How I Get Dressed
‘My sense of style has changed since I became a mum’
Enida Mujanovic, 28, originally from Belgium, is an events organiser and fashion model.
“I used to be a slave to fashion, when I was younger. Thankfully, as I’ve got older, I’ve learned to take what I like from the fashion trends and team it with something less try-hard. My sense of style has also changed since I became a mum. These days I’ll dress a bit more like how I imagine a mum to dress! Saying that, my fashion weak spot is still heels. I love them because they make me feel sexy and confident. I’m not loyal to one brand and prefer to shop under one roof like Harvey Nichols or Bloomingdale’s and I’m drawn to either designer or high street. My favourite dress is a simple red one from Mango. I put it on and it makes me happy. I’m ashamed to say that I have two rooms at home for my clothes, but I’ll still open them and think ‘I have nothing to wear!’ This will usually lead to a trip to Dubai Mall, where I’ll get something even if I don’t necessarily like it, but it will make me feel better.”
‘Sex and the City inspired me to be more daring with clothes’
Simone Heng, 26, is a Dubai-based TV and radio presenter from Australia.
“I grew up in Perth, Australia, where people are all about jeans, flip flops and maxi dresses, so in my younger days I wasn’t that adventurous when it came to fashion. My style only developed after watching Sex and the City in my teens. Carrie Bradshaw was the first person to combine high street with high end and vintage and she inspired me to be more daring with clothes. When I moved to Singapore in my 20’s and mixed with cosmopolitan Asian women, it encouraged me to shop in little backstreet vintage stores. Today, my favourite store is Bambah (bambah.com) on Jumeira Beach Road – a little vintage shop with amazing individual pieces. I shop there constantly and never feel guilty about a spree. I spend around Dhs1000 a month on clothes and shoes. My boyfriend laughs at me buying stuff he says I don’t need, but he doesn’t understand. I’m a woman – of course I need it all!”
‘Fashion isn’t about how much skin is showing, but how it makes you feel’
Writer, Angela Shah, 39, is originally from Houston, Texas.
“As I’ve grown older, my style has grown up with me. I can no longer get away with the daring necklines and miniskirts, but I still like to be on-trend, without being too revealing! Fashion isn’t about how much skin you’re showing, but how it makes you feel. These days, iIf I like a trend, I’ll take it as my inspiration and add to it. Because of my Indian roots, I love adding Indian-inspired jewellery to my outfits or something like a silk blouse or a unique pattern that you wouldn’t find on everybody. For this, I’ll scour markets in Deira or Bur Dubai. Also, whenever I travel abroad, I’ll buy clothing or accessories from there as you know no one else is going to have it here in the UAE. When I’m looking for something classic, I’ll go to Boutique 1 as I love their clothes, but as a rule I’m more of a high street fan than a designer slave. Having said that, a few years ago, I had to attend a ball and I ended up buying an Alberta Ferretti dress, which set me back Dhs23,000. It was worth every dirham. It’s an off-the-shoulder gorgeous floor-length gown – I’m just waiting for another special occasion where I can wear it again!”
‘Dressing for my age is something I have had to learn’
Dawser Al Hadidi, 36, from Jordan, is co-founder of stylendubai.com and a web intelligence expert.
“My mum always told me that if you look good, you feel good, and this is so true. To me, my clothes represent who I am, which is why I’ve spent years trying to get it right! My style has changed over the years, from Birken stocks to statement T-shirts and silk blouses. I like to think that my signature look resembles Katie Holmes’, which is classic and chic. I’ll take something fashionable and mix it with a classic piece, like a good pair of jeans. I also like to add colour with a shirt or shoes and, unlike most women, my heart lies with flats. I have two wardrobes in Jordan of shoes and three wardrobes here – I have a bit of an addiction! Style is important, but so is being comfortable and there’s a misconception that you can’t be comfortable and fashionable simultaneously. I’ll normally spend between Dhs1,000 to Dhs2,500 a month on clothes, but this can be on anything from a pair of shoes to a dress. My favourite item right now is my Marc Jacobs watch. I bought it recently and I love that it’s practical but also a bit playful – it fulfils my inner child perfectly.”
‘I’ve been known to wear stilettos on the beach!’
South African, Ursula Winzel, 32, is the MD of Balcony8 – Communication Architects.
“My love affair with fashion goes right back to my toddler years. I remember, aged three, holding up my mother’s dresses and posing in front of the mirror. These days I still love to dress up, and I never feel more glamorous than when I’m in a cute dress and heels. Shoes are my weakness and I’ve lost count of how many pairs I have. I love heels, never flats, and I’ve been known to wear stilettos on the beach! My favourites are my Gianmarco Lorenzi (gianmarcolorenzi.com) red sandals, which I brought from Paris Gallery for Dhs2,000. I think every woman should own a pair of red heels. As soon as I put mine on, they give me confidence. While I enjoy retail therapy, I only hit the malls once or twice a month. My favourite item of clothing is a dress I bought from a boutique in Cape Town. While it was on the expensive side, it’s worth every penny because every time I slip it on I feel like a film star.”
‘One of my rules is, I never wear the same outfit twice’
Malika Omar, 27, is a singer from South Africa.
“If you look through my wardrobe, you’ll find a bit of everything. From flowery maxi dresses to biker jackets and ball gowns; I like to keep my style broad. One of my rules is, I never wear the same outfit twice. I mix things up and I don’t wear the same combination more than once. I use scarves, belts and hats to give things a different spin – you can make an outfit look completely different if you accessorise properly. These days, I dress for my mood. Sometimes I go classic, other times I’ll be a princess in a prom dress. Overall, I like to look elegant. I have a lot of floor length gowns and my favourite designer is Meher & Riddhima. If there was one dress that I couldn’t part with, it’s my Zuhair Murad full-length gown, which I brought from Mango a few years ago. It’s black and Grecian, with lots of gold embroidery. As soon as I put it on, I feel like a million dollars and it’s the one dress I’ll never give up.”
‘You can get great catwalk looks on the high street’
Catherine Tracy, 28, is a PR manager from the UK.
“Every month I trawl through the pages of fashion magazines because I like to keep on top of the trends. I then recreate those looks with high street buys. My favourite stores are New Look, Forever 21 and H&M, because I think you can get great catwalk looks, minus the hefty price tag. From an aspirational point of view, I’d love to splash out on designer clothes, but because I love to shop so much, I prefer to make my money last. On average, I spend around Dhs500 a month on clothes, but for that I can buy a lot. My style is quite classic, but with a touch of rock chick. I dress in a lot of monochrome and I love anything stripy. If I could raid anyone’s wardrobe, it would be Alexa Chung’s. She dresses in sailor tops and denim, which is the look I’m going for. I also like anything boho, so if I could pinch a few staple pieces from Kate Moss and Sienna Miller, that would be great. Of course, there are things I’d never part with. I have a vintage1950s style black dress, which I brought from a fashion editor who collects vintage clothes. I only paid Dhs300 for it, but it makes me feel like Grace Kelly whenever I put it on.”
‘Good clothes are all about the glorious detail’
Zeina Sultani, 30, is a fashion designer and founder of Le Monde d’ines (lemondedines.com).
“Some women go to the gym, I prefer to shop. It is part of me; it’s part of who I am. I am a shop assistant’s nightmare, always turning an outfit upside down, studying the cut, looking at the stitching – good clothes are all about the glorious detail. Growing up in Paris, it’s that attention to perfection that’s in my blood. My signature stye is about being sexy, but without being obvious – think French elegance with a touch of bohemia. A good look for me is when you don’t overdo it: when you go too far it’s less about style and more about trying to prove something. I am definitely a dress type of woman. I own about 150 and my favourites are the light, flippy, kind. I like how you can wear them with ballerina flats by day, then transform them to evening wear with the kick of a heel. My most treasured one is a Lanvin dress, which cost Dhs20,000. We will share a love affair for ever.”
‘I firmly believe that a woman cannot have enough handbags’
Yasmine Hidalgo, 35, is a PR manager from the Philippines.
“I wear a suit to work every day, so out of hours I like to dress up and experiment with my clothes. Over the years my style has changed. In my 20s, I liked flamboyant designs, but now I’m in my 30s I dress more classically. Working in PR means I have to attend many events, so I tailor my clothes for each occasion. If I have to go to an event with lots of local people, I’ll wear something elegant but conservative, like a shift dress and jacket. If I know the guest list is predominantly Indian, I will wear a sari. More than clothes, accessories are my guilty pleasure. I have around 20 pairs of shoes, and over 100 pairs of earrings. I also love belts and scarves, and I’m a firm believer that a woman can never have enough handbags. My wardrobes are so full that I’ve started giving stuff away. I’m a bit of a hoarder so it breaks my heart to part with things, but it’s made me very popular with my friends!”