How NOT to shop maternity fashion!

If there is one sad place you’d like to go to at the mall for a crisp dose of depression, it’s the maternity shops. Take one step in and you are drowned with horrible images of how you would look like wearing that frumpy tunic, hideous shirt or even worse - their idea of a dress. Horror images come to my mind looking at those endless rails that should come with a “not suitable for viewers with photo epilepsy “ warning! The only thing you can reach for in a maternity store is a much-needed basic classic pair of denim in a straight (or if you’re luck, skinny) leg with that wide elastic cotton waistband. Maybe some leggings with that same band too. A maternity bra/sports bra, maybe two. And this is where it ends. Literally.

Now to be fair some high street fashion stores’ maternity sections are more forgiving, as I have found a really cool pair of jeans trousers and shorts at H&M and Topshop and a very wide selection online at asos. But maybe I was lucky at the stores, because stepping back and looking at the whole section they have dedicated to “mama” fashion - you will think I don’t want to ever be a mama if mamas look anything like that!

Seriously, why does strict maternity fashion stores have to be so hideous and cheap looking? Ok, pregos do get bigger - mainly around the waist, i.e adorable baby bump and the bust. But that’s it; they don’t grow into a full rounded walking watermelon (I hope) for any designers to design a tent for them to hibernate under!

Ok enough b****ing about the so-called maternal fashion lack of taste or style. Let’s look at the bright side - there is one! It’s right there in your entire favourite, go to stores where you love shopping for your favorite brands and in your own wardrobe .  You can absolutely style that bump by doing a bit of adjustments in the size department, a bit of creativity in the layering department and by learning some amazing line and design visual illusion tricks - the secret holy grail is out!


Tops: Go one size bigger to fit that blossoming bump and bust. Bonus tip: As you will develop a round appearance on top, opt for non round necklines and designs, no scoop lines or crew- simple! Go for V necks, boat necks and off the shoulder that show some skin and break the balloon effect! You can even use your own, just layer over a longer cami or tube top worn under. Trick is to pull the tune top so it sits below your bust, allowing more length to cover that bump all the way to your hips. Have fun mixing and matching colors and prints!

Bottoms: Do not walk towards the button, zipper pants or skirts rails - they just won’t do, even in a bigger size. Instead hunt for low elastic waist pants or ones with wide cotton bands. You might be surprised that your regular size still fits if you pull the waist a bit lower. Once you’re mid way in pregnancy then go for a size bigger. Go for peg pants, pajamas style printed pants with an elastic waistband and plenty of legroom and tapered hemlines and sweatpants- all perfect for pregnancy and still so in. Pair with a nice t-shirt and blazer or a denim shirt.


As for skirts, cotton is your go to material - with or without a wide elastic waistband. As cotton is naturally stretchable (with a bit of lycra), you can position the waist of the skirt a bit above your natural waistline for a comfortable fit, or below. I still wear my S size cotton straight skirts, they just feel a bit tighter now but not uncomfortable. Again, you can always go a size bigger, important thing is the waist doesn’t pinch or else you’d end up taking it off in public - it does hurt and itch like hell when it’s tight! Go for skirts with asymmetric hemlines as they add interest and divert from the roundness!



Dresses: You all know that the empire waistline (the one that sits right below your bust) is best for pregnancy, so stock on those. But the usual stretch cotton dresses in maxi or midi work just as fine! They will show your silhouette more as they are body hugging, but in a sexy stylish way. And you can always add a blazer, denim jacket or shirt on top to break that spray on lycra effect. Get one LBD as it will be your savior when you get that next invite to a fancy dinner or event.

Scarves and accessories are THE ESSENTIALS when styling maternity outfits. They add interest, colour and individuality. Even though you might feel too lazy to bother with what goes with what at this stage, do keep some statement necklaces and scarves in bright and neutral colours at hand. You can thank me later.

I can’t promise you will still manage to pull off all your wardrobe items as it does get frustrating at times trying to find a suitable outfit for an important event with a wardrobe full of “am so tiny for your toes to fit in now” closet staring back at you. But with a bit of creativity mix and match you will find that dressing up is still fun and your bump is something to be stylishly proud of!

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Seriously fun fashion: Forever21 turns 10!

You know you have style when you enter a shop like forever21, scan the rails and come out with at least 5 different complete outfits that will take you from breakfast at your favourite cafe to your 9 to 5 job and all the way to the club - in 15 minutes!

Now comes the question(s) "Really"? "How do you find stuff there?" "Isn't it all too casual and for the forever younger?" Well, the answer is simple. "Yes, I find all the latest trends at the most amazing prices and I can put together outfits that are beyond casual, you just need to look. And yes, you can always be forever younger!" Check out the examples here!

Casual chic is what you can turn any outfit into by styling with the right accessories

For the office look, go for simple lines in trousers or pencil skirts and layer with colour, statement jewellery and jackets to keep it interesting.

An all time favourite for the clubbing scene, I always land that last minute shorts or top with a hint of bling to start up the party. Look for details in cut outs, asymmetrical cuts, mesh and texture to add interest to your after dark wardrobe.

And the best news? All forever21 shops in Dubai are celebrating 10 years in UAE with Special styles at stunning prices for 10 days till 10th November!

And if you shop @forever21 in @thedubaimall, @deiracitycentre or @mirdifcitycentre you can strike a pose at their photo booth wearing what you bought for a chance to win AED1000 vouchers!  Be sure to land your perfect buy before the celebration ends!


Create your own style with Cotton On

If you are not familiar with Cotton On, now is the time to check out their collection and stock up on all those needed essentials and quality classics. This is my go to shop for basics that you build your outfits upon. Think that one simple solid cotton cropped top that you can layer under your blazer and skirt/pants/denim? I got those in all available colours and best part is it's always a catch with their incredible affordable prices and infinite use (I washed them to pieces and the cotton quality still looks great!)

Another favourite that I have everyone asking "where did you get that from?" is the long tank that I double for a slip dress. I use it for endless outfit mixes from layering under sheer dresses, long cardigans and see through skirts.

I am wearing the long tank top here with a sheer skirt and blazer. An all white look that everyone thought was a dress.

And it's not just the basics, you will always find that incredible cute pair of shorts, pants, printed tee, blazer or easy summer dresses which you can style into an individual look! Their lounge wear range is surprisingly huge as well, so go ahead and Cotton on!

They are now opening their 1070th store in Deira City Center on Friday the 20th of September! Be there to avail of a 30% discount and 500 goodie bags to the first 500 shoppers!

for the love of Studs & Spikes!

Studs, spikes and heavy metal have been around for some time but they are suddenly everywhere from runway to high street. You can't go anywhere without seeing someone wearing this trend in full swing or incorporating touches of studs and/or spikes into their look with shoes, handbags, jewelry or accessories.

I personally love this rebellious trend but won't take it all the way to punk or goth style. For me, adding one focal point element of rock chic in my outfit is enough as it is a huge statement in itself.

Below are some spike studded pieces that I shot in Zara while shopping for a client  yesterday (I wasn't shopping for this trend by the way but couldn't help the heavy metal overdose).

Studs on leather jackets are very in for fall and they are the ultimate biker chic item. For a unique "sweet girl gone bad" look, combine with flirty dresses, frills and clashing material like chiffon or any light weight fabric. For a fierce Rocker Gothic style, combine with sleek dark pants in leather, velvet or even denim and a very well fitted and tailored top. Do not go overboard by accessioning  very heavily elsewhere.

Spikes on denim are extremely fun! If you already have denim jackets, vests or shirts in your closet, try adding the spikes and studs yourself on the shoulders, collar, sleeves, pocket or back. For some DIY tips check out Iman's blog. Team with print dresses, skirts, shorts and pants in different materials to create your unique style!

Just recently have we seen studs make their way to cardigans and sweaters. I think it's a cool look if you are tempted to try the trend in a more subtle way.

Love the heels! Studs, spikes and stones make a statement here with this classical pointed feminine shoe. The look does not always have to be gangster style. I would wear these with super fitted skinny ankle pants or a pencil skirt.

Making their way to pointed toe booties, this is another unusual combination of spikes with red suede material.

And of course, the biker boots! I am tempted to get one in black soon as the flat heels are very practical to wear everyday and look amazing teamed with dresses, shorts and quirky jackets.

Last, this is one item I did buy for my client from BCBG. The spikes around this leather clutch are such a fierce statement (and weapon), and it was the perfect accessory to compliment the little black dress with silver beading on the sides that we bought earlier. I will share the full look soon after I do her styling at home!

No matter what your personal style is, you can spice up your look by with the trend, just let your imagination run wild, have fun playing and share your looks here!




what denim are you?

Denim has been popular since the day it was invented and is still one of the top wardrobe staples. Historically deemed as casual wear, it has risen throughout the years to smart casual and even dressy. All you need to do is find the right fit for you and take it from day to night by wearing with the right shoes and bag for the occasion, mix and match by layering from simple sweaters and tees to fancy blouses and blazers and finally style with the right accessories. Here's some stylish denim style mixes snapped at Bloomingdale's Dubai event & a few tips on how to land your perfect pair at the end of the post. Enjoy!

Karli Vickers is all romantic meets edgy denim style with a feminine silk blouse, candy pink slim jeans and studded loafers all from Zara. Her Alexander wang bag adds just the right bold element. Love her high girly bun too!

18 year old Blogger Fia dyer reflected her fresh trendy denim style by teaming 2 layers of shirts, primark denim over vintage print with a cute topshop black short. She nicely pulled the look together with white doc martins shoes. I love her playful mix of print, fabric & color. Notice how her hot pink heart shaped earrings and bracelets tie in with her socks. Even her ponytail done on the side was playful, showing us "how to stylishly dress for your age" -  It's all in the details ladies! Check out her blog for some more inspiration on her style

Blogger Iman Omrani was there too & I love her unique style at all times. Going for a romantic denim style, she wore her dyed jeans with a lovely white ribbon knitted sweater from Romwe & cute blue ballerinas with ribbons too from zara! Her splash necklace with oval shaped stones and her very feminine wavy blonde hair finish off that feminine look.  Check out her blog for some amazing DIY fashion.

Love how Zhineh wore her amazing back studded knitted sweater bought from London spitafield market, bringing the edgy look together by matching with the shape of her hair tie on that super cool messy bun. Repeating small details such as shape, color, texture or print is what makes a unique style. Truth is sometimes we don't even notice we're doing  it! Am sure many of you don't plan all these details in an outfit, but again, this is how unique style is created.

Now here's Omar, one stylishly confident kid!  You can't miss his cool nonchalant character that shows even at his age! He's wearing nothing less than a ralph lauren shirt, true religion jeans & making one amazing statement with his roberto cavalli shoes :)

That's Seif, Omar's adorable & equally fashionable brother! I had to run after him for 5 minutes & couldn't get this shot until I found his dad who volunteered to catch him for less than 60 seconds. His sutograph jacket, picollo shirt, true religion jeans & "very fast" Cityshoe are just the cutest combination I've ever seen!

Last, you have to meet the dad who makes sure that style runs in the family!

He's wearing his Tommy Hilfiger blazer over a Ralph Lauren shirt, with straight legged Rock n republic jeans. Love how the handmade shoes from London in white Linen and tan leather piping pull the whole look together.

Now, when it comes to jeans, ironically the question I’ve been asked the most is “ what denim am I ? ie how do I find the right style for my body shape?” Here’s a few tips on what to look for!

To add curves go for skinny jeans. The tapered hemline at the calves gives the illusion of a wider hip and curvier bottom. Bright, shiny and light colors are great for visually adding volume too.

To conceal & balance wider hips, opt for boot cut jeans with a flare at the bottom and make sure that they’re long enough to cover your heels. Avoid boyfriend jeans, low waisted styles & skinny. Only way to wear skinny jeans is to pair with a longer top.

To look slimmer and taller, go for a darker wash. Look for vertical seams to visually add height. Go for straight leg styles to look taller and avoid flared or wide jeans. Stay away from cropped or cuffed jeans as not to visually cut your legs. Wearing high heels is always good to add height too.

So, what denim are you?