What to Wear in Saudi Arabia

Before I share more about my trip to Saudi Arabia, I think it’s worth highlighting the clothing requirements.  What most people know about visiting places like Saudi Arabia is that women need to cover their head.  However, I am happy to share that it was more interesting than just that.

In advance of my trip, I scoured the internet for rules and regulations on women’s attire.  What should I wear?  Do I have to cover my head, and if so when and where?  Can my hair show at all?  Do I have to cover my face?  These were the questions running through my mind.  Unfortunately and to my great surprise, there was very little detail available.  Additionally, much of what I could find was contradictory.

My past travels have taught me that it is always better to be safe than sorry, so I opted to go for more coverage.  While my internet search wasn’t so great in terms of clothing rules, it was very helpful with online shopping options.  I found a great online store called Modanisa.  It is based out of Turkey and boasts extremely affordable options in proper clothing.  I ordered a variety of items for less than 100 Euros.  My order consisted of 3 long dresses, 2 abayas, 2 hijabs and 1 turban.

Throughout the ordering process, I came to learn the different terms and types of clothing items that were available.  I knew I needed to cover my head, shoulders and legs, but I had no idea how many options there actually were.  What I am listing below is based on how the Modanisa website characterized the items.

Abaya – this is the all-covering outer garment that I would wear over my other clothes when stepping outside.  It had a zipper running the entire length of garment, and I ordered 2 of these in black just to ensure I blended in as much as possible.

what to wear in saudi arabia

Abaya

Hijab – this is the head covering that does not include covering the face or eyes (that is called a Niquab).  However, it does often include some sort of scarf-like appendage.  I purchased the “ready hijabs” from Modanisa, mostly because they were idiot proof.  These easily wrapped around my head and neck or tied directly under my chin like a bonnet.

what to wear in saudi arabia

Hijab

Turban – this is a less restrictive head covering.  It does not include the scarf-like elements, so while my neck was exposed, my hair was still mostly covered.  I actually appreciated how comfortable, easy to use, and fashionable the turban looked.

what to wear in saudi arabia

Turban

Long Dresses – the dresses fully covered all necessary areas and easily fit underneath the abaya.  They were very comfortable as well!

Long Dress

Continuing on, my time in Saudi Arabia was relatively short.  I spent most of my visit inside the hotels and in fairness, what is acceptable within a hotel is different from what might be acceptable in public.  I was told to remove my hijab and abaya while inside, but I kept them on most of the time out of respect.

As much as I was fearful of the setting and the dress code, I ended up feeling exceptionally at ease in my surroundings.  What helped most was always being in the presence of other Saudi women.  They not only helped me blend in and answered my clothing questions, but they also became my very fast friends.

For any female traveling to Saudi Arabia, I recommend taking the safe approach.  Always wear more, knowing that these items can easily be removed or adjusted as needed.  Note that on those especially hot days, the abaya is your friend.  You can probably get away with shorts and a t-shirt underneath, with the public being none the wiser.

More on Saudi Arabia to follow soon!

 

They Call Me Mellow Yellow

Yellow.  It’s a great color and one of my favorites.  It is also perfect for summer, and even better for a confidence boost.  Since I am still trying to shed some baby weight, I purchased a few items that I am very excited about it.  Nowadays, yellow can be found quite frequently in my closet, and today’s outfit is no exception.

Tara Jarmon is a brand I return to often.  The clothing is unique yet classic, often colorful, and well made.  It also fits me well, both pre- and post-baby.  Luckily there is a store in downtown Zurich, and it is there that I found the most perfect yellow skirt.

This skirt is incredible for so many reasons.  It is lightweight and bright, is comfortable and moves beautifully. Plus it washes like a dream!  I am still in awe that I can wash it at home rather than have it dry cleaned.  Being self-conscious about my post-baby figure, it also cinches in my waist right where I need it.  So rather than feeling like I’m being stuffed into a sausage casing, my curves are highlighted in an attractive and classy way.

Taking it a step further, I love to mix my colors.  I always found that orange and yellow mesh well together, and my orange purse was the perfect complement to this outfit.

yellow

yellow

yellow

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yellow

What the Missus Wore:  Skirt by Tara Jarmon//Shoes from Anthropologie//Luggage Bag by Celine//Scarf from Maison Martin Morel//Shirt from H&M

More yellow to come soon!  Happy Summer!

Mommy Fashion in Bern

Mommy fashion – there is something to be said for taking the time to “dress up” each day.  Attempting to pull together a cute outfit while balancing our beautiful new daughter Matilda is a challenge.  However I am up for this challenge.  Given my love of fashion, when I feel successful in this endeavor, I wish to celebrate it.  🙂

But why is mommy fashion important?  Well for starters, being able to shower and get dressed each day while multitasking the needs of a new baby is impressive.  As new moms know, it’s hard enough to make time for blogging let alone showering or putting on makeup.

Additionally, my body is very different post-baby than it was pre-baby.  Sometimes I don’t feel so great about how I look.  My tummy is loose and jiggly, my hips are much wider, and I can’t find a bra that fits.  When I can pull together a great look, I feel good about myself and become less concerned about the aftermath of pregnancy.

So onto my recent outfit.  While my parents were visiting, we traveled to Milan and a variety of Swiss cities.  These trips presented multiple opportunities to try my hand at mommy fashion, and my Bern outfit was one of my favorites.  I love these photos even more because they include my darling Matilda.

What the Missus Wore:  Coat from Tara Jarmon (similar)//Seychelles Wake Booties//Maternity jeans from H&M//Scarf from ModCloth//3 Jours Bag from Fendi

I may need to start including Matilda’s outfits in my blog….what do you think?