A spot of musing…

I wanted to just share a few things, reflect on a few other things, you know…musings like that. teehee

I got the cutest new purse at Centerpoint yesterday evening, I think pretty much every woman in KSA has had the experience of purchasing something from Centerpoint, having it not fit and then trying to return it, but instead of getting your cash back, you get a certificate which means they don’t give you your money back, you have to just buy something else there.

One Egyptian woman I know on the compound says she has at least 1,000 SR tied up in Centerpoint certificates. LOL. here its really hard to actually return an item and get your money back and those shops which do, most of them have utterly asinine return policies-like 24 hr return or 48hr return, knowing full well that most women don’t have drivers and it will be hard to return in such a short period of time! OR if you do make it, they *try* to give some crazy excuse like…your 1 minute over the 24hr limit. LOL

Anyway I had bought a shirt there ages ago and then returned it and voila, got the certificate so yesterday evening I went to the Mall with my son and was at first going to get some new makeup-concealer, mascara and liner but was getting really really ticked off because the sales guy would NOT let me look in peace, he was basically standing over my shoulder the entire time, suggesting this and that and I at first, tried to be nice and say, “I’m just looking”…but he kept it up, so finally I swung around and said through gritted teeth, “Ur a dude, get the heck away from me! If I like something I’ll get it!”.  Harumph! I had to repeat it 3 times because his English wasn’t so good. Finally I just gave up and shuffled off to the purse section.

I saw this one and I feel immediate in love with it! I haven’t bought a new purse since coming here and most of them look seriously fake, really big and dramatic and are way over priced for the fabric/quality-even Coach, Coach here is double/triple US prices! But Centerpoint is having its big huge sale-AGAIN and this one was 50% off!

Too cute…huh… It has some hardwear but not too much to look tacky and its fabric so no issues with pleather looking fake. And its silver…so it goes with much of what I wear.

Lotsa storage and its rather slim shaped so it fits big stuff like a magazine, snacks, etc yet slender enough to look nice under my batwing overhead abayaat (since I loath purses OVER the abaya, it looks a bit funny to me!)

And shoes! I got these really cute, sequin-y shoes at this really inexpensive shop which is similar to a KMart but on a really big, massive scale. Actually, I get all my shoes there now, they are cheap…but incredibly are quite long lasting and hardwearing-and you all know me, I prefer quality over quantity or whatever else, but these are definetly worth well-over their purchase price.

Anyway, these are too cute and the sequins are actually stitched on and not glued on, so we’ll see how long they last and they are indeed a very comfortable pair of shoes!

Later, at the same Mall, we had like an hour to kill after my son at a Happy Meal (special treat) and I had my very much needed iced Americano from Dr. Cafe Coffee I went to this Jalabeeya shop that specializes in slightly more casual jalabeeya, like for home wear and casual get-togethers with family (not the fancy confections worn at parties)…Kutniyat Halawa. I got their catalog and will put up a few pages for you all to see.

Anyway, I inquired about shershaf for salaat-like the huge rectangle you wrap around yourself for salaat, I have one but I wanted to get a nicer one as I’m leaving KSA in a month and a half and I had heard this shop had nice stuff.

Well, so I inquired, they had and I was all excited UNTIL the salesman checked the price and announced the shershaf was-get this…290Saudi riyals! That is almost $80! For a prayer outfit! When he said that, my eyes bulged and I said…no way! He said, okay for you…250sr and I said, thats way too expensive, your kidding me right?! Now, if it was 50sr…okay I’d spring for it, but c’mon thats really way to expensive! I know he wasn’t jacking up the price because I’m an foreigner, because all their items have price tags on them. He started to go over how wonderful the fabric was, the detailing, etc…I told him, okay, unless that embroidery on the edging is hand-done and the fabric is some seriously nice fabric like silk or something…forget it! Do people really buy a prayer shershaf for 290sr?


Anyway, the shershaf is the garment on the left in the picture below;

I donno, I’m still like…come one…290 sr for what? Its just cotton!


Here are a few other pages from their catalog. They do have some cute denim skirt/pant sets which are actually relatively affordable…and their casual jalabeeya are indeed kind of cute-some of them, although Ive seen cuter ones at other shops.

I also got to oogle some beautiful silk batwing overhead abayaat! I went into this one shop which has TDF ra’as abayaat…like really, really incredible ones and I just wanted to see if they had any in silk. As I had been discussing with my husband maybe getting one before we leave, as more of like a special thing, reserved for special occasions. Well the shop had a light as air 2 layer silk batwing ra’as, a 1 layer silk ra’as and another which was a blend of silk and crepe. The silk ones are indeed pretty expensive and the shopkeeper told me you must dryclean then while the blend one is hand washable. but, I dont know…is silk really only dry clean? I mean like, what about 70 years ago when all abayaat (which were only overhead at the time) were made from silk? crepe didnt exist. How did they wash them?

I wish I could have taken a picture of them, I’m going to try though…dh says, I can get it if I want…so I might. we’ll see.

Oh and I learnt a new Arabic word! “harir” means silk…all this time people were saying “this abaya is made of harir” etc and I’d be like, okay so its a diff. kind of crepe right? and they’d say, “la, harir, harir!”…but I just did a search for “harir” and found out its actually the word for silk!


This one pictured is the silk/crepe blended one. The silk is similar but not as deep black and has a bit of a different drape to it.

Does anyone know about the care of silk, esp these sorts of silk abayaat?


And on the Turkish fashion front (!?!)…This one shop which specializes in “western” hejabi fashion from Egypt and Turkey-like the really high quality kind. Not the cheapo, yet overpriced kind that many other shops here sell. The shop also sometimes has a really good stock of  Turkish pardesu. Like last evening the shop had in a whole new bunch of beautiful, summery Turkish Pardesu and the good brands like Tekbir, Tugba & Venn and others. Whats funny is, I went in maybe 2 months ago and was admiring their pardesu but was miffed about lack of bigger sizes and choice and I asked whether he would get more in, I remember the guy really didnt understand me that well, but he said, he wouldnt get more in.

LOL…meanwhile he had a ton of new pardesu in. Go figure. They are indeed really expensive, actually I think though their prices are in line with Turkish pricing as it seems like authentic Pardesu made from the good brands are usually $15o at their cheapest and up to $200 easily! These were in the 500-600-700 Saudi riyal price range. So around the same price, maybe a bit more.

But they were adorable.  Only problem is, again…more cuter ones in the smaller sizes, not that I’m that big, but I did indeed gain weight and went up 2 dress sizes since coming so while a smaller size would have fit perfectly before and the next size up would have been quite loose and modest, the biggest size he had was a touch snug in certain areas. Although he had larger sizes in the more traditional styles. I figured if I really want one, I’ll get before leaving or just wait till I am back in the US. I donno.

I saw this one…seriously, seriously cute. I just needed 1 size bigger for a modest fit argh! Which ofcourse he did not have. LOL. But there were some cute ones in bigger sizes, but I really didnt have much time and my son was getting quite tired from walking so much. There was a lot of light blues, tans, greys, lovely stuff and a lot of hooded pardesu and the double-breasted style, both long and calf length trench style.

So I guess that ends this round of musing…


9 thoughts on “A spot of musing…

  1. You are correct. Silk doesn’t have to be dry-cleaned all the time. For a silk blouse for example, you can get it dry-cleaned once to set the color. After that you can wash it on “delicate” or hand-wash it in silk-washing soap. I do this with all my silk shaylas and such. However, I always got my new, good and decorated stuff dry-cleaned until it got a bit old. The black will fade. Also, you shouldn’t twist or crunch the fabric, so its best to lay it flat in the bathtub and use the shower head on it. Be careful to rinse really thoroughly. Rinse for twice as long you think is absolutely necessary. Ironing also requires care and attention. However, if you hang it damp or dry it flat on a mesh screen it should be alright.

    • See this is what I fiured because I know all the old ladies in my husbands village all have really, really old black silk chadors which are reserved solely for funerals and they be OLD…faded and threadbare but really, really old and still quite usable and dh agrees with me that a good, silk ra’as is a worthy investment.
      But again, I was figuring…how did they wash them 100yrs ago…? LOL…
      so, glad to hear!
      I figure Persil or a black wash would be good, right?

  2. My family has always washed silk in the washing machine just fine!

    As for sizes – I’ve long been in the US 12/14 range and always I could wear so many more things than I can now if they came just a little bigger. Skinny girls can look modest in almost anything. 🙂

  3. is that shershaf sprinkled with gold dust or something? LOL. Anyhoo, I deal with silk fabrics a lot as most diraacs have at least the shawl being made of silk and I always machine wash them, I have found if you saturate silk with water and you don’t get it all out pretty much immediately; then the fabric will distort, develop holes etc. Even if you hand dry silk; its considerably harder to get any excess water out than via machine. I actually find the quick wash cycle on my machine works better than the proper silk cycle; which leaves items too wet. Its weird but the best thing for washing silk is….washing soda with a vinegar rinse. It isn’t harsh at all, doesn’t make colours run and also makes the silk dry more quickly so it goes back to its original condition. You need to use about a teaspoon of each; and add the vinegar (plain white vinegar) in the fabric conditioner drawer. The added bonus of this is it removes any greasy marks from the fabric without damaging it as well.

    • LOOOOOOOOOOOOOL…well if I get it, I’ll send u an email for the full care scoop! LOL

  4. Aah, I love that pardesu! If I could afford it I would make my entire wardrobe consist of only pardesu-style jilbabs. But why, oh why, must they be so darn expensive?! It also seems like the only place where you can actually buy them are on websites that are all in Turkish! Ah well, just another reason to visit Turkey someday Insha’Allah!

    • Yes. I agree, they are quite lovely. I think they are sooo expensive because the quality is really, really good. Ive looked at and tried on the Turkish ones and they seem to be well-worth the high price tag. The material is good, the construction is good…everything. I think they tend to last well too.

      Im thinking I might get one of these as well before going as its hard to get real Turkish pardesu unless your like-IN Turkey or buy online, and the selection is limited

      But hey, if you want a pardesu, lemme know…I can get you one or some from here. we can hash out details and all that.

  5. I appreciate the offer, but unfortunately I don’t have that much cash right now. Insha’Allah I’ll buy one in the future (but I’m still planning to buy a manteau/maghnehs off of you!).

  6. The quality of the Turkish coat style jilbaabs is amazing, especially the higher end brands. I used to have a couple that cost £60 each in UK money but was reliably informed they dont go for much cheaper in Turkey itself (in my case the Islamic store where I got them used to buy in massive bulk), in both cases the lining was this rayon/silk blend and it was sewn in properly, by hand seemingly; all the way to the bottom hem, all the loose threads had been carefully removed and they were just superb quality. The only reason I can’t wear them anymore is that like the Jordanian versions; the sizing on these is never generous in the bust area, previously I’d have to buy two sizes larger than my usual UK dress size; and that was when I was fairly average….

Comments are closed.