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Starting Out

For those anonymous readers out there (hullo !) who are thinking of putting on the hijab, here are some tips and thoughts from me.

Advantages of a hijab:

a. I do not have to worry about my unruly hair. Ever. Every single Hari Raya, my mom would complain about my hair: "Can't you do something about it ?!"

b. I get discounts from Muslim store owners. Sometimes only though. Like today when I bought lunch and requested for lesser noodles. The stall owner charged me lesser and said that it was halal from him. How nice.

c. People say 'Assalamualaikum' to you instead of saying 'Hello' thus recognizing you as a Muslim first and a lady second.

d. Strangers tend to trust you more. Again not always with every stranger you meet. The other day, I was in this cab on the way home. I had to pick up a broken chair from my place to the shop back and the taxi driver was willing to just let me go without asking me to pay for the cab fare yet.

e. Other Muslim women tend to smile at you more and willing to help you in times of need.

Tips for First Timers:

a. Get the basics: Black, white, grey, brown for long sleeve tops and hijabs (doesn't matter what style)

b. When buying clothes, make sure you get the one that looks the best. With hijab, it's easy to look what we Malays call, 'selekeh', or the English equivalent, 'unkempt'

c. Accessorise ! This can prevent your outfit from looking boring. Accessories doesn't always mean necklaces and bangles. Your hijab itself is an accessory and those forget those hijab pins ! Oh, this reminds me to get more accessories.

d. Play with colour. After settling the basics, choose something a little more colourful. Don't be afraid of it not matching your wardrobe. It will. Eventually.

e. Build up your collection slowly. I am guilty of trying to get everything at one go. Just not possible so slowly does it.

f. Play around with different styles of hijab. Initially I liked the pashmina shawls. Afterwards, I preferred the square shawls. It will take time to figure out the best style for you and most importantly, the most comfortable.

g. Either invest in a good hairdryer or do not wet you hair before wearing the hijab. I realise that it always gives me a headache when my hair is wet and I put on a hijab. Nowadays, I will tend to not wash my hair in mornings but in the evenings instead.

h. Eyeliner is your best friend. Especially true if you do not wet your hair in the mornings as your face will not look as 'fresh'. Use your eyeliner sparingly to brighten up those eyes.

i. Search the internet for ideas. Sometimes we need another perspective to bring out the combinations sitting in the closet.

j. When choosing clothes, remember your style and comfort level. Looking at Polyvore for ideas is great but sometimes, it's just not feasible for your lifestyle. Sure, those long flowy abayas and dresses looks way chic but think about wearing them while you're in your work environment. If they're not suitable, skip it or consider it for special occasions only.

That's all that I have right now and I hope to add in more when the ideas strike me.