Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My Jilbab Shopping Experience

On my quest for stylish jilbabs, I looked high and low for a designer who could provide me with something that did not look like it was off the racks. Being a career woman, I do not have time to go and explore the tiny Islamic boutiques all around Chicago that offer conservative yet chic clothes for Muslim women. But after trying out a number of different styles by various shops, I reached the conclusion that I will have to take drastic steps if I really wanted to wear something nice.

So a few weeks ago, my friends and I decided to spend some time exploring the undiscovered world of Islamic fashion! We went store hopping in search of the perfect designer that will leave us satisfied with their creativity. During this trip, we were surprised to see a few that were offering jilbabs and hijabs that were unique and interesting. However, we continued our search throughout the suburbs. A local listing from yahoo kept us going from one town to the other; looking at numerous outfits and trying on a few that appealed to us.

Our trek finally took us to a very small Islamic dress designer in Orland Park. Her name is Sarah and she works out of her own house, creating masterpieces that are very elegant and stylish. She had a range of jilbabs for work, daytime as well as evening wear. One look at her inventory convinced me that this is the place that I had been looking for all the time. Her sense of colors, cuts and styles really impressed me, as she offered gowns that were not like anything I had seen so far. Although she carried other apparel items for Muslim women, her specialty were jilbabs.

After trying on a few of her articles, I was satisfied that they were conservative as well as flattering at the same time. It was great to see this blend of the east and west so skillfully combined that I was sure I would be her customer for years to come. A few jilbabs that I bought were perfect for wearing at work, as they were made in subtle colors and cuts appropriate for an office environment. Others that I bought were evening jilbabs, that would generate ooh's and aah's from my fellow female friends at any social event.

Sarah has been designing jilbabs for a few years and according to her, she started the business when she felt that shopping around got frustrating for her in terms of not finding nice outfits that fit the needs of working Muslim women in particular. As she herself used to work in an office environment, she was well aware of the constraints and issues that Muslim women faced in the selection of a wardrobe that was suitable for work as well as social events. It was very refreshing to see such talent and skill in a local businesswoman and at the same time it was a blessing to finally find a designer who could provide me with items that I loved!

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