These days there are so many types of headscarves to choose from..I remember my taste evolving..from simple cotton (my first days of headscarves) to the high quality bawal (yup, HIGH quality to the extent that I never did iron mine much ;p) Now there's a whole new scene..and there's just so many versions of it - As-Syura, Ariani and whatnot..all probably more famously known by the person who models them - hence scarves which are dubbed 'tudung Ekin' or 'tudung Binda', so on and so forth. The more modern, elegant-looking ones.
Despite all the fuss, in the end it all comes back to one - Munawwarah. This is the shop where it all began. The ladies in my family have been loyal to this brand since long ago. I had wanted to follow suit but since I was still in high school (boarding school to be exact) I figured I wouldn't have the time to wear such things. College came but I didn't think it was the place to be all fancy schmancy. So now that I'm in my tertiary years, overseas..I thought, when else.;)
During my summer holidays I came back to Malaysia and started wearing those 'lilit2' kinds apart from a few hand-me-down Munawwarah special scarves on a daily basis. Usually, I'd wear those types only during certain formal occasions. A guy made a comment about it and his words sounded something like this : "Ai.Tukar style tudung nampak. Tiru Ekin eyh?" Honestly, I had no idea who Ekin was at that point of time. I learnt quickly though. After tuning in Astro Ria. "Owhhh..tunang Mawi rupenye." For some reason I felt insulted :p Hello?I've been wearing this style even before the girl started even wearing one. A quick comment on the whole Mawi & Ekin fiasco - it's just all TOO MUCH. Come on la..they're being totally overly exploited. With the shows and the books and God knows what - it's too overpublicized! Bak kata my mum and sis - makin lama makin nyampahlak tengok.Balik2 muka diorang. Dah tak sweet dah. Moral of the story - never try to be all Hollywood Glitz & Glamour. Stick to our roots - cara orang Timur.
So anyways, back to my point. =p I went places and noticed there were just so many scarves just like the ones that were in Munawwarah sold here and there. And of course, prices were always the issue. I think the salespeople have some nerve to compare theirs to Munawwarah. Of course theirs is cheaper - the quality says it all. Then there are the people who feel Munawwarah is just overrated. They charge too much when the costs are just not that high. A friend even recommended another shop which sells cheaper stuff.
After much observation and even a chat with Munawwarah store owner (they go a long way back with my family, us being one of the first few clients for Umrah/Haji in the early 90s) I've arrived to a simple conclusion - it's NOT overrated. Reason number one : QUALITY. You can easily spot the differences btwn scarves sold in the pasar or any small area and the ones in Munawwarah. After wash and daily use, Munawwarah's are still brand new. The fabric's soft, it's easy to wear and style and the colours don't fade. The slightly higher price is definitely worth it. It's convenient. Personally, I think the price is reasonable seeing that everything's hand sewn. If it's produced in bulk then only a lower price is possible but in the end..it's the quality that matters.
So one day on an outing with friends, I learnt they were taken by my scarve. And funny they'd never heard of it before. I guess Munawwarah is not that common amongst students as it may be a little too steep for our pockets, the loyal customers are after all middle-aged women to the more elderly. I started recommending and promoting to these curious friends of mine, and I even started looking at the blog. I have heard before that people totally crowd the shop and I thought they were exaggerating. They kid me not. I saw the pictures. Of long queus just to get in the shop. And guess what. It happens EVERYDAY. People actually wait for the shop to open at 9.30am. I found out that there's always new stock, of 200-300 scarves every single day which comes in the morning but even by noon, they could be all gone. On Saturdays they even reload twice and even that's finished. It's selling like hot cakes!
Yana my friend just came back from Indon a few days ago and like I promised before, we'd go to Munawwarah to shop for the first time for our own first scarves. I looked at their blog to see for any updates and I couldn't help but read the latest entry. It seemed that last Friday, a police car stopped in front of the shop as there was a large group of women gathering outside. The policeman asked the crowd if there was any problem. A lady replied, the problem is...the shop was not open yet. And everyone including the policeman laughed. So the moral of the story is, to check the opening hours before deciding to come. =p Luckily, I just did. Today, Friday, the shop's only open from 11.00am onwards. So 5 minutes to Yana and I were already searching for a parking space. She was asking me where exactly is the shop until we saw people 'berkerumun' iin front of this store. Not hard to find ;)
Once the doors were open...whoosh! Berebut-rebut smorang masuk.hee Yana and I found it cute since the women in front of us were totally older than us. They certainly were ready and full of energy for this one. In the end Yana and I spent 1 hour in the shop, learning the names of the scarves, trying them on. The good thing about the shop is that it's women only. So they practice an open-fitting concept for everyone's convenience. I taught Yana a few styles of wearing the scarve (if not she would've had to join the group looking at the video :p) People in the past have complained of customer service but I think they're doing their best. There may not be that many staff but there's just too many people to attend to.It was helpful though, that the lady at the cashier explained which scarves needed special attention in terms of care so that we don't spoil them. I couldn't stay in the shop any longer coz I'd get attracted to something else..there's just a lot of nice choices to select from.
At the end of the day, I've never been happier to part with my RM200 for 3 nice scarves :D So for those out there who've never tried it - you don't know what you're missing ;)
Sister's permanent style
For casual wear
My sis-in-law's also a loyal customer ;)
Also suits formal/semi-formal occasions...
It has even reached Shah Alam.hee
Feeling all comfortable and lovely