بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
I just recently got a few items from the Philly -based business The Islamic Place…I am a rather big fan of their womans clothing line which goes under the name of BintQ or Bint Qamar. The Islamic Place is rather a one-stop shop of irems for the Muslim family from Islamic books to mens thobes to sisters garments…and since they are in Philly which isnt too terribly far from me I get my orders from them in around 48 hours! *woot! woot!*
So here is a hopefully brief overview of what I got and my thoughts on it. I actually have some items from them under the BintQ label which I had purchased quite a few months ago…I will hopefully post up my own pictures of those older items at some point…for right now though I will use pictures from their website.
So ordering from The Islamic Place is incredibly easy…they accept Paypal, shipping is pretty average and they ship incredibly fast and if you are in PA or a neighbooring state its not uncommon to get your order within 48 hours of them shipping? They also give out tracking as well and everything comes nicely packaged up.
Anyway…my latest “haul” from them is a simple maroon hooded “sporty” abaya, a black “basics” skirt, a black square scarf (the one I had for like 20 years finally decided to bite the dust) and a brown Syrian al-ameera with the chin cover/niqab.
The fabric used in the skirt and the abayah are the same and its basically a very thin poly-crepe…its actually exactly like the poly-crepe which East Essence uses in their garments (those who know EE know they tend to use 3 fabrics…cotton twill, poly-crepe and koshibo)…the poly-crepe they use is very very thin and so generally they double layer it…im actually a fan of this poly-crepe as its incredibly lightweight and is extremely hardwearing and washes/dries in a snap…so both items are made in this same poly-crepe.
The Skirt is from their BASICS line which provides *simple* garments at relatively inexpensive prices so a sister can bulk up their wardrobe on a budget…I think they are like around $12. I assume it would be a basic tube skirt which is suitably wide so easy to wear and walk in with a nice elastic band. Basically what I described is what came + they have strategic pleats at the waist so the entire skirt when worn has a semi-puffy look which works with a tunic or under an abaya/jilbab. These “BASICS” skirts come in a bazillion colors but only 1 size and at 5ft4 they are actually a good length for me…Id reckon a sister over 5ft6 would find them too short.
Overall…not bad but my only qualm is the poly-crepe used for the skirt is incredibly skin…like super, duper thin so a slip MUST be worn under it if you plan to wear the skirt outside alone with just say a tunic or a skirt….you can darn near see the color of your flesh when the sun shines on the skirt. yeah…I was miffed about that…but again its rather easily rectified by wearing a slip of some sort. Although I feel like given its thinness I will probably just reserve the skirt as an underskirt…to be worn under a dress or abaya vs alone. My only real suggestion for the skirts from their inexpensive BASICS line is to at least have whomever manufactures them in Bangladesh make the poly-crepe double thickness much like East Essence does. Id gladly pay double the price for a completely opaque everyday skirt.
Now their other skirts which are not of the BASICS line are not made from the ultra thin poly-crepe…but more on that at the end…
Now about the Abayah…Ive been looking for an inexpensive, everyday “sporty” abaya for awhile…I had been eyeing the Moroccan-style hooded abaya from Shukr for awhile but decided on this as its more of an “Urban style” and more laid-back and due to it being polester I knew I wouldn’t have issues with fading or fabric wearing out (although to Shukrs credit their items ARE basically indestructible but their darker toned items do fade which I find annoying) anyway, since I am on a “everything RED/Maroon” kick…ask my hubby, half of everything ive bought sofar form Fall/Winter has red going on in some way…(I go through color phases…LOL, sometimes its all black everything, sometimes its all green, sometimes its all red…LOL) and since it looked like a deep, rich red which would hide stains and look fab for autumn I was also tired of brown, black and navy as my closet tends to have a lot of those tones in it.
The abaya pretty much met my expectations…the fabric is the same poly-crepe as used in the skirt from their BASICS collection although its nt quite as thin…like you cant your legs when the light hits it…so its a bit thicker although once again, unlike East Essence their is no double layering of the crepe and given how light double layered poly-crepe really is…again id prefer that, esp. given the price which while not expensive is kind of an average price for such a garment and I think the Pakistani manufacturer could indeed double-layer the poly-crepe for added security…I DID wear the black skirt mentioned above under the abaya when we went out but that was because i just wore shorts under the abaya and not jeans or pants so wanted to be 100% sure nothing would show.
The color came exactly as shown and the abaya is exactly as shown as well. Oddly though the pockets at the front are situated very low for me…so whether because I am short maybe my arms are too short or something…*dang the miseries of being petite* or maybe I just heck…have short arms (lol!)…but the front pockets are really low for me and not very suitable for active use although I did at one point throw my cell in the pocket and I felt awkward fishing it out…so yeah.\
The fit is perfect…but I know the size fits me best…now the sizing which goes along with their BintQ line is a bit strange…sure it goes S/M/T/L/XL and maybe higher but their items are cut on the baggy end of the spectrum which again I do NOT mind…id rather get a garment which covers everything properly then be worried that something is sticking out…so the size I got is perfect…its loose enough that it skims the body and nothing is accentuated but not too big that I look like a 5 year old playing dress up in her dads oxford (another issue those of us who are petite have!!) I felt like I could easily layer the abaya over jeans and a teeshirt or even a pair of sweatpants and be assured nothing would pop out…thogh given the fabrics thinness wearing a light skirt or slip under is a good idea so when the wind blows the abaya doesnt plaster itself to your body.
I will probably be getting another of this same design and yes they come in a bazillion colors…even a lime green as I do like the style…its casual yet urban and very very comfy and perfectly fine for everyday wear.
Now this design along with the rather oddly located pockets (!!) has a very ample hood with a working drawstring and a zipper on the bodice which makes it suitable for breastfeeding moms…dueto its A-line cut if one sizes up it would probably be suitable for much of ones pregnancy as well. They are something like $39 or so, so not terribly expensive but not dirt cheap.
Moi…coming back from the “Oriental” Supermarket and a walk through a local park.
I also got 2 scarves…one a simple dark brown lycra Syrian al-ameera with the handy chin cover/niqab…I own a few of these ive culled from a few different places and always find them extremely comy AND they cover the chin or work as an impromptu niqab…voila! AND a very basic 45in x 45in black crepe georgette square scarf. Can I say I LOVE their square scarves…they are nice and old school and what I remember wearing back in the 90’s and they are very affordable and comfortable and easy to wear…they dont readily slide or require 50 million pins…
No complaints with the scarves at all…very decent…oh, the square scarves are made in Pakistan. I sometimes feel like the only place where the old school 45in x 45in square crepe georgette scarves are still made is Pakistan as anytime I run into them…they always same made in Pakistan…nothing wrong with that but its an observation ive noticed over the years…I remember when a lot of them would be from Egypt back in the 90’s.
Now. Previously ive ordered books from them *yay! huge selection* and two of their “coats”…now they aren’t true “coats” like for winter or fall…but like a old school simple manteau/jilbab style…on me they come to mid-calf. I have a grey and a olive green one and they are made of a medium weight polyester fabric something like poly-melange with a slight sheen under the light. its in NO WAY like the poly-crepe I mentioned above. The “coat” style is a basically a very basic 3/4th jilbab style…obviously not lined and no shoulder pads but tons of pockets and I do think a cute design…now their “coat” style is cut a bit baggier than their abayaat although according to the size chart they should all be the same. I find their “coat” style to be uber comfy over a teeshirt and wide legged jeans for walking or something which is very active as they seem basically indestructible..they also wash and dry quickly.
They also have several other designs in the same fabric…such a long coordinating skirt and a knee length tunic/kameez…in theory you would get all 3 and a few scarves and mix and match easily.
Ive also gotten several of their square scarves in patterns previously as well.
Overall I’m generally always happy with anything I’ve purchased from The Islamic Place in Philly…given their prices I think the garments they provide are quite suitable and are avaiable in a ton of diferent colors and their sizing is generous enough to be suitable for most women…plus they are local and their shipping is extremely speedy and their garments wash and wear wonderfully.
Now…onto a few snaps taken at a local park this afternoon…the trees are wonderful right now…as its easly autumn you have a wide range of shades form deep orange and red to cheery green…I admit though im NOT looking forward to winter…especially the harsh winter which tends to set in after January 1st when the deeply fridgit temps, ice and snow really set in…but Allahu Alim…right now thought is a wonderful time for a walk as the temps are moderate and the scenery is mashAllah so gorgeous.
And from the East Asian market…dont these Dragon fruits just look so inviting?