Without a doubt, there are a lot of great brands here in the UK that cater for hijab, but that doesn't stop me from being curious about what's going on further afield. Malaysia is one of the leading countries in the international Muslim fashion scene, so I was definitely interested to find out about Najjah; a Malaysian company established in 2009. They also participated in the Islamic Fashion Festival in KL last year. From what I've seen, Malaysian style is colourful and fun, and Najjah's designs really reflect this. I know that a lot of us are hesitant to order from companies so far abroad, and Najjah recently approached me to review a few things for them, and let you know what I think.
This tunic was by far my favourite item. It's made in a simple, denim-blue coloured jersey, with a high round neck and gathered sleeves. The large sequin trim at the bottom adds a bit of glam and means you can easily dress this up with a blazer and black trousers for an evening out. The only issue I had (and this is a recurring one) was with the sizing. Although I was sent an XL, it was still quite fitted, and I probably wouldn't wear it without something over the top.
This dress consists of a red jersey long-sleeved top, attached to a brown cotton skirt, with buckle detailing on the left side at the waist. It is actually part of the teen collection (13-18 years) so again, there were issues with the sizing. Although the skirt is very generous, the top half is quite fitted, though a jacket over the top would work well. In terms of the colours, I found the red to be a little too bright, and along with the brown you're really restricted as to what hijabs and accessories you can wear with it.
This was a plain brown two-piece cotton Amirah scarf essentially. It is quite generously sized and comes down quite a bit at the front (as per the photos at the top).
Cotton Hoody and Satin Hoody
One of Najjah's more special designs are their hoodies. These are based on the concept of Moroccan hooded jellabas, but inspired by street-wear. They are designed to be worn over your hijab, and work with a slip-on or a wrap scarf. They come in a wide range of colours. It consists of a hood with an extended area over the chest and back. It can be worn open, or buttoned up like the top half of a jacket. The pictures should explain better!
I found these hoodies to be an interesting concept; and they're an easy way to get the loose, draped hijab look, without compromising coverage. In the right colours, I think the satin versions would look great for a special occasion, but some come too close to looking costume-y. I'd love to know what you think of them though - is this something that could catch on in the UK?
If you're thinking of trying out Najjah's products, they really are very helpful when it comes to enquiries. The one thing to watch out for is the sizing, but I understand they are looking to extend the range of sizes they offer, to accommodate overseas customers too. You can also check out their Facebook page which has plenty of style ideas using their products.