Zanzibar – The 2 Outfits I Made Just for My Trip to Paradise | Fashion Design

Trip to Zanzibar. Fashion Design. What’s the perfect fusion of travel and fashion? Traveling Fashion Designers. Yep. That’s us. And I made some pretty cute outfits before my trip to Zanzibar, made just to match two EPIC locations.

Planning the Trip

Zanzibar always seemed like quite a magical destination for me. It was like a dreamland. I wasn’t really sure if it was real. It’s the kind of place you hear about in the passing, but never actual see any real pictures of. A magical fairyland of mystery.

But….it was open for tourism despite Corona, and it was the perfect place for my boyfriend and I to rendezvous after not seeing each other for two months. And so the itinerary planning and fashion planning began. There was no way I could go to such a dreamy place without making something special just for the country. Zanzibar inspired my creativity and deserved some lovely creations.

Design Process

Since Zanzibar is a big island and most famous for its beaches, the most obvious first choice of something to design and create for a photoshoot in the country would be beach related. So it looks like it was time to go shopping for some swimwear fabric. I went to my favorite fabric store in Tel Aviv, and perused through the piles and piles of stretchy swimwear fabrics until I found something that caught my eye. STRIPES. Oh yes. Stripes are one of my weaknesses. And GREEN!! Double yes.

Fashion Design Zanzibar

The fabric has such a retro vibe that I decided I wanted to make something that looked really vintage. I looked up some vintage and retro swimsuits and started to create something that I would love. The perfect combination of retro and trendy.

Once I had the plan for my swimsuit, I decided to design my second outfit. I had a stunning blue rose print that I bought while shopping for something totally different. It was just too incredible to pass up on, so I bought a few yards and saved it in my stash for a day just like today.

I was so incredibly excited to go visit the famous Rock Restaurant in Zanzibar. It was always a dream of mine. And what better to have as the inspiration for designing a dress than the dreamy floating restaurant in the middle of the Indian ocean??

It had to be long and flowy and dream-like. Lots of gathers and a big, extravagant flowy skirt with an excess of fabric ready to blow in the wind. And just like that, everything was ready in my mind. Now it was time to create!

Outfit #1 – Retro Candy Stripe Bathing Suit for the Beach

Outfit #2 – Blue Rose Flowy Dress for The Rock Restaurant

Sewing and Creation

There’s little more exciting and more fulfilling that being able to envision something in your mind and then actually create it. To watch a beautiful outfit come together from pieces of fabric and thread.

1. Retro Candy Stripe Bathing Suit

Using a combination of some old patterns that we have in our collection and some of our handmade pattern pieces, I began to sew. I knew that I wanted to make two different options for the bottoms – high waisted and low waisted. The high waisted would definitely be for the photos, but I wanted the suit to also be wearable for sunbathing, so I made an alternative low waist pair of bottoms as well.

I also wanted to take advantage of all the stripes and lines. The top piece I made really took advantage of all that stripes offer! And I created something that had the stripes going in different directions to give it a fun and playful look.

I had a few extra pieces of fabric so I decided to whip up a little tie to add some cinch around the waist and a head scarf to further exemplify the vintage feel.

View the full blog post where this bathing suit is featured: BEST BEACHES IN ZANZIBAR – NUNGWI, STONE TOWN, PAJE, AND MORE

2. Blue Rose Flowy Dress

Now onto the second project I had in mind! I had made a skirt similar to what I had in mind in the past so I pretty much already knew how to make it. Instead of making a dress, I decided to make a blouse and skirt set. It would be much more useful in everyday life as I could have double the outfits and uses for the pieces!

The skirt was lots and lots of gathering to make it long and flowy and full of volume….with full ability to spin and blow around romantically in the wind. For the blouse I recreated a favorite top of mine, with elastic gathers around the arms and neckline. Overall a really simple set to make.

Fashion Design Zanzibar

All ready for the trip to Zanzibar!!!



And here are the end results!!! I’m really so happy with how the pictures turned out! The outfits couldn’t have been a more perfect fit in my opinion.

The bathing suit looks playful and vintage and the mix of blues on the boat ride was just perfection. At first I didn’t really know where I would take the photos of this suit….I just had the general idea of the beach in my mind. But when we booked a snorkeling trip to the private island of Mnemba, I knew this was the first choice. The only sad part was that we got soooooo seasick (we also had a bit of food poisoning from the dinner the night before) right after this photoshoot. We had to stop our boat trip early, which was such a bummer. But at least we got some lovely photos!!!

The dress was exactly how I envisioned it…actually even better!! The Rock Restaurant is one of the coolest places I’ve ever seen and I was so happy to have a super cool dress to go along without. And check out the perfectly matching blues and browns??

1. Retro Candy Stripe Bathing Suit for Mnemba Island Snorkeling Trip

Fashion Design Zanzibar

2. Blue Rose Flowy Dress for The Rock Restaurant

Fashion Design Zanzibar
Fashion Design Zanzibar

To read more about my travels to Zanzibar check out our Zanzibar page! Which outfit was your favorite?

Lots of Love and Safe Travels,

Danielle and Brooke, Colorful Sisters


  1. So I’m curious: What makes you pick the high-waist swimsuit bottoms versus the other? I recognize the “retro” element for the high-waist bottoms, but you made both styles (I really don’t know anything about fashion, obviously, so I’m not even sure what to call it).

    1. Well in this case, I picked the high-waist version for the photoshoot as I was looking for a more retro look. I made the other version as well for if I go out sunbathing/for a more casual look πŸ™‚ It’s just nice to have both options! πŸ™‚

      1. Gotcha. I did get the retro association; but also wondered if cultural norms inform that decision.

      2. Cultural norms don’t afffect it too much…at least for me! The high waist and low waist suits are also both equally as popular/fashionable. The high waist just shows a different, most vintage fashion flair πŸ™‚

  2. Wow! Love the bathing suit!

    1. Thanks so much!!! I love it too πŸ™‚

  3. […] Check out the details of this handmade swimsuit here: ZANZIBAR – THE 2 OUTFITS I MADE JUST FOR MY TRIP TO PARADISE | FASHION DESIGN […]

  4. Wow… Really lovely pieces😍

    1. Thanks so much dear!! πŸ™‚

  5. Fashion is a measure of grace and taste. You have both!

    1. Awww wow thank you so much!

  6. Beautiful costumes, beautiful women!

    1. Thank you so much!!!

  7. I looove all your flowy, rose-patterned dresses! The gathers and cinching are to-die-for!!

    1. Yesss flowy and flowers are probably some of my favorite things ever! Especially flowers hahahaha Thanks so much dear πŸ™‚

      1. Absolutely! 😊

    1. 😍😍😍😍

  8. Just beautiful! I loved seeing your process.

    1. Thanks so much!! Happy you enjoyed πŸ™‚

  9. I love that bathing suit <3

    1. Thanks dear!!

  10. Your fashion design and skills blow me away.

    1. Aww wow thank you so much!!

  11. The wind and the beach really shows the dress off well- great design. What a beautiful country you live in!

    1. Thanks so much!! Wish we lived there but sadly it was just for a short visit!

  12. The retro bathing suit is my favourite. I would absolutely buy that 😍😍😍.

    1. Yess it’s so comfy too!!

  13. Wow, great pics and outfits! I’m very jealous of your traveling adventures! I’ve been wanting to go to Zanzibar since I did some research when my niece was spending a semester in Tanzania a couple years ago.

    1. Thank you so much!! Zanzibar was so amazing. I hope you get to visit someday, it’s really incredible πŸ™‚

  14. […] Check out our post on this handmade dress! (Made just for this awesome location in Zanzibar) : ZANZIBAR – THE 2 OUTFITS I MADE JUST FOR MY TRIP TO PARADISE | FASHION DESIGN […]

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