Shrug-ging Away The Conventional

 As I mentioned in the last post, I made a pact with myself to wear more of the pretty, flamboyant and quirky stuff in my wardrobe. They're all the things that I wasn't wearing because I got into a rut of typical business wear. It was convenient for me as I go to a lot of meetings every day. I meet with clients. I meet with suppliers. I meet with government agencies.

My dressing sense was safe.

But not safe for my mind because at the same time I was frustrated that I wasn't wearing so many other pieces. Plus you get tired of wearing the same few pieces again and again and you fool yourself into thinking you need more of the same type of clothes because you're tired of wearing the ones you have. You feel me?

So I told myself I'm going to wear my pretty things. Don't get me wrong. I'm not going to suddenly throw all my beautiful workwear out. This is not about going from elegant business wear to goth or rock chic or some other wildly opposite look. Heaven knows how much I love formal business attire. Sharp blazers, fitted blouses and structured pants. So elegant, so classy. I still want to look professional. But I'm just going to look stylishly, professionally, me. No matter what basic genre of style you like, it can be personalized to you. We all have our unique style and we gotta let it show. And that's what this blog is all about.

I talk in detail about finding your own style in the chapter Fashion & Style in my book, Loving Yourself In Style. Get a copy from Jashanmal or Words Book Stores, or if you're not in Bahrain, get it online.

Style Speak

Top: Koton, Shrug: H&M, Skirt: Dragon City, All jewellery and bag: Gifted, Shoes: New Look

The Jacket

This fur shrug was a lucky find in the H&M winter sale. {Which I'm pretty sure is still going on. When I asked them until when it would last, they said until stocks finish. And boy, did they have a lot of stock!} I've always wanted a fur shrug, but I wasn't able to find one that wasn't either a) so warm that my internal organs would start to cook or b) wouldn't break my bank. This one is very light, and at BD 7 it was easy on the wallet.

What amazes me is how comfortable it is. It literally feels like you're wearing soft feathers, even from the inside. I had to resist hugging myself, it feels that soft and cosy from the outside. It has plenty of space for my big biceps {a problem I face with most jackets. The sleeves don't have space for my biceps. Stop laughing} and the lining of the jacket is a stretchy material making it all the comfier. Let's not forget how cool and rich it looks. All I need now as an accessory is a Ferrari. I swear to Prada, I'm going to be wearing this baby in summer, too. That's how much I've fallen in love with it.

The Skirt

I got this skirt from Dragon City. You can find some conventional and elegant work-appropriate stuff there if you look hard enough. The material of the skirt is neoprene, or scuba diving material. You know it's neoprene when the fabric is spongy to the touch. Most times it's not hemmed at the bottom, such as in this piece.

Because of the material's thickness, the skirt holds its flared structure beautifully. I think this is a great material for items like A-line skirts and skater dresses, where you want the flare to stick out more. The best part is that because it's so thick, it's completely opaque. You don't risk visible panty lines. And of course, it's soft and incredibly comfortable. It has a zipper on the side but because the fabric is thick and slightly stretchy, I can pull the skirt on without having to open the zipper.

I have another skirt in this material, with flower-shaped laser cutouts near the hem. See the full post with the above skirt here. I get compliments every single time I wear that skirt! I feel like such a doll wearing these two skirts because they swing about you. Like hooped skirts of ye olden days. The thickness of neoprene also means that large prints look gorgeous because it holds patterns well. Since the Chevron print became a trend a few years back, I've wanted at least one item with the pattern. This skirt uses it very well, with lines in grey and blush.

I love how the Chevron makes the skirt look wider at the bottom. Since both colours in the pattern are neutrals, I always try to wear this skirt with a coloured top. I've worn it before with bright red, fuchsia, and royal blue. I've had this skirt for more than a year now but didn't take blog photos wearing it until now. Hence the frustration referred to in the opening paragraphs of this post.

I paired the skirt with a baby pink top {which I've also had for a while now. *sheepish smile*} in a light synthetic fabric, with roll-up sleeves. This top is easily one of my favourites because it's so light, the cut is basic, it goes with everything, and, hey, it's pink!

You know that I've always loved the juxtaposition of light, light pink with inky, inky black. This outfit works great even without the shrug. The rolled-up sleeves look effortlessly chic, and the softness of the material means that it sits well on the waistband of the skirt. I hate blouses that just don't sit well when tucked in. They pop out like a bubble near the waistband or spill over too much. Ugh.

The Accessories

I accessorized with a pearl necklace which fits the length of the V-neck. I matched pearl stud earrings to it. A black leather strap watch and a thin, dainty bracelet on my hands complete the bling. When the clothes make so much of a statement, {and I'm wearing two - the fur shrug and the big printed doll-like skirt} you have to keep accessories to the minimum. Which is why I finished with rose pink heels that match the blouse as well as add to the softness of the overall look. Another one of my fave colour combos is pink and green, hence the green bag to complete the outfit.

My shrug, blouse, skirt and shoes have not been worn on the blog ever before. And given my new promise to myself to take blog pictures wearing blog-unseen pieces, this outfit makes me very, very happy.

Until next time,

Shabana Feroze

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