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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
My Number One Tip To Start Exercising

My Number One Tip To Start Exercising

This is a new series I'm starting- a weekly {or bi-weekly, seeing how it goes} blog post on health and fitness. Being a group fitness instructor for over 6 years now, many of my students, friends, family and blog followers ask me a lot of questions on fitness and all the topics related to it.

Through these blog posts I'll be answering the most common concerns and questions I get on exercise, food, diet, sleep, breathing {since one of the programs I teach is yoga}, working out, body image, mental health and overall wellness. All my advice is based on my experience, whether that's with my own body and fitness, or what I have seen my class students experience over the years. To this, I'll add scientific research and results from studies done by authentic organizations that I trust.

One of the most common and most frequently asked questions I get asked is-

I want to start exercising. Where do I begin?

My answer to this is always the same, and it's what I say for anything in life- 

Find something you love doing.

Exercise can feel like a chore. Okay. Let's rephrase that. Exercising is a chore. The only way you're going to stick to a workout plan is by doing something that makes you seriously happy. Exercise should be fun. You should feel happy while doing it, and it should leave you feeling exhilarated after you're finished. 

Finding something you love doing is key to continue doing it. All the other things like working out with a friend, paying a high fee for a gym so you'll be forced to go... none of it will work if you find the exercise itself unpleasant. You'll stop doing it eventually. 

Many people hate going to the gym. The good news is, you don't have to! There's SO much to choose from in the world of working out other than gymming. From playing a sport to attending fitness classes, to simply going for walks with a friend, there are several things you can do to lose weight and stay active. You're bound to find something you like.
To get your creative juices flowing about what you can do, I have listed a few things below that count as exercise. You can explore these and see if you enjoy doing any of them:
  • Go for walks on the beach/ corniche with a friend or your music for company. 
  • Dance in your bedroom/ living room. 
  • Clean your entire house manually- dusting, vacuuming, mopping. Get down on the floor and use a washcloth to mop the tiles for excellent leg conditioning. 
  • Join fitness classes like LesMills, CrossFit, MetaFit, Yoga. 
  • Sign up for dance lessons with or without a partner. 
  • Take up horse-riding lessons. 
  • Sign up for a group sport team- volleyball/ basketball/ cricket. 
  • Join a tennis/ squash club. 
  • Enrol in a membership at an adventure place where you can do rock climbing, obstacle courses, etc, indoors. 
  • Work out at home by following YouTube videos and fitness apps. 
  • Join a mixed martial arts program. 
  • Try your hand at watersports.
If you already know what you like, great! Make a plan to do more of it. If you don't, my advice is to try out a lot of different things- try out various classes {most gyms will let you purchase a package of just classes}, try out floor areas of a few gyms {again, gyms have day passes for sale or will let you use their facilities for free for a day}, sign up for a sport, or try working out at home. See what makes you feel the most comfortable, but also motivated and happy to do more of it. 

Once you find something you like doing, mix it up by making it challenging as you go on, and also try to include all three forms of training- cardio, weights and flexibility. More on this in the upcoming posts. You can read more on my views on health and fitness in my book, Loving Yourself In Style, available in bookshops in Bahrain and online everywhere.

If you're seriously overweight and need to start a fitness plan, I'd highly recommend beginning with a personal trainer. One-on-one training with a personal trainer can help you make the necessary changes in your diet and lifestyle to reduce your weight. They help get you started on a fitness plan gradually so you don’t get demotivated after trying to lose weight on your own. Once you have begun on your fitness journey and know what you’re doing, you can explore other ways like the ones listed above to keep exercising.
So that’s my number one tip to start exercising- fall in love with your workouts, and you won’t stop. Even if you don’t see results immediately or hit a plateau in a few months. If you’re doing something that makes you happy, you’ll continue doing it no matter what.

Whether you're someone who's brand new to exercise, or have been working out since some time, give this a try and let me know what you think.

NB: The links in this post are not sponsored. 

Until next time

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Shabana Feroze
How To Look Well-Dressed All The Time

How To Look Well-Dressed All The Time

"You're always so well-dressed." "You always look your best."
These are lovely compliments to get, aren't they? When you leave the room, you want people to talk about how you're always so well-dressed and look elegant all the time.

Being well-dressed is all about looking chic, put-together and expensive. It's about wearing clothes that flatter your shape, show your personality and make a statement. The term "well-dressed" usually refers to a professional look. The good news is that you don't have to be a millionaire and wear three-piece suits to look like that. You just need to be smart and follow the tips in this article.

How to look well-dressed all the time

Be well-groomed

Being well-dressed starts with being well-groomed. If you have a good haircut, elegant makeup that enhances your features, neat nails and healthy skin, your halfway on your way to looking well-dressed. When you're well-groomed, anything you wear will look good because your person looks pleasing to the eye.

Wear clothes that fit

Wearing baggy clothes or clothes that are too tight for you don't make you look well-dressed. These clothes make you look like you're not putting an effort into what you wear. Also, you could be wearing clothes that don't fit properly. Such as a beautiful blouse but in the wrong length or jeans that are too tight across the thighs. These will make you look frumpy and uncomfortable.

When choosing clothes, choose ones that flatter your shape. Your clothes shouldn't be too loose or too tight, they should be slightly loose as these fits look the most elegant. Go for tailored, structured clothes with clean lines.

Wear what suits you

Wearing something just because it's the in thing right now won't make you look well-dressed. The most well-dressed people know what works for them, and they stick to those styles. Choose clothes that you're comfortable in, in colours and patterns that suit you and your lifestyle. If you're a busy mom who has to drop kids to school and then go straight to work, skip tight pencil skirts and go for looser A-line skirts and wide-leg pants. They look just as elegant and are easier to move around in. Wearing clothes that are a marriage of your personality and lifestyle will make you look good and feel great.

Keep your clothes neat

Wearing clean, ironed and neat clothes is essential to looking expensive and professional. If there's a stain on your top, don't wear it. Chuck it in the wash and choose another top. Keep only clean, ironed clothes in your wardrobe. I have a system where I keep my unironed clothes outside my wardrobe. On the weekend I iron them and only then they go inside my cupboards. This way, I'm not tempted to wear wrinkled clothes. In any case, your clothes will get creased and crumpled over the course of the day. The least you can do is to start the day in neat clothes. If you're a very busy person who has to move around a lot during the day or if you have to travel frequently, choose clothes in materials that don't crease that easily.

Natural fabrics

Natural fabrics make you look more elegant, more expensive and better dressed. And of course, they're so comfortable to wear. Cotton and linen always look effortless and chic, even though they crease faster than other fabric. If you can't find clothes in natural fabrics, look for ones that are a mix or those that mimic natural materials. Clothes that are too shiny, stretchy, and those that look obviously synthetic, don't make you look smart.

Invest in your clothes

Hey, I like a good bargain as much as the next person. But there's something to be said about investing in your style. Don't sacrifice quality to save money. Instead of buying something low-priced and trendy every month, save up for a few months and buy a good quality item that will make you look incredible. Be smart. One classy black linen pant is worth 3 shiny, cheaper polyester ones. These pieces also last longer and are always "in" as they're a classic style. This way your wardrobe will be filled with sophisticated and elegant pieces, making you look well-dressed all the time.

Don't let your clothes wear you

Don't buy something only because it looks amazing. Get it because you love it, and don't care what anyone thinks. Sometimes an item suits you and all your friends say it looks amazing, but you don't love it. That's when your style looks like the clothes are wearing you, and not the other way round. The clothes look great, sure, but you can't seem to carry off that style.

It's better to wear something simple that you absolutely love. You'll notice that you get more compliments when you wear such clothes and you can pull off styles that aren't popular, too, because you love them.

Focus on accessories

Your accessories play a big part in making you look well-dressed. If your sunglasses, bags, shoes and jewellery are tacky, it'll cheapen even the most expensive of dresses. But if you wear good quality jewellery, have a nice handbag and wear neat, classy shoes, even an outfit of the simplest clothes will be taken up several notches. Like clothes, choose accessories that go with your personality and your lifestyle.

Those are my tips for looking well-dressed all the time. What would you add to this list? What are some of your tricks to looking well-dressed that have never failed you? Leave a comment after the post. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I talk more about the industry of fashion, how to cultivate your own style and how to manage your wardrobe in my book, Loving Yourself in Style. The book is full of straightforward tips and tricks on loving yourself, chasing your passions and making yourself as happy as can be.

Until next time

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Shabana Feroze
Maxi Skirts and Introducing the New Baby, Munna

Maxi Skirts and Introducing the New Baby, Munna

My love for a good maxi skirt will never diminish. It's one of the most versatile items of clothing that you can dress up or down and it looks so elegant! A black maxi skirt, then, is a wardrobe staple. I used to have a gorgeous layered one when I was in college. It was an A-line full gypsy skirt and I loved it to bits and wore it until it fell apart. 

About the Outfit

This skirt is a lucky find from the outlet store of Next in Manama. It's a thin jersey material, but because it's thick and loose, it's not see through. My favourite parts about this skirt are that it's long, {always such a hard thing to find for a tall person like me} so it reaches all the way to the floor and would look good with heels too.

Top: Koton, Skirt: Next, Earrings, Bag: Gifted, Ring, Necklace: Gold Souk, Bangles: Forever21, Sunglasses: from Rome, Shoes: Aldo

And IT HAS POCKETS. Who doesn't love pockets?? I've said it before and I'll say it again- pockets in everything for girls! We like pockets, too!

The waist is elasticated with a drawstring. It has short slits on either side, just up to the knee. Or below it, actually. I love that the skirt is A-line, so it has some sort of flair to it. I hate maxi skirts that stick to the body or that fall straight down like a column. Ugh. Because of the slits and the wider cut, it's very easy to walk in. The soft jersey material and the elastic waist make it a very comfortable item to wear.

In winter, you could wear black leggings under it for warmth, and a nice thick cardigan or shawl on top. I love pairing jackets with these types of skirts too, for an effortlessly chic look.

In this look, I paired it with one of my favourite tops. This pink blouse from Koton with its rolled up sleeves and V neck was one of my most worn tops. I say was because just two days ago, it got stained by another top, in the wash. :(  Anyway. Gives me a reason to go shopping. :)  But yes, tops like these are so great because they go with almost any bottom. I've worn this it with jeans, midi skirts and trousers.

The combination of pink and black has always been a go-to for me. The contrast of the softness of the pink and the substance of black makes it a winner for me. 

Since the neckline is a bit wide, I wore a pretty round pendant necklace. I matched simple silver earrings to the necklace. On my hands, I wore a flower ring and a few thin silver bangles to add to the girly vibe.

I've had this backpack bag for quite some time, but didn't use it. I'm so used to my professional handbags that this was stepping out of the comfort zone for me. But the thing about backpack bags is that they're so practical! Especially if you're on your feet all day. I love that this one is in a neutral but vibrant tan and has a sleek leather finish. The shape is very simple and sleek, too, making it easy to pair with a professional outfit. The stripes at the bottom add interest and the black bottom makes the bag look smaller than it actually is. 

I tied my hair in one of my favourite ponytail styles. All you do is tie a low and slightly loose ponytail, create a hole above the hair tie, and pass your entire pony through it, so you get pretty twists at either side.

On my feet, I wore tan leather loafers that match with the bag. 

Ups & Downs

In my last post, I spoke about going through ups and downs in my personal life recently. And I said I'd talk about what they were in my next post. 

On 5th June, our beloved Snarf passed away. He was only 9 years old. He got a disease, and within 4 days, he was taken from us. We were left bewildered and in shock. All of us in the family were very attached to him. He was our regal king, who knew we were his mere slaves and would do anything for him. He was given to my brother Arif by our cousin, around 8 years back. He had been found on the road near my cousin's home. My cousin couldn't keep him. So we did. Snarf was the embodiment of the cartoon cat Garfield. He was arrogant, loved to eat, and knew we were mere peasants under his paw. 

Having him around was like having a comedy show running all the time. This was one cat who truly believed he was a human. He used to sit on his butt, sleep on our beds with his head on the pillow, and join us for every meal on the dining table by taking a place on a chair. Once Mili came into our lives, the both of them became great friends. Their fake wrestling matches were the most hilarious things to watch. And since Snarf went away, Mili was very lonely. She missed her brother. And we missed our handsome king.

To fill up the hole in our hearts, we decided to adopt a new kitten. Our vet, the same one who had treated Snarf, told us he had a kitten for adoption. We gave him to our father as a birthday present, as my dad was the most attached o Snarf. And vice versa. Snarf was like an obedient dog to my father.

And that's how Munna came into our life. I don't have much back story about him, but he's the cutest little biting machine. He's only 4 months old, purrs like a truck engine, and took to us the second we met him. He loves to play and run around the entire house and has the softest fur I've ever touched.

For now, we're just enjoying the new baby in the house and trying to make him friends with Mili. It hasn't happened yet, but it will, soon. At least we're all smiling in the house again.

Until next time,


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Shabana Feroze
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,

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Shabana Feroze
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,

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Shabana Feroze
[name=Shabana Feroze] [img=] [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= (instagram= (twitter= (bloglovin= (pinterest=

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