Ann Taylor Loft. com

Splendid Pop Striped Pull over available at
The best part about this trend is that it looks best if you layer it, wear it inside a trench coat or a long black coat and adds funk to your outfit.

We especially love combining black and white striped pieces with a pop of red. 

Here is a a hijabi version of this trend worn by Elif Kavakci:

Striped raglan sleeve knit top available at
Ann Taylor Loft Modern Straight Jeans available at Ann Taylor
Steve Madden sunglasses available at
Vince Camuto Nude Flats available at
Nude Prada Purse available at Prada stores