As the new work and social season blossoms, four Saudi women share their fashion go-tos, and cold-weather style.
As an entrepreneur, and fashion and marketing consultant, Nojoud Alrumaihi – who is based in Riyadh – is particularly aware of the importance of making a good impression. During winter, when people start to feel more connected, Alrumaihi enjoys simple, cozy activities, such as “going to the park or having a morning warm beverage surrounded by twinkling lights,” she says. “The atmosphere seems so enriching. Even the change of scents – from watery to deep and warmer – is something I love about this season.” Alrumaihi’s wardrobe, and her loved ones’, too, adapt with winter. “As a mom, nothing is sweeter than putting my daughter in a warm puffer jacket before she goes to school and making her a cup of hot chocolate once she is back,” she says.
During this season, Alrumaihi plays with her favorite fashion approach: layering. “You get to truly experience mixing fabrics and colors to create an oversized look,” she says. “Not to mention how comfortable winter clothes can be and how you can easily dress up by simply changing one or two pieces, such as switching from sneakers to boots.” With shackets, sweater dresses, and velvet at the top of her list, Alrumaihi takes winter as an opportunity to adapt her style depending on the time of the day. “You don’t have to wear your whole [day] look at night,” she notes. “You can simply add a scarf, some bold accessories, or pointy boots.”
Being a female athlete doesn’t mean style falls by the wayside. This is particularly true for Jeddah-based CrossFit coach Amal Baatia, who always chooses garments that are comfortable. “A dressed-up sweater is my favorite winter [look],” she confesses. “I love wearing sweaters all the time, so I became a little bit creative in how to use them. Sometimes I prefer tucking them inside a skirt, while on other occasions, I wear them over a dress and heels.” Baatia especially covets the winter season. “I always feel that cold weather brings family together,” she says. “There is so much joy and deep connection during that period.”
Her sport routine remains busy all year long. “I do strength training for an hour-and-a-half followed by deep stretching five days a week, then one active recovery day, which usually includes mobility, yoga, or any other light activity.” The right clothes help support Baatia in her active life. Alyx Studio is one of her favorite brands, and Baatia’s advice is “to always wear what reflects your personality. For this season, I am all about chunky knitwear, boots, and pop color suits, but my preference will always be sports luxe.”
Alsharefa Aisha Almamy
After living in Paris and then spending time in London, the CEO and founder of Basamat Arabia is back to her roots, in Jeddah. While she is very committed to her business, fashion holds an important place in her life, too. When it comes to her look, Almamy’s secret is twofold: adding a vintage piece to her outfit and focusing on her favorite brands, which include YSL, Alexander McQueen, Valentino, Burberry, JW Anderson, and Thom Browne.
For the upcoming cooler season, Almamy will enlist some essentials, such as turtlenecks, sweaters, and Heattech innerwear and thermals, combined with high boots and big coats – for the latter, “the bigger the better,” she says. These items make Almamy feel both comfortable and stylish – key for anyone with a full schedule. “Winter is a time of family and friends’ gatherings, big dinners, camping, and outdoor activities,” smiles Almamy, who particularly likes this season, when things slow down a little. Whether she needs to be elegant or relaxed, the CEO always thinks about the best combinations of clothes to create a visual impact and a sense of character. Her number-one rule is to add a belt. “Balance the proportions of your body and how much skin you are showing to always look classy,” she says. For an easy change of look from day to night, there is nothing like using accessories, switching shoes, varying your hair, or playing with your makeup, believes Almamy. Her guilty pleasure: “I love to update my shoes every season and then start building my looks.”
Born, raised, and currently based in Jeddah, Sarah Taibah is used to being both behind and in front of the camera. As a filmmaker, she created the Shahid original dark comedy series Jameel Jedan, which released earlier this year. As an actress, she started her career with the lead role in the short film Zaina’s Cake (2015) before starring in Roll’em and This Other Thing. She also creates illustrations using traditional mediums and digital tools, completing a comic one during the Covid quarantine.
For this creative mind, Fall is the perfect opportunity to recharge. “My energy renews itself during this season and it’s a good time to reflect and create,” she confesses. Then, when winter comes, precious moments with family and friends prevail. To cope with lower temperatures, a scarf is Taibah’s ultimate winter wardrobe styling hack. “It is a must because it adds style to the outfit and warms you up at the same time,” she says. Any time of the year, Taibah favors basic yet stylish black outfits that are both comfortable and a little edgy. “The advantage is that they can be worn day and night,” she says. “I also love wearing a lot of necklaces and rings.” No matter your preferences, Taibah’s styling advice is straightforward: “Don’t follow the trends and trust your gut.”
Originally published in the September 2022 issue of Vogue Arabia
Style: Mohammad Hazem Rezq
Hair and makeup: Mermaid Salon
Fashion assistant: Waad Baljoon
Videographer: Ayman Tamano
Videographer assistant: Sarah Chafei
With special thanks to Nassif House Museum, Vegan Street, and Shangri-la Jeddah