Things I Own: Shawls

Early this year, I share the list of Everything I Own on this blog. The number, however, it’s not yet final because I’m still in the process of purging my stuff. In conjunction with my effort to complete the count, I’m going to make a series of Things I Own posts, each written based on one category or the sub-category of my possessions.

Let’s start with shawls.

I wear hijab as an act of faith and in this country where I live in, the Muslim women wear different styles of hijab i.e. shawls of different fabric materials, instant hijab, and square scarves. It could be plain, floral or patterned. You’ll be overwhelmed if I try to name and describe them all.

When I first started the minimalist lifestyle, my shawls were among the hardest to size down. I used to have all the colors to match every piece of clothing that I own. White, cream, yellow, peach, pink, purple, blue, brown, grey and black – more than one shade of each color.

It was hard. You don’t know which one you might need because matching one outfit with the wrong shawl can be a disaster. The truth is, I didn’t wear them all and kept most of them for the ‘just in case’. In fact, I wasn’t feeling my best in some of them.

Color palette

So, the first thing I do to minimize my shawls (and actually my whole closet) is to define a color palette. The image below shows the colors that I’ve decided for my wardrobe. I know this palette seems like a very safe and easy pick but I love them all. I feel pretty and confident wearing these colors. They match my skin tone very well too.

While purging through my clothing, I try to keep my eyes open for the pieces that are of these colors (not with their hex code precisely of course).

Sizing or narrowing down your wardrobe can definitely help you to define your personal style. When you’re forced to keep less, you will choose mind-fully and pay attention to things that you love and actually use – those that bring the best out of you.

In the process, I learn that I don’t really wear patterned and floral pieces but I do love textures. I only keep one floral blouse and the others that stay, are plain. They are indeed what I’ve been comfortably wearing the whole time.

You don’t have to follow exactly the way I did it. Your basis should depend on what sparks joy to you around the style and color that suits you. There are certain cutting of jeans or skirts that suit your body type better than the other and not every color match your skin and personality.

Sticking to your color palette also helps to maximize mix-matching. For example. I can wear black pants with grey blouse and nude shawl. Then, dark blue pants with black sweater and grey shawl and these two sets alone can be interchangeable into several more outfit options, get the idea?

So, that’s basically my quick tips to declutter your wardrobe along with your hijab, of course, if you wear one.

After the purging, I end up with two type of hijab – long chiffon shawl and knitted semi-instant shawl.

Long chiffon shawl

I have six chiffon shawls – black, dark grey, light grey, greyish blue, brown and dark brown. I bought them mostly at the price of 10 to 15myr except two more branded shawls that were given by my friends. They are still not extremely expensive but of a very good quality. If I were going to buy a new shawl in the future, I will definitely invest on this price point.

The dark grey shawl is a birthday gift from Harris costs around 80myr, I chose it myself at TudungPeople’s website and he checked out for me (the best shopping experience ever!). Another one is the brown shawl from Duchesscarf that costs 35myr, again I got it for free. I was one of the bridesmaids at my best friend – Liyana’s wedding and we were given that brown shawls to be worn for the ceremony.

Knitted semi-instant shawl

While for the knitted shawls, I have four of them. Two black, one nude and one terracotta (each costs 55myr from Le Zaara). I love this type of shawl because it’s very minimalist – there’s no pin and no inner scarf needed. It has beautiful textures and since it’s knitted, you don’t need to iron it. Very easy and practical.

The downside for me, I think it doesn’t go really well with my dressy and more formal outfits. It’s also a bit thick and makes me warm especially in this humid weather of this country. However, it is still relatively airy and doesn’t make me feel suffocated. I mostly use them for the casual and quick outing, also for sports, hiking and especially whenever I don’t have the time to iron my chiffon shawls.

How many shawls that I own in total?

In conclusion, at this moment I own 10 shawls. I might get a replacement for my black chiffon shawl soon because there’s apparently a hole on it – I don’t know how it got there. For Eid, I’m planning to get a brand new hijab but I haven’t decided which color and more importantly whether or not I really need it.

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