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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. 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:

It felt poetic to start out dressed like a plant sprout in the desert. Dress is the NooWorks ChaCha dress in Plant Life. 
Took a favorite slip dress of mine and tried to make it a little more appropriate with an American Giant t-shirt. 
These are the sneakers I've worn basically everyday. I've already worn this skirt (brand is Amour Vert) several days in a row as it is very soft and breathable (100% silk) and goes with almost any t-shirt. I added my NASA tee on this day because it makes me feel American.   
This dress is polyester which isn't ideal, however the slip dress underneath is 100% silk, so it ended up working out pretty well. 
Ending on a not-great-quality elevator selfie, but that's what I've got. This was my first outing in jeans (I was headed to a mall so knew that with the A/C it might get chilly inside) and I added a Muji linen top that I would describe as a delightful linen tent.

I can't wait to be reunited with the rest of my closet and, once I'm in an apartment, establish a more permanent clothing photo location. Until then, thanks for stopping by. 


  1. Sounds like a very sudden move, though from my time in Hong Kong back in the day, it can be nice in a way to live abroad as an "expat" for a short-ish stint. (Much more than 1-2 years at a time and I think I'd start desperately wanting to go back home.) Being an expat is a bit... disorienting.

    I always do find it interesting to people-watch in a new place and see how people dress, even just as a tourist when I'm not staying long enough to need to think about fitting in. In other places I've lived, there can be a lot of little quirks and small, subtle differences from the US (like in both Hong Kong and Taiwan, low-cut tops or dresses are rarely seen, but very short shorts or skirts are somewhat common).

    1. I'm definitely looking forward to all the new experiences and adventure but am still in the disoriented phase, haha. I'd love to take some "street style" type photos (very Bill Cunningham) but that does seem sort of frowned upon.

  2. You're doing great even with just your suitcase clothes. I love the linen top.

    1. Haha thank you! You know, there is a Muji store down by the 9th street Nordstrom Rack - could be a great double-feature shopping outing.