Pretty Little Tiers

28 August 2016

Remember that time I lamented about layering in hot weathers and whatnots? All I can say is, there's only one trick for it: wear super thin layers, of course.

Bonus tip, though: stay indoors
Air-conditioned indoors, to be exact.
. . . . . . .

When I saw this dress hanging at Monki's rack, I think it's more like I saw the potential of it; the sleeves were neither long nor three-quarter and the length was neither full-length nor tea-length...basically it was a dress made out of awkward proportions - at least on me. But I loved the asymmetrical tiers so much that all logic went out the mall's windows.

Can You Believe All This Burkini Fuss? + My Swimming Story

26 August 2016

*PS: My blog's look is still under construction!

I honestly can't, because as far as I'm concerned, "burkini" has been around for years and years, so why now? I mean, I can give a few guesses as to why now; I just want those people banning it to give answers. Apparently they're all giving different answers - or more precisely, different excuses. When I saw those photos of male policemen forcing the lady to take off her modest cover-up on a Nice beach, I was filled with two emotions: disgust, and more strongly, sadness.
(PS: An accidental Inside Out reference, excuse that.)

But isn't it comforting to know that where there's darkness, there's a whole lot of light? I read today that a group of people stood outside the French Embassy in London and held a protest against the "burkini" ban, and my heart filled with pride to see non-Muslim females protesting alongside the Muslims.
Seriously, THANK YOU to these women who decided to stick together with other women, regardless of race, religion, and age. #grlpwr #feminism

. . . . . . .

I own a "burkini". Sure I do; how else do I swim? To be honest, I don't even call it "burkini"; to me, it's just a swimming attire. When I'm in a hurry to pack for a vacation somewhere with beach or a pool (typical me, leaving things last minute), most probably you would hear me going around the house saying in agony "Where is my swimming suit Shahhh WHEREEE" (Note: Usually it would be wedged in between piles of dirty laundry. Unwashed, of course.)

What I call it shouldn't matter, but for the sake of easier understanding, let's call it a "burkini".

Do you know where I got my burkini from? I got it from Speedo - you know, the brand that sponsors Olympic-level swimmers - after getting recommendations from my younger brother who is an excellent, avid swimmer, and who also happens to be a certified lifeguard - and so are my other three siblings: one older sister, one older brother, and my younger sister. They're all certified lifeguards, except for me (as to why that is, that's another story for another day!).

When we were young, my dad always made us go out and play sports instead of staying cooped up in the house watching TV. It was the best time: we got some fresh air, we got closer just from playing together, and more importantly we were healthier kids because of it. My dad also hired a swimming teacher to give us all proper swimming lessons at the local pool club. In my case, I had mild asthma, so the swimming was combating the asthma by making my lungs stronger, too.

My sisters and I grew up swimming wearing normal swimming suits. The normal one-piece you guys wear, that's what we wore, too. Over the years, we were swimming lesser and lesser, but learning to swim is like learning to ride a bike; you'll never forget how to do it and you'll always find pleasure in exercising it, so we still occasionally swim when we get the chance. Meanwhile, my brother continues to swim regularly, sometimes competitively (he's competed in open-water swimming marathon too, which is badass). 

Over the years, my sisters and I grew up to be women and with time, we chose to don the hijab - when each of us were ready, in our own time. I put it on first, then my younger sister followed suit, then finally my older sister did it. But did that stop us from ever swimming again? Of course not. We have the choice to continue to swim, thanks to these "burkinis".

I'll be honest with y'all: I don't find burkinis cute or flattering. Nu uh. I'm still waiting for a brand to produce something out-of-the-box with these burkinis, and produce something that we would clamour to get our hands on. But these burkinis will do for now! As someone who's into the business of looking good, I definitely took my time deciding which burkini in Speedo to buy, when I finally settled on my pink-sleeved set because, well, I have an affinity for fuchsia, and it was the snazziest one they had in the store at the time.

. . . . . . .

I kept reading that people say females who wear the hijabi - and now the burkini - are "oppressed". How so? Imagine you getting up every morning and standing in front of your closet and asking yourself, "What should I wear today? My denim cutt-offs with the classic white shirt, or that tank knit dress that makes my ass looks bombass?" Your options, your choice.

Believe it or not, it's the same with me; no one is standing next to me when I get dressed every morning, forcing me to put the hijab on, or my long-sleeved jacket on, or my lined ripped jeans on. I've chosen to wear short denim skirts and LBD in my early 20's; I'm choosing now to dress modestly.
It is always my choice.

Choices do not equal oppression.

Sure, it says so in the Quran that women are to cover up and look modest. Sure, in Islam, drinking alcohol is forbidden. Sure, Muslim children are taught to never raise our voice when talking to our mothers.
But does anyone - men AND women - have the power to physically force Muslim women to wear the hijab? No. Do ALL Muslims abstain from drinking alcohol? No. Are Muslim children really little angels who never ever get into arguments with their mothers? NO, because just like you and I and any other children that ever lived, we were all rebellious at some point in our life, and don't always realise mothers deserve much better.

My point is, it was my choice to wear the hijab. I choose to honour that part of my religion. It was my choice to never consume alcohol. It was my choice to put my mother through heartaches when I was a teenager learning my ways. My options. My choices. Never oppressed.

I have as many choices as any other women out there. I could wake up tomorrow and decide "I don't want to wear the hijab anymore", and no one - NO HUMAN BEING - is allowed to force me to not do so. People can advise - I always welcome advices, because I always strive to be better - people can say things, people will judge, but nothing should ever be forcefully, unwillingly enforced. What I do when it comes to the practising of my faith is only a business between me and God, and no other person. That is what Islam, and what other religions, should be all about.
I don't tell people how to choose, and I certainly expect others to not tell me how to choose either.

But when you do tell me and the other Muslim women around the world to take off what we chose to put on that morning? Now that is oppression.

How are we OK living in a world where it is acceptable for women to sunbathe topless at a beach but not acceptable for women who chose to keep her skin covered at the same beach? How?

. . . . . . .

I am so glad I live in Malaysia where people of other races and religions don't bat an eyelid when they see Muslim women in burkinis. But I feel for my sisters over there in France, and other parts of the world. I feel yah, girls.

All this banning, it's all just people overthinking. There is no hidden agenda, there is no ploy, there is no nothing. Seriously, you know what we want? We just want to SWIM. We just want to SPLASH AROUND IN THE WATER, for goodness' sake. We just want to experience harmless water-related fun activities while not having to wear leggings and a long-sleeved t-shirt - which will not be good for the water in the pool, by the way.
Honestly, why is that so darn hard to accept? Honestly, it is really as simple as that.

We like to be in the water and we like to have fun at the beach - just like any of you do. So I would really love it - pretty please - if you just let my sisters around the world, Muslims or non-Muslims (apparently non-Muslims love burkinis too! Just ask Nigella Lawson!) to get back in our burkini and sit on the beach and play in the blue-hued water and the swimming pool, in peace, with the rest of the world?

*photos of me in my Speedy "burkini" taken in late 2015 during my friend's Bachelorette party!

New Affordorable In The Making

25 August 2016

Hi guys, I'm in the middle of changing up a few things on my blog (PS: look, it's a new look!), so please be patient with the chinks and kinks that you experience here - there's still a lot of work to be done!

I will let you guys know as soon as it's all finished, and I'll be back with new outift posts soon - love yahhhh XO

How Do We Feel About Applying Lipstick In Public?

24 August 2016

Who knew that this could be an issue - I certainly didn't - but apparently it might not be as innocent as I thought it was. I do it all the time in restaurants after eating at the table (only when I have a full-face makeup on, that is) but I was told it isn't good practice to do so. 

But is this true in the first place? 

Now that I think about it, I can't remember the last time I saw someone applying lipstick in public, to be honest. 
No wait, actually, I do; it was on a train in Tokyo. But in Malaysia? I'm surprised that I can't even recall seeing this, so perhaps it's not the norm here.

The question is, how much should I care about about those that find this unfavourable / embarrassing (for me) / borderline-offensive? Are these people even in the majority? 
Am I actually over-thinking with this "non-issue"? (PS: I know I am, because I'm dedicating a whole post on it, but for the sake of argument...)

At the end of the day, I think I'll continue doing it anyway - certainly saves time than nipping to the public bathroom, doesn't it?

Do you do it, too? What are your thoughts on this?

Cereal Killer

22 August 2016

One fun fact about me: I love cereal. I usually have up to four different cereals stored in my refrigerator, so that I can have cereal buffets for breakfast whenever I please. I cannot tell you guys how long I have been waiting to use this title; finally it is ninety nine point nine percent relevant to my content today!

Have I ever mentioned how hot and humid Malaysia is? Oh wait I think I have, only about 21377 times, I think. But just in case this is your first time here in Affordorable, let me share this one piece of info with you: it is hot AND humid here in Malaysia.

So for a hijabi like me, layering isn't usually a practical option - not that practicality is my main concern, because I do layer occasionally. 
OK, I always layer, because fashion. 
But on a more serious note: seriously, to please my personal style preferences, I find it challenging to try look good while dressing modestly without resorting to layering, so I basically have to "teach" and challenge my body to adapt under the weight of more than one layer. I mean, you can't expect us to see a cute menswear-inspired oversized blazer in Topshop and not want to throw that on our shoulders on a date night, OK?

In all honesty, does my logic make sense? If it does / doesn't, please let me know by commenting, because this can turn out to be a good discussion, I think.

On regular days though, when I just want to pop out and run errands quickly, I always want to wear something that I can throw on without having to add anything else underneath (like a see-through top) or on top (like a t-shirt) and walk out the door. I don't have many options for those, to be honest, so it's always a delight when there's a new addition for this purpose. So here it is, guys, my comfy long-sleeved "cereal killer" print top. (PS: Why doesn't my local grocer carry Fruit Loops, what a travesty.)

Wearing: Pull & Bear cereal top  |  H&M high-waisted pants  |  Adidas Neo sneakers