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Hello!

Hello!
Hi! I'm Shabana. I live in Bahrain. I'm a businesswoman by day and a fitness instructor by night. I believe that dressing up is the easiest way of loving yourself, and this blog is where I journal my outfits and my life. If you'd like to know more, click on the About Me tab on top. I hope you enjoy my blog!
                            
15/random posts
Bright and Brighter + Ups & Downs

Bright and Brighter + Ups & Downs




Since I got these two items in my wardrobe- these pants and this top, I've been meaning to do an outfit post wearing the two. I love the combination of brights with brights, but I've been a bit wary of doing it in the past because it can be such a tricky thing to pull off. 

Combos from opposite ends of the colour wheel like green and purple, orange and blue, are easy. Trickier are colour combos that are not from opposite ends of the colour wheel, but colours that sit next to each other. Like orange and yellow or blue and purple. Because they're from the same colour family. But when done well, they look great!

Pink and orange is a colour combo I've been meaning to try for ayyyyges. I had these fuchsia pants before I had the shirt, and when I got the shirt, it hit me- hey! I can finally do an orange and fuchsia combo! 

About the Outfit

Like I said in this post, I'm a bit over plain button-downs. But a button-down with a bit of detailing/ different sleeves/ something of interest added, yes! Works! Which is why I love this shirt. There's just a bit of lace detail in the button panel and shoulder seams, but it makes SO much of a difference. As soon as I put the shirt on in the fitting room, the lace stood out and made it look so pretty and feminine.

Although, I must admit I was attracted to this shirt because of the colour. The punchy, in-your-face hue is such a delicious shade or orange. I've always stayed away from orange because I feel like a very bright one would clash with my skin tone. But this one has a slightly pinkish tone which works great. It's amazing how the right bright colours brighten up your entire look.


The material is a light and silky polyester, so it has a lovely graceful fall to it. The sleeves drape nicely and the soft collar and sleeve cuffs add to its effortless look.
The shirt is from Koton. Most of my tops are, as well as a few pants and dresses. I love their selection of clothes that are just the right mix of workwear and elegance. I'm not being paid to plug them, I swear. I WISH they'd bloody pay me!

You've seen these pants before in this post from December. {I didn't know I had them that long! Nothing like an outfit blog with dates to show you how long you've had something.} These pants are an absolute fave. They're super comfy as the material has just the right amount of stretch, they're a perfect fit, and of course, they're PINK. How can I not love them?


The shirt and trousers together make a {very bright} statement, so I paired neutral accessories with it. These shoes are perfect as they're not just beige, they're a very light shade of beige. If that makes any sense. I love the little knot on top! You HAVE to have nude shoes. You can wear them with absolutely anything. I like to keep a few in different styles for a bit of variety. And when I say few, I mean two, because it's so hard to find shoes in my giant feet size.


I wore dangly tiered earrings with shades of red in it to match the outfit's colours and also to add some girliness. On my hands, I wore a few thin rings with little dangly hearts that are part of a midi ring set. The clothes are structured, which is why I wanted to add movement and softness with long earrings and a soft bag.



The black bag tones down the brightness of the clothes, and adds a statement of its own. On the same note, I love love LOVE big bags. They're fantastic for work. I have one bag organizer that holds everything, and I just switch it from bag to bag. Big bags mean that the organizer fits easily. Of course, I usually try to get bags in which I know the organizer will fit. But I do have smaller bags for when I go shopping or for the weekend when I know I'll be walking around and I don't want to lug a big heavy bag around.


Top: Koton, Pants: Zara, Earrings, Bag: Gifted,  Rings: Forever21, Shoes: Debenhams.


On a Personal Note

Workwise, it's a {relatively} slow summer. I'm enjoying it. After the craziness of the last few months, Ramadan, moving into the new office, et al, this is a welcome respite. And that's just the work front. There's been some ups and downs in my personal life as well, which I won't get into now, maybe in the next post, but I feel like things are finally beginning to settle down. 

There's always these two phases of life- when everything happens at once, and where nothing happens at all. And both these times can drive you nuts in their own ways. 

Whenever I've felt sad or bored or disappointed with the way things are, I've always looked for the smallest next thing that can make me happy, or something new to learn. Learning something new always excites me. Whether it's something as small as reading a book on doing something a different way or doing a certified course. 

I've always found that learning new things about the things that I already love makes me super happy. I think it's so, so, SO important to never lose sight of the things that make you happy and to never stop chasing them. I talk more about how I chased my dreams which got me to where I am today, in my book Loving Yourself In Style. It's a simple, straightforward book peppered with watercolour illustrations done by me. Because who doesn't like a book with pictures? ;)



Until next time,

xoxo
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Shabana Feroze
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Unusual Dresses + The Exciting New Things In My Life

Unusual Dresses + The Exciting New Things In My Life





I would have never, ever picked this dress out from a rack in the shop. But now it's one of my faves. It has got to be one of the most comfortable dresses I have ever worn. You have to have dresses like these in your wardrobe. They're the perfect quick-fix to when you don't know what to wear, you're in a hurry, or when you know you're going out for a big lunch. ;)


About the Outfit


Like I said, this dress wouldn't have been my first choice. My mom picked it out for me and asked me to try it on and I was like, "This? Really?". But once on, it looked amazing and felt SO comfy. Just goes to show you that you should always try on different and new stuff. {I talk about this in the Fashion & Style chapter of my book, Loving Yourself In Style.} Which is why I love taking my mom shopping with me. She always steers me away from my safe zone. Not to mention she has the funniest comments on styles and patterns. {"This looks like you're in prison."}


The cut and the print are not something that I would usually wear. You know how much of a florals/ solid colours person I am. This kind of print is out of the question for me. But on closer inspection, I loved how it looked. The print is very Moroccan, with an eclectic mix of patterns and bright colours. I love all the little motifs and swirls.

The dress drapes beautifully on the body and has a slightly loose fit. The material is a cotton mix and is a bit crinkly. It has some stretch because of the crinkliness. Which is why it doesn't need any side zippers or buttons or the neck or any other fastenings. I LOVE dresses and tops that don't need fastenings because you can just slip those over your head without anything getting caught or stuck.


Another reason why I wasn't attracted to this dress was the length. I usually like dresses and skirts that are midi {knee length} or maxi, all the way to the floor. In between these two lengths can make me look awkward. What I didn't realize is that the hem of this dress is very interesting- it's longer in the middle and lifted up from the sides. It still manages to look long, without having the heaviness of a full maxi dress. 

The sleeves overlap at the top, and fall in a pretty flare down to the bottom, finishing just above the elbows. Again, an unusual design for me. But I love it because it means that your arms feel free and unencumbered. 

This is a great sundress that just doesn't look like your typical sundress. I've already worn it several times and also worn it on the trip to Kerala where it was hot and humid like Bahrain. It makes for a great travel dress. I actually wore it to my friend's wedding, with a bigger necklace and strappy sandals.

I paired it with navy blue pumps and a black bag in this look. The blue of the shoes goes great with the blue accents in the dress's print. I accessorized with a golden necklace, a brown embroidered cuff, and a statement watch.  



I'd love to wear the dress again with colourful shoes and a bright bag, to bring out the colours in the print. And maybe try it with a belt as well.



What clothes and styles are in your comfort zone? Who makes you change your safe looks and try something new? Do you like sticking to one type of style or trying different ones? Let me know in the comments at the end of this post!

 Dress: Koton, Necklace: c/o I Am, Bag, Watch: Gifted, Shoes: Primark. Photos: Arif Feroze

On A Personal Note

It's been a few weeks in my new office and I'm loving it. What I'm not loving is walking to and fro from home to work because OHMIGAWD THIS HEAT IS NUTS. But there's no way I'm going to get in my car for a 30-second drive. The solution - an umbrella and doubling my sunscreen cream. And walking really fast.

Another thing I'm really excited about is giving classes in a new gym. I'll be giving BodyCombat classes in Dessange in Adliya. I've been teaching at Fitness First for ages now, so this is a big change for me. So far I'm loving the vibe of the place. I've been attending other instructor's classes too at Dessange this whole week and I'm on a natural high, all the time. Not to mention VERY sore. I'm like Chandler after Monica has been training him.



That aside, can you believe that half the year is over? It's July already. Most people will be travelling and getting away from the crazy heat of these months. But I won't be. I'll be staying right here and getting baked. And roasted. And grilled. {Please can scientists do more to stop global warming? Please? Please? We're dying here in Arabia!}

What will you be doing this summer? Travelling to cooler climes or getting baked with me?


Until next time,

xoxo
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Shabana Feroze
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Royal Blue & Floral Hem + 7 Days Of Self-Love

Royal Blue & Floral Hem + 7 Days Of Self-Love



From this last post, you know how big a sucker I am for a pussybow. This shirt was designed by me, or let's just say the design was copied by me from another shirt I have in white from Koton, worn in this post. I love the pattern so much, I had to have it another colour. Royal blue has always been one of my favourite colours because it's such a deep and rich shade while being bright at the same time. 


The pussybow in this one is detached {it was stitched to the neck at the back until Sajida from Saji's Couture told me to remove it so I could wear the shirt without the pussybow as well. So clever}. The shirt has buttons down the front like a typical button-down but what I really love about the design is the sleeves. The blouson sleeves with their gathering at the shoulders, puffed-up ends and the big cuffs with three buttons make the top look soft and feminine. The material is very light and flowy, enhancing the draping of the sleeves and the pattern even more.


I've become tired of typical button-up shirts, with their straight lines and masculine form. But I still love them for their professional appearance and practicality. Which is why I think simply changing up the sleeves makes a world of a difference. 

I paired the top with this floral skirt that I found online. {I've become addicted to browsing online shops to find a unique design at a good price.} I went gaga over this skirt when I saw it because 1) it's A-line and 2) FLOWERS! The material is jacquard-ish, with a textured pattern on it, meaning that the material is nice and thick. But the fabric is a cotton mix so it's still great for summer and feels cool against the skin. 

But mostly I fell in love with the floral design at the hem. It's such a gorgeous spray of big and small flowers in cheerful colours, bursting in happy colours. I love that it's just at the bottom of the skirt. Such a nice change from all-floral patterns. 

The box pleats on the skirt make the hem flare out nicely and I love that the length hits just below the knee. This skirt is also available in a navy blue. 

The blue of the top sets off the blue in the floral print, and because the print has so many colours against a white background, you can wear a lot of different shades with it. I can't wait to try this skirt with other coloured tops! 

To accessorize, I wore black and white star-shaped earrings and one dainty ring on each hand. With the long cuffs and pussybow at the neck, this outfit doesn't leave much opportunity for accessorizing. 


In any case, I wanted to keep it simple with all the focus on the pussybow, the sleeves and the skirt. I completed the ensemble with an emerald coloured bag to keep with the jewel tones in the look.

Top: Own design, Skirt: Karen J Store, Bag and Accessories: Gifted, Shoes: from Canada

The Week After + 7 Days of Self-Love


The week after holidays always feels really long. It doesn't matter if the holidays were short, the next week back at work still feels like it won't end. This week has been interesting though, as we moved into a new office at work. A change can feel overwhelming and chaotic in the beginning, especially a change of place, and that's how this week has felt. There's still so much to do, so many things to plan and arrange for. But ultimately, when the change is positive and something you wanted, the amazing feeling surfaces again after the chaos and busyness subside. 

I'm already really enjoying this new office as it's really close to home. It gives me the opportunity to walk to work every day, something I'm not used to. However, I'm soon learning that I need to carry an umbrella with me everywhere if I'm going to be walking to and fro. It'll be July next week and walking on the streets feels like being in an oven with the heat turned on at full. Remember to wear sunscreen every day, people! And drink lots and lots of water.

The usual advice aside, summertime means it's time to update your wardrobe. Every summer I look forward to wearing the brightest, boldest colours and prints, as well as soothing pastels. And of course, lots of natural fabrics in flowy, loose cuts and designs. Wearing colourful clothes is my way of staying happy even when the sun drives me nuts with its glower and glare. Flowy clothes is a must when you're in a humid place like Bahrain. So lots of loose blouses, cotton tea dresses, skirts and wide leg pants is what's on my mind.

What about you? What does your summer wardrobe consist of? What do you love wearing when it gets hot? 

In other news, I'm running a free online workshop on 7 days of self-love. My book, Loving Yourself In Style, is all about, well, loving yourself, and this short course takes you through a week of learning to love yourself more. 

You'll be getting worksheets directly in your inbox, with practical exercises to do each day that make you happier. You can sign up for the 7 Days Of Self-Love Worksheets by clicking here.

You can also sign up by filling in the form on the top of the right sidebar of this blog {or after this post if you're reading this on your phone}.The workshop starts on the 1st of July. Don't miss it!

Until next time,

xoxo
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Shabana Feroze
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Black and Bows + How To Get Over The Eid Food Guilt

Black and Bows + How To Get Over The Eid Food Guilt



I'm not a big fan of black clothes as they tend to look harsh. Unless they're a floral print. Which is why it was love at first sight when I saw this black floral top from Saji's Couture. The print on it has bright colours in reds and yellows, giving it a cheerful feel, but keeping it elegant and understated because of the black background. Florals on a light or white background tend to look fresh and summery, while a flower print done well on a black cloth looks serious and classy.

This top is made from a thick but breathable material, and the fit is perfect by being slightly loose. There's only a button at the neck for the pussybow and you can easily slide it over your head with minimum fuss. I love minimum-fuss work clothes, don't you? But what makes this top stand out are the details of the bows and frills. Talk about making something feminine even more feminine! I love it, haha! There's a pussybow at the neck which ties at the side. The sleeves end in the same black stretchy material as the neck, in long ribbons which can be tied as you like. Lastly, the same material is used for double frills at the end of the top.


I've always been a massive fan of the pussybow blouse, as I think nothing looks more professionally elegant than a bow tied at the neck, sitting daintily. I've had a lot of centred pussybow blouses but few with asymmetric ones that sit on the side. It adds a different kind of nonchalance to the outfit. The ribbons on the sleeves and the frill on the hem add that much more girliness. I love how the overall design is serious with accents of flirtatiousness.




In this look, I went for a contrast by pairing the top with very light pants. This way the top stands out more and can get all the attention it deserves. These cigarette trousers are one of my favourites on repeat. They're a stretchy material with a great fit. and just what you need for pairing with darker tops, especially when you don't have the courage to wear white pants. I love that the colour is a light blush pink, all feminine and soft. I accessorized with silver tear-drop earrings and finished with a matching bag and pumps in black. 


I'd love to try this top with pants in bright colours like fuchsia, to bring out the colours in the print, and even with a skirt, worn over the frills at the hem. 

Top: Saji's Couture, Pants: Zara, Bag: Gifted, Shoes: from Canada. Photos: Arif Feroze

In Other News

It's time again to get back to work after the luxury of 5 days of Eid holidays. It has been 5 days of eating, lazing, eating, going to parties, and eating some more. The worst part is, all that food is usually high calorie, high sugar stuff. And after it's all over and you're back to normal life, you're plagued by guilt and shame over all the overeating. As a fitness instructor, I can tell you that I go through the same thing, but I've just learned how to manage it better. So here's a few tips on how to get over the Eid {or any festival} food guilt:

How To Get Over The Eid Food Guilt

  • Don't feel guilty! You had the biryani and baklava and you enjoyed them at the time. There's no point in feeling guilty about it now. Instead, be happy that you got to experience these delicious festive foods.
  • Make a plan. So you've overeaten over the holidays. Now's the time to make a health and fitness plan if you don't have one already, or add a few extra gym hours/ classes to your routine. Also, make a plan to eat healthier by cutting down your sugar intake and processed meats and foods.
  • Don't overdo it. Having said the above, don't go crazy trying to lose the extra pounds or punishing yourself for the overindulgence. If you workout too much at once, you'll only injure yourself or fall sick by putting your immune system under too much stress by overexercising. Also, it doesn't work that way. Quality over quantity. The same goes for your food habits. Don't completely cut off your favourite foods or sugary items, or you'll end up bingeing on them after a week.
  • Limit sugar and heavy foods to daytime. If you're like me, you'll have lots of leftover biryani, chocolates and gifted sweets. Limit yourself to having them in the daytime, when your metabolism is faster. Also, don't overeat. Have only one chocolate and savour it instead of mindlessly polishing off the whole box.
  • Give it away! In our house, whenever we find ourselves laden with gifted sweets and heavy foods over festival times, we give away as much as we can. We give them to the housecleaners, the doormen, security guards, and friends and family. We only keep the foods we absolutely love but in a limited quantity. You can even take the sweets to work and keep them all in the office pantry/ kitchen for your workmates to enjoy. Just don't be the one to eat them all yourself.
  • Take your mind off your body. Don't be obsessed about how many pounds you've put on over the holidays, how tight your pants are now, or how fat you look. All that stressing will only make you reach out for a doughnut. Instead, know that you have it in you to get back to your fitness level, and to get back to a healthy food regimen again. If you put it on, you can burn it off. It's only a matter of doing workouts that make you happy and eating natural, nutritious foods that make your body happy. And you'll be back to your pre-Eid body in no time.
You can read more about my views on diet and exercise in my book, Loving Yourself In Style, in the chapter Health & Fitness where I talk about how loving your body is the easiest way to be happy and healthy. If you'd like to know more about my fitness classes, drop me a line on shabana{dot}feroze{at}gmail{dot}com or message me on any of my social media channels!

Until next time, xoxo
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Shabana Feroze
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Floral Maxi Shirt Dress + About The Silver Kick Company

Floral Maxi Shirt Dress + About The Silver Kick Company


This has to be one of my favourite dresses. Yes, I know I say that for every dress I wear. But what I love the most about a maxi dress like this, is its practicality of wear. When you wake up late on a hectic morning and just don't know what to wear, slip on a pretty maxi dress and you're done.



Style Talk


What I really liked about this dress is that it's very work-appropriate too. The collar and the cuffs on the sleeves make it look professional and smart. There are buttons all down the front of the dress, and they're functional, not just for show. You could call it a shirt dress since it's technically a shirt that's been lengthened. But because it reaches the ankles and not just the knees, it looks much more elegant and work-friendly. 

The material is a thin cotton so it's great for summer wear. You don't need to open all the buttons to wear it, of course, just slip it over your head. The fit is perfect: it's not too tight, and it falls around you and moves with you. I'm wearing a UK size 10. Obviously, the main thing that attracted me most to the dress is the floral print with its delicate leaves and flowers. 

 I actually didn't like this dress when I saw it {although I LOVED the print}. I thought it too prudish for me, with the collar and buttons closing all the way up. My mom picked it out for me and made me try it on and I was in love.



In this look, I accessorized the dress with a flowery gold ring and pearl earrings. On my feet, I wore black pumps with cutouts. These shoes are fast becoming a favourite because they're so comfortable. The insides of the shoes have a slightly raised arch which makes them very comfortable for someone like me who has high arches on their feet. 

I finished with a dark pink handbag to bring out the pink hints in the floral of the dress. I'm sure this dress can be styled with the buttons opened, as a long jacket/ coat. Maybe I'll try that look soon. I'd also love to try the dress with different belts. {It doesn't come with one.}

Dress: Koton, Bag: Parfois, Shoes: Marks & Spencer. Photos: Arif Feroze

Life Talk

The middle of Ramadan is over and we're sliding towards Eid. I don't know what that means to you, but to me, it means getting busier work-wise as we gear up to have our clients ready for the boom period of Eid. {I run an advertising agency called The Silver Kick Company.} It's an exciting, vibrant and creative time. You'd think I'd be exhausted running around all the time but being exhausted doing what you love is... really, really nice. 

It's been more than 4 years running my own company and I must say, it's been a lot of fun. I've learned so many things, been through ups and downs, and met some of the most amazing {and horrible} people along the way. I've grown so much by learning how to do new things by myself such as registering the company, getting my own corporate bank account, managing finances and dealing with clients. The best parts of the TSKC journey have been about forging and strengthening relationships with old and new suppliers, building a team of super amazing people, and making clients happy. If you've started a business or are planning to, my biggest advice to you would be to 1.) Make sure it's something you really, REALLY love doing, and 2.) Don't. Give. Up. 

I talk in detail about my career and how I came to start my own company after resigning from a good position in a big company in my book, Loving Yourself In Style. I also talk about other topics such as passion, education, fashion and style, health and fitness and money management

As usual, every Ramadan my sleep schedule gets totally messed up. I'm up all hours. I'm napping at weird hours. But that's just how it is. The annoying thing is that just when your body gets used to all the late nights and the sleeping in bits and pieces, it's Eid. And then you spend all of Eid catching up on your sleep. If this is you, leave me a comment below. Let me know I'm not alone. ;)


Until next time

xoxo
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Shabana Feroze
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[name=Shabana Feroze] [img=https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Sg6SV98PZuI/WZVqixmSbyI/AAAAAAAAzS8/-Y24FbHuPfozAHBFDpi9P1XsTRqcHi-0ACLcBGAs/s320/Wider.jpg] [description=Shabana Feroze is the owner of advertising agency The Silver Kick Company, and co-owner of Lace Love, a lace business that she started with her mother. She is a Les Mills fitness instructor, teaching BodyCombat and BodyBalance classes. She is also a published author with her first book Loving Yourself In Style. She enjoys dressing up, chasing her passions, traveling the world, staying fit and encouraging people to do the same. She lives in Bahrain with her family of humans and cats.] (facebook=https://www.facebook.com/TheSilverKickDiaries/?fref=ts) (instagram=https://www.instagram.com/thesilverkickdiaries/) (twitter=https://twitter.com/SilverKick) (bloglovin=https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/silver-kick-diaries-3736366) (pinterest=https://www.pinterest.com/silverkick/)

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