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Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Raheem
Those of you who regularly read my blog will remember that about a month ago I posted about the jilbab designing contest which UK-based Islamic Design House ran last year and their current, new-season designs based on the original winning designs from that contest.
Well, based on the feedback which that post received, they contacted me for a garment review. They told me that they found the comments to that post quite informative and are working to improve the workings of the Canadian site/customer service along with some of the design suggestions some of my readers had. Mash’Allah. Anyway, after much back and forth, they sent me the purple and grey sporty number (SR-S13-R04) from the current season.
I chose the jilbab which I wanted from their current season and although-generally-I choose very plain, basic and somber toned overgaments-for practicality reasons, I felt like I should maybe try to step-outside of the box *grin* and choose a design which under normal circumstances I would probably never choose as its a bit far from my standard preferences. From the picture this jilbabs design seemed like something more for the teenager set as it has a sporty flavor, lots of color and some “pop” ,yes I know, I’m sooo dull! LOL But, in all frankness, I am seriously glad that I choose this jilbab as its really awesome and actually totally jives with my slightly eccentric personality! My husband was a bit surprised to see me steppin’ around in something so colorful as he knows I tend to go for the neutral/somber tones but he agreed that it suited me quite well. mash’Allah. Ive been wearing it around for the past few days as its utterly cozy and *perfect* for this early autumn weather we have right now…nippy in the morning/evenings while warm during the daytime. Ive found it perfect for classes, runnin’ down the block to get Chinese takeout, taking the kidlet to the playground and studying at the library! (it also goes so well with my purple crocs…muah!)
Onto the review…rockin’ my purple jilbab!
Cut, material, design…etc
This is a “sporty” design and the body is made of a light purple-ish polyester teslon fabric while the hood (outside) and the upper body and sleeves are made of a extremely *cozzzzyyy* and delightful jersey material. Its not a cheap-thin jersey or too thick and heavy. Its just…cozy. mash’Allah. Very high quality material. The finishings are very very good and indeed as the label inside states…Its made to last! There are nice little jersey accents on the pockets and the hood is lined in teslon material (same as the body). This jilbab has *massive* pockets…woot! woot! I was thrilled about that as I tend to stash stuff in my pockets like a little packrat. hehehehe…they are so big…if your a mom you could seriously stash a juice in 1, a small diaper in the other, grab your sling and your off! mash’Allah. The jilbab is button front-which again, I LOVE. I am more for garments which have snaps or buttons down the front as I feel like they are more “overgarment-ish” and can really just be thrown over whatever whereas the closed front styles I find to be more like a dress and to me, I dunno, I just am not as comfortable in them. I will wear closed front styles…but given a preference…gimme the front opening garments anyday! Again, for mothers this style is quite idea as you can easily nurse in it! The cut of the garment itself is slightly A-line so there is walking room. Even if buttoned all the way down, it doesn’t stifle a normal stride. When the bottom buttons are left open, the hem doesn’t flap open like what happens with straight cut garments. *shudder* !!!.
Sizing…IDH has come a *looooonggg* way in their garment sizing! It used to be that all their stuff came in some insanely itsy, bitsy size…slender? which is fine and dandy, but most women tend to not be in that size range! They have since expanded and now offer their garments in 3 sizes and several lengths. I believe they are slender, regular and loose fit. The bust and hip widths change depending on the length you get! I remember when they first bounced on the scene and being miffed about the extra-tiny sizing they offered at the time, so I as quite happy to see they have since expanded. mash’Allah.
The cut of the garment slightly A-line and its meant to be loose-fitting for obvious modesty reasons. I found the size on the top to be quite loose and baggy and suitable and the width around the hips adequate and modest enough on me, but I would think that if a sister was quite a “pear” shape, she may not find the hip width to be ample enough for her needs! I was told though that IDH now comes out on selected designs with a 4th sizing which is “extra loose” which is meant for sisters who need the extra roominess but the extra loose sizing is only offered on 1 or 2 designs each season. But hey…its a start! I reckon if more plus-sized sisters find the extra-loose sizing to be more along the sizing they need and there is a demand they may offer the larger sizing in more designs each season. en’sha’Allah.
As far as general comfort goes…I am finding this jilbab to be quite comfortable and as Ive mentioned serveral times previously…downright cozy. The material is comfortable to wear and again, I just threw it over jeans a teeshirt and my crocs and i was out the door…
Now, since nothing and nobody is perfect in this world…I did find a few…rather minor qualms with this jilbab. Overall I do give this jilbab a 8 out of 10 stars and in my eyes, is more than worth the price! But…being that i’m sort of “old school”…I would have liked to have seen them use a slightly thicker fabric for the body of the jilbab. Not like super thick and hot and sweat-inducing, but maybe something with a bit more weight as I find with overgarments…a garment with a bit more weight to it, tends to flow better and resists slathering itself against the body in wind a bit better. Overall the teslon is a very nice fabric and I have found it to drape well, not be hot to wear or staticy or wrinkly…but I do personally prefer slightly thicker materials with more of a weight. As far as the cut goes, again, its quite modest and amply cut for my needs…but, I do think they could tweak the cut just a bit to make it more A-line and give about 1-2 inches more to the hip width while keeping the bust width the same. This would give the garment a bit more flow and give sisters who are amply shaped a bit more room for a modest fit. Lastly, this garment is good for most seasons but if you live in a very hot and humid environment the cozy jersey sleeves may be a bit too toasty, but if you live in a typical temperate, seasonal climate it will work for fall, spring and winter and perhaps even summer as long as its not too humid or hot.
And lastly…as I like to do. I did a bit of a short interview with the folks behind IDH and I wanted to share their responses!
Can you share a brief history of IDH?
“IDH was launched 6 years ago to provide a contemporary lifestyle shopping experience for Muslims with special attention in it’s first phase towards Sisters. We recognised that Muslims growing up in cosmopolitan cities who would be most inclined to shopping online are looking for Brand Quailty and assurance. So IDH decided to go out and work with the best Designers and Labels including the world renowned Silk Route Collection, Visual Dhikr, Sarah Collection and now Sophia’s Collection.
The future will see the IDH webiste being re-vamped to become the most customer friendly, fashion forward and intuitive website serving the Muslim online Shopper. And shops will be popping up in cities around the world with new shops being added to our current stores in Cairo and Amman, Jordan.”
Can you share a little about IDH designs?
“We have used the Success of the StyleIN Competition to begin freelance work with designers from all over the world including Russia, UK, Egypt, Jordan, India and every season we look to add at least one new and exciting designer to the team. Currently we have 5 designers from StyleIn! working with us Masha Allah and it will be a long term partnership.
The diversity of the designers whom are Muslim by Birth, Reverts, and even Not-Yet Muslim makes the creative and design aspect of our work absolutely amazing and greatly satisfying. The StyleIN competition had over 500 designers from over 50 countries so you can imagine the talent pool we would like to tap into is vast. Also StyleIn! will be returning soon so we can re-create this amazing platform for the next batch of budding designers.”
Jazakh’Allah’Khair to the folks behind Islamic Design House for allowing me to review one of their garments!