Nikki’s Inbox: How to Rock the Trends AND Stick to a Dress Code

I’m a female college student in Saudi Arabia. I’m so into fashion, especially Asian fashion to be exact, but I have a huge problem which is I have to fit into the dress code of my university which is a bit difficult and make it look as chic as possible.

Our dress code is to wear long or midi skirts and tops with sleeves. No short skirts, pants or sleeveless tops are allowed.

Can you please help me by giving me some tips on how to never go wrong with the dress code while still keeping on trend?

Zara, 19/Saudi Arabia


Thank you for writing to me, Zara. I do have to say it is challenging when there is a dress code that has to be followed but I will do my best. However, I hope you will forgive me if not all my suggestions are applicable because I have much to learn about Muslim women’s dress guides. Anyway, we can both learn, right?

The Boxy Silhouette

Boxy tees, shirts and sweatshirts are all the rage right now, and this is something you can wear, Zara! If anything that is form-fitting or revealing is not permitted at your university, then a boxy top can do that. The selection on YesStyle comes in rounded and bateau (boat) necklines, as well as regular crewnecks so you’re assured of keeping to the standard. The boxy bodice also means you look more architectural because there’s a more rigid shape to the garment so your shoulders look straighter. The looser silhouette also means it’s easy to layer over a camisole, long-sleeved top or dress.

Chicsense : Eureka : CLICK : Tulander

The Bell Sleeve

Bell sleeves are another hot trend that started this spring and are still going strong. The longer, flared cuffs give the top a very free-spirited look and quite eye-catching whenever you move your hands. So even if your top is plain-colored, the sleeves make a huge difference! Even under a lightweight cardigan or denim jacket, the cuffs are often long enough to be seen and make a scene.

Styleberry : Miamasvin : Seoul Fashion : Moon City

The Maxi Skirt and Dress

You don’t have to limit yourself to plain skirts and dresses, dear Zara. Summer trends mean not just florals but also botanical, geometric and other eye-catching prints to spice up your OOTD. If you’re wearing a solid-colored top, a printed or patterned skirt or dress can make a huge difference to your look and your mood! Ankle-skimming maxi dresses and skirts in classic A-line silhouettes flatter all body types. But if you want just a little extra flair, godet insets and ruffles add extra style points whenever you move or walk. Wrap-style skirts also evoke a resort vibe so you feel all summery!

Fancy Show : J-ANN : Seoul Fashion : DANI LOVE

ssongbyssong : J-ANN : Lemite

The Bonus Features

If you’re allowed to wear accessories even with a somewhat strict dress code at university, you should definitely take advantage of this option. A mix of leather and metal bangles as well as stacked rings make for great arm candy. Layered and pendant necklaces make a charming yet subtle statement. And don’t forget the bags! Being a student gives you a license to show off a cute backpack or satchel at every opportunity.

Seirios : migunstyle : NIPONJJUYA : kitsch island

Full House : chuu : Canvas Love

I hope you will find something useful in my suggestions, Zara. Got any suggestions to help a fellow Muslim fashionista? Comment below!

P.S. If you’re sending a question, please don’t forget to include any helpful information about your body type or shape, your tastes or personality. You can include a selfie (link only please) or a photo of your clothes (which I will never publish without pre-approval). Thank you!

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