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Hey, I Like Your Style! Inside the wardrobe of Sydney-based digital creator, Nawal Sari

IMAGE VIA @NAWALSARI/INSTAGRAM

WORDS BY IZZY WIGHT

“Being in Australia for most of my life, the trend was always girls looking beachy, Bondi-like and bronzed; wearing styles I struggled to make modest.”

We know personal style is a journey (I’m looking at you, Tumblr years), so we’ve introduced a new series Hey, I Like Your Style! diving into the fashion psyche of our favourite creatives. We’re talking the good, the bad and the 2007.

While the internet has made our fashion icons feel closer than ever before, even the most effortless of outfits came from a closet with some (well-dressed) skeletons. Clickable product tags, photo archives and lives chronicled in 30-second clips just don’t tell the full story.


For more fashion news, shoots, articles and features, head to our Fashion section.


These are the stories behind the wardrobes, exploring how we develop our own personal style. There’s a brilliance behind the way we choose to express ourselves and at FJ, we know every outfit has a story.

This week, we’re stepping into the modern modest wardrobe of digital creator, Nawal Sari. Launching her Instagram account in 2017, Nawal’s presence as a young, fashion-focused Muslim creator (“your relatable hijabi next door“) quickly gained her a loyal ‘sisterhood’ of over 200,000 followers.

With a penchant for mixing high-end investment pieces with her favourite thrifted gems, Nawal’s wardrobe is a culmination of her journey in modesty, style and body confidence. Take a peek into her style evolution below.

Who are you and what do you like to wear?

 

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My name is Nawal Sari. I’m a 22-year-old digital creative based in Sydney. I love to wear anything that fuels my creativity and boosts my confidence!

What has your style evolution looked like? Do you feel like you’ve gained confidence in the way you dress?

 

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If you ask any hijabi how we first dressed when they decided to wear it, we almost always cringe. In my early teens, before I wore the hijab, my outfits consisted of Jay Jays tees and bright Vans or Converses. When I first started wearing the hijab, I liked florals and pastels a little too much.

After graduating high school, I worked in sneaker retail stores, so I fully emersed myself in streetwear. It definitely helped me shape my personal style. Although I do cringe at some of my matching tracksuit ‘hypebae‘ photos, I know I felt confident at the time – it was different to what was expected from me yet still modest.

Today, I have more knowledge of high-end and vintage fashion. I’ve definitely gained more confidence in the way I dress, although there’s still room for improvement. I think body confidence plays a large part in how I carry myself and constantly being on social media – especially TikTok – has had both negative and positive impacts.

Personal style is a journey. Have you ever felt like you needed to fit into a particular fashion box?

 

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Definitely. It’s complex because I felt pressure from all areas. Being in Australia for most of my life, the trend was always girls looking beachy, Bondi-like and bronzed; wearing styles I struggled to make modest.

Then there was what was ‘in’ within the local hijabi community. To begin with, I struggled to find my own unique style. I initially just wanted to dress ‘safe’. I’ve been thrifting my whole life, so I started visiting op shops during uni and purchasing pieces I found affordable, yet unique. It really helped me transition into finding my own style.

Take us back to those awkward teenage years. Do you have any fashion regrets?

 

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Ugh, so many! The owl necklaces will forever haunt me. Why were owls, pineapples and nerdy sunglasses ever fashionable? I also loved a printed collar shirt with a little necklace underneath. Rip.

What are the most expensive and least expensive items in your wardrobe?

 

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My least expensive items are definitely my thrifted pieces. I have a cool collection of ’90s and Y2K basics I got for only a few dollars and I wear them so much. The most expensive pieces are items I bought only last year – before that, I was working retail jobs while studying at the same time.

I bought my first designer bag last year as a graduation gift to myself; it’s the Louis Vuitton New Wave bag. Although I don’t wear it super often, I love the memory attached to it and will always remember how proud I was to buy it.

What is the most meaningful fashion piece you own?

 

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I don’t think I have one specific piece as of yet. I own a lot of items attached to memories and milestones but I’m yet to have one that is the most special.

What’s in your cart at the moment?

I’ve been stalking @fanci.club. I LOVE the gloves and corsets, so unique and adorable! They are sitting in my cart waiting for the perfect special occasion.

What fashion piece are you saving for right now?

 

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I have a few. I love anything Miu Miu right now, the collection is so cute and I just need everything! I also bought the Balenciaga black Le Cagole bag this year after seeing it styled at Paris Fashion Week and now I want the chrome/silver style. These aren’t necessities, so I’ll just admire them from afar until it feels right.

What are the wardrobe items you wear on repeat?

 

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My fashion pieces always alternate, but my black Balenciaga Le Cagole bag and the Heaven Marc Jacobs x Dr Martens collab shoes are always incorporated into my outfits.

Who are your favourite local designers?

 

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Currently, I’m loving Réalisation Par, Sir The Label, C/meo Collective, Zimmermann and – of course – Dion Lee!

See more of Nawal’s killer looks here.

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