I'm off to the UAE once again and I need to pack for sun, work and style. I'm going to be on my feet a lot, so I need to be comfortable but FABULOUS!
I'm sure all hijabis in the UK are well acquainted with the art of layering, so whenever I have to go to a hot country I'm literally at a loss. My clothes are almost always bought with layering in mind, so I own very few one peices.
Also, I kinda don't know how to not layer, you'll find me in leggings and a tee under an abaya, and a light cardi thrown over even on the most sunniest of days in LDN
So, what's in my suitcase?
Clothes and my gadgets of course lol
Well I'm not literally gonna share the contents of my bag with y'all. What do you think this is, Border Force? Lol
But I will share how I pack...
I tend to pack twice...
The first time I kinda just throw in items I definitely want to take with me, try on outfits and play dress up infront of the mirror, send snaps to my baes and get super hyped lol.
Thats the fun part of packing.
Once I've packed all my possibilities, AND tidied my room I get to repacking.
Lord knows I love coming home to a freshly made bed, and tidied bedroom!
This is where I'm tough with myself...
I usually remove just under half of what I previously threw in.
I think about what can easily be re-worn and restyled.
How I pack- First, clothes...
Things like jeans, skirts and other bottoms you don't need to pack several of. Really, no one cares or even notices that you've worn a different pair or the same jeans every day.
Where there's a washing machine there's a way, and theres almost always a washing machine.
Hands meet soap and water, et voila...portable washing machine.
Pack versatile shirts/tops/dresses!
Every hijabi has that one top/dress that only goes with that ONE hijab, tip - DON'T PACK IT!
(Unless you have to, obviously)
It's literally a waste of your precious 23kg luggage allowance.
Pack the shirt/dress that goes with several hijabs!!
An abaya usually does this...especially in hot countries where layering is just work.
Mehnn even the band on maxi skirts be giving me stress in AD! Like Abeg, stop touching me man.
Black is right lol.
Pack hijabs that go with more than one of your outfits. Try to get 3 outfit possibilities to 1 hijab.
Specially if you're anything like me, you get to where you're going and decide you don't want to wear any outfits you've planned lol.
Stay away from pashminas, they're thick and heavy (compared to other fabrics). Try the viscose or jersey scarves, they're light, easy to style and don't really slip.
Honestly in a hot country the last thing you want is a scarf that's just irritating your head.
Easiest part to be honest, grab a few statement rings, midi rings, a versatile necklace and you're good to go! Don't forget your sunnies either, I always pack several but only end up wearing one lol.
Y'all already know your girls head gear game tight too... threw in a couple headbands and hats.
What can I say, I like putting things on my head lol
Unless you are a stiletto savont, abeg switch up the heels for flats.
I always pack my favourite 'girl I gotchu' heels. Chunky heeled, open toe and 4" (I think) high. These heels can be dressed up or dressed down and I can survive 10+ hours standing and drive in them.
Girllll, they got me!
Then at least two pairs of no-buckle, no-tie flats. Basically a nice pair of slip on sandles. I've found that us Mozlems tend to take our shoes off a lot, and after one summer of gladiator sandals and several masjid stops, I most definitely learnt my lesson.
also no metal buckle flats either, they get a bit hot and toasty with your skin.
Oo and optionally, one pair of trainers...you never know when you might just feel for a run on the beach 😏
Other random tips...
- baby powder isn't just for babies, it's for them inner thighs too girl.
- sun screen is for black people too.
- insect repellant doesn't work in Nigeria, don't waste your money 😒. I'm talking about the spray you're meant to spray on you before you go out lol.
- ninja caps save lives! Get yo'self a ninja cap, then you can just throw on your headscarf without worry of it being transparent and showing you hair/neck.
Plus the first thing I do when I get too hot is loosen up my scarf, can't stand the layers under my neck when I'm hot.
- KEEP YOUR VALUABLES IN YOUR HAND LUGGAGE!! Obvious, but bags be getting lost (stolen) all the time b.
- Do you! Soak everything in, take awkward pics, talk to random strangers (you'll probably never see them again), make friends!! This is an opportunity to live completely outside of your comfort zone, and even if you fail miserably, when you get home you get to go back to being you!
Holiday me is a bag of fun I tell ya lol