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(Dawn, The Review)

Fashion loves to weave itself around every occasion and that includes the month of Ramadan, which brings out every woman’s perpetual desire to upgrade her wardrobe. Blame it on the iftaar parties that demand a different perspective on your personal style or the run-up to Eid, which brings out one’s ceremonial side even in hard times. This is a month in which we buy clothes, we donate clothes and we try to ensure that a festive spirit, in one way or another, touches everyone around us.

Fashion statements made in Ramadan also digress from the usual emphasis on flaunting labels and making OTT style statements. Clothing becomes more sublime, less risqué, more modest and certainly a tad bit more traditional to suit the mood of the month. Here’s an overview of what one sees establishing as Ramadan trends this year…

1. Wash down the fiery tones

Ramadan usually pulls the breaks on the wedding season and just as suddenly establishes a holy, somber mood. Because of this religious sobriety fashion’s colour palette also mellows down; women put their fiery reds and overtly festive clothes away and replace them with pastels, whites, cream and gentle washes of watercolour. The mood board becomes spiritual and sufic. Ladies also tend to push their prints back because over four months into summer means most people have seen you in them. Ramadan trends cater more to solid colours, often spruced up by delicate embroidery, surface embellishment and even appliqué.

2. Go easy on the silhouette

It would be a good idea to stay away from edgy silhouettes and outfits that push the creative envelope. Ramadan is hardly the time to dress to kill, party or lounge with friends and one usually dresses to accompany parents to family get-togethers. This is the time to dress conservatively as you are most likely to find yourself in the presence of elders.

“I think Ramadan is a time to dress easy,” says designer Nomi Ansari who performed the Hajj last year and fasts religiously. “Kurtas work very well and so do loose-fitted shirts.”

Two excellent places to shop at are Generation and Khaadi. Generation supplies a modest range of three piece suits while Khaadi puts out their quintessential kurtas, sometimes slightly embroidered for an added accent.

While fashion designers have given numerable options of how to experiment with shapes, one feels that the two to stay away from in Ramadan are tight and revealing.

3. Retain your individuality

Hold on to your individuality while staying within respectful bounds. If you’re a rebel at heart then you’ll probably go steady with your skinny jeans and black nails but normally even the most experimental of fashionistas tend to tone down. Ramadan clothes should be respectful but that said, they needn’t be dull or boring. And one way of retaining your individuality without making any edgy statements is to match separates or aim for less commercial outlets instead of picking up pre-planned joras from places where the world is headed. Karachi has some fabulous block-print outlets like Bombaywallah in Delton, always a desirable alternative to a printed suit.

Another outlet big on Ramadan collections is FnkAsia, whose designer Huma Adnan puts out Ramadan-specific collections every year. Catering to Pakistan and Dubai, trends at FnkAsia juxtapose the essence of both Pakistani and Arab cultures and their clothes continue to be a fusion of ethnic diversity. Moreover, they are available as separates so you can mix and match to your choice and walk out with an ensemble suited to your personality rather than a 3-piece jora.

And if you do need to make statements then try inching those hemlines up. Designers are predicted to be going short at fashion week in October and while the trend won’t catch on until late next year, you can have one up by being a trendsetter!

4. Show respect to those around you

It’s a good idea to hold on to your dupattas or scarves in Ramadan, especially if you are fasting and intend to say your prayers. There’s nothing more embarrassing than borrowing someone else’s at an iftaar party! Also, this is one time of the year when you want to adhere to the norm instead of standing out. It’s part of the etiquette and remember, one part of being fashionable is to be cool, classy and sophisticated.

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