Exactly!! Yes.

Not all girls dress up nicely….to impress others, sometimes they do it for themselves. For confidence.”

As usual I like to start my entry with a meaningful quote and I find that this quote is not only true but has a powerful message. It is true. Taking care of our self is an act of self-love and self-respect.

“Love yourself so you can teach others how to love you”

is also another powerful quote that I really love from Yasmin Mogahed. It absolutely make sense! Some may debate that this might be a selfish act but its not! Self –love is never selfish, it is about being aware that loving oneself is also about loving others. Self-love is just being happy. Happy with yourself, for yourself and being happy for others! It is about liking yourself without expecting other people to like you nor to impress others.

Therefore one of the act on self love is how well you want to be portrayed in the way you dress up. Especially if you are in the corporate world climbing up the career ladder, fulfilling the dreams you have for yourself and the goals that you have set and ought to achieve. Dressing up right is important. First impressions are everything and overall judgments about people are formed by the way they dress. Aside from that, dressing up well has a psychological affect in yourself as well. In this case it induce confidence, courage, humbleness and just simply feel good about yourself.

When I was working as a completion engineer in the oil and gas industry, we are expect to dress professionally to maintain a professional image as we routinely interact with clients on a daily basis. I still remember those days every morning as I wake up getting ready for work, the moment I was done suiting up there was this huge feeling sense of pride, honor and confidence in there. Honored knowing that we are contributing something meaningful to our life, family and community. Feeling confident because dang gurl you look fine! Haha and this feelings magnified after you put on that pair of high heels. 😅. Suddenly you feeling tall and empowered! I’m sure you share the same feeling. 😄 You got what I mean right?

While some companies have basic guidelines to professional dressing, some may resist these guidelines as they believe they have the right to groom themselves and dress in a way that suits their personality. However as a muslimah we must be careful on what we choose to wear to the office. I have put up 3 looks and guidelines for your inspiration.

Look 1 – The Urban Modern Professional Muslimah

Put on a simple blouse that is long enough to cover your buttock and pair it with work trousers. This look is plain simple yet it can go so much. An urban, modern, sophisticated look that is quite subtle yet still mean business! This look is suitable for a day-to-day office wear because it doesn’t take up much of your time to prepare for work. Since the top is plain, you can be creative by pairing it with any pants and hijab that you like. Be it a wide leg palazzo or a printed pants or printed hijab. Style it up a long necklace and minimal accessories. Put on a nice watch and you are good to go. Plus point is that you can take this look from AM to PM.

Office wear
Minerva Top by Emerssa

Look 2 – Take Me to The Board Meeting

Every knows the typical outfit for a formal business look is a black business suit which comprises a black jacket and black pants. Putting yourself in a business suit indirectly sends a message that you are serious at what you’re doing. However business suits don’t necessarily have to be black to look professional. You can express your style in choosing lighter colors such as the example I put on for look #2 and still be appropriate for a formal business environment. The tip is to ensure the ensemble you put together must be plain & clean and your styling in accessories need to be minimal. This is a great example of a business suit that isn’t your basic black suit​ but is still an appropriate attire for formal meetings and presentation.

Business formal look
Business formal look – Althea Collection by Emerssa

Look 3 – Casual Friday

Some organizations offer Casual Fridays as an employee benefit or incentive. Now this is a tricky one because the Casual Friday outfit falls in the grey area. There is no proper guidelines on what you can or can’t wear during Friday. The key is to dress down to whatever outfit that your are comfortable with yet maintain professional. Casual Friday does not imply it’s OK to wear gym clothes, flip flops, shorts, holy jeans, or sloppy shirts to work.

However as a muslimah I think Casual Friday ensemble is the most easiest. Normally I would just opt for a jubah or baju kurung. Not only that it is muslimah and office appropriate but dressing in our traditional clothes also shows that we are respecting the Islamic holy day. Another safest bet for Casual Friday outfit is to wear a nice jeans, simple blouse and appropriate shoes.

Morever have a blazer standby at your office. This would be useful if you have an ad hoc meeting during your Friday. In any outfit that you put on that day, whether its a blouse and jeans, baju kurung or jubah when your customer is calling you for a meeting, you can just throw on that blazer and instantly look professional. Below are some inspiration look for your Casual Friday.

Baju kurung
Baju Kurung – Aleessa Collection by Emerssa
Jubah Dress – Almeera Collection by Emerssa

So there you go. I hope that 3 looks that I have put together will help determine the look that you want to achieve. All in all you must remember to;

  1. Dress modestly – Avoid wearing tight and revealing tops and bottoms, avoid low necklines and 3/4 pants. These are the rule of thumb for professional dressing not only applicable for muslimah but also in general.
  2. Meet the muslimah compliance – By this it means that we need to cover our aurat. Put on the hijab, loose clothes and covered shoes.
  3. Less is more – When it comes to professional dressing, try going for minimal and subtle as much as you can and ensure that your outfit is not too revealing.