Elements of Style

Elements of Style: The Sister Act Behind Jawda + Jawda

Everything this design duo does is effortlessly cool, times two.

By Abby Ledoux February 28, 2018 Published in the March 2018 issue of Houstonia Magazine

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Saba and Sarah Jawda share clothes but wear them differently.

Image: Todd Spoth

Sarah and Saba Jawda, the sisters behind full-service design firm Jawda+Jawda, are an Instagram dream team. Whether it’s their perfectly put-together ensembles (think little black dresses and thigh-high Stuart Weitzmans), carefully curated interiors (luxe, textured pieces and plenty of art), or cheeky graphic design (cards for new moms that read “Nice knowin ya” and “I’ll drink for us both”), everything the duo does warrants a snap.

Fitting, then, that Jawda+Jawda boasts more than 58,000 Instagram followers. Vignettes offer a peek into the jet-setting Houston-based siblings’ glamorous lives: twirling in white-lace dresses in front of Sprinkles Cupcakes, wearing—wait for it—LBDs at their studio, clutching champagne on the red carpet at a River Oaks District opening.

Though four years apart, the Jawdas could easily be mistaken for twins, especially given their penchant for sharing: a business, a house, a car, most items in their closets. Always appearing together, one complementing the other, they’re like a raven-haired Mary Kate and Ashley.

Born in Iraq and raised in Jordan and Belize before moving to the States in the ’90s, the sisters are fixtures at Houston’s most fabulous parties. In December, they hosted the Menil Collection’s sold-out holiday celebration, a black-tie, Surrealism-themed gala, before skipping the after-party in favor of a late-night Whataburger pit stop—confirming, as if it were necessary, that everything they do is effortlessly cool, times two.

On global influences:

Saba: Our work, our style, everything stems from our travels, because you get so inspired. I love living in Houston, but it’s also such a great spot because everything is so easy as far as traveling. I always tell people, whenever you can leave, just leave. Just go. Doesn’t matter where.

On the other sister’s style:

Sarah: She’s more classic. Simple, yet fashion-forward.

Saba: Sarah I feel is a bit more edgy. I guess it just fits her personality.

Sarah: You can wear the same thing the exact same way, and still, it would look different, because swag.

Saba: She’s all about swag.

On celebrity style icons:

Saba: Audrey Hepburn for me, for sure. I love her.

Sarah: What year are you living in? I think more for you, it’s like, Bat Gio.

Saba: For sure, I love her too!

On their last purchases:

Saba: The last black dress I bought that I really like is Self-Portrait.

Sarah: The last thing I bought was a splurge. I bought these little Chanel booties when I was in Dallas.

On fashion in Houston:

Sarah: I wish people did try a little more. I feel like if they did, I would try a little more, at least during the day. A lot of times when I get dressed, it’s definitely for myself. It’s not like in New York or L.A.

On how their styles diverge:

Sarah: We’ll wear the same clothes. We’ll just wear them differently. Like, what she has on [pointing to Saba]. First of all, it was a dress, and I shortened it, and it was too short, so now it’s a shirt. She’ll wear it with jeans and boots, or I’ll wear it with leather shorts and kicks. Mine’s more laidback and street. I’ll try things, I’ll put on a choker … She’s more classic.

On their fashion philosophies:

Saba: We wear a lot of black. People constantly are like, “Are you guys going to a funeral?” It’s so chic and easy! We always invest in pieces. I don’t like to shop just to shop, so when I buy something, I want it to be a great piece that I can wear for a while, and a lot of times with color or print, you get sick of it.

Sarah: I see other people and how much they shop, and we really don’t. When I do, I like to buy something I’m going to wear all the time. People will have 30 beanies; I’m gonna buy one good one, and I’m not gonna take it off, to the point where people start making fun of me. Make fun of me all you want! It’s a good beanie. 

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