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Dress the Part

Hi there. I've recently had quite the shakeup, relocating from my old home in San Francisco to a new one in Dubai (for the short-term, about the next 1.5 to 2 years). I know I want to do something to capture, preserve and otherwise process this experience and this space came to mind, although I'm not sure it'll end up staying here. 
When I mention the move people have a lot of questions about Dubai and I feel like I have more questions than answers at this point. As of today I'm about a week + a handful of days into this new transition and I want to zoom in and just talk about something I do know something about: my outfits. 

Clothes always help ground me to a situation, whether I want to be confident in a meeting, joyful at a wedding, or whimsical on a weekend. You can't go outside naked, so "what do I wear" is a question that at least flits through all of our brains on a day-to-day basis. One way I've been documenting and processing the move is taking an outfit selfie everyday. The clothing experience here is particularly different from what I was used to in California for two main reasons. 

  • The first is the culture. There is a different standard of acceptable dress here and I'd like to be respectful. I've received some conflicting reports on what that means for me as an expat and as a woman. I can seemingly wear most of my wardrobe as is, though, and my plan is to do a lot of people watching (which I love anyway) and get a sense of it for myself. As a result, for the first month or so I plan to lean conservative with my clothing choices. 
  • The second is the weather. I cannot express to you how hot it is here. During the dead of night it is minimum 90 degrees Fahrenheit/32 degrees Celsius.  During the day it climbs to 109/42 degrees F/C. However, not only that, but it is also humid (right?!) and so my phone will report that with the humidity it often "feels like" closer to 121/49 degrees F/C. Currently, I'm only going outside when absolutely necessary, mostly during the small moments when transferring from the air conditioned hotel to the air conditioned Uber to the air conditioned destination (like the mall, more on that later). It also means I always have sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and water. 
Combine those two elements and I'm targeting natural breathable fabrics, light colors, flowy garments and decolletage, shoulders and legs mostly covered. So, here's what we've got so far: