It seemed to me that I was watching the besuited incarnation of elegance and styleImane Bou-Saboun

I have sought the answer to the search of the perfect outfit from every possible Modest Fashion mogul I admire -  I have looked to all the hijab-wrapping Instagram influencers and timeless cinematographic divas I can think of. Yet none of them can quite replace my more unexpected source of outfit inspiration. Think of the exquisite crisp cut of the white pinstriped suit, the gleaming azure of the silk shirt peeking from under the white tie ... The culprit (and my winner) is undoubtedly the two-piece suit worn by Michael Jackson in the 1988 Smooth Criminal music video. 

Blazers and jackets add modesty to a look, making them perfect for hijabis and modest wearers to throw over

I don't necessarily go to supervisions disguised as a dapper ‘50s Italian-American gangster. However, the influence still lingers there semi-consciously. The strength and vividness of images seen long ago can still have an impact on our present self, depending on how much of an emotional response they provoked when we first experienced them. I clearly remember myself aged eleven, gaping in a state of hypnosis-like wonder as I saw the suit take life during the final choreography of the video. It seemed to me that I was watching the besuited incarnation of elegance and style. Part of me was yearning to incorporate those elements of timeless refinement.

I usually complement my faux tweed double-breasted jacket with a plain shirt and a pair of wide legged black trousersImane Bou-Saboun

For the white suit in this music video, Jackson drew inspiration from the overarching vibe of the 1953 musical comedy The Band Wagon - starring a mesmerising fedora-wearing Fred Astaire and phenomenal Cyd Charisse. Coolness and formal elegance peaked in Smooth Criminal with the masterful choreography that engraved a distinct personality into that apparently simple outfit. The appearance of this suit in 1988 might have felt anachronistic, but it was prefiguring the transition from the polychromatic explosion of textures and styles of the eighties towards the simpler and more neutral-toned nineties. 

I own a pale blue suit that I either wear complete, or separated into multiple outfit optionsImane Bou-Saboun

A great characteristic of suits and co-ords is that they inherently connote ideas of neatness and sophistication, making it possible to immediately upgrade any outfit just by complementing it with a well-cut blazer. I own a pale blue suit that I either wear complete, or separated into multiple outfit options. During the transitional season, it can sometimes feel too hot to wear a heavy coat, so I usually wear the blazer on top of a dress of a similar colour, and I tend to match the colour of the pattern with my choice of scarf. What I really love about blazers and jackets is also the modesty that they add to a look, making them perfect for hijabis and modest wearers to throw over. 

I always find it enjoyable to experiment with the structural rigidity typically found in menswear

I always find it enjoyable to experiment with the structural rigidity typically found in menswear and the richness of details and textures from the women’s section in the stores. Finding a balance between the two seemingly incompatible styles can create very fun and unexpected combinations. I usually complement my faux tweed double-breasted jacket with a plain shirt and a pair of wide legged black trousers, my preference for when I am cycling and I do not want my maxi skirt to get in the treacherous claws of my bike chain. 


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Mountain View

Hiding my body in clothing

In this temperamental and indecisive weather that can drastically switch from being windy to uncomfortably hot, having a blazer can be a warming option without renouncing your style. They can also be more practical than coats. Made in a fabric that is usually lighter and thinner, you can simply tuck them into your bag if the weather has become too warm later in the day. Pale or bright, tailored or on the looser side, they are a must in my wardrobe - adding that essential touch of smoothness.

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