Friday, January 31, 2020

Fashionable Fridays: HighStreet Look from Mango

Estimates by McKinsey and Company valued the Fashion Industry to be worth a staggering $2.4 Trillion way back in 2017, and with estimated growth rates averaging from 3.5-4.5 % per annum, it has continued an upwards growth trend. The past few years has seen luxury fashion brands such as LVMH and Hermes, to name a few, see main gains in the fashion industry averaging up to more that $2 billion in annual profit each in 2017 alone.

I am back with the third post of the 'Fashionable Fridays' series that I started earlier this year. Though luxury brands have seen a major increase in profits, there are many options on the HighStreet available to get your fashion fix without digging too deep in your pockets. If you can afford luxury items, that's great but if you are on a budget, then read on and get some fashion styling tips.

In my previous posts, I styled an edgy look from Zara and another feminine yet modern look from H&M.  In today's post, I will look at HighStreet brand Mango. I decided to go for a chic look for going out at night. Given the cool weather in Dubai, and also how velvet is always in vogue during winters, I decided to go for this beautiful velvet front knot jumpsuit:


The neckline is admittedly a bit low, but the knot detail and velvet texture really stands out. I would advise wearing a camisole underneath to cover up the low neckline for modesty reasons. Adding a sparkly belt would really glam up the look. The picture below shows three belts but one should suffice for the jumpsuit look we are going for.

We now just need to add some more sparkle to the outfit to complete the night time look. I chose the following metallic mesh bag:

It was not easy finding closed silver metallic shoes on the Mango website so these open toe rhinestone strappy sandals are the next best thing:

Complete the look with these big hoop statement earrings:

The glamorous and chic look is complete. Since the weather is still chilly, you can add the following red leather jacket while outdoors to really put your most fashionable step forward:

Wear this look with a metallic red lipstick and you are sure to steal the spotlight in this chic ensemble. Do follow me on instagram (@amnamusings) for more fashion inspiration since I post outfits I wear myself as well, along with poetry. Hope to see you again next Friday with another fun and fashionable look from an affordable HighStreet store. Till then, take care!

Friday, January 17, 2020

Fashionable Fridays: Affordable Look from H&M

A persons appearance and sense of dressing contributes to their overall personality. The best features of a personality are intangible characteristics such as kindness, being humble, etc. which can not be showcased physically in products but only can only be measured by how you treat people and animals. That said, clothes and accessories do play a part in putting together the multidimensional aspects of a personality even though they are very secondary to what truly matters.

Please take a few minutes to read my previous post , where we explore what fashion means for different people. The main purpose of creating a regular 'Fashionable Fridays' post is also given, which is basically exposing people to the fact that fashion doesn't necessarily have to be expensive and limited to high end brands. Of course if you can afford luxury brands, that's great too. You can also mix and match high end products with high street affordable ones to create versatile and trendy looks. The possibilities are endless, regardless the size of your fashion budget.

The second high street brand I have chosen for my "Fashionable Fridays" post is H&M. This is a brand with a big international presence, and for my fellow Dubai and UAE peeps, we also have the Dubai Shopping Festival going on so a lot of things are on sale.

Now that winters are finally here, after a massive rare thunderstorm a few days ago, we can take out our winter gear and choose a cosy chic winters look. Winters are already a bit dreary so I deliberately decided to choose a bright look for this post. Balloon and puffy sleeves are still going strong, so this orange balloon sleeved cosy jumper seemed perfect. 

Skirts can be so feminine and add that extra flair. So I thought we should pair the sweater with this gorgeous two toned pleated skirt. 

Now since this is more of a casual chic look, the following trainers with knot-detail and chunky soles in crisp white would really look nice:

Accessories can really add the wow factor in a look. For this particular look, choose the big chunky pearl hair clip and also wear the dainty pearl earring hoops from this set.

The last thing to add would be this snake print shoulder bag to pull everything together.

Voila! You have a whole new casual chic look, perfect for brightening up any dreary and dull winters day. 

I hope you enjoyed this week's fashion inspiration from H&M. Do follow me on instagram (@amnamusings) for more outfit inspiration and for poetry as well. Like I said in my last post, its always fun to have a friend tell you about the good things they saw in a specific shop so you can benefit as well. Do think of these posts the same friendly way. Have a lovely weekend and I hope to see you again here next Friday with another affordable look from a high street brand inshAllah.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Fashionable Fridays: HighStreet Look from Zara

Fashion can hold different meanings for different people. For some it may be identified with uncomfortable clothes and painful high heels. For others it may signify glamour and a lifestyle of luxury. Then there are those who may feel that fashion is a restricted resource only for certain body types. Rather than debate on the validity of such perceptions, I would like to suggest that you try fashion as being something fun and as a mode of self expression. Also contrary to popular belief, fashion doesn't necessarily have to be uncomfortable and expensive.

If you have been following me, particularly on instagram (@amnamusings), you would be aware that I am a fashion enthusiast. I enjoy indulging in the latest trends and dabbling in different styles as a mode of self expression.

Fashion does not need to be associated with high end and expensive brands only, although if you can afford luxury brands, go for it. With that in mind, I thought I would share some affordable high street options on my blog every Friday, as a series of #FashionableFridays. I will choose one brand each Friday and choose an affordable trendy look from that. I know there are people who struggle with finding the right clothes so maybe this would provide some needed outfit inspiration for them. If nothing else, it would at least be a fun read to know the trends.

The first high street brand I have chosen is Zara, because it's everyones favorite store, or at least everyone I know. Zara does follow the fashion runways and comes up with relatively more affordable options in the latest trends.

Currently we also have the Dubai Shopping Festival going on here in Dubai so a lot of things are on sale. Puffy sleeves are still going strong, and denim is a unique fabric for a top so this top would definitely make a statement.

Faux leather pants are also quite the trend lately. The ones that I really liked and bought a few months back from Zara are sold out so these pants are the next best thing.

Since its winters, or at least cooler than usual in Dubai, I would suggest wearing boots with this look. I really like the look of these boots shown below:

Of course if you are some where cooler, like in the UK or Pakistan for example, it would make sense to wear a warm cosy coat over this ensemble. To be honest I don't particularly love the coats on the website right now, but if I had to choose, I would choose this coat because it has  faux fur texture that adds an extra dimension.

Finally add this pearly handbag which introduces a sharp contrast to the edgy pants and boots look and brings the whole look together.

I hope you enjoyed this outfit inspiration from the high street brand Zara. It kind of reminds me of that considerate friend who looks out for you and shares with you all the good stuff she saw in a store. I sincerely hope you perceive this that way also. Thank you so much for reading and hope to see you here again next Friday with another outfit inspiration from another high street brand. Take care!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Stand for Kashmir

Kashmir has been under siege for more than a month now. I have been feeling helpless regarding the issue, because 'what can I do anyway to help?' If that is a thought you also are a victim to, realize that we can actually do something. We can raise our voice so the world notices. We can spread awareness on the issue. We can pray for Kashmir. I hope a peaceful solution to the Kashmir issue is found, and the world realizes that it can not remain silent on injustice.

When you feel helpless,
Realize that you live in a day and an age,
Where you don't have to stand on the sidelines,
The most powerful weapon you can engage,
Is to raise your voice for the innocents,
Whose land has been turned into a cage,
Freedom shackled in their own homes,
Restrictions, curfews, an outright siege,
Kashmir now hauntingly shares,
Stories of horror, brutality and rage,
The world remains asleep,
Ignoring the atrocities happening backstage,
Raise your voice to wake up the world,
Let them open their eyes and themselves gauge,
Do they want their deafening silence on cruelty,
Be the story they want to leave on history's page?
Tell the slumbering souls of humanity to wake up,
Wake up world and stop this outrage.

By Amna Usman Chaudhry.

If you are unaware of the atrocities happening in Kashmir, please read my previous post here on some recommended international forums where you can find unbiased news regarding the Kashmir issue. Also note my emphasis on a peaceful resolution as soon as possible, because injustice should never be tolerated. Let us raise our voice to wake up the world on the Kashmir issue.


There comes a time when the option to stay silent is not an option anymore. In the ideal world, I would wish for world peace, no war crimes, no hate, peaceful living among all nations, especially Pakistan and India. Unfortunately the world is far from ideal at the moment, and though the intention is well, such a wish at this time might be considered wishful, bordering on naivety. I still stay persistent in my belief that all important matters are solved through rational dialogue, international intervention and not war.

The cruelty on Kashmiri people is something that the whole of humanity must stand up against. If you are unaware of the atrocities happening in Kashmir, please google Kashmir related articles on international forums such as NYTimes, the Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera, the Guardian,  Reuters to name but a few. Those are all independent forums. Here is a great article written by Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan for the New York Times: The World Can't Ignore Kashmir. Please also spread awareness.

When you lay awake at night,
Unable to sleep,
It is because your Soul,
Can hear the screams of those innocents,
Whose only fault is they were born,
In a much coveted piece of land,
That looks like heaven,
With tales from hell,
There is not much you can do,
Except raise your voice,
So that Eternity can bear witness,
That though you felt helpless,
At least you tried,
Now is the time,
Let the world know,
What is happening in Kashmir,
Is wrong, a massive human rights violation,
An unforgivable crime.

By Amna Usman Chaudhry.

Let us raise our voices against all forms of injustice, particularly that happening in Kashmir. Let us also keep Kashmir and its people in our prayers.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

If Dubai was a Lady

Dubai is a fast paced, ambitious and relatively young city that despite its geographical constraints has been making waves in the international arena. Who would have thought that a desert city would become one of the top tourist attractions in the world? Dubai has managed to achieve that and in the process bagged many accolades such as having the world's tallest building 'The Burj Khalifa', the world's largest shopping mall 'The Dubai Mall' along with the world's largest indoor theme park, 'The IMG World of Adventures' to name just a few.

Dubai has a unique spirit and energy that captivates the imagination. I feel privileged to call it home for more than five years now Alhamdulilah. Being the poet that I am, Dubai's remarkable persona inspired me to ponder about how I would describe Dubai had it been a lady.

If Dubai was a Lady,
She would stand out from the crowd.
With her traditional features,
Draped in contemporary haute couture.

If Dubai was a Lady,
She would be a gadget girl,
One who loves new technology,
And delights in playing with cutting edge innovation.

If Dubai was a lady,
She would be modern, glamorous and ambitious,
She would have a multifaceted personality,
Colors of the many nationalities that made her.

She would be forever evolving,
Improving and working on herself, 
Aware of her weaknesses, 
Applying technology and knowledge to progress.

If Dubai was a lady,
She would be an enchantress,
Gloriously confident in vibrant attire.
Mesmerizing people with her eclectic ideas.

She would be feminine yet the epitome of strength,
Showing the world just how,
To walk in high heels over sand,
And overcome limitations using determination.

If Dubai was a lady,
She would be a visionary,
Always seeing the bigger picture,
Always thinking out of the box.

If Dubai was a lady,
She would be a symbol of hope,
That regardless of one's background,
Fearless resolve begets success.

Dubai has achieved a lot considering the facts that it is a desert city with no natural resources or oil. It is a beautiful, futuristic and visionary city. I know for a fact that if Dubai was a lady, it would be a lady everyone, including me, would want to be friends with.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Poetry and Social Media

It's been a while since I last blogged. A long, long while. Let's just say life got busy, I got swept away by distractions and leave it to that. I always believed I would get back in to blogging once I had more time at my disposal but ultimately I have come to the realization that as you get older, you get busier and waiting to find the right time may not be the ideal solution. That's the funny thing about time. As you get older, it seems to move faster and faster. Sometimes that's scary and sometimes it's a good thing. The ultimate paradox being that 'Time' is not real to begin with and is instead just an illusion. Go figure.

Although I have not blogged properly in a while, I have been quite active on social media, particularly Facebook and Instagram. My twitter feed had been getting neglected too but I have started to show it some love over the past few days. Social media is convenient, you can just post a few quick thoughts or pictures to convey your message or express yourself, all with the click of a button. I have actually been posting a lot on my Facebook page 'Keeping it Surreal' which you can easily find if you type '@amnamusings' in the Facebook search window. Ditto goes for my Instagram, where you can search my profile using the same name 'AmnaMusings'. I post a lot more stuff on my social media feeds compared to my blog so I appreciate any feedback and especially support because that's how we learn and grow.

Speaking of writing, I have been writing poetry on and off since I was a young girl. I have mentioned before on my blog that I had been hesitant to post my poems because they tend to be very expressive and emotional. I now have come to the conclusion that Art is expressive and emotional, and poetry is an art form. With that decision, I have started to slowly open up and want to share some of the poems I have posted on social media using the pictures in this blog entry.

I used an image from google images, and one that had the watermark of the artist on it 'Sniggle Wiggle' which obviously sounds like a psydonym. I tried to click on the 'go to page' option given next to this google image and came to a random pinterest account, one that clearly had nothing to do with the actual artist. If anyone can track 'Sniggle Wiggle down', please let me know as I'd love to add a link on my blog to give them credit and also so I can check out more of their art. I am sure I would enjoy it, this artist is clearly very talented.

If I don't get the luxury to blog properly (it seems like a luxury for me at the moment), I will make sure to at least update the blog regularly about my social media adventures.

This website is definitely a work in progress but then again aren't we all? As the saying goes, it's better to walk slowly than not at all. Thank you all for your support and may we all grow together in a positive way InshAllah. Amen to that.